I used to be shackled by distorted notions of the meaning of my vagina.
I thought it required I be docile, unconditionally pleasant, agreeable, subservient, visually appealing and shiny—but not too shiny—I wouldn’t want too much attention.
I didn’t know how to do any of that. I thought I was failing at femininity. But really, I was failing to grasp what true femininity was.
These were private fears. A secret shame in my feminine nature. My mother was, and is, a feminist who kept her last name when she married my father, worked passionately for Planned Parenthood and refused to be shoved into a box of archaic social expectations.
This is how she raised me—but I was still afraid of my power, and didn’t know how to harness it. It was a wild, unwieldy force I shoved down with forced smiles, repressed opinions and clothes that looked like all the other girls.
I didn’t know who I was, and didn’t want to find her. I suspected she would be weird and unconventional; pushing against the female image my television presented my spongy adolescent personality.
This repression of my feminine power persisted into my mid-20s. And then, my primal femininity reared its full potential and implanted a fertilized egg in my uterus.
The terror and wonder of watching my body fill into a juicy new state of being awakened my awareness of what it meant to be an unapologetic female. And not just a female body, but a united body-mind-spirit infused with the divine essence of my true nature.
Then childbirth happened.
I was thrown into a cosmic vortex of love, pain and unexpected pleasure. I discovered my super-woman powers and emerged into new light. Light that exposed my full self, my raw self—the self I’d hid from for over 20 years. She was beautiful, and messy.
I claimed her. I stepped into her.
What a fabulous gift to own a magical intuitiveness, a strength draped in vulnerability, an organic beauty, an ethereal energy with strains of fierce electricity coursing through it. Well, at least that’s my brand of realized-femininity.
That’s the miracle—we all possess our own brand of femininity—even the men. My son has a gentle, intentional touch that soothes the pain. My husband offers a knowing ear and kind mouth, there to absorb, understand and caress—not force.
How delicious that we have the eternal opportunity to explore our unique femininity and bring it to a full expression that is ever evolving. I starved myself of this elixir for too long. Are you starved?
Let’s feast on our full selves. Let’s swim in the new colors of our soul. Let’s run, jump and skip, instead of tip toe. Let’s yell, chortle, sing and howl, instead of dampen our voice. Let’s float in the fear until it becomes a fuzzy cloak of velvet.
What if our feminine power could save the world? What if the tyrant learned to connect to his soft love for a warm embrace? What if the CEO realized that innovation and growth lived in her hidden vulnerability? What if that little girl held on to the knowing that she’s already enough?
Let’s wield our goddess power, spreading its delicate ferocity through the hearts of those that need to awaken to their essence—and let us start with ourselves.
Author: Bailey Gaddis
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Hernan Pinera/Flickr