I was listening to the radio in the car today and the song Scars to Your Beautiful came on. As I sang along one line caught my attention. "She has dreams to be an envy, so she's starving." It put a word on something that has been bothering me. Envy.
The last few months I have specifically been working with woman on getting to the root of their desires for their life, setting goals in the direction of those things, and finding joy in the work that leads up to the accomplishment. Too often, we don't even know what we truly want. We have this vague idea that if we are thin and we get our hair professionally tamed and our nails manicured and we have stylish clothes and perfect make-up suddenly life would be perfect! The job we want would be easier to obtain, our soul mate will mysteriously appear, and we would finally be....accepted? respected? happy? I don't think many people even get far enough to be able to verbalize the word on the end of that sentence. It's "envied".
It's confusing. We have been raised in a world that has marketed our individuality away. Everywhere we look are models with hair perfectly styles, perfect white teeth, toned bodies. They tell us we aren't enough but they can bridge the gap with what they are selling and we fall for it. We believe the ridiculous, ever changing, unattainable beauty standard they set before us and we deeply envy anyone who has something we do not with no gratitude for all the amazing attributes we DO possess. It's crazy! So crazy that it's like a hamster wheel! Tan skin is in, let's rush to the tanning beds! Pale skin is in, cover yourself. Big boobs are in, pay thousands for an operation. Small boobs are in, get them removed. Long hair, short hair, dramatic make-up, natural make-up, and all the trends in clothing that fit WHO exactly?
The girl with the thin figure is envying her friend with curves. The girl with curves is envying the girl with blue eyes. The girl with blue eyes is envying the girl with long flowing locks and it just cycles making other women our competition instead of our allies.
When we get to the root of what most women THINK they want it's this: We want to be envied. We want to go back to our high school reunion and make all the people that didn't pay us attention wish they had. We want to be the woman that pops out babies and looks like she never had any. We want to be the one that gets noticed. In our culture, physical beauty still trumps true achievement for women but this is because WE let it. We have accepted it as truth and live by it. The envy of others is the pinnacle moment when this is our outlook.
First and foremost, a goal to be envied keeps us looking at what other people want out of life instead of looking for what we truly want! If you spend your life going to school for a career where you can be a CEO, make a bunch of money, and drive a flashy car and that's not what YOU want, you are the one missing out. If you stay dissatisifed with your appearance your entire life, frustrated that you can't look like a swimwear model, and never fall in love with being who you are entirely, YOU are missing out.
If we want to rock our own lives we have to get real with ourselves. We have to spend more time getting to know what WE want out of life, what OUR interests are, and who we want in our lives. Stop looking to be interesting to others and be interested in yourself!
If we want to be the active feminists we say we are, we need to liberate ourselves first. We need to stop competing in a race that goes against everything we stand for and we need to stop making other women our competition. We need to care for ourselves, inside and out, and choose to come alive pursuing the true desires of our heart instead of being a carbon copy of someone else. The downward cycle of envy is that as we strive to make others envious, we live a false life where we only show the highlight reel. That makes others feel badly about their lives, about themselves, and the envy they feel grows into unhappiness and discontent. They, in turn, market themselves to compete with us. We become the marketers spreading lies and making people inferior. When we share openly and authentically who we are, we free others up to do the same. We encourage others with our true success and we become relatable when we share our struggles. We become friends in the trenches supporting each other instead of each others competition.
I stopped wanting people to make people envious when I was finally happy with my own life. When you are in love with your life you don't care what other people are doing or what they think of you! You find yourself surrounded by people that love the things you love and those who don't fade into the backdrop of your life. It doesn't matter who is better than you because all you care about is learning and growing and seeing how far YOU can get.
It was not an easy hole for me to climb out of, so don't be discouraged if you don't know where to go from here. Get in touch with yourself again. Think back to things you have always loved doing as simple as it might be. Go for a walk, read a book, go to a concert, call an old friend, say yes to more opportunities, try new things, and pursue any that make you happy! Carve out time for yourself. Remove yourself from the rat race. Wear clothes you love! Care for your body because its yours! Uncover all the hidden talents that you have that you didn't know were there and rediscover all the ones that you let slip away. You are AMAZING! Live like it and free others up to be who they are as well!
"And Aubrey was her name. A not so very ordinary girl or name."(Or so says David Gates ;) I'm a wife to Phillip, a mother to Scarlett and Juliet. We live in the beautiful city of Thornton, Co. I'm a recovering red bull addict. I love to read. I hate to cook. I seek to be inspired and also to inspire others. I am a Beachbody Coach on a quest to be truly healthy mind, soul, and body and challenge others to do the same.