A spiritual being guides you. Gives you the tenets to live life through. You believe it is where you come from, your source. It’s easy to see yourself through this spiritual being and connect on that higher plane beyond the laws and commandments. A spiritual being heals you. When you have hurts and wounds no one else can see, you open your heart to it hereby opening yourself to healing and possibilities and hope. It as a way to cope with changes or uncertainties that beguile you daily helping you to navigate your life’s greater purpose.
Take a look at Buddhism. The path is through the practice and development of morality, meditation and wisdom. There is no god or spiritual deity, but daily, humanity should seek to be better through these tenets. Cool! Greek gods were quite detailed. As there was Zeus there was his many wives, and a Hera, his last and final wife. Hera was the god of women, marriage, family, and childbirth, and she took her role seriously. Women could call on to her, she was their special attendant. How sisterly! There was Oya and Osun in Yoruba Mythology. They stood by women through the ages, and from great tales like Moremi, they empowered women to be their best selves, to conquer kingdoms and rule long and kind. Even if they were cruel, it wasn’t because they were trying to make any generations of women learn lessons.
So so so many goddesses to connect to on whatever level you choose. Women those days were strong and powerful, but mostly content and grateful. Why not? They had everything they needed, they had goddesses. They, felt like goddesses. They were connected to their inner selves and thriving. They had no split beliefs or cognitive dissonance. Imagine being brought up with particular beliefs from when you were a baby, but the minute you grow breasts you realise you have some sort of special gender based laws for your religion. Women, in this day and age are experiencing this dissonance. We believe in God, but we are strongly inclined to explain away the many things that conflicts with our gender. We deny it, we un-hear it, we un-see it, we bury it. We refuse to believe, the God we love and loves us is the same God that Male Humans use as the valid excuse to treat us the way they do. I know the God that was reported in the bible has more to him/her than was recorded, because Men wrote and interpreted the Bible way before they wouldn’t let women vote or own money. I don’t trust niggas.
Monotheistic religions don’t offer much for women like ancient religions did, especially those two major ones. In fact monotheist religions tell us the old gods were bad for us, even though we have no proof of which god or gods are true. They told us old gods we’re from Satan, and of course Satan is the bad guy. The leaders are the men. The ones who conquer and reign. The followers are women. The ones who birth and nurture. I’ll speak for the religion I’m familiar with, Christianity, which isn’t much different from other modern religions when it comes to gender roles. Some denominations of Christians still believe it’s a taboo for women to preach or be a spiritual leader in the church. They’re not being backwards or anything, they have modern jobs and female bosses, but they’re following their bibles, and they’re not wrong. The powerful beings are identified as “He” in the holy book, the most powerful “She-being” was Eve, and she tricked her man, listened to a snake, and made humanity cursed. Well go girl!
But what happens in a world where a woman has many identities that go beyond “submitting to the man” and “Washing his feet with oil”? I’m not having yet another talk on being submissive, its so overplayed. There should be more than that talk every time femininity is being discussed in religious parlance no? How many roles exist outside Being a Mary Magdalene, a Mary the Virgin, a tricky Delilah, an evil Jezebel, or a Rahab, the worthy prostitute? Esther, a very influential woman in the bible, was only as powerful as the feminine wiles she played on her King, which highlights what again? Submission. Let’s not forget Ruth and the many women whose greatest achievements were tied to childbirth and, guess? Men. But that’s not 100% true is it? We have Deborah and Priscilla! We have a whole two influential women in the Bible a 20th century women can emulate!
We can all agree men were the first creation of God, women were an afterthought to keep the man company and give him a warm, moist place to put his reproductive organ, as against vomiting babies himself too. So what else is there? Jesus was sent to heal the world but the most prominent feminine role of the woman in all of it, was the womb. Are we only as important as our womb to God? Even barren women were only as memorable as the special male offspring they eventually had because they became chosen. Samson’s mother’s name, wasn’t even worthy of a mention. 9 whole months with a superhuman boy in the stomach and we don’t know who you are. God also shuts wombs casually every now and then to teach women about obedience. “There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things… The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not. Proverbs 30:16-17. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare. Luke 23:29. I guess the 20th century really is a historic moment. Yet we wonder why it is always the woman’s fault when she can’t have kids but never the sperm’s problem. In fact, women have been advised over many centuries to stay close to God to avoid the shame of barrenness. That was a huge incentive back then to make a woman godly. Barren women were said to have done something wrong and deserved the shame. And we know how deeply religion informs culture, which inform customary laws, which inform constitutional laws. No wonder there are no laws that protect my rights specifically based on my gender and gender based violence.
Where do we as women find ourselves then? If I’m not submissive, if I don’t want children or a husband then where do I stand with God? If my story will be told as a woman in the bible, will it even be told? How am I a shinning example of a woman to the young girls that will read my story? I’ll sure as heaven never be! That’s why we gas ourselves up now more than ever. If we don’t validate ourselves, the bible never will.
How do I connect on a higher level to a God belonging to a gender that I’ve been told repeatedly is NOT ME and is better than me? Made in my own image and likeness sure, but doesn’t get periods. Or cramps. Or menopause, or breast lumps or cervical cancer. Made in my own image but doesn’t get what it’s like to actually be me because He’s not a me. Every time I hear these men say women and men are not the same, that we’re not equal, I get a whole new lease of meaning to 1 Corinthians 11:7” For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man”. That means when God said in Genesis 1:26, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and … over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” He wasn’t talking about Women having dominion. Women are in fact among creeping things that creep the earth.
Sure these Powerful beings we worship are empathetic, so they FEEL our struggles. Isn’t that like men trying to feel our struggles, but never getting it because, well, women are complicated? How they just can’t get hormonal effects of periods and things like endometriosis? They go as far as comparing stubbing a toe to period cramps. Or maybe God is a much better Male figure than human male so he gets it? How does God get me exactly?
Sure the Bible says when I have faith crisis I can come to him. He will make me strong. When I have life problems he will move mountains for me. But does he get turned off by my hormones and the mood swings? Does he just get it or is it something I have to seek forgiveness for; The flaw in me. His divine mercy covers it all. He forgives me before I ask. That’s a very Kind God! But why does he have to forgive me for something he masterfully designed that makes me, ME? Oh I remember. Painful childbirth and everything that pertains to my ovaries are a punishment from my ancestor eating the apple from Eden. He cursed me then forgave me. Stockholm much? Women are such a stain on existence right from the Genesis of existence, and we’ll keep being punished for it by God as long as we are reproduced, and blamed for it by man as long as we reproduce them. I mean God condemns us, then blames the guy for not having a better grip on his household and his wife. Where do you think Men get the need to control their households from? This woman better not bring a mess into my house like her Pentium 1 invention. Have you heard some African wedding day sermons?
I’m trying to connect to my “higher self”, but He’s is a He? How can my higher self still be a man? My best possible self on my best days. My Chi. Me, but a better me, on a better level. Is still, a mother***ng man! HOW NOW?!
Trying to understand some religions is worse than when science was becoming a thing. There’ll never be answers, just quotes from the Holy books that are open to many many many interpretations. But I’ll take that. Having a Man-God that will solve all my problems and be gracious and merciful unto me kinda sounds like my every day life with the Men here on earth anyway. Wanna walk at night? Do it with a man. Wanna be protected from catcalling? Do it with a man. Wanna avoid rape? Do it with a goood man. No wonder we have tons of powerful women still waiting for a man to save them or make their lives complete. It’s the God complex. Daddy issues didn’t start from now.
I don’t live everyday of my life thinking these thoughts. For me I find it very doable. Staying psyched is doable. I can do Christian. It’s great to have a spiritual base. I can tell myself the things you’re jotting down to use to preach to me. Yes yes, I know God doesn’t see gender. I know God is great and merciful, and there are just so many unbelievably good things that happen around me and to me that aren’t “luck”. I can follow the 10 commandments. I choose to forever believe there is a God, and He sent his only begotten son to cleanse my sins. I can do every single commandment in the bible, because really, what’s the harm in it? It makes me a better person. They’re good stuff. I can support my man and wash his feet because, bible or not, I love him and I want him to be taken care of. And if there’s a heaven? Boy oh Boy! Thank God I am legally and spiritually married because, if there’s mansions and stuff and by chance women weren’t getting any, he gets one, AND I CAN SQUAT WITH HIM! If you’re not married sis, I really, really, don’t know your future if rapture happens tomorrow.
I say my prayers to my Lord and saviour, I live my best life trying not to lie or kill or envy. I love my neighbours as myself. It’s easy, they’re some of the coolest friends I’ve ever had. It’s just, during meditation, during quiet times and things like that and I’m trying to connect with my higher self, I realize, I’m talking to yet another dude, sometimes about another dude and I don’t know if he’ll take my side or not because, Bros before Hoes, Husbands before wives, Pastors before Pastor Mrs, etc.
God help us.
This, is my conflict of faith. But I am a gender born into conflict. and like the many women before me, I own my journey.