Women are wrong? How can this be?
There is something in woman that lives deep inside her, unseen and unacknowledged.
Unidentified will control and limit her.
Awareness of this wrongness begins as a spark and grows to a torrent. This is when she can choose freedom from it…
I am taking a deep breath and sharing my experience here as it has been for me and trusting that it has value for others…
I am a woman strongly in her feminine aspect.
I believe this is why I have experienced what follows so deeply.
What I speak of here I relate to the feminine collective, it’s part of each individual woman’s personal history but it is also somehow part of all women.
I have been ‘working’ as they say, on myself for a long time- over 30 yrs, experiencing, learning and enjoying much. Sometimes along the way I have made mistakes and felt appropriately wrong as a result, I’ve been able to deal with it and have learned from the consequences.
Yet it seemed I had another place of wrongness inside of me. One that was something else altogether- a painful, bottomless pit of icky, yucky, discomfort I labelled toxic SHAME.
Toxic shame is “I AM wrong” rather than I have just done something wrong.
This shame was like an automatic default setting I continually fell into, regardless of the circumstances. Recently I decided to take a good look at this monster, to stare it into submission and learn what it had to teach me. What opened up was a new world of ease, openness and self love.
A journey of discovery
From sitting with this shame, sometimes for hours at a time (no easy task let me assure you!)
it became clear there were two things operating here – a mental belief in my wrongness, and the physical feeling of shame attached to it… Once I was fully inside this very familiar and very uncomfortable feeling I saw my belief often WASN’T TRUE.
And once I saw this I saw that the big, juicy pool of shame that was attached to it now didn’t feel like MINE either.
I started looking at where this belief (wrongness) + feeling (shame) was showing up in my life and I found them everywhere, in both minor, and major parts of my life.
I saw them in basic things like needing the “right” clothes, hair, shoes, accessories, makeup, nails, skin, look, size, shape to feel acceptable.
And also in important things like my relationship – realising that so often when my man opened his mouth I would believe he was making me wrong. My automatic response was to feel wrong and get defensive. It became obvious to him that something was not right because he wasn’t trying to make me wrong, he could see I was doing it to myself. No matter what he said I would twist his meaning into making me wrong so I could feel my familiar sense of shame. He reported great frustration in trying to relate to me when I was in this shame pool, figuring he might as well do anything else rather than try and talk to me. Then I would feel abandoned along with more shame.
Unconscious belief in my wrongness would:
- Put me constantly on the defensive, in my relationship and in my life, ready to collapse into shame, or to argue vociferously that I was NOT wrong (even if this was completely irrelevant to what was being discussed).
- This self justification led me to feel powerlessness.
- Feeling powerless made me want to lash out at those I perceived had power.
- I felt ashamed, scared and angry.
- I refused to believe it was just me being an illogical, menopausal female.
After reflecting on my work with women over the last 15yrs it seemed that some degree of this innate sense of wrongness was a common, if not universal experience in women.
I came across a study that reported men at work will blame their equipment, their boss or the system when things went wrong. Women would always blame themselves.
This wrongness appeared to infiltrate all levels of the feminine: body, mind, feeling, psyche and spirit…
Where does this sense of wrongness come from?
I believe it comes from the feminine being lost and her inner truths dishonoured from:
- A patriarchal society that devalues the feminine qualities of feeling, emotion, intuition, wisdom, creativity, playfulness, pleasure, beingness, receptivity, surrender, vulnerability, embodied sexuality and spirituality; seeing these qualities as weak or irrelevant rather than powerful, mysterious and magnetic.
- The desecration of ancient Goddess cultures where Spirit was earthy and embodied, rather than an external perfection to be ascended to. And through the burning at the stake of tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of women as so called witches during the dark ages, removing this font of wisdom from our culture.
- The physical, emotional and sexual abuse perpetrated by unconscious patriarchal men and the lack of healing available to women wounded at a soul level.
- The social, sexual, cultural and political repression of women that remains around the world today.
- The overt honouring of the Good Mother and Madonna roles vs the shaming of the Bad Mother, the Whore and the Invisible Older Woman.
- The loss of understanding the true nature of female sexuality, limiting it to mechanical stimulation and arousal rather than relaxation and awakening. So depriving woman of true connection to herself and her spiritual power.
How does this overwhelming history impact us as women?
To a greater or lesser degree it makes us:
Feel wrong somehow for no longer being the “good” girl we were supposed to be.
Apologise for our existence, making it much harder to stand up for ourselves and ask for our needs to be met.
Vulnerable to the marketing that serves to fix our “wrongness” worth billions of dollars of cosmetics, clothes, hairdos, diet, beauty treatments and plastic surgery etc.
If we’re lucky we might get to play in our wrongness sexually, in all kinds of edginess and bdsm play.
Yet there is much more than that – we are like the abuse victim who internalises the shame of the act long after the abuse itself is over.
It leaves us disconnected from our feminine selves, striving to live up to the masculine perception of power. We do this whilst feeling increasingly exhausted and unfulfilled within.
We miss out on the feminine qualities mentioned above. Our lack of these qualities leaves us bitter and complaining. We focus only on feminine nurturing and giving to others in the hope this will make us worthy of receiving in return. We then feel frustrated and even more wrong when our “goodness” is not seen.
Disconnected from our embodied truth and sense of self, we say yes, when we mean no. We say nothing when we mean yes.
We toughen up and tolerate bad treatment by others (and by ourselves), and often inappropriately blame ourselves for what is wrong.
Our ability to suffer in silence makes us hard and unavailable to others, and to our own hearts.
We develop a false strength, an ego based power that doesn’t allow us to take responsibility when we ARE in the wrong. This is because in feeling so wrong already there is unconscious resistance to feeling even more wrong.
Our inner rage at this wrongness leads us to project our shame onto, and emasculate men in a thousand different ways, fatally damaging our relationships with them.
All the while we will desperately fight to get or keep men to avoid feeling wrong for being alone.
In this place we see our sisters as competition, often criticising and shaming them, denying ourselves this inherent support system.
We neglect our need for pleasure as a necessary part of our wellbeing, cutting ourselves from this powerful source of inner radiance. We use our pleasure to service others rather than ourselves. We suffer under rough or inadequate touch, rather than asking clearly for what we desire, leaving both the giver and receiver lost.
And finally it leaves us as THE VICTIM rather than the POWER PACK– unhappy, frustrated, scared, uncertain, complaining, not knowing and not loving ourselves, living small.
How can we create something new?
Like an abuse victim we cannot change what has happened.
Bringing to account those responsible for our abuse can help, receiving acknowledgment and apology is part of the healing. But much of this pain is beyond the individual, in both victim and persecutor. Limiting ourselves by focusing our attention only on the perpetrators does not fully resolve the attached shame and unhelpful belief patterns WE now carry within US as a result.
Yet we CAN help to set ourselves free of this shame and disempowerment.
Very much like the movement out of cultural shame by people with disabilities. Disabled athletes are now very much a part of the everyday world rather than hidden in the corner. They have done this not with blame, as often there isn’t anyone TO blame, but through empowerment in the individual, focussing on their abilities and strengths rather than their limitations.
We can choose to trust in the power of the feminine, that still exists despite ALL the efforts to sublimate it.
We can move beyond this wrongness, this shame by meeting it head on, actively seeking it out, understanding that it is not ours, it never was. Acknowledging our victimhood with compassion, moving beyond its disempowering control. Knowing that as we do so we are empowering both ourselves and our sisters from within.
We can join with the growing numbers of women across the globe who are reaping the benefits of integrating the feminine more fully into their lives.
Reclaiming your POWER PACK
If you can relate to what has been spoken here join me in:
Setting an intention to see this pattern more clearly
Taking moments to FEEL this yucky shame, breathing into it (rather than unconsciously reacting from inside it)
Allowing it to nail us like an insect on a pin
Like a stake into the wall of our closed and suffering hearts
If we can give birth to babies, we can do this!
Consciously breathe into the discomfort and feel it fully just for a moment or two
Just long enough to see what it is- a feeling
If it is yours own it
See where it is NOT you
Then let it go
This is freedom. This is power from within
This is self love
This is Love birthed in compassion
For yourself, your sisters and those around you
Giving the world the gift of a truly empowered and feminine YOU.
To experience more of where Annette is coming from join her