There’s a story I love to tell of a mostly unknown woman who singlehandedly won a huge battle for an entire tribe of people by doing the most unlikely thing. In the thick of the fighting, she offered the enemy commander (who was sneaking away) a safe place to hide, made him comfortable, and then, as he slept, drove a tent peg through his head.
It’s a violent story, to be sure. Which would explain why it’s rarely told. But just imagine if it had been, if she was known, if you had known of her…
Imagine if you had grown up hearing Jael’s story instead of Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty. If you had been been lulled to sleep by the tale of a shockingly brave woman who overcame every fear and did what had to be done – no matter what others thought, expected, or even allowed. If you’d had a model, a template, a subconscious plot line within that invited courage, boldness, and strength.
Imagine if no part of you ever, whether admitted or not, waited for a prince/ss charming or a fairy godmother or a perfect kiss. If it never crossed your mind to choose being good over being right. If you had no idea what seen-not-heard even meant. If you never compromised yourself on behalf of another. If no part of you held back, played it safe, or waited to be invited into the, arena onto the stage, or out of the shadows.
Hard to imagine, isn’t it?
Well, no imagination is required to hear that same woman’s voice on your behalf; to hear what’s true. Listen.
This is no time for fear. And though it sometimes courses through your every cell, it cannot be given rule or reign. You are braver, stronger, better. You will do what must be done. No matter what. I’m sure of it – and you.
It may not be pretty – this brave act of yours. And it won’t be simple. Messy. Difficult. Exhausting. Even bloody. Still, necessary and right. I’m sure of it – and you.
Perhaps no one sees it coming; sees you as the one who will win the battle and the war. Perhaps hardly anyone expects that your courage, your actions, your clandestine measures will be sung about for centuries to come. And perhaps only a few know that within you dwells more boldness and brashness than can begin to be imagined. I’m sure of it – and you.
I will not be shocked by you. I know you – the real, brave, confident, courageous, defiant, win-the-battle you.
And this is no fairytale. No imagination is required. I am Jael and you, the true you, are my daughter, my lineage, my kin.
Just in case you still can’t imagine it (even though I told you that no imagination was required), allow me this:
You are surrounded and supported, cheered and celebrated, held and honored by more than just Jael (though she’s something, isn’t she?). There are countless ancient, sacred women whose stories when told, and voices when heard, will remind you of who you truly are: their daughter, their lineage, their kin.
May it be so.