Friday, November 16, 2007

The Angel and the Bitch

You know the voices, the harsh inner critic, the mother-saint who nurtures others at her own expense, the inner perfectionist, your own mother's voice telling you how to behave....

I was listening to a CD of Joan Borysenko's on menopause, called Initiation into Power, and she reminded me of those inner voices. (a great intro to menopause by the way)

It also reminded me of a poem series I wrote, The Angel in the House, and her flip side, The Bitch Goddess, wherein I tried to reconcile the anger I felt some days (usually pre-menstrually) at being a mom-at-home, wife, and caretaker and the overhwelming love I also felt for my children and my husband. Especially when the kids were little, at the crawling around on the floor stage, and there wasn't much Daddy could do except pitch in on the weekends and evenings. Then the inner voices were very loud and uncompromising. Usually I 'lost it' and spoke in that voice before I even felt it coming.

A new book on menstrual health, The Wild Genie, and the accompanying exercise book, The Woman's Quest, are opening my eyes to the positive side of the Bitch's voice. Alexander Pope calls it The inner power broker. What an enlightening way to see this energy - the 'tough talking, asertive, provacative, knowing, sometimes angry figure so many of us encounter premenstrually [and in peri-menopause] and often end up apologizing for later."

"She'll get you into trouble if you don't understand and value her presence."

yeah, babe, you can say that again!

While this power is not to be abused, nor does it give you licence to abuse others, it is a step towards self-knowledge to listen to her voice. Slowing down, incorporating more stillness and 'sacred space' into your schedule may help alleviate some of the symptoms of the bitch.

But really, don't be afraid of her. Get to know your inner power broker. Shift your viewpoint. how is she your ally? as an agent for change perhaps, or acting out in the world.

What issues are troubling you? What could you do instead of censoring yourself? Peri-menopause particularly is a time when women are finding their voice. If you have mistreated yourself all your life, never taken a moment to take care of just 'you', you may find that voice is very bitter and resentful.

Find a way this month, or this week, or even today, to honour your inner Bitch through some action or activity. Drop the self-criticism and hone into your inner wisdom. What are you upset about? and how can you channel that into constructive change?

Bottling up our feelings, stifling our authentic self because we want to be good girls, and listening to our inner mother tell us to shut up, not be so selfish, leads to explosive, outspoken, challenging Bitchiness! why wait for the pot to boil-over-the-top? Stir the pot, find out what you are feeling pre-menstrually or pre-menopausally.

Don't forget to be gentle and breathe into it!

Honour your inner Bitch, have a dialogue with her!

have a great weekend,


Kikipotamus said...

What you are advising here has some parallels with what I recently read in Eckhart Tolle's teachings about the collective female pain-body and how PMS can be an amazing opportunity for spiritual growth if you use the energy stored in of that pain-body as a sort of fuel. That energy can be transmuted and become the basis for a powerful spiritual practice.

Lillithmother said...

Hi Jenn, found you through Mother Winter Moon....

You wanna talk no coincidences, I've been trying to dialogue with my anger for months now...and still coming up with very little answers. Being a stay-at-home mom and a step-mother sure triggers my anger (and resentment and feeling like I have control of little in my life). After reading your post regarding our inner Bitch Goddess...I'm intrigued and wondering if this is a path that I need to go down in order to come to terms with it all. Could you elaborate on to embrace Her positive to allow Her to have a voice but not a nuclear explosion?? I'm even having a hard time using the word "bitch" because of it's conitation...much like "cunt"...but I understand the empowerment of turning words around that have been against us to strengthen us instead.

Peace & shakin' the tree,

bella said...

Well said!
We lose a part of ourselves when silencing that voice, striving only for sweetness.
Sometimes when I see my son, so free in his aggression, unafraid of it in himself, I am awed. Yes, we must learn to harness our instincts and just because he feels that force, does not mean he can do whatever he want. But he teaches me, wakes me up to how uncomfortable I am at times with my own anger, aggression, the darker feelings that I've been told are not good.
To silence them just pushes them deeper underground and there they fester and take over, eating me away from the inside.
Thank-you for sharing this.

Diane O'Connor said...

I love this. This really speaks to me. Reminds me a little bit of "The Dark Side of the Light Chasers." (A book I really enjoyed that I believe was written by Debbie Ford.) She talks about how important it is to embrace all the parts of ourselves. It feels right that the flow of menses or the peri-menopausal period would bring these aspects up at those times into awareness in order to be embraced... more so for those of us who have been so "sweet" all the time. I'll keep my eyes out for this book. Any others you have in mind on this topic I would like to know about.

musemother said...

Yes Debbie Ford wrote it. Great book, really enlightened me about my quest for always being in the 'light', ignoring the helpfulness of the dark. Shadow time, low time, unproductive time shames us somehow. Menopause brings out the shadow, doesn't it?
In the ERT technique, I love that we say, I love and accept myself unconditionally, my light and my dark.