Awhile back, I began the journey of excavating and refining my own framework of womanhood. As a way to get to know myself more deeply in a time when I felt so distant from my core, but also as a way of determining how I relate to the world around me. I've been many things in my life - a career woman, a mother, an entrepreneur, a friend, a sister, a confidant. But what does that mean for me?
Well this piece I wrote really helped me to crystallize all of that, and I'm so grateful I was able to put pen to paper in this way.
Hope you enjoy and maybe even consider doing a similar exercise yourself...
When the Creator decided it was Me
I heard a quote from a beautiful woman once who described a favorite song on her playlist as “something I play when I’m really feeling the divine beauty in this world, in this creator who decided there needed to be the birds and the trees and the honey and the bees and ME.”
Just saying this quote out loud recently had me flush with emotions and the head-to-toe goosebumps to prove it. If I harness this thought, really absorb its power, I can be brought to my knees. The idea that I am meant to be here. I’ve never felt that I was meant to be anywhere, let alone on this planet to impart anything that is unique to me. And still this quote arrests me. It punches through to my main love artery and I can’t avoid the turbulence I feel when I say it aloud. Because it is chock full of torque and truth, which puts it in rare company. I’m not able to look away from it, the notion that it was decided at some point that I needed to be here. Not decided by me. Not by my parents. Something far more powerful said that my consciousness needed a seat at the world’s table and then it drew me down from the cosmos to speak and write and laugh and love on the people around me. That it was me who was meant to wonder and wander and then tell my story.
So as I sit with deep reverence for this truth, the one that says it’s no accident I’m here, I ponder what it was about me that was not able to be kept a secret among the stars any longer. I let the idea wash over me like the water in a pool when you push your head backward, dipping slowly and with enough force to let the water overtake each part of your face until the world goes silent and you feel like you’re back home where it all started. It’s in this silence that these words poured out of me…a declaration of sorts…maybe even a clarification of the magic of me:
Mine loves women in her path and finds beauty in every type of face and body. I can feel their pain and I know their struggle just by looking into their eyes. I can identify with their shame and all their wishes for the things they wish different about their bodies and their lives and I’m united with them on their path to loving themselves. I know their stories…I am their story.
I live and breathe with empathy in my heart, always leaving room for someone else’s journey and for the events in their lives that led up to this moment.
I am a safe place for people to love and be loved. Too vulnerable isn’t a thing when you’re in my fold. ‘Come as you are’ is what I tell people and I mean it.
I am a nurturer of babies and a hugger of moms. I try to see the best in the moms around me, knowing full well how very multi-dimensionally hard that role can be.
I feel and give love through cooking. It fills me up to fill others’ bellies and hearts.
I know what it is to feel broken and to want to love myself so badly that I can taste the metallic taste it leaves in my mouth when I abandon myself. I always return to myself to attempt self-love again, I never give up on me.
I love my eyes - they tell people it’s safe to be vulnerable with me. They convey to people how hard I’ll love them if they let me.
My path is one that mimics flower picking on a long stroll. I gather and bundle, gather and bundle, as I go along living this life. Each bloom representing some lesson, some story, some spirit I crossed paths with…all making up the bouquet I carry in my heart.
My femaleness lives in my body’s gift to this world: my babies. My femaleness doesn’t start or end there but it is largely defined by everything it took to make four humans, three of which are with me today in form, one of which is never far away from my thoughts.
My favorite cause is that everything and everyone would do better with more love. Never did more love result in something bad. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
I have soft skin and arms that aren’t afraid to hug, hands that aren’t afraid to touch. The closer the better.
I smile so people know my guard is down and my heart is open.
I love sharing sweet exchanges with strangers.
I compliment often and especially to those I can tell might feel like outsiders in the world around them. I will go out of my way to drop a line to make them feel seen, even if just for a moment.
I laugh at bad times, good times, and confusing times. I’ve laughed at funerals and at the sight of a brand new baby. Laughter is my favorite conduit for emotion.
I love sisterhood and I love girl gangs made up of sisters who would take a bullet for each other.
I love goofy dance parties. Especially with my babies. I revel in their willingness to drop everything for a moment of goofy with me…and no matter what I have going on at the time, I always want to drop everything so I can dance too.
I revere justice. I’m serious about it. I’m a student of it. I can feel its fate course through my veins, its pressure rising or regulating with each week’s events.
I love the feeling of grass on my bare feet almost as much as the feeling of kissing the neck of one of my babes. Grass and my feet were meant for each other.
I love wordsmiths. I love good writing. I love tellers of stories that could never be kept in a vault. I love when someone can take me away with their finesse of the English language, it feels as though they’re twirling my hair and then running their fingertips along my neck. Soft and intentional. Sweet and sure.
I love vast horizons and water lapping at my feet. The world feels open and pure and full of possibility in those moments when sand is between my toes and the wind is flying my hair like a kite.
I love puppy breath and baby animals and huge animals and scared animals. I love imagining and knowing on some level that their experiences, emotionally, aren’t much different from ours. They make me feel more connected to the larger, collective consciousness.
I am a creative spirit. I have to make, to shape, to form, to see, to tell, and to capture. It’s not a choice, it’s more an act of deliverance. As native to me as breathing or laughing. In the absence of creating, my hands and heart can be found in a twitchy state that doesn’t feel natural..they will fumble around full of hope, waiting to find something to ameliorate.
I love my loves. Hard. Steadfast. With commitment and abandon. With a resolution that is always evolving.
I’m always willing to look inward. I value the process and hold dear the morsels I gather each time I look at myself a little closer.
I love inside jokes, knowing it took layers of memories and time together to get to the place where an inside joke can be achieved. I love knowing I shared all of that with someone else.
I’m a natural born optimist. I’m a there’s-gotta-be-a-way kind of gal.
I know I’ve been here before. There are things I know and I’m unsure of how I know them, but I don’t press it because I know it comes from having been here before. Almost nothing feels new to me in life. It feels as though I’m living the latest link in a chain that will go on forever. Also, most of the time, I know when I’m going to hear from you before my phone even lights up with the notification.
I have a place in my heart for sisters who love each other deeply. Mine is one of my prized possessions and I don’t know what I’d do without her.
I’m committed to loving myself in form and spirit. I’m drawn to the idea of radical self-love and am working to harness its wisdom as I move forward on my journey to return to myself.
The last line….the last line is the path forward. It is the window revealing the ultimate odyssey for me. The one that looks out over the vista of all things beautiful and praise-worthy that live within me. It overlooks a meadow of flowers, each representing something that I’m willing to love and be loved for. And all around this patch of flowers on this gorgeous panorama of freedoms is burnt land. I can tell by looking at the pattern the burnt area makes as it snakes around my beloved blooms that it was intentional. A controlled burn. Beyond the burn line are all the things I told myself that didn’t square up with a life of radically loving myself. It’s the power of the ego’s voice. It’s the blocks I experience as a result of my formative years when I felt invisible and void of vibrance. It’s the shame I have because shame was the shroud I wore for most of my life. It’s all the times I felt incapable and less than memorable. It’s every single moment I spent feeling betrayed by my body. It’s all the times I kissed and let myself be kissed because I thought I should settle for anything or anyone who would take me. It’s all the doubt. All the loathing. All the wishing of different outcomes. All the longing and reaching for someone else’s because mine felt inferior.
This window looks out onto the land of promise, and it ensures I never forget the day I decided to Burn. It. All. Down.
Burn that which doesn’t serve my higher good. Revere and hold near all the blessings that couldn’t have come forward to this place if it weren’t for me, Jesse.
There is a thought leader who maintains that natural intelligence is at work when we are all formed and pulled down into these vessels from the cosmos. If this is true and I have been drawn down to live this lifetime with you, and to be this person at this time, it’s important you know what I’m here to say. What I’m here to call forward in our experience together. So here I am. My soul has been shorn before you, revealing a delicate heart, needing to be cherished, and anxious to be held close. If one wishes to understand me, I hope they’ll respect my wish to be seen up close or not at all. For looking at me up close is the only way to appreciate all of me - the reckoning of my truth and beauty requires you to take a few more steps into my dance space so that you can swim and swirl with all of the ingredients required for the recipe that is me.