In the past week, I have been delving upon the topic of sisterhood.
After moving countries 3 times in the past 2 and a half years, it is fair to say that my female friendships have been shifting around a little.
Before this, I had been living in the same country for almost six years. By then, I had a solid network of female friends around me. Yet, in many ways, I could not appreciate the love that these women brought to my life.
I was carrying decades of social conditioning, which makes us think that we cannot love the women in our lives as profoundly as we do.
This catty, jealous and full of gossip depiction of women friendships always had me in a state of confusion. I knew in my core I did not feel that way. Yet, my surroundings were full of examples of those stereotypes.
As I moved to new countries, my limiting beliefs around women friendships began to change.
First, because my longstanding friends were physically distant from me, I started to feel a true sense of longing. As a result, I realized how central the love of my female friends had been and still was.
Second, I began to form new female friendships. When doing so, I was welcomed with open arms. It further supported my new belief: these relationships can be nourishing!
Today, I recognize that my female friends are central to who I am. They play a key role in my life that no partner or family member could take.
They are my chosen sisters. They make me feel seen, understood and held. They display unconditional love towards me.
I feel very grateful to have found a sense of sisterhood, a sense of unconditional love, in my life. Yet, the more I ponder on this topic, the more I realize that this term must be expanded beyond our immediate circle.
To me, real sisterhood is demonstrating love and acceptance towards every single woman that crosses our path.
If we watch ourselves throughout our days, it is likely that we subconsciously judge other women. We may diminish strangers for their clothes, criticize someone we know for their decisions, or gossip about someone we saw on Instagram.
It is quite normal for us to do this. Yet, the frequency of it does not make it right. Ultimately, we may not agree or befriend them, but is not our place to judge.
Most importantly, if we truly want to see women rise, lead and express their truth, we must accept everyone as they are. We must stand together, or neither of us will get anywhere.
Personally, I have been on the lookout for these moments of judgement. When I catch myself, I ponder: what about her is making me feel insecure? It usually relates back to an aspect of myself that I have not fully embraced. Once I find the area where I struggle, I send myself love. I instantly feel more compassion towards myself and the person that I initially judged.
In conclusion, it is time for us to expand this sense of sisterhood, or unconditional love, beyond our immediate circle. Catching ourselves in judgement and cultivating love, for ourselves and others, is one way forward.
Are you with me?
Originally published at medium.com