not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Ugly Duckling

Clarissa Pinkola Estes is amazing. Her book "Women Who Run With the Wolves" has been one that I open every single day, because every morning it has a powerful message for me. This collection of short stories is great because Estes then spends pages and pages and pages diving deeper into the meaning of the story and helping us to understand on a higher level. Yesterday I read the "Ugly Duckling" story, and so much of it hit home with me. Being bullied in high school was traumatizing at the time, but upon reflection I realize it was one of the greatest things that ever happened to me -- because that's when my search began....when I stopped trying to "fit in" and instead started to look for my spiritual family. I'll share {Estes writes}...

"The core meanings we are concerned with are these: The duckling of the story is symbolic of the WILD NATURE, which, when pressed into circumstances of little nurture, instinctively strives to continue no matter what. The wild nature instinctively holds on and holds out, sometimes with style, other times with little grace, but holds on nevertheless. And thank goodness for that. For the wildish woman, duration is one of her greatest strengths.

The other important aspect of the story is that when an individual's particular kind of soulfulness, which is both an instinctual and a spiritual identity, is surrounded by psychic acknowledgment and acceptance, that person feels like and power as never before. Ascertaining one's own psychic family brings a person vitality and belongingness.

The ugly duckling goes from pillar to post trying to find a place to be at rest. While the instinct about exactly where to go may not be fully developed, the instinct to rove until one finds what one needs is well intact.

If you have attempted to fit whatever mold and failed to do so, you are probably lucky. You may be an exile of some sort, but you have sheltered your soul. There is an odd phenomenon that occurs when one keeps trying to fit and fails. Even though the outcast is driven away, she is at the same time driven right into the arms of her psychic and true kin, whether these be a course of study, an art form, or a group of people. It is worse to stay where one does not belong at all than to wander about lost for a while and looking for the psychic and soulful kindship one requires. It is never a mistake to search for what one requires. Never.

One is being made strong by this exile. While this situation is not one we would wish on anyone for any reason, its effect is similar to pure natural carbon under pressure producing diamonds- it leads eventually to a profound magnitude and clarity of psyche. It takes out weakness by the pounding. It removes whininess, enables acute insight, heightens intuition, grants the power of keen observation and perspective that the "insider" can never achieve. The wild psyche can endure exile. It makes a woman go on looking, and if she cannot find the culture that encourages her, then she usually decides to construct one herself. And that is good, for if she builds it, others who have been looking for a long time will mysteriously arrive one day enthusiastically proclaiming that they have been looking for this all along. "

With that said, I am soooo looking forward to being reunited with the community that has been created in South Jersey!!! I will be posting my schedule for this summer later this week and I cannot wait to see you all!!!!!

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