On this International Women’s Day, I want to tell you that your words to other women matter.
About a month ago I received a message from a girl -we’ll call her Hannah- on Instagram. Hannah is an acquaintance from high school. I can probably count on one hand the number of times we’ve interacted. Now flash forward 5 years later and that is the relationship context in which I received this message:
“You are so lovely! Keep it up with the blog, I love it.”
Contrary to what this message reads, Hannah’s words say a lot more about her than they say about me. Between the lines, I see a girl who understands her own value to the extent that she can dismiss competition and freely point out the value in others.
To me, this is what Detangled&Free is all about: It’s feeling secure enough to celebrate another woman’s strengths without fearing a personal loss. That is freedom!
I know that you notice the strengths of other women. I know, because I notice them too.
- Every Wednesday morning I observe the strength, humility, and respectability of one of my managers at work. I notice it. I think about it. And then… like the mess in the microwave, I forget about it until the next time I’m face to face with her. But I don’t say anything.
- I notice the poise of another woman at Target, but I pass by assuming she already knows just how beautiful she is.
- I admire a friend’s intentionality in planning times to hang out, yet I keep that to myself.
Why don’t we share our admirations?
Giving a compliment to another, means redirecting our self-centeredness. And I’ll be the first to admit that my ego is needy! It’s easy to believe the lie that building another woman up somehow pushes yourself down.
The qualities that make her lovely…they don’t make you unlovely! That girl is not your competition. Her strengths take nothing from you. In fact, if we humble ourselves just a bit (or maybe a lot) we would see that our lives could be enriched by the strengths of others.
We could benefit from what she brings to the table. But instead, some of us are getting up from the table and finding a new one where we can reclaim our seat at the head.
I can tell you from experience, that is a lonely life.
You see, Hannah’s message meant the world to me, not because of what she said, but because of the hope I saw in her action. She had 50 good reasons not to message me. But in that moment, she recognized the importance of sisterhood and the strengths that we have in numbers.
So my challenge to you is to stay at the table, embrace the women sitting next to you, and proclaim their strengths loud and proud. I promise you’ll gain more than you could ever lose.
With Love & Freedom,