Monday, January 21, 2013

Mean Girls/Women Can Change

Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.  I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. (Philippians 4:11, 12 NLT)

In the spirit of truth telling in the new year, I have a confession to make: I haven't always liked being in the presence of other women. My faith in the sisterhood was squelched not just by the mean girls but also by well intended mean women. I have had a long history with these girls/women. 

In grade school, I was a muted, newly Haiti emigrated foreign girl who was always a direct target for mean girls. I was never pretty enough, light enough and I could not speak a word of English to save my life. 

Then there was high school and you know how the story goes; outcast and never to be seen. But I was an academically astute student, so I created my own little world. 

Then was college, the place I found my voice. I started a great friendship with some of the finest women I had ever met. These women continue to be my rock, support and inspiration. We created our own sorority. This was the first time I felt like I entered the sisterhood. They helped me believe in the sisterhood again, they helped me believe in me.

As an adult, I started realizing that women sometimes continue their "mean girl" tendencies but in more nuanced ways. A snide comment here or there about your parenting. Gossip about challenges another sister may be experiencing in life. Subtle ways to make another sister feel less than. And one of the saddest cover up for bruising your sister is: truth telling; "I was just telling you the truth in love". That's funny because those words of truth felt more like a kick in the gut. On and on it goes and it breaks my heart. 

Over the years, I've made some observations about these mean girls/women, here are some generalizations about them:

1) They have a fear of not being enough--when one feels as if they are not enough, they have to find ways to be enough and sadly it usually results in putting someone else down in order to feel enough.

2) Jealousy-mean girls/women are really narcissistic; they want all attention to point to them and only them and when it is not, jealousy is the result 

3) A lack of contentment-when you're always complaining of where you are in life, be careful you may be walking down the path of self comparison and finding fault in others

4) A lack in some area in life. Lack of self esteem. Lack of friendship. Lack of family support. When you feel that there is a lack is some area, trust me, you are a good candidate to be a mean girl/woman; you tend to be bitter all of the time and bitter women don't make the best of friends/sister

But there's hope....

If you've struggled with any of the above, there's hope. You do not have to put others down to feel good about yourself. Here are some principles to be mindful of: 

1) Accept your journey! The biggest obstacle to your journey is not accepting it; living under false pretenses, under an illusion that you are someone you're not. Look at your life, what do you do? Are you married? Single? Black? White? Alone? With money? Without money? Accept your journey, accept your circumstances, only then you'll have the power to change some things around.  
2) Be honest about you! I can't be great at everything, I can only be one thing and my job is to try to be great at it. Stop trying to have everything. You can't be married and single at the same time. You can't be the band but you can be a part of the band.
3) Find your calling-if you are not where you would like to be in life, find out where God is calling you to be and live your life on purpose. Stop putting others down because you have not yet arrived. Keep working at it, you'll get there! 
4) Compliment others-The more you develop the habit of telling others about how well they are at something the more energy you will gain in pursuing your own dreams. Start learning to tell your sisters that they're beautiful, they sing well, they write well, they speak well, they lead will be surprised how quickly that chip leaves your shoulder. 

You are one step closer to a better you...ask God for help to a you that is whole.

I have another confession to make; I have learned to appreciate being around other women because I am now more accepting of me; imperfect, but with great skills in building people for the glory of God! 

Provided by ElevateHer International Ministries...Stay tuned for more!