An Open Letter to Heal the Sister-Wound

Dear Sister,

I am writing you this letter because I was wrong. I have judged, gossiped about, compared myself to you, and made you the monster in my story. I have done all the things sisters should never do to one another. My eyes are open, and I see how my behavior feeds the festering wound inflicted by our patriarchal culture. We have been placed up against one another for an imbalance benefit. We have been taught how to compete with one another instead of how to honor one another. This is what colonization does. It breaks and fractures our divine systems to create something controlling and oppressive. It separates us into dichotomies, creating endless impossibilities and contradictory rules to strangle our intuition.

Healing the sister-wound is the only way to reclaim our power and divine connection to one another. As I challenge myself to heal and become more than I was told I could be, I ask you to do the same. Healing the sister-wound is the last thing that the patriarchy wants us to focus on. The status quo needs us to perpetuate the messages of inadequacy. For this system to maintain control, we must be kept “in our place” and under the state of mind constructed by our oppressors.

The more time and energy we waste fighting each other, the further we are anchored into a system that dominates our voice and stifles our sovereignty. When we put down other women, we instantaneously uphold this system. Through these actions, we fail ourselves and our future generations. We reinforce our personal disempowerment when we gossip, bicker, and weaponize our knowledge of one another. Instead, we could choose to lift each other up in support and reclaim what was lost. When we value each other, we can recover our fragmented power. Within this community, our strength is robust.

We are the Creatrix. We are the next ancestors. We have been placed on this earth and in these bodies to do the work we are meant to do. It is time to stop hiding behind what is perceived as right and do what we know is right. It is time to listen to our intuition instead of trusting an outside source that claims to know better because clearly, it does not.

When scientists first began studying the human fight or flight response, they only studied men. It was not until recently; that scientists began studying women that they made a fantastic discovery. Women have an additional stress response. It is called “Mend and Tend.” In this response, we come together to support one another and create communities. These bonds create a support system that helps get everyone through the situation. Our primal response to bring people together increases our chances of survival long after the threat has passed. I am calling you to activate this function within. It is time to come together as we work to remedy our cultural afflictions.

 

“Shame derives its power from being unspeakable.”
-Brene Brown

 

The sister-wound thrives in isolation. Our wound is fueled by shame and becomes more potent when we remain silent. The sister-wound is stitched together by false messages of perfection and inadequacy contradicted by messages of being too much. The mask we wear is carved from deception. We are convinced that we can’t trust other women. Rightly so, we have hurt our sisters, and our sisters have hurt us, sometimes deliberately and sometimes unconsciously.

The wound’s message is that you must operate alone because other women will shame and judge you. You must strike first before the other woman has the advantage. This message doesn’t stop there. It becomes problematic when we are vulnerable. It tells us that we will be ridiculed and become an outcast, playing to our primal need for safety as part of the group. The message seems to be on instant replay in our head, strategically attacking us at the right moment. Our culture and current political climate reinforce these messages and beliefs daily. We are bombarded by ads telling us that if we buy this beauty product or weight loss plan, we will be accepted. The messages keep us focused on body image when we should instead be working to nourish our souls. Now we are faced with losing our rights to body autonomy. Many women in our country face horrible consequences forced on them by those who seek to control and condemn them.

To heal this wound, we must stop feeding it. But how? How do we dismantle all the indoctrination? How do we change what we were taught to believe?

The answer is in Reflective Healing. First, we must acknowledge that this pattern and wound exist. We must listen to our inner dialogue to find the messages we have harbored all these years. We must acknowledge how we perpetuate these messages as we use them against one another and teach them to the younger generations. Then we must stop attacking one another.

Our knee-jerk reaction is to say things like, “I don’t do that” or “Well, she did ____ to me, so I’m justified.” This mindset is how we give our power away to the patriarchy. When we say and believe these justifications, we move away from healing and back onto the lap of our oppressors. When we adorn ourselves with the healing cloak of sisterhood, we can say, “I did that, and I won’t anymore.” The key here is listening and reflecting on your current resistances, denial, and behaviors. It is to recognize where you did wrong and adjust as needed.

When will the day come? The day you put down your weapons and rise up with other women in healing? We are overdue for real change and not a child’s band-aid placed over a gaping wound. It is time to work in the community to heal one another. It is time to cheer each other on and take off our masks. We CAN turn this around if we try.

Is it uncomfortable? Yes. In doing this, you will see yourself for the person you have become. You will see other women as well. You will see her insecurities, and this might trigger a choice. You could honor and sit with her in the space of vulnerability together without judgment. Or you could choose to use her insecurities and vulnerability against her. Amazing things can happen when we choose to hold space instead of creating ammunition against one another. When we see each other without fear of judgment, shame, or competition, we can more clearly see and accept ourselves. This is how we recover from our wounds. This is how we reclaim our authenticity. Take a seat in a circle, participate in a ceremony, and be in the community together. The choice has to come from within you. It is time to return to a Matristic culture where we are equals, and we make space for reverence.

The shadow is where the shameful parts of ourselves live, and it cannot be repaired unless we bring these things into the light. The sister-wound has deprived you of your community. It has deprived your community of YOU. When we collaborate, support, and encourage one another instead of working alone or in opposition, we can better handle the blockages the patriarchy throws our way. By mending the unhealed and unrecognized portions of ourselves, we can bring about a lasting transformation that ripples out far beyond a single community. We don’t have to work alone. We can forgive, and we can heal.

Sometimes, activism comes in the places you least expect. Claiming our sovereignty is how we fight back. I propose we take up our authenticity to remedy the sickness deeply embedded in our lives. We must reclaim our right to sit with other women and create magical healing experiences wrapped in profound inner wisdom.

It all begins with an olive branch and the choice to do better in every interaction we have with our sisters. I am open to working with you if you choose to accept my invitation.

Blessings to you,

Leandra Witchwood

1 thought on “An Open Letter to Heal the Sister-Wound”

  1. I love this! Instead of trying to climb over each other for the crumbs of power the patriarchy tosses off of the table, we can each take all of the power we can hold. And then burn down the table.

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