Believing in sisterhood

It has happened to all of us. We were hurt by a fellow sister at some point, maybe something minor as a hurtful comment, or something bigger like a betrayal of trust. Sometimes envy, jealousy, a sense of position or entitlement, or sometimes even with good intentions, a sister can hurt us, and little by little we lose trust on our sisters.

Well, I’m no exception, it also happened to me a few times, some things I was able to forgive, some created big scars, and some haunt me until today

We live in a very masculine world, were we value competition, action, bravery, fight to succeed and being the best; and we often forget the feminine attributes of compassion, community, sharing, caring for others. We grow up hearing that we must be the best, we must have straight A’s and if we don’t work hard, we will never succeed, this puts pressure on us, and make us forget our nature, and makes us compete more and more.

We are so used to compete, that sometimes we don’t even see when we hurt a fellow sister, and that even if we win the competition, maybe all of us loose a little collectively. 

But all this pain and competition comes from fear, comes from old belief systems that shouldn’t be there.

I am living a moment like this, I knew that my presence was offensive to a fellow sister, but I believed that we could (and should) be able to love and respect each other, so I tried to reach out, I tried to open a dialogue, a door for betterment, I explained that she would always be first in that situation that scared her, and that I was going to try to support her when possible. But my action was understood as something else, and she became offended and went into attack mode, I started to feel attacks coming in every direction, I started seeing other fellow sisters, that never had exchanged a word with me, starting to judge me, to mock me and to attack me, for no apparent reason, but those sisters found that the best way to help their friend was to attack me, I quickly found myself in extremely hostile territory and unable to be myself

It affects my life, my mind, my family and I feel powerless. What to do in a situation like this?

The only thing I can do, is to try to have compassion, to try to put myself in her shoes and to understand that she feels that she must hate me. Her old belief system tells her that she cannot accept my presence, and there is nothing I can do about it, but to have compassion.

But having compassion for those that hurt you is not easy, not easy at all! I find myself offering my yoga practice to her, visualizing her well and happy to see if I send some love to enter her heart and she becomes softer and forgets to hate me. Happy people don’t attack others, happy people don’t gossip maleficently about others, if she is happy, she will have something better to do and forget about me.

But the truth is that the opposite is happening, I am becoming the unhappy bitter person, and now I can no longer offer her my blessings, I feel hurt undeservedly, and I feel angry.

I strive to use my experience, and practise to help my sisters to love each other, to find support and community with each other, so we can avoid situations like the one I am living now

I don’t mean for you not to fight, you must be a lioness to defend yourself and your loved ones, you shouldn’t compromise your opinion for others or to be the martyr. Stand your ground, do what you must do, but inside your heart try to have compassion, do your best to never attack, only defend, and if possible, try to open the conversation, over and over again, try your best to put yourself in your sisters shoes and when it is possible, the situation will resolve itself.

I did a beautify training about forgiveness where the main thought was 

“They did the best they could with the tools they have at that moment” (from Ziva), so you also must do the best you can with the tools you have now.

Forgiving is not accepting what was done, but understanding that that person couldn’t do better at that time.

I think this is one of the main reasons why I want to run women circles, to help us to get rid of those old belief systems that separate us, that put us in situation we think we must compete, but it would be a lot better for all of us, if we could hold hands and work together. Let’s empower each other, help each other grow and grow ourselves in the process.

When we are in circle, we feel stronger, there is something about circle that helps us remember who we really are.

Let’s sit in circle and be stronger together

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Juliana Lottmann

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