As women, we have great power and responsibility. We are designed to be tools of influence and wellsprings of strength to those around us. Our calling is a divine and beautiful one. Why, then, do we compare ourselves to one another and size each other up by beauty and status? What if we met other women as if we were meeting a kindred spirit or fellow royalty?
What if we treated each other as we would treat the divinity residing inside of them? And what if we actually believed that the selfsame divinity took up residence in us as well?
So many times we choose to embrace the practice of comparison and competition. It happens every time we meet other women; we instantly size each other up and decide which of us are the more appealing individuals. We classify ourselves and organize each other into a hierarchy of worth. Once the hierarchy is established in our minds we begin to immediately seek to steal power from those “above” us in order to increase our own dominance.
We are told at a young age to wait for a Prince Charming who will respect us and care for us the way we deserve. Our entire lives are geared towards attracting a man who will treat us with dignity and respect above all other women. The problem is that we don’t believe we should demonstrate to each other the same respect. We are taught to demand loving attention, and yet we withhold it from our fellow females merely for the sake of competition.
I was watching “Friends” the other day and was highly entertained to see the girls become completely obsessed with a self-help book geared towards empowering women. The book was entitled Be Your Own Windkeeper, and it declared that each woman is a goddess with her own wellspring of “wind”. It encouraged the girls to realize that many men in their lives were simply out to “steal their wind” and were hindering them from becoming the empowered goddesses they should be.
After much discussion, then debate, then realization, the girls are shocked to discover that it isn’t only the men in their lives who are robbing them of their wind. They finally realize that their precious wellspring of wind was being disturbed over and over again by each other! They had lied to, stolen from, cheated, and competed against one another for years without even realizing it.
Society prepares us to remain in constant competition with every other woman we contact. It’s so engrained in our learning as children and teenagers that we rarely even notice it as adults.
As cute and cliché as the “windkeeper” analogy is, there is something under its surface that rings true. We tend to suck the life out of one another in order to appear as though we are more worthy of life.
Women’s power to influence is much like the wind in many ways.
It inspires power and strength when harnessed freely. Without wind, no windmill turns and no power is harnessed. It would make no sense for the wind to hinder itself from the freedom to influence and to move boldly.
Imagine if women began to stand beside one another.
Imagine if we accepted one another as a sister fist and foremost regardless of our beauty, humor, significant other, or education. So much of our anxiety and fear would be absolved in love. We would meet more and more women who are courageous and not insecure. More of our friends would be loyal and not competitors. We would be joyful for each others’ accomplishments rather than jealous and backbiting.
We would be more like the women we wish we were.