“If you never searched for your truth
come with us
and you will become a seeker.”
|Photo by Marta Bevacqua|
Over the past few weeks on Thursday evenings I’ve been joining thirteen other women in a Women’s Wisdom Circle, led by a mentor and friend of mine. Each woman is at a turning point in her life and looking for guidance – something to direct her to the answers she seeks, whose questions reside in numinous places, away from the structures, roles, and regulations of her normal daily life. We are there to gain strength and resilience in a territory that we have been taught we have no business in – the territory of women’s wisdom. Each woman holds a question on her heart and looks to the woman beside her or across from her for a morsel of reflected truth that is her own, spoken in a different voice, worn in a different skin, and yet, feels familiar.
Our paths are different, but in that room I am not alone. As one woman holds the talking stick, her voice shaking from her pain, tears spilling from her eyes, streaking down her face, a heat forms in the base of my spine. I hear you. My silent words are passed on to the woman across from me, but I find they are also meant for me. As we go deeper in our stories, I am sometimes touched, sometimes triggered – but always encouraged by these women as their journey to their deepest truths moves me closer to my own.
The tears are spilled and gathered in our circle – a sacred pool anointing our pain, our fear; gathering our courage, our hope. And still. There is a silence that wells within my chest. Something not yet touched, not yet spoken. What pain am I avoiding?
Our collective journey ebbs and flows as the circle continues, rounding out as the talking stick makes its way. Will I speak my truth in this sacred space? I feel resistance within me, something I’m still protecting. My words are lost in webs of thought – caught in the endless cycle of What is real for me right now? What is safe to speak? I look around the room and my silence holds me apart like a false mother, just above the truth I’ve come so far to face. What would it mean to be fully seen?
I am floating weightless, nothing to hold on to, nothing to anchor me to what was left behind – an empty skin already shed, painful memories tucked within its lifeless folds.
I go home after a full evening, words and faces filling my mind, tugging my heart, the smell of smudge still clinging to my clothes. Something is shifting, although I don’t know what. I want to distract myself with mindless activity – a way to distance myself from the rawness of an authentic experience. Instead I go to bed, and let the dream world help me find my way.
Over the next few days, words and images follow me from an unconscious place, gently urging me to let go, and allow my naked beauty to be seen:
How does your truth feel on your tongue?
I want to know the shape of your pain, the words that feel heavy on your heart.
How does your truth sound in your ears?
I want to hear it – each word, spoken aloud. No one will ridicule, no one will turn away.
Where does your truth reside in your body?
Circling your belly, undulating in cycles of fear and hope.
Where can your wisdom be found?
In a circle of women
In your truth; in mine.