Disowning the feminine and aligning with the masculine shows up in our lives in many ways. Cloaking ourselves in the armour of masculinity.
Seeking validation, approval and recognition from the masculine, represented as the individual and collective father.
Striving for external success.
Using that outward success as our barometer of self-worth.
Bypassing what we deem to be acceptable and competent, as we hike our way to extraordinary.
A rigid orientation to results. Following linear and structured processes.
Staying within the lines of the patriarchy. Conforming to the norms of the structures we live and work in.
Being a good girl.
Shielding ourselves from our perceived feminine weaknesses – our feelings and softer sides.
Squashing our vulnerability, creativity, and what we have come to know as our untrustworthy femininity.
Burning ourselves out to do more, go faster, be better.
Spinning our wheels in an endless pursuit of the power we seek even though, in perhaps the greatest irony of our lives, we don’t realize that it doesn’t and will never belong to us because it’s not ours to own.
We ignore our tiredness and exhaustion.
Deny ourselves the need for rest, support, to be nourished and nurtured, to listen to and honor our bodies, all for fear of falling behind.
Our lives are dictated by a long list of shoulds. Nothing we do is ever satisfactory, good enough, or worth enough.
The way we align ourselves to the masculine and to the patriarchy is endless. And it’s endlessly exhausting.
To undertake our own heroine’s journey we need to step out of the identity of being our father’s daughter and claim our own identity.
At the core of it all is the longing to be loved. To be validated. To be safe. To be seen.
I’ve been here. You may have been here.
We are a generation, generations, of Fathers Daughters.
As was my client Lisa.
She drove herself and pushed herself so hard for so long that one day she just collapsed.
Calling me in floods of tears, she was clearly distraught and beyond exhausted.
“I’m so over it,” she sobbed, “I just can’t push anymore. What am I even driving myself so hard for?” she asked, desperate for the self-torture to stop.
“I feel like I’m constantly fighting for approval from everyone! My boss, my husband, my father, even my boys for God’s sake. Why do I feel like this all of the time? I just want it to stop. ”
I waited as Lisa’s breath calmed and her tears subsided.
It was like she’d had a full bodily release with her admission, like an energy clearing through her realization.
“You hold the keys Lisa to release these patterns of behavior,” I said gently. “The first step is what you have just done, which is to become conscious of the fact that you are not living a life that you want. That it’s based on other people, mostly men’s, opinions of you and demands on you. You’re striving for their validation and you’ve forgotten or completely ignored your own approval and what you want for your life. It’s time to take back your power, over your decisions and your life.”
It was a path ahead for Lisa, as it is for all of us as we come into the knowing of what truly drives us and why we act the way we do.
But stepping into the light of the truth is the first critical step in coming home to ourselves.