Friday, February 26, 2010
When was the last time you shared an intimate detail of your life with a group of people you’d just met?
If you’re a woman, chances are you’ll say, “Last week.” Or even, “Yesterday.” Women have this amazing ability to connect with virtual strangers – often in the blink of an eye. And on a deeply personal level. I’ve experienced this phenomenon several times in the past few months: At a detox retreat in Vermont in October (that's some of the gals above). A birthday dinner in a chic Manhattan restaurant last week. And in my own living room on Tuesday.
I’m one of those women whose emotional baggage is chock-full of painful memories of adolescence. Of the relentless competition, sniping, and betrayals that were so prevalent in the relationships I had with my (supposed) girlfriends. I’m guessing that’s why I often marvel at this instantaneous—and shockingly authentic—female bonding. It seems to happen between women who come together for a common cause. Or unite in a shared purpose. Whether it’s celebrating the longevity of a great friend or marshaling our collective energy to support the intention of manifesting positive change.
You know how the universe has this annoying habit of beating you over the head with messages it wants you to pay attention to? This month it’s been reminding me that women place a high value on relationships—often to the point where we’ll sacrifice personal gain rather than risk losing someone we love. In some ways this isn’t a good thing. The “experts” say it renders us unable to ask for what we want. It leaves us lagging behind men in the workplace. It prevents us from leading fulfilled lives.
But I’m choosing to believe that said universe is asking me to focus on the positive aspects of this trait. How reassuring it is to know others are thinking and feeling and agonizing over the same things as you. How much fun it is to share and learn and laugh with like-minded spirits. And what a relief it is to feel understood and supported. To know you’re not alone on your path.
Our conversations with other women may begin with a superficial, “Love those shoes!” But by the time we’re saying our goodbye’s, it’s not surprising to find that we’ve connected on a soulful, lasting level. For me, that’s worth a whole lot more than a few extra bucks in my paycheck.