The lucid sisterhood that strings our hearts together makes distance seem trivial and less of a barrier to the support we at times crave. The sacred threads denote a responsibility to answer the call of her soul with compassion rather than expectation and judgment. She may at times be better suited to tough but big love while at other times need a gentle support. For that reason she is your moon and you are hers in constant ebb and flow a dance of conscious and fluid symbiosis.
* * *
Three years ago, three women and I started the Sangha Sisterhood circle. It has been a great salvation; a source of learning and sisterly love in my life. As time went on the structure has changed, but the central messages have stayed the same. They’ve been amplified by the voices of women in the community who now join us and have themselves claimed their part of the circle. To hold that space and witness the wisdom of those women blossom as they create space within themselves as well as for the collective, moves and transforms me. The beauty and potency of the circles has provided me a space for healing the parts of myself that weren’t open to giving or receiving in these ways during my younger years. I’ve lamented the relationships lost because of my inability to dig deep at the time; my hurtful actions and words; the blatant disregard for sisterhood. In the circle, I feel a duty to the women past, present, and future that have touched my life. I honour them all.
The recent new moon in scorpio sparked the theme of womb healing. Paulina had crafted a beautiful altar in the centre of the circle that was the definition of femininity. The flow that surged through the circle as we opened with the topic made it clear that it was well needed. Eighteen women sat and looked around the circle attentively, taking turns sharing their stories and holding space as others did the same. The sensation in my chest was explosive as the women spoke of their experiences and relationships with their womb space. They talked about their periods, motherhood, what being a women meant to them. Emotion was thick in the air, and the candle light dancing on the floor cast a light on the faces around the circle. I had started off the circle that night.
“What does your womb symbolize to you?” It was one of two questions we had asked the women. I felt my heart jerk and my stomach turn.
“It used to symbolize something that could be taken away from me.”
* * *
Trauma relating to my womb started for me at a young age and continued through my teens and into my early twenties. In my experiences with meditation and therapy I had already worked to unpack some of these experiences, though there were a few that still stood out to me. When I look back, one of the most painful experiences of my life has to be the abortion I had in my early twenties. It’s still painful because when I look at that memory, I feel raw at the thought of how disconnected I was to my womb at the time; to my personal power; to self-awareness and respect. Even though I was in a committed relationship, I saw this time of my life as a culmination of years of disregard, and of throwing myself away. The complexity of that situation has led me to a space that demands acceptance, because the truth is there was no easy answer. Maybe I chose wrong, or perhaps it was the best option I had. I thought about explaining myself here and now, because the weight of guilt still lingers, but I think it’s more important to note the experience without blame.
It was after this point that I became defensive over my sexuality and individuality. Shortly after my relationship with this young man ended, I entered into a new relationship with a secure and loving man who would become my husband. The remnants of my sexual history, including the abortion in my early twenties followed me there, into our bed, our lives, our most intimate moments. I had never in my life unpacked my trauma, and the abortion was only the most recent experience that left me raw and damaged. In my exploration with my new partner, in my meditation practice, and in therapy, I began the journey of healing and finally gave myself the space, time, and understanding necessary to mourn the experiences I’d accumulated. I understood that I felt a severe disconnection from my femininity. Did I deserve to be a woman after giving up an opportunity to give life? What did that say about the type of woman I was? I ached for the loss of that soul, and for that which was lost in me. I was frightened, ashamed, and heartbroken. The darkest parts of my healing journey have been in those spaces of unpacked trauma that flooded my mind and body.
In writing these words I’ve felt shame, guilt, confusion, love, and acceptance, rise. Though some of the darker emotions are the remnants from those past experiences, theres a huge shift I’ve realized has taken place. I used to think of these things, the reasons I felt disconnected or that I needed to heal, and I’d be overwhelmed with anger or depression, sometimes even waves of anxiety like how could I ever have done that, and how will I ever heal. In these past few moments, all I feel is overwhelming compassion.
The message here is clear to me. We can make it through the darkness and the heaviness. There were plenty of times I felt weighed down, dampened, dirtied by those experiences. I never thought I could heal. I thought I would be marred by those experiences forever. It’s interesting how in deep meditation you see these things come up and you just do your best to develop your capacity to watch them rather than react to them. Over time, when they come up they lose their power. And then you have moments like these where they come and go, and you look at them with all the love and gratitude you have inside. This is the healing journey.
* * *
The years wherein I had the space to embark on that healing journey, to face the darkness, and to learn the skills to transform and grow, were the years of separation between my sister and I. The importance and relevance of this particular circle to my personal experiences is obvious, however another main reason for its significance was that my sister joined me. This experience we had together was one of the first times we’d spent any time together in 6 years. Her open heart and willingness to share, desire to connect, radiated out from her and grabbed at my heart strings. I had never seen her in this light. I had never seen her as a young woman, at the same age I was when we had been separated. I was looking at her in disbelief as though she couldn’t be real, every once in a while reaching over and rubbing her leg so I had some tangible proof of her existence. The moments we spent in the circle next to one another tied years of work together, of rebuilding and connecting to my own femininity and to the sacredness of the women in my community.
To the women I couldn’t be with in the past, my love and apologies to you.
To the girl I used to be, that was closed off and fearful, my love and compassion is with you now.
To my mother, my grandmother, and the lineage of women who came before me, I thank you for your wisdom.
To the women who honour me with their love, affection, and friendship in my life today — my deep gratitude.