I’ve been writing about our patriarchal training for a while now, how it holds us down, keeps us small. I gave names to the wounds our culture gives us as women (Leashed Woman) and to the feeling of freedom once we have begun our journey of healing and breaking the binds our of training (Unleashed Woman). The training that we receive is real, and the wounds we inherit and receive for this training are also real. And the truth that we can break free, is absolutely real too.
We have been told as women we are the “weaker sex.” We are, supposedly, weaker physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. We are taught that our bodies are places of sin and evil, as are our minds and spirits and souls. We are taught that we are unable to do for ourselves. We are trained that we need others in authority, usually (white) men, to explain our bodies or our minds or our connection to the Divine to us. We are feeble. We are delicate flowers. We need others to help us get through even the most basic of functions and duties.
We are strong. We women carry within us the strength to create life. Just stop and think about that for one moment – whether you’ve actually had children or not isn’t relevant – we have in our very being, our DNA, our essence, the strength to not only carry and grow another living being within our womb, allowing it to expand us in all the ways possible, we also have the strength to PUSH THEM OUT a hole that is half the size of the head we are pushing through.
And yes, there are those of us who experience infertility. And there are those of us who choose not to have children. And yes, there are those who required emergency cesarean sections to birth your babes.
AND NONE of that changes the fact that your body contains the strength to do this thing of creating and birthing life.
That you are STRONG. And that not only are we physically strong as women, we are emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually strong too.
Part of the strength of our body is all of the emotions it holds within it. The bottled rage of generations. The bottled grief. A weak body, a weak person, could not hold these emotions within. Nor could a weak person choose to connect with these emotions, to explore them, to embrace them, to process them, to heal them. A weak person could not feel these emotions and survive.
It takes strength. Of character, of stamina, of body to hold and connect and heal these emotions we carry, from our own lived experience and what has been passed down to us by our ancestors.
We are strong of mind and intellect. Despite the fact that boys are favored in classrooms. Despite the fact that we are talked over in meetings or at social gatherings. Despite the fact that those of us with young children are so sleep deprived and just plain mentally exhausted from care taking that we can barely see straight. Despite the fact that we have to punch and push and tear our way into male-dominated professions to be even invited to be in the room, let alone to a seat at the table. Despite the fact that we are physically and mentally drained from all our unpaid physical, psychological and emotional labor.
Despite all that, we are writers and scientists and entrepreneurs. Despite all that we are activists, politicians, and professors. Despite all that we are lawyers, speech writers, and Supreme Court judges. Despite all that, one of us is about to become President of the United States. Despite all that, several of us have been Prime Ministers throughout the world.
We have strong minds. We must to be able to see and unravel the insidious training our culture gives us. We must to be able to speak out, coherently, against this culture and its training, despite how it stacks the odds against us. We must to be able to tear this shit down, brick by brick (ha! first typo started “prick by prick”!) and to create new spaces and a new world for ourselves, our daughters and nieces, and our grand-daughters and grand-nieces as well as our sons, grandsons, nephews and grand-nephews.
We are spiritually strong. When we connect to our bodies, when we allow ourselves to be grounded and rooted in our physical self, we feel and see and know how deeply connected we are to all life and to all that is of us and beyond us. Our monthly cycles connect us to the moon, to our planet, to the ebb and flow of life and death. We know, in our bones and being, the truth of our greater connection to our planet and all the people and living beings on it. We hold ourselves, and others, accountable and we know that by connecting to Spirit (or the Divine or God or Goddess or the Unified Theory or whatever you personally call it) we are able to understand and feel deep compassion and unconditional love.
Women are beyond strong. We are a force of nature. We are fierce. We have within us all the strength we need to tear down these systems that oppress us, that try to keep us isolated and small.
Let’s take off the leashes and binds and chains that are keeping us small, that are convincing us we are weak and unimportant. Let’s stop believing the lies.
Let’s become Unleashed Woman.
(Below is an 17-minute video of me talking even more about this idea of reclaiming our strength. I hope you enjoy it.)
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(Interested in learning how to deeply connect to your own inner strength, your own Unleashed Woman who lives within you? Then I invite you to join us for my next six-month circle, Exploring our Light::(Re)Connecting to our Strength, Power, and Daring, that begins November 1. You can learn more and register right over here. )
This is the first in a four-part series of essays and videos. Want to see the rest? You can find them here:
Reclaiming our strength (this post)