By. Moriah Avrick
“War isn’t for women,” he says, chuckling, “Women’s bodies... they’re built for bearing children. Women are softer.” And I laugh because he doesn’t know that my body holds both secrets and war wounds.
This good body— when it was touched in all the wrong ways, and I didn’t know what to say, so I said nothing at all; don’t you know that was a war of the most brutal consequence, a fight I lost, wounded on the battlefield?
This sacred body— when it was bullied and shamed for the treasures and mysteries it held, ogled and pressed up against middle school lockers and closet doors, when my voice was drowned out by greedy eyes; don’t you know that saying: “war is hell”? I have swam in it’s fire.
This holy body— when it came alive around her and I flinched, closed, trembled in the nauseous fear of a tender, unreachable love; when my voice breathed “no” to my own soft heart and it silently crumbled to ash; don’t you understand that the bludgeoning of love is war, and that I was once missing in action?
This powerful body— when it swelled and ballooned, whispering with life... its sacredness violated by my pastor’s objectifications of my breasts, failing to recognize that this, too, is war; don’t you see, this is a wild charge on a throbbing swell of hate, to dare to grow a new voice for love?
This warrior body— when I bellowed my voice over sterile walls and chilled bones with my display of a vibrating, feminine battle cry, the truth of a mother laboring through the fight; can’t you grasp that this is the meaning of a holy war, to be a vessel for my howling daughter, to roar divinity over her in a reductionist world?
This loud body— when I hoisted this tiny female on the curve of my hip and raised my voice for the both of us, a fierce and thundering weapon, a soothing and healing balm; I screamed words like “good” and “sacred” and “holy” and “powerful” and “Warrior” and “loud” because I know now that it is men who do not understand the meaning of war.
War is the traumatized survivor, healing, and healing, and healing.
War is the woman rattling the chains of “modesty” and “purity” until they shatter.
War is the woman embracing the glory of her sexuality, despite the barrage of sexualization. War is the exhausted woman growing life in her own body for months on end.
War is the woman laboring for new life, for freedom, for change.
War is the fierce, bellowing wolf woman, who keeps watch on the gates of love.
My very soul is a battleground for abuse and expectation, and my voice is roaring healing over it all.
Moriah is a spiritual blogger, certified yoga teacher, and Enneagram 4 living near the Olympic mountains. She spends her days surrounded by crystals, journaling, yoga-ing, reading, hanging out in local coffee shops, exploring with her husband, and chasing her toddler. www.bravehavensisterhood.com / Facebook: Brave Haven by Moriah