08.24.12 Love

Sisterhood

Sisterhood

BY Leigh Van Der Horst

I had one of those really long phone conversations with one of my closest friends last night, you know the type, you pretty much cover EVERYTHING.  Only women know about such convos, yes?

I’m so lucky to have close friends, I’m certainly part of a ‘sisterhood’.  I’m fortunate enough to have known some of my closest friends for decades, one since I was 5 years old (I’m not afraid to say, that was 31 years ago… yep, I’m 36! When did that happen???)!! 

When I sit back and think about the kinds of women I have surrounded myself with, there seems to definitely be a pattern.  The women I class as my closest friends are a very strong bunch.  I don’t seem to settle for friends who watch life pass them by. I’m attracted to those who have backbone, guts, empathy, courage, insight. When I lost my mother to cancer, I felt that I had lost my leaning pole in life, my ‘go to girl’ for all things needed. I had it wrong! My ‘sisters’ give me everything I need! Advice on marriage, money, motherhood, friendship, culinary skills, fashion, the list is endless!  Most importantly though is the love and unconditional support I get from my closest sisters, the ones that know my insides out!  Nothing is off limits with these girls.

The women in my life don’t just ‘cruise’.  They seek out alternatives, challenge situations they are not comfortable with, speak their minds, have endless courage, surround themselves with strong women also, push one another to take chances and forge forward, possess wonderful morals, believe in good old fashioned manners, are excellent role models for their children, make/will make amazing mothers and wives…the list goes on and on.  What I love most though about the very special sisters in my life is their ability to know when support is needed.  Its a hunch, lets call it women’s instinct!  We seem to have such a powerful connection, we just know when someone is needing some help.

I believe that if a strong group of women got together for a purpose or cause, there would only be one outcome… success!! We are responsible for so much it can often become quite overwhelming.  My current place in life has me mostly on a journey with other mothers. The multi tasking abilities of a mother astound me!  We are super human, well, we must be!  I find myself at times tackling so much at once its insane!! Quite often you will find me standing in the kitchen, holding Ollie in the breast feeding position as he happily feeds away, phone between my shoulder and ear, buttering the bread for school lunches answering the kids questions regarding the whereabouts of their shoes or any other misplaced item (too many to list!). Its a woman thing, so much so that I must say, with no disrespect to men, I would LOVE to see them try it!!!!!!!  Is this what the term ‘autopilot’ describes???? Aren’t we just a bloody talented gender!!!!

Sadly though for the uber talented mother-folk, I think that as we have each child, a small part of who we are takes a dive and we scramble to reclaim self awareness as our children get older.  So much of our time is spent caring for others, including husbands and we would all firmly agree that in the real world we. come. last!  This is okay for a while, but it is extremely important that we allow ourselves the time to pick up the remaining pieces of ourselves and expand our inner qualities, wants, desires, dreams, not just for us but for our children, husband and friends also.  I’m so very thankful that I have women in my life who I can explore these ideas with, validate my choices, get a shove-along when I’m dragging my feet.

I hope the women reading this post have sisters in their lives who challenge them.  My idea of this life well lived is one not just ‘choc a block’ full of love and friendship but experiences also.  Don’t be complacent.  Don’t settle for less than you want.  Be patient and have a clear pathway to dream and take the steps necessary to make those dreams come true, to the best of your ability!!  Speak your mind, don’t be afraid to have an opinion, who knows you might just be right!  Honor who you are, you are a woman, this means that you have amazing abundant potential, so use it.  But most of all, be good to your sisters.   None of us are perfect, once we allow that to be okay and we support that in ourselves and others – life will be sweet, our version of sweet.

Leigh Van Der Horst is a mum of four and a nurse who has a burning passion to write. After losing her much loved mother to cancer in 2008, Leigh began searching for ways to live a happier and more fulfilling life and hopes to inspire others as she continues on the marathon journey. Leigh writes often about her life lessons on her blog, hosts a Facebook page dedicated to happiness and inspiration and can be found on Twitter @sixbythesea

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