What Is Sovereignty?
To be sovereign is to claim your own inner authority as valid, to live rooted from the truth inside you, which is not beholden to any external person, institution or belief system. It is to belong to yourself; it is to feel strong, to be true, and to embody your integrity. To be sovereign is to no longer be imprisoned by the damaging cultural and familial messages that tell women to defer to others, to be silent and small out of fear of rejection, disapproval or shame.
“The reason women are critiqued for being too loud or too meek, too big or too small, too smart to be attractive or too attractive to be smart, is to belittle women out of standing up publicly. The goal is to ‘critique’ into submission. & That applies to anyone challenging power.” ~ Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
“If our history has taught us anything, it is that action for change directed only against the external conditions of our oppressions is not enough. In order to be whole, we must recognize the despair oppression plants within each of us – that thin persistent voice that says our efforts are useless, it will never change, so why bother, accept it. And we must fight that inserted piece of self-destruction that lives and flourishes like a poison inside of us, unexamined until it makes us turn upon ourselves in each other.” ~ Audre Lorde, from the essay “Learning from the 60’s” from the book, Sister Outsider
“This is who I am. I am not asking for your approval. I do not have to justify my existence. I want to know and be known for who I am.” ~ Marion Woodman
Many of us have watched our mothers, aunts, friends, or other women in our lives experience the compulsion to be silent and complicit in their own disempowerment to some degree, as a means to stay safe and accepted by the status quo, whether it was through a controlling husband, an abusive boss or an angry father. We’ve all seen women who have lost touch with themselves on the slippery slope of trying to please someone who doesn’t have their best interests at heart but who sees no other option but to defer and comply.
Patriarchy can exist so long as women are afraid.” ~ Sonia Johnson
To be sovereign is to become larger than our fear and to stand in truth and integrity, no matter the cost. We are living in a time in which, perhaps more than any other time in history, we need the strong, uncompromising, resonant voices of millions of women. This requires we conjure a passion, a powerful urgency to shed the inner shackles we inherited from women before us, that say our voice, our bodies, our lives don’t matter.
Patriarchy thrives on our belief in the illusion that our survival depends on self-deprecation. It depends on our fear of repercussions if we speak out, if we dare to challenge power. Now, more of us are shedding that fear as we see are finally coming to consciousness about what is at stake, for ourselves personally, for people collectively and for the world itself. We are waking up.
Sovereignty is about no longer depending on external approval but on finding the INTERNAL RESOURCES we need to own our power and take wise action on our own behalf and on behalf of all life.The power we seek already lives inside of us and it’s something we can claim, tap into and cultivate at any moment. As women, we need to do our own inner work but we can’t do this alone. We need each other to stand strong in a sustainable way. Every single time we embody our sovereignty, even in the small, tiny, unglamorous private acts we do each day, we build an energy that we can all tap into for support.