This morning, opening my eyes to the dawn of a beloved "holy day" dedicated to Women, my first thought went to freedom. What a precious gift it is, what a glorious state of being, what a necessary condition to be fully human. As individuals our journey towards inner freedom never ends, yet every small step has its rewards.
Freedom goes hand in hand with maturing, learning, inquiring and observing. It is a great friend of wisdom. Although in the industrialized world we have come to think of personal and physical freedom as a human right, a right for ALL humans, it is not always been so, and sadly it is still not so in many parts of the world and especially for women.
So my second thought went straight to slavery. When I was in elementary school, one of my favorite teachers gave us several thorough lectures about what slavery does to a human being and how it is carried on. It was quite brutal for a 9 years old. But she was compelled by her catholic faith to abhor this horror and the end result was that my little heart became a staunch defender of freedom - and made me into quite an activist who became a member of Amnesty International as a teen.
Freedom requires alertness, determination, resilience. It needs to be protected.
I wish to name two slave women who fought for their freedom, and for freedom, with unrelenting faith and ingenuity, asking them to be with us today in spirit.
Read about their stories and imagine yourself in their place. Check your heart and sense their qualities as human beings enrich your perception, and remind you of your own.
Harriet Amarinta Tubman is well known but worth honoring again. Some of her quotes are heartbreaking and give you a sense of how difficult every step must have been:
I grew up like a neglected weed - ignorant of liberty, having no experience of it.
I had crossed the line. I was free; but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom. I was a stranger in a strange land.
And yet she is also reported saying:
Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
And then Ellen Craft came to mind, and her creative and successful escape disguised as a male planter! Imagine yourself in a situation like that, with your life imperiled every minute, taking inevitable risks at every step in order to claim what you discovered was yours in the first place: your life.
I feel I have so much to learn from these women! The courage, the clarity, the instinct towards what right and life affirming.
We are at a time of great need for these qualities.
SoulCollagers, I invite you to look at your deck and see if you already have Neters that speak of freedom, that remind you of your determination and courage. And celebrate today by bringing them forth, asking your deck to share its wisdom about the "state of your freedom" and about what you need to highlight in order to relish and nourish this precious gift, and your journey towards it.
When we know in the roots of our souls how important it is, we are also capable of helping other see it and reach for their own freedom. And we become more aware of where the threats might be and in which way we may contribute towards the upholding of freedom and civil rights.
Share your cards in the comments. Let me know how you IWD went.
Much light and joy on your International Women Day!