Sisterhood Rx: 3 Steps to Heal Emotional Wounds with Other Women and Invite Greater Intimacy into Your Life.
“We have to consciously study how to be tender with each other until it becomes a habit because what was native has been stolen from us, the love of Black women for each other.” ~ Audre Lorde
What is actually up with female intimacy?
We see it everywhere: the Divine Feminine, tribes, mama truth circles, sister circles, women’s circles, women hiring other female coaches. It is pretty much everywhere.
Yet we do very little talking about what it actually is that we’re all craving, longing for, and what is most important, why?
While I’ve lived in a women’s community for over two years, focused on healing my own stuff, taken a Healing the Mother Wound course, and received private coaching from Bethany Webster (founder of said course), not to mention over two years of in-depth psychological and somatic therapy, plus countless trainings and healings, I still have so much crap around women and female intimacy.
What I’ve noticed lately is that I don’t always trust women (or myself, of course, since I am a woman). We can be catty, indecisive, inconsistent, unstable, wishy-washy, fickle. Is that actually the case, or are these just beliefs I’ve inherited?
But the thing is, female intimacy is also what I crave the f*#&ing most, and if you’ve found your way here, I’m guessing the same might be true for you.
So with that in mind, here are three tips for overcoming your fears around female intimacy and embracing real sisterhood in your life.
1. Begin by getting to the root of your fears around female intimacy.
Over the course of my life, I’ve accumulated substantial evidence that other women can’t be trusted. My own stories of female betrayal include my best friend ditching me for another friend, having friends abandon me when they started dating some guy, and having my own mom compete with me (even hitting on boys I was dating). All of that straight-up emotional garbage really did happen.
But some of it is totally collective and cultural. Adam and Eve and our whole Western creation myth is based on a woman being a traitor to humanity and man. So I know I am not alone in my pain or process.
A major breakthrough for me has been excavating the origins of the personal and cultural stories that have shaped my feelings around women, and I encourage you to do the same.
What did you learn as a child about women?
When was the first time you were let down by a woman in your life, and what conclusions did you draw as a result?
Answering these questions will be a powerful first step on your journey toward healing your sisterhood wounds.
2. Choose whom you let into your intimate circle wisely (and be willing to model vulnerability).
Consciously surrounding yourself with powerful women who are not afraid of softness, a little messiness in life, laughter, tears, opening hearts, breaking hearts, and the cycle of life, is paramount. It’s important that the women in your corner don’t victimize you, but rather empower you.
Nurture friendships with women who are capable of recognizing the heart of how they feel and acknowledging it, owning it, giving voice to it bravely, and taking a stand for other women.
The curious thing is that, as usual in life, to be initiated into this circle of women — the ones willing to walk the fire of authentic intimacy — one must be willing to bare it all and lie naked in the flesh and soul. One cannot be cured of one’s malady without acknowledging the pain of it to the medicine man. Or in this case, the medicine woman.
If I cannot acknowledge my pain and honor the past hurts and betrayals within my own experience of female intimacy to the very ones who hold the key to the unraveling of this pattern of pain — to women, my supposed perpetrator — I cannot begin the healing journey.
I need to take the mask off and actually be vulnerable with women who once did this to me, to clear the collective pain of having been previously victimized by the women in my life; without this move, I cannot end the cycle — and the same is true for you.
3. Start looking for — and celebrating — the gifts of sisterhood.
The next step in this recovery process is to consciously pay attention to the many gifts sisterhood has to offer.
I’ll line the altar with my fond memories of the Feminine: tender glances, encouraging looks and words, adorning ourselves, deep conversations, spontaneity, nights out dancing, laughter, ceremonies, rituals, quiet and unspoken mutual understanding, birth and mothering stories to share, silent complicity for the good, medicine circles, cooking together and enjoying a meal, taking care of the children together, making song. So much greatness.
I will wrap up by saying that I am, without a doubt, both committed to and terrified of the journey toward deeper sisterhood. There are so many implications to this and so few concrete answers. But let’s face it, the Divine Feminine, as popularly called, or the Feminine, or what I love about the spiral journey way, is the Mystery. There are no clear-cut answers.
You step in, you take a risk, but it’s an experience that’s worth paying for because it’s the adventure that you always prayed and longed for… it’s a journey!
Tanya Dantus is an expert at helping heart-centered women bust through inner barriers to make space for their full blossoming. She is the founder and facilitator of the Motherhood Empowerment Program, has an M.A. in Counseling Psychology and a B.A. in Anthropology. Tanya marries knowledge and intuition, as well as embodied wisdom and spirituality, embracing the power of ceremony and ritual. She possesses in-depth knowledge of Dreamwork, Theta Healing, Reiki, Metaphysics, Yoga, and Dance. Always extremely intuitive and fascinated by the world of symbols and depth, she’s committed to a path of deeply knowing and expressing herself for over 15 years. She has made guest appearances on the Radio, Television, Podcasts, Summits, and facilitated transformational work for hundreds of people all over USA, Mexico, Canada, and Germany. Currently living on the edge of the Black Forest with her husband and son, she empowers women to lead their most unleashed lives.