A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to put my mission "It is Beautiful to be Good" to the test. Now I must admit, at times that is easier said than done, especially when faced with uncomfortable situations. It all started when my bonus daughter, told me that I was too nice, while she often calls me the "Black Buddha" and playfully teases me about how I speak to everyone including strangers at the grocery store, this was the first time that she made me aware that it bothered her. What surprised me the most about her revelation was that at a very young age she was receiving and accepting that being good wasn't a good thing. Also, I recognized what was driving this conversation was the fact that we were a few days away from her Thirteenth Birthday Party and she was worried that my "niceness" might embarrass her with friends and her Mom's family. I reassured her that my intent is never to embarrass her. However, I made it clear that I am not concerned what she or anyone else thinks about me! I am pretty awesome, and my goal in life is to be the best me that I can be! I also explained to her that there is power in loving yourself and the ability never to allow anyone to make you dim your light!
So the day of her birthday party I was nervous because for the past three years when we would come together for the blended activities, I have endured the nice- nasty treatment, this is where you pretend the other person is not there until they say hello and then you half-heartedly speak. But on this day I believed that things would be better. All day I meditated on my favorite spiritual quote by Lao Tzu and decided not to worry about the past or the future and be in the present!
When my husband and I arrived at the party, the first person to greet me was our daughter, she was beaming with excitement, and her joy filled the entire room. I gave her a warm hug and then naturally turned to the next person in the room to greet them, I guess I was still on my spiritual high because without thinking I automatically hugged the person. Talk about awkward, it reminded me of the Steph Curry meme, but she was slightly less enthused about the hug than Steph.
So then I approached the second woman, hoping that an older wiser woman would be slightly more open. No such luck, she politely told me that she had a cold and didn't want to hug me. I proceeded with an elbow pump and turned to the third woman. Now she didn't put on any pretenses; she growled: "I don't do hugs" as she turned away. Now after all of that, you would think that I would have just stopped there, but nope, I was on my Take 6 vibe and determined to Spread Love. So I quickly, turned to the men in the room, to my relief, they were not only welcoming but greeted me like an old friend. I started to say to the women in my Sophia's voice "At least somebody around here knows how to treat a visitor." But in all seriousness, it was the contrast in the treatment from the women versus the men that struck me. Why do women find it acceptable to mistreat one another? Some might say, no one called you out of your name or threw a punch so what is the problem? The truth is passive-aggressive behavior or the nice-nasty treatment as I like to call it allows women to remain petty, jealous, insecure, sneaky and stuck in their pity party and as a result, we are raising our girls to become the prototypes for the Mean Girl Movie Part 2.
How do we teach our next generation of girls to be GOOD to each other? Not just to their friends or people that they like, but also to other girls that they might have a conflict. I do not have all of the answers but here are a few tips that I live by.
Start with a love of self- When you love yourself, you will understand that you alone are responsible for your happiness and joy, and no circumstance or person can take it away.
Forgive and Forget - True peace can only come when you forgive others and yourself! Stop having a pity party of what happened to you yesterday; it is done, move on and start creating your best life.
Have open communication- Once you can forgive, begin an open communication with the person. No, you do not need to become their besties, but look for opportunities to have an authentic conversation.
Find a connection- Once you begin open communication, find a connection, you might be surprised how much you have in common versus the issues that caused the conflict.
Lift her up- When you are tempted to say or even think something negative about her or anyone you have a conflict, DO NOT! Instead, lift them up in prayer. Trust me GOOD THOUGHTS MANIFEST A GOOD LIFE!
I would love to hear your thoughts and additional suggestions, please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or drop your thoughts here.
HAPPY NEW YEAR AND GOD BLESS YOU!