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Put down your suffering and come with us…

There are a zillion articles online about how women should support one another rather than knock one another down. There are another zillion focusing on how mothers should support one another and not judge another’s way of parenting. And I have decided to weigh in with my tuppence worth considering that this Sunday is International Women’s Day.

I’d planned my women’s class for this Sunday focusing on the theme of supporting one another and finding strength and solace in our female friendships before I even realised it was International Women’s Day. But a pretty apt theme I think.

A pic of just a few of the women in my life who have made me a better human

A pic of just a few of the women in my life who have made me a better human

The inspiration for this theme actually came from a meeting with a new girl friend, we were having coffee and she said that in her younger years she’d had problems forming strong bonds with other women but that had changed in more recent years. I was simply reflecting on this. I am the opposite, I have always formed strong friendships with women and I LOVE my female buddies, I love the energy of women and the support, strength and loyalty that comes with such friendships.

When I was having my own little internal lovefest for all my female buddies, I was reminded of a story that my teacher told me last year. She was teaching a workshop on the Hindu Goddesses and was discussing the feminine in all its forms. She shared a story from her own life.

Years ago she was living in Brooklyn and joined a kickboxing group (I’m cutting a long story short)…the group was made up of all black american women and there was my teacher, skinny Jewish white girl. At first she was a bit intimidated, particularly by the groups ‘leader’ who looked like she would whoop your arse for a sideways glance.

It took her a long time and a lot of effort to be accepted into the inner sanctum of this ferocious and powerful kickboxing tribe but she did it and become firm friends with them all. Skip ahead in time and our heroine gets rudely dumped by her boyfriend. Who has in fact run off with another woman, one whom is somewhat of a ‘friend’ to the tribe. So our heroine does what we’ve all done in this situation, hides out in her flat, crying and eating Ben and Jerry’s.

The kickboxing tribe swing by and insist she puts on her glad rags and come out for an evening with the girls. She sobs. ‘What if we bump into that bitch? I won’t be able to cope’. She turns to the leader of the tribe and asks ‘if we bump into her, will you kick her arse into next week?’. Everyone expected this amazon woman to say ‘f**k yes, I’ll send her flying!’ but instead she says,

‘No. I’ll say, put down your suffering sister and come with us’

Put down your suffering and come with us.

When my teacher told this story, this sentence gave me goosebumps. The story was funny, we were all laughing, but these words exploded in my heart.

Each and every one of us have had our moments of suffering. Some big, some little, some inconceivable. We as women know things, experience things, suffer things that our lovely male friends don’t. Simple as that. So why we still sit in judgement upon each other I will never know.

Meet up with your girlfriends this week for coffee and chats. Invite that new chick who doesn’t know many people in town. Smile at the mother who’s child is a screaming whirling dervish in the supermarket. Be nice to the grumpy checkout operator as who knows what is happening in her life to cause her frown. Extend your sisterhood, your friendship out to the women who surround you, you’ll get back what you offer tenfold.

We have so much to share, us girls. We can inspire one another, support one another, find strength in our sexuality and ferociousness in our femininity. If we do it together, we are powerful indeed.

So this International Women’s Day I will remember these words and extend them out to all the women in my community.

Put down your suffering and come with us.

2 Responses

  1. Carly says:

    Beautiful, Keren. Thankyou.

  2. Trish says:

    Loved this hon and I remember that story. I am sure Emily told us that in Bali? How wonderful that you have written about it. Much love sister. xxx

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