All the words and all the names you were given and all the ones you claimed and reclaimed. All the identities forced upon and cast off and those hard-won and battle-scarred.
You paradigm shifters, you revolutionaries, you activists who take to the streets.
You bread bakers and homemakers and nightmare tamers.
You boardroom CEOs and hustlers and take no prisoners – eye on the prize going for it all.
You with the soft belly and strong thighs and arms that carry the weight of the world.
You with the heart that builds home after home and who knows when it’s time to tear it all down to start again.
You the late night dancer and the early riser and the afternoon nap taker.
You the too much and the not enough and the one who has finally learned to name the color and texture of her own want.
You the phoenix and you in the shadows and you who embraces every glorious contradiction they tell you can’t coexist in one human body.
You the selfie-takers and the art makers and the brave and mighty and true storytellers who turn words into magic.
You, the truth speakers that hold us all accountable to something greater and better and more lasting.
You the hearth maker and fire lighter and flame tender.
You the warrior, the dancer, the lover, the mother, the daughter the one who blows all the limitations to smithereens.
You, my mothers, my teachers, my lovers, my friends, my sisters, my daughters, my all.
In holy gratitude.
I wanted to share a love letter to women. ALL women. And so if you identify
To all the women who lift me, fill me, inspire me, engage me, challenge me, push me, pull me forward out of the shadows, make me laugh, bring me joy, hold me when I cry. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Your truth and grace and beauty and grit and raw power is a gift for which I will never have sufficient words.
For the women of color who may not see themselves represented in this celebration in the way that you should be. Whose accomplishments and lives and contributions not lifted in a way they deserve. Whose truths are hidden behind an insidious form of spiritual whitewashing. Your voices matter to me. Your emotional and physical labor on behalf of your fellow women of color matter. I am listening and getting uncomfortable and recognizing my privilege and learning all that I can from your words and your truth and your experience. I am grateful to you for the fight and the fire and the truth-telling you do, for the light you hold which allows me to both see and change myself – hopefully, and eventually for the better.
For the queer women. I am one of you. I claim you as my family. I know you as my people and my community and my home. I survived the last decade because of you. On days like these, the heteronormativity can be staggering and the imagery and celebration not always reflective of your truth or your presentation or your family. Where you may not see yourself reflected as you look or speak or act. Know that I see you, a part of this beautify tapestry of what it is to be a woman in this world and I’m damn glad you are here, showing up as you do – living and loving and moving through the world with me.
For the trans and transitioning women. You are women in your heart and soul and being, but you are made to fight for the right to be seen and live as who you are. You experience great harm and profound disregard along this journey. I know that you are subject to violence and exclusion both from the outside and from within this community of women, often pushed into the invisible in between in spite of all you have done to come home to yourself. I see you. I honor you. The images you see around the internet celebrating women may not look like you and probably do not carry the scars of your experience and I want you to know, my god, you are beautiful and holy, and you matter. I hope we all learn to listen better, to look deeper, to understand the depth and truth you bring to the table.
Just as importantly, for all those who are viewed as women or called women or lumped into the category of women, but identify otherwise. For all those beings who live in the liminal and non-binary spaces in between where the word woman does not encapsulate the totality of your being or perhaps doesn’t fit at all. I do not know the reality of your lived experience, but I can imagine that days like today may make you feel more marginalized, or less belonging or visible or seen or recognized in the way you want and deserve to be. If this is you today, know that I see and honor you. Know that I am grateful for you, that I learn from you, that I respect your right to claim or not claim this day for you or your body or your being.
These words are for all of you. For all of us.
PS: If there is a woman in your life who needs to know just how brilliantly inspiring she is to you, share this with her and let her know exactly how brilliant, inspiring, epically badass and utterly unprecedented she is in your eyes.