Are You A Well-Behaved Lady or a Wild Woman?
“There is something of a civil war going on within all of our lives. There is a recalcitrant South of our soul revolting against the North of our soul. And there is this continual struggle within the very structure of every individual life…There is something within each of us that cause us to cry out with Goethe: “There is enough stuff in me to make both a gentleman and a rogue.” –Martin Luther King Jr., 1957 (Quote from Buddhadharma, Spring 2012)
So what are you? A gentleman or a rogue? A well-behaved lady or a wild woman?
You are both.
You are neither.
We tend to get excited (joyous or angry) about those parts we have ignored. We shout, “YES! I AM a Wild Woman” after years of learning how to be well-behaved. Or we get upset and complain loudly about someone speaking their truth when we have long repressed our own.
In living this way, no matter how we change our perspective on our self, there is always an “other”.
There is nothing harmful about exploring our self, about discovering parts of ourselves that we want to celebrate. But if we do so at the lack of continued exploration, we harm ourselves and others. We need to see that we are ALL of those things that we love and ALL of those things that we hate. We are – quite literally – our best friend and our worst enemy.
When we realize this, we can choose our path wisely. We are not limited by ignorant beliefs. We quiet thoughts of who we were, who we think we are, and who we think we should be. We begin to see all within ourselves and, eventually, all within others.
And then we can release the struggle.