The Green-Eyed Monster

Though I purged most of what I was thinking/feeling about that anti-fat blogger in the last installment, a thought has been nagging at me. I mean, honestly it’s been nagging at me for quite a while but this last incident really drove it home. Why do girls feel the need to tear each other down? Why, especially, do they want to undermine another girl’s happiness if she finds something she likes even though it has nothing to do with them (such as Rubenesque romances)? Why do the catty, bratty girls basically turn into Happiness Nazis (NO ROMANCE FOR YOU!) whenever someone they deem as beneath them actually finds fulfillment and any sense at all of esteem?

We’ve all had those frenemies who, whenever you have something good happen or make positive steps toward reaching any goal (weight loss, career, romantic,) make sure they make those passive aggressive comments to rip you right back down the ladder to their level again. Instead of pushing you higher, they have to keep you beneath them in some way.

I think it boils down to one simple thing: jealousy.

They want what you got.

I was thinking about this in regards to women like this blogger, who no doubt is thinner and in her mind much more desirable for all the menfolk. According to her, women like me should be lonely because guys just don’t like fatties unless there’s something wrong with them.

But I am not lonely. I have a great husband. I’m not skimming the shallow end of the pool for the pond suckers who live there, nor have I had any need to so so since I was about 18.

I’m truly happy – which bugs the shit out of some people. I was actually told once that I was “too happy.” How is this even possible?

But when you shine with that kind of happiness the first priority for girls in particular is to take you down a few pegs. They do this by undermining what brings you happiness, and then shade you as the one who is flawed… which is exactly what this blogger felt the need to do.

Not all girls do this. Some girls. Unhappy girls. They go after what they think you want most because they want to steal the source of your joy.

Let’s use our nameless blogger as an example. I’d lay odds she’s single. If she has this limited an idea of romance, love and even men I’d even venture to guess she’s never truly been loved by a man. Any woman who has truly been loved knows that when a guy loves you it is unconditional. He doesn’t kick you out of bed for finding an inch of body fat because that doesn’t change how you make him laugh or stand by him when the chips are down.

Now one might argue she meant the initial attraction, that guys don’t generally fall for a fattie but can love them years down the road after they’ve put on a few.

I say nay. If a guy is that superficial at the onset he will always be, to some degree, that big of a douche bag. These are men who do not know how to love and certainly don’t appreciate women for more than just the sum of her parts.

Yet these are the guys this particular chick surrounds herself with. No wonder she’s unhappy.

So what does she do? Tries to sell her unhappiness to all the fat chicks out there who don’t buy the idea they have to be thin and perfect to find love because they actually know men who can appreciate them. I call it the “asshole deflector.” There are men who look me up and down and dismiss me in an instant, so I know immediately what kind of man they are. I am spared the misleading charm they may waste on someone half my size and half my age.

They don’t want me and I in turn know better than to want them. It kinda works out for everyone. Those guys who do stick around are the only ones worth my energy anyway.

Maybe, deep down, she’s jealous of the idea that women like me can find a much better class of guys than she manages to attract.

And you know what?

She should be.

I’ve got a great life. I’m living my dream and I’m sharing that journey with someone who is an incredible person. He makes me laugh and he is unafraid to love only me – and tell the world far and wide it’s me he’s chosen no matter what the world might have to say about it. I’ve got amazing sons who have grown into the same kind of incredible men as their father and their step-father. They don’t collect notches on bedposts, even though they’re young enough and unencumbered enough to play the field. They are secure enough in their identity they don’t have to sleep around with hot girls to validate some shaky self-esteem.

They also are strong enough to respect strong women. They aren’t looking for that quiet little mouse who lets them run roughshod all over them. They want a woman with backbone, who will tell them when they’re being boneheads and never put up with their bullshit. They know that’s the only way to grow.

And they’re not afraid of a challenge.

I’m living my dream of being a published writer, making money by writing those Rubenesque romances that mean so much to me. It’s not just a career to me. It’s a calling to give the other women that our culture discards something written just for them. I’m not satisfied in finding happiness for myself… I want to share happiness with everyone else (especially those the world shuns and punishes for even thinking such things.)

That’s why my tagline on Twitter is: Master of words, gatherer of good, purveyor of happy.

I want to use my gifts to bring other people joy; this is the truest root of my contentment. And I’m sick to damn death of being judged for it by people too scared or limited to find their own joy.

I’m happy, get over it. I’m positive, learn from it. I’m strong enough to stick around, deal with it.

I earned every single thing I have and then some. I’ve had more than my fair share of suffering, going through things that would have killed a lesser woman. I’ve survived chronic pain, poverty, rape, abuse, homelessness, the death of some of the most important people in my life – which included my nine-day-old child. No one was there bandaging my wounds, so no one gets to steal my hard-won joy now that I’ve fought my way back to center again.

Being raised a good Southern Baptist I never quite embraced the idea God wanted me to be happy. I thought my life was meant to suffer and muddle through till I reached the other side. It was pounded into my head to be grateful for the suffering and never boast about the joy. It was vain to exalt one’s self. Worse than that, it was a lightning rod to attract the wrath of a vengeful god who loves nothing better than to knock people back down to size when they get a little big for their britches.

So I became what I thought was meek and humble, which was the most miserable I’ve ever been in my life. I wasn’t meek and humble…  I was needy and insecure, which drives people away in droves. I didn’t toot my own horn, I waited for someone else to do it for me. Instead I exalted everyone around me, tireless and devoted, using my many gifts for the benefit of others.

Which, ironically, drew more jealousy, even when I didn’t have (in my mind) a damn thing to be jealous of. I didn’t understand it at the time but I’m starting to see now that the greatness I was made for (that we all were made for) is something I cannot tone down even in my darkest hour. Because I’m not supposed to.

A long time ago I read this quote from Marianne Williamson:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

The one thing I always have done and always will do is try to build up other people. If I believe in you or what you are doing, I’m going to tell the world about it. As the years have gone by I’ve developed quite a reach in doing so, even though I thought I was a piddly little nothing at the time.

Instead, this innate joy and light within me was shining brightly to the world and propelling me to this place right now where I can finally say: I deserve to be happy. I was created to be great.

If you allow that to take something away from your happiness and your greatness… that is your problem and not mine.

By being happy, by sharing that well of joy and goodness with others around me – particularly others who have a higher profile than I do at this point – I’m shining a vital light to those who may be fearful of being great. Instead of telling us that we have to be the best we can be, the world judges us based on other people. We are not as pretty, smart, thin, rich, talented as Joe Blow so therefore we do not deserve what he has.

But we do. Because we ARE the best at being US. We are the gift, one that is to bring joy and inspiration to other people. And that can only happen when we finally stand up and own how truly special we are.

Doing so is what brings us joy in such a way we can’t help but build others up as well. We’ll no longer feel inferior and jealous, so we won’t want to tear down those people we feel have those things we want.

(And that’s all just perception anyway. You may be jealous of all the good stuff in my life but believe me there are challenges, hard times and struggles there too. Same with anyone else.)

So I guess the bottom line is… if you’re jealous of me, you should be. It’s not that I’m so wonderful and my life is so fabulous, it’s that your life is so lacking you need the misery of someone else to help you feel better about yourself. That’s a really sad place to be, one where you absolutely do not have to stay. Instead of tearing someone else down, build yourself up. Stop looking outward for your happiness and find your joy within. Then and only then will you attract to yourself all those things you want in tangible and permanent ways.

Gather the good. Be a purveyor of happy. Then you can kill that green-eyed monster once and for all.







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