by Judy M McCutcheon
As women, we all struggle with certain types of behaviours that do not serve us. It is my view that all things being equal, as women, we should be much more supportive of each other.
We read too much into situations and get up to mischief that seeks to destroy each other. We need to get into the role of being a better support and Sista Fren to other women. I met a friend that I’d not seen in a long time, and as we chatted, her situation made me realise how much we needed to band together to form that unbreakable bond of meaningful friendship. My friend told me that she was being sued over a FaceBook post. At first, I was taken aback thinking how litigious our society is getting and then it hit me – she must be dealing with a multitude of emotions at this time. What support does she have? It’s hard enough having to deal with life and all the foolishness that comes along with it, but when you are alone in a foreign country, the challenges could seem bigger than they are. I hugged my friend and we chatted for a while about what was happening with her and promised that we would get together to figure out a plan on how to get her through this mess, have some good wine, some laughter and just chill.
We don’t need too many girlfriends; the one hand rule is a good measure – you should be able to count the very good ones on one hand. Our girlfriends are important in every phase of our lives, from nursery school to nursing homes. They are there to help us through divorce, death, sickness, unemployment or simply when life sucks. I remember being extremely ill and how my girlfriends made everything so much more bearable. One would come to the hospital room every night, crawl into the bed with me and read to me. When I had to be flown out by air ambulance to the USA, one friend dropped everything and got on the plane with me. When I had to move from one state to the next for treatment, another friend flew up to the US just to fly with me from one state to the next. When I needed to stay in the US for an extended period for treatment, my friend turned her study into a bedroom because I could not climb the stairs. These are the kinds of Sista Frens that I’m talking about. The ones you meet along your journey that become lifers. The ones who make a tragedy bearable, the ones that can read our minds and emotions, the ones who intuitively know what needs to be done and do it. The ones who listen, the ones who show care and compassion and the ones who can kick your butt into gear when you need it. I remember sending a text to a friend about a week ago telling her that I can’t do something, and the text she sent back had me instantly energised. It put a big smile on my face and gave me the push that I needed to keep going.
We all get busy and this beautiful thing called life sometimes get in the way. But let’s not get too busy to remember our Sista Frens – they help us through thick and thin, they are there with us through laughter and tears. In fact, I was reading that girlfriends provide health benefits as well. In addition to helping us live fulfilling lives, having girlfriends can help lower your blood pressure, reduce the risk of depression, and create a sense of wellbeing. Girlfriends are also a good source of stress relief and comic relief as well. So, they are not only good for your mental health but for your financial health as well. Who are your lifers, the ones that are with you for the long haul? The ones that can get you through a boyfriend/husband cheat; the ones who don’t need to ask you if you need wine, just how many bottles; the ones who know just the right thing to say at the right time. They listen to us as we vent about the men in our lives and our relationships and they don’t just listen, they help you plot and plan your relationship acquisition and divestment strategies.
As you move through the different stages of your life, keep in mind the importance of Sista Frens at every stage. While I’ve made new friends along the way, I’ve had friendships that are 30 years old and time and space is no separator of those friendships. My friendships have taught me to love unconditionally, and to learn to trust. My Sista Frens have been there for me through all my difficulties and through all my joys, they have banded together to ensure I stayed afloat when it looked like I would sink. Sista Frens give you a sense of connectedness and purpose. A Sista Fren sent me a text last week saying, “So many instances I think of you Sista Fren”. Always know that your Sista Frens will be there for you, through the good and bad times, through the sunshine and the rain. So, when you are in your rocking chairs, reminiscing and laughing, you’ll know there’s a whole lot of history behind the laughter. Here’s to my Sista Frens!
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Judy McCutcheon is a partner in the firm Go Blue Inc, a Human Development Company. www.goblueinc.net