Successful women surround me and it’s so incredibly beautiful until I get a knot in my stomach. It happens slowly, but then quickly. Spite blurs my vision and creates lies in my head. It turns something so beautiful in to something so ugly. My spite is like this inner lioness that wreaks havoc on my thoughts. It brings feelings of bitterness and jealousy towards the women that surround me. It turns my once beautiful thoughts in to these painful and truly devastating thoughts that I am not good enough and my worth is minimal because what these other women are accomplishing is so much more.
My First Experience of Jealousy
My first experience of jealousy growing up was in middle school. I had recently moved to a new town and my friends were few and far between. My parents worked so incredibly hard to foster friendships with this one particular group of girls, but they had no interest in getting to know me. I realized I would never be a part of their group one day after school as I waited for my mom to pick me. Standing alone, I could hear the girls making their after school plans. I stared intently hoping for an invite. With fear and pain in my voice I tried to join their conversation. With giggles and then a quick turn of their back, I was shunned. Their meanness stung and for the first time I had experienced jealousy. I can remember the gut wrenching pain I felt and the girls faces so clearly. I remember the words that I spoke that afternoon when I got home. They came from a place of pain, fear, and spite. The words were cruel.
Admiration Turns to Spite
As an almost 40-year-old woman, these feelings of fear and spite still impact me. As I was scrolling social media, I came across a woman who is doing great things for our community. I stopped and admired her work for a little too long and started picking her apart. I picked apart her clothes, her hair, and her authenticity. My spite and my jealousy were bubbling over. I couldn’t pick up my phone fast enough. I took a screenshot and began typing a text message and it said, “Is this real life? Is this what the world is really about now?”
My finger hovered over the send button. My stomach was in knots, and I was in tears. This is not the woman I want to be. Why did this situation trigger me like this? What in the hell happened to me? I am a woman that celebrates other women. It is important to me to cheer other woman on and celebrate their greatness. This moment completely warped my vision of my own life. I lost sight of my own worth and gifts. I set my phone down and began questioning everything.
After my heart slowed and my head cleared, I quickly deleted the text message and forced myself to sit with these feelings of anger, spite, and fear. Running from them was not an option. I couldn’t simply move on from them because it would happen again and again and again. At that moment I had to actually admit and accept that I was still competing with women around me instead of lifting them up. I had to sit with my own struggles regarding self worth and my fear of failing.
Drowning in Spite
As I sat in that moment, I realized that there isn’t a pattern to my spite. It comes in waves and that day I was drowning. I am surrounded by so many successful women, and I don’t feel spite every time somebody does something great. I am normally the first to shout it from the roof top or find a way to celebrate them. Why today? Why her?
The truth is, it had nothing to do with her. It had everything to do with my own insecurities and my own fear of failure. My own fear that success and achievement are in limited supply. My fear that when she succeeds, she is taking that opportunity from me because there isn’t enough for both of us. I am a work in progress and I am currently surrendering to my feelings of fear and working through them. Through my work I am learning that there is enough success and achievement out there for all of us and that when one rises, we all rise.
Rise Sister Rise
A while back I read the book “Rise Sister Rise – A guide to unleashing the wise, wild, woman within” by Rebecca Campbell. Towards the end of the book she talks about how “women have been gathering in circles to heal their wounds, share their stories, pass down the mysteries of womanhood, support and empower one another.” This particular woman I spoke of earlier is not in my immediate circle, but our paths are woven together in more ways than I ever thought possible. I know that in order for me to rise, I have to find a way to celebrate this woman and all of her greatness. (Don’t ask me how I am doing this–I am still figure this part out!)
Through all of this though, I am learning that instead of feeling spite towards the women rising around me, I need to work towards threading a connection of support with them. Through recognizing and celebrating their gifts, I am recognizing my own. I am allowing myself to rise alongside of my sisters.
There is a mantra that Rebecca Campbell shares in her book and the words are now imprinted on my heart, so when spite sneaks in and I begin doubting myself, my journey, or my timing I am quickly reminded that the world needs more change-makers and healers. The world needs all of us, and honestly we need each other.
So, if you find yourself full of spite or experiencing jealousy and need a little reminder that when our sisters rise we rise, repeat after me…
“I allow myself to be held and deeply supported by my constellations of sister. Both those I know and those I have never met. When I rise, they rise alongside of me. When they rise, I rise alongside of them.”
And to the girl I spoke about earlier, I see you. I see your greatness. I see your worth. Thank you for sharing your gift with this world.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily represent those of The We Spot, it’s employees, sponsors, or affiliates.