Happy International Women’s Day! It is another beautiful Sunday. And although we may not feel so grateful that we have the right to vote or to work or have our own bank account, it is important to remember that many women in the world are still subjugated to severe forms of oppression. Some so ugly I can’t even think about them. But even in the modern world I see many “free” women oppressing themselves in a variety of ways. Sometimes it is for comfort or convenience, someone else has the money or status, other times it is for fear of success, constantly putting other people’s needs before their own, and then of course life itself creates many distractions and obstacles as well. How we live out our patterns of subordination is usually the direct result of those messages we received in our family of origin. I know what mine were and I am still working to overcome them. Beyond that, it is still more difficult for a woman to be recognized for her insights and brilliance. But we can recognize each other, and we can work together in solidarity to say “THIS is what truly matters to us.” What is the next step? Is our role to challenge old systems and re-create new ones, help other women in the global context, promote a more healing and nurturing society? In focusing on a vision that goes beyond all those negative patterns and social pressures, we inevitably will make a difference. And for all the women who have been violated and had their rights taken away, even if it was just for a moment, I am very very sorry that happened to you. And I hope today, you don’t feel alone.