"Dear Woman" — Gay Hendricks/Arjuna Ardagh
I come to you today as a man committed to becoming more conscious in every way. I feel deep love, great respect and a growing sense of worship for the gifts of the feminine. I also feel deep sorrow about the destructive actions of the unconscious masculine in the past and present. I want to apologize to you and make amends for those actions, in order to bring forth a new era of co-creation with you.
As I become more conscious, I grow more aware of the play of masculine and feminine energies: within me, within you and in all of life. I know that we all have access to the full spectrum of these energies. I also have a growing awakening to the dimension beyond all dualities, free and open as the sky.
I commit to owning and stewarding a masculinity that honors and celebrates us as equals. I know that in order to truly honor you as a multi-dimensional woman, I must stand fully present in myself, and own the gifts I have to share with you. We can create great miracles together by nurturing each other in a conscious way, by treating each other with reverence and respect, and by worshiping the divinity expressed in both masculine and feminine energy.
As men, our relationship to the feminine has often been unconscious. I feel sorrow that women and feminine energy have been for so long subjugated and oppressed. Throughout history, men have raped and abused you, burned you at the stake, bought and sold your bodies for sexual pleasure, barred you from religious and political office, relegated you to subservient chores, forced you to hide your faces and even cut off your organs of sexual pleasure.
I may not have done these things myself, but I am aware of the forces in the unconscious masculine psyche that feel threatened by and then seek to dominate the feminine. Many of the men who have oppressed or abused you are no longer alive. Among the living, many men may be unable to apologize because they remain shackled in a prison of anger, fear and shame. On behalf of my gender, I apologize to you for our unconscious actions when we were angry, scared and in the grip of destructive forces in our psyche. I choose no longer to contribute to those forces, nor to be run by them in my own life. I offer you this apology in hopes that we can make a fresh start in a spirit of co-creation.
I acknowledge that the religions of the past several thousand years have been mainly founded by and propagated by men. We have often acted as if we have the last word on God and the spiritual life, when all we have really known is the masculine expression of those things. As a result, we have suppressed more heartfelt, connective and inclusive spiritualities. I commit now to also honoring the spirituality of the divine feminine.
I honor your deep connection to the earth. As men, our relationship to our planet and its resources has often been motivated by competition, acquisition and domination. We mistakenly believed that expansion would protect us from encroachment, and in the process we violated the sanctity of the Earth and disturbed its natural rhythms. I commit to listening to the intuitive sense you have of how to heal our planet and make it thrive.
I honor your intuition and your profound capacity for feeling. As men, we have often devalued feeling and intuition in favor of a view dominated by data and logic. This way of being seemed necessary to move humanity beyond superstition and animalism, but in the process we lost much of the heart of life. I commit to respecting the arts of feeling, intuition and wisdom of the feminine heart, so that together we can integrate them into a balanced view of life, that honors and includes all wisdoms.
I honor the beauty and integrity of your body. When we nurture each other through our bodies with awareness and devotion, there are no boundaries to the love that we can generate. I feel sorrow that men have used your beauty as a form of commerce in prostitution and pornography. In the grip of lust we have often lacked the skills to ask gracefully for intimacy or to take ‘No’ for an answer. I take a stand against any form of enforced or soulless commercialization of woman’s beauty, and I respect that your body belongs to you.
I honor your capacity for peaceful resolution of conflicts, your ability to apologize effectively and forgive with grace. We men have waged endless wars over our disagreements. In the act of defending our lands and protecting our families, we became addicted to the fight itself. By contrast, it is rare to find an invasion or war instigated by a woman. I apologize for dragging you into these wars, and for the rape, murder, broken hearts and damaged families that resulted from them. We welcome your wisdom in creating a world that can get along without resorting to destruction.
I honor your capacity to listen to your body and its needs for food, rest and playtime. I celebrate your ability to pay attention to what is here, right now. As men, our preoccupation with goals and results often has burnt us out and made us unavailable for relationship. I know we have drawn you into this imbalance as well, so often frustrating your longing to connect. The time for a process-centred way of being is now upon us. I welcome your wisdom to maintain balance in our bodies, and in our ways of meeting.
I honor your sense of compassionate justice. In our justice system, men have dominated as judges and police, build prisons and revered the principle of punishment. I welcome you to work with us in bringing the return of the heart to our system of justice.
I also know that global economics have been dominated by the unconscious masculine, often living in a sense of lack and greed. As a result, many people have been left impoverished and disempowered. With your natural sense of nurturing and abundance, I know we can work together to create a truly caring global economics.
In apologizing to you for the hurts we men have caused you, I acknowledge that I and many of my brothers have also felt hurt by our mothers, our sisters, our partners and ex-partners. As a conscious man I am willing to feel those hurts fully within myself and release them. I forgive you for any ways you may have acted unconsciously, as I forgive myself and my gender for our own waking sleep.
From this day, moving forward, I vow to treat your heart as the sacred temple it is, and I commit to honoring the feminine in you and me and in my relationship to all life. I know that by leaving the past behind and joining hands in the present, we can create a synergy of our strengths. Together, there is nothing we cannot do. Together, we can make miracles.