An Ode to Fiery Women
Dear Fiery Woman,
I want to write you and tell you that I know what it's like. I know what it's like to feel the fire inside you rising, to feel sure of its danger, to feel sure it is too much for others, and maybe even too much for yourself. I hear you saying "What is this feeling? It is a feeling like something is happening, something BIG, and I don't know what to do with it. I am afraid of it, and yet I long for it. It is rising without my permission. It may upend everything."
This is your inner fire, my dear woman, the fire that has been buried under centuries of oppression, fear, and silencing; the pillars of the Patriarchy. The fire that has been scorned, forced, raped, and pillaged out of you. The memory of your ancestors who died on the stake still lives within you, and you have been burned in this lifetime too. You have been burned at the stake with messages and acts, both subtle and loud, both significant events and quiet daily stabs, that ensure your silence, that ensure you remain afraid of yourself. This is what makes you fear the power of your fire, because the world has required you to do so in order to continue its path of destruction.
I want you to know something very important. Listen carefully. This energy rising within you IS you. It is ALL of you. It is everything you are, buried under everything they have forced you to be. It is your truth, it is your aliveness, it is your voice, it is your seeing powers. Yes, you are actually that powerful, alive, sensual, knowing. Everything else is the casing you were made to wear so others were not bothered by your presence, your voice, your truth. It is like shackles, chains, things that are attached to you but are not you. Do not be afraid of the fire rising within you. It is actually who you are. It holds all of your truth. It is time to release the fire from within. The world is dying for it.
You will be told often, in many ways, from many people both expected and not, that you were right to fear and hide your fire. That in fact, your aliveness, your truth, your wisdom, your passion, is dangerous and threatening, unloving or wrong. Please know, my dear woman, that this is the voice of the status quo. This is the voice that has kept your fire hidden deep within. This is why you have stayed small with a film over your eyes. It is painful and convincing, isn't it? When you hear that voice, it is your duty now to recognize it as the voice you are choosing to no longer listen to. Follow Rumi's instructions; "Set your life on fire and seek those who fan your flames." Find the voices that fan your flames and stay lit.
This path is courageous, but you are not alone. Yes, my dear woman, this fire within you may upend your life, and with enough of us rising, it will upend the world. Yes, my dear woman, this is dangerous. Dangerous to the safety of the current structures that are stifling your life, keeping you from your joy, raping and pillaging precious beings and our earth. Your personal transformation, following the direction of your inner fire, will transform the things in its path. Transformation can be painful, but it is necessary. Fuel your desires, follow the hunger in your belly. Do not be afraid to fly forward and leave some things behind you in the tail winds. What is true will remain like dew drops on your wings.
I'll end with a poem for you, one I have written during a time of learning to trust my fire. May it give you strength on your journey.
If I knew I was powerful
If I didn’t believe in your lies about my powerlessness
I would shout from the rooftops
And never stop
I would scream the truth into the eyes of the complacent
And then march out of the room with no explanation
I would say everything, all of the things, without hesitation
And then I would say nothing, nothing at all, as I drank in the world
I wouldn’t, not for a minute, wait for anyone
To give me permission
I would laugh at your fear
And beat down the doors of my own heart
And live, alive, never releasing my hold on what’s real
If I knew I was free
If I didn’t believe in your chains
I would take each step as if riding on the hands of the universe
I would be alone, and in that aloneness, connected
I would know the sound of my own voice
And I would listen like my life depended on it
If I knew I was free, if I knew I was powerful.
I am caught here, in between.
Between the old and the new, between the lies and the truth
I have touched my power, I have touched my freedom
I see the threshold, I feel the chains
How to come out of the fog for good
One final hurrah for the lies!
And draw myself up from the ground, wings spread
Don’t wait for my return.
From the Author