Once upon a time, in a far away land, many, many miles from nowhere – I have to start story time this way – its tradition – my father never started a story without this sentence – there lived a young woman.
This woman was the most breathtakingly beautiful woman and she was perfect. She had a perfect and unimaginably handsome husband, and together they lived on the best property with all the best views of both the sunrises and sunsets. They were perfectly healthy, exquisitely happy animal lovers, the weather was always great, and it never rained or got cold. Financially secure, they were able to do only the things they loved, and what they loved was hanging out with the animals and looking after them.
Perfect people, perfect life, perfect everything AND they just knew they would live forever. But there was a catch.
There is always a catch.
The king of their world made sure that they were looked after…in return, they let him make the rules, decide what was good and bad and they had to follow The Rule. The Rule was that they weren’t allowed to eat the perfect fruit off the perfect tree in the middle of the perfect property. If they didn’t follow The Rule, something bad would happen.
They would stop being perfect. They would have to move. He would have to start working, like, for real. And the experience of childbirth was really going to be painful for her – and they wanted to have a ton of kids.
They would get to decide how to live their lives.
If any of you grew up with any kind of Christian based religion in your home as a child, you likely know a version of this story, even embellished as it is. It’s the story of Adam and Eve. And you will also know that the story was a cautionary tale, that the beautiful woman’s feminist rebellion against following The Rule resulted in every dreadful situation that the world is in today.
I learned of the account of Eve very young. The big yellow book of Bible stories I was given as a child had vibrant pictures that made me visualize the above scenario as clearly as I lived there myself.
As I grew older, I was taught more of the story, how terrible it was for Eve, a woman, to make a decision to choose to know right and wrong for herself, and cause such negative consequences for her offspring.
This story of the woman, the “lowly” snake that was used as a mouthpiece for Satan to seduce her into breaking The Rule and the consequences for all humankind to come afterward was accepted as it was presented to me. I never questioned it or really even thought about it. It just was the first example of human history that was given to me of how important it is to do what you are told with absolute obedience and without question.
And did I ever do as I was told. I lived a life for about thirty-three years within a set of rules and guidelines for my life that were provided for me, until I started becoming Eve. I chose to decide what was right and wrong for me.
I also more recently researched the history of the symbolism of serpents because I was told it was that lowly snake that caused Eve to start down the path of even considering disobeying The Rule. I found it very interesting to find out that throughout non-Christian history, snakes were often used as a symbol of female empowerment. In fact ancient history that goes back further than the writings in the Bible, show us that serpents are a symbol of healing and knowledge. In addition, the snake is associated with revelations of divine wisdom and prophecy and were believed to be in contact with the powers of The Great Mother Earth in which they resided.1
Interesting, to say the least, and something I am just starting to dive into as a personal interest project.
Last month was my ten year anniversary of becoming Eve. I left my then-husband of fourteen-plus years, and the following year, I committed the forbidden act of divorcing him. Combined with the choice to divorce him was the choice to voluntarily leave the religion I was raised in. And I set out on a journey – one that is not ended yet, and I hope will never end – of discovering me, what appeals to me, what inspires me and volunteering for experiences that would never have been experienced before.
Just as Eve was to experience painful birth pangs after she broke The Rule, as I birthed my new life, there was pain. The feelings that I had to work through over the next few years were at times, I am sure, excruciating – loss is inevitably painful, and dealing with major life changes like divorce, moving, a massively changed relationship with my family, and loss of community can be a deal breaker for some would-be-Eve’s.
But the consequences of choosing those losses/consequences have brought me nothing short of bliss. Freedom. Love. Acceptance.
I tend to harp on this aspect of my story in hopes that some person – a beautiful soul that has, perhaps found themselves in a situation where their choices have not been their own – will find the courage to choose change. To choose to live their best life regardless of what kind of life the people around them believe they should choose.
To seek “Better” rather than seeking “Normal”.
Eve did at the urging of the “lowly” serpent. Perhaps it wasn’t “lowly” at all. Could it have possibly been at the urging of Divine Wisdom as would be indicated by ancient teachings far older than the Old Testament?
The story of Eve from my childhood sort of stopped there for me, stopped at the pain of her childbirth, and the strife she caused the human race after been exiled from her home in Eden, punishment for breaking The Rule.
I choose to continue her story. I was told that I resided in a spiritual paradise, my religion. I was told it was a safe haven from the evil outside world as long as I obeyed The Rule – absolute obedience to the direction given “by God” through the leadership of the religion. I chose to break The Rule. I chose exile from the confines of “Eden”. I experienced the birth pangs required to birth this new life and I embraced the hard work required to shape and grow it.
I like to think that Eve, once adjusting to her new home and lifestyle, found joy in living her own truth, and under her own set of rules, and perhaps found beauty in all things freedom. This part of the story was not told to me. It would have rendered The Rule impotent. So I tell it now.
You do have choices. Choose your BEST life.
Think about being like Eve. Turns out she isn’t so bad after all.