The End of Attenuation

Attenuation is the impulse to diminish oneself, to be small, to disappear, and to be invisible. Attenuation seems to be one of the central wounds we incur as females in this world.

From early on we are taught that there are things about us that are shameful and so we learn to hide, contort, and manipulate ourselves to be acceptable to the world. We had to believe in our own defect in order to survive. We had to be compliant with our own oppression.

We can transform the shame into a fierce love.

The fact that we were not accepted–by our families and by society–does not mean that  we are not legitimate.  It does not mean that there was something wrong with us. It means that there was something deeply wounded in our society and in our families. To admit this is not to cast blame, but to come into truth so that healing can occur.

The end of attenuation comes when we are willing to be misperceived, when we are willing to risk offending others for the sake of what is real and true in ourselves and in the world. We must be willing to be uncomfortable and to be seen as inconvenient.

One must contact a certain rawness within, a fierceness, a ‘won’t-stop-until-I-fully own-myself’ determination.

In our culture we tend to rush into forgiveness, compassion, and solutions. And as women we have learned so well to candy coat and to slip under the rug the things that make us and others uncomfortable. This includes accepting less than what we deserve for the sake of “peace.”

I remember when I was a little girl I believed in an unspoken contract that if I was compliant and attenuated (“good” and “quiet”) there would be a payoff somewhere down the line. Then one day as a grown woman I realized that a payoff for my compliance would never come. The belief in payoff was an illusion. I would never be compensated for giving away my power. I realized that I have to claim my life as my own, apart from the conditioning and programming of family and society.

The time of compliance is over. We must be determined to own ourselves, to know in our bones that we belong to ourselves.

Major Gilbert 2003

As female children we had to say “Yes” to a world and to families that had wounds, wounds that have cost us years of our lives. As the current carriers of generational and collective pain we have the ability to consciously transform that pain into light. As children we had no choice but to give away our power. It’s now time to rectify that “Yes” with a powerful “No” to the things that continue to oppress us–starting with the ways that we oppress ourselves.

To liberate ourselves we have to locate the ways we are divided within ourselves first. The ways we are divided within must be identified and acknowledged. Otherwise they will continue to control us and limit us. Compliance is very costly.

How are you compliant? In what ways do you attenuate yourself?

The path to owning oneself can be long and treacherous because it involves facing all the grief, pain and rage fully in order to move beyond it into a fierce self-love that nourishes ourselves and the world. It must be faced. I say this not to be negative but to be honest and to encourage you. The love that we are is not afraid of the places of fragmentation that we have accumulated. That is why it calls forth in us the courage to face our pain and move through it.

The love that we are metabolizes the pain and turns it into Itself…love.

We’ve learned to turn away from the things that scare us and make us uncomfortable. This is a form of giving away our power. As we embody greater awareness we realize that we must shift and turn towards those things that make us uncomfortable and bring the light of awareness to them–for the sake of our own transformation.

Our safety lies in this willingness to turn towards the places of fragmentation.

The love that we truly are is not afraid of brokenness. When our brokenness is embraced it transforms into an unbreakable wholeness that we realize was there all along–an eternal, timeless wholeness that is who we really are. It’s called forth by our willingness to be uncomfortable and look into the shadows within ourselves. It is fed by our loyalty to what is real and true, no matter the cost.

As we process the places of fragmentation within us we literally dissolve the layers that have obscured our light. As the layers dissolve our true identity emerges–a consciousness of pure love that has been pristine and untouched throughout all the pain. We can’t discover this until we have confronted all the beliefs that tell us we are not good enough or powerful in our own lives.

Walking the razor’s edge of Fierceness and Surrender

This message is not that of a quick and easy fix but it is the undiluted truth. You are worth every ounce of discomfort and inconvenience it takes to own yourself, to love yourself.


(art credits in order of appearance: Major Gilbert, Jaison Cianelli)

© Bethany Webster

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Your Hunger is Holy

As women we have been taught to fear our hunger.

We have learned to fight it, to diminish it and to be disgusted by it.

Our hunger is real and will not be denied, no matter how much we compromise, settle, shrink or try to hide it.

Our hunger is holy.

May we see our hunger in the light of truth, for what it really means.

It means we are alive—alive in the face of enormous obstacles and challenges.

It means that we are hungry for larger visions and expressions of ourselves and our potential.

It is the holy desire to eat not the food of the world, but the food from the banquet of our Being—a rich and luscious spread of which we each are the sole source and receiver.

The hunger is for the truth of our very own substance, for an infinite, overflowing abundance within

A hunger to live out and embody the Truth at the core of who we are,

To know our very bodies, souls and hearts as the outer symbols of the divine and eternal ONE.

Woman, your hunger is legitimate, your hunger is holy.

This hunger is not to be seen as beautiful or “enough” in all the ways that we are constantly evaluated by the collective male gaze.

It is beyond even that.

It is the hunger to be FULL FROM WITHIN.

It is the hunger to be full of the light of your SELF.

This is the only thing that will ever satisfy and fill this hunger.

The hunger to occupy every cell fully and completely,

To abide unapologetically in every nook and cranny of your complex and brilliant self.

It is the hunger to explore the inner terrain with abandon—without the concepts of right/wrong or good/bad as an intermediary.

It is the hunger to roam the wilderness of your Being, to embody the largeness that resides at your core.

Partake of the abundance of your Being, the one true source of fulfillment.

Feast passionately upon your own beauty and love.

Share from your bounty only after you have first contacted the feeling of fullness and completion within.

This hunger may bring with it an ancient anger.

This anger comes from the frustration of being separated from ourselves—starving for ourselves!

Generations upon generations of hungry women, ravenous for what is real and true in ourselves and in the world.

Feel into the legitimacy of this hunger. Own this hunger.

Because only in owning it can it ever be really satisfied.

Anger will eventually give way to a fierce clarity–

A clarity of what must be done to access and live from the inner nourishment.

Let nothing stand between you and your overflowing banquet, your inner abundance of Being.

Give guilt no place at the table of your Self.

You are all yours.

Every last morsel.


Elena Ray

© Bethany Webster 2013

Art credit: Elena Ray


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Transforming the Inner Mother

Developmentally, our relationship with our mother serves as a template for our relationship with ourselves. As female children we absorbed information about how she felt about herself, about us as her child, and about the world. Naturally we internalized these beliefs and world views to form the basis of our very own beliefs and experiences.

We learned to treat ourselves the way our mother treated herself. 

Our task as awakened women is to transform the inner mother within our psyche from a duplicate of our biological mother with her human limitations into the mother we always needed and wanted. In doing this, the inner mother more accurately meets our needs, unconditionally supports and nurtures us in ways our outer mother may have been unable to.

We can become the mother we always wanted–to ourselves. 

In this way, we become capable of accepting the limitations of our outer mother because the inner mother becomes the primary one we can rely on in ways that perhaps we were never able to rely on our outer mother.

Our mother could only love us to the extent that she could love herself.

At a certain point we must face that our mothers could not and will not meet our needs in all the ways that we needed and wanted her to. This must be grieved all the way through. We have to grieve the ways we had to compensate and suffer from the mother wound. In the process of grieving we have the chance to realize that the fact that we felt unloved or abandoned in moments was not our fault and we can stop struggling to prove our worth to the world. In the grieving process, we can also have compassion for our mothers and the burdens she carried.

Healing the mother within transforms your life beyond anything you can imagine. 

Through facing this pain, we may find that what we thought was our pain may actually be partly our mother’s pain that we have been carrying for her out of love. We can now choose to put this burden down. Instead of attenuating ourselves out of guilt,  we can stand confidently in our bodies and hearts with a sense of true wholeness and self-love.

By becoming the “good enough” mother to ourselves, we liberate not only ourselves but everyone else in our lives. 

It is challenging to admit to ourselves where we felt unloved in our relationship with our mother. We may recall seeing how burdened and overwhelmed she was and we may have thought that we were the source of her pain. This “daughter-guilt” can keep us stuck. Recognizing the innocence and legitmacy of our childhood needs is a way of releasing shame and baptizing ourselves into the truth of our goodness. Once we first grieve for ourselves, we can then grieve for our mothers and for women as a whole.

Grief replenishes and strengthens us.

As women we can heal and give ourselves what our mothers could not give us. We become our own source. The collective female “pain body” is healed one woman at a time. And as the female pain body heals so does the collective human pain body. Our own healing is not only a gift to ourselves, but to the world.

The mother wound is a great opportunity.

As we allow ourselves to contact what feels like an ancient, inexhaustible hunger for an inexhaustible mother–we birth ourselves into our true identity–the womb of light–an inexhaustible, overflowing  fountain of love and abundance that is not dependent on circumstances or conditions.

We then can live in service to that which we truly are–love itself.

© 2013 Bethany Webster

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Menstruation is a Portal into the Divine Heart

Menstruation is an act of entering the Divine Heart, which is at the center of all life. During menstruation we have access to a world of feeling; our own personal feelings and those of the wider collective.

In the western world there is a belief that “negative” feelings represent a personal deficiency, yet they are integral to the spectrum of Being that we are, essential to our innate wholeness.

The Heart has a capacity yet untested.

During our periods, we can explore the capacity of our divine heart to hold and embrace all that our minds consider unacceptable in ourselves. We can affirm the power of love as the true nature of life, embodying both the holder and the held. We can embrace ALL of our feelings with love. Through this embrace we embody our innate wholeness that is untouched by external circumstances.

The heart is simplicity.

The mind often rebels against the simplicity of the heart because it thrives on complexity. We lose our power when we get lost in complexity. When resting in the heart, all concepts that divide are rendered powerless. Labels fall away and truth is revealed.

The heart is inexhaustible abundance. 

Through exploring the capacity of the divine heart within, we see it has no limit. Nothing is rejected. Everything is welcomed.

Welcome it all.

When you bleed, welcome all of yourself in to the abundant love that you are. It’s possible to welcome even what may feel like an inability to welcome!

Unlock the conceptual doors that have divided you and let the light of your Divine Heart shine on everything that comes into your awareness. When we receive love from within, we see that we need not cling to anything–for we embody an abundance that can never be depleted–the vastness of the Divine Heart.

God by Mike Morrell

© Bethany Webster 2013

(Image: “God” by Mike Morell)

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