The Dance of the Dissident Daughter A Woman’s Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine is bold and pleasantly frightening. Sue Monk Kidd questioning her spiritual journey and wondering if her Christian faith actually recognizes her womanhood and speaks to her directly, is a question I believe many women have asked, including myself, and what is so surprising is this memoir written over 25 years ago, is still very relevant today. Sue Kid Monk’s tenacity to deal with the question is one of bravery and begins the process to heal what she calls, “feminine wounds.”
In all honesty, reading this book was difficult because it tugged in those neglected spaces women usually just settle for, and at the same time, there is liberation taking place. Kidd gently forces women to truly focus on what roles they play in their faith journey and reminds us not to just accept the status quo as is, but that it is quite alright to search for a place that includes you and includes your worth. This book is for women who are ready to heal wounds caused by a Christian faith tradition that has stifled the voices of the feminine sacred divine. This book is for women who are searching for a rebirth in becoming who their authentic, beautiful and holy selves truly are.
There is a warning though that comes when you begin to open your mind to the The Dance of the Dissident Daughter. Don’t be surprised as you read Kidd’s memoir, that you soon remember a moment when listening to a sermon you didn’t agree with and secretly screamed out loud but kept the facade of a smile on your face to show your loyalty, or when participating in a women’s conference that somehow managed to include Adam’s rib into their description of women, and yet you kept that silly grin on your face, that you as well have participated in patriarch oppressive systems. You will come to the realization that you too might be ready to start a faith journey you can claim your own, but be further warned, with that comes labor pains that may take longer than expected, but the stretch marks will soon tell the story of a journey worth taking.
The word “faith” have multiple meanings. I am learning as I get older that what I thought was faith no longer applies at this moment in my life. I understand that faith will probably not mean the same for me ten years from now, which is good, because it means I am growing and constantly involving.
Faith does not necessarily equal religion. Faith is a practice that moves with us in the journey of life. Faith is what we create. I believe that faith is unique to the person and it is unfortunate that many of us have tapped into someone else’s definition of what faith should look like. We have tried desperately to be clothe in a faith that does not cover or fit. I remember when folks in church would say, “We need the kind of faith our grandmama’s had.” Why is that? Is it because we are afraid of our own struggles?
My faith, I create daily, even by the minute, I create faith. My faith helps me to arise in the mornings, not always cheerful, but always willing. My faith helps me to discover how I move in this world; if I am kind; if am giving; if I am loving. My faith comforts me when I am tired and allows me to sit and binge watch ‘Grace and Frankie.’ My faith fills my vase with fresh flowers and listen to the soulful sound of the late and great, Phyllis Hyman. My faith teaches me to pray in a voice that does not belong to anyone else and my faith demands to be heard. My faith does not harm or abuse or persecute others. My faith supports, offers justice and shows up for the well being of others. My faith is powerful, because I am powerful. My faith is loving who I am.
What does your unique faith look like? Does your faith expressively define you? Create! Grow! Create again! Your faith looks good on you!
I know this, whatever this is, will pass and things will get better.
I know that my tears will stop falling.
I know that I will stop struggling day in and day out.
I know that I will experience happiness and joy.
I know that I am loved.
I know that I give love.
I know that the summer sun will shine bright on my face.
I know that the sound of music will inspire me to imagine again.
I know that I will have fun sitting on my deck, sipping a nice glass of Chenin Blanc.
I know I will hear children playing, riding their bicycles, as their parents shout, "Be careful!"
I know I will feel excited about making plans for our future lives.
I know... that's all... that's enough...today....I know.