The Power of Healing Between Women
For the longest time, I had a rough relationship with women. The healing that is possible between women is really profound to me. In this post, I’m going to write about healing between women, why it’s important, and a few tips for you to look into for your own life.
I’ve always had a robust circle of women around me. However, for a good chunk of my life these relationships were filled with anger, competition, catty behavior, gossip, confusion…They were also filled with laughter, sarcasm, humor, and a lot of positive things. It’s not like it was all dysfunctional, it was a complex experience which was part of what was really confusing!
It’s common in this society we live in for girls and women to get messages that say “in order to survive & succeed, you must dominate and be above others”…ESPECIALLY between women. This is a big one. For example, just think of all the stereotypes and cultural fears about women stealing another’s man. These things run deep!
Often times women will put themselves down in order to make others feel good. Or put others down in order to make themselves feel better. Or withhold themselves out of fear and jealousy. I’ve had women be mean to me for reasons that I never understood. Whether it was about personality, beauty, mutual friends, there always seemed to be something that felt a little dangerous. And I’ve had to admit to myself that I used to have some “mean girl” behaviors that I would watch myself do and then feel confused about later. It was painful. There was always something, some kind of reason for me to stay at arms-length & distanced from women. Or too overly-involved in a way that started to feel fused to the point where I lost my sense of self.
All of this is a distraction from the true intimacy that is possible between women where mutual support and tenderness is allowed to live among the laughs.
Once I started my journey of self-discovery, this was one of the first themes that presented itself. I continue to work on all of this and I’m so happy to see our culture making small shifts toward health here. I still come across many layers of disempowerment & challenge in myself as I go deeper. I’m not perfect and I don’t think anyone is, this is a deep learning.
So much of this comes out in my work. When I work with women, we are often navigating the emotions that come up regarding intimacy, trust, power, communication, respect, and care between women. Receiving care in such an intimate way from a woman often brings a well of emotion. And there is space for it. That’s part of the journey.
A few of the themes that often arise are:
– the experience of the mothering we received, whether it’s about our own biological mother, other family members or mother-like figures in our life
– our experience of the prenatal journey of our life, our birth story, and our early life as an infant
– receiving support and care from a woman
– letting go of the expectation around competition & mean behaviors that can exist between women
– stepping into relationships that feel full of honor, mutual respect, power, and trust. The tenderness, humility, power, and gratitude that can come from this level of embodied learning
An exercise to do with yourself:
– Journal about all of your associations with the words “woman, female, feminine”
– Reflect on what it all means to you
– Reflect and inquire into your history and associations with these aspects of yourself and your relationships
– What feels tender? Nourishing? Confusing? Charged, angry, grief-filled, or any challenging emotional experience? Joyful? Loving?
I commend you for your courage and willingness to look into this. In my experience, the complexity of female relationships is like a long spiral. Just as soon as we get through one level, something else pops its head up. I love offering support and encouragement around this because others have done that for me. Making it safe for a woman to look into this, ask questions and be messy was one of the biggest gifts I’ve ever received. It feels like part of my life’s purpose to pass that experience on.
Reach out to me, I always love hearing from you, with love, Alicia