I’ve been quiet on this blog. There are quite a few reasons why, but I won’t bore you with them right now. Because, right now, I’ve come out of my burrow to meet something head on, and I’m hoping I can get this out in a meaningful way.
I’ve been blessed with, and am truly grateful for, this blog. I often find it cathartic to write about what is in my head...or just to write about what I love. Here, in this space, I’m able to be me. You’ve seen me stand my ground on important issues, you’ve seen me defend against judgment and stand for confidence. However, there are things that start happening when other women see you succeeding, when they see you not following but leading. And, no, I don’t mean ALL women, I mean the certain groups of women that seem dead set on taking down any threat they perceive.
I’ve seen this, I’ve dealt with it, repeatedly. In recent months, it has increased. Is it a coincidence that over this time frame, I’ve started to see huge progress in my fitness level, and was given my style column? Doubtful. It seems to have made the haters come out in droves. Honestly, it's disheartening, sometimes it makes me want to quit and go back to when I was accepted more and judged less. I am sure there are a lot of women that can relate, so let's sit and chat. You can sit at my table.
At 39 years old, I have had quite enough of the mean girl attitude...of the clicks, of the fair weather friends. The closer I get to 40, the less patience I have for women who want nothing more than to see you fail. Narrowing my circle has helped, and I am blessed to have several true and kind-hearted friends, to them I am forever grateful. But there will always be, and this is something that I have learned the hard way, those that group together waiting to pounce. Like lemmings and sheep...following without leading, banning together afraid to break the group, they are weak alone.
So what exactly brought on this post? Quite a few things that I have been through personally, and that I have seen happening to others. And, while I would love to discuss them here, I will refrain. Because, here in my space, the spotlight will never be put on mean spirited women. What I will say is this, I find it increasingly difficult to find belonging in a large group of women. Especially since what I have seen has left me to believe that all some women want to do is take down the threat; when you are marked, they pounce. When the “follow or be left behind” mentality creates a cluster of “all of us against you”. These women that jump in to wound, to misunderstand, to judge and not listen, for the sole purpose of throwing daggers meant to cut, words meant to wound. All while proclaiming to support women and value friendships. However, hiding behind falsehoods, hypocritical statements, and mean words doesn’t make you a woman who values anything other than hurt, and it especially doesn’t mean you value other women. What it does make you is a woman threatened, a woman cornered, a woman grasping. Where is the value in that?
When all is said and done, I am happy to have seen the true colors of those around me. Well, to be fair, both happy and sad. It is sad to see women who you once loved and trusted, spiral downwards into judging and hate. It's sad that when one stands up, the others try to push her down. That’s the way it feels, intentional or not, when women make snide remarks, snap judgments, and outright call me names. It feels like being quelled. I have always understood that in a group the one who doesn’t fit stands out, but standing out and being different isn’t something to hate and mock, its something to celebrate.
You would think it would be like a puzzle, with all the pieces working together, while still having their individuality and necessary place within the whole. Maybe one day it will be, when more women understand that each of us are beautiful and worthy in our own way. When more women can stand up even if it means they stand alone. When more women feel accepted and not rejected. When more women see that being a part of a click isn’t necessary. When women can look at each other as equals and not as competition. Until then, I thank God for the friends that support me, the family that stands with me, and the future before me.
So what happens next? I know there are a lot of women who have been bullied and have been victims of mean girls. I’m not sure the best way to handle them, but I do know these things. Social media makes cowards feel powerful, words typed are easier than words said. Jealousy usually fuels mean girls; they want something that you have. Don’t bow, don’t give in, don’t break. Know that those who live to break others, are those that are broken themselves.
It’s all easily said, isn’t it? Harder to set in place, and harder still to stay on the high road and not react. I get it. But, maybe we can use these mean girls’ negativity and make it something better. Let’s use it to fuel us to be better, be stronger, shine brighter...because that’s what they dislike the most. For the beauty in you to shine even brighter than before .
I also know this: when my kids overhear conversations and they come to me saying “I’m sorry you are being bullied mama” it tells me that I have successfully raised them to acknowledge and condemn the mean behavior and it also tell me that I have been given an opportunity. I have the opportunity to show my daughter and son how to face mean girls. And that’s exactly what I plan on doing. So thank you, mean girls, for the learning experience for my kids. Thank you for showing them what mean girls really look like and what they really are inside. I will use your negativity for better purposes. Besides, it’s like I always say, bad karma ages you, it diminishes your light. What you put out into the world comes back, ten fold. And I don’t know about you, but I’d rather inspire than dishearten.