7.2
September 8, 2019

What Wild-Hearted Women crave from Men.

Dear Men,

Initially, I was going to write this from a “we” perspective, but I cannot speak for all women—only myself.

So, before we take another breath, I will say without a hint of irony or manipulation: I love you! In spite of wounds dealt by a careless father and critical or destructive lovers—or wounds I myself have inflicted—I love you!

This doesn’t mean I’m going to take any sh*t.

That’s because I love myself, and if there’s anything I want from you it’s that you love yourself, too. In what some might consider a rather un-feminist perspective, I will freely admit I need you. And I want your protection. I want you to remember you are stewards of the Earth, you belong to Her body, you have a sacred duty to stand up for innocence and goodness, and that must start with your own.

Take a deep breath. I’m waiting and I’m not alone.

It’s not really that I’m waiting, either. I’m moving forward. I’m reclaiming myself. I’m affirming my bond with our Mother. And as organic as nurturing as I may be, I’ll not play your mamma. I’ll not have little boys tugging at my apron strings, pestering me to pick them up while I am doing my work, nor trying to crawl back into the void through me before they find in themselves that deep, sacred dedication.

I’m deeply sorry that someone hurt you. That someone (most likely a wounded child in an adult suit) told you to “be a man” when you were just a boy. So sorry that you were bullied out of your sensitivity or trained to stuff it down. Sorry that you were forced into a barren box, when all you ever really wanted was to play. So sorry.

But we women cannot bear this burden for you. So pick up your inner children for yourselves and remind them of how much they matter to you. Stop chasing our skirts and your own tails and plant your feet on the ground, in meaningful service to something greater than the impulses of your cock or your ego.

I need you to take your place, loves. Not because it’s what I want—though I do. I long to stand beside you, dance with you, work with you, walk in beauty and safety together. Yes! But truly, I want to see you stand in soul and solidarity with creation, because it’s where you belong and it’s your sacred duty to discover that ground within and all around you. Your home, your bones, your heart, your calling, and your service await!

I’m just as sick of man-hating pseudo-feminism as you are, and equally confused by it. I will not play the blame game, except to levy it against toxic social systems that pit us against each other and our own humanity.

Nor will I participate in a battle of the sexes. Our war is as allies, and we cannot afford to turn on each other. Not now. No more. We need each other. And we need each other to grow up—or to “glow up,” more accurately. We need our sparkle, our shine, and our creativity, and, most of all, rather than acting like confused or spoiled children, we need to remember that childlike wonder and make our care for that and this world primary amongst all our adult responsibilities.

There’s a new breed of wild woman brewing. We’re not party girls. We’re not princesses. We’re not little girls playing dress-up in our mothers’ clothes—or even priestess robes. We are strong, humble, and brave. We are as at ease in the light as we are in the dark; we’ve climbed the mountain, descended to the underworld, and we are befriending our own shadows. And we carry the firebrands that will burn the structures of false conformity.

I—we—don’t want to leave you behind, don’t want to go on without you, but we will if we must because we can’t stop.

The momentum of our dedication will not allow it.

Despite what you’ve, maybe, heard, I don’t want you to hold my messy, raging storm. You are no more responsible for my inner toddler than I am for yours. It would be sweet if—once in a while—we could cry on each other’s shoulders and you wouldn’t mind if I messed up your shirt. I’m happy to wipe your tears away, as well, love—and I’m just as happy to stand by your side and fight with you for what is right, real, and pure. I’m happy to laugh with you, too, for if we lose laughter, we’ve lost the battle before it’s begun. We have a long road ahead of us, and we’ll need our humor.

And it’s not weapons we need to wield now. Our battle is soul-forged, and our tools are empathy, communication, care for each other, and life through our work, our dedication, the daily things we choose—or don’t. Our “Yes!” Our “No!” Our righteously expressed, closely held, healthy boundaries.

Perhaps this frightens you?

Well, good! You’ve been afraid of not fitting in, not being good enough, you may as well experience fear for something meaningful, for how else shall you ever rebirth yourselves except through courage? I’m with you. I feel it too. I’ve been woken by the same fears and I, too, tremble at times with the power of our immensity.

I call on you. Your hunger, your need, your spirit rising, your remembering, your bone-deep wisdom and blood-borne courage. To emerge from our depths, we must first descend there and retrieve what’s been lost, what’s been suppressed. I invoke in you the power of remembering—your wildness, your innocence, your feelings that in no way make you less of a man, but, in truth, attune you to your own humanity, your blessing, and your gifts.

I know it’s confusing—be strong and be sensitive—but this is not a dichotomy, loves. Your sensitivity is your strength, but only if it comes through your body’s wisdom and not through the fear of what might happen to your ego, your thoughts of yourself, or your reputation.

I do not care for the label in your clothes. I want to to see you at ease in your skin. I do not care about the car you drive; I want to feel your drive, your passion for life, your dedication. I really don’t even care about what you do unless it gives meaning and shape to your life. But I do care deeply for you! Without ever having met you, I care—for that is the nature of love, that is the condition of my heart.

I stand—singed and dirty, in a ring of fire, earth beneath my nails, smoke in my hair. I’ve clawed, crawled, and prayed my way here. My boundaries are defined by grace, and to you that grace I extend, not because it’s mine, but because it is your birthright, because you are, already, more worthy than you know and you still have to claim it.

You must open your heart to receive grace, loves. Bend your head to the earth, the caves, the wombs who held you and formed you, to the wisdom your bones remember. Raise your proud heads to the sky, light shining in your eyes. Raise your limbs in celebration like the strong, reaching boughs of the great forests from which you come and reach for the stars of which you are made.

And now, I’d like to slow this down, for poetry is powerful, yet not as consistent or simply felt as breath.

Breathe, loves.

This isn’t so much to ask, for what I’m really saying here is, in so many words and with such emphatic feeling, I want to see you become yourself!

I want you to witness you and help you plant love and gardens and watch things grow. I want to embrace you—all of you, not just your profile or portfolio. I want you to embrace your lovers, your children, your parents, if you can. And maybe you can’t and that’s okay. If you can find the true space in your heart to welcome yourself, you may be surprised by what comes next. Friendliness extended in honesty toward self and others can be a powerful bridge-builder, and in this time of walls and too freely expressed hate, we need more love and more bridges.

It’d be lovely to see your genuine surprise at what you hold within, what you have to offer and all you are so worthy to receive. It’d be delightful—a warm kind of deeply human magic—to feel the gentleness bloom in your hearts, to watch you tend to living things even as you tend lovingly to your own life.

Perhaps it’s not so scary after all. It actually sounds rather sweet.

As a woman waking her own tenderness and power, walking this path of dedication, I would like nothing more than for us to meet there—here, now, on this consecrated ground—to see each other, embrace each other, and know that we are safe.

~

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author: Justice Bartlett

Image: ArtTower/Pixabay

Editor: Kelsey Michal