Surrendering to the Sisterhood

Until just a few years ago, I have always been a little bit bothered by the way some women call each other "sister". Maybe it's because I grew up surrounded by ex-hippies in California, or maybe because I already have two sisters in my family, but whenever I would hear other women refer to each other (or to me) as sister, I would secretly cringe. 

I was at women's retreat in the Northern California, when this all shifted. Even in the days leading up to the retreat, I was noticing myself being triggered by some of the emails going back and forth as women try to arrange rides from the airport and deal with other logistics.

There was so much reference to one another as sister, I began to wonder just what kind of group I had signed up for and whether or not I would really get along with these other women.

When I arrived at the retreat all of my fears rapidly dissolved. I begin to see my deepest essence reflected in the eyes of the other women there. It didn’t matter what part of the world we came from or what our socio economic class, race or shape of our body was. Beyond all the different belief systems and religions and stories we live at our hearts, we are all much more similar than we are different.

I felt as if this remembrance truly was an initiation into a global sisterhood.

As I was growing to love all these different women, I still didn't quite get the full impact on my relationship with the word “sister” until the day after the retreat.

A woman that I barely knew reached out to me over Facebook. She was going through a particularly hard time in her life, and for some reason she felt inspired to connect with me. 

After my profound experience with these other women it was so effortless for me to support her with my full presence and open heart. I wrote back to her offering the richness that I felt was overflowing from me after my time on retreat.

Somewhere in the midst of writing that letter, I caught myself about to call her sister! The word wanted jump out of me. It seemed so natural and was right there on the tip of my tongue. That's when I finally realized the extent of my transformation.

It was easy for me to feel the depth of my connection to her, even though I barely knew her. Because of what I had just been through, I knew that underneath the stories of our lives, she was just like every other woman. And she was just like me.

Regardless of our culture and no matter how extreme our differences might appear on the outside, we all want the same things. We value our relationships, or families our friends. We know what it is to fail and succeed. To be overlooked and sometimes get more attention than we wanted. We all have dark corners of our being where we feel unlovable and broken. We all long to feel supported, connected, and loved. All of our similarities are what make us like sisters.

Funny thing is, I didn't even know how much I was missing feeling like I belonged to this “sisterhood”, until I did.

Recognizing how life changing this realization was for me, it has rapidly become one of my biggest intentions in the women's work that I offer.

While most days you still won't hear me running around calling everyone sister, you now know, there’s a good chance I'm thinking it on the inside.

Kirsten Warner