Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Ode to my Female Tribe

photo by grassrootsmsw

“Female friendships that work are relationships

in which women help each other belong to themselves.”

Louise Bernikow

In these past few weeks, I have been blessed and showered with the radiance of female connection. I have shared in person, by telephone and by e-mail. My heart fills with a sense of unity and abundance.

The safety and loyalty experienced with the women in my life allows for the finding of unexpected truths. Spaces are opened…there is no judgment or conclusion between us. The truest and most authentic parts of ourselves are present in the moment…we are heard, accepted and embraced. There is a nurturing presence within us all…a deep understanding of what it is to be a woman.

Whether we have birthed children or not, our nature is rooted in nurturing at a ‘mother’ level. We own the tears and share in the laughter we witness in others and ourselves. We honor all the joy and pain that comes with loving openly and without reserve. The pain has made us wiser; the joy has made us go back for more. We believe in love. We feel it in our bones and want to share and experience in it. We believe, we believe…

I am filled with joy for my female friends and family who have found their true loves and are outward bound on passages and journeys that see the world through four eyes. I am also deeply sad about the females in my life who have given their all for love, and were left with damaged dreams and hopes.

What amazes me is the female’s continued resilience and ability to still believe in love. Like abandoned animals at a shelter…regardless of past losses, we willingly give back trust, in hopes of belonging to a home of real love. We silently don’t understand why we haven’t been seen and realized for our goodness and allowed our complications. We process, we ponder, we question, we dive deep…we question ourselves and think, “Why? Why? Why?”

I believe that sometimes we encounter and share with someone, and our gifts aren’t able to be received. Maybe, the gifts we bestow are given to someone who needs them more than we do. We provide offerings that may be foreign to the receiver, but they are exceedingly true. So often, we women act as the bandage to wounds that can’t be healed. We fill voids that were never created by us. We want to be the glue that holds our loved ones together. Then one day, we realize that we have lost our own authenticity and self belonging.

So, we begin again. We start from scratch, with pain that brings us insight and a higher level of understanding. We still hope and dream. Our healing comes from the unconditional love and acceptance of our nearest and dearest friends…they believe in us…they see ALL of us…and they still honor us and hold the space for our grief.

The power of female friendship is beyond words. We are able to go lengths for one another, even when we can barely go a length for ourselves. There is a priority and unspoken rule in the world of female friendships. We always recognize those who are part of that “club” and we hold it as a code of honor. We share, we love, we cry, we laugh, we respect…ceaselessly.

My awe and thanks go out to my female tribe: M.L./ E.S./ M.S./ G.R./ H.P.J./ L.N-U./ L.R./S.G./ D.R./ A.I./J.T./A.K./T.O./S.S./A.D.


Anonymous said...

Your musings are so valuable...a long time social worker myself, I recognize my life experiences bring the "humanity" to my clinical skills...including,my long held belief that "we only understand in another, what we understand in ourself"...hospice service requires authenticity...sincerity is vital...theory is marginalized...keep in touch...this is most inspirational..

Anonymous said...

H'mm - some gentle thoughts: these are wonderful, timeless quotes and the images are lovely - yet it sounds so much as though you are talking about life instead of living. Talking about others' grief instead of grieving your own losses. If you work and then go home to work on this blog, could it be you are working too much to avoid something else?!

we must remember that we do not have to - in fact cannot and should not have to bear the burden of - making it all "right" -starting with our own anguish and our own egos.

Anonymous said...

Why do we clinicalize ourselves?...perhaps all processing leads to healing.

Grassroots social worker said...

Thank you to those reading the blog, and responding with comments. This is a new and exciting project for me, and I look forward to hearing more from you.

I was especially tickled to receive compliments on my photos/images. With the exception of one photo (from blog entry: "Oma G.J.S"), all other photos posted to the blog are mine.

Keep the words coming!