Five years ago, you could not find a more jealous individual than yours truly. If one of my beautiful female friends so much as talked to a guy I liked my mind would go straight to "wow they are really getting along, wow he must think she so much prettier than me, wow she sucks as a friend, I can't believe they will have babies in the next five seconds." Sad and silly...but all too true. Or I would get angry when friends of mine would "imitate" a style of mine. I would think "you don't have the right to get compliments for something I did first." Then it would be even worse when a dear friend, a fellow sister, would accomplish something that I had been striving to achieve myself. I would think..."I work hard, why do they get that reward before me? I deserve this."
It was about six months ago when I heard something that completely changed my mind about everything I used to believe and feel about what I just mentioned. I was tidying up my space, listening to the podcast Stuff Mom Never Told You. They were talking about social media, comparison, and all that good stuff. Then one of the hosts dropped one of the best truth bombs of all time:
"Her success is not your failure."
Maybe that seems simple to some, but that blew my mind. For years I wasted time and energy wishing something to change that was never going to. By not encouraging my fellow sisters I believe I was essentially wishing ill upon them. After some time of self discovery and many triumphs of my dear female friends I realized something huge: I was actually happy. Typing this I kinda feel like I used to be a huge jerk but I know I am not alone. So many of us have a really hard time encouraging our friends and not being jealous. But I am hear today to tell you that on the other side of that is something so beautiful and so freeing. And it will make you cherish your female friendships so much more.
The other day I sat having lunch with two of my best ladies. We talked about new job opportunities and where our lives were going. My friend looked at me and said she was so proud and happy for me. That she was so happy for the journey I was on and happy that I was being blessed in small ways during this time. We spent the remainder of our time relishing in each others small fortunes.
I have also had a few friends get engaged and married. And let me tell you, experiencing a wedding of a dear friend without a single bitter single bone in my body is a joyful experience. Or feel those tears of joy come on when a sister gets engaged. I love being that person. She's much more exciting than the one brewing in bitterness. That girl doesn't get out much. That girl is not free.
Now to my ladies who feel like nothing good has happened to them in a very long time, I see you. You are an inspiration. Because you keep going, and you inspire me to keep going. You are worth it and you are treasured. Fighting bitterness and jealousy is damn difficult. But know that there is a sweet haven waiting for you on the other side. Women deserve to embrace each other in that land of delicious freedom.