Whether you’re a Baby Boomer or part of Generation X or Y, a hipster or a country girl, we’ve got this much in common: We need our fellow women friends as much as the air we breathe. In fact, sometimes it is our oxygen.
Consider for a moment the number of conversations that we share — in our living rooms, over our phones, at gatherings or as we bump into each other with arms full of groceries and baby gear, while we’re fumbling for our keys.
These moments, no matter how fleeting, matter. A lot. It’s within these exchanges that we look for the validation that we are relevant and understood — and that we’re in this together. And, even more so, we’re looking for the encouragement to keep going.
Because there is a bevy of reasons that perhaps we should give up. Like being weary to the bone, or bumping up against strong resistance, or experiencing a seriously bad break that makes us ache more deeply than words can possibly convey.
And maybe it’s not giving up the big stuff, although sometimes it is. (And then, we need to be pulled back with the fortitude of fierce, sisterly love.)
More often, it’s the temptation to give up on the belief that what we’re up to — the idea brewing within us — matters and that the dreams that tug at our heart are worthy of our holding and pursuit.
We may try to pretend that we’re ok on our own, or that we don’t really need much from each other. But the truth is: we do. And we can’t separate ourselves from each other, no matter how we may try.
And so, it would behoove all of us to take down our guards, and let each other in. To reveal how we really are, when we’d rather pass along a quick good or fine or busy.
And we need to pay attention to each other — to see what is being shown to us and, sometimes, what’s not. We need to be brave enough to ask what’s beneath the surface when something within us is stirred – and we sense we’re not hearing the real truth.
Because it takes courage not only to speak the truth, but also to invite the truth into the room.
And while sometimes a little self-deprecation can be amusing, we are not doing ourselves any favors by diminishing or downplaying our inner beauty and brilliance. We do not need any disclaimers. The more we reveal and celebrate the best of who we are — and the light within us — the more we invite each other to do the same.
The world needs our brightest lights.
So let’s not stand at the doorstep of each other’s happiness and refuse to go in. Jealousy is rooted in the belief that there isn’t enough for us. When our friend’s bowl is overflowing, let’s join her in the feast.
There is enough.
We need more celebrating of each other’s goodness and more having each other’s backs. And sometimes that means going out of the way to help each other take that step or leap that seems both terrifying and exciting.
Because once we get to the edge, we will likely want to turn back. And its then that we need our tribe standing behind us – cheering us on and reminding us of how strong and resilient we really are.
And please, we all know that if we’re talking about the friend who’s not in the room, our friends are talking about us, too. Even more than undermining the feeling of safety and trust, it sidesteps the braver thing to do: to tell each other how we’re affected by each other’s actions and, when necessary, to seek reparation to the relationship. If we’re not willing to do that, then we must choose to let it go.
We all make mistakes. We will fail and disappoint each other at times. And we can choose to grasp on tightly to the injustice, or we can choose to forgive and move on.
Because we are a team – and, even beyond our own tribe, there is a universal team of woman-hood. Whether we’re singletons, divorcees, tiger moms or what not, we are all a part of it. And when we spend our time together criticizing the others, we further divide the already fragmented culture in which we live, which only fuels the insecurities among us all.
And we don’t need any more insecurity within our sisterhood.
What we need is each other – and a connection that helps us rise above the fray of our everyday lives – and dare to dream our most beautiful dreams.
And the dream begins here.
So next time you are in the company of your girlfriends, I dare you to be braver – to let your guard down, reveal more of the truth, and invite a deeper connection.
You deserve it.
And in the meantime, join the movement of women growing their brave and expanding their worlds, one dare at a time. – #52DareChallenge.
Erin Dullea is an internationally certified coach, writer and mom. She’s on a mission to inspire and unite women as they playfully and powerfully take on their worlds. Read more about her and the #52DareChallenge at www.52dares.com. You can follow Erin on Twitter @erincoach and join the 52Dares community at www.facebook.com/52dares.