Strength of Spirit
I've learned in my spiritual seeking is that kindness requires no creed;
It does require compassion for others' talents, boundaries, and needs.
The fact that I'm not willing to give to you what you want from me,
May be because of some limitation that you aren't able to hear or see.
And if I offer more than you want or need, don't see it as disrespect
It is often that I seek to, from my own painful journey, you protect.
This is not to say that I see you as weaker or less competent than I;
It is often to offer you the understanding and support for which I cry.
Too many see others as too strong and wish to teach them humility;
They don't see the fear of abuse from which their hubris came to be.
Before the age of one, my father beat me, and I turned away from him.
After this time, even my own mother was afraid to be my friend.
I am not truly strong, as are the eldest children in most families.
Each of my parents' families, were, by me, most displeased.
I didn't look like their people and was not a delicate girl child.
They saw me, not as a gift, but one of their own life's trials.
The more they found fault, the more I attempted to learn;
Hoping that my abilities would quiet most of their concerns.
Ability and strength, in a woman was, unbeknownst to me,
Not an attribute that a female should let any suitor see.
I had been taught that sex appeal was desirable, yet sinful;
It was, for "catching" a husband, the trait most desirable.
I've continued, foolishly, opening doors, allowing myself to learn,
Though I know that my increased knowledge is reason to be spurned.
Why do groups of women act as if they all completely agree,
Rather than admit that we don't all, with the same eyes, see?
How hateful it is that there are women who join in rejection,
As if competition with sisters was every woman's predilection.
Don't we know that society can't change and stay the same?
Women continue to follow failed paths and accept no blame.
Praying, dancing, and singing together may build solidarity,
But this only begins our struggle for new ways of community.
A creed without an action plan leaves me rather cold.
How did we become women who expect only men to be bold?
How often our ways of bonding leave our own men out;
Division should not be what family partnership is about.
Humans very physical in the ways they bond with friends.
Women pet and pamper each other and barely touch our men.
Boys ripped too early from gentle caresses from mothers
Are taught shame about any gentleness they show to others.
We don't speak each other's language and laugh together;
Women and men like to be honored and enjoyed as clever.
We are entering an era where women and men communicate;.
We must encourage this behavior before it's too late.
There are few women who will not, from each other, turn away
When their men and children heed what another woman has to say.
Jealousy has been earth's curse since the dawn of humanity;
We will never have peace until, from this emotion, we're free.
Men and women, in separate rooms, for conversation
Is not the way to learn inter-gender communication.
Until strong people stop seeing each other as competition,
Family and community partnerships can't come to fruition