3348176-african-women-have-fun-dancing-on-a-white-backgroundInspirations from the book, “Women Who Run With The Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes:

Women are like wolves in many ways, they are fierce, they are communal and like wolves, women should run in packs.

I am blown away to realize how many women try to navigate through life as a lone wolf; and many women don’t realize they are lone wolves.   I can’t imagine such a life, being out here in this world without the support of my friends, my Sisterhood.  Many of these women tell themselves they have friends.  But what they have are surface relationships at best.  This occurs either because the woman has not taken the time to choose the right friends.  Or she may have incredible friends with whom she hasn’t taken the time and interest to develop with them authentic connections, sincere relations, bonding that runs deep. Consequently, this woman will have shallow relationships, relationships that are unable to support her.

When a woman only has surface relationships with others, she has decided on some level to only reveal her public self.  She is secretive and closed and some times she even lies about who she is.  These lies are not only to others but she lies to herself.  But in order to have formidable relationships with other women, the relating must penetrate the surface and be sincere.  You must be willing to be open, to reveal yourself, to be truly seen, warts and all and to be truthful.  You have to be willing to let them see you weak, see you cry, I mean the kind of crying that comes from the heart, snot and all.  And of course, you must be discerning, because not everyone deserves this place in your life.

When you find your pack, those women will not forsake you because of your faults, or seeming failures (read, life lessons). They will support you all the more when you’re down and out.  They will help you see and navigate life challenges and will be there to celebrate your victories.  They will tell you the truth about yourself.  You must be willing to listen, to be vulnerable, and willing to be honest about who you truly are.  Otherwise, you have no pack and you are prey for the slings and arrows of life.  Without your Sisters, your pack, life and its challenges can take you down.  When you have a pack though, they will be there to nurture you, nurse you back to wholeness and help you back to the fullness of you.

I was once a member of an African religious organization.  And as such, I developed life-long relationships with my friends, with Sisters.  At any time, at any hour, no matter what I need, those  women are there for me and I am there for them.  If I’m sick, they bring over remedies.  They go shopping for the natural remedies we all know to take, they will sit and hold my hand literally and figuratively.  They will have conversation after conversation on the same topic, ad-nauseam, until I am healed or complete on the matter.  When I go out of town, my Sisterfriends water my garden, take care of my cats, and watch my home for me.  They have loaned me large sums of money to keep my business afloat.  When I have had trauma in my life, they are there.  They come over and sit with me, be with me. They do rituals (prayers, meditation) for and with me.  They consult the oracles with and for me.  I have an incredible, formidable pack of Sisters that I run with.  Though I never belonged to one, it is the one reason I believe in sororities.  It is a structured way of women building women and creating sisterhood.

Your sisters are with you when you have a man or partner and when you do not.  They are there when you meet them…boyfriends, lovers, partners, husbands and they are they when those partnerships are floundering, when they leave, in life or when they are deceased. Your sisters, your pack, will be with you through the thick and the thin.

What I’m talking about here are relationships that run deep because you are willing to be true, not only to yourself, to and with others.  And this is critical.  People know when you’re really sharing yourself and when you are not.   It is also reciprocal and no one’s keeping tally of who gave what, when, and how and how much is owed, it’s not transactional.  NO!  It’s love, it’s care, it is extended family or in some cases, your surrogate family.  That is what your sisters should be for you.  They don’t compete with you.  They are not secretly or openly envious of your accomplishments.  They root for you and cheer you on.  Your happiness is their happiness.

It is your responsibility to take care of yourself in this way.  To make real connections, deep connections that support you and in tandem you support them.  If you don’t have a real pack, true sister-friends, I suggest that you put this on the top of your list of what you must do immediately.  In most cases, I imagine that you don’t have to go looking for these Sisters.  They are more than likely already in your life…waiting patiently for you to let them in, for you to be real and open with them.  And all you have to do is reach out, be true to who you are, and for God’s sake, open up!  Open your heart, let them see your shadow side, open your arms, give them a genuine hug, take off your mask and be real.  That hug will hug you back and you can begin life-long, true relations that will only continue, day after day, year after year, and will continue to increase you and them, in every way imaginable. #Sisterhood