In my bones are stories that aren’t mine. Stories of my mother’s or grandmothers’ or great-grandmothers’. Perhaps they weren’t their stories either, perhaps they were handed down to them too. Passed off as Truth, as Rules to Live By, as The Way We Must Be. Stories of what it is to be a mother, a woman, a wife. Stories of how or when to talk, what it means to be successful, how our worth is measured by others, be they by our side or not.
Stories of being a bad mother not deserving of children. Stories of not having value. Stories of not talking too much, or shining too brightly. Stories of being noticed, but only for the right things.
So many stories live in our muscles and bones and DNA. Stories given to us on silver platters lined in blood and tears.
Competition, holding down, holding back. No trust in these stories, no sisterhood. No love. These stories were not shared in the red tent or in circle around the fire while howling at the moon. These stories were born of loneliness, isolation, pain, and fear. Always fear.
Who spoke the first story telling us we have no value of our own? Who forced these stories upon our mothers and grandmothers and aunts and great-grandmothers and all the women before them? When did these stories become “Truth”? Was it when Hesoid transformed Pandora from a Earth Mother Goddess, a creatrix of life, into the bearer of all pain and destruction in this world? Was it that long ago? And why, oh why did our mothers succumb to the fear and allow those stories to be told so many millennia ago? Why, did they take them in as truth and allow them to be spread as a disease that grows in our being, to be passed down through flesh and bone to each of their daughters?
What will it be to shed these stories one by one? Will they ever all be shed? How can we not pass these stories on to our daughters, who are made up of half our DNA? How we can show them the value of being a girl growing into a woman? How can we replace our tainted bones with ones of life and creation and beauty?
Slowly, so slowly the layers peel back, getting deeper into these bones, extracting the marrow that no longer serves and allowing a new nourishment to grow in its place. It is messy and painful and beautiful this extraction and new growth. One story excavated, shown for what it is: a myth, not Truth unless we want it to be. And as this story rewrites and reforms into our own reality and truth and being now, we find yet another story of theirs, and we take in a slow deep breath and prepare our Self for this next procedure of extraction and new growth.
Coming into the body, into the breath, taking back our muscles and skin and bones and very being as our own. First in our body and then in our soul. Sharing, giving, melding, and still holding what is ours as sacred and honest and earth and blood. The stories come and go and the tears flow and we hear their whispers and screams to stop this process, to let the stories lie and continue to live in fear of being too much or too little and always never enough. We wrap our Self in love and comfort, letting our mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers and their mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers and theirs too, all know that we will be okay, that there is no wrong in digging down to our truth and stories, in allowing this regrowth; there is only beauty in coming together in circle and allowing ourselves and each other to glow and that as we own our body and being and breath and life, we will do more than survive; we will flourish and thrive and glow and truly, deeply, fully, live.