Thursday, September 20, 2007

The truth shall set you free

Exploring the underbelly of womens’ relationships with one another.

In the past six months two women in my women’s group have decided that it is time for them to leave the group and move on in their lives. For both women there was some sadness and regret and a sense that the group was not serving them in the way that they would have liked.

For me the decision in each case felt appropriate and reflected the way I see the differing desires and directions of the group as a whole and the individual women who chose to leave. But those of us who remain decided that we would take up the opportunity to inspect a little deeper any ways in which we may have failed to support the women who left and/or contributed to their sense of alienation.

We decided to explore the ‘underbelly’ of our group dynamics and those parts of our individual behaviour that, even after seven years of exploration together, we prefer to keep hidden.

It is a challenging but fascinating and liberating journey as we confess to one another facets of ourselves that we had hoped went unseen. It has really been like peeling the layers of the proverbial onion.

In the first week that we approached the topic I felt confident that I had addressed all the areas that I was still hiding. But as the weeks progress I realize that I had merely opened the door. I had been in denial about my denial! I suppose it is not surprising – blind spots are called just that because we find them so difficult to see. But choosing to shine a light on these murky areas within the safe container of a group of women who love you is very powerful indeed.

And the process feels more and more potent as it dawns on me that we are exploring things that are of major importance to the wellbeing of the feminine and to the re-establishment of women’s culture. In a world were the qualities and gifts of 'the feminine' have been devalued and denied in so many ways for such a long time it is not just ‘the masculine’ that does the oppressing. Women have also learned to oppress other women in order to survive. I believe we all have an ‘inner misogynist’ that seeks to align us with the power of the dominant paradigm by putting ourselves and other women down. How could we not? Doing so is so ingrained in the society that we live in.

And it is not just the undesirable qualities that we are finding we choose to hide! We have also revealed gifts and attributes that we are proud of but that we choose to minimise and keep hidden. But whether I see a hidden aspect of myself as desirable or otherwise, the process of allowing it to surface and to be seen for what it is has been equally powerful. Reaching for the truth is immensely cleansing and liberating. I highly recommend it!

1 comment:

AWM said...

It's never too late to learn to appreciate yourself and see the unrecognized potentials that one possessed.

There are professional coaches that are willing to help out in reinventing oneself and bring out the best in you.