Today is International Women’s Day, and I am thinking of you, you wonderful woman, whatever your age, my sister, no matter our differences. My heart is filled with gratitude, as I reflect on our collective intelligence, creativity, capacity and beauty. May you feel celebrated and honored, for the wonder you are.
And remember, even Beyonce falls sometimes.
Sister, thank you. For all you’ve done. You are one of a kind, for all of time. A gift to the world, beauty in these ashes, a beacon of light in these dark times. Truth-teller and freedom fighter, healer and peacemaker, fire and water mixed together, your love and strength holds us together. Never doubt your capacity to be.
I know it’s hard to stop, to sit still, to trust that your inherent value does not come from what you do, what you look like, who you are attached to. All the guilt that comes from sitting still, from not producing, from not doing or being enough.
Let it go.
We are exactly enough. We are. With nothing added unto us, and the fact that we were created, that we exist, is, in fact, our inherent value. Our cars and homes, our titles and achievements, our relationships and partners, our workplace and careers, do not hold a candle to who we are. The size of our thighs and our breasts, our age and our stage, it is what it is; society does not get to dictate to us what is our standard. We are loved for who we are, where we are, how we are.
I’ve been told you are my competition, that we are contestants in the game of life, puppets in the patriarchy, fighting for our place. I’ve also been told that I am your keeper. That you are mine. But how can I keep you, if I am always competing with you. How can I hold you close if you are a threat? How can we take our masks off and let our guard down when we have been taught not to trust? Sister, silence has made us vulnerable prey. Our shared suppression has fostered oppression. Our silence is not spiritual. Do you realize our power to conquer fear and battle injustice, when we fight it together?
Our differences have divided us, but they can make us stronger, if we are willing to understand each other. Let’s be honest, I may not like your politics, or share your faith, opinions, or convictions, but we have common resistance, shared experiences, and well, we’re women aren’t we? We have gone through hell, suffered unspeakable sorrow, inexplicable pain, inexcusable abuse. unimaginable loss. We have lived to tell the story. No small feat, indeed.
Wherever we lay our head down – a house with a porch swing, an apartment or high rise, a trailer park or public housing, a refugee camp or foster care, prison cell or train track – when we are at our best, we can find a sense of home in one another. Our pain, sin, and shame matters, and it is affirmed and validated when we are together; is there anything we can’t overcome? If we speak truth to power, and live to love our neighbor, is pride or greed, racism or sexism, misogyny or exploitation to great for us? No ma’am, it is not. We are found in God, and we belong to each other.
If we only knew how loved we are.
One more thing sister, I need to tell you how sorry I am. Forgive me if I have made you feel small, less than who you were created to be. I am growing in humility and security. I am sorry if I overlooked you, treated you unkindly, or forced you in a box you don’t belong in. I am sorry if I sought to have power over you, when I should have sought to serve you. That’s wrong, and since I can’t control anything but myself, I will work at making it right.
I am committed to speak up, no matter what it costs me; to tell the truth, and shame the devil. To walk alongside other women, men and children, who will lift heads and inspire hearts to see a greater future, and who will work to make it so. Love is difficult, but she never fails. So shine, sister, shine. Rise in love. Rise in truth. Rise in all your wisdom, guts and glory. We need you.
Do what you were born to do.