Let's Hear it for the Girls
The science is in and…. WOMEN NEED OTHER WOMEN!
A fascinating study from UCLA, suggests that women do not follow the typical fight or flight response to stress, but rather respond with the pattern of tend and befriend! As women, we think first of our children and protecting them in stressful situations and then look to our girlfriends for support. The research suggests that our tendency to reach out to familiar social groups, and in particular other women, may be responsible for our very likelihood to survive longer than men.
Now, I believe this is by divine design. I believe that God knew the power of sisterhood and intended us to use it for good in this world. When women come together, AMAZING things happen. Our blood pressure lowers, our heart rate calms, our breathing slows and we can release the weight of stressors. We have an opportunity to feel understood, validated, heard and loved. We can give and receive sound and inspired advice. We can return to our spouses and families refreshed and ready to give our best.
When women come together amazing multi-tasking happens. Babies are bounced, tears are dried, food is prepared, spaces are beautified, vision is cast, goals and dreams are made and stories and laughter shared. Women can do amazing things! Growing, birthing, and feeding babies from our own bodies… that is just a part of the critical work we do in this world. We keep the world connected. When times get tough we draw together.
As much as I believe that there are forces behind the scenes advocating for our good, I know there are also forces of evil that are bound and determined to make us stumble and fall. (sound like an episode of Star Wars? well art imitates life) Because of the power of sisterhood, if those forces can convince us to be critical, divisive, dismissive and unkind… well, that is hugely impactful. So ladies, don’t give into those negative tendencies. Don’t clam up and keep those fears, concerns, hopes and/or dreams locked in your head. Do NOT kill your joy with comparison.
Instead, find your village. When times get tough make sure your little flock is tended to and then invite those trusted women in your life (and perhaps their little flocks) over for some therapeutic connecting. Pick up the phone and call your Mom, she was the first and often best girlfriend youll ever have. When needing a little help through the stress of your marriage, reach out to your mother-in-law…. afterall, you can be sure she will still love him, too, after the counseling is done.
Be women of vision. Dream big together. Cheer one another on. I am incredibly thankful for the friends in my life that are actively listening and encouraging me in this journey I am on. They tell me I CAN raise 5 small children, support my husband in his endeavors, manage a home, work a full time job outside of the home, serve in church, AND still grow a thriving business with integrity and purpose. They are magically always up when I am down and lift me to stand with them. They love my husband and children, even when I am frustrated with them. They help bring me back into balance. They help me refocus on what matters most. They help me remember to lean on the Lord, pray often, and follow that still small voice of goodness.
I pray that my daughter will always surround herself with strong, smart, faithful and kind women. I pray she will find her village, her tribe, early on and enjoy all of those stress reducing benefits of sisterhood! What an opportunity we have as women to strengthen one another and help add a few years onto each other’s lives!