In the late nights, I searched with a heavy heart and light strokes of a pen. “It’ll come, don’t worry” I told myself. I sat in churches and mosques, looking left, up, down, and right. Still no luck. I studied every major religious book I could get my hands on, from the Torah to the Quran, and it still eluded me. I grew tired, I felt hopeless, and I felt God saw my calls and hit ignore.
It just never came.
What was the it I was looking for? Originally, it was ease. It was ease, the ease of knowing I could ask questions and get answers, the ease of knowing my soul and mind moved as one. I studied in Catholic schools for ten years of my life and never could find this ease. Certain times I would ask questions and get a shrug: trust God’s will. Other times I would get agitated responses that lead to arguments (which may have actually been more comforting than the shrugs). In reality, what I was truly looking for was my grandmother, my mother, the tenderness of a woman’s wisdom–I was searching for her.
The idea of a masculine entity overlooking the multiverse (or even this world) stopped resonating within. I knew men, men that participated in acts of kindness and could be characterized as nice, but couldn’t really be described as kind. I knew men, men who never forgave but suppressed the emotion; it was easier and more common for them just to forget. The men moved with a strong sense of self, of ownership, and furious vigor. I read books about the subject even more and the concept of Him, residing in the heavens by his lonesome, became even more foreign.
It took me looking in every spiritual crevice of my world to find what was hiding in plain sight. I studied subjects outside of spirituality–science, history, art, etc. Science taught me that the Y-chromosome found in men was originally a degenerative X-chromosome. History taught me that there are cultures and religious cults filled with feminine deities; I fell in love with Oshun (the Ifa Orisha) as if I had the chance to kiss her lips myself. I studied art history on a higher level and came across ancient tombs, sculptures, and paintings with these beautiful, thought-provoking women that were worshipped long before the Bible was introduced (there’s even a theory that Asherah, a feminine goddess, was worshipped alongside Yahweh). My thoughts and evidence began to align.
How could God be anything but woman? Man is a master builder, yes, but woman is a creator. I read the Bible and Quran, searching for the women, and had a thought: Perhaps She isn’t found here because it is man who needs guidance more than woman. I reflected on the times man is specifically referenced, but woman is not. Woman is a intuitive being, with a gentler, more exposed heart. She can listen solely to her heart and listen to its instructions, letting the directions guide her for all of her days. Man, on the other hand, often has to see tangible things in order for his heart to follow. Man seemingly needs guidance in order to move completely as his true self, or he will fall to the whims of ego. Man, the builder, must be built up in order to achieve and build. When he is his highest self, he is a king. Women are nurtures, life-givers, and muses. When a woman fully operates within the higher self, she is a little replica of Her.
I then asked myself, “Where does that leave me as a man?” Doing what men do — building. Specifically, building my altar for her. That altar may come in the form of a love letter, a well-worded I love you, eventually in a secure home where she can be protected, loved, and uplifted. I realized that man’s destiny is innately to please his woman. One day it’s performing chores for his mother, the next it may be spending time with his grandmother. Some days after that, if the man controls his fortune, he may labor for his wife’s smile. If said man is lucky enough, his labor may stretch a smile across his daughter’s familiar face.
Once this day ended, I prayed. I thanked Her. I revered Her. I paid homage to the Hers that I could reach out and hug. I thanked Her for her grace. I thanked Her for allowing her beauty to radiate and draw me near. When I concluded my prayers and said Amen, I felt a chilly calm course my veins, as if She smiled and winked at me herself. My heart tells me that she did, welcoming me home.