Posted in:   Goddess
A circle of candlelit faces gather around the center altar at a community ritual. We each speak our vows to the Goddess. I say simply, “I vow to be myself; to show up naked and unafraid.”
The path that led me to this vow began after a wake-up call many years ago. I was in my mid-twenties, totally lost in the mainstream culture, with a business education and a corporate career, living a material, achievement-driven life that neither fed my soul nor gave me joy.
My wake-up call was not gentle: a collision on a ski hill that fractured my skull and cracked my world open. I woke up four days later with a facial palsy that severely disfigured the right side of my face. For the next eight months, I found myself on the fringe, exposed to the ugly underbelly of our social order reserved for those deemed unworthy and undesirable; a place where strangers felt at liberty to cruelly ridicule, harass and repulse me.
As odd as this may seem, the experience was tremendously freeing and empowering. I had been roughly pushed out of the safe world that I knew into a harsh and abusive one, and I found that I was unafraid and undiminished. The stripping away of my outer beauty made me consciously aware of my inner beauty and strength, and of the profound circle of love and support of my family and friends.
My travels with the Goddess had begun. Like the tales of Inanna and Persephone, my awakening soul led me inward and downward, into the mysteries that underlie everyday reality and the shadowy recesses of my psyche. Layer by layer, I was stripped bare of my waking world masks, conditioning and wounding. Change came, constant and unrelenting. Anything that stood between me and my soul-based essence, what I came to know as my Deep Self, had to go.
But for everything that was taken away, and every dysfunctional and painful part of my life story I had to embrace, something far richer and nourishing was given in their place. Piece by precious piece, I gathered back the lost fragments of my true beauty and gifts, kissing them gently into place, until I deeply remembered myself. Experience by profound experience, I came to know, in my soul and in my flesh, the magic and mysteries that are a natural, innate part of our humanity and our world. Step by life-altering step, I came home to my Deep Self, and to the beauty, love and powers of life that are everywhere and in everything.
After years of intense, painful, glorious travels, with the Goddess guiding and teaching me at every step, I’ve come home to the vast, unfathomable depth and power of myself, my womanhood and my humanity. And it is a quiet, simple place where I know, from my inside out, that I am enough; I am beautiful and worthy as I am.
These simple truths apply to each and every one of us. We are beautiful, worthy, magical and powerful beyond our wildest imagination. The world needs us to descend into the depth of who we are, to peel back the layers that domesticate and entrap our Deep Selves and our profound humanity, and to show up, naked and unafraid.
Come, I reach out my hand to you. Let us walk this path home together.