Why All Woman Need to Live By Goldie Hawn’s Advice
The invaluable relationship lesson she shared with daughter Kate Hudson
The wise and protective relationship warning Goldie Hawn once gave her daughter…
“Don’t you ever let a man dim your light.”
Kate Hudson shared her mother’s advice in a recent interview.
Every woman should hear and heed these powerful words. Certainly, variations of them have been said in many forms. But Goldie Hawn’s mention of a man stood out to me.
I found myself reading and re-reading these nine words.
Again, I have seen references of ‘don’t let your light be dimmed’ but none have spoken to me like this one.
In fact, it conjured up a long-forgotten memory.
Early in my marriage, I bemoaned my husband’s lack of interest in me.
At least all things pertaining to me. He had zero interest in any of my endeavors, projects, or simply anything I was passionate about. Instead, he downplayed and discouraged my efforts.
“He’s afraid you are going to outshine him,” said my sister.
Ever the insightful one, I took careful note of her observation. I tucked it neatly away in my mind and allowed my heart to take the lead. A fancy way of saying I dismissed it…as only love can do.
I forged ahead. My husband in his lane and me in mine. Only my husband continually needed my assistance with his endeavors. Continually veering me into his lane.
My lane continued uncrowded.
So I pursued my interests on my own. No one to share them with. No one to support them. No one to brainstorm them with. No one to encourage them.
At least not within my four walls. Not within my home.
I am an idea person.
In college, my roommates were subjected to an abundance of invention schemes or the newest words I would scribble down. I would proclaim with much enthusiasm, I would write a book that would one day change the world. They would roar with laughter while I warned them they would see me in print and on television.
Here’s the thing.
The outside my four walls people understood me and encouraged me despite a few goodhearted chuckles here and there. And I laughed with them. They got me. They celebrated who I was.
And they truly wanted me to shine.
Yet, my husband never made me feel any of these things.
At the time, I didn’t see the piercing red flag surrendering before me.
Make no mistake, it was the reddest of relationship flags. My husband got little joy out of seeing me happy nor easing my worries nor cheering me on. Nor celebrating who I was.
I didn’t like his lack of support but I was born with a fairly hearty joy of life. And this made me content enough to be fairly happy living in his lane.
And despite his disinterest, I managed to succeed on my own in many of my passions.
But I didn’t become the best of me. I felt limited. Keenly aware I was discarding parts of myself for the sake of another.
My husband made me what he wanted me to be.
An accompaniment to his success.
But for me…I was still the same little girl who grew up in the country outside of metropolitan Washington, D.C.
The one who ran through fields and jumped on the backs of horses. Who plucked every buttercup and held it to her chin. Who belted out tunes with a vacuum hose perched upon the fireplace. The little girl who adored animals. Who snuggled in bed and read book after book. Who scribbled all of her deepest secrets and wildest thoughts on paper. The girl who wanted to tell the world a story and make people believe in themselves. Who wanted to inspire others, make a difference, and make the impossible happen.
The girl. The dreamer.
The problem was my husband wasn’t much into her.
He didn’t really dig I wanted to rescue puppies or stop my car to save a box turtle. In fact, he hated animals.
He tolerated me singing in the car. But when I said how great the song’s words were, he said he didn’t really listen to them.
He never read my writing until a political speechwriter and Washington Post journalist said it was good.
Nothing about me was a priority.
Nothing was about me, ever.
My husband wanted me to shadow his life rather than live mine.
He wanted to quiet me.
Or as he once told a friend of mine, “Colleen can do whatever she wants as long as it’s not a headache to me.”
What proved most disturbing was my first big break as a writer.
A night years in the making. Zillions of rejections. A dream since childhood. I was being published in Washingtonian Magazine. No small feat. It is a major publication in one of the largest media markets in the country.
I tried not to let him ruin my celebration but my friends took note. They were shocked my husband sat looking at his phone the entire evening.
Then and only then, I let my sister’s foreshadowing words move from heart to mind and push love completely aside.
He was afraid I would outshine him.
He embarrassed himself completely unable to acknowledge my achievement. But worse, be happy the girl, the dreamer…actually had her dream come true.
He was never able to completely dim my light because I was still fighting for it.
But he limited my shine.
As I always say, “Be careful of people who talk you out of being you.”
Or as Goldie Hawn says, “Don’t you ever let a man dim your light.”