When we feel loved we are better equipped to love as well.
There has never been a more desperate need for women to shine. Women, mothers, survivors. Instead we sometimes suppress the truth, hiding our light instead of shining. Or worse, we snuff out the light in others to make ourselves appear brighter. It is for this reason I never try to be the most experienced “one” in the room, in a group, in anything. I am too sensitive and my heart is too open and vulnerable to allow insecure women to hurt me again and again. I see a doctor, a physchiatrist. With more degrees on his wall than I have fingers on my hands. He is my unbiased feelings thermometer. When do I need to change, and when is it should I enforce boundaries because others can’t get their crap together? I suggest every person get one of these. Mine’s name is Chuck. He’s a great old former Marine, runs a rehab, and if I was in jail and could make one phone call, he would be the one. Again, I highly recommend therapy.
For years I was obscuring my own light within. As I felt powerless over anything I gave in to all the lies a young woman can tell herself. I’ve lived through hell and back. I’ve earned the right to shine, to let the light out! The weekend of my brother’s high school graduation I was taken. I went to the high school that I attended just 3 years earlier (I was two grades ahead of him, but graduated a year ahead of my class through alternative school) and afterwards I went into the city to get dope. It was something I did every day, or every other day. I drove from Jersey to Philly and parked my car on a street with very little traffic. I walked to my usual spot to get what I came for and that day I was taken. For a day and a night I was held against my will. I had no concept of time and only know it was a day and a night because my family told me that’s how long I was missing for. I felt nothing during the experience. The men who took me kept giving me drugs. I was so numb that I could barely speak. I remember knowing it was all wrong and wondering if I was going to die in that place. It was an abandoned row home in a place that nobody would ever know to look for me. Everyone I loved was either gone, those closest to my heart dead, and my family all celebrating my brother’s graduation wondering why I was such a horrible person for not showing up. This was before the days of cell phones. I was still a teenager.
I remember being strapped to a table and if I didn’t fight them they didn’t hurt me as bad. The people were speaking Spanish and I didn’t know Spanish. Had they not been keeping me drugged, it would have been one of the defining moments of my life, but like I tell Chuck, it doesn’t bother me, it just makes me strong and vulnerable, a guess that rare combination is the silver lining of that whole experience. I was let go the next day but I remember feeling hurt all over. I figured my family would be mad at me for missing my brother’s party so I called a big, bad scary man who I shouldn’t have been mixed up with. But I felt safe knowing that he would come get me and nobody would mess with me. As I waited on the street for him to come I bought what I came for and I used it until I was so numb that nothing would ever hurt again. This went on for another few years. My parents eventually found out about what had happened and they got me a ticket to Florida. I never told anyone exactly what happened in that house, when I was tied to the table for what could have been 6 hours or what could have been 24 hours. I really don’t know as I kept nodding off. I just remember what people told me. Had I been sober I might not have been able to live through it. I hear people don’t live through stuff like that, but I did.
Mothers raise us. They are grown, have answers, meet needs, ask for obedience. Daughters are growing. They ask for things, are insecure, ask for affirmation and answers. “Why?” is often what daughters ask. I read a book several years back by Lisa Bevere where she likened relationships between women to be like this. She writes about women in groups, communities, churches and circles of friendships needing mothers and becoming mothers and grandmothers to the younger women. As a woman, I am in the awkward state of needing a mother and at the same time growing into a mother. In real life and in my spiritual life. When I was sick I called my Mom every single day. I needed her and she answered every single day. In my search for a spiritual mother, a counselor a bit closer to home in my walk with aromatherapy, God, motherhood, and homeschooling I am finding that the women are all still daughters. A few mothers among us, but very few and far between. A mother is someone who has surpassed you in your journey. I have many wise friends, but not many that have homeschooled three kids, or for a longer period of time than myself. I have not found women willing to share themselves with me as no one has the time anymore. I literally just had a woman tell me that she felt a connection to me, we both use the same curriculum, and then a week or so later sent me a message letting me know she had no room in her life for new friends, not even to meet me at the park. I can’t ever imagine being so insecure or afraid that I would forgo a friendship in favor of… whatever it was in favor of. It broke my heart for a day. My husband and kids were extra kind to me because they know the struggle I have had trying to find women who are decent. I realized that this woman was not a “safe” woman and it was my doctor who pointed out that in his professional opinion, based on everything I told him I knew about her, she was in a clique’. This was basic clique’ 101 behavior. Awesome. I finally meet a decent person and it turns out she’s on a bitch squad.
In Florida I had so many “spiritual” mothers, mentors if you will. I had so many that I didn’t realize just how spoiled I was. Fortunately, I have a real Mom who is also my best friend. On the downside, she lives far away. Not many people can handle mentoring someone like me. My mom is good at it. It was easy in Florida. I was a new Mom, I was a new homeschooler. I was a new teacher. Here I am trying to find that mentor who is willing to not be afraid of my crap. “You have experience and wisdom beyond your years, you are personable, easy to talk to, funny, and you are beautiful,” Chuck tells me… “if anyone puts you down consistently, she is insecure and jealous.” Chuck might be reading this… chime in if you are doc; don’t want folks to think I made you up. If I am these things, why are so few women NICE. The funny thing is, I was thinking last night about the time I was taken off the street. I was scared. But it didn’t kill me. Not only that, it made me stronger. It lit the fuse to spark something inside of me. That experience that I survived was torture and I was almost killed, but I survived and it made me a happy, grateful person in search of sobriety and life and joy and giving. But I need fellow women. How am I ever expected to grow and mature and become a leader myself when the women here are 1) too busy to see me, or 2) they are too inexperienced to know what they are talking about… literally, there have been times I just acted confused because I knew what the person was trying to say was total b.s. but I am not about to try to tell a prideful woman she is wrong. So I just act like I am mistaken. Bossy people leave me feeling drained. Like I don’t want to ever try to make friends again. Beautiful people make me want to be beautiful too. I have a friend here that my Husband LOVES. He doesn’t know her well, but he says that when I talk to her or spend time with her I shine. That’s what I’m looking for. Someone who can be consistently in my life and help me shine. And in the mentor-mentee relationship, that person in turn gains wisdom and becomes a spiritual mother and grows into the full potential she was meant to grow into.
I am nowhere near the woman I was created to be. I have potential lurking inside of me. “There are times when massive, world-changing forces of life are born from our personal anguish.” -Lisa Bevere
I think I have had world-changing forces happen, but I don’t know what to do with myself because I am alone. When I lived in Florida I accomplished things. I fed the homeless, I often gave sermons to the youth at the church I worked at and young women would share their hearts with me… like a daughter to a mother, I hugged prostitutes in the Bronx and shared my life with the men and women on skid row. Because I had women building me up, encouraging my heart, being my friend. It was the people encouraging me who made me great. I have tried to do some of those things here, but it fizzled out. Women are strong. What we accomplish can’t be done by men. If it could only one sex would be here. We need women in our lives. We can’t do this without each other. I can’t accomplish much without great women in my life. I have a network of rock stars(this one’s about the ladies only- but Lenny if you were a lady you would totally be included in this!) in Florida, Chicago, Montana and New Jersey, but not enough here in KC.
I have met a lot of women through blogging and it blows me away how many sweet, genuine people are lonely, looking for another. Looking for a mother.
If you are interested in learning more about the mother-daughter relationship in the spiritual realm I suggest the Nurture by L. Bevere. It’s been a very long time since I read it, but it was so powerful that to this day I still respect the bond between friends and women as a sacred gift.
I am looking all the time. I hope soon to finally be the friend and find the friend my heart is desperately craving. With no strings attached (no clique’s) and no jealousy. Friends should want friends to shine. If I need another to dim so that I can be bright, shame on me. And vice versa. I am no longer dimming my light. I’ve been through too much to get it and I’m not going to let it be snuffed out by another. Find your light source and shine fellow travelers!
Have a really good week friends!