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It’s time to get sistered

Sistering.

It’s a verb that most of us have not considered very much. And yet all of us have been both negatively and positively impacted by the relationships we have with other women.

How well have you sistered, or been sistered in this lifetime? Do you have a deep fear of other women? Or do you long for their presence in your life?

Let’s do a quick sistering self-check right now:

  • On a scale of 1-10, how much do you trust other women?
  • Where have you been betrayed most deeply by girls or women? Do those hurts still weigh heavy on your soul?
  • How have you betrayed or hurt other women or girls? How does this impact your life right now?
  • Do you have a group of girlfriends with which you can completely relax, unwind, and laugh your head off? If not, how much do you long for this?
  • How many women exist inside your friend group? Do you have a main squeeze? A go-to ‘person’?

If I were to answer my own survey, I would say that one of the greatest wounds I’ve experienced was the loss of a woman friend who suddenly ‘broke up with me’. I still miss her. And yes, as painful as it is to admit, I have done precisely the same thing to other girlfriends I’ve had.

Despite the fact that I teach women about sisterhood, I still struggle to find my own friend groups where I can completely relax, laugh my ass off, and be my wild, weird, silly AF self. But I count myself very lucky to have three women who I would consider my besties.

Before we get any further, let’s take a long look back at the root of the word “sister”. We can learn so much from studying the beginning, the intention, the origin of a word.

 

You will love this: the Latin word ‘sistere’ means ‘to cause to stand’ or ‘to set something up in a standing position’. Isn’t that amazing? And true?

When we are well-sistered, we are so deeply stood for.

A sister’s support can whip us from the very edge of collapse, straight into revival, redemption, and reclamation. There is nothing more profound than having another woman stand for us, when we cannot stand for ourselves.

There is even a building term wherein a builder can ‘sister a joist’ by placing a strong board right next to a weaker one, to beef it up and straighten sagging joists.

Now, this is super interesting because sistering does not mean climbing down the well of mutual victimization. It does not mean losing oneself on behalf of another. It means ‘to stand’ – to be with her, and to reflect her power with ours by staying firmly rooted in our own convictions.

I was ‘taught’, meaning, I learned from the culture, that good sistering meant to give up my own stand in order to collapse with my collapsed friend – abandoning my truth to join her in the psychic and emotional trenches.

I learned that compromising myself was the first step toward being a good sister.

But none of this is true.

To be a good sister means that we have to know and own our home plate, our own stand. It’s about both sisters gaining strength, rather than either one of them weakening.

Proof of this is in the language we use daily. You will not believe how many words have ‘sistere’ as their root.

 

We have: persist, desist, exist, insist, resist, assist…the list goes on.

Each of these words is a small, perfect study in pure feminine power, which thrills me to no end. It feels like the hidden power of the word is now ours to reclaim, redefine, and own.

Yes, we will persist, and if needed, resist. We will insist that we exist. We will never desist, and wherever, whenever, count on us to assist. THAT is what it means to sister.

There are billions of women in this world and endless opportunities for each of us to sharpen the sword of sistering.

So, what is one small way in which you will sister – and be sistered – today, this year, this decade? How can you give and receive this sacred connection?

 

There is no force that adds more consistent radiance to my life than sistering.

My prayer? May this force surround you, me, and all of the billions of women in this world.

May we find new ways to sister, every single day. May we persist, desist, exist, insist, resist, assist on behalf of ourselves and each other.

And may we each stand more and more powerfully in our sistering, as we slowly and magnificently transform the world.

With so much love and pleasure,

Mama Gena's

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