Something that upsets me so much is when women trade in their potential for genuine connection and kinship for pettiness, judgment, and overall “cattiness.” Instead of reaching out to each other and lending an ear of support and understanding that could only come from another female, we tear each other down, scrutinizing each woman’s appearance, judge their sincerity, and try to get other women to join us in our quest to support our isolation of one particular lady. It’s NOT okay. It needs to stop. I’m guilty of it, you’re guilty of it, and it’s time we made a change.
I think it’s my disgust over this particular treatment that makes me so enamoured when I see the opposite practice in effect. When I see a group of women come together, share each other’s burdens, withhold judgement, and instead, bestow love, grace, and understanding? It inspires me.
There’s something powerful in one woman coming to another and offering a simple two-word phrase: “I understand.” Nothing is as reassuring to a person as the knowledge that, no, you are not crazy. Someone else has been where you are right now, and guess what? You can make it through.
Never was this made more clear to me then when my first son was born. From the moment that 9 pound 2 ounce package of glorious baby boy arrived, I was overwhelmed with love. It took my breath away to realize that this was my child. Still, I fought postpartum depression, feelings of being detached from my child, and haunting bouts of inadequacy so strongly that I watched myself fall into some truly dark places. Light started to creep in, however, when I had woman after woman tell me that they absolutely understood what I was feeling, and that it was okay to feel that way, normal even.
Women, stand by each other. Encourage each other and lend a listening ear. I’ve seen this happen and the results are nothing short of beautiful. It inspires me when I see women rise above the temptation to tear down and step on to instead reach down, lift up, and support. It’s so powerful. I’m inspired by the presence of some such women in my life, who have taken the time to throw pride to the side and to instead be open and vulnerable, allowing me to find solace in the knowledge that they aren’t quite as perfect as I may have originally thought them to be.
Women, you are inspirational.