“The best kind of friendships are fierce lady friendships where you aggressively believe in each other, defend each other, and think the other deserves the world”.
So, why are these friendships so hard to find? Why don’t we let other women into that close, tender, vulnerable place, deep in our heart? Why do we see each other with judging eyes and jealous hearts? Is it possible to have relationships with women without constantly comparing ourselves?
I can honestly say that I haven’t met a single woman without at least one sisterhood wound. Whether it’s been 2 days or 20 years of friendship, a break up between friends can be confusing and leave us with deep hurts. If your thinking “that’s not me” right now, you’re lying.
“She stopped liking my photos online, wouldn’t return my calls or text messages. She completely fell off the map with no explanation to be heard”.
Sounds familiar? That is my story.
My story started with being made fun of or made to feel like an outcast by other girls in my younger days, to the competition and cattiness of women as we grew up. In turn, surrounding myself with relationships with men because I understood them more. Men are simple and easy, no drama, no competition, no gossip. My relationships with women were laden with betrayal, backstabbing, disrespect, being used, lied to, rejected or manipulated; Befriended and then tossed aside. These relationships were attached to emotions that I just haven’t fully processed through yet.
In my lifetime I have had female friends who have spoken the words “Nothing you say or do will ever cause me to not want you in my life”, and they have followed that up with actions that reflect their words. This is healthy.
I have known female friends who have judged me harshly when I make a mistake, and then follow that up with demands using language like “owed”, and “expected”. We all know expectations lead to disappointments. This is unhealthy.
I have known women who I don’t speak to for months and months, and when we finally do talk its like nothing has changed. We lift each other up and that unconditional love is definitely felt regardless of the distance, time, or space. This is healthy.
I have had women befriend me and we instantly fell into a loving friendship; to have them drop me like a hat. Not a word spoken. No closure. Nothing. Or women who strongly state they “want to be there for you”, and then when shit gets messy, they run for the hills. This is unhealthy.
These wounds were always hovering just under the surface and so for good reason, our instinct is to protect the deep places of my heart. The women we thought would be our sisters forever turned out to be our biggest heartbreak. What does your story look like?
On the other end of the spectrum we’ve likely all had experiences with true sisterhood, unconditional love, support and kindness; but because of the heavy weight these hurts have on us, we behave in one of the following ways:
1. We trust too much and so we let everyone in and get hurt often
2. We trust too little and let no one in, missing out on what true sisterhood has to offer
3. We surround ourselves with lots of women, but never truly let any in. We look happy on the outside, but feel very alone on the inside
4. We profess sisterhood and unconditional love, but behind the scenes we attack, manipulate, lie & back stab
These are all unhealthy behaviors and ways of thinking, yet the majority of us fall into one of these categories. Again, if your thinking “this isn’t me” your probably not being truly honest with yourself. So then, the question is, why can’t we be real? Why can’t we open up to each other and be vulnerable, share our stories, support each other and communicate our feelings, thoughts, and behaviors in assertive ways? Are we all just crazy? Mentally and emotionally inept? Physically unable?
We can’t because we’ve been protecting ourselves from the very thing we want and need. Sisterhood. The deep truth inside us all is that we desire this connection. The problem is that we treat every woman we meet the same way, through the same lens, and we expect the same treatment from them in return. We then get disappointed and hurt when our expectations aren’t met, or when a woman we thought we could trust behaves badly. We don’t have the ability to judge the levels of intimacy, vulnerability and trust to offer or engage in. We share too much, open up too wide, let the walls down to fast. Thus we suffer more wounds and the cycle continues.
There are a few things we can pay attention to that will help us in discerning whom we can let the walls down with, how much we can share, and who is willing and wanting to know the deep places of our heart.
You can always trust a women for who she is and isn’t based on her actions, words and choices. Ask yourself, do I want to be in a relationship with who she is today? Not who I want her to be, who she could be, or who she presents as or believes herself to be, but who she is this very day. People can and will most definitely change, but we can’t base who a person is by what we expect or assume they may be one day. You’ve heard the saying “love me now or leave me”. It is a choice to love, and so we must decide if this woman is worth it for us to make the choice to truly love her, in all her humanity, and through her brokenness.
Some women you are not meant to be deeply connected with. You can have a good time hanging out with them but don’t mistake that as confirmation to give them access to the deep places of your heart. First and the absolutely most important thing to remember is that you can definitely trust in the Lord to guide you to the women that you are meant to connect with and those that you are meant to steer clear of.
Before we give access to our heart we should use our discernment. Some healthy behaviors to pay attention to in healthy mutual relationships would be:
-there is a mutual respect both in person, and to how she speaks of me to others.
-neither person projects their problems or insecurities onto the other. If an issue is brought up by one person, the other acknowledges and owns their shit
-when a problem is brought up, we listen without blaming or trying to seek fault. We compromise on a solution that deepens the relationship
-you see each other fully in your strengths, and weaknesses, without judgement. If jealousy or envy arises both persons can admit this, and in doing do the relationship is brought closer
-you inspire each other without competition
-you accept all parts of each other, even if some parts drive you crazy
-you are both fully present, even when its hard
When we recognize these healthy and unhealthy behaviors we can then use our discernment in pursuing the relationship or not. Our heart should not judge, but from a place of self-love, distance ourselves from these behaviors; keeping our hearts wide open for the women whom God places in our lives to pursue sisterhood with.
The more we work on our own self-healing, the more we are able to guide our sisters to healing. In a perfect world we would all uplift, love, and be there for one another along our healing journey; because when women lift each other up, incredible things happen. Other women are not our competition, let us stand with them, not against them.
What is your story regarding sisterhood, please share your thoughts and stories below 🙂
Chat soon xo