The Art of Being a Matriarch


The Art of Being a Matriarch

By Heather Dranitsaris-Hilliard

I went to a funeral today for the grandmother of a high school friend, who, in the 'busy-ness' of life, I mostly stay in touch with through Facebook. I felt compelled to go even though I had not seen her grandmother or her family in over 20 years.

I still remember the first time I met 'Gran'. At 13, I was intimidated - she was wealthy, classy and had, as they say, presence. Given my upbringing, I didn't have a lot of experience socializing with adults and assumed she would be disinterested. To my surprise and wonder, we stood around in her kitchen, for quite awhile, and she took the time to actually get to know her granddaughter's friend. 

Over the years, I was fortunate to attend many a family Sunday dinner at 'Gran's' house. It was a large, vibrant gathering each time with the whole family participating. Where the love, generosity and kindness of this matriarch was expanded on by the actions of her children and grandchildren. Where the adults spent time sharing wisdom and taking an interest in me as though I was one of them. I swore to myself, at one of those dinners, that one day I would have a family like the one 'Gran' built! 

Today, I continue to be in awe of the women around us, like 'Gran', who excel in their role as the family matriarch. My paternal grandmother, known to all as 'Ma', was such a woman. She attracted 'strays' as they were called; not cats, but other people's children who gathered around her to share in her laughter and her stories.  

This is the gift of the self-actualizing Socializer Striving Style. Driven by a need to be connected, they are charasmatic and skilled social organizers, and their compassion and sensitivity draw people to them. They are the weavers of the 'social fabric' in families, communities and organizations. Selfless and generous with their time and energy, they gain vitality by involving themselves in others' lives.  

Matriarchs leave behind more than the next generation, they leave a legacy of family norms, rituals and traditions that carry on for generations to come. Being a matriarch is an art - it creates something beautiful that lives on forever. Let's hope it never becomes a lost art so that everyone has a chance to have a 'Gran' or a 'Ma' in their lives.  

Find out if you are a Socializer Style. Discover how to bring your gifts to the world. Take the Assessment today and get on the road to becoming who you are meant to be!




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