It is told that a sixty-year-old Chippewa woman, singing her medicine song, rode through bullets to face the Lakota. Afraid of her medicine, the Lakota turned and ran away. It is told that a woman won that fight, but the men never tell about it.
Every culture throughout time has had stories of women warriors. A warrior by definition is one experienced in conflict. It does not say that a warrior must be masculine. A warrior is anyone who faces conflict rather than hide from it. We are usually told that faced with a conflict, people will either fight or take flight. The other option is to freeze. A warrior is one who chooses to fight. It is not necessary that they win, just that they have the courage to fight. Courage comes in the presence of fear, not in its absence.
The first step in becoming aware of, and affirming the feminine warrior, is to look at one's usual way of handling conflict. Society has conditioned women to accept the flee or freeze response. This may have been a conscious or unconscious attempt to control women. I always try to educate my female clients that people never try to control other people or things that don't scare them.
Perhaps it is that men are afraid of their emotions of vulnerability in love. Perhaps it goes back to being born and raised by a mother and immaturely fearing her power and control. One anthropologist suggested that when our cultures evolved into hunters, women were not allowed to hunt during menstruation, pregnancy, or nursing. Their scent was detected and warned animals of the hunters' presence. Perhaps the evolving over-emphasis on muscular strength gave men the role of fighting. Notice that none of these reasons actually apply today. Today is the day to become aware of the choice made, and to choose to face conflict head on. Becoming aware that you have a choice is the first step to affirming the feminine warrior spirit.
The second step is to become aware of how we stop ourselves from facing those conflicts. Think of a conflict that you didn't face head on. What was going on inside your head that convinced you to flee or freeze? If it was a voice inside your head, whose voice was it and did you want to listen to it anymore?
If you are picturing something that convinces you to flee or freeze, examine how probable or appropriate the scene is to what is happening right now. Often we find that the voice and scenes are from our past and no longer apply. Other times they are of some possible future outcome that also no longer applies. We can change the outcome by changing how we handle the conflict now. The warrior spirit makes the most appropriate choice in facing a present conflict.
The third step is to affirm the awareness of the feminine warrior spirit. It is in the acceptance of the feminine warrior spirit that it is affirmed. Women need to accept their femininity and try not to face conflicts in a masculine way. This is where their true power is. In the acceptance of what is, and what one is, we begin to express who we are. We cannot run from who we are. The true warrior faces their fiercest enemy in a mirror. Our biggest conflict and enemy is within each of us.
Throughout time, all cultures have known the true power of the feminine warrior spirit. It is a part of every woman. It is already there, has always been there, and always will be. By looking beyond one's habituated response patterns, one can choose again and choose the path of the feminine warrior. And the men will never tell about it. It is not theirs to tell. They have their own stories.
A woman's feminine warrior spirit will be told by the life she lives, and the choices she makes when she experiences conflict. If this is your story, tell it well so it will be remembered for all time.
Thanks for listening, for the opportunity to be of service, and for sharing the journey.
Lynn Seiser, MA MFCC, is an internationally respected therapist, trainer, consultant, speaker, and writer in the recovery counseling of offenders and victims from violence, trauma and abuse. He can be contacted at: 550 Pacific Coast Hwy. #203, Seal Beach, CA 90740-6601. (310) 799-1371 or e-mail: SeiserL@AOL.com .
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