I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in the presence of another woman, someone who is either very in shape, dressed really nicely, responding to her children in an unrealistically calm manner, or just looking and acting in a way that makes me feel intimidated. It happens all. the. time. It just happened today, in fact, when a mom at the cafe where I was working came in, wearing super cute workout clothes that showed off her toned legs, smiling ear to ear as she cuddled her adorable toddler, and just generally emitting a sense of chill. I was so taken with this woman, this cool, calm, healthy mom, but despite my admiration for her, I was not jealous. My reaction to this woman was not envy, or thoughts of “who does she think she is being so fit and happy while I’m struggling to stay within my 30 weight watchers points?”, but instead, I simply admired her.
She looked happy, this fit mom, and genuinely enjoying her time with her son. But I don’t know any more about her than this 20 minute snippet of a day in which we occupied the same space. I don’t know her faults, her insecurities, her bad days. Because she has them. Like we all do.
This reaction I had is important because in the past, this might not have been the case. On other occasions, when met with the same type of woman, I might have stuffed my jealousy behind negativity, trying to nit pick her clothing or perhaps calling her fake. This never EVER did anything to build me up or make me into the person I hope to become, in fact, it stifled me. It turned me into a lesser version of myself when the whole reason I was envious was because I sensed something that I desired. Whether it be a character trait, or a body type, I wanted to be better. And in my mind, this woman was better. And therefore, I felt resentful.
This time, things are different. I no longer feel like women like this are a threat, or reason to bring about negativity in my mind. I can admire another woman while at the same time, realizing that nobody is perfect and you never really know what is going on in someone else’s life.
So if you are struggling with this issue, as many of us do, I encourage you to try and rid yourself of the negative thoughts. I am in no way equipped to deliver advice, and frankly, I don’t want that kind of responsibility, but I can tell you from my own experience that allowing those thoughts to creep in is never helpful on your road to being the person you wish to be.
It sounds easier said than done, but when you make the active choice to focus on yourself instead of others, you suddenly free up space in your mind to just let other people be. Let those who intimidate you be human, and let yourself be a work in progress, because truly, aren’t we all?