What would it mean to set down the baggage of your self image forever. To leave it on a rock somewhere and walk away. To never have to look at it again, let alone lug it around with you? In the dim, distant past, women were the guardians of the earth. We were the keepers of the
sanctity of life. Our value was in our connection with each other but most importantly, with the breathing world around us.
We were not judged by the size of our clothes or the value of the bag we were carrying. We were not prized more for being one shape as opposed to another. Like the birds, the mice, the trees, the lionesses – our beauty was in the essence of our being.
Somewhere on the long road to what we now laughingly call ‘civilization’, a code was written, a scaffolding erected around us, our bodies, our minds and our innate wisdom. There is much talk of the patriarchy and of how the masculine way of seeing and being has brought womanhood to its knees, but this is not helpful here, in these times. There is no time for finger wagging.
What we are called upon to do is to release the burden of the ridiculous expectations imprinted on us from birth and to step into the dazzling light of who we are meant to be. Clare Dubois says that we have been born into these terrifying times because we are the ones who have the capacity, the strength and wisdom to bring about the seismic shift in the way humans live.
It is a paradox indeed that if we are aware enough of the cataclysm that is approaching then we are wise enough to be the change makers. But why else would we be here? The Earth is not inert, she is not helpless. If humans bring about their own extinction, the planet will continue, will thrive no doubt, and the lands and the oceans will once again be a magnificent manifestation of the miracle of life.
A friend chided me for the phrase ‘Saving the Planet’. “The Earth doesn’t need saving,” she said. “She is more than capable of saving herself.” Of course this is true. And when we say ‘Save the Planet’ we are resorting to a lazy shorthand, one which has lost its potency and is fast becoming a meme that naysayers can sneer at. Instead, what I mean is bringing an end to the catastrophic damage we have wrought on our home. Stopping the continuing ravaging of resources, the commodification of life.
Which is where you and your beautiful being comes in. What if the sadness and the despair you experience about your own body is an exact mirror of the
grief you hold inside you for the earth? For what we think and do is not confined to our own minds and bodies. It is well documented that our thoughts shape our actions and our way of being. What is less well examined, because it is uncomfortable, is the fact that what we do to ourselves, we do to others, and by extension, to the world around us.
If women were to look in the mirror and see the beauty that is really there, what lies beneath the veil of an imagined concept; if women were to appreciate themselves for who they really are; if women were to love themselves as if they were the most important person in their own lives; then their energy and love would be transforming.
We women who are alive here, in 2022, are called to climb out from under the carapace of body image and into the realm of the living, breathing earth. We are summoned by Gaia to be her protectors once more and to pour our energies into the task of reimagining the human life. After all, if we are really facing the prospect of the end of humanity, what does it matter what you look like anyway?