As a woman, being around a group of just women is an empowering, rare experience. Meeting together and then saying, "Only women can come" can feel mean and exclusive. Yet, while I don't like to be excluded, I sure do enjoy excluding others sometimes. Does that sound nasty of me?
In a scary, ravenous world, where can a person feel safe enough to fully let loose? Sometimes, the only place I can get myself to really open, is in the company of people who get it. The particular category I'm in at the time determines which exclusive group will really get it. If it's a grief, I want to be with people who've also felt loss. If it's an addiction I really need to be with people who feel the same pull. If it's disadvantage, I want to hear from others who've missed opportunities for the same reason.
I DON'T really want to hear from someone who just thinks they know what this is like.
I hope you find your exclusive groups too. I'm not suggesting an echo chamber you isolate in all the time, but every once in a while find your people, whoever they are, and rally them into the kind of group you can momentarily be 100% yourself.
Unsplash photo cred: Pedro Henrique Santos