Why is it that the close female bonds and camaraderie that bind women together are at times considered to be negative, over dependent traits, that should be severed at the earliest opportunity? Why is it, that ostensibly, these thoughts are male? Women grow up learning they are the butt of many gender related jokes, from the 'dumb blonde' right through to those about the 'monster-in-law' in addition to the lament of many spouses that their female partners can not cut 'their mother's apron strings'. How interesting though, that these same traits demonstrated between women that men claim to abhor, the nurturing, maternal, instinctual, empathic qualities, are the very same that draw men in to relationships with their female partners. It seems that men just don't get it, women need other women in their lives in ways that men just don't need other men.
Women have a knack for forming relationships with other females quite easily, regardless of how well they know them. A few words exchanged between strangers can suddenly become an in depth discussion about life journeys, or parenting experiences, spouses or health. That is the nature of women, always communicating, bonding and learning about each other. The journey begins as youngsters and continues throughout our lives. What our male counterparts fail to recognize is that female friendships run far deeper than simply facials and retail therapy! For women, the shadow of all those who have come before us will influence the course of our lives and have a significant bearing on all that we are, and all we become. Our mothers, our sisters, our girlfriends are our champions and keepers of wisdom. As adults, we need to continue nurturing our female bonds because to deny them, or worse still, ridicule them, is to deny a woman a sense of herself.
I have personally been blessed with some very special women in my life.Their support and guidance through difficult times, their love and happiness for me during the best of times, constantly give me courage, strength and faith in myself. These women walk the road with me, they are family, they are friends, they are mentors and colleagues. So, to the man who is about to share my life, it is wise to take due note now, love me, love the women in my life! The reasons women bond together are many, but instinctually we draw from each other the things we can't, and don't get, from the menfolk.
The most significant feminine influence in any persons life is that of their mother. From mine, I have received the most precious of gifts - unconditional love. Despite any differences in opinion or lifestyle, personal taste or politics, her love for me never wavers. My mother has taught me how to be a woman, and how to teach my son to treat women. During my times of greatest need she has been the glue that holds me together. My mother has shown me that to live a life of integrity in the face of adversity is empowering and says a lot about the kind of person we are. I love and respect her wisdom and insight, and her life lessons that continue today. If I can be half the mother to my son, that my mother has been to me, I know I will have done my job well.
In life it is easy to forget the important things as our priorities shift and change in response to the constant challenges of our daily lives. I know I have been guilty at times of neglecting my close women friends, caught up in my own little world of immediate family and other responsibilities. However, after a while I have began to feel lost, even though I was surrounded by loved ones. I began to feel sad and I didn't know why. In time, I realized, what I was missing, what I needed; the company of other women. Once I reconnected on a regular basis with those I had neglected, I began to feel whole again. There is an innate understanding in female friendships when 'explanations are not necessary'. Together we come through all the usual (and sometimes not so usual) travesties, we mourn the losses and celebrate the successes.
Of all the women in our lives, our best friends hold a special place in our hearts. In our pivotal, life changing moments, the best gal-pal is usually there. For better or worse, the best friend knows our most intimate secrets (though she would never tell), aside from our mother, she is our staunchest supporter, our 'truth', and she knows us often better than we know ourselves. This most special of friendships often spans a lifetime, sometimes following different paths, but always finding its way back, as though no time had passed between us.
My best girl friend is my anchor in a sea of uncertainty and the calm voice in the storm. She is a true and valued friend, she panders to my ego when needed, and then with great courage and foresight she tells me truth when I need to hear it. Whatever the world throws at me, she is there, ready to catch me when I fall. Aside from a mother, who else has so much dirt on us, except a best friend? My best girl friend has shared my best days and also seen me during my worse days; that she speaks to me still, demonstrates volumes, but that is the bond between women.
When I think about all the women I have shared my life with, I realize that my history is bound with theirs. I have learned the folklore of womanhood through them. I have shared marriage, children and divorce with them in ways I never could with others. Together in this intimate circle of friendship and femininity we have strength borne from the knowledge that we have each other. This is why we need one another. It has been said often enough that life is a long and winding road, and I appreciate and am so very grateful, that as I travel the road, I do so in company of some extraordinary women.
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