Research says, among siblings, the sister-sister bonds last the longest, even if jealousy and rivalry had cropped up during the growing-up years. As mature adults, sisters can move beyond and remain connected. Sometimes, irrespective of age, these bonds blossom into great friendships that have each other’s back through thick and thin. As we know, one seeks to have such bonds with whom we can share our fears, troubles, anxiety, etc., during the golden years.
What if you do not have a sister? The term sisterhood is not an indicator of blood relationship only. It refers to the strong bond women form among themselves. You can experience sisterhood with your cousins, friends, neighbours, colleagues, etc. Often, women do not want to confide in men about something and feel only another woman can understand what they are going through. It is this my tribe feeling that drives women to reach out to women and form sisterhood relationships. It is essential to have a group of women who can seek and help each other with anything under the sun!
The Little Women and sisterhood
Most senior women may be familiar with Little Women. It is a classic that beautifully depicts the power of sisterhood. Little Women, written by Louisa May Alcott, has also been made into movies. The story takes you through the childhood-to-womanhood journey of four March sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. It was written in the 1800s and is said to be partly autobiographical, and showcases the power of sisterhood in the true sense. Each sister has a distinct character that stands out from the others, and yet, the bond holds. If you have a sister (or a friend) you have not been in touch with lately, it’s time to rekindle the bonds again. Maybe they are waiting for your call to get going again. Some bonds are special that way.
Friends to Sisterhood transition
Blood relationship or not, most women do have sisterhood-friend gangs as they plough through life. However, as you grow older, the numbers can tend to reduce to a limited set of people. The senior years can be traumatic in many ways. There is so much happening to yourself and around you. Bodily changes are affecting you. Also, losing your spouse of many years or other people in your close circles, kids moving out, perhaps a retirement and relocation, etc., are reasons that can cause anxiety or depression.
Doubts abound in your mind, and the only way you feel at ease is to discuss it with people you feel comfortable with. Perhaps, many of them have similar problems or have overcome them. That sense of comfort and peace can only come from a close sisterhood gang. This gang can be the support system that keeps you sane and prevents you from falling into depression. This aspect is paramount, as studies have indicated that women are more likely to fall into depression than men. Unlike what we believe, 22 % of urban and 17% of rural elderly reported depression in India. Therefore, it is a reality.
You gain some valuable benefits from sisterhood that you may not find elsewhere. This sisterhood gang is willing to listen to you without judging you for what you are sharing in confidence. This aspect makes it easy for you to share honest opinions and feedback. At times, you are in a dilemma about making some decisions. After making your decision, you can validate your thought process and understanding with them. Sisterhood is also about empowering each other to think, to stand up for your rights, to set and achieve goals, to travel, etc. Sisterhood power also keeps you aware of happenings and warns you about imminent dangers.
With a sisterhood gang, someone always has your back. There is nothing like it for peace of mind and a sense of safety when we grapple with our senior issues. Don’t feel afraid to reach out and make your sisterhood bonds stronger, and always watch out for your ‘sisters’, so they feel the same comfort and security too.