Competition, Comparison, and the Ugly Side of Being a Woman

I am not a skilled, elite athlete (will never be!), but I know what it is to compete.  I’m pretty good at comparing too.

Do you know why?

I am a woman.

Yes, there is an ugly side to being female that most of us don’t like to acknowledge (myself included). The truth is that it starts when we are little girls and continues into adulthood.  We compete and compare without even realizing we are doing it:

Who has the most friends?

Who wears the cutest clothes?

Who gets the teacher’s attention?

Who do the boys think is pretty?

Who gets asked to homecoming?

Who has the best figure?

Who has the highest grades?

Who drives the nicest car?

Who goes to the best college?

Who gets the most prestigious job?

Who gets married first?

Who lives in the biggest, fanciest house?

Who is the best cook?

Who goes on the most exotic & extravagant vacations?

Who is the perfect mom?

Who has the busiest schedule?

Whose husband makes the most money?

Whose kids are the brightest, cutest, and most athletic? And on and on it goes…  

Writing that list gives me a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Not because I have never asked those questions but because I have.  Why?  Why are we always looking each other up and down (you know exactly what I mean!)?  Why do we size up the competition as if we are in some contest or game?

To compete means to strive to gain or win something by defeating or establishing superiority over others who are trying to do the same. That sounds pretty brutal when we are talking about other women in our lives, doesn’t it?  We are trying to defeat our friends, coworkers, neighbors…even family members?  For what?  What are we really trying to gain or win? 

What is the prize?

Ugly. I want it to stop.  For me, for the women in my life…for my daughter.

And I know it needs to start with me. Right here AT THE CROSSROADS. I desperately want this to be a place for you to come as you are, broken and messy like the rest of us, and find support, love and encouragement.

I want you to know that we are all in this together.  I am not better than you.  I do not want to compete with you…I want to come alongside of you.

I struggle, I fail, and I am a work in process.  I am willing to let you see my imperfections and insecurities with the hope that we can learn from each other, help each other, and pick each other up when we are down. Not trample over each other racing to an imaginary finish line.

Are you with me? Can we start cooperating and stop competing? The Bible tells us exactly how to do this:
“Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends.  Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top.  Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead.  Don’t be obsessed with your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.”
~Philippians 4:2-4 (The Message)

I want to approach the women in my life with admiration, respect and gratitude.  I want us to meet here AT THE CROSSROADS, take each other by the hand, and walk this journey side by side. No winners, no losers, just fellow travelers.

Won’t you join me?   A simple “yes” or “I”m in”  in comment section below would be an encouragement to everyone! ~~~ Carla

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