All too often in the culture in which we have been raised, our special gifts as women have been ridiculed, kept in the home, dismissed, and called crazy. As if that were not enough, when we have dared to step into the public arena women who have succeeded have been extolled and rewarded for becoming “just like men.”
Rarely in public or private (except in the home – and even then, the recognition is qualified), have our unique gifts and abilities been recognized and valued – even by ourselves.
For example, our intuition is one of our great assets that is essentially not recognized and undervalued when it is seen. Yet, we have it. Often we “feel in our gut” that something is wrong with our interaction, an idea, or a belief. Often, we struggle to attach words and concepts to “that feeling” and we “know.”
Western science and the culture in which we live does not value this information and recognize that there are many types of “knowing.” And this kind of “knowing” is often present in important situations. I have learned to trust the unknowing of the knowing and “wait with” it. For example in Al-Anon, the recovery program for friends and family of alcoholics (in this society everyone should belong as all of us have to deal with addicts of some sort) has a saying “When in doubt – DON’T.” We need to treat our intuition that way. We need to stop and wait for and with more information.
Another “gift” that I have found in myself is knowing when I am being lied to. In my body, this “knowing” is centered in my solar plexus. I will be in what seems like a “normal” interaction and I will notice a quiver, a stab, a pain, an awareness of discomfort in my solar plexus. When I become aware of that awareness, I stop! I may not know what the person is lying about and I know that something is wrong – further investigation is necessary and always pays off.
Also, our brains, as women, have a unique way of functioning, we have more cross-brain connections, our brains develop earlier than men’s and we have smaller areas focused on sex and violence. We can build different kinds of cultures if we trusted ourselves.
The same uniqueness for women occurs in the area of leadership. Many writers have noticed that women are less interested in “climbing the ladder” than men and are more interested in shared and collegiate leadership. Some writers see this as a limitation in women, I don’t. I see it as a potential for wholeness from the personal to the planetary.
For so many centuries, we women have been told that we “don’t know how things are or have to be.” We have been told that we don’t know how things work or don’t understand “reality” as defined by the dominant system. Isn’t that a hoot when we have survived in it for all these centuries? The oppressed have always understood more about the system than those empowered in it because we have to in order to survive and we have perspective.
Yet, that system does not know what all women at some level know – that our unique knowledge and awarenesses along with that of other non-dominant people are necessary for the planet to survive. The wisdom of the wholeness is vastly important.
We women need to do our personal work to be clear on what we have to offer and we need to participate so that all of us become what we can be for this planet to survive and thrive.
There Will Be a Thousand Years of Peace and Prosperity and They Will Be Ushered in by the Women opens the doors and some stepping stones in that direction.
We need to look at the miniscule and the whole simultaneously.
We women, as a group, have historically progressed through 1) trying to be persons defined by men for their purpose to 2) trying to prove that we are just as good as men in a male-defined world to 3) proving we can be as violent and sexy (as defined by men) as they are. Now we are ready to bring what we, ourselves, have uniquely, to offer as women to help evolve a new society and way of being on this planet.