My journey from feeling scared and threatened by women to embracing women as sisters has been a rocky one. I don’t know if it began when I realised I couldn’t trust my mother to have my back or having her listen to me without shaming my thoughts and dreams…or when I found myself in a tumultuous relationship with a womanizer that left me isolated, seeing women as a threat instead of seeing this man as the threat to my otherwise beautiful life!
Women throughout the ages have feared other women in order to survive. Maybe we still feel we must get and keep the attention of a male for protection and survival. To keep this attention, we might be on guard from other women getting this attention or even worse, this woman might try to get the attention of our man…which could leave us out in the cold, oh the horror of that!
And what woman has not been a target of a real mean Mean Girl? This girl was often the popular girl in school or at work and it was devastating to be shunned by her or her friends. Or maybe we ourselves was that Mean Girl…watching over our position by backstabbing other girls and spreading false rumours about them.
To belong to a group of girls, especially in our developing years when all we want is to belong and be accepted (powerful psychological needs), can sometimes drive us girls to become real ‘bitches’ or be at the receiving end of one. Bitchy behaviour is even portrayed in movies and TV series as something normal and almost glorified!
Luckily, my school years were graced by being in the most wonderful group of fun and kind girls. To this day I am still in contact with these now fun and kind women! I can’t recall any of those mean girl behaviours going on in those years, but I do know many women who were and are deeply scarred from nasty encounters with Mean Girls. I did meet some later on in life though and can testify to the damaging effects of those experiences.
Whatever the reasons behind my fear and distrust of women, I found the medicine to cure myself of this unfortunate ailment was to begin to really embrace other women – despite a lot of inner resistance.
It began when I found myself in a self-inflicted girlfriend drought. I began to miss what I know to be the truth about women – women are fantastic collaborators and great allies. They are nurturing and nourishing to be around.
Basking in the glow of other women’s successes and brilliance made me shine brighter in every area of my life, not dimmer and weaker. Maybe the real medicine for me was to practice self-love and developing a deep feeling of being enough just as I am.
What inspired me to write about this was an article I read about the value of Sisterhood by Lynne Twist (co-founder of Pachamama Alliance and founder of Soul of Money Institute and an oh-so-wonderful and gifted woman).
In the article she describes backstabbing, gossip, envy, and jealousy between women as shadow aspects of female behaviour. In other words, not our true nature as women. If we can heal this shadow, we can re-connect to what Lynne describes ‘the strongest network in the universe’, the true power of the feminine to connect and collaborate. This of course would not just benefit ourselves or our small group of friends but imagine – the whole world!
If we find that we sometimes envy other women or see them as a threat, there are ways to heal that wound.
We can practice self-love and a deep appreciation for ourselves, no matter where we are at.
We can see other women through a lens of love, wherever they are at.
We can encourage our women friends or women in general to shine in all their gifts and in all their beauty.
We can encourage women to grab fantastic opportunities that will create bigger and bolder lives for them.
We can practice feeling happy for another woman’s happiness, knowing that her happiness will rub off on us as well.
If a woman we know has everything we want, we can practice a genuine heartfelt joy for her and tell her how amazing we think her life is.
If a woman we know has a great talent we can compliment her for this and encourage her to gift the world in some way with her talent.
We can take a woman’s hand and bring her in to inclusion.
If a woman friend puts herself down, we can call her out on this and encourage her to step into her feminine power where she can thrive.
If we are about to say something bitchy about another woman, we can stop and change the sentence to highlight something positive about her instead.
If we feel threatened by another woman we can take a deep breath and make room for her and her awesomeness in our life.
And so on…
Lynne Twist highlights the strengths of bonded sisterhood as ‘a generating force of increased resources of connection and resilience’ that can have us thrive together and flourish together. This will benefit not just women but whole societies.
This appeals greatly to me and maybe to you as well – A better world based on connection, not separation. A more fulfilling life, seeing others through a lens of love instead through a lens of fear.
One of my ways of practicing this now is to interview amazing, beautiful, creative, and downright awesome women where they can shine and stand in their feminine power and their open vulnerability. These women are not unattainable super women, they are just like you and me.
If basking in another woman’s radiance inspires you, you can read the interviews here.
As I write this, I feel a warm glow in my heart. I hope you do as well. May you be inspired to love and appreciate the women in your life even more.
PS – I love men a lot and I am not dismissing them! We need each other and we need all of us bonded and connected for a better world. The power of the feminine is such that it generates. We can start by being the best sister to another sister that we can be. The rest will surely follow!
Photo credit – Cover photo Vonecia Carsewell, Whispering Girls Vitolda Klein, Laughing Women and Hands Pricilla Du Preez.
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