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Are you a girl's girl?: Women supporting women is a choice

buzzz worthy. . .

It's International Women's Day I am thinking about sisterhood.  

I hosted my first women's summit 10 years ago. The topic I addressed was the "Spiritual Doula--Expanding the Circle of Sisterhood."  

I found it amusing that God would call me to this particular task because I clicked superbly with men--in fact, more so than with women. Oftentimes, women who did not already know me made assumptions about me and treated me like an outcast.  I was friendly to anyone I'd meet naturally, yet I hesitated to expand my sisterhood circle.  For me, the rejection I'd felt became the reason I obeyed the tug in my spirit and created an event that would address the void in communal interaction among women I perceived.

My heart towards the necessity of having relationships with women changed after I gave birth.

I had a doula for the birth of my first born and it was a wonderful experience.  My doula only attended to my specific needs rather than applying any text book knowledge or wives tales. Whenever there was a problem, she took the time to find the solution that worked for me and only me.   I felt so empowered as she guided me through the process from carrying my baby through labor and delivery.  What was more amazing about my doula was that she was unable to give birth herself.  Because she loved children and thought the formation of life was miraculous and beautiful, she gave out of her lack and tremendous amount of love for women who could produce the thing she desired.  In this regard she was a mother to many.  

Years later  I thought about her and the lesson in her self-less example of womanhood and was somehow reminded of the biblical story of Esther.  I referred to the relationship between Ruth and Esther in my talk as well as my doula who had no idea that through her healing touch, she touched the healer in me. The point of the message was that unity among women was important and having that ONE special friend to help usher in healing, dreams, growth, etc. was a blessing that should not be taken for granted. Like my doula, in presenting the Extreme Makeover for the Woman's Soul/Sisterhood Confidential​ I was giving out of  my needs and desires.   

My sisterhood story is one of joy and pain. I don't have a relationship with my biological sisters, mainly due to time and circumstance. In college I gained a set of new sisters, affectionately known as the "B Posse" and learned from them the meaning of sisterhood. We were together during our formative early adulthood and made some awesome memories together.  What I did not learn from the lecture hall, I learned from spending time with them.   There was a girlfriend drought in my life for several years as the same women who stood beside me at my wedding had moved on -- without me. (I told myself that we'd just grown apart not knowing fully why ties were severed. Perhaps it was single women opting to interact with each other.)  Over time I re-connected with several of them. However, it was in this season of drought that I reminisced over the bond I'd shared with a sense of appreciation.  There is a common saying that applies here: "Some people are in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime."  A friend once stated the same principle differently, telling me, "Some people who start out in the first chapter of your life may not be there by the end of the book and that's okay."  She was right.  I recognize that a story with no other characters in it can be boring so I am thankful for the women who showed up in a few chapters in my book of life and the good and bad times we shared.    I would certainly have an entirely different story if they never showed up.  

No one has to show up for you, really.  We must cherish the genuine women in our lives who are there simply because they love us. Life is too short not to. The "sister" in my life who exemplified being a spiritual doula to the max, Arylette Brown, passed away a year ago. Other than a spousal or parental connection, the connection between girlfriends is special. Fortunately, I was blessed to experience a friendship based on love and common interests. Unfortunately, we had unresolved "sister" business when she died.  It is partially in her memory that I write this today.  Arlie was always supportive.  Being a friend who is committed for the long haul is  a choice.  She was that friend to me and so many others.

The doula,  Arlie and myself all chose sisterhood.  We chose to identify with and being supportive around gender similarities.  By my understanding of support it matters how we treat each other--not just what we can do for each other.  

To this day I have a burden for women everywhere. Sisterhood as I know it in this moment in time is about uniting to the causes that affect women in a more public, global context.   I want passionately for all women to be whole, healthy and free and to be a part of the circle of sisterhood. Expanding that circle with my approach to gatherings has become more challenging over the years as women today have a more independent, individualistic worldview.  Accepting sisterhood in all of its imperfection has allowed me to sift through pettiness and focus on what matters in life.  

Today I send love and positive energy to every woman who has been an unselfish friend, a true spiritual "birthing coach" to the women in your life. #IWD2016