I just returned from five days of bliss. They were at once some of the most challenging and most beautiful days of my life. I went up to the mountains with a dozen other beautiful goddess/priestess/fairy women on a retreat, and I dug really deep. Guided by Meggan Watterson, a gorgeous creature and true embodiment of love, we all delved into the deepest nooks and crannies of our beings to see what could be revealed. (I highly recommend checking out her book, Reveal. It is pure magic for the soul.) This retreat provided me with the vehicle I needed to finally, finally take my own hand and say “I do” to myself.
I originally came up with the idea for this story a few months ago after reading a blog post by Kate Northrup entitled, “The Infinite Possibilities in Saying ‘I Do.’” (You can find that here.) When I read it, I was really struck by her statement that, “The time and energy we save when we are willing to make a clear decision sets us free,” and that, “The fact is we can only be where we are. And if where we are is mired in half-baked commitments and half-made decisions, we’re not only missing out on everything that’s going on around the universe, we’re also missing out on the only moment we can possibly experience anyway: right now.” She elaborates on the energy saved by knowing, truly knowing what it is that you want and committing to it.
When I read those words, I knew that I wanted that. She was referring to her upcoming wedding and the vows she was about to take with her now husband, but when I read those words I wanted them for myself. I realized fully and completely in that moment that until I could say those words to myself, I would never be able to truly find my way in this world.
Throughout the last several years, I have been courting myself, so to speak, and not always in the most healthy manner. It’s been better than in the past, for sure, and I’ve made some pretty big leaps. But I still didn’t own myself. Early this year, I came out of two relationships that blew up because I wasn’t fully in my power and committed to my own highest good. I had allowed others to make decisions for me and then stood back so that I wouldn’t get in the way. I sacrificed my true value and my deepest dreams because someone else thought it should look a different way, and I believed that their way would be better than mine. The truth of the matter is that their way is better than mine, but only for them.
As I branched out on my own, feeling more fully empowered than I ever had been before, I published an article about vaginas that placed considerable emphasis on my own. (What can I say? We’ve got a great relationship these days.) I felt back on track with what was important to me and the message that I have to take out into the world so that I may help others to heal as well.
This was an act of reclamation for me. I first wrote it two years earlier and my boyfriend at the time was terrified that I might publish it. And so I didn’t. As I emerged from the cocoon of these other two disempowered (for me) relationships, I kept glancing back at that article. It had never left me, and every once in a while I’d pull it up and give it a once over. It was outdated in a few places by this point but I really wanted to breathe new life into it. It finally came, and despite a fear that nearly paralyzed me, I sent it to elephant journal and they accepted it. As scary as it was, it was the most empowered action I had taken in years. The direct result of the publication of this article is that it put me in contact with Meggan. When I came across her book, Reveal: A Sacred Manual for Getting Spiritually Naked, I ordered it immediately – NO hesitation. I just knew that it was going to be delicious fodder for my soul.
In her book, Meggan discusses seven veils of initiation that we go through. The fourth is that of reclaiming our Divine worth, and she describes a process of awakening that she undergoes in which she understands that worth is not earned or proven – it is claimed. I loved this. I licked it off of my fingers and savored it in my mouth. I took it out and tried it on for size. I wore it with blue and green, with jeans and with skirts. I applied it with my mascara, and I took it out for walks. I was in the process of breaking it in. It felt good and I knew I loved it but there was a little something that wasn’t quite right with the way it fit, like an itchy tag or a piece of thread that pokes your side.
And now most recently, during the course of five love filled days in the woods with my fellow seamstresses and dream weavers, I got to really try this idea on and make the necessary alterations. With the help of this community of women led by Meggan, I was able to make the needed changes. I got to experience my worth through my own soul, through the actions of the Divine, and through the loving and tender expression of my sisters.
I was worried about coming home, about the birthing process of leaving that nurturing womb and coming back to my life. So many powerful shifts occurred for me, and I pulled out of the haven in the Catskills with a sense that it could all be lost if I didn’t fully commit to myself and live in alignment with that commitment. I had been given the how-to’s and now it is up to me to create the lasting change. Only I can do this. I remembered the idea for this article and it settled in me as I drove away. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, I cannot lose the light that I’ve fought so hard to ignite. And that means that I have to say “I do” to myself. I have to continue to check in and act in accordance with the spark within me that has been calling so patiently yet persistently to me. I have to stop denying it, for to abnegate it is to betray myself over and over again. I must stop believing that my welfare is dependent upon anyone else in any way, and really embody the knowledge that I am my own deepest and powerful ladylove.
Through a lovely act of grace, I received a beautiful gift of integration. The anchor set and I feel rooted in it. As I was getting ready to get off of the plane, I received a text from a delightful man that I’ve recently spent a little time with. I’d been caught up in the habitual “I wonder ifs…” of this new connection as I sat there on the plane getting ready to embark on the next phase of my journey. As I pondered the questions, I realized that they didn’t feel so great. I felt the work that I had done, and I felt the light within me glowing. I reclaimed from deep within me the knowledge that how he feels about me in no way changes who I am. It is so obvious, and yet it had eluded me for years because I wasn’t comfortable with who I was; I always felt like I had to measure up to some invisible standard that was out of my reach. Because I couldn’t see it, I needed others to set the bar for me. I hadn’t claimed my Divine worth, and I had been living out of alignment with my true essence. In that moment, I knew that I had lifted that veil. I took Meggan’s words, “Worth is not given, it’s claimed,” and I draped them over me in beautiful, sexy, vibrant red silk, and then I claimed her affirmation fully, completely as my own: “I. Am. Worthy.”