Sisterhood and Shield Maidens.
How would you describe the concept of love? Something you can feel, but is so vast and consuming your brain fails to find the words to convey the depth in the meaning? Can you imagine joining an elite super-secret elite group of women who exude love, compassion and strength? To have a group of ladies supporting and caring about you. Regardless of anything. Worrying if you are ill, rejoicing in your successes? Having the support of a thousand woman, Viking army (history lesson, the Vikings had a group of super buff fighters composed of only women called shield maidens) backing you. It’s something truly indescribable.
I am a firm believer that inspiration can come from anywhere at any time, we just need to be open to the suggestion. Inspiration for this entry came from a gathering of fellow polers, where I heard someone exclaim “when I talk about Flirt, the first thing I always mention is the sisterhood.” This got my mental wheels running. Distracted by my own thoughts, I went into a rabbit hole, similar to Alice in Wonderland. Down, down I went. A general curiosity became all-encompassing. I was not able to comprehend much else of that night, as I was perplexed by what the sisterhood means and how it can psychologically and physiologically alter an experience. Things I knew. 1. This sisterhood is a REAL thing. 2. Humans by nature are pack animals. We are evolutionarily predisposed to flock to others. Groups and boosts confidence and moral. 3. This would be a great blog entry. Things I did not know. 1. How difficult it would be for me to explain such a concept. 2. How much I depend on that sisterhood to get me thorough difficult days.
I mulled over on this sisterhood idea. Started writing something several times and ended up frogging it every time. Nothing seemed to fit. I would have a great “lightbulb” moment only to have it slip from me. I started to panic as my self-imposed deadline approached. Then WHAMO! It happened!
I went to class and noticed a class mate acting off. This pulled at my heart strings (did you know heart strings actually exist? Well, not “strings” but tendons and close enough) to the point where it hurt. I wanted to console her, let her know things would be alright and that I was there for her. Mind you, I have only know her for a few short weeks in 90 minute increments. Much of which are spent trying to fumble my way through whichever trick had been demonstrated. I was compelled to let her know she was supported, appreciated and loved. This compulsion wouldn’t cease, so I did what everyone person my age would do. I sent her a Facebook message. Hip Hip Hooray for not so secret stalking abilities of technology. After she and I spoke a bit, I felt a strengthening in our bond. While no distress was sounded, I felt the need to reach out based on body language alone. To me her struggle was real and I needed to comfort her. It was a powerful moment.
Fast forward a few days and I, myself was riding the struggle bus. Everything seemed dauntingly difficult. I wanted to break down into tears because I was not capable of doing, well anything. Whatever I tried seemed to fail. One of those days where you want to crawl into bed, under a rock or move to Mogadishu or Kathmandu depending on if you like super-hot or frigid cold.
Normally, going to class is my favorite part of my week, but on this day that seemed like a chore as well. I muddled through class in my angry, incapable fog. Watching the minutes tick by growing ever more uncomfortably frustrated with myself. Finally when class was done the instructor asked me if I was “okay.” From her eyes I could see that she actually cared. I felt my cold demeanor thawing a bit. I mumbled something about having a bad week. She acknowledged that I was struggling and then told me that I was going a great job and that I am making progress. She concluded with a statement about hoping my week gets better. I knew the words she spoke were her true feelings. Her kind words made me feel infinitely better. I left that day with my head a little higher and back a little straighter.
That my dear friends is sisterhood. A bond between a group of people that compels you to care and receive care. It doesn’t matter the length of time you have known them. A long time class mate or are just passing them in the halls. It is a secret group of kindness and compassion. Showing we women and important, valuable and loved in a world that is always trying to change us.
Like a group of super fierce shield maidens, sisterhood, it’s something quite powerful.