“You can always tell who the strong women are. They are the ones building each other up instead tearing each other down.”-Unknown
It is funny to use the word sisterhood, as I grew up an only child. I also have a very challenging and strained relationship with my own mom. But I was lucky enough to have several unique experiences with so many incredible women along the way that I am able to call so many women my sisters. From the women who stepped in as second moms, to the girls I’ve known since I was in grade school, to the teachers who believed in me always, the sisterhood has had my back.
Last week, I spent two days with my female sisterhood from work at a Women’s Mentoring Offsite. We have been grouped together throughout the past four years to transfer our knowledge and support one another on our career journeys. We also look to create unique opportunities for Women in Business throughout our geographical footprint. I could have never imagined the actual transformations that have occurred to all of us as an active sorority during that timeframe.
Last year at our retreat, during a session where we were to bear some of the exhausting challenges we carry with us day in and day out, miraculous bonding ensued. One of the sessions that truly blew my mind proved to me how hard women are on themselves in general. So many of us, who are relatively hugely accomplished, constantly heard voices inside our heads telling us that none of it was good enough. We were always limiting our own potential and talking ourselves out of fantastic opportunities.
Last week, we bared even more of our souls because of the unique trust bonds that we have created. Some of us carry secrets because we believe the world might not embrace our true selves. Some of us carry guilt, remorse and even shame as we try to move forward in this challenge of everyday life. But to each of those threats we all responded with open arms and strong shoulders. When we sit amongst each other, we speak of nothing but support and encouragement. We put out our hands and say, “I’m with you no matter what happens. You can count on me always.” We can say anything within those four walls and not be judged; we can fall and be caught.
All of us felt a surge of pure empowerment as we left those meeting rooms, as though we could actually take on the world. There are so many daunting issues that women face worldwide right now. But when we join hands, we can unite, and take them all on. It’s up to us, and I have learned, year after year, that we are more than capable, even if we don’t always believe it.
“Still I rise” – Maya Angelou