Sisterhood: congenial relationship or companionship among women; mutual female esteem, concern, support, etc.
"It is always better to get the sin out of our lives through our conscience’s promptings or through the correction from a brother than to wait until God judges our actions." (taken from a pocket theology of Ron Lewis Ministries)
As I work on myself behind the scenes, I've brainstormed on this entry for a while and I'm finally ready to discuss this world of Sisterhood. I don't interact with a lot of Black women in my day to day life. I participate in multiple organizations that are primarily made up of women with diverse nationalities. Even in the acting world, the women I meet on set are of a different background than mine. My closest friends are Black, like me of course, but living up North away from them all has left me seeking new relationships or doing some work on the superficial ones I have in the big city. I've recognized this thirst for an organization or simply a regular gathering with women of color, women just like myself who I can relate to because there are certain things that only a Sistah can teach another Sistah. The quote above helped to clear up the confusion for me and I really understand now why I've been seeking true fellowship with Women of Color. As women of color, we generally spend more time breaking each other down and sizing one another up, comparing and judging, than we do loving on each other. Reflecting on my thoughts and behaviors towards other Black Women I can speak from experience that this statement is true...Guilty as charged.
As I began to take my spiritual walk I had several unwanted behaviors about myself revealed to me, especially around friendship. Part of the process to discard those behaviors in myself, meant recognizing them in the circle of ladies of which I'm surrounded. It became very apparent to me that you are the company that you keep and your company could be keeping your bad habits as well. Deciding to evaluate my definition of friendship or sisterhood meant that some relationships would end and others would fade. Let me clarify, some of my friendships have ended not only because of their actions but because I saw the errors in my friendship towards them and decided that these are ties that required severing in order for me to grow spiritually. As this process continued, I realized that the content and conversation of a lot of my relationships were gossip, backbiting, and words that don't promote growth as women but hold us back in our adolescent mindsets. I began to define my pure Friends as those who I can trust with intimate details, the ones that love and accept me with all my quirks and flaws, and certainly the ones who will tell me lovingly when I need to sit down, shut up, and get it together. Which brings me back to the opening quote. Sometimes I feel like I'm in this walk of spiritual maturity alone and that shouldn't be the case if I can truly say I have a sisterhood around me. With the exception of a very tiny group of females, I cant depend on the females in my life to speak words of sincere love and give me that much needed verbal spanking.
Let me say, I recognize that I'm a feisty individual and very strong headed which means that while some may desire to be honest with me, they may have felt it not worth the battle. Being the "Mother Hen" in my family didn't leave much room for my younger siblings to feel comfortable correcting me and I'm sure always being in a leadership role throughout my life didn't allow participants to "stand up to me" either for lack of a better phrase. Although I play the role of Miss Know It All, I don't know everything and it leaves me longing for healthy relationships of correction with my women friends. The keywords in the relationships that I desire are "healthy and loving" words of correction and growth. I've duked it out with friends before over my stubborn ways and temper but when you throw rocks you get rocks back. Not placing any blame, but if advice doesn't come from a sincere desire to help someone than it usually won't be received. All too often, we take it personal when we give advice and the person doesn't head to it. Our responsibility to loving one another is to simply sow the seeds of love, it is not our responsibility to also water, monitor, and nurture the seed for the other person.
As I mature, I'm softening my hard exterior and really do desire to have conversations with friends, ladies of color especially, that help me improve and add wisdom to my existence. I've had plenty of competition, jealousy, anger, gossiping, name calling, cat fights, and the like to last me an eternity. I'm on to the search for the real deal, the sistahs that will be by my side until the end. I'm fortunate to have a few but I really want to leave my mark on the world that I'm making an attempt to have that with every lady in my life. Now I understand it will be challenging and its a two way street, both parties in any relationship have to be willing to put their pride to the side and accept correction when its needed. Both sides also have to possess a strong foundation of love for one another to be able to correct one another, not judge, and be at peace with what the receiver decides to do with that correction. Ladies we need to learn how not to be so selfish and unwilling to help the next sister grow and then love her regardless of what action she takes for or against our advice. When we adjust our mindsets to this way of thinking, we will naturally begin to chasten one another with love and grow as a Sisterhood. If we continue to compare and judge ourselves to another and insist we always know whats best and cant nobody tell me nothing, we'll get more of what we have today. One half of the weakest race in the world in terms of love and unity.
More importantly, our souls won't grow and God will continue to do all the correction Himself and when that happens we often miss out on life's great opportunities. We have the chance, right here, right now, to help God correct our ways by helping each other and loving on each other. This is especially important with our young women growing up today, the future of our race. But that's an even longer blog so I'll end it here for now.