We can only pretend to be tame for short periods of time. And then, our true nature, the nature that is one with the earth, the moon, the dirt, the plants and the creative spirit has to be let loose. If you don’t embrace your true nature as a woman, your spirit will suffer.
I am 59. I have barely figured out the fifties and now here I am approaching a new decade. But it is ok. I am happy. I am allowed to be me now. I finally, truly, don’t care what people think of me. I have spent years embracing my wild side and I am forging ahead with my creativity and my power.
When we are very young we can be dramatic or silly and run and yell, and for most of us, this is allowed. Then suddenly it isn’t. If you indulge in those behaviors, you are frowned upon, and heads shake and people get upset. (Diana, why do you have to be so loud?) So you learn when and where you have to act appropriately until you can be alone or with those you have collected who you sense, feel it too. They have not forgotten what we were born with. The knowing. The knowing of our wild nature.
“So the word wild here is not used in its modern pejorative sense, meaning out of control, but in its original sense, which means to live a natural life, one in which the criatura, creature, has innate integrity and healthy boundaries. These words, wild and woman, cause women to remember who they are and what they are about. They create a metaphor to describe the force which funds all females. They personify a force that women cannot live without.” Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With the Wolves
We see women get through those early years and somehow they survive the tame world and perhaps they appear unscathed. But they drink, gossip or shop too much, as they ignore the call of the Wild Woman. They look for what is outside to soothe them and make them feel alive, and yet, it is inside them all along.
Women, you don’t have to wait until you are in mid-life. Stop. Listen: Wild Woman calls you. And when you hear her, pay attention and let the words form…”Perhaps I’ll paint or hike or move or leave.” And what seems like suddenness to the outside view, was really happening for a long time and you finally listened.
We recognize the wild in writers and all artists who touch us. They are authentic and because of this, we feel their words and pictures deep inside ourselves.
“These transient “tastes of the wild” come during the mystique of inspiration–ah, there it is; oh, now it has gone. The longing for her comes when one happens across someone who has secured this wildish relationship. The longing comes when one realizes one has given scant time to the mystic cook fire or to the dreamtime, too little time to one’s own creative life, one’s life work or one’s true loves.
Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With the Wolves
This explains so much about women in today’s society. We have lost connections to the wild because we were not taught that the Wild is good. The lost connections were our connections to our power, the earth, and our sexuality. We were closed off from the deep and mysterious feelings because unless we got lucky, our mothers suffered too and didn’t know how to teach us what they didn’t know themselves.
So we go along, and some of us forget easier than others and are able to adapt. I used to watch girls as I grew up, girls who followed rules and never seemed to feel the pull of the wild. I was drawn to the few who felt the pull because I felt it too, but didn’t know its name. I felt it all of my life, that pull that would make me write, scream, sing, laugh, run and, yes, howl. So, I know what Dr. Estes is talking about. I know of what she speaks.
But this I also know from my own life. If you don’t let that out, if the wild cannot come out, you suffer. And you suffer the longer you wait.
Yet it is these fleeting tastes which come both through beauty as well as loss, that cause us to become so bereft, so agitated, so longing that we eventually must pursue the wildish nature. Then we leap into the forest or into the desert or into the snow and run hard, our eyes scanning the ground, our hearing sharply tuned, searching under, searching over, searching for a clue, a remnant, a sign that she still lives, that we have not lost our chance. And when we pick up her trail, it is typical of women to ride hard to catch up, to clear off the desk, clear off the relationship, clear out one’s mind, turn to a new page, insist on a break, break the rules, stop the world, for we are not going on without her any longer.” Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With the Wolves
So, here I am. I am now, what I have always wanted to be: a person who is authentic. A person who speaks her truth. I try to live with integrity.
Women of all ages: Don’t wait anymore. I encourage you to get in touch with your true nature. Take the time for quiet thoughts, long walks, meditation, writing, and reading.
Hear what the Wild Woman is saying to you.
Below: One of my treasures. I spent a week being taught by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes (2013 Mysterium: Psychology…in the Truest Sense of the Word) and was thrilled to have her sign my tattered and well-worn copy of Women Who Run With the Wolves.
She has always inspired me.
Please share your thoughts, especially if you have decided to Howl.