כָּל-הַנֶּפֶשׁ לְבֵית-יַעֲקֹב הַבָּאָה מִצְרַיְמָה, שִׁבְעִים
…all the souls of the house of Yaakov, that came into Mitzrayim, were seventy... Yocheved (the mother of Moses and Aaron and Miriam and one of the greatest Jewish women that ever lived) was that seventieth and final soul of this holy house of Yaakov.
She strattled two worlds, with the power to transform the mundane into holiness without being transformed by it.
Our task is to bring light and holiness to the world.
First, we cure the world of its opposition to holiness, and then, we transform it.
The first part is the masculine role; the second part is the female approach.
As a mother and wife, ensuring that my family is nourished properly, establishing the safety and spiritual warmth of my home, and sanctifying marital life and intimacy — are ways to transform the mundane aspects of ordinary human life into expressions of holiness.
However, I wasn’t taught about my power and potential as a woman. I was sent to public school with rows of desks, lived in the suburbs, and experienced a seemingly ordinary, mundane life.
During my Sunday School days, G-d was part of the liturgy but not part of life. At home, there was a darkness that permeated daily living, a vacuum where holiness hadn’t managed to penetrate. Though the ceilings soared and the massive windows allowed sunlight to flood the space, the air felt dank, heavy, angry.
I lived in fear of doing the wrong thing. Expressing my thoughts and feelings went unnoticed at best. He was always mad at someone or something. And she often seemed sad, withdrawn. She’d ignore me for days or weeks. I’d search my words and actions to figure out what I’d done wrong. How could I become more lovable?
As I grew older and went out into the world, I was drawn to esoteric, new-age women who burned sage and seemed in touch with something beyond intellect and fear.
I wanted that, too, but wasn’t sure how to access ‘it’.
Was it the clothes I wore? The crystals and essential oils I bought?
Where was the transformative power to heal that I so desparately wanted?
Where and who was the G-d I read about in Sunday School?
And then there were my human features of being a woman that no one explained. Why do I bleed every month and no one really talks about it? Why do we hear about PMS and moods and buy pads and tampons, but not learn to understand the massive power that lies within us as females?
I’m 44 years old and have menstruated hundreds of times. I’ve grown five beautiful souls in my womb and birthed them into this world.
Yet I continue to mindlessly walk the aisles of Target, drive down the interstate, and fight my way blindly through existence in fear and confusion.
I do seek light and write about it as often as it comes. Sometimes I access the Divine, that unwounded spark within.
But too often I speak and act in fear, from a shell that has encased what is real. Like a scab upon a wound.
My feminine power to love and heal has been, for the most part, in hiding. Undeveloped. Peeling away the layers, like with any injury that heals, will be painful.
But it will allow me to walk and talk in the Divine glory that is meant to be life.
I can continue to feed my family, to infuse my home with holy warmth, to sanctify my marriage relationship.
And I will do so with the help of the Spirit, as I understand Her, acting through my body, transforming the darkness into light.
It’s a journey I’m taking, one step, one breath, one word at a time.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
― Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”