by Nicola Humber
Sisterhood is one of the key principles of living UNBOUND.
As UNBOUND women we can often feel different, weird and isolated. The people around us are likely to not quite get us. So we need to find a circle of sisters who are on the same path.
But you may find that you resist coming together with other women. And there is a reason for this. Because from a very young age (and even before that) women are conditioned to believe a concoction of poisonous stories which leave them feeling confused and ambivalent about the idea of sisterhood.
Here are the three main myths that are standing in the way of you connecting with other UNBOUND women.
Myth One: Supporting other women means sacrificing your own needs
This first myth means that many of us have the idea that being within a group of women will drain our energy.
Now I’m sure we’ve all experienced that dynamic in the past, either within a group of friends, at a workshop or course, or even within a Facebook group. You end up feeling like you’re supporting everyone else and receiving nothing back.
Or you spend the whole time listening to other women bitching and complaining about how things are for them, leaving you feeling depleted rather than uplifted.
This can also happen in one-to-one friendships, where you feel like you’re always the one in the supporting role and the relationship has become out of balance.
When I connect with women who are considering stepping into one of my group coaching programs, this is often one of their major concerns.
I get it. Because I’ve always felt more comfortable in one-to-one situations myself. And I know that part of this is the fear that my energy will be diffused by being within a group. (There are also some other, more insidious reasons which I’ll be sharing shortly).
But the truth is that this draining dynamic often arises because of the deeply ingrained belief that most women carry that other’s needs are more important than our own.
As little girls, most of us are brought up to be the nurturers, the caretakers, the ones who look after others. So when we become adults, we continue to take that role in our friendships and other connections.
We sacrifice our own needs to meet the needs of others.
And this plays out in groups of women, over and over again, often leaving individuals within those groups feeling either resentful that they’ve given too much or guilty that they haven’t given enough.
It’s time to shatter that old belief and create a new way of being in community. Because to be amongst sisters, to be seen, heard and recognised for who you truly are, is one of the most healing and transformative experiences there is.
I know you’ve felt that before, that moment when someone TRULY gets you. Often it’s only fleeting, but when it happens, it’s magical, isn’t it?
When a woman gets to share her truth in circle, to be seen and heard as she truly is in that moment, with no justification or modification or adaptation. That is how transformation occurs.
Myth Two: Other women are our competition
The idea that we need to compete with other women is one of the Patriarchy’s most pernicious lies.
From an early age, we receive the mixed messages that although good girls should play nicely, be friendly and look after each other, you also need to watch out because the other girls may be prettier, cleverer, more popular and talented than you.
The media pedals the idea that other women are out to get your man, bitch about you to your friends, take that promotion you’ve been dreaming of, steal your best ideas and slyly put you down behind your back or to your face.
No wonder we get so confused about female friendships!
On one hand we feel a pull to be with other women and on the other we have a fear of being betrayed, or hurt, or abandoned.
So we hold back.
We compare ourselves to others and fall for the bullshit story that if she has more than I must have less.
We’ve been conditioned to pull other women down, rather than to lift them up and celebrate their successes.
But there’s an even more destructive myth that makes it impossible for us to be comfortable in groups of other women.
Myth Three: Being in sisterhood will get me killed
Okay, I know this sounds dramatic. But just think back for a moment. Have you ever been in a group of women and experienced a full body urge to get out and run away?
I know I have. Many times.
And this used to freak me out. I thought there must be something deeply wrong with me.
But then I started to read more about the burning times, the witch trials of the past, when women were tortured and forced to turn against each other in order to save themselves.
Friend against friend.
Sister against sister.
Daughter against mother.
And as I worked on my own intermittent and disproportionate fear of being in circle with women, I recognised that this mortal fear came from a combination of past lives, ancestral and collective wounds.
And because of that you may also be carrying this profound and paralysing fear of coming together with other women.
At deep and subconscious level, the concept of sisterhood feels life-threatentiag.
This is why it’s so incredibly healing and transformative to be in a group with other women, to acknowledge any fears that arise, to recognise the witch wound, and to create a new story about the power of sisterhood.
If this essay resonates with you, please join our WITCH email list by using the forms on this website so we can stay in touch.
About the Author:
Nicola Humber is an Intuitive Coach and Author of Heal Your Inner Good Girl. A Guide to Living an Unbound Life. She helps women in business to access their fullest, most brilliant, UNBOUND selves (and get abundantly well paid for it). Join her free, online community here. Download a free Meeting Your Unbound Self Visualisation here.
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