It’s been rough, I admit it! There is a phrase in Napoleon Hill’s book, “Think and Grow Rich” which says, “If you have even been discouraged, if you have had difficulties to surmount which took the very soul out of you, if you have tried and failed, if you were ever handicapped by illness or physical affliction . . . this use of the Carnegie formula may prove to be an oasis in the Desert of Lost Hope for which you have been searching.”
The book goes on from there and it is good and I do suggest you read it again. The last time I read it was 11 years ago. Yet what hit me today was the “took the very soul out of you.” That is exactly how I felt and as I read the word resonated with me, the very soul had been ripped out of me by unkind and in my opinion unethical colleagues and I let them do it. They should not have wanted to but there is no accounting for people, you just never know. So, here I was walking around hollow, shell-like, soulless. Perhaps that comes from extreme duress; perhaps you have felt it too.
Why are people, especially women so ruthless? I can understand a woman protecting her child or her family, I have 4 dogs, 2 birds and 1 cat and when I thought my neighbor ran over my cat you should have seen me. But why in the normal non -life threatening scheme of things to women have to be so unkind, so set for the kill?
The Bluebird Sisterhood was formed out of what was left in my hollow heart. A commitment a pact if you will for women to put ruthless behavior aside, take down the claws, turn their hearts to kindness. I was not blameless. I have done and said some pretty ruthless things in my life, okay, maybe not ruthless yet definitely unkind. It still amazes me that some of my former friends had it in them to be so petty, to dramatically crazy awful. On the grand side, once I committed I got my own soul back. What other people do to me should not affect how I feel myself. There are several books written on the subject, right? So, we all know this. As Abe Lincoln said, “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Yet with women it seems somehow different. If we are unhappy we take people down. Taking people down, as was done to me, is pretty hard on the soul. Pretty hard. In fact, devastating. So somehow having a pact with other women not to allow a repeat performance cheered me and somehow promising not to engage in one myself restored my soul. No one can take my determination to commitment away from me again. No one will have my soul again.