Maya Preisler (girlwithagun) wrote,
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learn to love

In searching for the Tibetan script for a Tara mantra, I came across a profoundly disturbing website. It was filled with image after image of Tara, her mantras, etc. And it was dedicated solely to the praise and pursuit of anorexia. My first reaction was anger; how dare anyone use her name in such profanity. Then I felt sadness, for if anyone needs Tara it is this young woman. Both were my monkey brain trying to distract me from the truth. If anyone needs Tara, it is me.

Being drawn to Tara is not a sign of praise, it is a sign of desperately needing help. Those of us who are called to her are not good people. We posses a secret self hatred that drives us to create our own suffering in the most literal of ways. We cut, we starve, we pick, we binge, we purge. Tara is the Bodhisattva of curing self-hatred. (That is not to say that you must be these things to be called by her; she is a saviouress of many other things too.) Like Christ, she comes not for those good souls, but for we damned. She has set herself the impossible task of saving all women, and so she must stop that horrible sickness so common in women; the belief that we are bad beings, deserving of punishment, that we must force ourselves to be prefect.

Somewhere we forgot that, as women, we are each representations of the goddess, life-givers incarnate. We are each sacred in our own, as varied as the goddesses mankind has worshiped over time. We are not all Venus, nor should we try to be. Even the Romans knew that.

Modernity has taught us that we are flawed, removed from perfection and divinity; that we must be tamed, corseted and tied in order to be worthy of worship. But all this does is obscure the truth. In seeking false perfection, we betray ourselves and our sisters. What begins as hatred of self is projected outward. We learn to hate other women for the perfection they have that we do not. We all wander around brimming with jealousy and hatred of ourselves, of each other. Our daughters inherit our prejudice, they learn our private rituals of debasement. An entire generation of women are raised in perpetuation of this banality. We no longer need men to vilify, devalue or abuse us, we do this to ourselves.

This is why feminism has failed. We will never have equality until we can uplift each other. We will never be respected until we respect ourselves. Until our sons and brothers see us as strong, as beautiful, until we have regained our place as daughters of the goddess, we will still see our sisters suffering unspeakable things. Their burden is ours.

Tara comes to us to teach us to love again, to love ourselves, to love our sisters. We broken vessels are her emissaries; if we can learn to love ourselves, every woman can. Think of her when the urge to cut is strong, when you want to harm yourself so bad it hurts. Say her name, her mantra, cry out. She will make you strong. She will make me strong. Let today be the last day we rejoice in our own suffering, let today be the first day we save ourselves.
Tags: dharma, eating disorders, feminism, self injury, tara, the goddess
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