She hid it in the shadows, she didn't want them to see; she didn't even want to see it herself. The idea that her pain and sorrow were written on her face was an uneasy thought. She wanted to be happy for that woman who stood there in all her accolades. But she wasn't. The story in her head, said, 'her success means your failure. Her gains must mean your loss'. Now, I don't know where this comes from, nor does it really matter, the fact is, it's a fallacy. This idea that her salary, her beauty, her strength, her body, her boyfriend, means that you are somehow lesser than, is a twisted game we all play in our heads. This kind of competition among women leads to separation from one another and robs us all of connection and enjoyment.
We are afraid, afraid that her success casts a shadow on ours. There is a disease we all seem to suffer from and it's only cure is awareness and redirection of the mind (heart). We are trained to believe that we must be all of these things and more: financially well-off, a particular body shape and size, have a certain house or boyfriend, social status or area code. Why do we want these things? Because we have made them synonymous with our happiness.
This is not real. This is completely made up.
Things don't make you anything. They cannot give you an experience of any kind and they certainly don't tell you who you are. In cases, one's accumulation of status, 'things', or 'beauty' are a result of their efforts in life. Learn to appreciate the efforts, focus on this, and aim at gaining the same skills if you desire.
We are afraid, but darling, we don't need to be. No one can take anything of true value away from us. Whatever she is, you are part of that. We are women; let's stand together.
If your motivation comes from the desire to be better than everyone else you will stand on that podium alone, and hear no applause. You will go home in solitude with your gold medals. On a saturday night you'll be surrounded by those who stare at you, not with love and appreciation rather, with hunger and hopes of taking what you have. When the day comes where someone else takes that spot on top, you will turn around and no one will be at your back. Competition in this way breeds savages, not warriors.
Catch it in it's tracks. Any moments of sorrow or self hate in the face of another's accomplishments, this kind of self bereavement, is born of the habit of making comparisons. It is not the way. Just because her wings were stronger that day does not mean what you did on the ground was less important. We all have roles to play. Some days it isn't our job to bask in the limelight. Some days when it's another's turn to shine on, let your wisdom guide you. Stand in the shadows, in gratitude for the fact that you are here and whoever stands in the light is a show of our potential for greatness; your potential. Applaud your girlfriends, hug them, love them, kiss them. Life is not about getting. Fall in love with the game and not the goals.
At the end of the day, forget what everyone else is doing. Do what you're doing. And when your path crosses with another woman who is successful and gorgeous and any of the other trigger words we've trained ourselves to raise our hackles against, smile. Be joyful for her success. Learn to be happy for what others have in life. Know that we are all in this together. The dandelion does not wilt in the presence of the rose, nor does the rose tell stories of inadequacy at it's inability to take seed like the dandelion.
"A candle does not lose light by lighting another" - Rumi
We are all part of the same tribe. Love one another and we will burn brighter.