an excerpt from December's read-along of "A Woman's Worth"

An Excerpt from December's
Read-Along of A Woman's Worth


What follows is an excerpt from today's email for the read-along of A Woman's Worth that I'm hosting this month...

On dulling our pain and self-crucifixion

"Why do people who have the most ardor, the most enchantment, the most power so often feel the need for drugs and alcohol? They do not drink just to dull their pain; they drink to dull their ecstasy. Betty Lynn lived in a world that doesn't know from ecstatic women, or want to know, or even allow them to exist. [...] Betty Lynn crucified herself before anyone else had a chance to. Many of us are a little like her, choosing to implode rather than take on society's punishment." (pg. 14)

"In the case of many people who carry around one thing, whatever it is, that blocks them from total joy, that belief is this: If I am too happy, too successful, too perfect, I will not be loved. There has to be something that lets other people know that I'm really 'one of them,' that I'm miserable too. I'm really not taking away their piece of the pie. I'm really not perfect, so they don't have to hate me." (pg.27)

This hits a little too close to home for me, if you know what I mean. Sabotaging ourselves to appease (what we preemptively think are) other people's expectations. Judging other women, too, for being too (or not enough) x, y, or z.

- What do you judge yourself for doing/being as a woman?
- What standards do you think you're meeting when you squash whatever those natural instincts are to be 'acceptable'?
- In what ways do you think those standards are ... positive/beneficial? ... negative/harmful?

There's a real difference between striving to live up to standards that we set for ourselves and obligating ourselves to live up to standards expected by others. It's the difference between living inside-out versus outside-in. The former is self-expression, the latter is approval-seeking compulsion. So some standards that require our restraint or practice in order to meet them will be 'positive' for us, while others will be 'negative'. It all depends on how living our lives to those standards makes us feel, and it will look unique to each of us.

- What do you judge other women for doing/being?
- If your judgments had nothing to do with those women, what do you think your judgments might say about what you think, feel, and believe about what is 'acceptable' for women to do/be?
- And to what extent are those standards of acceptability ... your own? ... someone else's?

"It is impossible to overestimate the psychic damage done by the delusions, pseudoreligious and other, that God is somehow happier or we are somehow purer is we are suffering just a bit. The truth is not that God is happier or that we are better, but that the institutions that told us so are happier, because suffering keeps us in our place, where we are easier to control." (pg. 28)

Mic drop.

It's not too late to join us for the read-along! When you sign up, you'll automagically receive all the emails you've missed, so you'll be all caught up and ready to pick up where we left off along with us next week.

Worried about not being able to find the time to read a whole book during the holiday season? A Woman's Worth clocks in at a total of 141 pages ... and the margins are huuuge. Let there be no misunderstanding that is precisely why I chose to read this one this month. I got holiday plans, too! ;)


NOTE: Signing up for December's read-along emails will also subscribe you to other regular letters from me as well.


Tagged: Read-Along

See Also: book: "A Woman's Worth"

would you like to read "a woman's worth" with me?

Would you like to read A Woman's Worth with me?


You might know I treat reading as an important part of my awakening practice. I just finished up a book at Thanksgiving and have been thinking about what my next read will be. With the holiday season upon us, I knew I wanted to choose something that would be a fairly easy read, something quick and uplifting. So ...

I’ll be reading A Woman’s Worth by Marianne Williamson, and thought I’d invite you to read along with me!

I'll be sending an email each week with some thoughts, questions, and other prompts for reflection as we read together through the month of December. This will be super low-key: no reading schedule, no homework, and definitely no such thing as being 'behind' with this — just an intention to engage with our beliefs about womanhood on a deeper level.

If you’d like to read A Woman’s Worth along with me this month, sign up below. And then ... find yourself a copy! You can find the book at Amazon SmileBarnes & NobleGoogle Books — or maybe even your local library.


NOTE: Signing up for December's read-along emails will also subscribe you to other regular letters from me as well.


Tagged: Read-Along

See Also: book: "A Woman's Worth"

what does it feel like to tell the truth?

What Does It Feel Like to Tell the Truth?

What does it feel like to tell the truth?

I find myself wondering this all the time lately. I have often, this last year and half, been afraid to speak about my own experience of and thoughts and questions about this process of awakening because of a vague sense that I will do it wrong, that I will inevitably offend someone or express a thought that’s taboo or politically incorrect.

I have often, this last year and half, felt that the world has gotten very loud and aggressive, and feminism has gotten very loud and aggressive right along with it. I often feel an un-winnable combination of guilt and defensiveness for calling myself a feminist: on the one hand, I feel like I’m not a very good feminist, and on the other hand, I bristle at the idea of there being rules that I must follow to champion women ‘correctly’. I don’t want to be in spaces where women are told they’re doing feminism and, by extension, womanhood ‘wrong’ anymore.

Maybe I’m naive, maybe I’m sheltered, maybe I’m too reliant on my own privilege. I genuinely acknowledge any or all of these things could be true. But I am concerned that the aggressive feminist voices, the hardcore police-types, the political and social critics who are speaking loudest are, in the process of what is undoubtedly very important work ‘out there’ in the wider world, intimidating some women away from exploring the very important work needing to be done ‘in here’ on the personal level and, especially, from connecting with other women for the purposes of communing and commiserating with them about our mutual experience of womanhood.

I know, at least, that I have felt intimidated. And so I wonder …

What does it feel like to tell the truth?

I know what it feels like to withhold it. I’m sure you do, too.