I will set free the people that you ensnare like birds. I will tear off your veils and save my people from your hands, and they will no longer fall prey to your power. Then you will know that I am the Lord. Ezekiel 13:20-21
This seems like a fitting inspirational quote to read after Christmas. After all, following the ways of Christ is one of the ways that a person can free herself. Of course, being a feminist, I believe that there are many ways that people can free themselves. Freedom is for everyone, but I think the main qualifier is that the person is following in the way of LOVE. Hardcore fundamentalist Christians believe that what we need to free ourselves from is the devil, but I think that's a bit silly. There is no devil with horns and a pitchfork poking at us to sin, but instead there are the very real consequences of our actions when we do not act in Love. Fundies also talk about how we need to free ourselves - by being "washed in the blood of the lamb" - from being born into original sin. I also think that that mindset is a bit silly and sad, especially as Godde called us "good" from the very beginning. All of us are however born into the patriarchy and that is something that feminists are working towards bringing to an end. The patriarchy is bad for both womyn and men. It certainly is not a system based on Love. I believe that Almighty Love wants us to treat each other as equals, as we are all equally loved and we all equally have worth.
As I think about the different loving ways and philosophies that can help to set us free, I also think of one that is used often in Recovery and that is the twelve steps, especially steps five through seven. In step five, a person tells a trusted friend about all of their resentments; in step six the person becomes ready to let them go, and in step seven, the person finally releases their resentments to their Higher Power. This is an extremely freeing act, because resentments keep us in bondage. We ruminate about how we were done wrong, about how we cannot possibly forgive another and all of this takes away our peace and serenity. Forgiveness sets us free and once we are freed, then we can more fully experience and know Godde's Love.