Forbidden is one of those powerful words. The concept behind forbidden is even more powerful than the words. It firmly says this is the limit of your power. Not only may you not go further, you can not. You lack the capability, and an external force has the power to make sure you don't even seriously try.
A life long good girl, it's been easy to forbid me to do something. I've never liked that quality about myself. One of the exercises in The Artist's Way was to make a list of things you're forbidden to do. Some of them were things that I don't want to do -- like kill somebody. For the purposes of the list though, it didn't matter that I didn't want to do a lot of them. I just had to think about all the limits I've allowed to be placed on my life. My list staggered me with how many limits I'd accepted on my behavior.
Being somewhat acquainted with my darker side, one aspect of me heaved a sigh of relief. If I start crashing headlong through limits, part of me won't want to stop. I recognize that I have a capacity for violence that is kept caged tighter than Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs. It needs to be locked up. I don't like that part of myself either, but I won't ignore its existence. I also recognize that it has its roots in the passion which is an essential element for many wonderful parts of my identity. I won't give up having passion, and if that means I have to forbid a part of myself from further development, it's worth it.
So, how do I find the balance between my overly restrained good girl and the wild creature who makes both Thelma and Louise seem tame? Writing in the heat of the moment, flying on instinct and mixing metaphors, my first internal response was to trust both sides. The warrior woman who has broken other people's bones (in self defense, I must add) will not allow me to get needlessly hurt. She is dangerous but not stupid. The prissy little good girl who is so bloody annoying is braver than she realizes. She knows the courage and strength it takes to be gentle. With her hard drawn lines of propriety, she is the part of me that recognizes and detests injustice. There are times when I fear one and roll my eyes at the other, but I need to cherish them both.
I also need to recognize that these facets of my personality are just that -- one part of a whole, not individual entities. Together, they form a woman who will find the balance she needs. I need to trust my own integrity and my own authority to set and recognize limits and exercise my own power. Whether it's breaking through a barrier or calmly nodding at the wisdom of its existence, I have to trust that the wisdom will be there.
Thia entry is part of Sunday Scribblings.
Sunday Scribblings, forbidden, power, limits