Saturday, March 14, 2009

In Honor of Women's History Month


Following is Wabun's personal account of learning to free the sister within her.

Until I was thirty, i always harbored a secret wish to be a man. I remember as a child i always envied the little boys. They seemed so much freer. Growing older, i learned well to emulate the men i saw around me. I became competitive, and i pushed to excel at any of the things i chose to do. I did not have a strong physical body, and so i developed my mind. I was an excellent student. I learned to manipulate, and i became a student leader. I went into politics, and knew how to be elected to any offices I wanted to hold, up to a point, that point being when i threatened the men i worked with too much. Then they put me down. After one such incident, i stopped being political. I turned to writing, which i had always been good at doing. I went to the best journalism school in the States, and i did well. When i tried to get a job, after over $20,000 worth of education, i found that, as a woman, i only qualified as an assistant to a man. This was before woman's lib, and jobs were not being equally doled out. I found a man i could enjoy working with, and helped start several new magazines. Finally, I was made editor of one. Still, all my decisions were censored by the men backing the magazine. I felt powerless.
I free-lanced, writing about what interested me, mainly radical politics and the human potential movement. I wrote a book, published by a major New York publisher. By that time, i had realized that my satisfaction had to come from within, not without. I became involved in searching for a spiritual teacher, someone who could tell me how to become free. While involved with a Sufi oriented group in New York, i met Sun Bear and decided i wanted to write about him and the Bear Tribe. Because of the love i felt for him and his work i left New York and came to live with the Tribe. I became his medicine helper.
What a learning experience that was and is. Being in such close association with a strong man, i had to really fight to keep any sense of my own identity, my own worth. We both had to learn to work with each other without losing our separate balances. I felt that the struggle was worthwhile since he was a man who was not afraid of my energy and my strength. He encouraged me to develop all the skills i had, to develop my powers. Still, things did not feel quite right. There was a missing element.
Within the last years, i have found what that is. It is my femininity--my true essence of womanhood. I had always been a highly intuitive person, though, until recently, i could not have even found the words to express that. I just knew that sometimes i thought differently from people around me, and that, sometimes this got me into trouble. I'd know things that other people couldn't see, and i would know them from some source of knowing that i could not explain. I remember one man friend once listening to me expound on how i felt about things and then saying, "You're impossible. You have no comprehension of the basis of Western civilization." He was right, and i thank the Great Spirit for sparing me that.
The past years have been a time for many to realize that female energy must be allowed to develop and strengthen. I have been helped in my search to find my essence by others who are also seeking. Many beautiful sisters have helped me, by finding the beauty and ability to carry on, and by reflecting my own beauty and strength back to me. The Earth Mother has helped me, as i have finally been able to open myself to her. Spirits wishing to correct the imbalance between male and female energies have helped also.
A medicine man who is a friend of ours has also helped greatly. He is a young man of great gentleness, compassion, beauty and clarity. He feels deeply the female energy within himself, his sisters, and the Earth Mother. Because of his deep feelings he is able to express some things many of us know, but have had a hard time verbalizing. He has helped many sisters to feel and begin to express their own power.
Following are excerpts from some talks he has given on the subject of women.

"You need an enormous amount of acceptance to let a child follow the vision that they have received. You need an enormous amount of patience to see how long it takes to do that, how long it takes for them to grow. You need an enormous amount of understanding to be able to explain to them the things of the world and the things of their life. You need an enormous amount of perception in order to know how things come, how things go for them or for life, in order to tell those things to the children. Does this make sense? To raise children you need understanding, acceptance, patience, and perception. At some point in life it has been decided that women will give birth. Because of that they have been given those qualities. They have been given patience, they have been given perception, they have been given understanding, they have been given acceptance. Throughout history, for whatever reason or other, those things have been turned down into weaknesses. Somebody who is accepting is a coward, somebody who is patient is not aggressive enough. Somebody who is perceptive has become a witch in time. Somebody who is understanding often too has become a weak person. You have to be very aware of these things. It's very powerfully imprinted inside of us. This is something that is absolutely essential in order for life to happen. This is something that is very powerful inside of each and every woman. Anybody that's got 5 ounces of common sense and good eyes can see that very obviously even if the woman herself forgets it.
" Most men think they're on top of it. They go around trying to more or less control the world or saying what it's all about. Most women out of habit of cultural history think that the men know what it's all about. But it's exactly the opposite. For a man to learn he has to have those qualities, most men are too scared to have them. So what a man has to do at one point or another-- I'll make for this time a broad sweeping generalization -- it's a must to be able to listen to a woman. Whomever the woman is, that doesn't matter so much. But to really listen, to really watch, to really accept that something has to be learned if life wants to go on, from women. Does this make sense? It's a very important thing. It's very difficult for men to do that because it goes completely opposite to all the culture that a man has ever lived in.
" Somebody asked me about the future. I say there will never be peace on the face of the Earth as long as it's not women who rule it. There will never be peace on the face of the earth as long as men have not accepted that they have to learn from women in order to go back to themselves. That's a pretty hard pill to swallow for a lot of us."

" Relationships are really intricate between man and woman because they are exactly opposite of what they really should be; the man listening and the woman talking. Most of the time."

" One thing i know is that man is going to find peace with himself only with the help of women."

What Gabriel knows is what many sisters are now beginning to feel. This feeling is allowing us to gather the strength we have within ourselves. It is allowing us to see our own gentleness, love and patience. It is helping us to realize that we must not be ashamed of what we are, or of how we do things. This feeling is helping us to connect with the Earth Mother in a real and honest way. This helps with the healing. This helps to bring balance.
I know that you cannot really love the Earth Mother unless you also love and respect her human daughters. I am now strong enough to tell this to my sisters, and brothers, and to be patient if they do not understand right away. I know that i must increase my strength, my patience, my understanding, my acceptance and my perception so that i can most effectively serve the Great Spirit and the Earth Mother. I know that in the coming cleansing all those who survive -- whether their bodies are female or male-- must be open to the lessons i am learning now. I know that those of us who can open now must do so, so that we can be there to help others through the pain of freeing the sister within themselves. And i have a glimmering of the joy that will eventually come through this freeing.

-From "The Bear Tribe's Self Reliance Book"
By: Sun Bear, Wabun, and Nimimosha

To all of my beautiful sisters out there in the world who seek this balance in love and understanding with us men, who love men, and passionately are attracted to our essence. To those who do not seek to emasculate us but to struggle with us and teach and learn from one another. I send this out to you from my heart and in honor of Women's History Month.
-Paz Y Harmonia,
Hueteotl Lopez 2012

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