Questions…and finding answers.
Who do you think you are? What do you know about spiritual matters? What makes you think you know more than the pastor? There’s only one way to eternal life, and you’re certainly not on it! You’ll be sorry; you’ll be back when you have kids.
I grew up on a farm, close to nature–animals in particular. Life itself was most awe-inspiring to me. Then there was the realization that much of our livelihood was dependent on the weather, a mighty force of nature that a Great Other controlled. I learned most deeply that no matter how great the human person is, we cannot create life or prevent death, and the way of nature is one of cycles and seasons.
While the Catholic church I was raised in told us we were children of God, I don’t think they really wanted us to grow up and take them at their word. We were given questions and fed the answers. I memorized them all. For the longest time, I went to church faithfully without thinking too much outside the lines of patriarchical tradition.
I’m not sure when the awakening started, the realization that I heard the beat of a different drummer. Maybe it was the gorgeous priest who walked down the isle with sandals and simple robes, a storyteller who brought the characters to life in ways I’d never heard before. Maybe it was friends of other religions who challenged my thinking. Maybe it was just growing up to be an adult woman, single and in her late 20s. In time the Spirit’s call led me back to school to learn more and to teach. And learn I did.
I learned how to read between and behind the lines and ask different kinds of questions. I listened with new ears, amazed to realize I’d been praying to a goddess all my life, “Hail Mary, Mother of God…” A mother of a God is definitely…a Goddess.
As for those accusing questions I started with, the irony for me is that the church of my childhood taught me the answers. As an adult woman, I reclaimed them in my own words to make them wisdom-empowering answers: Who do you think you are? I am a woman, created in the image and likeness of God the Goddess, Mother of All Living, the Spirit and Breath of Life. I am an adult daughter, loved, entrusted, and empowered by the Spirited Breath of Life Within to make choices and make a difference.
Anne Wondra is a writer, workshop leader, wellness coach, and creative muse in the life enjoyment and personal path finding business. Follow the muse to wonderspirit.com for more.
Originally written in 2003 and published in the Summer 2003 edition of SageWoman Magazine.