Struggling with Shadows and Light

ImageFor the last week, I have sunk into a funk. I work all day, sleep deeply at night, and then I watch a TV show on my computer all evening.  I have not been reading.  I have not been writing.  I have been avoiding my daily walks. It has been dark outside, extremely cold, and treacherously icy.  But I know that there is more going on; something dark has been smouldering inside of me.

I have been watching, rather obsessively, a TV series that I discovered on Netflix called “Once Upon a Time”.  For a show about fairy tale characters, the writing and acting are surprisingly good.  It explores good and evil, hope and fear, power and vulnerability.  It

Imageplays with the power of belief; belief in one’s self; the belief that things can work out well; the belief that there are choices in life.  The main character, who has grown up an orphan, is struggling to believe that she is the “saviour” that others believe her to be.

Something about this series has been resonating with me.  As I watch the shows, one after another, in my addictive state, I have felt that there is a message in them that I need to hear right now.  Recently, I have been frustrated with my job.  I have been feeling angry that, once again, I find myself working under someone who is less capable than me.  It is a pattern that repeats itself over and over in my life.  I am tired of seeing what needs to be done but having too little authority to act upon my observations.

Light leaking through the Fence - KPThen tonight I got it; the message.  I have been waiting for someone to tell me that I would be a good leader, when this is something that I have to claim for myself.  Rationally, I know that I am ready to step in the role of the decision-maker, but like the heroine in this show, I have no faith in myself.   The neglected and abandoned child within me; the one who was invisible; the one who had no voice; feels unworthy of the responsibility.

I am 56.  I have been working in my field for 30 years.  My children have left home.  I am one of the elders.  It is time. Time for me to recognize my abilities; to claim the authority; to step into my power.  Time to offer my community the best that I have to offer; time to assume the responsibilities that I was born to carry.

About kp

I am a woman and a mother, a sister and a wife. I have called myself a socialist and a feminist, an environmentalist and an activist, a pagan and an atheist. But, at this stage in my life, none of these labels feel right. I am searching; trying to find an inner calm; trying to make peace with life's disappointments; trying to answer the big questions in my own small life.
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20 Responses to Struggling with Shadows and Light

  1. Funny how I was just thinking about being a leader no more than 2 days ago. I’m almost tired of waiting around to do things, or find a group with similar interests…………So I told myself, just do it. Take the responsibility and be the leader…….. WOW!!

  2. Oriah says:

    Lovely Kim. Reminds me of a Alice Walker quote that I posted on FB this week: “The most common way people give away their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” Meaning, of course, that stepping into our power (and I mean power- with, and power from within, not power-over as the dominator culture tends to exclusively define power) is an inside job. Sounds like you are breaking the back of the belief that you are not power-full. Go for it! :-) Oriah

    • kp says:

      Thanks Oriah…the inner processes seem to be the most difficult to overcome but I feel so much lighter today after simply owning this as my issue. Kim

  3. Ellen says:

    I hope you go for it kp. I sometimes feel similar – I’m also in my fifties, well educated, but I got started working later in life, so I don’t have decades of experience myself. I often try to lead from below – giving recommendations, etc. Doesn’t work that well. The world needs you to step up, it seems.

    • kp says:

      Hi Ellen…I spend a lot of time “managing up” and it can be frustrating and limiting. I keep thinking of the image of Gandalf standing on the stone bridge declaring himself before fighting the Balrog. For those of us who do not affirming voices in our head, we need to find other ways of reminding ourselves of all that we have accomplished and all that we are capable of. May 2014 be a empowering year for both of us!!!

  4. Big smiles as the Signs pop up to show us the way, its not until we heed them that they stop repeating their lessons… At last you SEE so now go and grasp the nettle and change who you are…. Have the courage in this New year to become who you were meant to be.. and then maybe you will feel whole and complete as you See YOU and who you are….

    Love and Blessings and Happy New Year Kim.. xxx Sue

  5. Deliberately Delicious says:

    Time to step into my power… Just reading that gives me such a sense of your strength and resolve. I think as women we have a responsibility to step into leadership, whatever it looks like for us. Go, go, go!!!

    • kp says:

      It is so easy to say and hard to do but I think it will help me to keep me in mind that I, along with everyone else, owe this to others as well as myself!! I hope you are doing well!!! Kim

  6. KP – rise up and the road will surely rise to meet you – best of luck!

  7. Seems frivolous to mention, but I remember hearing an interview with Angelina Jolie once. She said her mother always told her (I’m paraphrasing on memory now) – if you see something that needs to be done, don’t wait for someone else to do it. For some reason it stuck in my mind. It seemed empowering to me – a chance to act, within our creative powers, on the one hand. And to let go of disappointment, on the other. You’ve definitely earned the right to your authority, Kim. Go you!

    • kp says:

      Hi Alarna….I don’t think it is frivolous at all. I think those early life messages shape the way we approach the world. And I agree with you, it is empowering. I think it is also motivating. I think that the beliefs of my family were more like: “Watch out for number one” and “Find the path of least resistance”. Kim

  8. Pam Bickell says:

    Hi Kim, I feel the Once Upon a Time message is touching you at a deeper level than just work–like it’s more than simply seeing what could be done better at work. Once Upon a Time is about magic, about wielding darkness and light and changing the world with magic. Maybe it’s touching you because an inner remembering is stirring. Maybe you’re coming into some kind of spiritual work? I don’t know, but I sense it’s something more…xoxoxo

  9. Hariod Brawn says:

    I can tell from your writing alone that you are a very capable woman.

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