Women everywhere are valued for their achievements. Today we honour a mighty long list of courageous, innovative women who have preceded us. In this spirit we celebrate not only what we have attained, but we celebrate what is yet to be attained: the recognition of what we are.
In our materialistic world it is inevitable that people are valued for what they do or how they appear. Seldom is importance granted to woman’s real value, that intrinsically subtle influence that she is, such as “being there” for others, giving others that force and space that enables them to realise themselves. She knows how to “be there” so that you can be yourself. What she doesn’t yet know is that the world – in every sense – would not exist without her.
In spite of the objections from worldly women who have risen to the top of their specialties, the way of success in the material world where execution and appearances count for so much, is not enough for us. There is a huge gaping, painful space inside: a woman doesn’t know herself outside the meaning that another can reflect.
It is curious that upon the entrance to the ancient Temple at Delphi, symbol of universal knowledge, the words “Know Thyself” were engraved. There, it was Woman who held the key to the secret knowing that does not come from thought, analysis, achievement or strategy, but from sensitivity and fine perception.
The world may value what a woman has achieved but it does not recognize what she is. A woman may do, appear, behave and realize the same goals as men, she may be free to express herself, but she is not free to be recognized in her unique difference, in her special power. Social equality deals with visible things; the quality of inner being deals with a mysterious chaotic force that is feminine and remains conveniently ignored. Yet it is the strongest power there is.
Is it so strange then that we don’t know who or what we are, regardless of our successes? We value our achievements as if they were ourselves. Furthermore, and this is the tragic part, we see ourselves through the eyes of others and believe that we need that mirror to reflect us back to ourselves. We don’t know how to recede from our dependence and read ourselves in the reflection that we provide.
We love ourselves in the degree that we experience being loved. When that stops, we stop loving ourselves. Then we do all we can to find someone who will make us love ourselves again. A woman can be recognized as an excellent professional and attain all the glory that a man might seek, but in her intimacy she wants to feel loved so that she can remember what she is. It all seems to happen outside. Without the mirror she is lost.
Woman, for you, who are you? It is never what another says or sees. When you know another person, you simply feel him or her. Do you know your own company? Do you know what someone who loves you feels? Feeling takes us beyond the seen into the realm of inner life. It reveals and unfolds, it enables and withdraws… It is dangerous.
Just like forgiveness, self-recognition can never involve someone else. It has nothing to do with the men; it has nothing to do with the outside. It has to do with us. We need to put aside all the beliefs, stances, borrowed terminology and attitudes, and formulate our own based on our values, our genuine assertions, and our sensitivity. We need to come out of the comfort zone.
This message today conveys the declaration of a new beginning. Today we begin to cherish our own feeling faculties and sensitivities, and honour what we are for others. We take the courage to stand alone and whole to see beyond all reflection.
We celebrate the future. In the inner vacuum of our yearning we bequeath our secret to our daughters, the tremendous power that resides in emptiness. The Value of Woman lies in confidence of things unseen. That is where life begins.