As far back as I can remember, I have identified with the word feminist.
Actually, at first, I was just being me—a wild child who was always standing up for herself. It wasn’t until high school that I was officially labeled a feminist by my friends. I didn’t even completely understand what the word meant at that time. What was feminism, really? I looked it up.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines feminism as the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.
Well, hell yeah! If that’s what it meant then that’s what I was. From that moment on I proudly proclaimed myself a feminist.
I spent the next couple of decades taking every opportunity I could to support and defend women’s rights and interests. I joined clubs and organizations. I wore t-shirts and read books. I advocated for women’s rights and against things that I felt were wrong. I voiced my opinions and took every opportunity to speak my mind.
In many ways being a feminist empowered me and made me feel strong. It felt good to know that what I was doing was contributing to the betterment of all women.
But, something always seemed off, like I was missing a piece of the puzzle.
Yes, I believed that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. Yes, I believed that I should be advocating for these things because they were important. But there was something else—something more. Something kept gnawing at me and telling me that it wasn’t that simple. Something kept pushing me, encouraging me to look deeper.
Through the years, in what seemed like a separate journey, I was also experiencing a spiritual awakening of sorts. My spiritual journey is long and complicated with many twists and turns but what I will say about it is that there was a moment along the path where my spiritual journey intersected with my feminist journey.
And it was there that I found the goddess. She had been there all along—calling me home, guiding me back to her, waiting for me to remember.
It wasn’t just about women having equal rights and opportunities. It was much bigger than that. It wasn’t about us wanting to be given an equal place in the world. It was about us remembering who we truly are.
We are the goddess. We are the sacred feminine. We are the creators of life. We are love.
What I came to understand was that long ago the feminine was praised, respected and honored. There was a time when people worshiped the loving mother goddess. There was a time when societies were more matriarchal and women were seen and revered for the creators and nurturers of life that they are.
But somewhere along the way something happened. There was a shift—patriarchy set in. More dogmatic belief systems took hold. Women were prevented from realizing and embodying their full power and place in the world. As a result an imbalance has occurred. And this imbalance, I believe, is the reason for so much of the turmoil that we are experiencing in the world today.
This is what I have come to understand, or better said, this what I have come to remember. When I came upon this realization it was less of a learning of new information and more like a remembering of something that I already knew deep inside of me—something that had been suppressed, not by me but by the history and stories that had been passed down. And it was trying to break free.
As this truth began to unfold before me and within me, every cell of my being lit up with a profound remembering that this was the whole truth of who I was. And that it was not necessary for me to demand an equal place but rather for me to just step in to it because it was already mine—it had always been.
The truth is that for years we have only been told half the story. We, the sacred feminine, are the other half of the story that needs to be retold as it once was. And it is only when the sacred feminine and the sacred masculine are able to fully express themselves and join in sacred union that we can restore balance in the world.
It’s time. It’s time for us to finally come together and be one. And so I embark on my journey back to the goddess—to fully remember who I am and what I am here to do—to offer the full expression of who I am so that I can play my part to restore the balance.
And so I shall—for all of us—with love.
Author: Vanessa Benavides
Editor: Katarina Tavčar
Photo: Tanveer Iqbal/Flickr