a small group of people, with shared interests or other features in common, who spend time together and do not readily allow others to join them.
Finding your tribe is a very popular saying these days. “Every girl needs her tribe!” “I survive with my tribe.” “YOLO with my TRIBE!” But what’s been interesting to me lately is how we CHOOSE that tribe. We choose people like us to be in our tribes, people we relate to, people who feel the same way we do about things or people who don’t judge us for well, being ourselves. But seriously, are we in 8th grade? As Kennedy gets older and more involved in school and outside of school activities, I’m realizing that the whole cliques thing we dealt with in high school is still running rampant in my 30’s. My husband told me that there’s a psychological element to that actually. He said since cavemen, we innately move towards people or things we can relate to, and instinctually feel threatened by things or people that we perceive as NOT like us. I’m preaching this to myself, guys. I am queen of deciding almost immediately if I can relate to someone or not, and if I want them in my “tribe.” But here’s my pledge, because I want to grow as a woman, as a friend, as a mom, and as a Christ-follower – so help me, and all of woman-kind for that matter by pledging these with me….
Stop being threatened by people who are different than you. I think it goes back to insecurity for me. If someone is different, then I automatically assume they are judging me or think I’m wrong because I do things differently. It all goes back to the comparison trap. I think a large component around being cliquey or not including is out of our own insecurity. We feel safe in our clique where everyone else is just like us. We feel safe in numbers and safe in our judgement of people outside our own tribes. But we’re adults here, and we want to set a good example for our kids too, so let’s pray that God helps us be confident in who He made us to be, and walk in that. Once we stop focusing so much on ourselves, once we stop focusing so much on ME, ME, ME, then it frees us up to LOVE others more freely. When our focus is off of ourselves, protecting ourselves or comparing, then we can truly find connection with other women, and real connection brings real joy.
Stop the Judgement. Stop snap-judging, and start snap-supporting. At the end of the day every woman needs a tribe, every woman needs some ladies in her life to vent to, get support from or just have adult conversations with. We would DIE (probably in a pile of laundry) if we didn’t have it. So instead of focusing on the difference or finding security (in our own insecurity) by being in the “in-clique”, let’s instead work on including those drowning moms, those moms that look too tired to make the effort of talking in the school drop off line. And while we’re at it, be the woman that’s confident enough in herself to not gossip. Let’s make a girl pact today to encourage and build up instead of gossiping and bringing her women down to make ourselves feel better.
Be Authentically You. If we can’t be ourselves, then we’ll never truly have any kind of real or deep connection with anyone else. Also, if we’re always trying to act like we’ve got it all together, then we’ll never relate to anyone else because we all know inside how very flawed and “not-together” we truly are. I’m not saying throw yourself a negative pity party everywhere you go. I’m saying be you, be real, if you’re struggling, say it. If you’re celebrating small victories, say it! We’ve all been there and authenticity breeds connection, and at the end of the day, connection to other women is what we truly need to get through this crazy life.
The Comparison Trap is fo’ real. My pastor recently said, “Comparison kills.” When we go down that road of comparison we are left to either feel puffed up and “better” than or insecure and less than. Neither are how God meant us to be with ourselves or one another. When we start to compare, we’re comparing what we know about ourselves to someone else’s highlight reel, and that always ends badly. Also, we think what that other person has is better, but we don’t know what they’re walking through or what they had to go through to get it. Getting that one thing, or becoming better in that one area WILL NOT finally satisfy us. We’ll always be left wanting and comparing if we live in this trap. But, if we decide to love ourselves, flaws and all, and to praise others for their strengths too, we’ll ultimately be happier and more satisfied (and have more friends too).
So with all of that said, I’ll need the reminder too! Every time I go on Instagram I feel the comparisons start to roll in. Every time I meet new people I feel the urge to accept or decide they aren’t in MY tribe inner dialogue loud and clear. But, ladies, let’s set an example for our kids. Let’s choose to include, choose to love even the different moms, choose to not focus on our differences or compare, but to focus on what we have in common (I promise you can find something if you try). Then, we can celebrate our differences and learn and grow together! I’m going to step out of my comfort zone too and choose to include and branch out and CELEBRATE differences instead of close myself off to only those I know are like me. Cheers to a new, better, more loving, and open TRIBE!