I have been struggling with this very topic for quite some time. In my mind I am struggling with my position and my passion around it. This is such an interesting topic, one that lends to a great deal of debate and certainly opinion. I 100% agree that women should support and lift one another up, and that more often than not we act in a catty manner that is painful and disrespectful to those just like us. I 100% agree that it is our job to love one another, support one another and cheer one another on, because when one of us wins we all win. I also 100% believe, based on personal experience, that there are women out there that make this choice a very hard one. My personal experiences lend me to struggle with this here topic a great deal…
In my personal life I am surrounded by a group of women who are incredible. They are intelligent, spiritual & loving. They are mothers, daughters, sisters, wives & girlfriends. They are career driven and stay at home mommies. They are pillars of support through the tough stuff and my party people through the good stuff. They are sunshine, glitter, magic and love. They teach me how to be a better me and through their unique individuality, I am a more beautiful, loving, understanding and thoughtful woman.
I am not only surrounded by, but I have also stumbled upon incredible women who make it their mission to lift other women up. Who find the compassion to pick up those at their worst, to love those through their worst, to communicate and evaluate women as a unique and special group that needs only be loved. I find strength and perspective form these women. These women convey love and kindness and compassion through their blogs, their music, their mission. THEY are what we all SHOULD be to one another – loving, thoughtful, compassionate, considerate, respectful.
However, I myself have experienced that which creates the negative stereo types for women. I have experienced the catty nature of women. I have experienced talking behind my back about my life choices, I have experienced judgement of my decisions, I have experienced manipulative friendships, I have experienced “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”, I have experienced betrayal, I have experienced crazy. I have experienced the worst kind of hurt at the hands of women a woman could experience and the continued manipulation of that hurt. This is why I struggle, because there is a level of self respect that plays into receiving respect.
I understand that the women who hurt other women are the ones hurting the most, thank you therapy. I understand that women who are catty, disrespectful and judgmental don’t love themselves, so how could they respect others, let alone love others. I get it… I get the high road… I get that we have to love the bullies, face the liars with eyes wide open looking directly into theirs. I get that we have to accept that others hurt deeply and at times do anything to protect their own hurts. I get that we have to live with compassion and understanding and live with complete knowledge that we do not understand the struggles and hurts of others. And I understand that we need to forge forward with self respect, self worth, self love and humility…
I know this for the littles in my my life and as a reminder to myself some days… We don’t have to rescue the whole world, but we do have to love it. We don’t have to like the hurtful actions one takes against us, but we do have to understand that this person hurts worse than we ever will. We don’t have to befriend every hurting soul, but we do have to show them compassion in our interactions. We don’t have to accept lies, manipulations, betrayal, hurt or bullies, but we do have to look straight into the bullies eyes and speak honestly and lovingly. We don’t have to carry hurt in our heart, we do have to forgive. We don’t have to hate, we just have to love. Love ourselves and respect ourselves and the love and respect will seep into others. Lead the charge by example, be authentic, honest, compassionate, forgiving, respectful and loving.
Enjoying the Small Things wrote a beautiful blog entry: In the World of Women, that touches on this very topic. I love her approach. I love her perspective. I love her words.
“I don’t know exactly how to teach this to my girls, but I do know that the best way to teach anything is to live it. My girls will see me embrace women with love. They will hear me talk about friends with kindness. They will watch me support, applaud, listen and learn; and through these experiences, I know they will inherit the tools they need to embrace women in their own lives. We need each other.”
“A girl should be two things: Classy & Fabulous.” ~ Coco Channel