All of my friends will tell you this: I don’t have time to talk to anyone on the phone, or listen to my favorite talk radio, until I am waiting in the school drop-off/pick up line, or the dry cleaners‘ car service line, walking through the grocery store, or…ok, I’ll admit it…hiding in the bathroom (not using the bathroom… just…hiding. I can’t be the only Mom who does that…right?).
I heard an exchange on one of my favorite morning XM radio shows, and it made me think about a conversation with a few of my friends. A radio host discussed an interesting article by Britni Danielle, and stated what most of my friends & I already think: if you are a woman who doesn’t trust other women, they aren’t the problem, you are. I truly believe that what we detest and judge the most about other people is often what we fear or see in ourselves. For example, let’s talk about bad jokes: you know, the ones about hair, ethnicity, weight, etc. Most (not all) of the time, these jokes are being told by people who perhaps a) suffered as recipients of such jokes, and fear being victimized again; b) fear or hate those very things about their own lives; c) fear that others will like that person better, so they’d better bring them down a notch. Pretty petty, right? Have you noticed the key word yet?
So, what gives? Why are we afraid to be friends? Why can’t we support another woman, even if she does things differently? Some people think that we just aren’t wired to be able to do so; I believe differently. I believe that when you love yourself that you are capable of loving others. You cannot give what you do not have. If you are happy with your health and weight, you are less likely to judge another person’s weight. You might give support or encouragement, but you wouldn’t find a reason to demean them. If you are happy with how things are going in your own marriage, you don’t have the time or energy to waste discussing another person’s relationship. If you know that you are loved, and you love yourself, you are free to give love to others.
I say that we can start to make things easier. Rather than wasting our time and energy to debate parenting, breastfeeding, liposuction, hair color, how many sports we are pushing our kids to master, or any of the other mundane things that we use to draw battle lines, why not celebrate each other? I appreciate that I can be who I am with my friends, and they accept me. I cherish that I don’t have to guess how they will react to something. We love each other because we accept how much we are loved. It is like the reciprocal principle that is found throughout the Bible: if you want something, then do something. If you want friends, then be friendly. If you want blessings, then be a blessing.
I think that it is pretty simple. The next time you feel the need to say, “oh, I could never trust them,” ask yourself if you should be trusted. Before you begin to tell the off-color joke, search within yourself for the motive. Are we less satisfied with our own lives? Are we fearful that people will see us differently, or prefer someone else? Before we start the gossip, let’s confirm our true motive. We all deserve love, and to live our lives to the fullest, so let’s work to expand our hearts to love ourselves enough to love others.
Until next time,