Saturday, July 21, 2007

How might your life have been different

How might your life have been different
By: Judith Duerk

Hpw might your life have been different if there had been a place for you?
A place for you to go... a place of women,
to help you learn the ways of women...
a place where you were nurtured from an ancient flow
sustaining you and steadying you as you sought to become your self,
A place of women to help you find and trust
the ancient flow already there within yourself...
waiting to be released...
A place of women....
How might your life be different?

How might your life have been different, if
deep within, you carried an image of the Great Mother?
And, when things seemed very, very bad, you could imagine that you were sitting in the lap of the Goddess,
held tightly embraced, at last
And that you could hear her saying to you,
I love you I love you and I need you to bring
forth your self.
And, if, in that image, you could see the Great Mother looking to Her daughters,
looking to each woman to reveal, in her own life, the beauty, strength, and wisdom of the Mother......
How might your life be different?

How might your life have been different if there had been a place
for you...a place of women, where you were received and affirmed? A
place where other women, perhaps somewhat older, had been affirmed
before you, each in her time, affirmed, as she struggled to become
more truly herself.

A place where, after the fires were lighted, and the drumming, and
the silence, there would be a hush of expectancy filling the entire
chamber...a knowing that each woman there was leaving old conformity
to find her self...a sense that all of womanhood stood on a threshold.

And if, during the hush, the older women, slightly older, had
helped you to trust your own becoming... to trust it and quietly and
prayerfully to nurture it...
How might your life be different?

How might your life have been different if there had been a place for
you to be, a place of women... a place where, one day in your monthly
stay, you were asked if it were almost time? And, if other women,
somewhat older, already initiated, had begun to help you prepare?
And, for many months, the women helped you during your times in the
lodge to go inside yourself and consider all the experiences of your
life and to reflect on them... if the women had helped you draw your
thoughts and feelings together and to weigh them.... so that you
could come to a clearer knowing of what your life was about. And if
the women had listened as you told them of your whole life and the
sense and meaning it held for you... the happenings of your whole
life.
And, at the end of that process, after the bathing and fasting, and
praying. the oldest women in the lodge had come and sat in a
circle, and you saw that they had left and empty place...a place for
you. And you softly and timidly made your way to the empty place and
quietly claimed your wisdom, and wisdom of your soul...
How might your life be different?



How might it have been different for you, if, early in your life, the
first time you as a tiny child felt your anger coming together inside
yourself, someone, a parent or grandparent, or older sister, has
said "Bravo! yes, that's it! You’re feeling it!"
If, the first time you had experienced that sharp awareness of ego,
of "me, I'm me, not you"...you had been received and hugged and
affirmed instead of shamed and isolated?
If someone had been able to see that you were taking the first tiny
baby step towards feeling your own feelings, of knowing that you saw
life differently from those around you. If you had been helped to
Experience your own uniqueness, to feel excitement of sensing, for the
Very first time, your own awareness of life. What if someone had
helped you to own all of this...to own your own life?
How might it be different for you?



How might your life have been different, if, when you were a young
woman, the first time you felt feelings of depression, an older woman
had come to sit with you? If she had come to sit with you, as someone
had come to sit with her the first time she had feelings of
depression? To simply sit, quietly, perhaps wordlessly-to sit with
you, during your dark time
And how might your life have been different if the woman had
accepted your feelings of depression? Had accepted them so completely
and fully that you began to feel safe with them. If there had been no
judgement and no questioning... no attempt to make you smile, to
betray your feelings, to deny your darkness. If the woman has simply
sat in silence with you, with your pain, and in the darkest moments
had been able to reflect it to you...to reflect to you your pain...to
witness...attend...and by her quiet respect for it to help you learn
To respect it...your own pain and depression...to witness, attend and
respect your depression...and to see that just as the woman had faith
in it, you also might have a glimmer of faith that there was meaning
and truth in you darkness.
How might your life be different?

How might your life have been different, if, as a young woman, there
had been a place for you, a place where you could go to be among
women...a place for you when you had feelings of darkness? And, if
there had been another woman, somewhat older, to be with you in your
darkness, to be with you until you spoke...spoke out your pain and
anger and sorrow.
And, if you has spoken until you had understood the sense of your
feelings, how they reflected your own nature, your deepest nature,
crying out of the darkness, struggling to be heard.
And, what if, after that, every time you had feelings of darkness,
you knew that the woman would come to be with you? and would sit
quietly by as you went into your darkness to listen to your feelings
and bring them to birth...so that, over the years, companioned by the
woman, you learned to no longer fear your darkness, but to trust
It...to trust it as the place where you could meet your own deepest
nature and give it voice.
How might your life be different if you could trust your
darkness...could trust your own darkness.

How might your life have been different, if, long ago when you were
still a tiny child, long before you began to come to the Women's
Lodge as the normal cycle of your life, you had been brought here
especially by your mother and aunts...and you and your girl cousin
entered shyly into this place you had overheard so much about?
And, after the fires were lighted, and the drumming, and the
silence, you heard, for the very first time, what the women called
The Naming... each woman speaking slowly into the stillness, sharing
her feeling of how she saw her life and what she wished to say of
it...sharing it with the women around her... weaving the threads of
her life into a fabric to be given and named.
And, as the shadows of the day lengthened into dusk and you leaned
your head against your mother's shoulder, you pondered in your heart
a different sense of a woman's life...
How might your life be different?

How might your life have been different, is, as a young woman,
there had been a place for you, a place where you could go to be with
women? A place where you could be received as you strove to order
your moments and your days.
A place where you could learn a quite centeredness...to help you
ground yourself in daily patterns that would nurture you through
their gentle rhythms...a place where, in the stillness at the ending
of a task, you could feel and ancient presence flowing out to sustain
you...and you learned how to receive and to sustain it in return.
How might your life be different?

How might your life have been different, if, through the years,
there had been a place where you could go?...a place of women, away
from the ordinary busy-ness of life...a place of women who knew the
cycles of life, the ebb and flow of nature, who knew of times of
quiet...who understood your tiredness and need for rest.
A place of women who could help you accept your fatigue and trust
your limitations, and know, in the dark winter, that your energy
would return, as surely as the spring.
Women who could help you learn to light a candle and to wait...
How might your life be different?

How might your life have been different, if, one day, during your
monthly stay in the Women's Lodge, you had suddenly felt fearful?
If, even in those safe surroundings, you felt the dread and panic you
sometimes felt in your life away from there?
And, what if, as you tried to express your anguish, a women had
listened quietly, intently, as you expressed your fears, your
experiencing of your own shame and abandonment?
If there had been a stillness, a grave silence in that moment, as
your eyes looked into the eyes of the women who listened, and you saw
that she was there, present to your suffering... that she was there,
so present to your terror and woundedness that she helped you, also,
to embrace your own anguish...and give it a place to rest...
How might your life be different?

How might your life have been different if there had been a place
for you, A place of women? A place where other women, somewhat older,
had reached out to help you as you rooted yourself in the earth of
ancient feminine... A place where there was a deep understanding of
the ways of women to nurture you in every season of your life. A
place of women to help you measure your own stature... to help you
prepare and know when you were ready.
A place where, after the fires were lighted, and the drumming, and
the silence, you would claim, finally, in your naming, as you spoke
slowly into that silence, that the time had come, full circle, for
you, also, to reach out...reach out to help them prepare as they
struck root in that same timeless earth.
How might your life be different?

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4 Comments:

Blogger Julie Marie said...

This is so, so wonderful. I am going to print it out and refer to it many times.

Yes, I think my life might have been utterly different.

Julie

July 22, 2007 at 1:12 PM  
Blogger miss*R said...

oh Autumn this is just beautiful...it made me cry. This is exactly what I had in Daisy. I feel so lost without this.
I too will print it out and I will read it at my croning ceremony in December.. thankyou, thankyou xoxo

July 22, 2007 at 5:32 PM  
Blogger E~li~si said...

"an ancient presence flowing out to sustain
you."
Awesome...thanks so much for sharing this.

July 22, 2007 at 7:14 PM  
Blogger PEA said...

This truly touched me because it hits so close to home and I truly wish I would have had someone to lean on when I was going through such a period of my life. Now it's my turn to be leaned on:-) xox

July 22, 2007 at 7:21 PM  

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