A while ago I came into contact with a pattern I was not proud of but saw that for years this it played the role of dutiful servant in the name my comfort.
For most of my early adult life, I created relationships with other women who would by & large, only validate me & would rarely challenge me.
Because it was easier & more comfortable.
Because it allowed me a false sense of better-ness or bigger-ness in comparison to other women.
Because of the collective societal patterns that women have inherited around competition, needing to be the best & needing to be the only lion in the pack versus walking proudly among a pack of powerful lionesses (just to name a few).
The ironic piece is that all throughout my early 20’s, I desired powerful female relationships in my life.
I remember vividly when I first came into contact with my Sister, Phoenix Waters.
Her presence expanded my vision of what was possible in female relationships. She set a standard oozing with rawness, power, vulnerability, accountability, deep awareness & a self-approval that I had yet to come into contact with among other women.
Consciously, I declared that I wanted women who intimidated me, forced me to grow, challenged me, communicated directly, called me on my shit, reflected back to me aspects I wasn’t seeing & so forth… conceptually, this all sounded lovely.
What I started to come into contact with was far from my conscious desire. My subconscious wasn’t fully on board with something I consciously felt so ready for? Mmmm, big surprise.
I found myself surrounded, mainly, by women who were intimidated by me & unable to name it. Women who validated parts of me that I can now see were not deserving of validation, but rather were crying out to be compassionately challenged & dismantled. Women who were triggered by me & suppressed them, creating layers of fragmentation that would eventually lead to a piece of them despising me, existing simultaneously with a piece of them loving me. Women who, rather than holding & seeing me in my bigness, saw my presence as competition.
Women who ultimately, allowed me to stay “comfortable” in our relationship.
Once I got really honest & applied the idea that “having is evidence of wanting” to this pattern my vision became much clearer. I was able to see my part in this creation that I had supposedly wanted the opposite of. I was able to see the part of me that thoroughly enjoyed the constant ego feeding you get when you surround yourself with women who consistently validate you. And the part of me who did not want to be confronted with another woman’s fierceness because I knew it was going to require me to show up in a way that scared me.
REAL SISTERS CALL EACH OTHER forward
Lately, I’ve been experiencing magnificent expansion in my relationships. I can attribute this to my willingness to acknowledge the part of me that preferred the more comfortable, less confronting dynamic. Along with my willingness to show up in a different way, for myself & in my relationships.
I’ve started taking ownership of the fragmentation within me from not being honest with myself about my relationships & within the container of those relationships. I’ve fought through the discomfort that arises when naming my experience around insecurities & jealousies to my sisters. I’m starting to speak my part in the unspoken dynamics that so often occur between women: “I’m jealous of your body & your appearance… I was so intimidated by you when we first met… Your power has been shining light on where mine is lacking… I felt competitive with you… I felt hurt by you...” I am lowering the volume on watering down & sugar coating my messages. I’m allowing myself to be challenged & called out by women who I trust to reflect parts to me I may not be seeing. I am cultivating gratitude for the women who are unafraid to compassionately point out my bullshit.
I have a new standard for what it means to be a sister to another woman.
I am no longer at the pseudo-*front* of the pack. I am walking with the pack. I am walking in the pack. When I mess up or fall down I am not falsely validated, I am pushed.
Every day I’m dropping deeper into the understanding that when one woman rises, we all rise. When one woman falls, we all fall.
More & more I’m finding myself surrounded with lionesses. The women showing up in my life are just as, or, even more fiercely devoted to the path of growth & liberation as I am. Women who are unafraid to challenge me because they’d rather catalyze my growth than keep me “safe.” Women who see my authenticity to myself & expansion as paramount to my discomfort. Women who do not dim themselves but stand in their bigness & hold me in mine. Women who also see relationships not as containers that are meant to keep us safe & comfortable, but as spaces for unencumbered growth. There is a shared awareness that when we show up this way for each other, there is SO much more available to us. The level of connection is richer, our intimacy is deeper & there is a level of shared trust that all women are so desperately craving to have with one another.
Now, I can see that all along this was something I was so hungry for but was unwilling to feed myself with. This is something my conscious mind fantasized about but my subconscious feared.