Within every wound is an endless depth of gifts. Although it is tiring, as deep sea divers of self, discovering the same mollusks or stinging enenimies hiding in the black nothing of our most unconscious selves; there seems always yet more to be revealed, understood, transformed. We are are rich and diversely abundant in our sensitivities.
Incomprehensible storehouses of an unending thread of unprocessed experiences, sinking like bodies of dust to the deep unconscious and creating patterns as they fall.
It is the humming mistranslation between flesh and thought that curates dis-ease in ourselves. Confusion lies in the unlearned language of our unique internal intuitive conversations.
It is estimated that 35% of women worldwide have experienced sexual abuse in some form. Most likely, the reality is much greater. The spectrum of oppression against women is rich and unaccounted for, the emotional, physical and mental abuse that occurs incessantly in the undermining threads and patterns of media all over the world is simply a continuation of Herstory. That woman is lesser to man. No doubt, at least one woman in your close circles have been sexually abused.
It is estimated that of the 87,000 women who were intentionally killed in 2017 globally, more than half (50,000- 58 per cent) were killed by intimate partners or family members, meaning that 137 women across the world are killed by a member of their own family every day. More than a third (30,000) of the women intentionally killed in 2017 were killed by their current or former intimate partner.
“I am not free until all women are free, even when her shackles are very different to my own”.
I feel the global resonance of the daily oppressive fight for women's freedom within my being, actively opening my mind to see beyond the glitter of my privileged microcosm into the grime of our global story is an unending breaking. We are inextricably interconnected, undeniably boxed in together beyond language and cultural barriers remains a crystalline certainty of human rights. As long as there remains an imbalance in the oppressive nature of our global community (for we are all oppressed) then feminism has a firm place. With the same vision, as we all walk towards the same horizon, of equality.
And as the collective consciousness expands to include, recognise and embrace the non-conforming gender identities of the LGBTQI and further evolving, complex, unique identifications of identity; each battle for freedom, each voice, each fight for equality has a perfect place. All the roads, when they come from love, will lead us home.
In this age of opportunity, given freedom to learn, travel, communicate across the earth like never before; learning is a liberty that lifts the veil. I recall the stark contrast of my personal freedom, travelling unveiled and uninhibited through the Middle East only accentuated another woman’s cage. Those early days of Hemp Temple, beginning production in Morocco, we found ourselves the only white women in isolated towns. Everywhere, reflected in the women's eyes, I saw deep loneliness, longing; often accidentally running into another woman solemnly weeping. A wordless language, I understood.
Although cultural appropriation tells us to be silent about that which we do not understand, these are the fearful barriers that keep us silent against violent regimes of inequality. Customs, religion, traditions are saturated in suppression, yet due to complex psychological ‘shackles’ a woman often feels unsafe to even explore the possibility of another way in thought, let alone vocally, physically. Take Yasaman Aryani, Iranian human rights activist, sentenced to 16 years in prison for taking off her hijab and advocating for women's choice. Or Malala, shot for advocating a right for women's education. Imagine the countless daily battles, unspoken, unknown, unseen, unheard all across the world.
In my macrocosm, a journey which I am seeking to heal mistrust within my body that I hold towards men, to integrate the healed masculine and feminine, revelations come in different shades. I have come to understand that there is still a searing unconscious misunderstanding of the distinct differences in our paths of healing, for the wounds that we carry as men and as women are born of different edges. Where the lineage of the masculine story has been one of shutting down, escaping and emotional suppression, the feminine has been one of mistrust as a matter of survival. These are the stories that exist with our ancestral cellular memory, our current collective consciousness and tangible persistent reality, as well as our own personal experiences. How can it be other, than a parallel path of healing meeting on the horizon, together centered in safe spaces where vulnerability will not result in the re-creation of trauma.
In talking about women, the scale of oppression goes deep into the unseen and unconscious. We lose our power in our insecurity. Yet what it is to be in-secure it is to feel unsafe. So how do we create safe environments? We have to understand the stories, respect the wounds, learn their subtleties of their presence, their language.
For me, the fight for freedom is a rhythmic dance from the ferocious femme defence of ‘my body, I do what the fuck I want’ to a passive and deeply feminine, tender yearning for a loving embrace in my wounds. Like a virginal re-emerging into the world of vulnerability, all body, all heart, all in. One day a fighter, the other a lover. One day fierce, the other soft. One day a protector, the other needing protection. The lion and the deer. The fighter and the wounded.
Our masculine/feminine wounds never cease seeking healing through father/mother figures in our lives. The Magus and The Maga, those who have been through the trials of life and are grounded in experiential teachings, a natural ability to hold space. Those childhood wounds of the unavailable, incapable, nurturing so many of us were devoid of. My red thread lineage of a mother who was raped as her first rites, abused in her first marriage, as well as her mother and most likely before that. It lives within my blood, the wounds and the will to change our story. Her story.
Though these times are fragile, when it comes to gender there is an undeniable thread, encircling us all, whose healing requires skilled and experienced hands to unstitch the story. Though we strive for unity, integrated oneness, to be able to show up to these spaces inhabited by man, woman, other; the circles of healing are often found within sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, before we can hope to heal trust between the sexes we must heal the trust within them. It is the moment of change, which side of 'herstory' will you be on?