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Musings of an Awakening Spirit

Stories, poetry & general musings of Rebecca Haywood, a modern-day Shaman with a penchant for bringing the divine into the human experience.

To All the Boys

“It’s not worth prosecuting”, I was told after the detective had “lost” all the evidence. Evidence plucked, swabbed, and stripped from my shaking body—gone, and with it—my credibility. Even before that, the same detective had attempted to silence me with his shaming inquisition. And now it seemed he had won. But he hadn’t. I wouldn’t let him.

The way that I won, in spite of him, had nothing to do with spite at all. I didn’t rise up in anger against men or the stale paradigm that pinned me in a he-said she-said stalemate. I didn’t fight against it; I fought for myself— for the justice that DID exist and for the shameless masculine that embraced me throughout.

This is my tribute to them:

To all the boys and men who helped me heal… Thank you.

To my blood brothers, whose friendship gave me the reason to keep reaching through it all because I had proof of a worthy place to aim for... Thank you.

And to all the brothers who became that proof, gracing me with a space in which I could just be—not woman or conquest, not victim or survivor—just Me... Thank you.

To the boy who took me in that night, who didn’t have the words but whose presence was all I needed... Thank you.

To the doctor who didn’t hide his empathy behind his white coat, whose eyes told me I was safe and who eased me through the examination as if I were his most cherished daughter... Thank you.

And to all the fathers who loved me like a daughter, who let me walk like a woman and still break like a little girl... Thank you.

To my grandfather who believed me and loved me in spite of the antiquated judgments of his peers... Thank you.

To my high school sweetheart who inked “no matter what” on my hand as we awaited my HIV verdict... Thank you.

And to that same sweetheart who let me be a virgin again so that I could have that first time I deserved... Thank you.

To all the lovers who paused for my tears to patiently hold my trauma, who loved me through my shame and to the other side... Thank you.

To the man I married, my ‘Toro’, who encouraged my fire to roar like never before, to raise my voice and my power without apology... Thank you.

And to all the men who got angry for me when I couldn’t, who are angry for us now, who want to hold us, protect us, and lift us up... Thank you.

You each gave me, and continue to give us, a worthy place to aim for—a riverbed for our tears, a guardian for our fears—and now, as we women rise, know that I pray we rise together. Let us not merely displace the shame onto men and the power onto women. It is our common inheritance; and it is in the balance of masculine and feminine, together, where, as the Toltec say, “we become as God”.

💘 Rebecca

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