I haven’t always felt supported, held, and treasured by other women like I do now. I haven’t always felt that I belonged. Until almost a decade ago, I kept a “safe” distance from the more vulnerable ways of connecting with women, mothers and non-mothers alike. Sure, we’d swap childcare and empathize about the chaos of raising kids and the challenges of marriage. Occasionally, I’d even ask for help when life felt especially hard.
But for a long time, I kept my heart guarded. It simply felt too risky to open up about how I really felt, explore what I really needed, or share what I dreamed of beyond the more practical, everyday realms of motherhood and domesticity. I now realize that in my effort to stay safe, I was actually starving my soul.
Thankfully, my life looks and feels radically different (and so much richer) today. I cry on the shoulders of my girlfriends unashamedly, share my heart’s deepest pain and longings, and explore the vulnerable, tender places within me all the time.
I don’t actually know how I would have survived the past years of my life without this depth of connection. I now realize that it’s not actually possible to be my best, most empowered, most fulfilled self without these rich, nourishing, and nurturing relationships.
Safe, soulful sisterhood is the foundation of my well-being. It’s the log on my soul fire that burns most slowly, steadily, and brightly.
How did I make the leap? How did I begin connecting more deeply and opening up to other women? In small, courageous, some- times uncomfortable steps …
I joined a knitting group, where deep conversation was the norm.
I joined a rowing team and made sure to connect with women who interested me.
I started taking African dance classes and pushed through the utter discomfort I felt in the beginning.
I went on my first retreat and practiced being vulnerable with people I may or may never see again.
I dared to share my stories and heart with those who showed up for me consistently, and I eventually learned that many women could be trusted.
Every time I did something courageous, my life got a little richer. I soon learned that vulnerability served a very important purpose for me. It was the gateway into the life I really wanted.
What’s one small, courageous thing you might dare to do today?
Cheering you on,