Letter From the Editor: The Circle of Sisterhood
Photo Credit: StratfordProductions/Shutterstock
As a young girl, shy and unsure of the world, I remember gazing up at the women in my life with wonder. I felt safe and assured, without conscious reasons. These women, full of warmth and confidence, seemed to hold the entire world around them together. My mother and stepmother, my aunt, their groups of friends, my friends’ mothers and older sisters, as well as particular teachers and women in my community, breezing through my life in a grocery store or on the sidewalk, smiling down at me, and inspiring everything from my personal style to my hopes and dreams. They made me feel whole and unstoppable. That sense of sisterhood gave me the confidence to spread my wings after I graduated from high school, board a jet plane, and travel across the country, fully embracing the adventure of life and womanhood.
But it didn’t prove to be all birdsong and rainbows. Every now and then, I would feel more madness than magic being pulled from me, forcing me to assess the influences on my trajectory, focus on my power, let go of the things out of my control, and adjust course accordingly.
The Heart of Sisterhood
Many years of that twisty path of adulthood later, I am continuing to seek out and marvel within the endless stories of other women. As editor-in-chief of CircleAround, I enjoy the great fortune of hearing stories from women of all backgrounds, experiences, and cultures who care for their communities, for their families, for one another, and for themselves. While we face a spectrum of challenges and aren’t often dancing on the same lifeline at the same time, our individual journeys are the essence and heart of our shared sisterhood.
Power, Strength, and Hope
A few years ago, I sat with a friend at a local coffee shop. Our conversations meandered around many topics, including serious concerns about marriage and some specific difficulties friends of ours had been facing. One of our friends suspected her husband had been unfaithful, and that he was addicted to pornography. Another friend had lost her mother to cancer. And a third was struggling with infertility. Then, with great empathy, my friend wondered aloud about every woman’s ability to present a façade to the outside world, regardless of the challenging situations we face.
As we examined our own lives and our own challenges, we concluded that it wasn’t a façade at all. We pull ourselves together and wear a smile of confidence on our face when we look out into the world, not in an effort to trick anyone into thinking our lives are better than they are, but because this is where we lean into our strength and overcome obstacles. We do this for our children, for our partners, for our friends, but especially, for ourselves. We do it because we know our ability to face difficult times and to help others around us do the same, so it often begins with this simple gesture of hope.
“Be the woman who fixes another woman’s crown without telling the world it was crooked.”
Our Shared Sisterhood
We all have different strengths and sensitivities, and many of our struggles are shared, along with our victories, too. When one woman wins, we all win. We can celebrate her greatness while absorbing it for ourselves, and while doing so, we elevate the greater good for all women. As each of us continues to make our own way and choose our own destiny, let’s — in this space of CircleAround and beyond — invest the time to create freedom for all women. Let’s extend to one another the same courtesy we hope to receive, so we may all behold options and choices in life we may work to fulfill.
“The best kind of friendships are fierce lady friendships where you aggressively believe in each other, defend each other, and think the other deserves the world.”
We Are CircleAround, Committed to Changing the World
As the media arm for Girl Scouts of the USA, our team at CircleAround.com works to honor the 50 million Girl Scout alum — and all women — by sharing stories that inspire you to create the life you want for yourself, your family, and your community ... while giving back proceeds to support GSUSA’s programs that build girls of Courage, Confidence and Character — who make the world a better place.
“Inspired girls become inspiring women, who inspire girls to become inspiring women.”
Much love, respect, and admiration flow out to the many women and girls who continue to inspire me, my work, one another, and this world. From within my home as a mother to three daughters and glamma to two mighty girls, to the women in my hometown, across the country, around the globe, and now you — right here, right now in this moment. I’m grateful you are here. And if there comes a time where you don’t feel welcomed by our content, reach out to enlighten us. Because you absolutely belong here, in the circle, and we want you to feel at home, honored, celebrated, and represented here.
This is our story- and honor-filled community. We are CircleAround. And together, we can be sure we are all better because of it.
To women’s friendship day, today, and every day,
Stephanie Regalado (firstname.lastname@example.org)