On my walk this morning I saw the strangest thing. I follow this dirt trail in a local conservation area. Cutting across the trail this morning was a convoy of caterpillars. I know, but stick with me, I did say it was strange. At first I thought it was one very long caterpillar. But then I saw just how long it was and I couldn’t actually see the end of it. It must have been close to 2 metres in length, and I was catching the tail end of it. I ran my eyes up the length of it and found the start of the convoy which was disappearing off into the bush. It was the strangest and most fascinating thing. I’ve never seen anything like it, and I have no idea what they were doing. It looked as if they were moving home. It appears as if the whole caterpillar community, for whatever reason, had decided to move. And they had all banded together to make the journey. Whether this is true or not (and if anyone is a caterpillar expert, I’d love to know), it reminded me of something.
That is, we are all connected. We need to be. We need each other. We need family, friends and community to survive, and thrive.
Ironically, in a time where we are more connected than ever, we are more disconnected than ever. In a time where there is more help and support available than ever before, we are feeling like we must still go it alone, be alone, do it on our own. There is still this idea floating around that asking for help is considered a weakness. This is particularly true of women. As women we are taught that we must have it all, be it all and do it all, all on our own. We are conditioned into thinking that asking for help will be seen as us not coping, or struggling and will surely be taken as a sign of our failure or shortcomings as a woman, mother, employee, boss.
Can we rid this idea? Could it be that, not just asking for support, but expecting it, becomes the new norm. That we can safely ask for and accept support as a given, without the fear of judgment or criticism?
We really must. We really need to start reconnecting, and we need to start working together. We must stop standing on the backs of those who are struggling or falling. We must stop cutting each other down. We must stop comparing, criticising, judging and insulting. We need to put aside our own fears and insecurities and shortcomings and start connecting and supporting and loving.
We must start openly talking and really listening. We need to start being real and authentic and honest. A lot must change.
I am truly grateful and so fortunate to have a small team of women that help me up and hold me together. There is no envy, competitiveness, distrust or fear. Just real love and support and trust and honesty. I wish every woman (and man!) had this level of support. But they don’t and it’s really time that this changes. We have to be the change. We need to be the change. We need to remember that we are all connected and that when one of us shines, we all shine.