This week I had a wonderful coaching session with a woman who was struggling with someone in a work team, someone who she perceived to have power in a number of situations, but not the inner power my client desired to have. She saw an example of a woman in power who was misusing it, an example of a woman in power who turned others off, and wielded it in a way that hurt others. Together we found how this woman was actually providing some very good clarity for her in her own self as she steps more and more in to her true self.
I asked her if this co-worker reminded her of anyone she knew in her life. The first thing that popped out of her mouth was that she reminded her of Snow White's stepmother. She was beautiful, she was powerful, but she misused that power and used it in a way that hurt others. An example from story, but this can be very telling when we consider the origin of many of the stories that we heard as young ones.
"The image of the Dark or Evil Queen has been largely represented by male authors of fairy tales and folklore as a wicked, dark force. She may also be depicted as prone to hysteria and dark powers, influences, or plots, as in the story of Snow White."
- Caroline Myss
In my clients case we see a brilliant example of what we don't want to become when we are in power. Whether man or woman you have seen examples of it. Yes, there have been equally as many men in positions of power who have abused that power (probably more), and the following example works for both. What stood out for my client was remembering the fear that she had felt, as a five year old child, of this character. The thing about the subconscious mind is, whether it happened yesterday or 20 years ago, the trauma lives on in the now. Calling it foolish or childish discounts the original wounding. At a young age she had learned to fear her own power, without knowing it as that. And now out of the woodworks steps the guardian of the gate, the woman who would challenge her idea about power, and whether she really wanted it.
This woman provided for my client a very powerful amount of contrast, which meant that it provided an ever worthier amount of clarity about who she wanted to be as a woman who has power. And we are not talking power over, we are talking a strong inner power that cannot be lost to another.
So, here was a list of some of the contrast she was seeing:
- Used her power over, and to hurt, others.
- Misuse of the power.
- Hiding behind her beauty ( this warranted further discussion as it lead to some interesting beliefs about beauty )
- Can't trust her.
- Hides information to hold on to power ( recognised as her perception, not necessarily the whole truth )
Here, at least in part, we are seeing the shadow of the Queen archetype.
"Challenges related to control, personal authority and leadership play a primary role in forming the lessons of personal development that are inherent to this archetype. The shadow Queen can slip into aggressive and destructive patterns of behavior, particularly when she perceives that her authority or capacity to maintain control over the court is being challenged. The Ice Queen rules with a cold indifference to the genuine needs of others--whether material or emotional."
- Caroline Myss
She could choose to stay angry at this woman, but that would only be giving her power away. Instead we brought it back to what this was telling my client about being a woman in power, about what she herself was fearing to become. The shadow of another person, which triggers us, is a very good indicator of what we are afraid to become. And it is a beautiful gift to help us determine who it is we wish to become.
As well as that it is important to look and see if there is anything about this person that is some unclaimed part of your own shadow. When you look deeper you may see something that you do not like about you, or something that you have not forgiven yourself for. Be willing to look deep, forgive yourself and accept yourself for those traits, and claim back your power. Get clear on who it is you want to become.
- I listen to my intuition as to the best thing to do in every situation.
- I use my powers wisely.
- I am beautiful.
- I trust myself, it is safe to be powerful.
- I have nothing to lose. Any power is a gift from spirit.
So now, she has a much clearer idea of what it is that she wishes to become instead. We just have to remember the very powerful and simple phrase from the simple man himself:
"Become the change you wish to see in the world."
- Mahatma Gandhi
In time the very people who have hurt us can come to be people we are grateful for. Grateful for the clarity they gave us about who we want to be. Grateful for reminding us that nobody can take our power away from us, unless we choose to give it to them. Grateful for reminding us what true power is, and how different it is to a version where others have power over us. After the anger and the grief, comes the forgiveness and in time the gratitude. Don't expect to get to this state of mind straight away, but it is the stronger path.
Yes, we have seen people misusing their power, it has happened for eons, and will continue to happen. What is more important is that we do not give our power away, or shy away from it, but step in to it and express it, recognising that we are gifted this power. When you claim the power that wants to express through you, it is simply a case of stepping back and allowing that power to express through you. It may be in ways that mother Theresa did, it may be in ways that Oprah Winfrey or Louise Hay would express it, but it will be uniquely you. Don't let another person let you believe that their power over you, which is really force, is true power. True power comes from within and is unshakable.
“The power of God is with you at all times; through the activities of mind, senses, breathing, and emotions; and is constantly doing all the work using you as a mere instrument.”
- Bagavad Gita
So, with all your healing powers, your gifts and talents, ones which God is enjoying through you, you have choices to make each and every day. Centred in quiet we can make those choices. Free from the nattering of the ego we make the choices which are for the highest good of all. Through continuous meditation and yoga practice you will find the power within you in the most dire of challenging times, and will find the strength within you to stand in your power, doing good for humanity.
"The benevolent Queen uses her authority to protect those in her court, and sees her own empowerment enhanced by her relationships and experience. Besides having a rulership position in a court, the Queen represents power and authority in all women. Symbolically, her court can be anything from a corporation to her home."
- Caroline Myss
4/16/2013 01:43:24 am
Wonderful Blog. I know a few of those evil queens in my life ;) I want to be more like Snow White.
4/26/2013 01:50:28 pm
Empowering blog post! It's a welcome change in perspective to see the evil queen as the contrast she presents rather than the negativity of interacting with her. Thank you!
10/4/2013 05:27:12 pm
Thanks to your blog, I'm gonna create one now too, thank you.
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