The Feminine Wound
I clearly recall growing up and attending public school with an open heart.
I also clearly remember the feeling of being ostracized, judged and condemned by my female peers. This during the utterly difficult and confusing time of adolescence. (Add to that family dysfunction writ large.)
That time was hurtful and caused me a great deal of pain. I never understood why girls behaved that way, or what prompted such ugliness. I wanted to be friends, to be liked. And, I’m loyal to a fault.
There’s a cliché about girls being catty towards one another and competitive. Many clichés exist because they are true.
As I grew older and left the era of public school I found true friendships and sisterhood with other women. Many of which are not just intact to this day, but are thriving, nurturing, uplifting, supportive relationships.
One of my most profound experiences of sisterhood came as I worked for a short time as an exotic dancer. We were all loving and supportive of one another. Protective even. Each time a dancer would take the stage there was a recognition that sounded like “There’s _________, so beautiful, unique, doing her gorgeous, mesmerizing dance moves. My friend and ally.”
And, that was certainly the case. We had to stick together and look after each other.
I’ve always been the kind of person, the kind of woman who loves other women. I celebrate them, befriend them, offer my best.
There’s a strange awareness that has pervaded many encounters with other women along the way, one of intimidation. I have rarely felt intimidated. Rather, they were intimidated by me. My physical beauty (a blessing to be sure) coupled with a strong, gregarious, outspoken, intelligent personality are likely the seeds of their perception.
So it’s been with great intent that I sought to soften and ground into humility in order to make them more comfortable with me and help them realize that I am their ally. I’d always much rather befriend and lift up another woman than “get with her man”, if you get what I’m saying. Besides, I’m rarely attracted to just any man.
Female friendships are wholly more nurturing, supportive and fulfilling.
As an adult I’ve only rarely encountered the kind of women and situations that felt like (or even worse than) catty high school nonsense. Mostly those were work situations, and I have always been careful about how and with whom I engaged with in work settings.
The worst was when I worked for and with some insane women in a medical spa setting. They made those high school girls look like kittens. I lasted six months then quit out of an act of fierce self love with absolutely no safety net in place. The universe had my back and ensured that I was taken care of. (NOTE: this has always been the case.)
Fast forward several years and I find myself part of larger communities. I’ve facilitated and lead many women’s circles and gatherings. This is not work for me – this is LOVE. Seeing women come together and open their hearts, connecting through their shared experiences, supporting one another, reminding each of their intrinsic value, their brilliance, that their contributions matter.
Each woman part of the whole that is the heart of community. I fucking live for this.
And still, 2020 has brought up many things, forcing us all to see things we may not have realized before. Unearthing shadow, falsity, and superficialities. It’s also brought about discernment and clarity and the understanding that intimacy and trust in relationships is the crux.
Many, including myself, have realized that people we thought we could count on, confide in, and relate to, are actually out of alignment with us. Performative relationships are not worth the time, energy and effort it takes to keep them going. We are stepping away from many we formerly considered “friends.”
Part of what I’ve experienced and witnessed happening for others is the unraveling of performative relationships.
One in particular came through a series of betrayals from a particular person. Avoidance of responsibility, lies, manipulation, gaslighting. And, the same catty BS or spreading lies and gossip, attempting to discredit me and undermine my relationships with others. I’ve witnessed a lack of energetic integrity in this person over the years I’ve known them, and still loved them, though that lack was disconcerting and shown in many instances. There is/was also a complete lack of confidentiality- sharing my and others very personal details, completely unsolicited.
As I came to :see: (as in Third Eye vision) the truth of this person and situation, I was able to resolve my feelings of unease that always accompanied our interactions. I also realized the ways in which I’d betrayed myself through interacting with them. I descended into gossip and sometimes got swept up in their penchant for drama.
I shared my insights and experiences with a dear friend and confidant, seeking to dig deeper and be held accountable, she offered some amazing insights and guidance that shifted my perception and helped me move on.
She said that this situation is the wound of the Feminine – that of betrayal. She also asked me how my original Feminine Wound was activated by my mother. That’s when I realized that this person who betrayed me is so much like my mother – manipulative, lying, deceptive, feeds off of and into drama wanting others to do the same.
My dear friend also encouraged me to address the behaviors and the energy patterns versus making it personal. This is not so much about a particular person who betrayed me, but more about addressing the Original Wounding. It’s an archetype.
My practice in most (but not all cases) is when I depart from people and relationships, I honor the love I have for them. Leaving love in my wake as I set healthy boundaries and resolve my own internal conflicts. I wish you to be happy, healthy and free.
And, your energy is not productive or healthy for me, so I bid you goodbye.
As I take account, I wonder if my need to dim my own brilliance for the comfort of others is truly serving me. It’s not important to me any longer to be “liked.” It is crucial to me to thrive and maintain my integrity and authenticity in all things. The more I strive to these ends, the more fulfilling my life and the more powerful my sense of self worth.