I posed this question once on my FB page: What does the "culture of sisterhood" mean to you? I had some beautiful answers and really got a sense that this concept is a lifeline for many of us.
The most reoccurring theme was this: building each other up instead of tearing each other down.
Makes sense. Too often I see girls being gossip-y, alienating, and letting jealousy get the best of them. It happened to me when I was younger, but if I'm being honest, I was mean to others on more than one occasion. (If I ever judged you and made that snooty face, I am so sorry. I was not my best self. And I'm still a work in progress.) Regardless of which end I was on, it left me feeling hollow and guilty and terrible. Having my self esteem torn down by others and being a mean girl myself did not make me feel good.
So how do we fix it? How do we start bringing back sisterhood? (Now would be the perfect time for Wannabe by the Spice Girls)
I think, we should start by building ourselves up personally. Smile in the mirror. Say nice things to yourself about your body. When the comparison monster starts kicking in, acknowledge it, and then remind yourself that you are enough. Recognize when you do something brave. Think of five things you like about yourself. Sometimes it might feel like liking yourself and setting boundaries is an act of rebellion. Rebel anyway!
Then, write down or count out five things you're thankful for. Recognizing all we have good going on for us. Nothing is perfect, but there can always be a silver lining or a lesson to look for. Doing this will start shifting your mindset to the hopeful side of life. And think about the opportunities we have compared to many other women around the world. By advocating for the rights of women globally through positive action and advocacy is another way to build sisterhood on a bigger scale. (Check this out here.)
Support each other! Encourage each other! And share compliments with other people. Even strangers! Gasp! Imagine how much more pleasant life would be if we genuinely complimented people. If we started to encourage each other in a positive light and build each other up it will be a movement that keeps spreading and will never stop. Instead of being jealous of so-and-so's new shoes, compliment her. Instead of beating yourself up about a C on a test, congratulate your pal on her A. She worked hard, acknowledge it. And maybe talk to your teacher about a retake for yourself. Ask for help. No one is perfect and that is okay. Advocate for yourself and others. Love yourself enough to want to be your best self. Love the world around you enough to want to make it better.
Empowering ourselves and each other...that's the heart of it. And the heart of the Lotus Project.
(And hopefully, by the time you are reading this, the YouTube LP Channel will be up and moving. So, check out the topic of Sisterhood HERE as well as some other goodies.)
Come check us out! xo LP