“We are easy women!”
This was a discovery a few girlfriends and I made as we were driving home after a getaway. While we were cracking up at our description of ourselves…we also decided that it’s just plain true.
We appreciate each other…no, I take that back, we value each other. We delight in each other. There are no cutting remarks or eye rolls. There is no positioning for dominance or bullying. We submit to each other and do it with joy. We follow the lead of the one who takes it and we celebrate her for doing it well. We are there to boost, support, and champion each other’s efforts without feeling like we ourselves are being diminished.
We speak boldly, yet with care. We not only give praise, we give and are open to words of influence and even correction. We operate from a place of love and we see the best in each other. Not to mention, none of us takes long to get ready to go in the morning!
As we were basking in the glow of healthy and honoring friendship, we also realized how rare it is. I can say that because I’ve experienced the alternative. I’ve lived the stereotype of catty and shallow friendships. I’ve been hurt and have hurt. I’ve wounded, disappointed, and flat out betrayed women who I claimed to love. I have known the jealousy of others and myself been green with envy.
But the beauty is, friendship with other women doesn’t have to be narrated that way. We can rewrite the story. We can break the agreement we’ve made that we just don’t like women….come on, you know you’ve probably said it or thought it at some point.
But let me tell you what the common denominator is in these healthy friendships. Healing. Yes, healing. The reason we are able to cheer when they succeed, mourn when they hurt, help when they fall, encourage when they fail, and learn alongside them is because we have worked hard to heal the wounds in our own lives. When we are wounded we do whatever we can to protect our wounds. Typically that means we build walls, lash out, or flee in order for there to be no chance for that wound to be touched or harmed in any way. In other words, we hurt each other.
Have you ever had a hangnail on your toe that gets infected? The whole dang foot hurts! Even in bed, the simple pressure of a light sheet hurts! Everything is affected by this little wound. Now imagine the emotional wounds we’ve endured. We like to pretend they are small or that we have done a good job to hide them, but really we just develop ways to cope and maneuver around them and spend our lives walking with a limp and pretending not to notice.
But when we decide to address the wounds and seek healing, things begin to change. Our limp straightens out and we no longer have to protect the wound. It’s a slow process as we realize that that thing that used to hurt so much no longer hurts anymore. It takes a gentle and loving God to reveal the ways in which we have learned to protect ourselves. And it takes trust in that love to begin to lower our guard.
The healing process gives us new lenses to see our lives through God’s perspective. We begin to see God’s grace, protection, love, and opportunities everywhere! These lenses also help us to see others with the same grace and love. We are able to see that God’s great love for others also comes with a big and beautiful plan to prosper and flourish in their lives as well.
I am known for using a phrase quite often, and I want you to use it, believe it, and live by it.
ONE PERSON’S SUCCESS DOES NOT EQUAL ANOTHER’S FAILURE.
It’s true! One person’s success does not equal another’s failure, and that’s really good news! One woman’s beauty or size doesn’t have anything to do with your beauty or size! One woman’s amazing husband does not have anything to do with your husband, or lack thereof. One woman’s job promotion has no bearing on your success or failure. One women’s success at getting pregnant or bathing and clothing her children with style more regularly than you, has nothing to do with you. That one woman who has what you want right now does not mean that you will never have it!
Let other women off the hook. Give yourself a break. The Lord is just as focused on you as he is on her. Your journey is different than her’s. Your process is different. Be loved. Love well. Heal.
Be easy women and enjoy each other. We’re pretty great.