Too many of you have been held down
In large and small ways, in direct and indirect ways too many women are dismissed, diminished and held back from their own greatness when, in an ideal world, we would be lifted and supported by those around us, those who came before us. Often, that is not the case.
This weekend, as Samhain approached, I was talking to my daughter about ancestors. I was explaining to her how each of us, we stand on the shoulders of those who go before us in the best of circumstances. We are held up, we are lifted high. Our ancestors offer us a springboard by which we fly.
To See the Possibility Horizon
I told my daughter that my deepest desire, my most fervent prayer is that her father and I lift her high above our own shoulders so she reaches greater heights than we have. Tears stung my eyes and I realized once again, that is also my most fervent wish for the women who seek inspiration through my writing, for the women who sign up for energetic support through Medicine Vision, and for the women who choose to work with me individually. I want to lift you up so you can see to the horizon of infinite possibility. I want to offer you space to heal and to know the support of someone who deeply believes in you and your capacity to realize your deepest desires.
Years ago, I was offered an image of myself helping others across a dangerous and swiftly moving river. One by one, helping women to cross the river and climb the banks. I believe all of us are called on some level to lift others, to reach out a hand, to propel others beyond where we stand. However, this requires knowing your strength and experiencing your own vast wealth of resources.
To be the Woman You Are
Not many women I know were actively lifted up by their ancestors. I certainly wasn't, nor were my immediate ancestors. I would say that through sheer stubborn will and an abundance of inner fire I clawed my way past being actively held down by those around me. I am grateful for my warrior's heart. I am grateful to the people and the unseen forces and allies who believed in me and supported me. I am grateful for the time I've had to heal because frankly, that climb was exhausting.
In personal development, and Western culture in general, there is a damaging idea that we stand alone and that we, alone, control our destiny. Living in Zambia has simply amplified something I have come to believe over the last few years -- that this idea of singularly manifesting our destiny is faulty reasoning - this idea victimizes the victim and isolates us from seeking true support and opening to receive. It also weakens us. But rest assured, circumstances, culture, violence, ancestors, genetics, the nature we have access to, access to education -- we control very little of the outside forces that create pressure on our capacity to rise, to lift others and to be lifted.
Knowing what I know about how so many Western women have been actively held back from greatness, seeing what I see among the people of Zambia who may not be held back by ancestors but by lack of water, food, healthcare or education (perhaps all of the above) I feel even more deeply that all boats -- and I mean ALL of them, rise or sink together.
Whatever your work is, in whatever way you are called to lift others be it through raising children, working in a corporate setting, or running and building an entrepreneurial venture, it requires that you let yourself be supported and held. That you allow time for your own healing. That you stay filled up to the brim to keep your spiritual strength. I want you to feel the deep support of being lifted up, too, because wholeness and enlivenment begets the same.
There is Time.
This call to lift others can sound impossible if you are tired, if you feel unworthy, if you feel there isn't even enough for you. This can sound impossible (and actually, wildly distasteful) if you haven't been offered strong shoulders to stand on or time to tend the wounds of your own climb if your ancestors refused to let you stand on their shoulders.
I don't want my daughter to spend half of her life (maybe more) healing from her childhood and a punishing culture as I have done. I don't want you to spend one second more than you need to on the climb out of toxic relationships, or the healing and rest that absolutely must follow the climb beyond ancestors who hurt instead of helped.
It may seem there is no time to "waste" -- our bank accounts, our communities and the world need strong women who know themselves and their power to create positive change. That only comes when you've given yourself time to heal fully. There is time for you: for your climb, for your healing and from there, to vision and act on a new future and to lift others.
Please know that your voice, your heart, your vision -- all are necessary facets of creating an enlivened wholeness individually and collectively. Acknowledge what you've climbed beyond. Acknowledge the ancestors you may still be climbing past and yes, honor the ancestors and the people who have supported and lifted you. Let yourself rest and heal. Give yourself the gift of someone, many someones, who will lift you up, who will celebrate your rise, who will help you see the horizon of possibility and help you take the steps to create that world.
May you feel the support of many hands lifting you and in turn, offer your hands to lifting others in your time.