Today is International Women’s Day. As far as I know it is a day set aside to fight about Cupcakes. Fight is, in fact, built into the day's mandate: . . . "an opportunity to fight for political freedom, equal pay and working rights."
Sigh. I don't wanna fight about cupcakes. I don't wanna fight red-faced and sign-toting. I don't know if more fight is what I need. God knows it's already there, threatening to escape at every opportunity.
On this day of all days, I wanted to honour a friend who embodied all that will not make the headlines on International Women's Day: humility and quiet kindness.
First, though, some thoughts on jealousy. Is it just me, or does the big 'J' seem to be a lurking presence our lives? I think it is. We really don't admit to it readily because that would be a painfully vulnerable thing to do. Admitting to jealousy is admitting to pride and insecurity, neither of which, any of us would like to associate with ourselves.
I am a jealous woman. I admit it. What's worse, it seems like I haven't made any headway with it. I never expected to beat it entirely, but I had hoped it would crop up less frequently. Instead, it has simply taken on new forms. Where I was once quick to desire someone else's body, now I quite happily steal their character. I look at a woman of serenity and wisdom and I want to swindle her of those qualities. Jealousy is easily detectable by the small part of yourself which, rather than rejoicing over what another woman has, resents her for it instead.
Two days ago, I was reminded that the Christian fight is more often about wrestling your self to the ground and learning to unclench fists, open them and turn them palm-upwards. Jealousy? Defy it and act out against it with extended hands. I saw this when a dear lady I know made an early morning phone call just to tell her friend all about the lovely thing she'd heard said about her the evening before. She explained that she'd felt compelled to do it for several reasons. One of which was that she rightly assumed that these were not the kinds of calls most women recieve. Her next reason for calling was because her first instinct upon hearing her friend praised was to feel jealous.
What an example she is to me! She took a sober look at herself and then defied the inner-responses she sensed were there by acting in complete opposition to them. That there's the way to fight. I love you sister. I do not want to grab all of your outstanding moral fiber and run for the hills. I just want to be more like you.