Friday, April 3, 2009

Once More With Feeling!

I thought I might be back at posting to LifeCentering before now.

As I first began my “sabbatical” just over one month ago, I had an early quickening creatively as I began reading, Women Who Run With the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D., a senior Jungian analyst. This is a book about the myths and stories of the Wild Woman archetype. I found the stories amazingly relevant to my feminine nature. So much of what I have experienced as I developed the expression of my personal attributes that typically are associated with the feminine side of our human nature were illustrated by these stories, and for the first time in my life, I began to understand and accept that mystical part of my being.

Recognizing my feminine side has mostly been easy for me, but understanding how to truly open myself to it seemed just beyond where I was. I have always been intuitive, perhaps more so than most men. I easily empathized with the feelings of others. I enjoyed much of the “right brain” sensitivities, such as artistic and spatial skills; insight; imagination; music awareness. Interestingly, and to me, frustrating, was the fact that while I enjoyed all types of art, music and theater, I seemed to have little skill in producing any of those abilities! (Unless you consider that being a minister/actor fulfilled the role. Many people think that ministers are frustrated actors!)

Another part of the personal frustration I often experienced came from having a keen logical ability. I knew how to figure things out. Ideas came easily (right brain) and I usually knew how to develop them (left brain). I have had a “large picture” view without losing the small details that composed that picture. Again, however, taking the next step in actual production in physical form usually was best accomplished in partnership with another person whose skills complimented my own.

As I developed various projects (careers) in my life I usually moved forward quickly using the skills I knew I had. The unfortunate part of my story is that I usually bailed out in one way or another before the project reached its peak. I think that is partly responsible for why I felt the need of a partner. I have come to realize that was my fear of failure/fear of success roadblock. That ragged edge to my personality has surfaced so often that I came to accept it, explain it, justify it and live with it! That ain’t no fun, my friends!

I have made efforts at resolving that part of my nature and in some areas I fare much better than before. I still have much work to do in overcoming that roadblock to fulfillment. It was my recognition of this fact that brought me to the decision to take some time off from writing. My life style since retiring has been such that it has become more difficult for me to get out of myself to regain connections with people, places, and activities. Most of all the lack of activity reinforces the false notion of not being able to break free.

So, back to the beginning of this more lengthy than planned effort to share where I have been and why. I have made extensive notes as I read Women Who Run With Wolves. The notes themselves would almost make a book on their own. What I have found out in reviewing the Wild Woman archetype stories is mostly very personal. I think I see the application to my own life, but I am not yet sure how, if at all, I can write about it in a way that is generally helpful without revealing my own misadventures. It is not that I am afraid to share my foibles and pratfalls. It is more that they would be identifiable to others who, perhaps innocently, chose to walk with me for a time. I do know that I will come to the place where I can share my stories and when I do, I hope others will find some point of meaning for their own lives. We are not so different from each other, you know, and we join in the experience of others for wonderful reasons that may not yet be clear. So I am going to do this Once More With Feeling!

1 comment:

The Logistician said...

Welcome back. Sounds like the sabbatical was a positive thing. Although I have not read the book, I have many friends who have referred me to it, and I guess that I need to get off my duff and check it out.