Here is one definition of sisterhood I found on online:
- A bond between two or more girls, not always related by blood. They always tell the truth, honor each other, and love each other like sisters.”
And here yet another:
- “An association, society, or community of women linked by a common interest.”
Both resonate for me! My personal relationships with women are foundational to my well being. My women friends and I have bonds that bind us in powerful, supportive and enduring ways. I cherish them beyond measure. I know I’m not alone; the precious ways women relate to each other are unique. The sisterhood is singular and special.
My sisterhood friends share much in common: how we think, spend our time and dress and what we value. We are drawn together not only by gender but also by how we live our lives and value skillful and heartfelt communication. I cherish what we have. It fuels my spirit.
When I was in a treatment center the better part of a year for an eating disorder, however, I discovered an equally powerful sisterhood of a different kind.
In treatment, we worked in groups, all women with different manifestations of eating disorder: scarily thin non-eaters, overweight binge eaters and presumed “normal” body types. We each looked different, we dressed differently and we had very different lives outside of treatment. But as I learned well, our problems sprung from the same emotional cloth. We were, down deep, mirrors of one another, a realization that dismantled the delusion our disease was unique to each of us. I learned that this community of women steeped in addiction had curative powers.
Eventually, I surrendered to—and then basked in—the force of my vulnerability, forging a powerful desire to be unmasked and liberated. I became unfettered in sharing how I felt. I saw judgment take leave, replaced by an enduring trust in my new-found soulmates. Often the most troubled times can endow us with penetrating insights and confer lasting gratitude. I would later see my metamorphous captured in the dynamic words of Ai Weiwei, the extraordinary Chinese artist: “Maybe to be powerful is to be fragile.”
Even though our treatment goals were deeply personal to each of us, our collective work found purpose in a unified mission and not individual agendas. The more we suspended superficiality, the more our physical differences melted away and the more successful our work and the more respectful we became of each other. This collective healing became a profound proclamation for the liberating power of community.
It can be difficult to find space where we can trust we will not be judged, where imperfection is not merely accepted but embraced, and where we feel comfortable when exposed. In treatment, I discovered a sisterhood defined by these qualities, a benchmark for a lifetime.
What do you value about sisterhood?[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]