(I posted this on Facebook on Easter day…simply because I was thinking about Easter and how much my faith has changed over the years. That morning, I was also reading this chapter from Sacred Success by Barbara Stanny that talked about women’s relationship with power. And since weaving wisdom is my specialty, the mini-essay below was born. )
I used to celebrate Easter differently. My life centered around my belief in Jesus’ literal resurrection from the dead. I was a missionary in my early twenties because heck, if you believed the bible to be true, you better help the lost come to light.
And then I became a mother and my belief started to crumble. I became uncomfortable with the existence of hell.
If my baby grew up not professing faith in Jesus, she would go to hell. How could God condemn this perfect precious soul to such horrible torture?
So I started questioning if I could really trust the Bible as absolute authority in my life.
My life experience slowly didn’t match up to what I was told to
I could continue down the same path and keep lying to myself. Or I could choose courage and truth.
I thought about how this book, written by men, through men’s perspective, has wounded women over time.
I thought of how many wise women witches were burnt because of the same belief in this book’s absolute authority as I did.
I thought of how my experience of a deity as Father and a savior as Son limited and warped my view of myself as woman, mother and daughter.
I started to read books outside of my faith. They called to me. They were books that scared me. Books that talked about goddesses and paganism and witchcraft and all that stuff that I was taught to believe as evil.
And my eyes were opened.
To how little I really knew. To how small I had chosen my world to be. To how my childhood faith had sheltered me from my own power as a woman.
I didn’t need scriptures to show me the truth about life – I only had to look around me and listen to the lessons of the seasons, the cycles of the moon, the wisdom of living creatures around me, of Mother Earth.
I only had to look within me, and my life as a woman to understand the cleansing power of the blood, of messy glorious birth and rebirth, the act of nourishment and giving of my body through my breasts, the dance of self and the other.
That wisdom was around me the whole time.
The power to truly live the life I craved to live was within me all along.
Power and womanhood are not two words that we often say together in one breath.
But I think of what it was that I believed in, the power of the Risen Christ, and that maybe what I really wanted to be true was the idea that the same power that raised the dead is the same power inside all of us that calls us to Glory.
To quit living half-hearted, half-awake, half-ass.
To really own our power to shine brightly, to live out our calling, share our unique gifts and be fucking Brilliant.
Maybe the risen Christ is about being who we really are: powerful daughters of the Divine who won’t be left silent and dead at the burning stake.
So today I wonder….what would it look like if women everywhere owned their power?
What would my life look like if in every choice I made I surrendered TO my power?