I was recently asked what the term “Divine Feminine” meant to me. My immediate thought was, “Hmmm, now that is a good question. I don’t really know.” I started thinking through my past – my upbringing, my experiences, my education, and my relationships – to form a coherent, honest response to this deep, deep question. In the December 7, 2023, GTW newsletter article, The Story of a Life of Silence written by Rona Frye, she shared a personal story about her upbringing. As I read her article, I realized how much what she wrote mimicked my own childhood and I decided to begin my response to that question by sharing some of that with you.
You see, my younger sister and I were raised by an ex-Marine father who was very controlling and who practiced the belief that “children were to be seen and not heard.” Our young lives involved not asking questions, doing as we were told, and speaking only when spoken to. We were not encouraged by him to be free-thinkers or to form our own opinions about anything. In fact, if either of us expressed opinions different from his, we were accused of calling him a liar. We were to do what we were told and to be “good girls” and of course, we did our best to comply. We were female and we were not to have opinions, speak our mind, want for anything other than what was provided, and if it cost money to do, we were not to do it. We were not encouraged, or allowed, to participate in extracurricular activities or anything that would necessitate extra driving or extra cost. Our mom was our advocate, but she even had dad-imposed limitations. On a few occasions, she had argued with him just to be able to buy us bras and deodorant! Can you believe that?
By example, our parents taught me and my sister to be responsible, accountable humans. She and I appreciate them so much for instilling these qualities and values in us. Our dad taught, also by example, how to discriminate against others, and sometime around the age of 15, I started paying close attention to what was going on around me, both inside my home and in the world. It was at this time that I truly saw my father...and I objected. I objected through my speech, I objected through my actions, I objected through what I read, and I objected through the music I listened to. I was old enough to see the true him and to make the conscious decision to be different. There was one pivotal moment when I finally found my voice and was able to speak my truth, with full disregard for consequences and punishments; I didn’t care! I just knew I had to stand up for what I believed to be right, and it was this moment, and the realization it brought, that informed my and my dad’s relationship for the rest of his life. This also helped me decide how I wanted to be in this world.
I hadn’t heard of the Divine Feminine at that time, but I knew I had to find my voice; however, it would be a while before I did. I discovered that my thoughts did not align with my behaviors and proceeded to be in a series of bad-decision relationships, where my voice was not appreciated or respected and where I was being controlled and manipulated. I kept involving myself with men who I thought needed to be “fixed” and although I never told them that, I felt that if I “helped” them, they would appreciate me and “need” me. I was trying to control them, just as my dad had with me, my sister, and my mom. Well, guess what? That backfired repeatedly! I would like to say I learned my lesson and didn’t repeat that behavior, but that would be a lie. I cycled through this behavior many times before I realized that my intuition had been guiding me all along; I just didn’t know what it felt like. I learned that when I have a big decision to make, if I ignore the nausea and anxiety that becomes so bad my entire body is visibly and uncontrollably shaking, this decision is not the right one for me, and I back away. Has this happened to you? Can you relate? Do you know where and how your intuition manifests within you?
I have some college education, but my real education is through lived experience. I have taken every experience that could be perceived as “negative” and pulled nuggets of truth and learning from them. I believe the only way we fail is by not trying, or by not learning the lesson from the event. I raised a wonderful daughter as a single parent and home-schooled her when I felt the system was failing her. I am an honorary mom for several others, as well. I have sat on boards, led committees, created career opportunities for others, owned my own business, created classroom and online training curricula, and am self-taught in many software programs and in website design. It is through all these experiences, and many more, that I can honestly and confidently say, I have found my voice!!!
I have been what I call a “lurker” of GTW for over two decades. I know that sitting in circle with other women is so powerful and so healing and is a place where each of us is held without judgment in love, understanding, and support. So, when asked what the term “Divine Feminine” means to me, this is my response: “The Divine Feminine is a woman who is intuitive, supportive, strong, full of love, embraces the beauty of nature and the universe, and is one with spirit. She possesses her own, unique voice, speaks her truth, and is intuitively guided without fear or ego. She is unapologetically herself and doesn't depend on external factors to prove she's worthy - because she knows she is.”
And now I ask you, what does Divine Feminine mean to you? How does she manifest in your life? How do you experience her?