Emily Wilson answers!
An interview with Emily Wilson
Many of you have read Go Bravely and have probably come away with some questions for Emily Wilson. You were not the only ones! So we asked her to answer a couple of questions that will resonate with you and give you a few more reasons to love her!
GP - In your book Go Bravely you have described womanhood as a competition, pitting woman against woman. Where do you think this idea of competition comes from? Was this your experience as a teenager?
EW - It's really important to clarify here that I don't describe womanhood as a competition - but the world has made it seem like womanhood is a competition. I have seen this play out in many ways throughout my life - in high school, in college, and as an adult woman. Womanhood becomes something women treat as a competition because of their own insecurity, which I share about in Go Bravely. When we are insecure we are more likely to tear other women down because we feel we are not up to par or we have fallen behind. When we are confident in where God has us and his unique design for each of us - we do not treat womanhood as a competition, but as a celebration.
GP - It seems it is often easier for us to reflect on our failures rather than celebrate the things we have achieved. Could you expand upon your idea that ‘failing at something doesn’t mean you are a failure’.
EW - Failing is one thing. Being a failure as a whole is another thing. It is a human thing to make mistakes, to mess up, or to not get everything right all the time. As women, it is so important to live with the mindset that failing at something - whether that's a new hobby, a test, a new business venture - does not mean that you are no good for anything or that you shouldn't try again! You should always pick yourself back up and try again!
GP - Do you have any hints for young women on how to find their ‘gaggle’?
EW - Yes! Get involved in faith-based groups where there is a higher likelihood that there will be women who share in what is most important to you. If you are headed to college, join a faith group on campus! If you are a young adult in the working world, spend some time doing research about faith-based young adult groups in your area that meet on the weekends or during the week. Finding your gaggle takes a time investment, sometimes a research investment, and an investment of vulnerability in stepping out of your comfort zone to show up! But the reward of a great community is a worthwhile thing to make the investment for.
GP - Holding onto anger and resentment can sometimes be easier than letting go of it. If ‘forgiveness is a deliberate choice’ we make, can you suggest a path to that choice.
EW - The choice to forgive is often aided by much prayer. God is truly the One who can equip us with the grace we need to make that decision. Too often, our natural inclination is to continue to be angry, to continue to hold a grudge - but God is capable of giving us the grace to see that holding on does not help us, but only hurts us.
GP - There is continual discussion about bullying in schools, but what about people who experience this beyond High School years? Do you have any tips for standing up and dealing with such situations?
EW - Bullying can be a problem for people of any age, certainly. One of the biggest things people need to let go of is their fear of what the bully will think if they stand up for themselves. Bullies are just insecure people who are taking out their insecurities out on others - it's really important to remember that. Standing up to a bully can simply be putting them in their place to let them know that their harsh or unkind words or treatment do not affect you because you are fully aware of where the root of those words and treatment are - their own insecurity and lack of confidence or inner peace.
GP - Most young women would be aware, in today’s age of airbrushing and social media ‘glam’ shots that they are being manipulated, but they still seem to buy into the ‘myth’. What do you think it will take to smash the myth of the ‘perfect body’?
EW - I think the "myth" of the perfect body is slowly being deteriorated little by little in today's culture. Our culture today is moving rapidly toward acceptance of the fact that each woman's body is made differently, and that this is something to be celebrated. The myth of the perfect body will continue to deteriorate as women learn to celebrate and take care of the body they were uniquely given!
GP - Where can young women locate the ‘no muscle’, and does it get stronger the more they use it?
EW - The "no" muscle isn't something you locate - it's something you build. It is like going to the gym and lifting weights. The first time, it might be really hard to get the 12 pound dumbbell up in the air - but keep returning to lift it again, and your muscles will have gotten stronger and it will be easier to lift! It is the same with our ability to say "no" to things or invitations that will lead us down the wrong path. Say it once, and it may be hard, but continue to do it, just like lifting the weights, and it becomes much more natural and easier to do!