Tag Archives: Tribe

Check on your Strong Friends

When you describe someone as strong, what do you mean? There are different representations of physical strength: Running a marathon, push-ups or burpees (my least favorite exercise), hitting any number of yoga poses, childbirth, the list continues.

What about mental and emotional toughness? Not as easy to identify, right? Perhaps it’s someone with a level of resilience, the friend who’s been dealt a series of less than optimal hands and still shows up with a smile. They’re the friend who always figures it out. When you ask if they’re okay, they’ll reassure you with an “of course” or “yep, all good.”

Very nonchalant and never wanting to draw attention to themselves, our strong friends are often our soft places to fall. They’re our first phone calls for the good and the bad moments life throws at us. Because they can handle it. They always have, they always will, right?

Until they don’t. Until our strong friends are so depleted they can’t function. I’ve watched my strong friends lose themselves and I myself have experienced this. Here’s the thing, were all strong in our own way. Strong isn’t a one size fits all adjective. And as the song goes, we all need somebody to lean on.

We’re not supposed to do life alone. I, for one, know I don’t want to do life without my tribe. Asking friends for help (not misusing or disrespecting boundaries) is part of the human condition. Thank God for that! Imagine how terrible life would be if there weren’t other people involved!

Together, we need to redefine strong. Strong is being vulnerable, showing the full range of emotions, not just the ones that are comfortable. Strong is articulating what you need, even if you’re not sure what exactly that is. It’s showing up as you are, perfectly created, for the moments of pain, grief, anxiety, addiction and sadness.

Check on your strong friends. Better yet, check on your tribe. You will not and should not have the answers. That’s not the point. You are there to invade personal space and remind your people they’re not alone in this ever winding journey called life.

How do you invade their personal space without pissing anyone off? Check back next week for some ways to start.

Surrounded

“That’s what a great friend is: Someone who looks out for you when you’ve forgotten to look out for yourself. Find these superwomen, love them and let them love you” – Alicia Keys

That quote summarizes my life. I am part of this amazingly powerful, courageously vulnerable and overall badass group of women. Women from all walks of my life, who look, sound and feel differently than I do. Some are right here in Philly and some are across the country. Regardless of distance, they’re my go to at anytime even when it’s not convenient, ever-growing tribe.

There are many days when I sit back and admire this fierce lady tribe of mine. Members of the group have actually caught me staring at them smiling. Creepy, I know, but I’m not apologizing. I’m often in awe of how exceptional these women are and that ALL of them are in my corner. How in the world could I be this blessed?!

Note: I have some great men in my life too; that’s another post for another time. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been surrounded by a village. A village of strong, kind, brave, fun women. My mother created this village and filled it with other positive role models: Her mom (my grandmother), her sister (my godmother), various cousins and her best friends. I was the first born for my mom and her friends. I became their doll, perhaps their practice baby and that place of distinction hasn’t changed almost 30 years later. These women, mom included, set the standard for how I view friendship. They have, time and time again, shown up for each other, to celebrate, to grieve, to support. It is unconditional love at its best.

My mom monitored this village as I grew up. The older I got, the less control she had. Yet, she encouraged its growth, stating “you can never have too many people who love you.” That stuck.

Fast forward to present day, here I am with my extraordinary girl gang because my mom cultivated this love abundance mindset in me. She is grateful I have other women in my life to look out for me, take me to dinner or listen to me. Yes mom, you’re always #1, they know that too.

One of the tribe members leaned over my cubicle the other day and said “Everyone deserves someone who looks out for them the way you look out for me.” It’s like she knew I was writing this post (she didn’t). That my friends is what cultivating your own group of superwomen is about. I can’t give you a set of bullets to explain how these women walked into my life. I can say that there’s no perfect picture of who should be in your circle. Toss out any preconceived notions and stay open. Love is a limitless emotion and the circle that surrounds you can never be too big.

I am forever grateful to my mom for making sure I was surrounded and to all the women who are walking with me on this journey. Check out my Instagram (@alexcharlic) to see and hear about some of these amazing women throughout the month of March.

40 years of friendship right here

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