And . . . the unrelenting, constant scrutiny of other girls.
Some of my most painful memories came from that time in my life. Where gossip (even if it wasn’t about me) could destroy a girl in a moment’s notice. When offhanded comments and truth-twisted sayings could make or take a girl’s self-esteem in one fell swoop.
As I watched my daughter taking those first steps, I prayed for better for her.
And as I drove away, I thought: I’m SO GLAD THOSE DAYS ARE BEHIND ME.
But then, it occurred to me: Are they really?
The truth is, as an adult, when I’ve gathered with girls in social circles much of the same rules still apply. Because the uncomfortable truth between women is that it’s nearly impossible to have girlfriends without gossip.
There. I said it.
Over the years, this dirty little secret has reared its ugly head more than once in my life:
- I’ve felt uncomfortable in groups that have nothing to say unless it’s about someone else.
- I’ve opted out of gatherings where the women talked only about the ones who couldn’t make it that night—knowing that I’d be fodder for conversation too.
- I’ve literally hidden in bathrooms at family gatherings where I couldn’t take one more comment about another loved one, spoken from someone they believed loved them too.
And, I’ve been guilty of all three.
And completely torn apart at the realization that this is what women do.
This is how we relate.
And, it’s wrong.
In a society where women are no longer shuffled to the kitchen to keep them out of the conversation, I wonder if we even recognize how powerful our voices have become. While our mother’s may have only drawn the ears of other women, ours have the power (and long-reach thanks to the internet) to affect hundreds if not thousands with a simple phrase.
And, what are we doing with this power?
Building others up? Or tearing them down?
Do we willingly participate, or feel isolated when no one seems to relate to us otherwise?
In Genesis 1-3, we get our first glimpse at the power of words. God simply spoke, and the heavens and earth, people and creatures, time and seasons—everything—was created. With words alone.
Is it coincidence that God “said” these simple words and our very universe was created? Or, is it a lesson to be learned?
That our words have power beyond our own imagination.
Because the truth is that just as God created the universe with His words . . .
We create our lives, our relationships, our very world—WITH OUR WORDS.
How are you using yours?