Do you know some mean girls? I’m not asking you to think back to high school or junior high; I mean right now. Are you a mean girl? (I’m not excluding guys here, but based on comments, it’s the girls that hang out here at The Littlest Way. If you’re a guy and hang out here, welcome and let me know in the comments.) Back to mean girls…are you wondering how I’m going to work the topic of mean girls into my 31 Days Writing Challenge where I’m reading the book of Sirach? You’ll be surprised…let’s get to it.
We’ve considered quite a few things in the last week like what is a man of understanding and what is religion. I’ve used standing in line at the grocery store for some of those examples. Hey, I write what I know and I know I stand in the line at the grocery store at least a couple of times a week. The grocery store and the inevitable line offer some great opportunities for people watching, soul searching and resolution making…and mean girls, well they seem to come out in the grocery store and checkout line don’t they? All it takes is a slow cashier, out of stock item or wobbly wheeled cart to put a scowl on their face or a hiss on their lips.
Before we start talking about mean girls, tuck this saying away for reference, “Hurt people…hurt people.” I cannot tell you how instrumental those four words have been in my life. That phrase has allowed me to step away from hurtful people in hurtful situations and reassess it for what it really might be…a hurting person lashing out. When I have been able to step back, I could respond with sympathy or empathy or even walk away unruffled. I didn’t have to take it personally because it wasn’t about me.
Back to mean girls. Let’s just bulls-eye it ok…
Mean girls are hurting, maybe so deep they don’t even know where or why. Here’s an example, that, surprise, does not have to do with the grocery store…or even girls.
The end of last year our Great Pyrenees broke her leg. We took her to one vet and they inserted a pin internally, but did not stabilize the leg and pin externally. The result was that the pin just rotated around in her hip until it wore a quarter size hole through the skin…the pin was literally poking out through her hip, just boring a hole. This resulted in multiple vet visits and an eventually change in veterinarians.
One day, as we were trying to get her out of the car for yet another visit, she snapped at me. I’ve got a bunch of kids and I cannot have a dog, a BIG, powerful dog around, who could possibly hurt one of us. Once we got her inside I told the vet what had happened. I also asked if maybe she needed to be put down because I could not risk her snapping at and possibly attacking one of the children.
He assured me she was not snapping at me, she was not a mean dog, she was just scared and in a lot of pain. I’m so glad he could see the situation clearly because I almost needlessly put our dog down. After some pain medication she was almost back to herself and after another surgery to stabilize her leg, she was even better and eventually completely healed and recovered.
The point is, she behaved badly, she acted mean, because she was hurting. How many girls–and by girls I also mean women–are hurting? How many are in so much pain all they can do is lash out. It can be a nasty look, a rudeness about them or even just outright meanness.
How many of these women wake up every morning hating themselves and the life they live? They don’t start the day with positive affirmations…they start and end their days with self hatred. They speak negative words into themselves and their lives and those around them. Have you heard “A thing cannot give that it does not have?” These mean girls can not be nice to themselves…they are surely not going to be nice to you or I.