Today’s blog is dedicated to the most important women in my life: my momma and two older sisters. They are the inspiration for this blog.
Growing up as the youngest of four (one older brother and two older sisters), I rarely felt the need or want to have many girl friends. My two older sisters, Olga and Monica, are my best friends. I tell them my struggles and hurts and they, for the most part, are there for me. I’ve continually felt their love and support through all the phases of my life. Our mother taught us to be that way. We don’t feel envy and jealousy towards each other. It’s not something we contemplate on or embrace in our relationship. A victory for them, is a victory for me and vise versa. It’s always been like that, and I pray that it will always be like that.
The blessing of having a healthy relationship with my sisters has stirred a longing in my heart for us, as women, to stop hating on each other and start building relationships that resemble a sisterhood. I’m not saying I never argue with my sisters or get mad at them (they annoy me sometimes), but I do feel like I can be honest and open with them. There is room for me to express myself and not feel judged. I know that even if we don’t agree on certain things, we will always be sisters. Nothing will take that away.
What if we learned to see our friendships like that? How would our community look like? How would our world look like? How would our churches look like? Sometimes it seems as if we’re just trying to “one-up” the girl that’s next to us. If she gets engaged before us, we freak out and think, “Dang! And I’m still single. I better find a man, quick!”. If she gets a better job, we get depressed and start feeling bad for ourselves. It’s a disservice to ourselves and others, to harbor envy, contention and jealousy. We will never reach our potential when we are too preoccupied with what others have over us. I once heard an ad on the radio that said “There will always be someone prettier, someone smarter, someone taller, someone funnier. But they’ll never be you”. That’s truth! I can only be the best version of me. And others should only worry about being the best version of themselves.
I cannot remember a time when I felt obligated to compare myself with my sisters. We were raised to embrace our unique personalities and talents. It took me a while to realize that the foundation my mom had formed in our family unit, should also be applied to the friendships in my life. When the lights when on, I learned to embrace other women, celebrate their achievements and be content with who I was. By content I don’t mean being mediocre, rather, feeling fortunate to be who God called me to be.
This week I heard a message from my Pastor about unity. He said that unity is something you work on. It is not something that just happens. While I digested that thought, I remembered a passage that says, “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.” (Romans 12:10, 11-13) All the words in this passage are an encouragement to take action. Building healthy, non-toxic relationships, will require action. And it doesn’t surprise me that the passage urges us to love each other with “brotherly” love. Loving others like a sister or brother, will take an effort. You will hurt for them, you will have to call them, you will have to make an effort to spend time with them and you will have to choose to celebrate their happiness even when you’re not feeling happy.
So many of us make the mistake of thinking that we can be called a friend without putting time and effort into the relationship. Yes, we all have busy lives and hectic schedules but you make time for the relationships you care for. My sisters always make time to talk to me, laugh with me and encourage me. They MAKE time. You can’t call someone your sister or friend when they only value your relationship enough to “squeeze” you into their schedule. It’s about valuing our relationships more than our personal agenda and personal gain. Let’s rise up to promote an environment where other women can be themselves, feel loved and feel united in our presence.
Shout out to my friend Cindy Diaz. She is a fabulous writer and has been editing my blog posts. You are the bomb!