So I have found in reconciling with abuse in a past relationship, my self-worth has been struggling. Lately, I have been remembering things he’d yell or say. My spirit has really been hurting. Even when you know the irrationality of things that happened or ways he’d demean me—I am still hurt and confused. I loved him so had put value in his words and opinions. So tonight, I turned to ladies who have inspired me. Ones I can look to and draw strength from their character. Perhaps you can add your own strong female characters be it from novels or real life.
Eowyn, shieldmaiden of Rohan
Eowyn—she is a shieldmaiden of Rohan in Lord of the Rings. And she was inspiring to me in her strength as well as her vulnerability. Even when left behind from battle, and thwarted in love with Aragorn—she still amazes by not giving up and fighting for what she believes in. Protecting her uncle Theoden, the king, she hacks of the head of the Nazgul. When the witch-king of Angmar tells her no man can defeat him. She takes off her helmet, revealing her long blonde hair. “No living man am I! You look upon a woman! Éowyn I am, Éomund’s daughter. Begone if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him!”
When she was practicing her swordsmanship in the castle, Aragorn asked her. “What do you fear, lady?”
Lagertha from Vikings
“A cage,” [Éowyn] said. “To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.”
Lagertha—another shieldmaiden (what’s up with that?) from the show Vikings. She is tough and beautiful. She also loves her husband Ragnar Lodbrok more than anything. They grew up together and seem like a perfect match. Yet when he gets another woman pregnant and designs to bring her into their home—Lagertha is strong enough to leave. She leaves everything behind: her friends, the place where she grew up, the love of her life, and takes with her a broken heart and dignity I can only hope to have a sliver of someday. But it’s not the end of the story. She eventually becomes an earl, fights side by side in battle with her husband again, and… we know he still loves her. So for all the women where the husband cheats or abuses—remember Lagertha. Draw strength from her.
Amelia Peabody—nope this one isn’t a shieldmaiden, but an archaeologist in the late 1800s. It’s a book series by Elizabeth Peters, and in these books—Amelia is always doing what’s right, standing up for women, helping the poor, solving mysteries, and making great archaeological discoveries…all the while maintaining her colorful relationship with her fellow archaeologist husband Emerson. Strength of character and personality radiate from her presence in the books, and I adore her.
Claire from Outlander
Claire—in the Outlander series. I have loved these books for a while, and I’m even more thrilled with the series. Claire has always been inspiring in her stubbornness, her medical abilities (you should see how she can set a bone), brilliant mind, and in her love for her husband (whether in England or Scotland).
Danae—she’s one of my best friends, and both her and her husband are doctors in Tchad, Africa. They have three children (which is tough in itself in a country filled with malaria and corruption), and Nae reminds me of everything a woman should be: strong enough to stand up for the bribery, fraud, and abuse she sees, gentle enough to give compassion when there’s death and heartbreak. And a kickass mom and surgeon.
Okay your turn. Share your inspirations.