Submitted by Delaine
Sara looks amazing at age 42. Having recently become a triathlete and dedicated herself to an intense training regime, she has a figure – and a muscle/fat ratio – most of us would give our eye-teeth for.
But Sara is also divorced. And just because of the ‘D’ label, she has had to deal with something most divorced women face : being ‘watched,’ judged and gossiped about by women who are married or have boyfriends.
It wasn’t just the weird vibe and glances she got from two married friends at work. The sting even came from a family member – a married cousin, who dropped condescending comments about her ‘singleness”, her ‘fancy clothes’ and how she goes out “all the time” (which wasn’t true).
But the most hurtful and surprising incident happened with a close girlfriend. Sara and a group of friends had gone camping for the weekend. And when Sara returned from a long mid-day run – sweaty, red-faced and wearing her running gear, her girlfriend’s husband lewdly commented to his wife on Sara’s killer abs and perky breasts. Naturally, Sara’s girlfriend got angry- but not at her rude husband like you’d think. Instead she directed blame at Sara, saying she was deliberately flaunting herself and trying to tease her husband.
Unfortunately, I had an ugly incident occur similar to Sara’s: six months ago, a neighbor friend of mine blindsided me with accusations of wanting to steal her husband and break up her family. Her totally false accusation not only hurt me, it sent me reeling. Is this what I should expect now that I’m a ‘divorcee’? I wondered sadly.
But I gradually came to realize that this ‘confrontation’ wasn’t about me or anything I had done wrong. It was all about my neighbor – her marriage, her sense of self, her insecurities. The same can be said for what happened to Tara: the gossiping, the condescension, the anger, all belonged to them. Sara was just a super easy target because of her beauty – she’d be considered a ‘threat’ even if she were married.
Perhaps you’ve experienced the same ‘watchfulness’, judgment, and gossip towards you since divorcing. Or maybe they only lurk as fears at the back of your mind. Just remember that when or if it happens to you, do not take ownership of other people’s emotional garbage. Their ugly words and actions are meant to serve as mirrors to them and their lives. OUR mirror lesson is to be proud, accepting and loving of who we are, regardless of how others label us or try to bring us down.
Hmmm…that seems to be an ongoing lesson the universe wants to test me on. What about you? Has your backbone gotten straighter and stronger under all that scrutiny, too?
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