BY MICHELLE MORONEY
I’m posting this on March 8th, International Women’s Day, a day for everyone to celebrate women.
I grew up in an environment where there were two types of relationships with those of my same sex. I had special friendships, bonds and closeness with some, and then there was everyone else. Sadly, sometimes even my so-called-friends turned out to be the ones who hurt me the most. Growing up, I was never privy to any conversations about ‘girls supporting each other’ and it would be accurate to say there was a fair share of ‘who-do-you-think-you-are’ vibes surrounding the whole thing.
Jealousy, bitchyness, bullying and gossip were a part of my child and teenage experience and I am sad to say it was all the female kind.
Whether you were smart, pretty, well-off or talented, if you had even one positive thing going for you it seemed someone at some point would make you feel bad about it.
I only know my own experience but I’m pretty sure I’m not alone with this. It didn’t seem like TV or film was celebrating the idea that women (starting with young girls) support each other in the larger sense and as a whole. My memory is that TV portrayed pretty accurately the anxiety of being a teenager for the exact lack of that.
‘Why’ isn’t a question I’m interested in. I’m interested in how this has effected my behaviour and attitude towards others’ successes. I’m interested in whether my difficult teenage years have left a residual sense of jealousy, envy and ‘who-do-you-think-you-are’ ness in me. If I feel that way around hearing about another females’ great success or if I have jealous feelings towards a female who can do something I wish I could do – this is a great opportunity to look at these thoughts and begin to heal the very reason I’m having them.
Which is that ‘I’ wasn’t supported enough by females when ‘I’ was small.
If I feel anything other than joyous support for my sister on her achievements, then this points to a hurt inside me that wants to be healed. It is showing itself to me, and I can ignore it and feel down about the negative and depleting feelings of envy and jealousy, or I can turn it around. I can consciously feel truly happy for my sister. I can tell her. I can support her and encourage her and really and truly feel happy for my sister. This will make me feel good, and it will make her feel good. We are all sisters and each of our triumphs can be shared together. The universe is abundant and the more we feel grateful for the successes of others, the greater the chance for our own successes too.
Another useful tool is to forgive my sisters who didn’t support me or who hurt me when I was younger. I can let that go and truly forgive them, one by one. This is a really useful process. It isn’t something I do to their faces, its something I journal. I write it down, one by one, all the hurts I could remember. And I forgive each and every single one of them. (The reality is that anyone who hurts it most likely hurting too, a sad cycle that needs to be broken.)
I’m getting good at this. Like most re-patterning, it’s taking time. Over time a new habit is forming in me. I see my sisters thriving and I feel connected to them in their joy. My work isn’t done as my healing has many layers and life keeps presenting opportunities for me to go deeper into it. I am getting used to the signs now.
I imagine a world where young girls are growing up with nothing but love and support for each other. A world without bullying and loneliness and fear. I know the creation of this world starts with me. It starts with all of us. We can start right now to support our beautiful sisters. To heal the past and co-create a better tomorrow for the beautiful women of this world to thrive in and for future women to be supported in.