The following is an excerpt from a journal entry I wrote about a year ago. Many times in the last year I have felt the need to share it. I finally gave in! As I was retyping it, I realized that this could just as easily be about grown women, but at the time (and now) I was bothered by the culture of separation and unkindness I was seeing among young women. Feel free to replace young women with grown women if that resonates with you!
Young women are getting the impression through social media that in order to matter they need to be perfect. They need to be skinny, outwardly "pretty" and in competition with each other. Instead of a spirit of sisterhood, a spirit of meanness often prevails. A majority of young women are leading their lives from a place of lack.
I am not good enough.
I am not skinny enough.
I am not smart enough.
The list goes on.
This feeling of fear and lack is what leads many to compare themselves with others. How can they possibly be happy for, or want to support their friends/sisters, when they are not happy within themselves. I believe that much of the mean girl/bullying mentality that is prevalent today (and for as long as I can remember) is the manifestation of a lack of self-love and self respect.
I refuse to believe that all these young women who are bullying and belittling others are inherently bad or evil. I believe that many are so uncomfortable in their own skin that they put others down and belittle others in an attempt to make themselves feel more important or more whatever it is that they are are not feeling. Instead of being able to speak from their heart about not feeling like enough or being able to be vulnerable with their friends and family, they turn to what they see around them on television and social media. All you have to do is watch any "reality TV" show to know what I am talking about.
Our society teaches young people to guard their hearts and not show their feelings.
Being vulnerable is seen as weakness.
This has created a social environment in which kids and adults lead their lives with their thinking minds (which has been influenced and molded by our culture) instead of their heart or intuition.
Young women need to be shown how to love themselves for who they are, in each and every moment. Each one of us was put on this earth for a reason. Simply by being here we are enough. Each one of us represents a drop of the divine and infinite potential.
When young women can feel love for themselves, when they can befriend their own soul, when they feel comfortable in their own skin, they will be in a place to better support each other.
Living from a place of love, young women will be able to see the perfection in others no matter how different they are. Women of all ages require meaningful relationships with other women/girls in order to thrive and feel supported.
Our "tribe" is our support system.
Girls need to be shown at an early age that they can choose to surround themselves with a likeminded, uplifting circle of friends.. In an environment where we are living from a place of love and not fear there is no need for jealousy or envy.
When we realize we are all perfect and we are all doing the best we can in each moment, it is easier to show gratitude and love to others.
Who wouldn't want to live in that kind of world? Middle school and high school don't have to be places of division and bullying. I believe it can change. I believe it all starts with a knowing that we are good enough just the way we are. As part of my self-care revolution I vow to find ways to bring the concept of self-love and self-care into schools.
The Dalai Lama said, "The Western Women will save the world." I believe that women as a whole will save the world. What better way to bring this to fruition than to start engaging in self-love and sisterhood as early as possible!