As we begin this year’s Women’s Month, most of us do so feeling battered and maybe even despondent. The COVID-19 pandemic has dominated our lives in so many ways. Some of us have lost loved ones, are unemployed, and have had to put dreams or opportunities on hold or all of the above. Added to this chaos, was the terrible violence and looting that happened in early July, and so many more challenges could be added here.

Whether you are a mother, grandmother, sister, or daughter, you are all women, and you continue to prove your resilience and strength.

As women of influence to children, we have the unique opportunity to help shape these young lives. The current times have been tough for all of us, and we all survive in various ways. Whether we are conscious about it or not, we all display our coping mechanisms or lack thereof at different times. Unfortunately, children can (and do) pick up on our reactions and behaviour in our moments of distress. Sometimes these actions impact our children in ways that we are unaware of, in ways that change their view of the world.

Similarly, our descriptions of the events around us may quietly be communicating panic, fear, uncertainty, and hopelessness to the children in our lives. While we know that we can’t shelter our children from everything, we can be the ones who always encourage their hopes, who push their dreams, and who are proud of their aspirations. We need to teach our children to show empathy to others, to be courageous in their passions, and to be kind to all, especially in the troubling times ahead.

Let us all pause and see ourselves and the life we have chosen as a beautiful, elaborate, and detailed stained-glass window. The story captured in each panel, shape, and colour is unique and means something specific to us. Our stories will never be without blemishes. Yet, when sunshine hits our windows, there are sparkles, and our story dances for many to see. These stories may shift as the sun moves, but it always reflects the uniqueness of who we are. As the sun starts setting and light begins to fade, we have a remarkable opportunity before us. Another kind of beauty erupts from within us, one we didn’t even know we had. Suddenly, there is a light inside of us that shines brightly. Once again, a beautiful story from the details of our stained-glass windows is on display. May our children be captivated by the light that helps tell our stories of hope, love and kindness.

Every year I dedicate my Women’s Day blog to my daughter; Alyx – If you can be anything in this world, be kind and positive.