I must be ascendant of swamp flowers —
My eyes find blessing in heavenly grays;
When my feet touch the muddy soil,
My soul is uplifted, by Mother Earth.
My arms spread like newborn petals
My lips unfold, under the rain
Unwelcoming arms to stormy whistles
Lips that curse the veil-like drizzles
Eyes unenchanted by dancing ripples;
They are not a home, for me.
If you are a Womxn, you probably experience a lot of emotions. On a deep level.
That is the nature of Womxn. We feel.
Regardless of this simple fact, the nature of our male dominated society means that throughout the centuries our feelings have been reduced to labels: too much, over the top, over-reactive, hysterical, unproductive and unwelcome.
Because we feel, Womxn have felt these labels in a big, big way.
There are a few fundamental qualities a human-being needs to thrive in this world and most can be boiled down to Love, Safety and Belonging.
So when an intuitive, feeling Womxn recognises that she/they are perceived as too much, or that they are unwelcome, they experience a very real threat against their humanity:
the threat of not belonging.
Cast your mind back to Highschool. Whether you personally experienced it or you witnessed it you will recall beings who visibly did not belong. You probably noticed a shurnkenness to them, a timidity, a translucent, almost sickly, invisibility.
Sometimes when a Womxn feels like they don’t belong they try to shrink themselves. They try to banish their feelings to a far off land, turning their back on themselves. But these feelings don’t go away, they remain, like a cloud looming above their head, suffocating their capacity to see any signs of light.
Emotional suffocation. When a Womxn tries to outrun their emotions and then succumbs by becoming their emotion. They believe they are their grief, anger, resentment, fear, pain – they are stuck, they have become their feelings.
Returning to high-school there is another type of Womxn, one you may not have easily noticed. It is the Womxn who feels deeply, and is scared of that feeling. Having witnessed their Emotionally suffocating peers they believe their feelings, if found out, will make them not belong. So they vow to themselves that no one will ever know what they are feeling on the inside.
Emotional suppressors. When a Womxn feels an ocean of feelings but fears gravely what might happen if these feelings are discovered they have no other choice but to become numb.
Their body churning with an ocean of emotions with nowhere to go they internally start to shut down. They know how to plaster a smile on their face for the outside world, but inside they are dying, like a flower without sunlight, forgotten and distorted.
Both suffocating and suppressing feelings cause a Womxn to lose their true belonging.
But it is not lost. It is born again through rupture.
Womxn are born to rupture.
We know how to feel.
We know how to move our emotions through us, like a fire raging through the bush we can clear out the debris of our own heart and of the whole world.
We are MEANT to feel our feelings. To feel them and let them move through us, like fire, like a wave, like the wind, like an earthquake – all of these natural elemental experiences have a beginning, middle and end.
The trick no one taught us is that instead of running away from our emotions we should be running towards them. Crying when our heart is hurting. Screaming when we are enraged. Purging when we are sickened by atrocities.
WE NEED TO LET OURSELVES FEEL. WHEN WE FEEL WE HEAL.
Have you ever noticed that your feelings heighten before your menstruation? They say our menstruation forces us to say, and feel all that we have been bottling away from the previous cycle.
Imagine if you hadn’t bottled a thing?
Imagine if your friend called you and told you that their Mother had cancer and you said and then together you cried in pain and fear. Imagine if you saw footage from a refugee camp and the injustice of it all made you so sick that you got onto your hands and knees and you wailed for 10 minutes straight. Imagine if your daughter told you that a man on the train had been looking at her creepily, and you both picked up a dish cloth and started smashing it against the wall screaming obscenities at him, and at all those beings who make Womxn feel unsafe.
This is SWAMPING. A practice born by Mumma Gena – author of Pussy. The intentional practice of noticing your feelings and then letting them be fucking felt. Letting them move, and purge through your body however they want without any restriction.
Have you ever seen a toddler have a tantrum? Mum won’t buy them that artificial candy and bam, they feel the injustice and then they express it. They drop to the ground, flail their tiny body around. Wraith in anger. And then they get up, return to mum for a hug – and continue their day.
That is what is possible for us adult Womxn. We don’t have to shut our bodies down. Dim our light. Kill ourselves to fit into a society that is, by design, not inclusive of 50% of the population.
We need to create a new norm around feelings.
For it to be normal to express our emotions healthily, to witness healthy emotional expression. To welcome feelings and celebrate feelings.
We will never stop feeling. But we can learn to love our feelings, find the blessings in their heavenly gray. Put our feet into their mud. Be uplifted, like a radiant swamp flower.
Melbourne! You can join me for SWAMPING alongside other womxn this Sunday – December 6th! This week’s Pussy Pride will be all about SWAMPING. When we SWAMP together the gap between us closes. We remember that we are all in this together, feeling different versions of the same struggles that are felt from the age of a toddler, to high-school, until the day we leave this earth.
I must be ascendant of swamp flowers —