About a year into my nursing career, I had found that my life was in, what felt like shambles. My son was five, I had managed to start a career, pay for my own apartment, new car and to make it out of the seeming shithole that I had dug myself into as a teenager all by the age of 23. Despite the hauntings of my childhood, the chill of mental illness in my bones, the teenage pregnancy, and the near death I put myself into as a teenager and fresh new adult woman and mother, I had worked hard to get myself into a better place, and at times, was very proud of myself.
23, I woke up. Despite my efforts, things were not okay. I liked my job, but was working nights, which would continue to be the bane of my existence up until a few months ago. I had alienated myself from my friends and my family because I was deep into an even bigger shit-hole relationship than I had fathomed I could get into. I was in debt, already. And in my depression, my home became like a scene from the TV show Hoarders.
I made sure I made it to work, took care of my son, and got him to school. But as soon as he was off, I was asleep for 7 hours of the day, not including the 12 I slept at night. My boyfriend at the time, had lured me in, three years earlier, by seeing my vulnerabilities and making me feel like he would be the person to complete them, to make them better, to accept them. And despite my intuition telling me that something was wrong, I forged forward, to come up against a point where my life was being threatened, I was being mentally abused, and physically threatened on a regular basis.
It was one of the ugliest times of my life, and here, almost two years later, I am ashamed to know it had gotten that bad, but in leaving him, in returning to dance, to loving myself and being a better role model for my son, and finding my passions again- I discovered that women all around me were falling into the same traps that they naively allowed themselves to walk into. I was looking around me, and saw slumping shoulders, and weary eyes of women that I loved, or liked, or found interesting and wondered…why? Why, when we have such a capacity for creation, and exploration, and love and spirituality, are so many of us living trapped in dreary existences?
I decided about four months ago, after debating for a year, that I wanted to start a women’s group. I had held back in this endeavor, because I was afraid of judgement. What do I have to offer anyone, being young myself and not a professional therapist? But then the answer came: I have camaraderie and passion to offer the women and friends who need it. I want women to know that it’s okay to be authentic, to live against the thread society says we must, and to follow our passions wildly, endlessly, and to love in the same manner. It’s okay to follow our intuition, and to love ourselves, and to laugh and smile, and dance, and grow, always. It’s okay to refuse the clipping of our wings.
In the start of my women’s group, we decided to read Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, PhD. I have never read this book, but I had seen it mentioned a few times in groups I frequent, and my co-group runner told it me it was an amazing read. I am only through the first assigned chapters we were doing, but immediately, the first two chapters spoke to me of the last 7 years of my life. The Bluebeardian men I would follow and welcome into my life, the dark burying of my core talents, the patterns I saw my fellow women following. Holy shit! Already, this book is a must-read for all women, and I’m certain, it’ll be one I frequent in my life.
I created some tarot spreads for the women in my group, based upon the first two chapters, and questions within her writing that I’ll share here. If you give them a try, I’d love to see what you come up with below in the comments.
I do believe these spreads will become frequent go-to’s when life gets to a place of feeling inauthentic and as a means to keep me on track with my true desires and I hope that they help others as well. These spreads are directly linked to terms she uses in her storytelling healing, so I would suggest reading the book and working through these spreads, and I can promise the purchase of that book will not be a regret for any woman trying to be her true self.