I talk to women's groups all over the country and see women struggling with this. The fear of not being accepted, of being different, of not having a man, all make it hard for a woman to do what she really believes is right for her.
When I was a kid, I'd kneel down at the side of my bed every night before I went to sleep, and my mother and I would say a Greek prayer to the Virgin Mary.
You don't stay married for thirty-nine years because of sex or even because of love, but because your partner is a real friend to you, because they respect and regard you.
I think we have to be careful about what we label as a prerequisite for spirituality. I don't think you have to know a lot to have a spiritual life, but knowing gives life richness.
When my children were born, I didn't have them baptized because I felt baptism was about erasing Original Sin - something the Church said children got from their mother - and I absolutely refused to believe women carry Original Sin.
I think it's because most of us talk one way and live another. There are a few people who truly, truly walk the talk.
God is not something I think about but something I experience as an energy, a Presence. I do find it easier to pray to a female Presence or an androgynous Presence.
Most of us are not real eager to grow, myself included. We try to be happy by staying in the status quo. But if we're not willing to be honest with ourselves about what we feel, we don't evolve.
I think we're socialized out of being women, and then we have to find our way back to it. That's hard to do.
My husband is a fall-away Catholic, but with a vengeance. He's actually more of a feminist than I am.
Thankfully, it became clear to me that when I compete, I lose my connection to the passion I have for my work.
The rest of us are still trying to find ways to live in the world with spirit-ual values. Myself included. We've learned certain skills, we've learned to prevail somewhat, but we've not made it over the mountain.
Stories about the ongoing dramas in our lives as we age are not being told because women find it difficult to be honest about what's going on - about, for example, our heightened sexuality as we age or about living in a society that only values youth.
Sometimes I feel as if four thousand years of silencing women, of the fear of women who were burned in oil or eviscerated in front of their daughters, is imprinted deep within me and has altered my DNA.
I sometimes truly despair at ever being meaningfully altered and affected by the things I claim are so important to me.
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