There’re many ways to learn a lesson: there’s a lovely, gentle and mutually nurturing path or a wrenched rocky trip through hell on the other side of the swingblade. In the past, I’ve certainly tended towards the more full-throttle hard-core, hard-knock schools but I’ve realised how much these choices have hurt me.  I’m opting for a more authentic, life affirming path of truth and beauty. Along the way, I’ve found my voice and am learning to stand in my power, stand up for myself, hold boundaries and say ‘no’ – loud and clear.

But. Through hardship I’ve learnt to appreciate softness. Through lies, to value truth. Through abuse, to value tenderness. I’ve been broken many, many time in the process, I’ve shed sufficient tears to create my own ocean and have finally learnt I deserve better. For which I’m grateful. I’m grateful to the cold cruel men who, as The Decemberists exquisitely lament in Red Right Ankle (which, incidentally, was the Duke’s song for me… ai ai ai):

This is the story of the boys who loved you

Who love you now and loved you then

And some were sweet and some were cold and snuffed you

And some just layed around in bed

And some, they crumbled you straight to your knees

Did it cruel, did it tenderly

Some, they crawled their way into your heart

To rend your ventricles apart

This is the story of the boys who loved you

I’m grateful. I’m grateful it’s over. I’m grateful for what I’ve leant and for the place it’s gotten me to. Ultimately, I’m grateful to be free. And with an ever-growing sense of sistahood, I’m drawn to female vocalists and outspoken singers who, like Tori Amos, fearlessly sing to open ears (and mouths). I remember hearing Alanis Morissette in high school, when Jagged Little Pill rocked the airwaves, sending shockwaves through civilized company. Hers was an angry anthem of the previously disempowered, breaking the ‘good girl’ mould, where women should be f*cked but not heard. Her songs struck crotch height, man-boys scattered, hiding in corners while they licked their eligible ego’s and wondered what the hell happened to the formerly obedient Little Women. And while even I think she’s sometimes a little too angry, I respect her process and what she made possible for scores of mute women.

Here’s a somewhat gentler, more reflective song from Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie that resonates deeply with me at the moment. I’m sure you understand why…

How about no longer being masochistic * How about remembering your divinity * How about unabashedly bawling your eyes out

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