(Originally published October 9, 2017)
How much of what you’re fighting against isn’t actually your battle, but one that began countless years ago in the lives of your ancestors?
Today as I pondered my struggle of moving forward with confidence, I felt the unmistakable presence of my ancestors. To my right and my left they joined me, one by one. And I felt their deep pain and sorrow wash over me, and I saw their lives before my eyes. It was despair beyond description. Betrayal and control and abuse and the continual pushing down, down, down. Fierce women, magical women, wise women, loving women whose gifts and mere presence terrified the men around them.
I sat with them and felt with them and mourned with them the lives they were not free to live. I grieved their captivity and felt their desperation and I let it be. It is an honor to hold space for and with the women whose lives made possible my own, who held tightly to themselves the secret legacy of magic and mysticism and eternal wisdom and courage. And so I felt with them and let it be until we were healed together.
And then I wrote this, for us. For all of us whose inheritance is fraught with pain, who by virtue of being woman bear this legacy of sorrow and fear and suffocation. May it bring you and your ancestors the peace you seek. There is more work to be done, sisters, but each day we are closer to free.
To the Women Who Have Gone Before
We inherit you.
Your skin, your eyes,
the way you looked at the world.
The way the world looked at you.
We inherit your fear of touch.
Your fear of being struck down.
Your fear of being found out.
Of being caught.
We too know this fear.
It is ours
and it is yours.
We know the danger
that awaits a woman who is
and even a woman who is owned by no one.
We know our realness and rawness
terrify you, our mothers and grandmothers
and so many more.
Because the world you lived in
punished you thoroughly for
stepping outside the lines.
Your soul bears the scars to this day, but
the fear never heals over.
It rises again with each new danger we face.
Even our ancient sisters
rise with this fear and rush to our side.
They protect us
and hold us and lift us up ... and yet
they also tremble and shake
with the rising of this fear.
It reminds them of the soul wounds that cry out still
to be seen and known and healed and
And this is how we heal each other.
Mothers and sisters and all of us together,
spirit and flesh, soul to soul,
hand in hand we rise.
And we rise.
And we rise.
And we rise.
Together we rise
until every last one