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Sistah Support System

Social Service, called welfare back in the day, was built originally to support the needs of the nation’s poor, needy and sick. The goal of the program was to give a helping hand to those without support. Whether you agree with the program in its current form, its originators understood one basic human fact: all of us, from time-to-time, could do with a little help. Outside of a financial obligation, I feel women, like the social service system, should come to the aid and assistance of other women. This support system can come in the form of a relative, friend or best bud/BFF.

No matter how gifted, talented or how close to Olympus some of us have reached, we all need that sister-friend, compadre or girlfriend who is in our corner until the last bell rings. Every woman needs a Sistah Support System.  If you’re lucky as I am, then this person can be a blood relative but she doesn’t have to be.

In my case, the Super Sistah (Stephanie by birth) has a sister. She’s younger than me so she’s been pre-programmed to love me no matter what. But when I’m down, when the world has gone dark and grey, when my superpowers have failed me and I feel like I have nothing left, like the welfare program of old, she steps in with the resources I need.

She replenishes me in these simple ways:

  1. She accepts me as I am. Acceptance goes a long way.  My sister is very clear about my shortcomings. She’s cognizant of my failings, insecurities and shortcomings, but despite my imperfections her good opinion of me hasn’t changed. Love without judgment feeds our starving hearts with the food we need.
  2. She encourages me. If my sister sees that I can’t leap as high as I once did, she selflessly gives me a boost. If I tell her I feel alone, she declares she is always here with me. When I express my doubts, she reminds me that I am powerful. When I share my fear of not being good enough, she reminds me that I am a fear-fighter. Sometimes a kind word is all the currency we need.
  3. She’s there when I need her. Sometimes just being there for someone is all the help they require. Knowing a friend is present gives us the added reassurance of knowing that if the bottom opens up in our world, that those who care about us won’t make us fall. A safety net in times of trouble is comforting.
  4. She listens to me. Often, all we need is an understanding ear when things have gone crazy in our lives. Advice is good but often overrated.
  5. She’s trustworthy.  No matter how stupid, foolish or irresponsible I’ve been, I know that my secrets are safe. Sometimes knowing that our thoughts are confidential is invaluable.

I’m blessed, but a Sistah Support System does not have to be a blood relative. She can be any woman who supports us as we navigate through a world that is not built to encourage love and friendship between persons of the same sex. As women, a support system with women of like minds is a must.

We’re not meant to live off the kindness of our friends, but to use their support as a stopgap until our lives are back on track. Here’s to the many women we call friends and family who love us and have our backs.



About the Author

Stephanie Small, Sistah & Superhero! Author, Educator, Personal Growth Coach & wannabe Superhero! Author of Black Girl's Guide to Winning at Love & Life! (Available on Amazon.com, B&N and Kobo)

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