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Recently I was reminded of how my generosity and kindness affected a young woman. Her heartfelt thank you note expressed her gratitude for the way I had impacted her life the last few months. I was touched and humbled by her words. They made me reflect on how our actions towards others, especially other women, can make a difference.
A few years ago, Hilary Clinton wrote a book entitled It Takes a Village. In the book, she was referring to how it takes all of us as a society to raise intelligent, capable children that will become well-adjusted adults. In the same vein, it is my opinion that a village of women in our corner help all women become the best that they can be. Better moms, better professionals, better wives, better sisters, better daughters, better friends. Better at juggling motherhood and a career. Better at relationships and better at becoming more confident and strong. The support of other women can be of great value in our lives and we crave it.
In her book, Count on Me: Tales of Sisterhood and Fierce Friendships, Nora Comstock, founder of Las Comadres Para Las Américas organization said, “There is no question that women’s relationships are unique. A landmark UCLA study found that reaching out to women friends is a woman’s natural response to stress. These friendships can bring us peace, fill the emotional shortcomings, and help us remember what lies deep inside each of us. Women are a source of strength to each other.”
I have been a member of Las Comadres for a few years now and believe that my relationship with the organization has allowed me the opportunity to become friends with many wonderful Latinas in my area. These women have been there for me and have supported my writing career in ways that I never expected. The more often we gather, the closer we get and the more we help each other in whatever endeavor we are involved in.
“My relationships with other women are my life,” said Ana L. Flores, founder of Latina Bloggers Connect, and #WeAllGrowSummit and author of Bilingual is Better. “Aside from the support of my husband, it’s other women in my life who have been instrumental in my career and elevating my passions. It’s a full support system, starting with my mom, my sisters, my aunts, la abuelita, and the women that have been mis amigas y compañeras. And now I lead a business run by women and targeted at creating a community of passionate women who love what they do. I may be biased, but I do believe our relationships amongst women are not only a benefit, but a must.”
At the #WeAllGrow Summit this year, I saw Ana’s sentiment in action. “#WeAllGrow Summit was born out of Latina Bloggers Connect’s motto of “When one grows, we all grow.” It’s a testament to the power of community to elevate the individual towards the betterment of all.”
At times, though, women might feel rejected or dismissed by other women. “The truth is that I learned a while back to not let the envy of others affect me. I can’t base how I feel on how other people project their insecurities towards me. And by me reacting to them, it feeds them and just makes the issue bigger, said Flores”
In reality, there are more positives than negatives from our relationships with other women; often times we are making a difference in someone’s life without awareness. “At Las Comadres, we are there for each other, even though we do not personally know all the women in the network. The connection is that we are all comadres,” said Comstock.