The Old Wise Woman

Some wise words from Intuitive healer Cara Cooper:

I heard once that our Mother’s years mirrors much of our own.  To break it down, the ages she was during major life changes are usually reflected in your age during life changes.  My mom was 18 when she got married, I moved out of the house at 18, Mom had her first child at 25, and I had my children at 25, Mom moved across Country at age 34, and I began a separation from my husband at 34.

As I age, I’m split between disturbed and proud of the fact- and yes it’s a fact – that I am turning into my mother. I love my mother dearly, but she drives me a little batty.  She bursts into song in public, laughs at the corniest of jokes, trips over things that aren’t there to begin with, is naïve when it comes to trusting people, and is behind the punchline, often.  Despite all my judgement, her intentions are pure, her heart is massive, and she has never been afraid to stand in her authenticity.

This has been on my mind as of late, thanks to “The Old Wise Woman” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.  She is an esteemed author and psychoanalyst of the female archetypes.  She frequently refers to the women who inspired her growing up throughout the book.  All of whom had the same air of boldness, to stand in their authenticity, just like my mom.

Pinkola Estes book has stirred memories of who I was, before I was subjected to others’ judgement.  The time I wore my Dad’s polyester ‘70’s “sunset” shirt to school, the time I wore ‘70’s style plaid pants to school – thinking I looked fab paired with a modern white scoop Esprit t-shirt, and the time spent in drama class, which was a safe place for me to just be.   I look back on these fondly, although they weren’t always happy endings.  That polyester shirt?  Well it was brown and orange and you betcha the mean or let’s just say it “popular” crowd teased me for it.  Those ‘70’s style plaid pants?  Same thing.  Only wore them once, because others couldn’t walk by without making a comment.   All of which is ironic, because not ten years later grunge was in and that ‘70’s show came out.  I was just ahead of my time.

Pinkola Estes warns us to not loose our connection with ourselves.  To be aware that your intuition and GIFTS ARE the things that make you unique and different.  She states that intuition and inner strength, come from listening and acting on your intuition, marching to your own drum and staying in touch your uniqueness despite family and societal pressures.

So, I thank my mother for joy in embracing her “wildness” and the courage to stand in her own “danger”.  She was/is the best teacher.  She lives it and breathes it to this day.

Any divorced woman in a small town will tell you, there are situations people just can’t help but judge and take sides over, regardless of what the “truth” of the situation is.  So, when people I have never even met, or had conversation with before, give me dirty looks, or whisper to each other like it’s elementary school, from here on in, I am taking it as a compliment.

Embracing the “Wild Woman” within, standing as “The Old Wise Woman” does in my “danger” and truth, will naturally draw criticism and judgement.   Those who will judge the most, have lost their connection with self.  Their inner light, their intuition.  They cannot stand in their own danger and truth, so why think them strong enough to stand in yours?  So instead of my defensiveness and judgement in return, they will now receive my empathy and compassion.  From a distance.

The Old Wise Woman has much to say about boundaries

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