Back in high school & college, and for most of my life, come to think of it, most of my friends were boys. I did have a handful of really close girl friends, but for the most part, I didn't like the way girls treated each other. I hated how catty and mean they were and I never felt like I could trust other girls because I always felt like they were judging me or wanted to hurt me somehow.
So, I found myself much more comfortable as just one of the guys. With guys, I could just be me. It was simpler. I didn't have to pretend to be something or someone I was not. It was far less pressure.
When I turned 30 however, I suddenly had 2 realizations. First, I discovered that I needed waaaaay more shoes in my wardrobe than I had at the time (lol) AND second, I found that I longed to have richer relationships with women in my life, women with whom I felt I could connect on a deeper, soul and spiritual level. I wanted a trustworthy sisterhood, a community of women who would lift each other up, not put each other down.
I hate to say it, but it wasn't until 11 years later, when I finally felt like I found a group of women who were speaking my language, out loud, proud, and unapologetically. AND what was more was that these women were from all walks of life, coming together, from across the globe. They wanted the same things I did and they weren't judging me for it. What a relief to finally know I was not alone in my desires. And to finally have a community to support me in going for my dreams.
Why did it take so long? I think there are a few reasons.
First, I am a bit of an extroverted introvert, so I tend to isolate. And I was always afraid that if I spoke my truth to the women I had in my life, they would reject me or use what I shared of myself against me somehow. (This was all part of my own addiction, conditioning, limiting beliefs, AND also some old wounds that never quite healed from a long time ago, when I was hurt deeply by a group of female friends. Not a coincidence that it happened before high school....)
Second, it wasn't until l turned 40 that I no longer gave a shit about what other people thought of me. It sounds funny, but seriously, it was like a light switch went off. As long as I was worried about what other people thought of me and made their opinions of me more important than my own, I would never be able to open up to receive the closeness I yearned for.
And last but certainly not least, I was finally clear on what I wanted and needed to be happy, to feel successful and fulfilled. I was done living my life to meet the expectations of others. I suddenly stopped being afraid to admit what I really wanted. I stopped making my desires and dreams and goals wrong. And this attracted exactly what, and who, I wanted and needed into my life. I met and hired 2 amazing female coaches that would help me gain clarity, mentor me, and introduce me to the concept of women lifting other women up.
I learned that I no longer needed to dim my light for fear that other people would be blinded by it or or that if I shone to brightly they couldn't. That was nonsense. A rising tide lifts all boats.
Why did I decide to share this story with you today? Of course because I am eternally grateful for the experiences I have had, and for the women I now consider part of my sacred sisterhood, that have brought me to this new moment of clarity.
But also, because I recently had a client of mine tell me that she has a mentor who is not supporting her in shining her light and is using bullying as a tactic to try and motivate her instead.
This makes me furious.
Attention Ladies, Women of the world - hear this. If that's how you roll, you are breaking my heart. Is that how you would want your children to treat each other?
We do not truly succeed - none of us, not man, woman or child - if we harm others to get there. A true success lifts all to a higher plane.
That is all.
Can you relate to any part of this story? Tell me in the comments below.