Today is International Women’s Day. A day that rose out of a socialist movement and was adopted internationally for loads of shifted and changed reasons. (wikipedia told me so).
The point is that its a gentle permission slip for us to say, "fuck yes, I'm here, and by all means let me be seen as more than equal to my male identifying counterparts". It gives us that little nudge to claim existence and look to our sisters and aunts and strangers that are laying waste to stereotypes and creating change.
It's also a day for us to sit in the identity of our anatomy and reflect.
For some, being given female anatomy is a burden alone. The rise of endometriosis awareness, miscarriage stories and fertility mindfulness, it just brings me back to the war we mentally wage on our bodies when we're given the physical gender ‘female’.
It took me a long time to be comfortable being sensual, being intimate, being open with my words and my stories, and it took me a long time to realize my uterus and my body weren’t against me, that being a woman wasn't a curse, that being given the stamp of Eve's Daughter didn't mean a life of pain, even if it is painful at times.
The journey of self discovery as a woman is one that every person identifying as such has to go through. Learning how we truly feel about certain physical interactions, how certain touches and certain things light us up, or don’t. Why some movements or secret things create a butterfly in our guts and some create dread, we always have to rediscover it alone. Alone.
When we’re intimate with another partner, we as women have a certain instilled reaction that is buried so deep inside us. We instinctually respond only when given space to, we react only when we feel safe. This makes honest intimacy such a triumph when we can actually achieve it, but I am not sure how often that happens.
If we’re plagued by uncertainty about our own body, or if we’re in pain because of the cycles of the moon, there’s a rift that happens to some. We disconnect from ourselves and start blaming our bodies for things we don’t understand. Intimacy becomes only a physical exchange and there’s an automatic removal of the spirit.
We think our bodies betray us, because we’ve been told they drive our being for so long.
How many times have we had to check with ourselves if our emotional state is based in truth or based on anatomy? Based on pills we take to fend off procreation? Based on our circumstances or our chemicals? How exhausting it all is, and when we really think about it - how isolating.
We are set up to have a spiritual and emotional disconnect from our bodies, from the first time our cycle begins until way after our cycles stop. We are at the behest of something we try so hard to understand, but where’s the research? Where’s the conversation?
There are so many reasons I have a Uterus Shirt in my shop, friend.
But highest among them is that our bodies aren't our war-zones or our problems or our issues incarnate.
I have to tell you this.
They don't belong to our parents church or our lineage's stories. They aren’t our experiences accordion-ed in on themselves to be pulled apart whenever we invite someone in. They aren’t our genes or our tendencies towards this neuro-diversity or another. No, they’re not. They aren’t time bombs, or venus fly traps for destruction.
Our bodies aren’t against us.
They're our houses for amazing and beautiful things just waiting to be told. They’re the entire ocean of life that connects to the biggest and most beautiful Moon in the Universe. They’re our sailboat to bravery and courage, storytelling and curse-lifting. They’re new territory to discover and forget and rediscover, they’re the river you pour into when you’ve got new magic, they’re that magic rainstorm that shakes the very foundation of the biggest building in the whole world.
So today as you look up to your sisters and aunts and mothers doing the beautiful things, know that they share an anatomy with you as a carrier for their freedom and their liberty and their courage, just like you. They have also had to discover themselves, their bodies. These women have also had to learn what intimacy is like for them, what they need and how they feel. They look in the mirror and wonder, and they might even look at the mirror in wonder. They are here, in this world, right now. Their bodies, their beings.
In case you needed to hear it today, on this International Women’s Day, our bodies are more than our pain.