As you undoubtedly know, I spend countless hours (decades, really) in the midst of ancient, sacred stories of women. And I persist because, bottom line, this is what I believe:
We need these stories. We need these women. And we deserve them: muses, mentors, companions, even midwives who call us forth and birth us into the lives that are ours to claim, to live, to love.
I believe this, as well:
The more value and worth we give to any woman’s story, the more value and worth we give to our own.
I do believe these things. Deep in my bones. But that hardly means I always (even often) feel confident about a bit of it. My inner critic gets the better of me more days than not. I sit in front of this screen and wonder if what I’m thinking and writing makes any difference at all. I question whether I’ll ever get the manuscript finished and if it will matter a whit once I do. And I know that every single one of these thoughts are lies from the pit of hell…
The beauty, gift, and miracle in all of this is that no matter how far I wander down this less-than-honoring rabbit trail, the stories — the women themselves — bring me back to myself. It’s astonishing and miraculous and humbling. And so, I persist.
What follows is the tiniest glimpse into just one of the stories I’m (re)visioning. I’m hopeful it will bring you back to yourself — no matter your doubts, your inner critic, your questions, your fears; that you will see just how much value and worth YOUR story holds; how much value and worth YOU have — today and every day, all the time.
Once upon a time there was a pharaoh who was paranoid about the population growth of his slaves. He feared that if something wasn’t done about it that they would eventually overtake him. Fed up with this, he called two midwives into his presence and commanded that they kill every boy-child birthed. They didn’t like this idea and so, did just the opposite. The pharaoh called them on the carpet, demanding to know why they had not obeyed him. They said, “The Hebrew women are much too strong and fast! They have the child before we can even get there!” Because of their courage, they were blessed with children of their own.
(Yes, eventually, the Hebrew slaves DID break free. Their exodus was led by a man who was once a baby boy not killed; saved by his mother’s bravery, his sister’s creativity, and yet another woman’s compassion — the pharaoh’s own daughter. But that’s another story for another time.)
Though there is so much to mine and treasure in this story, here are four takeaways for now — and for you; the oh-so-relevant wisdom these two women speak into your heart and life:
- Do what you can’t not do — even before you feel ready. You are.
- Neither the voices within, nor those of “power” without have the final say. You do.
- Trust that life is yours to bring forth on your own and others’ behalf, no matter the risk. It is.
- Stand alongside other women — always and in all things. It matters.
If there were a 5th takeaway, it would be this: The midwives (and countless others) stand alongside you. You’re not alone. You’re not alone. You’re not alone. No matter what.
Well, OK, just one thing more. Well, 5 things. 5 questions, really.
- What is it that you can’t not do?
- What does your voice have to say?
- What life is yours to bring forth — for yourself and/or others — no matter the risk?
- Who are the women alongside whom you can stand?
- What if you aren’t alone, ever? You’re not. I promise.
Every Monday morning I write and send a letter (via email). It’s my latest thoughts, my deepest heart — and always on your behalf. I’d love for you to have it. SUBSCRIBE.