Over my few months of writing here at WitchyWisdoms, I’ve come to notice a pattern in some of my posts. When trying to prove a point, through examples and comparisons, I’ll throw my past self under the bus and shame her for the “mess” that she was.
And in being quite frank, I did look like a mess from the outside. But shaming myself for what I did with what I had is like judging a homeless person on their outfit. It isn’t fair and it isn’t right, for my growth and yours.
Yes, I had many bad habits and made many reckless decisions, but underneath all of that were the bones of a survivor, and through every bad experience I made it out to the other side with a little bit more knowledge than before, and finally I’m at a place of self awareness that allows me to work on myself consciously.
I may have forgotten some creativity to drugs, sex, and alcohol, but it was never lost. It always lived in me and I have to remind myself that the sad girl in the past just didn’t know that. She was told it went away forever, and that made her sadder.
In reading Women Who Run With the Wolves, one excerpt in the first few pages really spoke to me:
Once women have lost [the Wild Woman] and then found her again, they will contend to keep her for good. Once they have regained her, they will fight and fight hard to keep her, for with her their creative lives blossom; their relationships gain meaning and depth and health; their cycles of sexuality, creativity, work, and play are re-established; they are no longer marks for the predations of others; they are entitled equally under the laws of nature to go and thrive. Now their end-of-the-day fatigue comes from satisfying work and endeavors, not from being shut up in too small a mind-set, job, or relationship. They know instinctively when things must die and things must live; they know how to walk away, they know how to stay.
This excerpt is so empowering because it highlights that all women have the ability to find their original wild woman and excel, and though you may not be in that part of the journey yet, you are one step closer to her because every experience peels back a layer to let her shine through just a bit more.
I am deeply sorry for all of the judgement I cast. I had all of the same traits that I possess now, I just didn’t have the tools. As a child I was free and unashamed, as a teenager I was curious and experimental, as a young woman in my early twenties I was ambitious and tough, and rounding out the later years of my twenties, I can say I have all of these characteristics working in tandem, but with mental health as the glue.
I apologize fully to my past self. She went through hell for me, and she made my present state possible. I love that little sad girl, because the fire within her was always of tenacity and passion. She lived honestly within her means and she survived. She continues to survive, but she blossoms and flowers with the strength of her Wild Woman identity.
I can say now that I am still finding my way to the Wild Woman, but she is visible in the distance. When earlier I did not know which direction I was headed, I ended up back on the path that I belong. Every heartbreak, overdose, sexual victimization, binge and purge, starvation, maxed out credit card and penniless night was not in vain. Though it was not the easiest route, it was the one that we chose, and through it I am able to help others and speak from experience.
So when you reflect, when you compare yourself to how you were a few years ago, do it in a way that is enlightening, but also kind. You don’t need to bring internal shame, because you are here now doing what you need to do as she did years before you. Stay kind to yourself, and stay witchy ( *)