I grew up with two older brothers, each with their own way of moving through the world. I always wanted to emulate them in one way or another, and--as little sisters do--became a little tough girl.
As a teenager I like to think I exuded a rough and rebellious exterior and a deep belief that I didn't need anyone. I went through a phase of punching mailboxes and being angry at the world. I smoked cigarettes and hid shots of vodka in my Wendy's sprite cup.
But I wasn't a "bad" kid--or all that tough. I was in show choir, got decent grades, and preferred to sleep in my own bed and write poetry in my journal instead of staying late at the party. I just surrounded myself with a bunch of guys and a few close girlfriends who knew me well enough to call me on my BS and hug me when I needed it most. I love them still.
Growing up without sisters, I navigated the world of girls differently. I always felt one degree off from my girlfriends, even if it was just a misperception. I just wasn't sure how to be comfortable in my own skin sometimes, and looking back I wonder if it was because I didn't always know how to open up to the deeper connection that a sisterhood could bring. I turned to boys for comfort and connection, and well, that didn't always turn out so well...
As an adult I drifted apart from my girlfriends, as many do with the influx of marriages and babies and life. I gained many other girlfriends through work, my kids' friendships, and theatre stuff. I'm grateful for each relationship that ebbs and flows with time and circumstance--each one a source of joy and love.
But it wasn't until this pandemic year that I learned about sisterhood, a circle of women that are more than friends, but builders of a new paradigm. As I build my business, that I've slowly and steadily been working on for the last ten years, I have connected with so many amazing women near and far. In this work, I have had to let down my guard and in turn, realized that the feminine parts of myself have a strength that the false pretense of toughness can't even touch.
Does that make the rebellious teenager me wrong? Nope. Does that diminish the amazing friendships I've had up until now? Absolutely not. Nor does it mean that there isn't a time and place for going it alone.
In Midwest Elevation, we talk about doing the "inner work to see the outer change," and it's true that so much of our growth depends upon doing the work ourselves. But that doesn't mean we have to do it alone.
In fact, what I am learning most from my sisters in business, is that we are truly reflections of one another, and those mirrors are vital to be able to see ourselves clearly.
That's what I'm learning about true sisterhood. It means we get to show up as our truest selves, imperfect and raw and seen and understood. There is an open-heartedness and safety within the circle of connections I have made with women around the globe who are doing the work.
Who knew, alone in my room, I'd gather with the women who would help get me through the dark night of our earth's soul.
So sisters, we continue to gather. We continue to reach our hands out to one another and call in our Light. And more sisters join us, and we are brighter and stronger because of it.
My dear friend and mentor, Sage Lavine, always says, "A rising tide lifts all boats." She is right. For when we steer through these rough waters, we are tethered by the willingness to show up for one another, to breathe into the crisp, wet air, and to lock arms and rise, together.
I love my brothers. I love the toughest parts of me. But the woman I am demands a sisterhood I never knew I needed, until they arrived.