The Shadow of Control

In my last newsletter I shared the following quote by Clarissa Pinkola Estés and wrote about control.

“When a life is too controlled, there becomes less and less life to control.”

I feel like it is important to share that I write from personal experience.

When I was in my twenties, I used to have this recurring nightmare.

I was either in the passenger or back seat of a car (i.e. I was NOT the one driving). Suddenly, traffic up ahead would be at a complete stop and the driver wouldn’t notice in time. I would yell, but it was always too late. The driver slammed on the brakes and I awoke in a cold sweat at the point of impact.

I tell my husband now that this dream is partially why I have such anxiety being a passenger in a car.

Looking back on it, this dream seemed to speak to a few things. First off, at that point I did not feel like I was in the proverbial driver’s seat of my life. I was allowing myself to be carried, or driven rather, and did not believe I was able to stop or change course even when I knew things were going badly.

In part, that dream was an invitation to TAKE control of my life. To take responsibility for the direction my life was going.

But it also spoke to something else, something that it took me years to see. I held this deeply rooted belief that the crash could have been avoided if only I had been the one driving. Translated into waking life, this belief meant that things would be okay as long as I was the one in control. If I ever let that control waiver though, everything would come crashing down.

And that’s how I lived my life for a long time.

Grasping control of everything that I could, while subconsciously fearing my life was entirely out of control, and vehemently denying that a part of me actually wanted to let it all fall to pieces. Waiting for that magical day where everything would be in order, where I would have it all together, so I could finally relax.

Spoiler alert, that day never came.

Instead my life and emotions were like a seesaw. Controlling, tightening, pleasing, self-silencing, managing…followed by intermittent outbursts of entirely losing my shit when the smallest thing would go “wrong”. There was no room for that…and yet, looking back, I know it was an entirely necessary part of the process in order to relieve the pressure I put on myself.

It was an exhausting and TENSE cycle. Like walking a tightrope. Trying so hard to consciously balance and stay up, while a hidden part of me yearned to screw the tightrope all together and jump into the abyss below.

That’s how it usually works, isn’t it? When we refuse to look at our shadow, it grows bigger and bigger till we are finally forced to pay attention to it. Till we finally get to the point where we are tired of that damn pendulum swinging back and forth, from one pole to the other, while we swear we want to feel balanced.

This is where the work of the conscious feminine comes in. We are forced to see our outdated patterns for what they are. See how they may have served us in the past, and how they are holding us back in the present. We have to face our shadow, to see what we buried and why it has such a hold on us, and integrate it into our wholeness.

Finally, we must envision a new way of living and being, and embody that in our lives.

This is all part of the journey of reclaiming your wild feminine. Untangling yourself from that which has kept you wound up. Allowing yourself the freedom of expression instead of repression. In the words of Lorin Roche, “fanning the flames of your wildness” in celebration of, and as an offering to, life itself.

Reclaim Your Wild Feminine is an intimate nine-month journey where I will guide you to unraveling yourself in a conscious and sacred way. Shedding the layers that do not belong to you. Helping you to see where you have painted yourself into a box of your own creation and to welcome you back to your wildness. To schedule your initial free 30-minute call, visit my online scheduler.

 

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