I came up with “The Sister’s Keeper Formula” as a way of constructing a strategy to maximize on this role that many of us want to play. It is time to have an honest conversation with ourselves about who we are, who we say we are and who we would like to be.
Yes, we have to talk about this openly and honestly.
However, we use this phrase “I am my Sister’s Keeper” far too loosely and I cannot say that enough. We slap it on a social media post or scrawl it on a card with a gift. We do it because not only does it sound so good, the concept of being our Sister’s Keeper seems so right. It seems so wholesome.
“My Sister’s Keeper” is phrase and concept we evolved as a measure of benevolence among women. Whenever we lend a helping hand or motivate another woman, we reference this term. Being your Sister’s Keeper is what women’s empowerment is all about.
Take a look around you; Women’s Empowerment is everywhere.
Yes, women’s empowerment is everywhere and we respond very well to it. That is because we respond very well to things that make us look good. We like to give off positive vibes to the public so that people think the best of us. We actually enjoy the perks of ‘sisterhood’ and the advantages of networking, interlinking and exchanging ideas.
We use this phrase “I am my Sister’s Keeper” far too loosely and I cannot say that enough. We slap it on a social media post or scrawl it on a card with a gift. We do it because not only does it sound so good, the concept of being our Sister’s Keeper seems so right. It seems so wholesome.
Like a lot of other things, we claim to be our sister’s keeper but don’t even really know what this means. It seems that throwing around popular catch phrases or trending titles has become so commonplace that we don’t even take note of how paramount they are.
In truth, many of us cannot even keep ourselves much less anyone else.
We are unable to stand in the proverbial gap for anyone completely and wholeheartedly when it really counts is because we haven’t taken the time to honestly survey our own state of mind, set any goals for self-improvement or addressed any issues that may be aiding in our sometimes unleveled mental and emotional state.
Some of us still have a lot of growing to do. We are messy. We are childish and contrary to the classy, empowered and motivated women we would like to project ourselves to be. We get loose with our tongues and use Social Media as a tool to subliminally belittle, degrade and debase one another.
So many of us are just about showing the public something good while indulging in actions that stem from bitterness, envy, anger and malice. Most of us are NOT above throwing “shade” at one another to build up feelings of insecurity or to highlight our fortune and the other’s struggle.
We push buttons, we war against each other. Then, each one of us goes home with the demons we feed and wonder why we stay stuck for so long in a state of discontent.
We have allowed bad behavior to become a consuming habit and it is past time that we stop covering it up with lukewarm good intentions.
I came across an article written in 2011 for Virtuous Magazine, “Am I my Sister’s Keeper?” by Melanie Joyce Johnson. She writes:
“Are you your sister’s keeper? To be a keeper in its original language means "to guard, protect or attend to" (someone or something). In the case of Genesis 4:9, it refers to Cain looking out for the best interest of his brother Abel. It is impossible to honestly protect our sister if inside we secretly envy, despise, and plot to spiritually kill her. Also, when it comes to protecting, it is not referring to those whom we prefer to call friends, it includes everyone.”
Who are we really keeping? Who are we really helping?
Do we really project ourselves and immerse ourselves in kindness and a strong desire to help another woman? Do we really initiate a course of action that would lead to the betterment of someone else? Or, did we just sign up for a cause, show up once or twice, lend a kind word that looked good on social media and then got back to whatever we were doing?
What does being our Sister’s Keeper really mean? What does it really require from us?
The term “My Sister’s Keeper” was derived directly from “My Brother’s Keeper” which comes from the story of Cain and Abel found in the Bible’s Old Testament Book of Genesis.
Cain and Abel were the sons of Adam and Eve. Cain became a farmer, while Abel raised livestock. When the time came to bring their offerings; God was very pleased with the abundance of meat that Abel was able to bring before him. He wasn’t at all too impressed with the harvest Cain yielded. Inevitably, Cain grew angry at God and envious of Abel. So, he killed Abel. When God asked Cain where is his brother was, he responded, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” Of course, God knew that Abel had been killed by Cain’s hands, so he cursed him.
Over time, the concept has been established to mean that we are, by natural inclination meant to look out for one another, work together as opposed to succumbing to the negativity of envy and anger.
I don’t want to get religious here. I’m simply highlighting the etymology in order to clearly define the concept. In fact, MANY people using the phrase today aren’t even aware of its Biblical origin. It’s alright, you don’t have to be a devout Christian in order to understand this story.
THE MAKING OF THE SISTER’S KEEPER FORMULA
This plan of action that I'm calling "The Sister's Keeper Formula" came together after I had to do something that was really scary a few days ago.
I had to ask myself the questions:
Who am I? Who do I say I am? Who I want to be?
Are you taking care of yourself, Tuesday? Are you doing what needs to be done to KEEP yourself? Do you know what it takes to KEEP someone else?
The answers went something like this:
I’m a good woman with a lot of bad habits. I think that I’m a work in progress. I want to be a kind-hearted, productive woman in pursuit of fulfilling her purpose. I probably need to work on myself more before I try to uplift anyone else.
So, I say I’m a work in progress. Hmmm.
What does that even really mean?
Again, it’s one of those popular phrases we use without considering the magnitude of the true meaning. It’s easy because we’ve heard so many times, from so many people that we just accept it as a viable explanation and move on. I supposed it sounds a lot tidier than saying, “I’m trying to get my life together.”
It’s an easy way to explain our shortcomings. That’s all.
This was my foundation for Part One of The Formula.
To start piecing things together, I went over the definition of the verb KEEP. It’s important to define the key role of the key action you’re about to take:
- Have or retain possession of.
- Continue or cause to continue in a specified condition, position, course, etc.
From here, I then concluded that:
If were to engage the idea of working progressively on myself, the first thing I would do is identify my bad habits and replace them with good ones. I would take a close look at my relationships and interactions with people who influence me to act negatively. I would have to be honest about the current state of my emotions. I would have to be open to getting help, seeking advice and taking constructive criticism.
So, in order to KEEP myself, I came up with the following actions:
This will require you to commit to something positive. You will find that this is a practice that actually works. The more you involve yourself in something, the more you learn about it and understand it. The more you understand it, the better you can relate to it. The better you can relate to it, the more that you can appreciate it. When you can appreciate it, you feel more inclined to share it.
When I suggest keeping busy, I’m talking about becoming involved in an activity that does not just require you to just sit and listen but means that you actually have to do something. It can be anything from writing a book, joining a sports team, charity organization or starting a business.
Keeping busy and being useful is a winning formula when you put a lot of effort into it. You need to exert enough effort that it distracts from the frivolous pursuit of old grudges, harmful gossip, and typical female bitterness. Become so productive that your mind will become trained to discard these things and replace them with a natural need to want to share the story of your journey to self-improvement.
Here’s a little saying I created: Be productive in your purpose, consumed with your calling and giving with your gifts.
KEEP THE PEACE
Keeping the peace is a big one. This is the difference between you spreading positive vibes and being affected by the negativity controversy. You don’t have to respond to everyone and everything that offends you. You don’t have to give your time to people who only want to wage war over discrepancies they have with you.
Peacefulness will secure and stabilize the motivated state of mind you are in. It means that you can agree to disagree and clear the air. It means that you are letting yourself move on to better times.
KEEP THE FAITH
You have to believe that although it’s hard to morph into the phenomenal woman you want to be; it is not impossible.
Having faith in yourself helps you to establish your position with other women. We simply cannot be expected to believe in those who don’t believe in themselves.
Faith is trust and confidence and these two elements are key components of character building. A woman who plays the role of Sister’s Keeper brings true value to others by projecting a strong belief in her purpose and passion.
KEEP GOOD COMPANY
The world is full of conformists who cling to the concept of just saying they’re their Sister’s Keeper, but there are still a few who actually are who they say they are. Find them. Learn from them. Be directed and guided by their influence.
Also, take note of who stays and who goes when you commit to bettering yourself. It isn’t always your job to try to maintain relationships with people who insist on not making moves to grow. It’s also counterproductive to keep people who doubt your abilities around. Even worse, there are people in your life now who envy your evolution. They’re okay with you as long as you stay “stuck” where they are.
That’s not good company.
Keeping good company is a clear indication that you care about what influences you let into your life. This is essential for the woman who wants to be her Sister’s Keeper. You only want to bring them the best of you.
Keeping good company also aids in you being more receptive to constructive criticism, self-improvement, and development.
It is guaranteed that these partnerings will greatly enrich your life.
After I was able to clearly define what was required to condition my mind to keep myself, I moved on to considering the needs of my sisters.
First, I thought about what ‘sisterhood’ means:
- The relationship between sisters
- An association, society or community of women linked by a common interest.
I have identified our common interest to be self-improvement through empowerment. These are the action steps I identified:
KEEP IT REAL
Stay honest. Don’t tell a woman she is okay if she isn’t. Don’t pretend in order to spare her feelings. Listen to the facts without judging. Share your stories without misplacing theirs.
Listen to understand and when you reply, make it meaningful.
Don’t sell a dream to someone that they cannot afford. Instead, help them to explore avenues to making major changes and build toward moving forward. The truth sometimes is hard to hear but it is essential.
Be kind, but be firm.
KEEP AN OPEN MIND
As women, we may be on different paths while seeking the same thing: happiness, success, purpose, and passion.
We were not all raised the same way. We aren’t all wired the same. We are different people. Taking a hands-on approach to being your Sister’s Keeper will require you to keep an open mind to this. Don’t get stuck thinking that your way is the only way.
When you learn about the lives of others as they share their stories and lean on you for support, the experience can be fulfilling for everyone. You can always learn something from people no matter what stage they are at in life. You can also learn more about yourself when you interact with them.
Don’t ever stop learning.
KEEP YOUR PROMISES & KEEP IN TOUCH
It is one thing to reach out to someone who needs motivating or any other kind of help. It is far more credible to stay in contact and follow up. Helping someone to improve their current situation, evolve their ideas or enrich their lives is not always an easy task. There are women out there who feel lost and need your constant encouragement.
Make sure the lines of communication stay open.
Let’s go back to our core here: the definition of KEEP. To keep is to have cause to continue in a specified condition, position or course. When you become a key source of empowerment to other women, your consistency is significant. Stay on course and stay in position.
Always reserve time for yourself, but don’t forget to stay close to those who are the links in your chain of sisterhood.
Make and keep a promise of consistency.
WHY DID I FEEL THAT IT WAS NECESSARY TO COME UP WITH "THE SISTER'S KEEPER FORMULA"?
Personally, I need to do this for ME.
I found myself too late in life making very creative excuses for bad behavior. Then, I looked around me and realized that too many of us are doing the same things. We have been misusing the bonds of sisterhood. It's almost as though we form gangs that exploit the securities for weaker women or women who we have labeled as deserving recipients of slander, degradation, and misfortune.
My energy and my purpose come with a certain energy that is capable of imparting positive influence. That is where I wanted to shift my focus, for MY own sake. Then, because I want and need to who I say I am; I am starting here at being my Sister's Keeper.
Yes, I want to keep all of you in some shape or form.
I’ve read a lot of articles and books that seek to analyze female psychology. Yet, at the end of it all, I’ve concluded that the ability to be our Sister’s Keeper has already embedded itself within each of one us. It simply requires an awareness of self and a need to bring it forefront.
Self-improvement coupled with a spirited effort to want to help others is the ultimate formula to a meaningful life.
I’ve taken the time to pin a few articles here that have truly inspired me to create THE SISTER’S KEEPER FORMULA. I’d like to share them with you and encourage you to share them along with this post with as many women as you can.
Two of them are actually found right here on this site (yes, I do inspire and motivate myself):
5 Ways to stop yourself from acting like a Bitch
3 Key Things I’m doing to change me life
The other two are:
10 Strategies for Developing Self-Control
Am I My Sister’s Keeper?
This journey started at the close of 2016. I've been anxious to get my stories out. I've also been taking my time in order to make sure that every single thing I share is aimed at strengthening my personal evolution while lending valuable insight to the women of the world. There is so much more, so much to learn, so much to say. If I've reached you in any small way, please feel free to share this article. You can also SUBSCRIBE to my site and I will email you updates on new posts.
Thank you for being here.
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