A Woman’s Blessing for a New Friend
I first heard of women giving each other blessings over 10 years ago. A dear friend gave a short lesson about the history of the Relief Society at a special activity honoring the RS birthday in our ward. Since then I have learned a lot about the practice of women laying on hands and blessing each other in the early part of the restoration movement.
About 6 years ago I heard about modern women participating in blessing rituals with each other. I read about their stories and experienced a growing holy envy. A year and a half ago I first witnessed such blessings, and have seen them and participated peripherally on several occasions now. After having been through a complete faith deconstruction I am still searching for how these rituals pertain to me and my journey, but I feel they are beautiful and an important part of Mormon women reclaiming their spiritual authority that has been stripped by the institutional church.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to give a blessing to a new friend, but I passed. I let my anxiety get in the way of offering a sister my words of hope and comfort. I want to repent of that mistake now. As an introvert, I am much more comfortable speaking my heart in writing and hope it is not too late to remedy my shortcomings.
I bless you in the name of friendship and the great connection existing between all living things in the circle of life. I bless you in the name of our shared history and future journeys of faith and fullness of experience. You shared with me about the breaking open of your heart and worldview, and it resonated with my own brokenness. And although we felt it, we were never really broken. Some things broke and fell away, but we were over-associating with those things, they were not what we thought. Underneath was a wholeness we didn’t know before. I bless you to embrace your own wholeness.
I bless you in your pain and anguish. I bless you in your joy and freedom. I bless you in the construction of a new life that you will be equal to the challenges and obstacles before you. I bless you in the changing relationships around you, that your heart will mend with time. That new friends and relationships will come to fill the holes.
I bless you that wherever you go, whatever path you choose for developing and growing your innate gifts and talents, you will carry with you a blossoming assurance of your innate worthiness. That you are loved and cradled by all that is. That you are valued for your unique contributions and the space you fill and in the lives of those you touch. You will continue to speak with authority and inspiration as you teach and advocate for others. You will find that your influence will continue to grow and you can effect meaningful changes as you strive to heal the world around you.
Sister, we come from a long line of pilgrims. There have always been those who step out into the unknown and embrace the challenges of the unfamiliar. They lend their strength to you. When they felt broken and defeated, they let themselves be in that place. They let themselves heal. They stepped forward slowly when necessary, and boldly when ready. You will know when it is time for quiet and when it is time to extend yourself and your voice, and it will ring out and dance. You will do so in power as so many women before you. You will remember them and feel a connection to those who came before as well as those who support you now. Even when they are not close around you, there are many who offer love and support and cheer you on.
Go forward with my blessing and the blessings of other women who love you. In the name of holiness and peace, in the name of life and goodness may you walk and be buoyed up. Amen.
One of my values is to uplift and offer peace and love to others, and I don’t want to let myself and my insecurities get in the way of practicing these. Do you bless others around you? I grew up in a tradition that said my only opportunities for blessing were to clean and cook, to cool fevered brows, to wipe away tears, and to offer other physical service. I find it beautiful and meaningful to speak words of blessing and comfort. I am sad that I spent so many decades of my life being convinced that this tender experience was illicit for women. That only men should be allowed to speak for God. I can’t believe in a God who would deny this connecting experience for half his children based solely on their gender. Women have an innate love and connection for each other, let them give voice to their power and lift one another.