12 Reasons We Women Need Our Tribes
We are inherently tribal. – We use to live in cultures where the women raised babies together, did laundry together, cooked together, and helped each other laugh through the ups and downs of life. We have evolved to be inter-dependent. It’s only in the last few decades that we’ve held up that fierce independence as the epitome of a strong woman. Well, if alone against the world is what makes you a great women, count me out. I’d rather feel great, than only look it.
Your partner can’t be everything. – I used to lean on Justin for everything. It was a real bitch when we had a fight and he was the only person I had to talk to about it. For awhile there I even thought it wasn’t okay to talk to other women about our challenges. And in a way I still find that true; I don’t want a tribe that will help me complain about him. I want a tribe that will help me examine my triggers and overcome any barrier that keeps us from loving one another better. I also came to find that it was simply unfair to him to place every stress on his shoulders. He’s one man, who wants very hard to fix as much as he an to make my smile, and without more support in my life my husband was becoming heavy with the burden of being the only person I would turn to help me meet my deeper needs for connection, growth, fun, or help.
Your kids need a break from you. – Oh man, am I serious about this one. Especially because my son is an only child. Without my tribe of conscious mamas, from both local parenting groups with like-minded philosophies on life and parenting, to online tribes, to coaches who have helped me through rough spots, I’m pretty sure my son and I owe our relationship to the support I found in others. Without it I was constantly examining and analyzing every action my son took, worrying that I was doing something wrong (or he was), or just not giving him the space to just breathe, explore independently, or make his own choices without my fear trying to micro-manage, nag, control or stress him out. Having other mamas helped me to put things in perspective, lighten up and be a better mom more capable of responding to his needs with compassion and support.
You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. – You want to radically change your life? Surround yourself with examples that it’s possible. You want to live a deeper, more meaningful existence? Engage in deeper, more meaningful conversations with the people talking about deeper more meaningful things. Don’t let the limitations of what those around you can do become your reality. Seek out possibilities, surround yourself with inspiration, and what seemed impossible will soon become the only thing you know.
Girls just wanna have fun. – Life gives us plenty of opportunity for stress, heartache, overwhelm or depression. It’s our job to counter those things with laughter, fun, and connection. Have you ever had a terrible day and called a girlfriend and you both ended up laughing at the utter ridiculousness of it all? Suddenly what you thought was going to do you in is not so bad when our tribe helps us to play and lighten up. And fun is a damn important thing in life. We have enough seriousness. We need more fun.
You need people who won’t let you off the hook. – I didn’t use to see this was true about myself. I’ve always thought I was pretty self-motivated. Until my tribe called me on my bullshit and helped me to see how I was giving up, playing small or rationalizing away my dreams. Because I allowed others to know what my real desires were – what my heart ached for – they were there to call attention to the ways I was neglecting them. It was not a pretty mirror they held up but it was a much needed view hat helped me to confront my real barriers and catapult right past them.
You need a safe place to land. – The world can be harsh. Have one terrible day and you could end up on YouTube being bashed by millions of people. Make a mistake and you probably have learned to do the bashing yourself. But the right tribe of women will open up a safe and sacred space for you to bring your cracked and weeping heart. They will wrap you in compassion ad stillness and allow you to breathe and vent and process without judgment. They give you the nurturing and the encouragement to heal and grow and move forward again. I can’t tell you how powerful it is to know that a circle of women, some whom you haven’t even met, are waiting with open arms, whether you’re having a horrible day or your life has just been shattered.
You can’t see your own blind spots. – I’ve already mentioned a few times how the tribes of women in my life will call my on my shit. And sometimes it really pisses me off. But without their intuitive ability to hold up that mirror to what I can’t see I would still be spinning my wheels in frustration over the patterns I couldn’t change. With the multiple perspectives and the collective wisdom a tribe of soulful, conscious women can be a catalyst for the most powerful personal growth.
You’re can’t jump over buildings in a single bound. – Or any of the other impossible things we try to do on our own. You’re not Superwoman. You’re not a one woman roadshow. Stop trying to be perfect and infallible and so great that you never need anything. You! Need! Support!: practical, emotional, spiritual support. Whether you’ve just had a baby, or you are struggling with food, or you’re trying to manage a household, love a family, and run a business, for the love of all that is good in the world, ask for support. Trade support. Pay for support. You’re worth the investment.
You’re going to drive yourself batshit crazy unless you do something for you once in awhile. – Nuff’ Said.
You can’t give what you don’t allow yourself to receive. – This was my Aha moment when it came to receiving support. I can NOT give it if I don’t fist have it. And it’s no one else’s job to know when I need it, or how I’d like to receive it. It’s my job to seek out the things that will meet my needs in such a way that I feel so filled up with love, energy, connection, passion, and everything else I might need that I am overflowing that back out to my family, my clients and the whole world.
You deserve to receive a lot. – Women tend to have this idea that it’s great for other women to receive, “but oh no, not me.” “I couldn’t possibly take that from you.” “I can’t justify that for myself.” “I’d be selfish.” No. You won’t be selfish. You’re selfish when you continue to try to meet your needs in ways that aren’t effective. It wastes your time, energy, money, and capabilities. And you’re never helping others. But investing well in your own health, well-being, personal growth, mental clarity, stability and ability to do more in the world is anything but selfish. It’s imperative.
By Tara Wagner, “the organic sister”