Sisterhood & the magic of female friendships - Maria Garrido
Reading time: 4 minutes
SISTER FROM A DIFFERENT MISTER
Years ago, I met a woman at a corporate conference. What started out as a brief meet and greet turned into a 3 hour chat about our life journeys that filled me with positive energy and joy. She was my sister from a different mister and we've been friends ever since!
Do you have a childhood friend who just knows when you need a hug? Do you have that buddy who you speak to once every couple of years? You know, the one where you can skip all the pleasantries and pick up right where you left off? Or have you met a woman recently who instantly gets you?
Female friendships are more than just connections; they are sisterhoods that transcend time and distance. Like a tapestry woven with threads of understanding and shared experiences, these friendships provide a sense of belonging that is second to none.
Female connections have shaped my life. They have been my refuge in the most difficult and trying times and have also offered a shared space of joy and the comfort of knowing I'm not alone. I took my female friendships for granted until a change of circumstance made their absence in my life very noticeable.
A few years ago, one of my dearest girlfriends passed away. I watched her slowly succumb to illness and despite her fighting spirit, she left her three kids and her loving friends and family behind. One year after her passing, her other girlfriends invited me to a dinner to celebrate our dear friend's life. I didn't know these women, but that get-together has become an annual tradition and my friend's spirit lives on in these weaved new connections; our mutual love of her is our shared bond. It's been several years since her passing, but I still miss her mischievous spirit and her ability to tell me the brutal truth when I needed to hear it.
A short time after she passed, another dear friend moved to the other side of the world. These women had been my confidantes, cheerleaders, and partners in crime and I suddenly found myself missing that connection, no longer able to spontaneously meet for coffee, laugh, or cry with either of them.
I felt a little un-anchored and lonely. During that time, I came to treasure the importance of sisterhood in my life. I need my girlfriends; beyond friendship, they are a bond of love, laughter, and shared experiences.
LESSONS LEARNED, LOVE GAINED
From late night giggling sessions as teenagers, to Kleenex moments in adulthood, wiping away tears and offering words of comfort, we women share our joys and struggles.
Female friendships have taught me invaluable life lessons. I've learned that vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness, and that true friends accept you for who you are, flaws and all. Through their love and acceptance, I've found the courage to be authentic and embrace my own uniqueness. In turn, I've learned not to judge others when their choices are different from my own. I have come to appreciate and respect that our paths are all unique.
It's important to build and maintain a supportive sisterhood. Female friends lift each other up and stand united. In this sisterhood, we find solace, inspiration, and an unbreakable support system that nurtures our mind, body, and soul.
Female friendships are an extraordinary elixir for our overall health. These deep-rooted connections nourish our emotional well-being, empower us to grow and help us unlock the secret to a healthier, more fulfilling life.
Think of sisterhood as a soothing balm. Sharing our worries and fears with our female friends alleviates stress and lowers cortisol levels, reducing the harmful effects of chronic stress on our bodies. Sharing worries and discussing solutions together enhances our emotional intelligence and the empathy and understanding they provide act as a buffer against anxiety, leaving us feeling emotionally lighter and more resilient.
When we engage in shared humor with our girlfriends, the laughter it evokes is contagious and releases endorphins, the "feel-good" hormones, promoting relaxation and easing physical tension. Regular laughter with our female friends boosts our mood, strengthens our immune system, and contributes to a healthier outlook.
True friends empower us to believe in ourselves, emboldening us to take on life's challenges. The women who champion us bolster our self-confidence, leading to improved self-esteem. Additionally, when our friends cheer us on, we are more likely to pursue our passions and set higher goals for personal growth.
An enriched social life, full of female bonding, provides us with a sense of belonging, connection, and purpose, reducing isolation and loneliness.
SELF CARE TIP
To all the incredible women out there, cherish your friendships, celebrate your tribe, and embrace the magic of sisterhood. Check in with a friend or two this weekend, even one you haven't spoken to in a while. Cry, share, but most of all, laugh together. These relationships help you live a happier, longer, and healthier life.