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Women’s News: Defining the Powerful Business Woman

Women’s News: Defining the Powerful Business Woman

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My Friend

My Friend

My Friend

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By Kimberly Seabrooks

My Friend

I met him on a Friday. He was a voice on the other end of the phone asking about an account he had with the company that I worked for. I thought to myself, his voice sounds so nice I wonder want he looks like. I wanted to hear more. I think I fell in love with his voice right over the phone, because it sounded so soft and sweet. We spoke for a long period of time because he was explaining to me how his pending divorce was affecting him personally and financially.

After counseling him about what he needed to do to take care of his account there, he asked me to go out to dinner with him. I was reluctant, but agreed to it because I curious about what he looked like. I had an image in my head but the real thing was so much better than what I thought. He was gorgeous. I could not eat in front of him because I was so nervous. I did not want him to see me drop food on my clothes or catch me with food in my teeth when I spoke to him.

Wow, he was so handsome, but at the same time he seemed so down to earth. I thought to myself, this is one of the most special men I have ever met in my life. It almost seemed as though he didn’t know how handsome he was. I am embarrassed now to admit that I wanted to make love to him that night, but I would not allow myself to do that. My heart was gone.

After the 3rd date, I  gave into my feelings and made love with him and it was so great!! That was it, I was officially in love. I felt this could be my husband some day. I had really strong feelings for him really fast. Unfortunately, he was going through a divorce , so he didn’t want anything to do with that. His divorce was getting really nasty because she cheated on him with another man and  he didn’t trust women.

I told myself, if I just loved him enough he would love me back and want to be with me forever. But that actually made things worse for me. The more I tried to love and take care of him the more he pulled away from me. At the time, I didn’t understand why, but now I know that it was because he was afraid of being hurt again.

Eventually, he did get to the place where he stopped wanting see me altogether because, in his words, he didn’t want to hurt me anymore. I was devastated and so hurt that it sent me into a tale spin. It started affecting my professional life and I had to find a way out. Finally, I ended up in the hospital, depressed and not knowing what I was going to do because I loved him so much.

I got the counseling I needed and I even took an antidepressant for a short period of time. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. Finally, I understood that there were some things that I needed to fix about myself because I was allowing myself to be treated that way.

One year past and my feelings for him, so I thought, were gone. I started dating someone else and I was happy. Then the call came. At that moment, I knew I wasn’t completely over him because my heart began to race again. I knew that I could never let him in again the same way because I could never trust him with my heart again.

I answered the call and we talked. At this point in his life I could see that he was finally over what he had been through with his ex-wife. I could also feel that he was regretful about what he had put me through. But, there was no going back.  Even though I knew he wanted me to give him another chance. I was scared, and besides that, I was in a new relationship.

Now, as my friend, he tried to give me advice about my new relationship.  I started having an issue in this relationship. He was verbally abusive. At some point, I tried to leave him and my friend offered me a place to stay with him if I needed it. I did not take him up on it at the time and I stayed in the verbally abusive relationship for a few more years. My friend and I continued to talk to keep up with each other. He continued to give me advice about my present situation and let me know that he is there for me if I needed him.

One more year went by and I finally got to the place where I was finally ready to take him up on his offer. At that moment, he proceeded to tell me that he was now in a new relationship and that he could not have me living with him because of his new situation. Needless to say,  I was very disappointed, upset and hurt. After that, I did not speak to him for about a month. He called and tried to explain to me the situation. He also tried to apologize but I did not want to hear it.  So, we stopped talking again.

So, two years went by without talking to him. I wanted to contact him to see how he was doing. I no longer had his phone number in my phone because I deleted it.  I then went to internet to try and find him. After putting his information on the internet, I found a site that said this person was deceased. I said to myself, that  must be his father, but when I looked at the birth year it intrigued me. So, I went to his son’s facebook page on the date that it said this person passed away and to my surprise my friend had passed away the year before. I was sad, devastated and completely loosing my mind. I was disappointed in myself that I allowed an argument and a misunderstanding  keep us apart. I was not there for him to help him get through his illness and I was not able to apologize to him for the way that I acted toward him. This will be with me for the rest of my life.

So remember, when you get angry with your loved one and you stop talking to them, just remember in a blink of an eye it could all be over.

My Friend Curtis,

I love you

Women’s News: Defining the Powerful Business Woman

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Ellen Kellner

Mindful thinker and author

A male colleague, upon hearing the news of a recent hire, predicted a show-down would be imminent as he observed that this would place two powerful women in the same department. This was his belief: Powerful women are inherent adversaries. In hearing this, I paused to think, “Is this true?” Is it true that powerful woman are natural rivals? As I looked inward, I wondered: Do I harbor resentment towards other powerful women, hampering possible collaborative outcomes?

In seeking self-reflection, I often peer at my children. I can find answers to complicated questions, beautifully revealed through them. This time, my thoughts turned to my elementary-aged daughter and her prized collection of fairy figurines — all female. Don’t let the name “fairy” distort your perception, these are powerful women. Some of these fairies possess wands which they extend outward with focused determination. Some invoke a powerful presence just in their stance.

Never have I seen my daughter engage these women in battle against each other. Instead, they go on adventures, accomplishing impossible things, like taming dragons — and they do it wearing sparkly crowns. If you know my young daughter, you know she fully embodies fairy-energy. She can control a room with her presence and smile, and she does it with sparkle. Unlike me, who traded in my femininity with my first business suit back in the 80s, her power doesn’t come from stepping out of herself.

As I questioned what type of female figurines would engage in a show-down, my mind landed on Cruella de Vil, Ursula, and Maleficent. Disney is an equal-opportunity employer of powerful villains. Are these women adversaries? Can I see these women locked in combat? Sure. But my daughter has never begged Santa for them. The truth that she plays out is one of powerful collaboration.

But at the office, are women powerful because of their destructive power? Are we all nothing more than Disney villains? When I’m powerful, is it the result of being caustic? I hope not, but in hearing my colleagues pronouncement, “is it true?

Back in my suit wearing days, I had a performance review that went really well. But along with the litany of goal-exceeding accomplishments, there was one noted observation: “A noticed harshness in my manner.

I admit, I felt smug in this comment. I was quick to correlate my accomplishments, and accompanying raise, to this necessary personality trait. But as the decades passed, the words of this review weighed on me. In trying to shake it off, I allowed myself to question the tie between my accomplishments and my mannerism. I knew I wanted to achieve many fulfilling things; but, did I need to be a bitch to do it? I made a commitment to round my edges.

There are benefits to growing up in a small town. One of them is being able to introduce my daughter to those that “knew me when.” She perks up when she hears the old folk say, “You’re sweet, just like your momma was when she was little.” Hmmm… I was sweet. Nice to be reminded.

My perception switched, I didn’t have to learn to round my edges. Those sharp edges resulted through my holding back my fullness. And in revealing my true full self, I aligned with other incredible, powerful women — women who understand that impossible tasks are tamed through soul-enriching alliance. These women are amazing and I’m honored to have them as colleagues.

From this persecutive, I reflected back to the many people who support the adversarial story. What life circumstances created this story that they hold and cause them to perpetuate it through off-handed comments? Who are the women that hear this, and in an unexamined approach, buy in? I reflected on my early business days when I scrubbed pink out of my wardrobe, wondering why I felt that the heart-less path was the right approach?

In breathing out, I am grateful to my collegue for the question that prodded my reflecting. Through my daughter, I can see the truth. Now, I am whole in who I am; fullfilled in what I am accomplishing; and inspired by the supportive women with whom I surround myself. Flare has returned to my life, and it is powerful.

While it may be a bit outlandish for me to ask my female office-mates to pull out their fairy crowns, this is how I see us. I may, however, suggest that we keep our collective wands handy when perceptions need to be tamed.

Read More:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ellen-kellner/defining-the-powerful-business-woman_b_3663829.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women

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