*Hi! If this is your first time reading my thoughts it is worth noting that this particular post is a continuation of a previous post! While probably not completely necessary, I recommend going back to THIS post before continuing*
So. If as woman, we need each other, if we truly need the tribe, then why do we go to such great lengths to compete?
Have you ever stopped to wonder: what do we win by having the nice bag, big house, new car, huge diamond? Does the brand name clothes, fresh mani pedi, perfectly kept hair really say anything about who you are deep inside? Seriously, think about it. Every single one of those things are status symbols. And I’m not so sure that chasing these things does our souls any true good, aside from the way our hairdressers really are underpaid therapists, and nail salons are platforms for our beloved girls day. My point is this… It’s worth digging deep, right here right now, and asking yourself who the heck you’re trying to impress?
These are the thoughts that hit me like a ton of bricks those few years ago. Why would it make me feel crappy to not have a big house or two cars? Why was I letting the joy and accomplishments of my friends secretly resonate with me as a failure on my end? Especially when the reality was that I had so much to celebrate? I soon realized how toxic my desires were, and I had to cut the chord between them and my happiness. I had to see that I was good and loveable just as I was right then. Not as I could or might be.
*Disclaimer: having or desiring material things does not, in my opinion, automatically mean that you are disillusioned or that you need to feel guilty for your accomplishments. It’s just important to me to realize that having these things is not the end all be all. And definitely does not inherently make anyone a better woman.
Here’s what I think. Sisterhood is everything. And your sisters aren’t just connected to you by blood, they are every single woman you cross life paths with. Whether it be for years, or for minutes. Forgetting this doesn’t benefit any of us. Remembering it allows for healing and real change.
Remembering it allows you to walk down to the mailbox or go to Target without that fear we all know we have: what if I see someone I know. Remembering it frees you from the way your mind spirals when your girlfriend asks you to do something you definitely don’t want to do (alternatively it allows you to happily say yes when you truly want to). Remembering it broadens your world in a way that is unmistakable.
Even if you wholeheartedly disagree with almost every part of a certain woman, you can recognize something in her. If you can’t, you probably need to look again.
We are all so incredibly different and none of us will ever walk the same path, but we still have this huge thing in common. It’s our womanhood. When you allow yourself to look past the differences in our paths, when you look past the imperfections… when you look at another woman and see her as someone who is like you even when she’s not, you will you find yourself able to become a “tribe” member, inherently. You will realize that not one of us is living in a fairy tale. You will find yourself unable to judge other women for the things that make them human, and especially things that are related to their body type or style. Because you can see how the “perfect woman” is a standard that certainly no woman created.
Coming to terms with inherent sisterhood has allowed for me to hold less ill will toward women who have hurt me in one way or another, or who I have grown apart from. While we may no longer have the connection we once had, or maybe one of us needed to create a boundary for whatever reason, there’s no need to be mad or hold negativity regarding them because like me, they are just doing their best on the path laid in front of them.
Our attempts to be the perfect version of ourselves in order to fit in is truthfully just an ideal that’s been allowed to live for much too long. And personally, I’m over all of that. There’s still so much to unpack and reassess when it comes to my womanhood, but I know for sure, without a doubt that I believe in women. I’ve seen the way they can overcome abusive relationships and turn around and help other women out of similar situations. I have watched them find sobriety and spend their days at a women’s homeless shelter to pray over the women there. I have seen them fight for their lives against diseases, and go on to provide support and comfort to others who walk that path after them. I have seen them look into their pasts and instead of drowning in the sorrow, they become warriors who will stop at nothing to change the narrative that was their life. I have seen them be cast aside by the very men who made vows about life and death, and find themselves finally able to do the things that set their heart on fire. This is what we are capable of, this is the truth of women.
I’ve had them offer me their bags, hold the door, offer me their seat once they notice the roundness of my belly. I’ve had them tell me I’m doing great, when they notice that familiar look cross my face. I’ve had them encourage me when I express doubt about my competence, about my mothering, about my abilities to express myself as a writer.
In a lot of those instances the very women who, in those moments, leveled with me as a sister, they were strangers to me. That is why I believe in women. And it’s exactly why I find seeing women hate their bodies and belittle themselves for being human, particularly excruciating – we are so much more than that!
It’s because of other women that I find myself inspired every day to do the work of really getting to know myself. It’s because of this that I have faith in my mothering at all. Because I believe in the true ways of women, so I am able to believe in myself.
And friends, I hope that you do too.