Recently, I took a chance.
I submitted an article I wrote about my struggles, as a single mother, trying to re-enter the ‘workforce’ after 11 years tending to the home. To my surprise and excitement Rebelle Society (a feminist blog site) approved the submission.
I poured my heart out and unscrambled my frustrations with the modern work world. I spoke about my shame, my programmed shame, as a mother and woman who couldn’t even land an interview.
An exert from the article:
Common among women I know is the gut-wrenching challenge of extinguishing internal shame which insidiously accumulates, due to our culturally limited and subsequently self-imposed beliefs about the notion that our work (meaning paid work) is synonymous with our worth and success.
This shame which has been forced upon us, albeit invisible, by a prevailing patriarchal belief system, differs in intensity for each individual depending on the circumstances one is born into. Unplugging from the shame requires varying levels of willpower and support, depending on ethnicity and culture, economic background, religion, sexual character, and gender orientation.
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My mentor use to say to me: “Jennifer, as you live you midwife, and as you midwife, you live”
What a koan. A deep statement. One that took years to pull apart and truly enliven within.
More recently, it clicked and became a way of living rather than, a way of intellectualizing. My work in the ‘outside world’ is not separate from my work in my ‘inside world’. I learned that as I navigate my everyday life, I am navigating it through the lens of the midwife. I tend to my life in the ways I would tend to a woman labor.
I will unpack this concept in a later post as it speaks about embracing the archetype: ‘Midwife as Healer’.
I pause, as I think about this statement and the article I am speaking about. I see how sometimes I forget that this archetype lives within and when followed, will guide my way.