I find myself in a female body in this lifetime, a body that feels everything so deeply, vulnerability, aliveness, pleasure, pain. Everything feels so real and raw. This depth of feeling can be terrifying and the longing to numb out and ignore the ever fluctuating movement of emotions can be overwhelming at times. For many years I hoped that if I healed the wounds that caused me pain, my difficult emotions would go away. But this is not how it works…the more I open to my many facets, the more I can feel. The more life can move through me and I am slowly learning to find the beauty in this, rather than fear. I am learning to embrace the archetypes of feminine expression, and the Shadow sides that desperately want to be heard. I am also discovering that for my feminine energy to have some container of safety and healthy context, I also need to embrace the masculine power in myself and the outer world.
I can identify with several feminine archetypes: The Mother – giver of unconditional love and holding for myself and others. The Enchantress – a free and unpredictable maiden, weaving magic and enticing others into new ways of being. The Crone – a witch, medicine woman, at home with the dark sides of human nature and delves deep into chaos and death. The Creatrix – womb wisdom, holder of all creation, she who witnesses and creates reality without need for outcome or answers. The Innocent Child – wild one, playful spirit, keeper of secrets and magic.
One of the beautiful things about being human is that we also carry the Shadow aspects of Self, the parts which are immature and act from a wounded ego rather than an empowered identity. These shadow aspects can dominate our sense of self until they are held by the awesome love of our “big” selves. These parts are not bad and certainly do not need fixing, they make us the whole humans we are created to be. I like to think of shadow identities as keys to doors. They lead the way to wholeness. Through their pain and confusion there is a magical door to a deeper understanding of our unique expression of love in the world. They hold special gifts, probably our most powerful gifts and offerings to the world. I therefore want to give recognition to my magnificent shadow personas…..
The Manipulator, a woman who secures her sense of love and safety through control and devious means. The Raging Woman, she is seriously pissed off and will take it out on anyone who dares to get close, the destroyer of all intimacy. The Victim/Lost Child, she needs to feel abandoned and helpless, please save me I am nothing without you. The Escape Artist, numbing out is my way of operating, she can lead you down never ending tunnels of running away and addiction. The Superior/Smug Queen, she is better than all of this human bullshit, how could you could possibly understand me, you cannot so I will not waste my energy letting you in. The Dark Warrior, the fear fighter who keeps everything safe and under control , she can crush any physical and emotional threat into oblivion!
To find wholeness as a woman I feel it is important to own my shadow personality, to really listen to its need for love and acceptance. And to also take responsibility for how these shadow sides have shaped my outer experience, especially with men.
I sense humans, like nature, are a balance of both feminine and masculine polarities and to ignore or repress one is excluding potential opportunities for growth and nourishment. How can expect to be held and honoured by another in male form, if I am ignoring my relationship to the masculine side of my psyche? If I carry wounds around trusting men then maybe I do not notice when they try to show me love and protection? How can I offer myself what I am truly longing for? This line of enquiry has opened up a very interesting phase of inner healing for me. I asked to meet my inner masculine side and found a small frightened boy.
My inner scared boy told me that he was unable to grow up because I had chosen to keep him there. My shadow feminine was angry at his weakness and lack of protection so chose to punish him by keeping him small and scared. Ignored and berated he kept quiet and small as what use was he to me. Well he hadn’t kept completely quiet, no part of self ever does. He had shown up as lots of fear and self-doubt in my life. How could I trust myself fully if my inner male was so squashed?! I felt a strong wave of grief as I realised this exiled part of me had been afraid for so long. I welcomed him back into my heart. This act of love transformed him almost immediately. Once released from my judgement he grew up and met me as my equal and opposite. I felt a strong movement of life force move through my body, I felt energised and nourished on a deep level. I felt held by part of me I had not experienced before, many tears of joy were shed.
The next day, as often happens after a powerful shift, I wondered if it was real, maybe I just imagined he had come home? Did I look any different? I checked, just in case! Well I still looked the same externally but my outer world was different, amazingly so. I saw people with new eyes and they related to me differently. Men started really showing up for me in a whole new way, with kindness, strength, wisdom and love. What they were offering may have been there before, but I was aware of it now and I allowed myself to let it in.
The gifts within the shadows are so precious… A lost little boy wanting to come home, ready to show me the love and protection which was always mine to receive.
x x x