Divine Feminine Wisdom for a World Gone Mad
If we’ve lived differently before, we can choose to do it again
Sometimes a memory hits me out of the blue.
It’s the year 2000, and I’m sitting in a Mexican dive bar, a block off of Chicago’s Michigan Avenue. I’m steadily working my way through a pack of cigarettes and one too many margaritas, in deep conversation with a friend from work.
I tell him I won’t be satisfied with my life unless I’ve done something big and important, something that makes the world a better place. He laughs good-naturedly at this and asks me why. Isn’t it enough to work hard, have a family, and raise them well in a nice home?
I’m a little envious of his low standards, even as I find myself piously looking down on them. Not good enough, I tell him. I have to do more.
“More,” however, was a vague concept that never really got more detailed. I dreamed of quitting my job in PR and doing something more worthwhile. I thought a lot about teaching overseas. I fantasized about adopting children from impoverished countries.
Instead, I moved to California and started my own company. I tried to create a positive work environment, and I donated money to charities that promoted women’s career opportunities and girls’ education. Instead of adopting children, I had two of my own. In many ways, my life has looked a lot like the one my friend described, the one I was so dismissive of when I was in my early 20s.
At the time, I didn’t understand that my need to save the world came from a sense of inadequacy and a desire to prove my own self-worth, with a dose of white savior complex added in for good measure. Those discoveries would take another decade and a half to sink in.
The memory of that conversation returned to me on a recent morning walk around my neighborhood. The world looks a lot different than it did back then, and the stakes seem so much higher now. I see fear, anger, and misinformation everywhere I look. I see lines drawn in the sand and an absolute refusal to listen to anyone with a different viewpoint. I can only take so much of the news before I sink into rage and hopelessness, which doesn’t seem to be helping anyone, either.