This post is for any woman who is in a dark and challenging place right now because she has dared to begin to listen to her own voice, to hear her own desires, to voice her deep truths and to want to become the writer of her own story.
Sometimes, this journey is a choice we make. And other times, it is put upon us by circumstances beyond our control.
Being in the space of questioning everything, desiring everything, being courageous enough to face both fears and mightiness, standing alone and asking “What do I want?” without looking to others for approval or direction, is a scary, lonely, dry and hopeless feeling place.
So, to you, brave warriors – if you are in darkness now, please don’t think you are wrong. You are not.
If your husband doesn’t need what you need, you are not weak.
If your friends don’t seem to want what you want, you are not damaged.
Even when you wonder if anyone else feels the way you do, you are not wrong.
In your darkness and in your doubt, you are not wrong. You are not crazy or unable. You are a warrior on a quest.
Here’s what I wrote to myself when I was inside a dark journey.
Invite in the aspect of you that is your most compassionate nurturer, your mother, your fiercest advocate. Gather yourself up in your arms and gently rock back and forth.
Welcome in your rebel, your agitator…unleash she who goes one way while everyone else goes the other way.
Unleash your sassy rockstar superpower goddess who knows that nothing is wrong with her. The one that wouldn’t change a thing about herself and thinks she is perfect just the way she is.
Turn to your own wisdom inside. Listen to the one who has been there, through it all. The part of you that sees and knows all. The part of you that knows you deeply, fully and completely. She is not your enemy. She is your best friend, your heroine, your saviour.
Trust yourself so fucking deeply that you turn away from the experts and write the guidebook to your own life.
Part of being on a dark journey sometimes means not being with the crowd, the friends, the advice, the experts, the magazines, the self-help books, the courses, the workshops. It means being in the dark alone. Turning towards yourself with faith and love and holding on.
It means being your own light.
You are not wrong. Your courage to look inside your shadows and see beauty and promise, your courage to feel and see your truth, that courage is you being in your warrior.
So, if you are swimming in questioning and everyone else seems to be swimming, happily, the other direction, you are not wrong.
If your children don’t understand you, if your husband doesn’t get you, if none of your friends seems to understand what you are talking about, you are not wrong.
If you have the courage to stand inside your own heart, to be still inside your own struggles, to stop and FEEL your self, you are not wrong.
You are so right on.
You are not wrong or broken or weak or crazy or selfish or stupid or a complainer or a whiner or emotionally unstable.
You are a fully-alive, red-blooded, yearning, magical, imperfect, glorious, human and divine woman.
When it is so hard to be your own light, if you can, remember that you are not alone. Behind you is the lineage of women who came before you – the women who survived wars, famines, tragedies, heartbreak, loss, family ruptures, broken marriages, moves across oceans into new lives, financial ruin. These are the warrior women of your line. There are women in your line who dared to go their own way. To face their dragons to get to the gold. Women who let themselves hear their own truth…and honour it. Even when it was difficult. Or rebellious. Or forbidden. So you are not alone.
I’ll end with the following quote from “Coming Home to Myself” by Marion Woodman with Jill Mellick.
“Ursula LeGuin, in a commencement speech given years ago (you can read the full speech here – it is unlike any commencement speech I have ever read before) to the women of Mills College in Oakland, California, emphasized that women grow things in darkness, not in light. It is darkness – with it’s secrets, earthiness, and joys, with its pains, losses, and despair – that we celebrate. The woman who takes the time to grow herself in the darkness becomes familiar – perhaps for the first time – with the real source and containment of her psychic strength. No longer is her strength dissipated in obeying an idealized father figure, in pleasing a lover, in trying to satisfy a perpetually unsatisfied mother figure, in accomodating to a patriarchal organization or culture, in appeasing the inner witch who tells her she is worthless. No longer is her strength lost to obeying compulsions, drives, and obsessions that can slip in during the dark night of the soul and substitute for the real thing.
And what is the real thing, the thing for which she longs? The love affair with her own spirit, the inner marriage that commits her to her destiny, the rituals of soul that feed her deepest hunger, and the sense of being pregnant with her Self, her creative essence.”