A word long lost in our isolating culture. As a society, we insist being independent and segregated from one another as something to aspire to, only to leave us defenseless to life’s challenges and trials. Sadly, the false illusion that independence is strength is ingrained in women.
In ancient (biblical) times women had strong bonds. They washed clothes together, bathed their children and themselves at the same watering hole together, they ground grain, baked, weaved, attended each other births and care for one another during the postpartum. They celebrated their joys and mourned their losses all together. In some cultures, they nurse each other’s babies and spend menstruation together in a “red tent”. They shared LIFE multiple times on a daily basis. Jealousy and comparison were the exception, rather than the social norm.
Moving into the industrial age with many modern conveniences, although thought to be a good thing, has cost us much more than money. They cost us community with other women. In the 1800’s- mid 1900’s, women tried to restore sisterhood through organized clubs like quilting groups, book clubs, church socials, etc. Yet, there was still a lack of vulnerability and soul-connection through the generations. Moving toward the new century there was an increase of women working full time outside the home and kids participating in multiple organized activities outside the home. The home ceased to be the safe haven, but a place to crash and leave in the wake of a chaotic schedule, (that’s another blog). This chaos caused many women to shift into survival mode, drowning in a sea of endless busyness, which often leads to depression. In our current state of life, we have 12 million women in the US experiencing clinical depression each year. One out of eight women will experience depression in her lifetime. Depression in the US occurs more frequently between ages 25-44. After giving birth women are six times more likely to commit suicide in the first year. This is a steep price to pay for the “American Dream”.
How do we battle isolation and the false illusions of great independence? We have to intentionally create sisterhood. I have the wonderful privilege of having a virtual and local sisterhood full of insight and wisdom. A virtual tribe is mostly created around like-minded groups in social media and though it’s amazing, it has is limits with in-person connection. Local sisterhood is more of a struggle to create. I would like to share about two women in which I share a special soul-connection with. I met these women at different times through birth work. I have had the honor to walk with these women in trial and triumph. We have wept through the difficult stuff and laughed with joy on the mountain tops of life. We have shared our dreams into late nights, talking about our unique ideas and passions. We have cheered each other in what comes our way. These women have stood by me during the most difficult and frustrating seasons of my life. Right now, we three are in an especially sacred time of life in which we all will have had babies in 2020. I have the privilege to support these women into their journey of motherhood and them supporting my journey. We have shared in each other’s postpartum, bringing comfort food and conversation to fill the soul.
I share about these sisters for two reasons. First, to express my deepest gratitude for these two amazing women. Next, to paint a picture of how beautiful life can be when we have one another and how we need one another as women, wives and mothers. Sisterhood is a safe guard to help you stay healthy in your whole being. This sisterhood didn’t happen overnight, it started by sharing a common passion and grew by giving of ourselves through life situations. It has taken vulnerability, openness, and unconditional love to grow our initial friendship into a deeper bond.
All women should be able to experience the true support of sisterhood. Sisterhood is an investment into yourself, your families, and others. Our daughters are counting on us to return to sisterhood as natural part of life, so they can see an example of living in community with other women. Find your Sisters. Create those bonds. Share life. Experience Sisterhood.
These photos of us are displaying the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Trimester
Photo credit: Fostering Hearts Photography