How many times during the last few weeks did you say, “What a bitch,” perhaps with some flavorful variations?
The gal on the treadmill next to you surpassed your speed effortlessly—What a bitch! A woman’s cart in the grocery store rammed into yours—What a bitch! A trusted co-worker took full credit for a collaborative project you were largely involved in—What a bitch! The resentful demoness, whose main life-mission it seems, is to make your life hell—What a royal bitch!
I must admit, this phrase has played upon both my private thoughts as well as my mouth all too often. And it’s alarming; writing this acid-laced word multiple times shines a shameful light on the sheer ugliness of the habit.
So for the sake of gently exploring this undesirable trait, let’s call the social phenomenon, “WAB.” The word itself is has been used for centuries, as a vulgar and degrading insult particularly to women.
Unless you’re saying with love, “Damn, you’re one strong bitch,” it generally denotes an unkind expression toward our fellow females.
I don’t think I’m alone in saying that this habit doesn’t imbue much inner peace when fed.
I’ve noticed, with head hung low, that there are three main types of occasions where I have bestowed my unabashed catch-phrase, “WAB.”
One: when I am flat-out envious of another female.
Two. when I simply don’t understand why someone has done something that negatively impacted my life—big or small.
Three: when someone has presumably brought intentional harm to my life or to those I love.
I think a little reflection and subsequent self-improvement is in order. Shame, shame, I definitely know my name.
I recently wrote an article exploring the core of my envy-struggles. We see something we wish for ourselves and rather than feel inspired, we subconsciously give way to an insecure-laden onslaught of ill will.
That woman on flying on the treadmill could have just battled cancer. Or maybe the hottie proudly wearing a tight red mini could have just lost 50 postpartum pounds.
Notes to self: Cheer my fellow sisters on, revel in my own accomplishments and admire with awe, women with hard-earned confidence. Replace, WAB, with “GFH”—Good For Her!
There are times I can’t wrap my head around someone’s words or actions. In my naturally defensive state, I tend to wash the unknowing away with a catty session of WAB.
The complete stranger wielding her shopping cart like a military tank could be experiencing personal difficulties I couldn’t even fathom. That trusted co-worker could be desperately trying to climb the ladder, never meaning to discredit my own contributions.
Not everything revolves around my pretty little self. I am humbly recalling something about shoes, walking and miles.
Notes to self: Be more aware, be more compassionate and be more loving. Replace, WAB with “BOTD”— Benefit Of The Doubt.
Somewhat Justified Retribution—
One specific woman that comes to mind quicker than I’d prefer is my husband’s ex. For years, nine to be exact, I have allowed her to wreak colossal havoc on my marriage, my sanity and my children. Keyword being: allowed.
Yes, she was your typical angry ex-wife, intent on the dissolution of our relationships, privacy, peace and character. However, in retrospect, most of this could have been controlled, if not altogether avoided, had I not tried to control in the first place. We can’t control the possibility of being hurt—whether it’s someone’s simple inconsideration or their calculated barrage of maliciousness.
However we can choose how to react. We can bitterly retaliate or we can rise above the storm in peaceful silence.
Add to this a dash of compassionate, “We-never-know-the-meaning-behind-their-mistreatment.” Behind this woman’s actions could have been a protective mama bear, doing what she thought was best for herself and by extension, her children.
Large note to self: Replace WAB with “LIG”—Let it Go.
So if I happen upon my husband’s ex, dressed in a blazing red mini, as she rams her cart into mine at the grocery, I will breathe in deeply, take a swim in my inner lake of peace and declare, “WABD”—
What a Beautiful Day!
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Assistant Editor: Renée Claude/Editor: Catherine Monkman