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,