Mary Magdalene showing the way….
Mariette Hamer was recently appointed as government commissioner for sexual transgressive behavior and sexual violence in the Netherlands. The daily newspaper Volkskrant published an article about this that read: ‘I want us all to ask ourselves: when were you there and did you not do anything?’ It strongly resonated with me. You don’t change culture and behavior in isolation but in relationship. I spoke to my sons about it. For them it is all so natural. Already, at primary school, they learned that bullies are given much space, if feeling supported by a silent majority, in particular when they actively fuel the bully, for example by laughing at bullying behavior. They were, fortunately taught to express their thoughts and feelings and thus gained a different view of each other and of the group process. I was so happy that attention was finally paid to this in our primary schools! It would have been even better if children would also learn how to be and remain connected to themselves in classrooms. Children who learn this at an early age will be enabled to better self-reflect and discuss sensitive issues. This is exactly what we missed-out on for ages in much of the social debate on all of the massive challenges of our time. Not being curious about each other’s vision and experience, people are ‘educated’ to quickly judge and reject. This certainly feeds division and a sense of insecurity in general. It is a logical explanation for the popularity of individuals and groups that respond to feelings of fear, being ‘alone’ or not belonging. However, it’s not a logical solution, but resulting in increasing levels of division, insecurity, anxiety and stress. The only solution that offers any perspective is our relentless search for a better understanding and our wish to connect, providing a safe, authentic and trustworthy environment. The larger issue here is to address how we can better understand each other and embrace our (apparent) differences!
Us women have a crucial role to play in this. It is and has always been our nature to bring people together and care for each other, within our families and communities. We have always been like this. It is the one reason for humanity to survive. Time has come to recognize this and to really appreciate it. Way too long cultures and society have been dominated by masculine principles such as achievement, competition and individualism. Without the infuse of feminine values, these principles have created very unhealthy system dynamics that are sickening our enterprises, political systems and worse, our human nature. We do need women and men, expressing their gentleness, compassion and power to connect, not afraid to live from their hearts. Expressing our better half with self-reflection, understanding the other person, by truly listening and reaching out to each other, without judgement, anger or fear. Myself, I did neglect my soul and gentle feminine powers; even to the contrary. From the adage of ‘a smart girl is prepared for her future’ I grew up at a time in which masculine qualities were valued and empowered. I was a ‘successful manager, raising the bar for others as much as for myself’, eventually paying the price…. After a breakdown in my early thirties, I had my first heart attack in my early forties and my second in my early fifties! If I had just listened to my body and even more important, to my heart. It has been a long road to recovery, gradually discovering that part of myself I shut down completely, everything that supposedly was not to be seen or did not matter in a world that is dominated by the principles of achievement and success. Happily, I learned to embrace life and live again. Embracing the path of self-reflection, softening up and above all expressing myself in a creative way. To love myself again as I am, not as I think I should be.
Both stories of Mary Magdalene and Mother Holle have been changed and violated by men within the patriarchal system views. Mary Magdalene was the prophet of prophets, the only one consecrated as a Master to be able to pass on the teachings of Jesus. By ‘adversaries’, including the powerful church, she was dismissed as a whore and sinful woman for which she had to suffer. In order to silence her, ensure that she would not get any followers and that her gospel, the gospel of Jesus, would not spread. This was remarkedly spin-doctored. It was fortunate, however, that there were men within the church who did not agree with the occurrence of events and so her story persisted and today is forcefully gaining momentum. At the time, The Grimm Brothers have transformed the fairy tale of Mother Holle to create a simplistic and evil image of women, creating a wrongful image of women to date. The essential ability to survive peacefully, preserve life and live in harmony for an infinitely better future, were reduced to simple household chores. Instead of talking about the journey of inner transformation, the story was reduced to the diligence of one versus the laziness of the other. There is a world to discover, understanding this story telling more deeply.
It is important that we immerse ourselves in all of the stories that have been told, both the stories written by men in power (which we call ‘his story’), as well as those that have been passed on for generations, becoming visible IF you are ready to listen. We need to immerse ourselves in the works of art, also in churches, in rituals, in myths, in stories; especially learning from other cultures. If we could, for instance, take the Bible less literally, but read it with a more spiritual and self-reflective mind, a new world opens up, freed from dogmatism and commandments that the church imposed. A magical world opened up for me ever since I took a deep dive. Why is someone truer than the other. What is reality and what is truth? Today, I leave my intuition to it as a powerful indicator. By connecting my analytical and limited mind, based on everything I already know, with my heart and inner knowing that is so much more infinite and wiser, I discover new ways of looking at things which provide me with grand new perspectives. How can we truly live with love and compassion for ourselves and others? That’s what it’s all about for me. To really listen is to understand. No more silence and no more fueling the ‘bullies’ who are basically destroying our world, and us. My hopes are up with our kids being more aware and open, enforcing material issues to be resolved. It is up to us, the earlier generations, to support them with our wisdom and retrospection, experience and influence. And to give them the space and confidence to follow their hearts, contrary to the anger, frustration and fear, aiming for connection, compassion and love.
Love conquers All ❤️ Listen from your Heart