I am love with women. There, I said it. Let me clarify a bit. I am happily married to a man who I completely adore, but I find that some of my favorite times are spent in the company of women. In fact, I seek them out, and, at times, I truly crave the company of women and the solace that it brings.
I find women to be quite amazing. In one conversation, as we can tangent from topic to topic, women can offer such depth of feeling, connection and insight.
What do I love most about women?
They are Nurturing. An offer of a beverage, someone bringing you soup when you are sick, or giving you a big hug when you are going through a rough time, I am constantly amazed at the pure kindness expressed by the women in my life. Whether a woman has children or not, she is gifted with the ability to care for another person in a way that makes them feel loved and valued.
They offer Empathy. When I hurt, I am sad or crying, I might tell my husband about it. But usually, the first person I reach for to truly bear my soul is female. They always “get” how awful your break-up is, and they remind you that treating yourself to some comfort food is not a deadly sin. They nod knowingly when you cry your eyes out over the loss of a pet. They don’t try to fix, they just sit and listen and just “be” with you in the midst of your turmoil. Like a small island of tranquility in a rough storm, they allow you to cling to them without asking anything in return.
They are Expressive. I love how unashamedly emotional women are. We really FEEL our feelings. Generally, we don’t hide them or try to ignore them, but instead, we are good at bringing them to the surface, usually with a friend, and looking at them. Like a big ball of tangled yarn, looking for the end, we dig around, we analyze, we hypothesize, we consider of our childhoods, our first boyfriend, and the mean names those 8th grade girls called us. We truly want to understand why we insist on carrying around those labels still, even though they do not apply to us any more. We love. We get angry. We feel pain. We express joy. And we share it with each other, with our friends, with those women we trust. To understand ourselves and our emotions better, we talk to our female friends to help us process. They stand with us in support, but can also reveal our blindspots lovingly, in quiet agreement we will return the favor.
They want Connection. We listen deeply to each other. We challenge each other. We validate each other. We help each other transition from mother to business owner to empty nester, from young married to married with kids to menopause. We don’t want to be alone, we don’t want to be “last picked for kickball.” We want to be part of a sisterhood, even if and especially if, we don’t have sisters. We share the commonality and uniqueness of being a woman. We want to understand, but more often, we want to be understood by someone who can look into our soul and see all the mess, and yet reflect back the beauty and potential in us, even if we cannot see it or believe it. We offer to each other the valuable commodity of deep shared understanding.
“Why do I spend so much time with women?” I asked myself.
"Because it feeds my soul," I heard a strong confident voice say.
In the pursuit of health and wellness, we don’t just need exercise and good nutrition. We don’t just need to take care of our physical bodies. But we also need something of deeper value, to be in relationship with others, ones who understand and care for us. Our physical bodies are just one part of us; we must look beyond them and also care of our emotional selves.
I find care, joy, beauty and understanding in the company of women, and I love it. And by accepting what other women have to offer me, to teach me, to give me, I receive a gift that helps me love myself, my femininity, and all that it means to be a woman.