More awareness of gender abuse within church groups has become news recently. Doctrinal groups both reflect and shape the culture they are in.
Groups like Christian for Biblical Equality, FaithTrust Institute, and Twitter voices such as #savedfromthe silence, #defendthe sheep, #churchtoo, #emptythepews and others are witnessing that church is not always safe for women.
During Domestic Violence month, I want to point out that an estimated 25% of church women are abused in their homes. They stay longer because of wrestling with faith questions.
Although prevalence seems to be higher in conservative religions, enforcement of patriarchy as God’s will is not limited to these groups. Many books are now coming out about the struggle to maintain faith within a system that does not honor the equality of women.
However, I did not find a self-help recovery workbook to help women sort out the complex and subtle pressures to keep them in an abusive relationship within some churches.
That is why I am happy to report that my workbook, Redemption from Biblical Battering,is now available on Amazon and Kindle. I hope you will consider it when you meet a woman of faith who thinks she must choose between her faith and her marriage.
Al Gore’s film about climate change, “An Inconvenient Truth”, made a big splash and was aptly name. But increasingly human beings are considered inconvenient because of two bullies: greed and speed.
There are days when I feel like a character in The Matrix. Others would be pleased if they could just strap me to a table and hook my bank account up to their tubes.
More businesses want me to just set up online accounts which siphon money directly from me to their account. They never have to see me, talk to me, or deal with me at all, unless it’s the nanosecond requirement for me to click “I agree.” Nor is it possible to explain a situation that does not fit their parameters over the phone.
I started to write “Some Women are Fat” but that’s not the main issue. More men are becoming weight conscious, but for women fat phobia is a way of life. “This Is Us” has won an Emmy in part for including the lifetime pain of a large woman in its story line. More prevalent are shows like “The Biggest Loser”, featuring weighty men and women abusing themselves, often gaining the weight back because of their underlying medical problem.
The reality is that the medical community may not want to admit they don’t have an answer to all the fat conditions. They are as myriad and individual as the people struggling with fat. One doctor told a candidate surgery was the only way to reset her metabolism. Really? The big secret is that bariatric surgery does not reliably produce weight loss.
Recently the role of our manufactured food industry has been recognized, but still the billion dollar diet industry rolls on. Women are assured the more they measure, the more they will never measure up with the appropriate body. Ads for “health” are masks Continue reading “Some Women Have Fat”
Right now I have an 89-year-old friend who moved away from her lifetime residence and cadre of friends to a retirement home closer to her daughter. Her daughter wanted this move because it would save her expensive flights to visit her mother. Although they were not especially close, my friend wanted to be nearer to her daughter in case she became ill.
My friend spends her days isolated in the facility. Her daughter does not see or talk to her very much and it is difficult to begin making friends at this age, she says. It is now apparent that her daughter may not be there even if she is ill. She thinks she made a mistake but she cannot move back now. She is too old.
Inventions are just another way people are creative. Women excel in creativity, and have focused it on whatever arena they have found themselves in.
We don’t know the names of Native American women who developed any of the pre-Columbian treasures that were found when Europeans arrived here. We know that the idea of democracy from the Iroquois Confederation and compulsory education were new to the explorers. They found Native Americans using chocolate, aspirin, gold plating, rubber balloons, toy tops, chewing gum, hammocks, oil extraction, and a container like a baby bottle. Their knowledge of 2,564 plant medicines revealed uses as anaesthetics, insect repellants, and oral contraceptives, some administered through syringe-like devices.
Given the chance, Native American women did enter fields yielding inventions. Born on August 9, 1908 in Oklahoma, Cherokee Mary Golda Ross was the first female and the only Native American engineer at Lockheed Aircraft Corporation in Burbank, California during the Space Race.
Many times we don’t know the names of the women who have created our benefits today. A cliché is a woman’s place is in the home. So women inventors changed what this meant. Tour a home with me and see how many ways women inventors have helped us with our work.
“Every human person is inevitably involved with two worlds: the world they carry within them and the world that is out there. All thinking, all writing, all action, all creation and all destruction is about that bridge between the two worlds.” – John O’Donahue
Valentine’s Day is a celebration of connection. Sending heartfelt thoughts is a way to reach out, perhaps say what can’t be said, with a greeting already packaged.
October has been chosen as a month of over 100 chances for awareness or observances. The National Holiday Calendar list could be grouped into categories of animal care, human care, food, health, ethnicity, and more.
So it is tempting to wonder if there is a hierarchy of significance. Are, say, the human causes more important than the animal ones? Famously we are aware that there are more animal shelters per population than women’s shelters. But those who are animal lovers may brush this away because humans are supposed to be able to defend themselves.
I am proposing a shift in the way we think about the issue. I am proposing that we shift the emphasis away from violated women as a group that must be advocated for by others and therefore “lower” somehow and emphasize their strengths.
“Oh my God, now I have to put up with this too. I can’t believe the nerve. What does he expect?! He never thinks of anyone else. It’s damned if you do or damned if you don’t.”
Feeling better after reading this? Of course not. But each day many of us inflict barrages like this on our poor adrenal system voluntarily.
We can do ourselves and our nervous system a huge favor by recognizing the top three categories of stress talk and replacing or releasing them to the fiery pit from which they came.
In this sample, extremes are pushing you off a cliff fast. Phrases like “OMG”, can’t believe” and all-inclusive generalizations or abstractions box us in. There’s a reason for the phrase “two horns of a dilemma”- it’s a false choice.
For some women Mother’s Day is not an easy day. Daughters of mothers who could not nurture them experience emotional fallout that casts a shadow over this day and indeed their lives.
Clarissa Pinkola Estes writes about the Stone Child, stories and myths of the unmothered child. As women, we experience “collapsing” and a wild hunger that leads us to doubt ourselves, have difficulty seeing ourselves accurately, engage in risky or impulsive behaviors, and an inability to maintain healthy boundaries. We miss training in honoring our intuition, consciousness and common sense. To recover, women must grow their own internal mother to warm their hearts through meditation, connecting with nature, bodywork, and support from other women. We must come to terms with our mother shadow, for she never leaves us. We cannot escape the effects and should not. Our mother effect is the source of our creative energy. Our emotions are our guide to our next level for spiritual development.
I’ve been reviewing 3 basic tasks for spiritual development: honoring ourselves, discovering our expressions and sharing our expressions. Along that line, let’s revisit an idea of resolutions for the beginning of 2017.
Instead of twisting myself in knots out of a framework of faults, I wanted to set my path from a value-added mindset. So I began to think about what would enhance me this year. You may want to consider something similar for yourself.
I recently saw a post I thought was a good beginning. It recommended replacing every “I’m sorry” with “I appreciate.” Instead of “I’m sorry I was late” I can say “I appreciate your waiting.” “I’m sorry I can’t stay” with “I appreciate the time I’ve had with you.”