Naming Ourselves

Greetings lovely one,

Three months into the start of the year and the fear and rage is still very palpable. Almost like the tale of Bluebeard, those of us who have been so naive, so obediently quiet, so unwilling to find the mystery of who we are behind the closed door are at a critical moment of truth. Our palms itch with the key that would unlock some unsettling truths about how much compliance only serves to further marginalize and erase in the name of someone else’s comfort … at our expense, at the cost of our lives, whether outright and statistically tragic (mass murders) or the slow internal death by a thousand paper cuts.  

But I’ve been studying myths lately. Mythopoetics to be exact. Very interesting stuff that I haven’t been able to get into – until I began to connect the movements of today with some of the myths in one of my favorite books on the topic, “Women Who Run with the Wolves.” 

Taking on the task of developing one’s own consciousness about danger, intrigue, politic. Becoming alert by one’s self, for one’s self.

And in unlocking these doors, facing a certain ego death, and finding the courage to be reborn, we name ourselves for ourselves. 

And “to know a person’s true name means to know the life path and soul attributes of that person … so she might grow into the power of the name … so that no one will either denigrate it or distract from it, and so that one’s spiritual authority can develop to its full proportions.” 

I often feel that the task of my life is to constantly remember my true name, to reclaim it over and over again with conviction, tenacity, and determination. I am also tasked to love, and to marry these two tasks with my belief that I do not have to oppress, suppress, or take away anyone’s agency in order to do so. It’s a draining task when you are raised in a society that was literally born out of such acts. But a worthy task nonetheless. 

And so as I live in the complexity of personal battles and larger societal battles to be true to who I really am even as I am still learning about her, knowing her, trusting her, and loving her – as well as all that entails. The tango of being unapologetically my own identity yet struggling with feeling like it’s still not good enough for someone. Coming to peace with the reality that I will never be who or what someone else wants of me … and that’s quite alright. 

And so this month I paused to admire the beauty of other women who are also naming themselves, changing their minds, being reborn, telling their own tales, coming out and challenging people around them – people who are used to these women’s invisibility – to see them maybe for the first time. 

And that was just a quick five-minute Facebook newsfeed scroll!

As shared in Dr. Pinkola Esteés’ work, I too think it’s a good thing for women to have watchers, guardians, sister friends … women who came before us and learned some things, women who strive alongside of us with love and care in their hearts that want to see us whole. They come in many forms, even little phrases we can take for our journey so when we know better, when we understand ourselves more fully, we do better (or at least we strive to). And in embracing the multiplicity of our whole being, we are honest with ourselves in that making mistakes and poor choices at times doesn’t detract from our true names. 

If this complexity of being looks like anger to people … so be it. We have a right to be angry at the very least because we are tired of the myths told over and over again with the goal of delegitimizing the fullness of who we are, as if it’s a privilege for the few, as if they weren’t human too. So be wild, dear sisters and brother Manawees, know your names, treasure those names, and don’t you forget them. 

Peace, Love, and Wellness,


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