Painting by Leticia Banegas 

All your life,

you’ve been told to hold it in.

Hold in your gut, woman,
Don’t let them think you’re fat.

Hold in your feelings, mother,
Don’t let them think you’re hysterical.

Hold in your worry, dear,
Don’t let them think you’re psychotic.

Hold in your grief, mama,
Don’t let them see the pain in your heart.

Hold in your rage, woman,
Don’t let them think you’re unrefined, wild, feral, magick.

When you hold it all inside you,
Do you feel empowered?
Or do you feel exhausted?

You don’t have to hold it in any longer, child,
I’m here.
You’re safe.

Give it up.
Let it out.
Release it.
Let it go.

Collapse, mother.
Cry your tears and let them
Permeate the earth with their healing power.

You gut,
Your feelings,
Your worry,
Your grief,
Your rage.

It’s all love, mother.
It’s a part of you.

Embrace it, allow it.
Breathe it in.
Let it go.

Poem and painting from Re-Membering with Goddess: Healing the Patriarchal Perpetuation of Trauma.

Dawn Perez is a writer, mother, and feminist. Formerly, she was a music teacher in the public schools for ten years. She lives in NewvMexico with her amazing husband and two sons, who are the joy
of her life. When she’s not writing, she spends her time hiking, singing, and rock climbing. You can read more of her work at, which focuses on healing our bodies, minds,
and spirits as women and mothers.