Special Guest Post by Author, Nikki Williams-Rucker
It has been almost 4 years since I left my circle of true girlfriends and moved to Georgia. While we try to at least text one another daily and get a phone call in at least monthly, there is nothing like being able to see them face to face. To say I miss them is an understatement. Our dinner dates, trips to the mall, showing up unannounced, and laughter into the wee hours of the night...argghhh my circle is so far away.
Recently I spoke with one of my oldest friends and we were talking about how difficult it is to be married and the challenges that come with it and how there are so many times we feel alone in our issues because we don’t want other people to know we are going through the things we are going through. We laughed, we yelled, we joked about the things we were both going through and when I hung up I felt like I had just left her house. The invaluable advice on how to survive and the confidential ability to release all of the otherwise unspoken emotions that were bottled up in our hearts and minds is truly priceless. When I exhaled and realized my shoulders weren’t as high up as they were before we spoke, it hit me just how important having a safe space of sisterhood truly is.
Historically, women have always had their own “safe space”. Whether they gathered together in fields, at church, behind the house, in the neighborhood bar or even in the bathroom at work, women know how to pull themselves aside and gather. Women are hardwired to be sharers. We tell unnecessarily long stories to one another that inevitably prolong our social visits. We know one another’s up's and downs. We share in the delight of birth and the sadness of death. Even when society attempts to pit us against each other in ridiculous contest of vanity and power, somehow conglomerates of smart women still know how to pull together when it counts. While some may not understand our need together, there are those who truly understand the unbreakable and powerful bound of sisterhood.
So why do we need a safe space?
There is safety in numbers. With more and more women being shamed for their looks or for choices the mainstream might not agree with, we have to have each other’s backs. Victim blaming and rape culture are becoming way too common place for us to not support one another. I mean, most men are not going to do it, so we have to protect ourselves.
To change the narrative. Society wants us to fight each other and buy into the images we see on a lot of reality shows. They want us to believe that women can’t get along because we are too catty or too loud or too jealous or too two-faced. The more we get together , show up and show out, the more we begin to change the narrative and demonstrate to our daughters and little sisters that banning together is the only we control our own story.
The sheer power. Did you know more women entrepreneurs have not seen a huge growth since white women first joined the workforce? More and more sisters have stepped up and stepped out from beneath the glass ceilings of corporate America and are doing their thing. From restaurants and beauty salons to producing movies and writing hit television shows, women are rising to the top. Imagine if we continued to pass down the mantle of self-ownership how powerful our collective female voice can be in changing the face of politics and history.
To heal. The ancestors believed in the healing power of community. When a member of a tribe was sick or in need of care, the entire village often gathered together to keep watch. Someone would go fetch the doctor while another one might tend to the children. The women would often be the first ones at the bedside of a loved one. Together, they would dance or sing or pray. When women gather to touch and agree--healing takes place. There is something endearing and interconnected about our hearts and minds that taps into a different realm of healing power. We know how to change the atmosphere of a room often without saying a word.
Because we can. When all's said and done, when a group of real women gets together, it is just plain old fun. We know how to grab a bottle of wine, kick off our shoes, climb in bed together and laugh until it hurts. We are the best cheerleaders, the fiercest of supporting cast members and the most humble of friends. We love long and hard andknow how to truly be our sister's keeper!
What do you love about your sister circle? Take time to share with me what makes your group of friends so dope!
Thanks for reading!