The light catches my iPad screen in such a way that my reflection stares back. I look away. I hate what I see.
Familiar, lifelong contempt twists my heart as tears form in my eyes.
I take in the scene that surrounds me. The gorgeous hotel lounge in which I sit. An unobstructed view of the Puget Sound, the Cascade mountains, ferries, sailboats, and hundreds of gulls traversing back and forth across the waters. A delicious glass of red wine. Three uninterrupted hours to think, to write, to reflect.
Despite my luxurious surroundings and generous time; despite a spaciousness that removes me (even momentarily) from anxiety about money or work or daughters or relationship or just the day-to-day stresses of life; despite a deep awareness that I am appreciated, respected, cherished, and loved; despite a system of belief that tells me I am created in the very image of God, I can, in one quick glance, lose sight of it all and see only what I lack, what I fear, what I despise, what I wish.
Piercing through my downward spiral of self-deprecation, Eve screams,
Eve screams, ”No!” because she is tired of the voices within me that have hissed too loudly and too long for hers to be heard.
Eve screams, “No!” to jar me out of my complacency, to unnerve me, to shake me loose from all that binds, to wake me up, to open my eyes.
Eve screams, “No!” because she cannot, any longer, allow for any telling of my story that is less than glorious, gorgeous, or full of grace.
Eve screams, “No!” because she’s been silenced and shamed far too long; because she knows that her silencing and shaming has impacted mine.
Eve screams, “No!” because she can see what the world looks like when I walk through it aware of who I truly am; a world that awaits my presence, my profoundness, my perfection.
Eve screams, “No!” because she’s wants more from me, more for me, more . . . more . . . more . . . She is hungry for all the deliciousness I have to offer and she makes it clear she will remain ravenous until fed.
Eve screams, “No!” because she knows of the wisdom, compassion, and strength that her lineage can and must wield; ways of being/doing/loving that shatter old paradigms and create brand new ones.
Eve screams, “No!” because it’s time. It’s time for me (and you) to rise up, to stop listening to all that haunts, and proudly, boldly, confidently step forth; to leave Gardens overgrown with weeds that have choked the life out of me and deliberately, bravely step into a vast wilderness of adventure, passion, and fierce faith.
“Remember who you are: MY daughter, MY lineage, MY kin! You are the pinnacle of the Divine’s creative work: perfect, whole, and complete. Listen to me. Look at me. See yourself in me. As my descendant, you are royal and beautiful; regal and strong. Hold your head high. Do not doubt. Do not waver. Do not succumb to the usurpers (within and without) who attempt to pull you from your rightful place, your regal throne. Adjust your crown. Grasp your scepter a little tighter. Look that serpent in the eye and reach—toward all that awaits you, toward all who love you, toward the woman you truly are.”
I glance back down at the iPad screen, allowing my eyes to move through the words and deeper still, back to my reflection. A slight smirk. A sly wink. The faintest whiff of an apple . . .