Womanhood. Womanliness. Being a woman.
For my entire life, I was so proud to call myself a feminist. I understood this term mostly intuitively and the meaning of it was changing for me as I was evolving.
When I was 15, I was so sure about everything. In terms of goddess archetypes outlined by Jean Shinoda Bolen in her book, I was following mainly the lead of Artemis. I wanted to study at the university, the idea of me cooking for a guy one day was completely repugnant to me, and if some boy at school dared to harass me or one of my friends, they simply got what they deserved. I fought back and felt like a Charlie’s Angel.
Shortly after that, my whole world was shattered into million pieces and those dreams were forgot along with it. For a long time, I was feeding my Persephone archetype, searching for the one who would save me from my troubles, one way or the other. It wasn’t until my 21st birthday when I started to feel the calling of Artemis again. But at that time, I was already stuck in a somewhat toxic long-term relationship from which I didn’t see any escape in the time.
That was the time when I started to think that being a feminist means you have to manage everything on your own. Taking care of the house, taking care of the relationship, studying, having part-time job, visiting my grandparents, having active friendships. And of course, all of that had to be perfect, otherwise I’d just prove myself to be a failure. Retrospectively, I see this as a way of socialist feminism. Which was also supported by the views and stands of my partner at that time.
But to actually put the first step on the journey towards my true self, towards the self-understanding as a woman and towards the happiness, I had to start discovering the spiritual corners of my existence first. Meaning that the scholar feminist awoken in me during my bachelor journalism studies had to meet the nature worshiper who was brought to life in me during my master studies of environmentalism.
The woman I eventually became was hatched there, in the first days of my master studies. Meaning that despite the fact I will probably never finish the study program, the value of studying it was immense for me and for my personal development. It was crucial, in fact. Because only there, I was able to finally connect with other like-minded people. I experienced the wrath of my former partner in moments when I did not do everything according to his wishes and I started to live a little bit myself as well.
The time I spend on the master program was awakening, eyes-opening and life-changing. So, naturally, what must have followed, was an earthquake. Earthquake in my life. It was the craziest period of my life. Full of dead-ends, nonsensical relationships and many many mistakes. At that time, Persephone and Aphrodite archetypes was fighting inside of me as Artemis, who was helping me while being in an unsatisfactory relationship by making me want to be the best at school, was slowly losing her grasp.
But it is true that if you manage to stay on the road for long enough during the crisis, everything will be solved, and you will find light and hope again. And that was exactly how my year of 2019 ended. With a surprising burst of light and a sense of a fresh beginning with a man by my side who didn’t have any desire to change me, tame me or tell me what to do. After 10 years with a possessive and selfish manipulator, that was really refreshing. And actually, never ceased to be.
So, the year of 2020, although it might seem contradictory, was a year of healing for me. With the world closed and slowed down, with the option of working finally from home, I had the time to accept my past mistakes and things which were preventing me to sleep well in the night, to make my peace with the scars I did to myself and to finally, eventually, with a huge amount of effort, forgive myself.
It was also a time when I could dig deeper into what is important to me or what I actually believe in. I was able to look inward with meditation and also to learn more, with books, podcasts and the Internet. I discovered, although I just scratched the surface so far, the world of tantra, principles of feminine and masculine energy and much more. And that’s when it stroked me.
Feminism, or simply me being a feminist, cannot just be about the outer world. About the consent, equal job opportunities, equal pay etc. Nor it should be just about whether we call ourselves women or people with vaginas, about the oppressive linguistic aspects of inflectional languages. It can be all of this too, of course, but we should never forget about the spiritual part of being a woman. Actually, of being a man, too, although I don’t have much to say about that.
Because once we realize our inner truth, no one can take it away from us. It is the foundation of literally anything else. Such a shame we are not taught to put this on the first place. We could be learning so much, we could treat ourselves less harsh and have a deeper compassion towards others as well. No matter if we are a man, a woman or something in between, we all deserve to be spiritually grounded and have a freedom to choose what we want to believe in. Regardless of what that means for every single one of us.