The Need to Rise Above

Girls in junior high are mean. I’ve been hearing that mentioned more and more. And, as I have one junior higher – I’ve also seen a little bit of it (luckily not TOO much of it!)

What is it about girls that makes them want to rise above and be better than each other? Why does that mentality continue on in the heart of a woman when she reaches adulthood? Why can’t women seem to go along in life alongside of one another instead of needing to feel above each other?

The only thing I can pinpoint is: self esteem. And if that’s truly the case, then we are failing our daughter’s and we are failing one another as women. For self esteem can not be found in looking better or being better than the other girls and women around us. If it does, it’s only fleeting and often captured in unhealthy ways.

I’m not sure why it is that some females seem to be strong from the beginning and others wither at the slightest mention of turmoil or strife. Why is it that some women can look inside and rise above their unfair circumstances when others remain victims all their lives? I don’t get it. I don’t understand. But I want to. As the mom of two daughters, I want to be able to help my girls feel fulfillment in who they are so that no one can rob them of that. I want them to have a strong sense of self so that when life goes all wrong, they can deal with it and then move forward. I want my girls to appreciate the gifts in others and maintain humility in all of their achievements in life. That’s the goal, anyways.

How do we give this gift of self esteem? Is it given? Is it earned? Is it something we are born knowing how to flourish and receive? I think you could look at girl “A” and girl “B” and see each one respond differently to meanness in life. Why is that?

I think a great deal of how our girls respond to life comes from the home. It comes from a mental image they have of themselves based on what us as parents have given them. How do we speak to them? How do we love on them? Do we overdo it; under do it? Do we speak harshly or coddle too much? How can we as parents, help our young ladies grow into strong self-assured young women?

The world is out to steal our femininity and our womanhood, you know. They want to replace it with the idea that we are only valuable if we flaunt our bodies and act sexual. They want us to strive for ambition outside of the home and outside of our God-given role as a lady. So it is up to us as females to stick together. We need to bond with one another, encourage each other and be there. We need to come alongside instead of trying to raise ourselves above (even if only in our own eyes) each other all of the time.

Can you image if none of us needed to compete with the other?  No need to be the prettiest. The smartest. The most popular. Because we will feel fulfilled in our own uniqueness that God has bestowed upon us. We will feel content and happy simply being ourselves.  Just think.

It begins in the home. When your daughter is twirling in your living room at the age of 4. It continues when she’s age 6 and asking lots of questions with abundant curiosity. And by the age of junior high, our daughters have already formed an opinion about themselves and the rest of the world.   Will your daughter feel she has to resort to meanness to feel better about herself?

We all need one another – women especially. Let’s invest in our young girls so that when they grow to be women, they can relish in it instead of fighting to rise above it.

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