The other day I was out to tea with a friend I hadn’t seen in almost a year.
We were catching up on our celebrations and of course, places of challenge.
At some point during the conversation when we were sharing set backs and blocks, my friend was telling me about a painful experience that had happened to her a few weeks before. Of course my heart ached for her and all I wanted to do was sit with her and be present to her feelings.
And then, she moved from owning her sadness to ripping apart a woman who was involved in the experience. I was so wrapped up in her story that I didn’t notice at first how she had shifted from her own internal process to placing blame on another.
And the truth is, sometimes we just need a safe place to rant.
But, 5 minutes past and this sacred container started to feel like high school.
Judgements being tossed around. Assumptions become truth.
And at a certain point, she said, “I know this doesn’t feel like sisterhood, but….”
BUT on she went, shaming another woman who she actually really doesn’t know.
At a certain point, I stopped her so that her back to her place in this hurtful experience.
The truth is, every painful experience reflects to us places that still need healing. And when we point the finger outside of us rather than looking at our own actions or miscommunications, we are missing powerful moments of growth.
Now, don’t get me wrong. As I said, sometimes we need a tender-hearted person to hold space as we spew out annoyances or angers at another.
But, when you are on a path to discovering your truth, the conversation always needs to come back to how you showed up (authentic, fear-based) and why you might have acted in certain ways (fear, anger, guilt).
As women, we are taught through movies, commercials, and really any mainstream marketing advertisements to bash our sisters. To compete. Bully. Shit-talk. Somehow, we have learned that this makes us feel better than.
I have noticed that when I gossip it is because I am feeling left out or unseen. I may feel less than and by taking down another, I feel better. (The crazy truth is that I actually feel worse by engaging in this act.)
Not the best way to heal and evolve.
In true sisterhood, which is something I believe we are all desiring, we see another woman as powerful and beautiful, even when she can’t see that for herself. We see her in all of her faults and understand that she has navigated through wounds and betrayals. We see that we are actually the same – our stories may have different characters and scenes but ultimately similar feelings.
This can be exhilarating. It can be freeing.
It can also be downright vulnerable and uncomfortable.
This way of thinking asks us to take self-responsibility and erases lack from our minds. It asks us to be inclusive and empathetic.
As I sat down to write this, my intention was to provide a guide on catching yourself when you are bashing another woman. But, the more I felt into this, I realized that what would be even more powerful is to create some sort of agreement.
There are thousands of women on this list and what might happen if we make a committment amongst us?
This shit-talking has got to end. It is keeping us in an endless cycle of shame and fear.
So, if you know that you have tendencies towards gossip and tearing another down, I invite you to:
- Place one hand over your heart and one hand over your wombspace.
- Read this out loud.
I pledge to honor and respect other women. I will fully embrace both their challenges and joys.I pledge to trust my sisters. I know that they want to best for me and have my back. (This is a big one so pay attention to what comes up for you!)
I pledge to minimize my gossiping. I will do this only in a safe space and after the rant, I will return to understanding and learning about my own role in this experience.
I pledge to support other women return to their center if they are pulled by shaming others.
I pledge love. For myself and others.
- Acknowledge your courage for choosing to shift your behavior.
Thank you for joining me in this sacred pledge.
I feel like maybe today, we can take a chunk out of this massive indoctrination called Shit-talking.
In the comments below, please share your thoughts:
Your own experience belittling/shit-talking another.
And your commitment to shift this behavior.With Love....
And Remembering the Ways of the Feminine™,