By Yvonne Sam
Each seat in our cheering section should be full of sistahs, who care about the success of each other. They help us to believe in self when threatened by uncertainty.
This is what we each desire and feel that we deserve but, in truth and reality, how many of us do not give the same regard to our support of our sistah circle. Support is not easy. It means finding the mental space, when you do not always feel you are helping a matter or, at best, being heard.
Sometimes it means tough conversations, and hard truths, but you do it because you want to see your sister be her best self…and she is doing the same for you. There are ways to support sistahs, through genuine support, that would help keep you standing. Avoid dismissing their situation for their circumstance.
If one sistah has a high-paying job, and you are struggling financially, in no way does it dismiss the challenges that she faces in her career. Do not make it about you, by feeling that she should suffer in silence because she has money.
It is important and imperative that we find the empathy to stand with our sister, without bleeding self into her challenge.
Ask her if she needs advice, or if she just wants to vent. Sometimes we call each other, and we just need a moment to get some weight off our chests. It is not always about needing advice and direction.
However, asking that question allows your sistah to let you know when she needs your wisdom and perspective on a matter that is weighing her down. Then again, who knows, she might need both; and asking the question allows for better communication.
Sometimes you will need to make the time you demand. Yes, sistahs we are all tired, work long hours and have many responsibilities. However, before turning your phone off, you may want to check on a sistah, who may have a child or a parent in the hospital.
Granted, we need to have time for self-care and tending to our own life; with that being said, you will not want to have a sistah consistently find a way to be unavailable in your darkest hours.
Sometimes giving someone the support they need is a stretch. When others support us, they feel the same stretch. Reciprocity in sistah circles allows enough support to go around, whereby everyone is being poured into, so it keeps all parties involved strong.
Make sure each sistah in the circle is okay. Sow that seed of love and support, and it will surely come back to you, as the circle flourishes.
Aleuta — the struggle continues.
Yvonne Sam, a retired Head Nurse and Secondary School Teacher, is the Chair of the Rights and Freedom Committee at the Black Community Resource Centre. A regular columnist for over two decades with the Montreal Community Contact, her insightful and incursive articles on topics ranging from politics, human rights and immigration, to education and parenting have also appeared in the Huffington Post, Montreal Gazette, XPressbogg and Guyanese OnLine. She is also the recipient of the Governor General of Canada Caring Canadian Citizen Award.