I recently learned that Dr. George Tiller, who was murdered last May, often wore a button that read, “Trust Women.” I liked that slogan. It rings true to me. It makes me think of how important trust is, and how our most fundamental rights as human beings are based on trust. It makes me think of myself as a woman, as a mother, and as a person, and how I have become who I am now. So I had to stop and ask myself, what else does Trust Women mean to me?
Well, first of all, I am a woman and I do trust myself. I cannot fathom the idea of not trusting my intuition or my own ability to think and make decisions for myself. Even when I have made what I thought were wrong choices in my life, many times they turned out to be blessings in disguise. You can say I am a self-made person. I could have never become who I am now had I not trusted my inner voice and as you may say, my gut feelings. Trusting my intuition and my intelligence has allowed me to move through life gaining knowledge of both the world and myself, while also being able to understand the complexities of the human mind. It has allowed me to be a loving mother and wife, and a creative, multi talented person and artist. I has empowered me as a woman. No, I am not simply enlarging my ego here. I truly think that trusting myself has motivated me to know who I am and what my strengths and weaknesses are to become a better person.
Trust was not something that I acquired without struggle. Where I grew up, people were always telling me how I should look, what I should eat, or buy, or do, and how I should act as a woman (to please others, or please men, or be accepted?). I had to become strong enough to listen to myself, stand up, and make my own choices. After all, what I wanted and what I didn’t want was clear to me. It came from deep within me, like flashes of certainty. I am sure glad I learned to listen to and trust them! My mother was an intelligent and very well educated woman. She taught me the value of culture, art, tolerance, and respect. She was a very religious woman and yet she had the gift of diplomacy and tolerance, and a wonderfully open mind. I will be forever grateful to her and to all the other women and men who trusted and respected me, and accepted me for who I was. In the process of learning to trust myself I also learned to trust others and to trust life as a whole.
The ability to trust comes from having the choice to trust and also from having choices. When there are no choices there is no trust because there is no need to trust. There is only one way or the highway. Women in this country have rights and they have choices, which is not so obvious in other parts of the world. They have the ability to think, to learn and be themselves, and —more importantly—make their own decisions. Women are intelligent, sensitive beings with deep intuition and an incredible capacity to love and give. Yet this capacity to give should not be taken for granted with the thought that their rights can be taken away, including reproductive rights, because those are just as fundamental as any other right. In my book, freedom is not only a fundamental human right, but the uttermost spiritual aspiration of a human being.
Who is to say what life has in store for any of us? We often want to believe that we are in control of things, but I’ve learned that life has its own agenda and it takes me where I am supposed to go to learn the lessons I am supposed to learn. The more I resist, the more I suffer, so in a lot of ways my spiritual path has been to learn to completely surrender to life. To let go and let God, without judging the choices others make. Their path may be different than mine, and they may have to learn lessons that are different than mine. So who am I to judge or impose my belief system upon them?
To me, Trust Women means learning to listen to your inner voice, and it also means learning to accept others’ free will. It’s not about what you or I believe in, it’s about having the choice to believe and choosing to respect that I may not share your beliefs and you may not share mine. It is about trusting each other, trusting ourselves, and trusting women to make the right choices. It is about empowering women to be and believe in themselves. Most of all, Trust Women is about freedom and respect. And that is the foundation to peace and tolerance in the world.
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