By Shannon Crossman
I am not here for your approving gaze.
Not here to satisfy some need of yours, visual or otherwise.
No longer content to be the subject of your displaced idea of me.
What you want me to be has factored into my decisions for far too long.
The time has come to scream myself awake.
No more second guessing.
No more hiding out.
No more running from my power. My truth. My holy.
The witch has returned. Shook off years of sleep and forgetting.
Could no longer remain curled inside,
a silent observer of my perpetual tendency to self-destruct.
Now she rises in a sea of flames.
“Fuck this!” the mantra she chants to keep me honest.
On my path.
She is like a bore drilling through my soul, clearing away the plaque of a thousand lifetimes.
Teaching me to no longer care what anyone thinks.
Withdraw my investment in the bank of other people’s opinions.
No more contortionist moves.
No more throwing myself under the bus.
Not one more fucking instance of putting up with the bullshit parts of being human.
I lay claim to the power of a well-placed “Fuck off!” — a phrase I could have used more often.
A phrase every girl child should keep stored in her pocket for safekeeping.
Not to be mean or derisive or careless with her humanity…
No, this “Fuck off!” is a shield.
Protection from the ways we are stuffed in boxes,
backed into corners, tied up by those around us,
accosted by unwanted attention.
I cut all the cords now.
Incite my Sisters to do the same.
Untie the violent knots of the past.
Regrow your voice, darling.
Plant it in clean soil. Water daily.
Tend the tiny shoots when they arrive.
Let no one near who would kill off your creation.
No Mother. Father. Sibling. Partner. Co-worker. Friend.
If they seek to destroy what you’ve begun, they are predators in familial clothing.
Time has come to turn the gaze round.
Take back the right to be seer, no longer only seen.
Let’s make this our mantra, beloved Sister:
Fuck off if you think my body belongs to anyone but me.
Fuck off if you want to sew my lips shut. Make me a good, obedient girl.
I am done with those days.
Now, watch me unfurl. All badass and sparkle. Ripening wild woman.
You better believe I’ll come up swinging if you try to take a stitch of it back from me.
For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga.