Some advice from Gloria Steinem

We recently saw the HBO documentary “Gloria Steinem: In Her Own Words,” which tells the story of a remarkable woman.

Gloria Steinem spent her teenage years taking care of her mentally ill mother in Toledo, Ohio, founded Ms. Magazine in 1971, became a spokesperson for feminists and married for the first time at age 66.

The documentary reminded us of Gloria Steinem’s words  in her book Revolution from Within:

“Sometimes when I enter a familiar room or street, I think I see a past self walking toward me. She can’t see me in the future, but I can see her very clearly. She runs past me, worried about being late for an appointment she doesn’t want to go to. She sits at a restaurant table in tears of anger arguing with the wrong lover. She strides toward me in the jeans and wine-red suede boots she wore for a decade, and I can remember the exact feel of those boots on my feet. She sits in a newspaper boardroom with the sort of powerful men who undermine her confidence the most, trying to persuade them to support a law that women need badly—and fails….

“I used to feel impatient with her: Why was she wasting time? Why was she with this man? At that appointment? Forgetting to say the most important thing? Why wasn’t she wiser, more productive, happier? But, lately, I’ve begun to feel a tenderness, a welling of tears in the back of my throat, when I see her. I think: She’s doing the best she can….

“We are so many selves. It’s not just the long-ago child within us who needs tenderness and inclusion, but the person we were last year, wanted to be yesterday, tried to become in one job or in one winter….

“What brings together these ever-shifting selves of infinite reactions and returning is this: There is always one true inner voice.

“Trust it.”

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