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As women, I think it’s easy to see that we face immense pressure to look, act and even feel a particular way. When we begin to compare ourselves to others, it seems impossible to measure up. There will always be someone who wore it better, ran “the race” quicker and likely did it all in heels.
Competition: noun. A contest between rivals.
There is something so innate and primal about competition. It can bring out the best and the worst in all of us, can’t it?! Whether you are a Mama, a wife, a sister, a friend, we have to remember that we are not rivals, but instead are rallying for one another. We are on the same team.
Community: noun. A unified body of individuals.
We all have our own stories, our own struggles. It is easy to look at another woman and think “she has it all”, “why is she…?” “Why can’t I…?!” etc.
You guys…to this day I have the HARDEST time not comparing my body type to other women, particularly other Mamas. I gawk at how much faster they may have gotten back to that pre-baby weight (or that they even got there at all…because I’m still a work in progress). I have to remind myself that not only does it not matter but it’s not fair to stack myself up again someone else. It’s not fair to me and it’s not fair to her. Especially because I’ve just entered her into a competition that she didn’t even know existed. She has her own baggage and struggles and I for one don’t want to be the cause of more.
For me, my news feeds are rarely the full story, but often a polished version of my best self that provide tiny glimpses into the bigger picture. We want to put our best most attractive, organized, balanced self forward. But why?
Why not embrace each other right where we are at? Why not say that it’s OK to be perfectly imperfect? I don’t know about you, but I think that we could all use the permission. So let’s swallow our pride and be real. Be women that call a spade a spade. Admit when things are hard and be gracious when they aren’t.
If we are going to be on the same team, we can’t just act like it, we have to believe. We have to talk like it. Our language has to change.
We have the power to speak life and not death into one another. We can validate one another while also encouraging and challenging at the same time. We can suspend judgement and expectation in order to reach out a hand and pull one another up. Our words have the power to liberate and build up. I want to chose this. I want to speak life rather than death because Jesus went before me in this. Because I am convinced that we can’t win any other way.
If you’re tracking with me and want to hear more challenging but encouraging truths, do yourself a favor and pre-order Jess Connolly’s Dance, Stand, Run: The God-Inspired Moves of a Woman on Holy Ground.
Let’s chose our words, our thoughts and our actions wisely. Let’s chose to be united, both our similarities and our differences. Let’s do hard things. Let’s chose to embrace community over competition.