Once upon a time in my life, I was surrounded with men. All my friends were men, everyone (pretty much) that I hung out with were men, I worked for men. I lived in a male dominated world. And I liked it that way if I am honest. I had few relationships or friendships with women. They were scary, though now it is hard for me to even remember why.
I am pretty sure I didn’t trust women because I was so insecure. I saw all of them a threat to the ever changing landscape of men. Any women could and might take Mr. Wonderful away from me. Which is hilarious to me now since I used to change boyfriends like I changed my clothes. The fact that I was resistant to women is odd because I didn’t really value the men, not really. I mean I liked the guy I was dating, at least temporarily, and so it is weird that I had such a visceral reaction to losing a guy that I didn’t really value all that much to begin with...
But what I know today is that women made me confront all the less inside me. All the ways that I failed to measure up in a way that men just didn’t ever light up in me. Women were a benchmark and I was forever not making the cut. Mostly that was my own assessment, not other women’s assessment of me. And I have always had female friends, but I will own, I was not a very good friend to women. I was judgey, catty, a liar, thieving, and very likely to see them out to get what I wanted.
I am not proud of this. In fact, it is one of my greatest regrets of my childhood. That I allowed such insecurity to cause me to eschew and disregard girl friendships and value the male ones so very much more. Now I can see this was just part of my own dysfunction. Just another way that I participated in my own subjugation. But then, I didn’t know. Women, girls at the time, were competition and I needed to eliminate that.
So I did. To the best of my ability, I worked to move away from women and towards men.
That began to really change when I got sober. I was forced to get a female sponsor. I didn’t want to do this. I was told, “women stick with women.” And this was some of the worst news ever...
But I complied, reluctantly at first, but then I saw that this forum of sober women was a proving ground where I could begin to work out my issues with my own gender. And boy has that been an evolution!
I have had many epiphanies over the years. And all of them resulted with a deeper knowledge of myself and my own issues. Women, as it turns out, were never the problem...it was me. Again, I was in there fucking up my life, again, still!
So last night I sat in another sacred circle of women. In awe by their vulnerability, honesty, loving natures, fierceness, courage. And I was so grateful to be a part of that fucking circle. The love, the support, the caring, the showing up for each other. I was amazed and felt so blessed.
Today, it is my female relationships that support me, help me continue to grow, hold me when I need holding and push me when I need a swift kick in the ass. It is these female relationship that heal me, and continue to propel me onward in my own evolution.
This is not to say that I don’t also have some amazing male friendships. But in reality, I struggle there. Men have been such a destructive force in my life, and I still grapple with the effects of men’s egos, self centeredness, abuse, exploitation and anger. I would love to say that I have grown beyond it, but that would be a lie. I am still in the trenches on that one. Still trying to find a way out of that particular war zone.
This is not all men to be clear. I am blessed to have some of the best male friendships. Some of which has spanned twenty plus years. I am grateful to these men because they too are part of the healing process. Better examples of what men can be, and are.
But this post, this time in my life, is really dedicated to the women in my life. Me the humble recipient of their love, their support, their encouragement, their understanding. And I can honestly say that I would not be ok, I would not be who I am today without them. All of them. I so desperately needed this in my life and yet, there I stood, blocking it for so many years.
I used to think women were catty and bitchy. But no more. I have found that those behaviors are the result of women who have never really been supported by another woman. Women who have never really felt the loving embrace of sisterhood. We turn on each other because we are afraid, we are insecure, we are misguided in what we need. I see that now. And more importantly, I see that play out in my life. Time and time again. Over and over again. The women have shown up for me, and against my will often, healed me.
So thank you my sisters. All of you. I wouldn’t be this me today without all your love and support, guidance and ass kicking! You are my hope, my salvation and my sanctuary. I am forever in your debt and endeavor to always, always be there for you as you walk your path, I want to be the same positive force in yours. Namaste!