“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” — Rumi
This is the first of a series of posts on this topic of Rumi, Women’s Leadership & Love.
To be a leader, one must truly feel what others are feeling. To be a leader, one must be able to truly love those she leads. How do we learn this most necessary trait? By feeling, deeply, the depth of our own experience. By allowing our own hearts to break. Many spiritual teachers speak of the necessity of allowing one’s heart to break open. It’s not that the heart will break. It cannot break. It must, however, break open, meaning that all the bindings that have grown around one’s heart must give way so that the heart can thrive in its natural expansiveness. When one’s heart is free to be, it is as large, and as expansive, as the whole of the Universe.
Feeling the depths of shame and humiliation from our own experience of being marginalized, disrespected and humiliated generationally is key to women waking up to our fullness and wholeness. Both our lightness and our darkness must be brought back into consciousness if we are to be wholly female and embody the sacred feminine that we are.
Every midwife knows
that not until a mother’s womb
softens from the pain of labour
will a way unfold
and the infant find that opening to be born.
There is treasure in your heart, it is heavy with child.
All the awakened ones, like trusted midwives are saying,
welcome this pain.
It opens the dark passage of Grace.
Opening to the pain of our experience as women, individually and collectively, is our passage to Grace. It is paramount that we open ourselves to feel, deeply feel, that which has been projected onto us over the centuries of oppression. There are many layers to this feeling. How much of our anger, shame and disowned power can accumulate before the dam breaks? We can use this pain as the way into Grace, the way into the opened heart, the way into the depths of our humanity. This humanity has become ripe and fragrant with our own capacity to walk side by side men, no longer simply a complement or accessory, but rejoicing in our sovereignty and self respect.
When we are able to feel the depths of what has been internalized within our own beings through the generational oppression, our hearts will move into an awakened state of love for ourselves, for other women, for men, for all of life. And, when we come to embody this love fully, for ourselves, and for others, every cell of our being will be filled with Grace.