Do you ever find yourself obsessing over what you believe other people (especially women) are thinking…
- about what you are wearing
- about what you are saying
- about what you are doing
- about who you are?
You are not alone. I have yet to meet a woman who doesn’t struggle with...
- a deep desire to be known and accepted by other people
- a fear of not being enough
- a burden of not wanting to disappoint others
I think this silent struggle needs to be talked about. I believe as woman, we are quick to pull out a measuring stick and measure ourselves against other women. Whether it’s our marriage, our kids, our bodies, our spirituality, our talents, our clothes or our personalities - this dangerous and slippery slope promotes separation and isolation from the very women who understand deeply what our struggles are - because they feel the same way!
As a mom of a toddler, I LOVE to connect with other moms who fully understand the STRUGGLE IS REAL. It feels amazing to know that I am not the only one struggling to keep myself calm, control my words and not throw a grown-up tantrum while my toddler is screaming “no” to everything I say or throwing a fit in the middle of the grocery store aisle or refusing to wash her hands after getting in the garbage or being “that kid” who doesn’t share. It makes me feel like I am NOT losing my mind to have someone validate what I am going through and lovingly encourage me through the emotions with no judgement.
How great would it be to walk into a room fully present in who we are, flaws and all, and fully accepting of who everyone else is, including the good, bad and the ugly? What if our measuring stick was, “how can I be UNIQUELY who God created me to be” versus “who do I think other people expect me to be in this situation?” or “how do I measure up to everyone else in the room?” What if we lived energized to be who we are instead of exhausted trying to be who we are not?
Do you find yourself putting on the personality that fits the situation or person? Are you a version of yourself…
- ...at church
- ...at your mom’s group
- ...with your husband
- ...at work
- ...on a Friday night
- ...when you are confident with the people you are around
- ...when you are intimidated by the people you are around
When was the last time you were genuinely and authentically you?
I believe we put on these different “faces” in an attempt to blend into the environment and present ourselves in a way that meets the perceived expectations of the situation. What is driving this default behavior is the very real need to be accepted, validated and known. But when we put on a face that isn’t truly who we are - then we can never really be accepted, validated and known because we are falsely representing ourselves. This is what leaves us feeling less than, disappointed, empty and EXHAUSTED!
I see this when I coach women all that time. Most women are trying to achieve a version of someone else’s body or life or a former version of themselves. They want one woman’s back side and another woman’s thighs and their 20 year old abs - when in reality their unique body will never look like any of the body parts they are coveting. Meanwhile the women they are comparing themselves too are doing this same comparison process with other women and their bodies. The cycle never ends, unless we decide to stop and get off the crazy train.
I have experienced judgement because I am healthy and fit. I have had many women assume my life is easier, my life is free from rejection, my life is just better than theirs because of my physical body. If they only knew the loss, heartache and rejection this healthy and fit body has been through - they would realize we aren’t so different after all.
I am sure there are many women who feel they have been judged or excluded because they have extra weight or are not fit. So where is the place of no judgement ladies? Where is the “safe zone” of no comparison? If people who are lean and people who are overweight are both feeling the same way - where does the judgement stop?
The judgement, envy and comparison stop when we fully embrace who we are through our Creator’s eyes and realize that Facebook is not real life. (Seriously, Facebook is a snapshot of happy moments disguising the mess we are all living.) I have been healthy and fit and full of insecurity and judgement and I have been healthy and fit and full of peace and compassion. Same body - different heart.
I’m going to be completely vulnerable and transparent right now. There was a time in my life that I used my body as a tool to make myself feel superior to other women. I wanted them to compare themselves to me and feel that they were less than so I would feel better about myself. I didn’t look or act insecure - but I was. It pains me to reveal this ugly side of my journey, but it’s the truth and the truth shall set us free.
Have you ever done this?
Perhaps it wasn’t your body, maybe it was your bank account, your education, your house, your clothes, your status at church, your marriage, your successful kids, your great hair, etc. But something that you felt you had going for you that other people didn’t - and therefore you felt superior.
Let’s fast forward to the space I am now. My journey to wholeness and healing was a long journey. It was not easy to go inside of myself and deal with the pains and wounds of the past. But it was worth it. It was worth every tear, every prayer, every moment of discomfort - to discover where my worth is really rooted and how to give to others from a place of wholeness instead of taking from a place of neediness and lack. My healthy and fit body is now a tool I use to connect with other women. God gave me this body and passion for a reason. As I continue to learn how to embrace my uniqueness, it gives me a whole new appreciation and desire to know each woman’s authentic and unique self. It is an honor to love my fellow women in exactly the place they are and open their eyes to what is possible when they love and honor their body with good food, thoughts, water and God’s presence.
If you are waiting for your outside appearance to change before you give up comparison or envy - you will simply find that your comparison and envy will move to a different place of focus. I promise that your soul knows who you are because God created you. Perhaps that is your first prayer after you are done reading this, “God, show me who you created me to be. Reveal to me my destiny.” You have been given the truth within you, it’s time to stop believing the lies we have been fed by the world!
The Healthy Edge journey is an 8 week journey created from my own personal journey to freedom. If you would like to learn more about becoming whole and free, I would love to connect with you on a free coaching session here.