THE QUIET RIOT: RECLAIMING THE FEMININE

 

I awoke this morning feeling incredibly grateful for my life.  I felt so inspired by the movie, The Butler, I saw last night.  It’s the story of a beautiful man who served five presidents.  He lost one son to the war in Vietnam and almost lost another son to the domestic war waged during the times of desegregation.  It’s a moving portrayal of the courage it took to simply be African American.  I can’t speak to that as I am white.  All I can do is take in the story of the experiences of others with compassion and deepest respect.  I was surprised to find that the movie evoked feelings of great pride and satisfaction within me for the quiet revolution in which I am involved.  I was born to help bring balance and equanimity not between the races, but between the masculine and feminine energies.  I was born to fight for the rights of women, not by rallying around Washington, but by learning how to rally around myself as a female in this lifetime; and then help others to do so.

It does not stop at gender bias.  I had a friend tell me in the mid nineties, “You treat men differently than you treat women.”  I was horrified at what she said and felt intense defensiveness, always the clear indication that someone is speaking painful truth to me.  I brought awareness to myself and my behavior and discovered that she was correct.  I was treating men better than I was treating women.  It was subtle.  It was there.  It was gross.

My own prejudice against the feminine had been revealed to me.  My own subtle form of self loathing uncovered.  It was so painful to see.  I was a television writer at the time.  I was flying high out in Hollywood as a writer for Fran Drescher on The Nanny.  It was the perfect show for someone with a subtle prejudice against the feminine.  The character of The Nanny was an effective caracature of some of the worst traits of human feminine nature.  I remember finally ‘breaking the code’ of the show as a writer.  I had struggled mightily to try and figure out how to write for Fran.  I didn’t relate to the show and was having a hard time relaxing and being funny when I was feeling so confused.  I remember the day I hit upon a formula that worked for me.  In analyzing scripts, I found a theme that unlocked they key for me to be able to write the show;  the seven deadly sins.  In every episode it was funny watching The Nanny’s vanity, her sloth, her ignorance, her gluttony, her greed etc.  Every episode lampooned an aspect of her character.  It was funny.  The formula worked.  It’s called the comedy of being one-up.  We laugh because we can feel superior.

And I am coming into a profound realization of an insidious form of shame that I have carried around being female. I was born in 1958, raised in the tumult and angst of the 60’s. I came of age during the intensely self interested bump and grind of the 70’s and 80’s.  They were ugly decades of ripping and tearing at the fabric of arch conservative patriarchal white America.  Most of what I remember about my first three decades was an underlying feeling of discomfort.  I was uncomfortable in my home, in my family in my culture.  I was antsy in my own skin.  There was no place to rest.  No place to feel safe.  I had to perform well to feel okay. I could not ‘be’; I had to ‘do’ all the time in order to get the external affirmation that I was acceptable because I could not find center in a culture that was insane.  I had a therapist who observed, “Its as if every morning you wake up at negative 10 and have to work your way to zero every day.”  It was another painful truth for me to face.

I picked up this prejudice from the world around me growing up, as well as my own experience.  My mother was what they called in the 50’s and 60’s, a homemaker, and then in the 70’s, a stay-at-home-wife.  She suffered from low self esteem in every area except her looks.  She was beautiful.  And she reveled in her beauty and took great pains to do everything she could to enhance it.  She loved to shop.  She had great taste.  She always looked great.  Just writing about this, the heavy feelings emerge from deep within, where I have stashed them.  I can feel myself weighed down by the energy of these memories.  No wonder we want to avoid them. No wonder we repress and suppress this stuff.

I’ve had a lot of experience fielding my own feelings and so this heavyness no longer frightens me.  I know that this feeling is simply the beginning of the healing that will leave me lighter and brighter.  Later.  Right now I have to allow the heavyness to come, to live it and breathe it in this infinite moment of now.  I have to let all of myself come up.  And parts of me are heavy with guilt, shame, anger, resentment.  It is not pretty seeing and feeling these parts of me.  Healing is not pretty.  It is magnificent in its ugliness.

I have come to know, that what I used to hate my mother saying to me during times of trouble is true;  “This too shall pass.”  And yet it is the process in which it passes that the gold of life is mined.  It can pass with us eating or drinking or shopping or talking too much to ease the pain.  We can use addiction to numb ourselves out of feeling the passing.  Or it can pass through us being heard with compassion by someone holding space for us, witnessing us while we twist and writhe in the suffering that life must bring in order to achieve our evolutionary leaps.

So, what’s it going to be?  We all have a choice.  Are we going to tamp down the feelings, repress the shame, the blame, the self loathing, the hatred, the bitterness, the jealousy, the intense resentment, the just-so-pissed- off-at-being-treated-the-way-we-were-treated-when-we-were-treated-shabbily-by-someone-or-something-as -dominating-as-a-culture-at-large?  Or, are we going to grow up now, and allow all our shit to rise to the surface so we can skim it off and take a deep dive into the stink of all we have come to believe which is just not true but was taught to us by others who were equally as disempowered over millenia?  Our mothers.  Our fathers.  Our ancestors.  The ancestral lines of disempowerment and abuse go back.  Back.  Back.

We are not suffragettes.  Some of us probably were in past lives.  This lifetime the work is even more challenging.  It’s on a deeper internal level that we are working.  We are not so much pushing against a predator from without as having to face the perpetrator that has come to live within.  Some may call it the self saboteur.  The part of us who heard those famous fairy tales that told us that powerful queens wear black and are wicked and give unsuspecting step daughters poisonous red apples.  Let’s face it, powerful female figures in fairy tales were wicked.  The feminine heroines were sweet young things, pale skinned and rosy cheeked.  They often got lost, were attacked by wolves or fell asleep only to be awakened by a dashing prince.

One could say their power was seen in their loving kindness and be inspired by that.  And at the highest level of consciousness that is true.  But at three and four and five and six years of age when we are first hearing those stories, we are not anywhere near those levels of consciousness, we are still being programmed by our adult culture.  And those fairy tales imprint deeply the story of fear of the feminine, fear of the feminine power.

There is a part of me that is still waiting for someone to come and save me.  This part of me significantly contributed to the unhappiness of my marriage.  Why couldn’t my husband save me?  Why couldn’t he be the prince???  Why??  Why not??  Isn’t that what I am to expect???  My conscious awareness is aware that some part of me holds this fairy tale still.  I am praying on this part of me daily, praying that the Grace of God remove this defect in my understanding.  I pray that this aspect of me does not ruin the intimate relationships that I am calling to myself now, two years after the divorce.

I have to admit she is in there, an aspect of my programmed character.  I have to keep a watchful and loving eye on her, like a mother being careful with a child who is ignorant of the danger of matches.  I do not want to squelch her.  I do not want to criticize her or keep her down.  I want to help her to outgrow the childish beliefs that she was taught to hold onto.  It is my job to help her learn that I am the one she is waiting for.  I am the one, the only one who can save her.  I am the one who kisses her and wakes her up.  I am the seven dwarves and the handsome prince.   I, too, am the wicked stepmother threatening this innocent aspect of myself when vanity and jealousy and unruly and irrational urges to compete with other females bubble up within me.

It is true what we are all saying in semi-jest these days.  It’s all about me.  Not in that 70’s obnoxious way.  It’s all about me in the accountability and accepting responsibility for myself, my feelings, my creativity, my productivity.  It’s all about me foraging around in the dark recesses of my past, locating lost bits and pieces of myself. It’s all about me having the guts to give up the lucrative career and thrash around in the dangerously uncharted territory of life for awhile until my North Star emerged out of the darkness that once engulfed me but now enfolds and encourages me.

It’s all about me discovering how I have been hurting myself, holding myself back and putting myself down due to subtle prejudices against my feminine self.  It’s all about me being a quiet revolutionary in the movement of accepting, loving and respecting self and others all as one.  Feminine AND masculine.  Together.  One.

Many of us are here to do this work.  We are finding each other now as we have never before.  Circles are forming.  Supportive networks are blazing across the internet, all over the world.  We will get this work done. Our leader is the Divine Feminine in all Her forms.  Shakti, Shekinah, White Buffalo Calf Woman, Pachamama, Yemayah, Mother Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe etc. Divine Feminine etc. Divine Feminine etc.  We are here to love.  We must start with ourselves.  And each other.  We must mend our inner conflicts and deeply held ambivalence around being female.  We must heal our relationships with our mothers, our sisters, our aunts, cousins, friends, associates.  Only then can we reach out the olive branch to our brothers.

I was told in a vision years ago that this is the work at hand.  I was told by the Divine Feminine that our work is our anger.  That we must excavate our deepest rage.  We must allow the fury to come.  It needs to come up and come out and be witnessed and healed.  We desperately need this relief.  We are like pressure cookers.  Holding onto this energy is one of the root causes of breast and ovarian cancer.  The violent devouring of the self from within.  The vision was in 2002.  She showed me the fire that is our anger.  The raging inferno that lives within us, making us sick, weakening any resolve to take an effective stand for our true selves.

We have known success.  But we have known success modeling the masculine, becoming tough and rough and hard nosed.  We have lost alot in this phase of evolution and it’s time to get our true selves back whatever form that takes for each one of us.  However our feminine self wants to express.  For me right now, it’s been about losing 50 pounds.  I discovered the weight hid my feminine self, made me feel less than which was familiar to me and took me out of relating to feminine ways of enjoying adornment, nakedness, physical beauty, shiny things, sweet smelling things.  Getting fat and staying fat ‘benched’ me in the feminine playing field.  Unconsciously I thought it was keeping me safe.  But it was really keeping me stifled, silenced, heavy, unhappy, trapped, limited, familiar.

My revolutionary uniform now is skin tight white jeans that make me feel sexy.  Tiny tops that show off my beautiful breasts and incredibly curvy shoulders.  I never knew I had a beautiful body.  I am just discovering it now at 55. Having been raised in the hey day of Cosmo I thought my body didn’t measure up.  When I watched that patch of black pubic hair come in during early adolescence I was horrified.  No one told me that it was beautiful and there for a very important purpose, to protect the precious clitoris.  I don’t think I knew the word clitoris until somewhere in my 30’s.  Yikes.

I am so glad to be a woman. I am so proud of the courage I have had to field all that I have fielded.  I have not known race riots, but I have known the quiet riot of the bedroom and the boardroom where I was treated as a second class citizen and sometimes even a slave when my self esteem ebbed that low.  I have felt like I had to do what ‘the man’ told me to do or else.  I have felt that very profoundly in my life, images of a domineering father welling up within me now and making me want to run for my yellow wiffle bat and pillows to beat these memories to pulp, to allow the energy of these toxic emotions to get thrashed into the pillows and out of this beautiful body of mine where it has been stashed.

I have come to peace with my father in so many ways.  He is dead.  I helped him to die.  We ended brilliantly our time together on earth.  And we are in good touch between the worlds.  And yet, there is still anger seething inside of me.  It’s not the 55 year old.  It’s the six year old and 12 year old who have still to express their rage at the put downs and painful judgements of me based on the size of my hips and thighs.  It’s the being forced to work as a clerk in his office because he knew I wanted to be a performer and did not approve of that and so was trying to force me into some kind of submission under the guise of wanting me to have concrete skills like typing to save my silly female self in the big bad world.

Oh, yes, there is work still to do.  I have been beating these pillows for a long time.  And there is still more to come.  Layers get revealed.  Life serves up circumstances that trigger the memories or activate the wounds.  I need time to heal.  I had that vision of the Divine Feminine coming to tell me about this work in 2002.  I have been hard at work on myself since then preparing for this time.  Preparing for now.  Now is the time.  2012 is behind us.  We made it over the hump.  Now, for the real work.  For us all.  We have been enslaved internally and externally for millenia.  Some are saying since the time of the alphabet when the logos trumped the intuitive and took hold culturally.

There is so much love and power to access.  There is so much shit on top of it.  Let’s get to work.  Let’s see what’s there. Let’s feel all we need to feel.  Let’s track these currents of loss and displacement, of disempowerment and disillusionment.  Let’s get current with where we are, what we need, who we intend to be, what we truly, truly want to do gazing at our North Star.  As females.  As women.  As men with inner feminine aspects.

This is the time of the Divine Feminine.  She will be seen.  She will be heard.  She will heal the human species.  She will heal the world.  Through me.  Through you.  Aho.  Amen.  Sat Nam.

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