How does a woman find her Self?

She honors the truth about her personality with its strengths and weaknesses, its saints and demons, its natural aptitudes and forgivable flaws.

She honors her feminine body that was created for the purpose of protecting, nurturing, and giving birth to new life. This is a real body of flesh and blood, an awesome body that is the incarnation of life, a beautiful body of rounded softness, a terrible body that is subject to the decay of death.

She honors her soul, that part of herself that is most in touch with the unconscious realm of instincts, intuitions, fantasies, emotional rhythms, and dreams. This is where she discovers her unique creativity.

She honors her spirituality in both its feminine and masculine aspects. She honors masculine spirituality, which finds expression in conscious attempts to approach the divine through words, prayer, doctrines, scriptural studies, and meaningful rituals within the bounds of organized religion. And she honors her more instinctive, feminine spirituality, which often manifests in personally meaningful rituals and feelings of awe and connectedness that are experienced through music and bodily movement and in physical, natural settings. The feminine approaches the Divine Being when she dances alone in a moonlit forest cathedral beneath overarching branches, when she listens to the music of the universe in an island sanctuary, or when she swims at midnight in a watery temple beneath the waves.

She honors her heart, her tender
compassion for all humanity, her sense of deep connection to others, her emotions, her feelings, her need to preserve and nurture life, her power to sacrifice everything for those she loves – and her ability to wound them.

She honors her mind. She establishes a relationship with her masculine way of thinking and acquires the courage, knowledge, and energy to actively pursue her goals and ideals so that she may persevere in her quest for individuation. And she respects her special feminine kind of wisdom – the wisdom of the understanding heart.

Finally, she is willing to suffer. She endures the suffering that always accompanies the pursuits of individuality and of intimacy with others.

And she deals with the rage that comes from seeking to discover and honor her true identity in a world that does not value the feminine.

– Jean Raffa, The Bridge To Wholeness : a feminine alternative to the hero’s myth

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