People heal & grow in their own way and their own time. Even you.
This truth is difficult for those of us who see where healing is needed and want it right now, on our schedule and on our terms. When someone just doesn’t get it, makes what we understand to be bad choices, keeps missing, we get frustrated, angry and hurt.
People heal & grow in their own way and their own time, it is true, but people do heal & grow. They have the capacity to learn, to choose again, to mature, to become new and better.
To be there for them while that happens, though, takes an astounding amount of presence and patience. We have to take the blows as they act out, have to keep strong, have to help them move one step at a time, even if those steps seem sideways or backwards.
Being there while those we love grow and heal, through the messes and through the years, well, that’s the job of mothers. Balancing doing what we think is right and delighting in the divine surprise of seeing & helping someone else blossom into their own person, well, that’s a high calling.
Women understand that attending to the mundane, mixed with just a touch of magic, is vital to creating a new and better future. Our future lies in those who will shape tomorrow and those people are being taken care of by women today.
For me, this nurturing nature is at the heart of the feminine.
In a go, go, go culture, where success is measured by what you can win today, it is easy for the slow, gracious hand of the feminine to be undervalued and even ignored. In that culture the imposed is more valued than the organic, how we make our big mark on the world is more important than how we tend to growing good, healthy and vibrant children, organizations, communities. We are expected to announce our presence with authority.
Coaches are trained to ask “What are your goals?” rather than asking “What do you want to grow?” When you reply that you want to work the process, to be present and engaged in the moment, open to the possibilities, that organic approach is unfathomable. A vision you can impose onto the world is what they value, not a presence that cares and facilitates growth & healing.
Women’s work is undervalued because it seems so small: changing a diaper, listening to a story, finding an outfit, feeding a family. That work, though, underpins the possibilities of the world, creating stronger, healthier and more aware people.
It takes a lifetime of small and sacred acts for us to become the change we need to see in the world.
For a change agent, it is always easier to engage your own change than to do the really, really hard part of the work: staying open to see, respect & encourage the change of others. We cannot really change, though, unless the network we live in changes, for if there is no movement, we will always just be pulled out of place.
When one person emerges a whole family emerges, goes the old saw. For social animals, transformation comes in tribes, not in individuals. Until and unless those we are connected to also embrace change, we cannot be seen, understood and valued, cannot be mirrored in an affirming and loving way.
Like Shaw’s tailor, I have to hold open the space for transformation, measuring others anew each time that I meet them. That take a kind of openness & vulnerability that most people have never cultivated, instead working from the neatly walled expectations & assumptions which comfort them with an illusion of separation & agency.
This is the challenge of every mother. Who is your child today? What is new and what have they let go of? What do you have to engage and what do you have to let go of? It’s not all going to be easy, fun or good, but it is all going to be very important, at least to them.
One vital reason I stayed trans-natural was that I saw the kind of defences that my sisters had to put up to walk as visibly trans in the world. They needed to armour up to keep their tender trans heart protected.
As a femme, this is something I could never do. Head down and going for the goal is just not my way. Being connected, engaged, open and of service to those I loved was vital to me. I didn’t need to teach them how to go for it in the world, I needed to be ready to bandage up their cuts and scrapes, to gently help them find the new and better, to be there as they healed & grew in their own time and their own way.
If someone won’t fight with you, they won’t fight for you either. Every kid knows that, knows that sparring is an act of love & commitment. We know when we are being used as a punching bag and we know when someone is helping us develop our skills, our awareness and our power.
That fight, though, isn’t a one bout and out deal. It is a continuous, caring presence, a circling back to basics, a mirror that reflects that which we cannot yet see in ourselves, a passing back of the gift of God we need to stay connected.
The value of the feminine is in our enthusiasm for the reality of growth and healing, for change which brings the new and the better. Every kiss is an act of hope, every tear an affirmation of persistence.
The price for this commitment is very high, but who would we be if we didn’t hold open our heart for those who need us?
And while others may just see my body and assume whatever, who would I be if I didn’t open my heart to a world that needs growth & healing?