I saw these words on Pinterest…
“Just because she’s pretty doesn’t mean you aren’t.”
…and I had to stop and ponder this for a minute.
On the surface, this statement is so basic, it almost seems pointless – but I let myself sit with it for a while, and began to notice the different emotions that this statement brought up in my own spirit…
I’ve never considered myself insecure or lacking in confidence. I know what my strengths are and, especially since I turned 40, I know what they are not. I don’t feel myself needing validation too often. But, when I read that tiny sentence on social media I had to consider why those words jumped out at me like they did.
I believe it’s because I’m a human…a human woman.
All women, no matter how pretty or talented or funny or charming or popular or smart or educated…or whatever have that moment when they realize:
No matter what I look like or do, there is always someone who looks or does it better.
And there are a few things that women seem to do to each other that only increase the isolation and anxiety that this reality can bring:
- We compare – we place value on ourselves and others based on a sliding scale…(“I feel pretty good until that one chic walks in.”)
- We compete – we use our comparisons to try to minimize others to maximize ourselves…(“I’m not perfect, but at least I’m not like her!”)
- We conclude- we size each other up, labeling each other by our biggest flaws…(“She may be pretty, but I bet she’s not very smart!”)
- We commiserate – we use our insecurities to bond with other women who have the same issues…(i.e.: When that “Bible Study” turns into a gossip session: “We should all pray for Kellie because…bless her heart.”)
The reason why that phrase was significant to me is because most women need to hear some version of it every day.
Most women need to know…to completely internalize that they are valuable and loved, no matter what any other women are doing, saying or being.
If “Comparison is the thief of joy”, then the opposite is also true. Encouragement and contentment are the way to spread joy around.
We could start an “Encouragement Revolution” if we, as women, would just determine to do a few things every day:
- Begin each day with gratefulness – list at least 5 things that make you feel blessed. Say them out loud if you have to.
- Remind ourselves of our true worth – look in the mirror and tell yourself at least 3 things that make you unique.
- Encourage one another – be mindful of others and what they are dealing with – send a text or message…the best way to be encouraged is to encourage someone else.
- Really listen – make eye contact and just listen…without having to “one up” whatever she is expressing.
- Have empathy – really put yourself in her shoes and give her the benefit of the doubt.
- Celebrate each other – if you see beauty in someone else, tell them.
Women are wonderful and complex, and if we could ever work together toward contentment, we could truly change the world!
“In this world there is no force equal to the strength of a woman determined to rise.”
So let’s rise.
Peace to you.