My dream is that, at some time in the future, violence will be so rare that it would seem strange to write about it in a blog about the sacred feminine in everyday life. Unfortunately, though, for now it is all too much a part of daily life for many women, whether through experiencing the organized violence of war, or crime, or domestic violence, or the emotional violence that is part of too many relationships.
I first began to understand the importance of celebrating the Sacred Feminine as a way to heal the wounds left by many years ago when I heard an older woman speak to women of her community about her life as a survivor of many decades of abuse. After a lifetime of silence she was speaking up. I asked myself what had given this woman – who had always been told to be quiet, to serve, to take whatever violence was forced on her — the courage to speak out. Of course, she was never to blame for the violence against her, but something had changed her perspective of the violence and herself so that she was able to respond in a way that could help prevent other women from experiencing violence. All I could think of was that she had finally fully understood her own divinity. She believed she had a soul, that all women have souls, and that she had to become the protector of her own soul and that of the women in her community. It was then that I realized that the Sacred Feminine isn’t something to just study, to simply practice for my own pleasure and enlightenment, but a way to create peace in our own homes, communities, and world.
Celebrating the sacred feminine certainly does not provide instant healing from violence. It does, however, change one’s way of experiencing the world so as to illuminate truth so that we may see violence for what it is and respond accordingly.
At its most basic, violence is a statement that the person to whom violence is being done is not a sacred being and so it is all right to violate her or him. Celebrating the totality of one’s sacredness requires honoring the sacred feminine within all of us, especially when being a woman is part of what we consider to be our essence. Quite simply, when we grow up in a culture that considers Divinity to be exclusively male, as women, we must readjust our thinking to honor our female selves as being sacred. Once we see ourselves as sacred, we begin to understand that violence is never deserved. This is especially important when a component of so much violence involves convincing victims that they are to blame for violence against them. This is especially true in domestic violence.
When you celebrate the Sacred Feminine, suddenly you are no longer alone in the universe. So often, creating isolation and the feeling of hopelessness is part of the violence. When you recognize the Sacred Feminine, you are embraced by all the women in the world and all they have suffered; your cries of despair are heard by She Who Hears the Cries of the World. You are connected to that which is female in All that Is. Never again will you be truly alone or go unheard and very little is as healing as that.
So often I have heard women say “If only I had done this or that, the violence would not have happened.” One woman who had been raped once asked me if God was mad at her for not fighting her rapist even when her life was threatened. While some images of Goddess also include judgment, to me, the image of Goddess as ”mother” has more acceptance than judgment. Within the Sacred Feminine, survivors are gathered to receive compassion and nurturance and not further violation through judgment by those who could not possibly understand what a woman has experienced.
So, the Sacred Feminine is where survivors of violence can find a space that offers them what they need for healing: a sense that they did not deserve the violence, being listened to, relationship, acceptance.
Of course, men also experience violence. What about them? Are they to suffer simply because they were born with y chromosomes? I believe that the Sacred Feminine is just as essential for male survivors of violence as for women. They, too, need to honor all aspects of themselves as sacred, to be heard, to find relationship to She Who Hears Their Cries, to be accepted and not judged.
The Sacred Feminine also offers a vision of a world where all beings are considered sacred and where violence, therefore, would not ever be acceptable. While violence is considered a legitimate way to respond to a situation, it will always exist and proliferate. As long as it is a strategy rather than an abomination, people will use it for their own ends. Celebrating the Sacred Feminine offers a vision of a world without violence, where all beings, women and men, are sacred and therefore inviolable; where all beings, women and men, are connected through their essential humanness and generation from a Divinity that they also carry within; where all the cries of the world are heard; where judgment is less important than compassion. When we carry this vision in our hearts and minds, we hold the seeds of a world without violence.
I have been fortunate to have few memories of real physical violence against me, but I know that few women or men can say that. So, I invite those who have more experience than I do to comment and share your own thoughts and stories. This entry is just a beginning of a dialogue, just thoughts from my own experience. Perhaps by telling each other our stories and talking about our thoughts about them, we can all find ways to banish the violence that threatens our lives and our very existence.
Carolyn, you would like my blog “the only way out it through”…because it was created with the intention of creating a space where people could go to lay their burdens down, or tell others how they found the strength to do so. It SHOULD show up on my profile but it doesn’t…so I’ll send you the link. No, I haven’t written my stories in there yet, but I plan on to…it’s just hard you know…and these days I don’t have time for much self-indulging yet healing to happen…but I will one day.
I don’t like saying that I’m a survivor of abuse, because even though it wasn’t my fault, it’s still shameful to remember what I let happen to me. But I’ve learned through the study and practise of psychotherapy that I endured because it felt safer to do so, especially when it first began when I was almost 4. Knowing what I know about the Sacred Feminine helps, and I’m grateful for the knowledge and wisdom that’s carried from Her healing embrace…
Oh, Lil, thank you so much for your comment. I would love to have the link to your blog. I have loved your other blog and put it on my “blogroll.” Goddess bless you as you go on your journey of healing.
Here’s the link Carolyn: http://theonlywayoutisthrough.blogspot.com/
As you’ll see, it hasn’t gone very far….I’ve meant to put my stories in it, but I realized the more I thought about them, the more I felt the pain and resentment of the moment…and on top of battling with PPD (post-partum depression), it’s just been too much. AND I’ve thought about deleting it…but the gifts that are already sitting there are too precious to be just thrown away…
And so it will wait…
Feel free to link it here if you want to…feel free to write something for it…I offer it to you for however you want it to touch you…
Carolyn, I like your blog too. In here are some thoughts that I envision one day writing about. For now though my post are centred around my dady to day things…and they are typed quickly as my little one watches the Wiggles on the TV…parent guilt et all you know…
I’ll be back!
I read the blog and posted a link to the site. What a powerful, powerful place you have created. When you are ready to write in it, the words will come. For now, know that you have made someplace amazing and healing. I hope lots and lots of people find it and I am honored that Goddess in a Teapot is one way for people to get to it.
I know exactly what you mean about taking care of the day to day things. My son is just starting high school and only now am I starting to feel as if I have a few moments just to even think my own thoughts.
I look forward to reading more in your blogs!
Carolyn, thank you for this wonderful post. The Sacred Feminine is an integral part of the necessary changes that I think need to be made in this world. Truly, She has been forgotten for too long.
Blessings to you…
Aerolin, I’ve read your post “Release” on your blog (which I hope everyone reading this will click on and read — just click on her name and you’ll go right to it) and so I know that this is something close to you right now. You are an amazing woman and I’m so glad the post was meaningful for you at this moment.