Relationship Realness: We are Family (I got all my sisters and me...)
(photo courtesy of StephanieHollman.com)
Oh, yeah! I just had to quote a memorable 70’s song. Many of us value family and friends as the most important things in life. In all things we experience as women, we rely on others to be there with us in laughter and tears, tragedy and triumph. Somehow sharing life with our “sisters”, whether they are real sisters or just friendship sisters, makes it all just a little better.
Obviously, the Housewives of Dallas feel this way and it is the most important premise and focus of last night's episode. As we watch the vignettes present themselves, we see the different focuses from Stephanie and Brandi's reconciliation to a new view of their friendship with Cary, Steph, and Brandi’s trip to Memphis.
We see D’Andra’s struggle with her mom and her stepson, and LeeAnne’s frustration over her shifting friendship with Brandi. These key moments all lead us to how family and friendships vary throughout challenging situations in each of our lives.
As women, we are driven by our relationships and at any given moment we may wear the roles and responsibilities for many of them. We may be married, a mom or stepmom, a caregiving daughter, a business entrepreneur, a community supporter, and sometimes all of the above at once.
When I was in my twenties, my dad passed away suddenly and in my late 30’s, my sister passed away as well. These losses changed our family, as well as my life forever. It showed me the importance of family at a very early age. We were all extremely close and my sister was my role model in life. She was 10 years older than I and it never stopped the relationship from being the closest ever. At an international women's inspirational conference a few years ago, I realized what I had been missing for so many years was the relationship of trust and bonding a “sister” brings.
My respect for working with women became one of my passions. Many of my clients come to see me for coaching and counseling in regards to their interactions and communications with family, significant others, and friendships both in their personal and professional lives. One of my recent clients even admitted she has always looked for female friends who were authentic, caring, and could be truly trusted. As she shared her challenge, I could relate with times in my own life where women were the source of bullying, competition of massive proportion, and even betrayal. What happened to the types of friends we had in elementary, middle, and even high school where we had slumber parties, weekends filled with talking, envisioning our futures, and learning about makeup, pop culture, and of course…crushes?
Do women need the relational aspect of genuine and yes, authentic sisterhood? The answer is YES! We need someone to hear our words in both a logical and emotional manner as we talk through the possibilities and answers to life’s biggest challenges. We strive for sisterhoods when we struggle with our family and for most certain when we lose family members through death or difficulty. We also do not take losing a close friendship lightly. As women, we invest greatly in the individuals with whom we spend our most precious moments in life.
Through our struggles we often learn more about ourselves. As Cary, Stephanie, and
(photo courtesy of StephanieHollman.com)
Brandi take a road trip with Brandi’s mom and children to visit her grandfather and grandmother, they experience the fun and the support of having close friends when challenges are presented. Brandi learned greatly how it must have felt when she didn’t talk to Stephanie as she experienced the silence of someone she loved, her grandmother.
Not only are friends part of our lessons in life, but our families are as well. In the last episode, D’Andra finally hears the true concern and love her mom carries as she tries to make decisions to support her instead of hurt her. She, then, in this episode feels the same frustration, love, and care for her stepson and his decisions. Relationships are our greatest moments to realize personal pain AND personal purpose.
As I shared a little of my own story, I have deeply embraced both. My work now, besides coaching the housewives, is to support women in their in their ever-changing roles as they envision the path to be one of purpose, mission, joy, and hope, whatever their challenges. Family and relationships are usually at the core of our struggles and our newfound strengths.
I am proud to be a co-founder in a collaborative venture called The Every Heart Project, where we a building a true "sisterhood" for our women to embrace. We host monthly events and annual retreats, as well as various workshops and classes. Our goal is to provide a safe space for our sisters to connect and find that much needed support they truly yearn.
So, to my “housewives” and sisters, Stephanie and Cary…you showed it in a fabulous way this week! You shared the true meaning of sisters and even did it with a fish on a hook, curled up in a double bed with facial masks, with a hug and a bottle of wine. Brandi, welcome to having fabulously supportive people who care about your tears when you have them.
Ladies, sisterhood for us, is key for success in work and life. It gives us the support we crave and the ability to let go and just be the “girl” again. So…sing it out….we ARE family…I got all my sisters and me!