It was a beautiful day and I ended up at the park with our youngest daughter. She ran to the swings and triumphantly jumped onto the empty seat. As she got going, after a push from me, she would pump her legs then stick them straight out, using the muscles in her abs and quads to propel her forward reaching towards the sky. Coming back down, she would straighten her legs again to gain maximum lift while going the opposite direction. As I watched her and the intense look she had on her face I thought about the proverbial glass celling.
Shattering the glass celling is a phrase I’ve heard often. Its trendy and meant to tell us we can do and be anything; all we have to do is shatter that celling. I understand the idea, the concept. I want our girls to live a life where they know they can do anything. I believe that we are raising them to embrace that thought.
But, did you realize ceilings exist in order to keep things IN as well as keep things OUT? They are shelter and protection. Weather any storm, any element that Mother Nature throws at you and they are are a blessing not a curse.
As I watched my young daughter lift towards the sky I thought to myself “Perhaps it’s not the celling we should be concerned with, but the walls.” You see, walls are also designed to keep things in AND out. They provide protection as well, but they keep us far more closed off than a celling.
To make sense of this idea, I looked around the park at the shelters and pavilions. No walls, but definitely a celling. If it rains, I would run to one, hoping to stay dry. If it gets too hot, I would seek relief under the shade provided by the ceiling on top of the pavilion.
Walls will not prevent me from becoming soaked in the rain or burned by the sun and they won’t stop hail from beating down on me. They will box me in. They will isolate me.
Maybe, we as women, have been looking so hard at the glass cellings that society want us to see that we don’t realize the walls they have built around us, boxing us into this idea that in order to succeed we have to climb up and over and through anything and anyone around us, when really all we need to do is rally with the women who are by our sides and TOGETHER PUSH down the walls of competition, isolation, comparison, self hatred, shame and fear.
We all need a covering because we are infallible human beings who are imperfect, make imperfect choices and live in an imperfect world. A celling doesn’t have to be a bad thing it doesn’t have to stifle or suffocate, or set limitations.
Rather we should take a look at what’s supporting that glass celing we keep trying to breakthrough, is it the opaque walls of our insecurities or the murky glass of society’s ideology? Perhaps we are housing ourselves in the wrong structure.
Why can’t we have glass celling that’s sat on top of a pavilion? A structure without walls that allows us to operate in the way we need to, yet, when the storms of life happen, and happen they will, there’s a structure that has a covering, keeping us safe and protected and when the storm passes, we can once again step freely into our purpose.
We need the glass ceilings ladies, we need protection and provision and covering that is provided by the Heavenly Father. What we don’t need is walls that separate us, block us, lock us in and keep us from stepping out into the world to do what we are called to do.
Forget the glass celling girls, let’s shatter the walls.