The greatest threat to our sovereignty as WOMAN is the violence of self-doubt.
Not fear. Not poverty. Not physical abuse or domination.
Because self-doubt is the hate-child of all of the above, and anything else you can list as threatening to your soul.
It gives birth to countless poisonous darts that act like a neurotoxin on the mind and motivation of creative spirit.
Self-doubt, when a woman has already begun to move in the direction of divine power singing her name, will sink in and begin to develop tentacles and fangs that become a toothed, nearly-impenetrable cage.
Self-doubt is the first and final step in betraying your true self and the call you've committed to answer in your life.
It is not thoughtful consideration.
Not compassionate reflection.
Not soulful introspection.
None of these.
Self-doubt unchecked, unremarked and undealt with will prove to be the coup de grace of the dark predator, in his mission to undo you and your truth voice.
Self-doubt is a thief.
An armed and highly dangerous burglar.
He steals into private spaces of heart and creativity, and plants seeds of fear coated in the mockery you've been slapped with over and over.
A woman mocked, by others or her inner predatory dark man, is a woman assaulted by the violence of an insecure mind, a territorial immaturity and a power-starved ego.
She is stalked relentlessly by a lurking shadow that aims to cut every idea and inspiration down until breath has left and death arrives.
Let me tell you a story.
One day, when I was 16 years old, I got into an argument with my father.
He was trying to teach me a lesson from the Bible.
He was talking about how arranged marriages should still be the norm, because daughters had no place going above their father's spiritual authority in their lives and making such a big life choice on their own.
He stressed that women were not equipped to make decisions of that depth, for themselves or anyone older than the babies they were expected to birth.
He told me he would prefer to arrange my marriage, once I'd grown.
I was horrified.
There was nothing new about the fact that my dad was extreme in his religious persuasions.
He also wrestled with mental illness, and the combination was often frightening.
But ultimately, (and infinitely more insidiously) he was attacking my burgeoning sovereign self.
Mocking my femaleness.
Mocking my divine inheritance.
He despised it.
It was an affront to everything he held sacred as The Man.
I felt cold, deflated and empty.
What if this is true? Am I worth so little?
Maybe my thoughts and feelings are rebellious and stupid.
Maybe I wasn't as 'real' as he was.
Maybe my humanity wasn't as valid as his.
Maybe my brothers were more loved, more important, contained more potential than I did.
But deeper and deeper inside of me, I knew who I was.
The woman inside my teenage body was just beginning to figure it all out, even though my heart was regularly bruised and my intellect insulted by his rude condescension.
I just stared at him.
I couldn't form the words, so I let my eyes speak instead.
ARE YOU SERIOUS?! they cried out.
He felt it, and it angered him.
He continued on his tirade about the inferiority of women, the spiritual authority of men over women, and how I had 'better get my heart in line' with God's will.
That day proved to be a major turning point in my heart and soul.
In the quiet of my own space later that night, I thought about my body, my god-given inheritance as a fe-male, and the fury I felt inside me at the violation of his words.
The queen inside me trembled with rage.
My royal self, just under the surface of my young mind, seethed.
She had been mocked, made fun of, and discarded without a second glance.
Because she was a she.
Less than fully human; to be managed and arranged.
It all smells of fear and rot and rust.
Still, some days, I get The Look.
I receive the Intellectual Dismissal.
I get the nervous giggle, the "oookayyy..." comments, the incredulous "really?" that actually means "yeah, right".
I get the catcalls, the unfriendly stares walking into the grocery store, at night, alone.
IT'S ALL A VIOLENCE.
It's rooted in mockery designed to shred confidence in my Self.
To weaken my resolve through looks, words and brush-offs that say my inner compass is faulty, childish and naive.
The mockery of the Soul Self, even the 'gentle' sort doled out by family and friends is intended to harm, to deflate and shred.
It is all a violence.
Mockery and glib dismissal is the predator's secret-not-so-secret weapons.
They tear at you, rip little chunks of your muscle out, leaving you weakened and not as able to fight back from a place of soulful confidence.
Self doubt creeps in and sticks like tar.
The fearful heart and ravaged mind perpetrates doubt on others who threaten their own cracked foundations.
Take a slow breath.
A soulful inhalation.
Return to the royal lineage you bear in your womb, as Woman Wide Awake.
On a dark moon night, as black winter wind rips through trees and over wild water, listen.
She's come to you again.
That old medicine woman with a feathered staff.
She never speaks as she tells you of living things, and things that must die, and all the many things of transformation.
She's come to you again and startled you out of your fitful sleep.
She pulls close that black cloak half-concealing her weathered copper face, and raises long veiny fingers and wide hands.
She holds them out before her, palms down, and calls to the land.
You are meant to see.
She bound the spell of dark sorcery that wound self-doubt in you.
She is showing you how to heal.
With her feathered staff, her dark-cloaked face, her ancient hands and low growl.
She speaks a chant in your ear with her eyes and tongue.
It has to do with serpents and stones, fire and seeds.
Each image, a spell.
Each word, a cracking opening.
Each movement, a threshold conjuring.
She is human. And more.
She is ripping the mask off your attacker, even as she calls to the wild realm of You.
She is the ancient one of the badlands, holding court in arid wastelands and lightning storms.
She has called you there, to speak the power words over your body.
Feel them rise up from your low, low guts.
You can hear the chant, low and rhythmic, moving in your deep...
There is no mockery that can touch this Self.
There is no predator that can harm this One.
There is only You, brightling ~ and your ancient medicine.
Roused and ready, at last.
We have work to do.