It’s hard to see our beauty, sometimes.
Impossible, at other times.
But there are two things I know for sure:
1. I have never met a woman who wasn’t beautiful.
2. I have never met a woman who actually knew how beautiful she was.
Because beauty isn’t about hip-to-waist-to-breast proportions.
It’s not about facial symmetry or a clear complexion. Beauty is about your/mine/our fundamental wholeless. Our holy, sacred, undeniable rightness. As we are. Women, we are beauty.
Most of us are firmly planted in Disapproval, population: 3.7 billion, most of the time. We are all too something.
Too fat, too emotional, too broken, too broke, too hurt, too depressed, too under-accomplished, too pushy, too weak, too wrinkled, too little, too much.
And when our heads are filled with too much too, there is no way to just be.
And when we can’t just be, our feminine cannot really function as it was so intricately and perfectly and divinely designed.
(Perhaps that is what the patriarchal world culture had in mind when it planted the too chip in our souls. If we are too much and simultaneously not enough, we will remain powerless for eternity and beyond.)
See, when your feminine is found wrong, there is no possible way to see yourself clearly, and there is definitely no way to get what your magnificent self wants.
There was a beautiful woman who told me her story, last weekend. Like many of us, she had had a painful childhood and had spent her life trying to heal from this devastation. And she blamed her inability to find a partner on her inability to heal her own wounds. Can anyone relate?
Healing is such a seductive idea.
It’s a convenient set-up for then I’ll be worthy of what I want.
And “then” is that impossible time when we won’t feel what we feel.
We say heal but what we mean is fix.
As in, repair something that is broken.
As if we are not already whole. Already right.
(Already gloriously beautiful.)
What if we, you, me, were enough — and more than enough — just as we are, no matter the evidence we collect?
What if, right now, even emotionally wounded, sad, angry, marked by Life, we were already perfect?
No matter the distance between us and our deepest longings.
What if just the simple privilege of being alive was so outstanding, so holy, so sacred, that there was nothing, not one thing, that could truly actually break us? And there was no choice we made that was anything other than genius?
Every knot in the tree adds to her beauty. The bend in the river makes her flow poetry.
Women, we are so brave. So fierce. We are so willing to be in it, daily.
Even when our fragile human form is staggering from the ride.
I know it seems strange and even wrongheaded to entertain this truth — especially when truth seems out of fashion — but know this:
We don’t have to “heal” to be magnificent.
We don’t have to “fix” ourselves, change ourselves, remake ourselves to have what we want, to deserve love in all its unexpected forms.
As Mary Oliver writes in Wild Geese:
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
The only thing that truly needs healing is our insistence there’s something wrong about us.
Sisters, every time we make the devastatingly difficult choice to choose not to fix, not to repair, not to “heal”, but to simply feel, we make space in this world for not just ourselves, but for the beauty and magnificence of all women.
Regena Thomashauer, aka “Mama Gena”
The School of Womanly Arts
Regena is a feminist icon, a teacher, a speaker, a mother, a best-selling author, and creatrix and CEO of The School of Womanly Arts.
PUSSY: A RECLAMATION
The New York Times Bestseller is now available in paperback!
If you’ve been waiting for the paperback, it is now waiting for you! Support your local book store or order online. Either way, when you buy your copy, I’d love to give you a gift of thanks.