.

Motherhood and Power

 

Confronting power and powerlessness is perhaps the deepest turning of our inner soil, second only to the transition into Motherhood.  Thoughtful scholarship has named that women, until very recently, have not been able to exercise power over their own lives openly.  Perhaps that is one reason why power is a difficult subject for many women (Miller, The new psychology of women).

I view power between people as the interplay of equality and inequality that exists between them.  This interplay is at the crux of all relationships, and can be a healthy process.  Power over others need not necessarily be the only model: power with others is an extremely effective leadership style and at the root of compassionate connection.

The path towards a healthy relationship to power (one’s own, and that of others) requires understanding power arrangements with clarity and without fear.    This is a cleansing journey that requires an intentional  dismantling of damaging inner beliefs, and then the building of new, deeply different  realizations about the self and about the world.

This is a life changing undertaking, and requires extra-ordinary support. Hindu spirituality considers fire a holy element. New ventures are begun with a fire ceremony, because it is understood that the cleansing power of fire will remove obstacles.

I believe that a metaphorical fire is needed when undertaking profound psychological growth.  The desire for change must ignite within the person, and be a longing.  When such a fire/longing is lit in the psyche, it functions as the necessary, deeply wise agent that removes obstacles, including parts of our own self that retard healthy new growth.

One of the most common facts about power is that it shifts. Taking power back, and learning about one’s own “goodness,” is a hard, but necessary journey for lasting strength and resiliency.  Motherhood is infinitely replenished when a woman stands tall within her own power.