I took another one of those personality tests yesterday. One of the things it told me was that my personality type cannot abide drama. It’s true. If you need attention or you’ll die, I am not your best bet for longevity.
If I watched reality TV shows, I would be the crazy woman screaming “Get a life!”at every single contestant who ever whined about all her UNBEARABLE EMOTIONAL STRESS while choosing to put all the things on national TV.
A good listener when life is legit hard? I’m there for you. Someone to help you figure a way out of your hurt? I’m your girl. A shoulder to cry on when heartbreak is real, no matter how small? I’ve got two.
But little darlin, if you’re the reason for your own issues and you have no intention of owning it but want everyone else to hear? Sorry, going to voicemail.
What does this have to do with the current blog topic, the lies we tell girls?
Drama Is a Big Fat Lie
Because one of the lies we tell girls is that Emotions R Us. We are free, no encouraged, to be ruled by the way we feel because we are women, and women feel.
Feelings are good. Necessary. Vital in a world that too often connects what is expedient to what is right. Bringing empathy into the game and tempering practicality with compassion is a specialty we dare not live without.
But girls, we are not created to be drama queens. I don’t care if The Bachelor and all the Kardashians on the planet told you so. Here’s a shocker–they lied.
Drama Is Tempting
I know how hard it is. I failed at this as a parent. Spectacularly. I ranted and raved and assured my offspring that the world was colossally unfair when bad things happened to them. I blamed heaven and earth and everything in between. I pitched reality-TV-worthy fits when the other girls laughed at my kid’s outfit or the teacher didn’t believe she had turned in her paper.
I probably did similar things for myself before becoming a parent, but not on that scale. Something about giving birth turns mild-mannered women into roller derby queens in our heads. We are ready to rumble.
You know what? All that drama didn’t make the world fair. It only made it way more confusing.
Standing against the lie of women as emotional train wrecks means teaching girls what they can let go, forgive, and learn from. It means forgiving and letting go ourselves. Yes, even when Katie McKateface tells our darling she’s not cool enough to sit with her on the field trip.
Let’s be honest–most of the things we get annoyed and offended over don’t matter. The sharp word in that email. The comment on Facebook we didn’t agree with. The guy who cut us off in the grocery line or the outfit you can’t believe that girl is wearing. Minor stuff when stacked up against, say, world hunger.
Other things are tougher. The coach who treats your daughter unfairly. The other girl who refuses to let her sit at the lunch table. The play director who picked her daughter to be Orphan Annie while yours gets the hard knock life of child #5 in the chorus.
These are harder, because they stir up the crusader for truth and justice in all of us. But pause a minute. Are they really things we want to teach our girls are worth the fight? Do we want to instill in them the belief that personal drama is their female forte? Do we want to cheapen their purpose so much that we refuse to point them toward the things that they should be getting their battle armor on for?
Here’s the thing. If we don’t let these things go—if we get hung up on the small injustices and the personal slights? We’re teaching girls that these are the battles that matter. Our culture already tells them that their emotions have to rule them. The media they see every day informs them that getting caught up in drama is what girls are all about.
Is it? Or can we give them a different narrative?
Girls have power. Let them unleash it on what matters.
What Does Matter?
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly
and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6.8)
Girls are capable of caring about so much more. They don’t have to dwell on drama. No matter how much their culture assures them that they must be driven by their emotions, they should give vent to everything they feel, and their feelings are to be unquestioned, we can tell them a different story.
Courageous girls fight for what matters, not what gets them mad. Courageous girls seek justice for those who can’t, not for whatever makes them feel life is unfair.
Courageous girls know their feelings are powerful, and so they reserve them for the holy things of justice, mercy, and humility.
Let’s teach our girls the good side of emotion. Let’s show them how to use their passions for hope and not harm.
It starts with hugging our babies a little tighter when the mean girls strike. Then resisting the urge to call their moms and raise hades. Looking our girl in the eye and telling her she has the love in Jesus to forgive. She has the identity in Jesus to know a chosen, beloved, carefully-created child can never be the awful things the other girls say she is. She has the power in Jesus to go back and hold her head up.
She has the strength in Jesus to choose something important to put her energies toward –and to batter the gates of hell until she succeeds.