I have to say this out loud. I do apologise, this is going to sound like one big gushing love letter… I also don’t think I am the first person to bring this up, but I definitely want to put in my two cents.
For real, though, considering where women were once standing regarding how we treated each other. I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of a generation of women, that have evolved past destroying anything beautiful in the motley of women around them. I am admittedly over the top excited to be one of the ladies geared on building another up. It is a joyous thing to know that my Soul Sisters are within a texts reach. No matter what I need, I have these amazing people there to accept, love and uplift me, and I have the pleasure to do the same for them. Even though the vast majority of my Sisterhood lives nowhere near me, I know they are there… We are a global Sisterhood.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t always this way. By my experience with girls and women, I didn’t trust them, and I spent most of my younger life either taking part in the destruction or hiding from people like them. Truthfully, I don’t think I carried myself as a trustworthy girl, not entirely anyway. I don’t think I was a terrible human, but I know I wasn’t a great one. It is only in the last twenty or so years that I have genuinely developed and built relationships with women, including the deep connection I share with my mother. Sisterhood support is such an essential part of our ability to thrive. I am glad we women finally realise this truth.
I have always had good solid friendships with my guy friends, but that’s different. I say it’s different because I have witnessed and experienced how guys cheer their friends and family on. I have two caring dads (oooh, yes, this girl connects with her dads) and three brothers, each with their quirks and characteristics. They taught me to understand the brotherhood’s camaraderie. The friendships they shared were so full of energy, their connection to their brothers was forged in something bold and courageous. Friends, cousins and brothers were continuously cheering each other on, no matter what they were doing, good or bad! They were a band of brothers, set to live life to its fullest and achieve whatever goal lay ahead. They always have each other’s backs. This is why men seemed to excel so quickly, they had each other to share positive and productive energy. As a result of living in a house full of boys, I had my guy friends. Yes, you guessed it, each of these friends taught me more about being supportive, understanding and genuine. It was a blessing to be accepted and loved and also protected. My guy friends are so special to me, but I am not one of the guys anymore, and when I got married and had children, everything about the friendships I share with guys changed. Not a bad change. I think it might have changed before that, but I know that is when I realised it had changed.
I never knew I wanted that connection with women. I might have tried to avoid it entirely at one stage or another. When I was about eighteen years old, this way of behaving started to change. I began to connect with women on a deeper level. It is almost as if my femininity finally matured enough to accept that women do not always need to compete with one another. Like suddenly, I understood that our diverse natures made us such a powerful part of existence. During significant periods of growth, the women I engaged with were, and still are women I am proud to call Soul Sister. They taught me about self-respect and how to apply respect to others like us. They showed me how to straighten my sisters’ crowns by straightening mine for me. They encouraged me to be myself and to do so bravely. Just a quick search through the years; open a memory box here and memory box there. Without even thinking hard; I can tell you without a doubt, there are a vast number of women that have either held me up or have been held up by me. I love knowing this, and I love that my history has this in it.
I am not entirely sure which part of history decided that women should be suspicious and jealous of each other. Still, I am glad we are getting to a point where that is becoming ancient history. I have a 13-year-old daughter who will grow up one day, and I don’t want her to think that dissolving another person in one’s bitterness and anger is the way to respond to life. I want her to be proud to be a woman, I want her to be a proactive part of the Sister Support network, and I want her to do this confidently. In fact, I’d like both our children (hubby and I have a son too) to be supportive of their family and friends. And I know they will be because they are surrounded by people who proactively build a better world by being better people despite others’ actions. But this is girl talk, and for my girl to be the kind of supportive woman I would like to see her become, I have to be that loving supportive woman. I must surround us with women that seek the same level of peace and joy in their lives.
Fortunately, God saw fit to make sure amazing women would surround me. He blessed me with two inspirational moms (not one, but two incredible women to guide me). I am also the big sister to two remarkable sisters, each with their own beautiful and unique approach to living life. To top that, I have a massive family, with lots of elders to lead us, and cousins to teach us. Over the years, I grew into these connections shared with moms, granny’s, aunties, sisters, cousins, and friends. Life was sneaky, and without me realising it most of the time, I was bonding and learning from the women around me. Slowly, but indeed undoubtedly, one interaction at a time, these connections deepened in ways that changed me at my core. Some were new and still developing. Some were reconnections from before the changes came. I even found myself connecting with people I never thought I would understand. With every day passing, the destructive layers strip away, diminishing the gossiping and halting one another’s hurting. The power of the unkind women is weakening, and lasting bonds are continuously forming as a result. In the previous five years alone, I have seen a dramatic increase in women’s positive attitude toward women. This shift isn’t just happening on social media, I have witnessed it in homes, in families, in friendship circles and within like-minded communities. And this change is having a ripple effect on the society in which we live. In general, we see more emotionally aware people finding their way into the inner circle. It is showing on the outside now.
Women are the gentler by nature, even the tough ones have a softer heart, it’s the way we were created. Our true nature is to nurture, to tend too, to care and to uplift. It is in our DNA. It makes no difference if we are daughters, mothers, wives, girlfriends, friends, partners, teachers, doctors, engineers, scientists, preachers, or athletes. We were created with a purpose, and that purpose is to care. When we are filled with hope and joy, the world celebrates, and the hearts of all are lifted. We are the world’s carers, even when we have to walk in the same streets as generations of men before us (not sexist, just history), and we should be proud of that. When we encourage each other to accept our positions, and placement as something to be admired, suddenly our attitude to ourselves, each other and our world changes on a much deeper level.
This Sisterhood is powerful, haven’t you ever noticed a family’s strength when the women are united? Have you seen what happens when they work together toward the same goal? It’s actually quite beautiful to experience. I know because our family has been learning to do this for generations. Each new generation brings down more of the division walls, and we are laying a new foundation for the way forward. I am not saying women are solely the glue that binds a family. I am definitely not trying to diminish the value of men. I am saying that there is a sense of security that comes with knowing that your sisters are not competing with you. It is encouraging to feel that you belong to a group of people heading in the same direction on all the various playing fields. In the business world and on social media, women promote each other, share each other’s stories, and sing each other’s praises. I see newfound appreciation in all kinds of circles, family, friends, and in chance meetings in between. This sense of belonging and the nurturing environment produce something that will change the world for the better. The only thing left to do is allow it grow and multiply so that when we are weak, we know we can be strong, and when we hurt, we know healing is found with the bonds we formed in our Sisterhood.
I’m blessed to have had such amazing women in my life, women of all walks of life. Women to guide, encourage and protect me, while I do the same for all those around me. I enjoy teaching my daughter, her friends and hopefully others, that being a supportive Soul Sister, is a great blessing and a soul-fulfilling reward.
Theme song: Alyssa Bonagura, singing Andrew Gold’s Thank you for being a friend