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© Sylvia Benito, 2014
8th of May

The Divine Feminine

IMG_1365Today is Mother’s Day, which for me is the celebration of gratitude to my mother, but it is also the celebration of the divine feminine. The divine feminine is present in both women and men, in both parents and those who have no children at all. The divine feminine is nearly invisible in our culture. She lives and breathes in the cracks of our society, in the little spaces left in a world that is mainly driven by the values of the masculine. 

She is messy, circular, contradictory, and comfortable with imperfection. She has been one of my greatest teachers, persistently breaking the tidy and linear organization of my life with chaos.

She pulls the corners of my heart open to love.

Left to my own devices, I tend towards the masculine. In other words, I tend towards control. Even writing this post is difficult for me because I need to move against my own primary programming to write these words. I have built so much of my life around the drive for perfection; being the perfect child, friend, mother, yogi, devotee, lover, etc. I am great at perfection.

But perfection is an addiction that stands directly in the path of true love. The pursuit of perfection is everywhere in our culture. It’s highly rewarded and rarely questioned.
When I first became a mother, it was the primary teaching that came most intensely in those first milk stained and exhausted days. I could see that perfection was not available to me in the realm of mothering. Mothering pushed me past my limits of patience, into places that I felt incompetent and inadequate. Still, to this day, eight years into motherhood, it is the most vulnerable place in my life, the place that is most resistant to my drive to be perfect.

I believe that this is the divine feminine at play. She has let me have some semblance of perfection in all sorts of realms; I have been able to assume the mantle of perfection everywhere else, but not in her primary domain. She has never let me have it in the act of mothering. Mothering floors me in vulnerability and inadequacy.

And I give thanks for that.

But recently the divine feminine has been knocking at my door insistently, asking to be let in absolutely everywhere. She has hunted me down a few times before; in fact, on all of my deep spiritual journeys she shows up. All of my awakening experiences have been infused by the fragrance of the divine mother and all of her bloody, messy, bewildering organicity.

She is back again, in voce alto. She is asking me to take down the constructs of perfection in their entirety. This time, she wants it all. She is showing me, with the sweetest of graces, how these strategies of perfection remove my heart from the ultimate intimacy of knowing myself. Perfection stands in direct opposition to love.

I am at the beginning of this invitation, but the invitation could not be more clear. I know, without a doubt, that I no longer need to use strategies of perfection for a sense of safety in the world.

So, I would like to invite you to look with me into your own strategies of control that shift you away from the beauty of love.

I cannot take full credit for the writing that is about to follow. These ideas of the masculine and feminine are not all mine, they are sourced from a friend and a teacher to whom I owe much debt of gratitude for illuminating the feminine in my life.

As you look into your own life, whether you are male or female, begin to explore the grace and transformational quality of the divine feminine in you.


For example, ask yourself if you frequently engage in the energy of comparison. Do you feel yourself caught in cycles of feeling superior to others and alternately inferior? There, in that endless cycle of worthy/unworthy, is the invitation of the divine feminine, of the mother, to move into compassion. Do you feel the need to be uber competent? Assertive? Do you look at the world in black and white, as good and bad? Do you blame? Are you judgmental? Are you caught in a paradigm of victimhood or complaining? Are you afraid to fail? Do you use seduction as a way of getting what you want in the world?

Can you see how these are forces that separate us from the divine? Can you see how these are energies that separate us from the deepest love we can discover within, the intimacy of the self?

On this Mother’s Day, I invite you to turn within and see what strategies keep you separate from the divine. Allow the feminine principle to seep into your heart and melt you. The divine mother is saturated with the energy of compassion, forgiveness, and tenderness. She is able to hold multiple realities in her hands all at once, even if they seem to be contradictory. She loves your imperfection, loves your not knowing, loves it when you slow down and simply hold the door open to see what might unfold next.

I am holding the door open more widely than I ever have, more widely than I had ever imagined possible. There are moments when it is scary. I sometimes have a feeling of vertigo, as if I am standing at the edge of a cliff as I invite the divine feminine to wedge her tenderness into the places I have so persistently insisted on holding control. And yet my door remains open, open to the grace of the Mother, open to the grace of her love.

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© Sylvia Benito, 2014
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