Fear Responses to the Divine Feminine
Some of this might not make sense. It's ok. The context that inspired this is secondary to the feelings it inspired.
Why am I so scared to talk about the Divine Feminine? Why am I scared to make that the lead into my work; what drives me; what I believe in; what I believe needs to be reincorporated into society and into our culture? What does that even mean or look like? Why am I so scared I want to cry when I get feedback like, “don’t hide it,” “lead with that,” like it’s my very being, it’s my very soul being called out to be flogged in front of the whole town for entertainment? It’s like they’re telling me to strip slowly and act like it’s normal to walk about naked then pretend this is what everybody is doing. Why am I so scared? Is it the words? Divine Feminine? As if just whispering them will make me the laughing stock of the whole world. Silly woman. Put her in the loony bin. Lock her up and throw away the key. Gag her or cut out her tongue. How many of my ancestors were tortured or then put to death for holding onto their beliefs about the goddess? For healing others after the time when it was considered witchcraft? For holding rituals in the woods when they risked being associated with the devil? How many of my ancestors had sharp tongues and sharper minds that could only be suppressed by death? How many before my grandmothers’ grandmothers’ grandmothers’ learned to just be smart enough, to be silent enough, to swallow enough of their words in the name of survival?
It was as if, they said, “don’t hide it,” and I wanted to scream, “like it’s that simple!?! Like it’s just that easy?! Who are you talking to, friends with, or know that would just accept someone coming in and saying, ‘I’m here to talk about the Divine Feminine and why we need this work rooted in the principles of the goddess and the life-death cycle’ without batting an eyelash? They said, “don’t hide it,” and It was as if I had generations worth of experience exploding from inside of me ready to blow open every pore, every orifice, and let loose the tortured scream of hundreds if not thousands of women. “It’s not that simple!” I wanted to scream. Or is it just me and my absolute lack of self-confidence? Are all these generations of women past looking at me thinking, “just do it! We used our tongues when we had them! We spoke our beliefs no matter the consequences! If we could do it then, you can do it now! What have you got to lose? Your life? Your life as you conceive it? Relationships? Friends? Let them loose then. Speak your truth, then let others act as they will. You cannot control them. You cannot stay silent out of fear of loss. You cannot control them. You can only control yourself. Speak truth. Speak the words, use your pen (and whatever modern magic you have use of), to speak into the world your beliefs.” It sounds so simple. Why am I fighting it? Why am I fighting it? Why do I fight to insist it’s actually complicated?
Partially because I don’t know. I mean, I THINK I know that if our culture valued every life then we wouldn’t have a lot of the material goods that we live with now. That feels like loss. SOCIALIST COMMIE BITCH! They’ll shout. I WORKED HARD FOR MY MONEY AND MY STUFF AND I’D LIKE TO SEE YOU TRY TO TAKE IT FROM ME. How do I talk about this without invalidating how hard most of us have had to work to make a life for ourselves and for our families? It’s a society rooted in care, less in money. Where “making something of yourself” doesn’t necessarily mean making the most money, building the biggest business and then making it bigger and bigger and figuring out how to grow it forever and ever and ever. It means knowing when a business has reached its end point. It’s knowing how to sunset a business. It’s knowing how to run a business using true accounting methods that take into account the environmental, planetary impact of your business. How many businesses running today can say that they know what that true cost of business even is? What businesses can we think of even that would still be in business today if they had to take into account this true cost? How do we support human endeavors that strive to make life livable for all--until we have adequate housing, food, clean water, soils, clothing and a thriving natural environment that we are raised to respect and value above all else because it is the ultimate source of life? I don’t have all the answers, I don’t have all the measurement tools, even, to begin to figure out how we measure that true cost. I know for many many people it is going to feel like I want to take away their livelihoods. I guess a first step would be to clarify that we are reframing what “good” or “well-run” or “sustainable” business even means? Do I think people will get on board with that? No. Why am I trying to make it harder on folks to live a good life? They’ll ask. Life is already hard enough, and you want to halt progress, you want to send us back to the stone age when life was short, brutish, and the opposite of everything this society has built! We are the enlightened ones! They’ll shout! We understand technology and we save more lives every year because of the advancements we’ve made using nature to her breaking point! Also, what breaking point? We don’t feel anything! Sure, there might be more hotter days, more wetter days, more storms, more floods, and we’re all made out of plastic and preservatives, but that’s the cost of progress! That’s natural because progress is natural! Technology is natural! So get out of here crazy lady! We don’t want your definition of natural! Your natural means dumb. Your ‘natural’ means sickness. Your ‘natural’ means death! We want our hyper-sanitized lives and our land-fills where we can send our waste to be handled by brown people we don’t have to think about! Or if we do we can send some charity to unicef because that will make us feel better, even though we know it doesn’t stop the problem of our own creation. DON’T MAKE US LOOK AT THAT! DON’T TALK ABOUT SOMETHING SO HORRIBLE! LIFE IS HARD ENOUGH! WE CAN’T TAKE THE STRESS OF THINKING ABOUT THE EFFECT OF OUR LIFESTYLE ON THE REST OF THE WORLD. WE CAN’T CARE ABOUT THEM AND LIVE! YOUR ‘NATURAL’ WILL KILL US! Your ‘natural’ will kill us.
How dare I go around talking about something that threatens people? That makes people feel threatened? That implies I don’t value their lives, or their contributions to society, or their efforts on their friends and families’ behalf. Like I don’t understand how hard it is to just get kids up, dressed, fed, and to school in the morning and then face a full day, and maybe a full night’s work, and then do it all again.
What if our society didn’t ask that of us, though? What if there was a detente on the demands on our time? What if there was understanding that we should only be asked to do so much in a day? What if we cured unemployment because it took more people to do the same amount of work we’re doing now, but everybody was happier because they had more time to take care of themselves, to take care of their families and their friends and their communities? What if we cured the loneliness, the anxiety, the stress epidemic because there were more people looking out for us at the end of the day? What if we had more time for our relationships; to ourselves; to others; to other lifeforms; to this planet? Does that still feel like a loss? IMPOSSIBLE. DREAM ON. WHINEY SNOWFLAKE. MAN UP. TOUGHEN UP. JUST DO IT. JUST PLAY BY THE RULES AND SHUT UP. WE CAN’T HAVE THAT SO WHY EVEN TALK ABOUT IT? NOTHING’S GOING TO CHANGE SO WHY EVEN TALK ABOUT IT? EVEN IF WE COULD CHANGE WHO’S GOING TO CHANGE THINGS, YOU? HA! DO YOU EVEN KNOW HOW MUCH MONEY YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT LOSING? YOU THINK THE PEOPLE IN CHARGE OF THAT MONEY WOULD EVER EVER EVER GIVE IT UP? YOU THINK THAT ONE DAY THEY’LL JUST GO, ‘HUH! I SHOULD REALLY CHANGE THE WAY I MAKE ALL THIS MONEY FOR ALL THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE GIVEN ME THIS RESPONSIBILITY. WHY DON’T I JUST NOT DO MY JOB?’ IS THAT WHAT YOU THINK WILL HAPPEN? FUCKING GO HOME YOU FUCKING LOSER IDIOT AND SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT IT. GO DIE IN A DITCH. I HOPE YOU ROT IN HELL AND YOUR CORPSE GETS RAPED REPEATEDLY BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT YOU DESERVE. Just like my ancestors. I listen to what gets said. I watch how women get treated in this world. I tell my friends they’ve got to say fuck what other people think. It’s all I can think about. It’s in my own head now. I don’t know how to get it out. I don’t know if it will ever get out. Right now I can’t not think about the response I would face in any community that had no interest in facing the local or global consequences of the way we live in America. How do you teach people to care who think they care, but they have no idea what kind of caring I’m actually talking about and what it looks like or feels like in the body? Maybe I’m not even the right messenger for this kind of idea. Maybe I’m scared because I know in the end that I shouldn’t be the one out there talking about this, but I should be working for those who are already doing the shouting, who are comfortable doing the shouting. Stay in the background, be of service to the cause. Maybe I’m not the leader I feel I am on my good days, my grounded days when I feel I’m bulletproof. How can I speak with equanimity when one day I feel like literal human garbage that doesn’t deserve one speck of attention or caring, that literally just drains the life and energy out of anybody I’m around, and the next day I feel entirely connected to source, sure of who I am? How can I walk into strange spaces and project confidence and qualification, when I feel everything except confident and qualified?
Even the prompt for this writing was “find ways to make an ambitious claim seem reasonable and grounded” which requires that I write from a place of reason and groundedness. What if I don’t have that about the Divine Feminine? What if the actual concept makes me feel uprooted and exposed? Irrational and complicated? Nothing but a wisp in the grey area grasping for other wisps only to see them waft away, or shock upon contact. I have so much work to do to simply maintain any sense of groundedness in my own body mind and soul, how can I think I could expect to be able to encourage or communicate something to others that I have no consistency with in my own life?