The emptiness that women feel
Listening to Tori Amos and her piano gives me chills as it gives me thoughts. For the context of her early songs, like this precious one, it helps to know a bit of her personal story since Tori herself has been a survivor of sexual assault in her early twenties. She has been socially active regarding this topic for ages; since its beginnings in the 90s, she became a supporter and first spokesperson of RAINN, now the largest US anti-sexual violence organization.
So, headphones on, I was pondering "precious things" since Precious Things is about particular dynamics between men and women. Related to that particular dynamics, I was thinking about an energetic void, emptiness, that we, women, carry within us due to the use and abuse of our body and soul and into which we then push lovers (of whatever sex) and everything that lovers represent or are supposed to represent...
Traditionally, this emptiness seems to be a lack of love, and it is often linked with the mother wound, with being either motherless, unmothered, or under-mothered.
I can't help but notice how different life becomes when there is no more obsession with that kind of "love," no more starving for love and striving for inaccessible lovers, how life gets quiet and gratifying when there is no more intensity of the fighting present; no more wars, no more feasts, and famines.
How, at a certain point in a woman's life, her inner fulfillment becomes the criterion of her life.
Experience shows that without a presence of natural inner fullness, with "emptiness" present, the woman has never experienced being - not only mothered enough, or correctly - but not being "pregnant with herself," to borrow the words of Marion Woodman.
It's impossible to honestly wear our skin and soul as a woman when we haven't been given birth to ourselves or slid through that natural yet challenging process of psychological birth. Void of our true soulful selves is a difficult life full of disappointments, high expectations, illusions, fantasies, and obsessions.
I see this in women, all those fantasy attachments and bonds to others and often to their own bodies... It's an epidemic; it's disappointing and unsatisfying. It can't be any other way. Fantasy attachments are always mental since they are rooted "in the head," split off the body, and breed on the illusion of imaginary fulfillment that, like a lousy lover, never truly loves.
Female inner emptiness, etymologically linked to deep maternal wounds, is behaviorally often associated with a covert, sophisticatedly dismissive attitude toward men. We can recognize it in the air, how a woman treats - not only themselves, especially their body - but men.
All that poor treatment may have its roots in bad experiences with the most impossible and toxic representatives of men. I'm pretty sure each of us has legitimate reasons for hostility toward men, rejecting them, feeling the need to take their value away - for better or worse. Every woman who has ever fought with men, grab-rejected and love-hated them, must have had the experience of being a victim. I don't think treating anyone poorly is natural or innate to us; I don't believe that.
Naturally, a secretive, refined, and dismissive attitude toward men is part of why a woman remains unfulfilled in her own life. This is deep shit and a medicine that none of us want to really swallow down, that bitter it is. For most of us survivors, it probably sounds straight devaluing and disempowering.
As Tori sings, if they can make us cum, that doesn't make them Jesus. But the perspective also is men, and the masculine that they embody to a different degree than women do, has their place in the natural order of things, symbolically representing or even practically managing - the world, action, logic, motivation, and professional success. They convey the value, importance, the usefulness "of "something," of anything, even of women - yes, that powerful they are.
And last but not least, from manifesting point of view, our relationship with masculinity is tightly kitten in our deep creative processes. An unhealed relationship regarding masculinity often brings a certain impossibility or a struggle to create meaningfully, keeping us stuck and wobbling in our ambivalence and inner and outer conflicts.
As long as men are litteraly or symbolically a source of fear for us, women, it's impossible to feel deeply valued and thus profoundly secure.
Fear is a domain of shadow, and the victim archetype is one of the shadow archetypes. Fearful of men, survivors, we were all victims once. But at some point, there must appear a turning point in our self-awareness, in an evolution of our consciousness.
Somewhere it must become clear that our emptiness energetically and practically belongs to us - not them. Like it or not, we are response-ABLE... and responsible for it.
In the dark parts of our healing journey, traveling the murky underground, the land of the dead, each of us must and should and can mourn the injustices and pain, heal the wounds and bury the lost dreams... so that, as Clarissa Pinkola Estes often says in her teachings, we not only survive but thrive.
We are not here to merely survive, but thrive.
I guess the most important thing about this whole evolution of female consciousness is that this evolution from wounded girl to sovereign woman is the most helpful factor to ensure that we're never again, under any circumstances or in any way, victims. This way, we develop our immune system and get the speed of sound to escape the pull of toxic patriarchy. We become waterproof to relationships with people of any gender or sex who have internalized an unconscious patriarchal matrix.
Standing firmly on our grounds, in a place of clear awareness about who we are, where we belong, and what we reject? Being able to full-filling ourselves in the first place? Only then do our behavioral "symptoms" disappear. We no longer feel the need to please others, we no longer panic at the thought of losing love, and consequently, we no longer feel the need to meet the needs of others beyond our integrity.
The game changes when we take responsibility for our inner feminine emptiness and stop stiffing ourselves on relationships, on success, on money, on beauty. When we turn inward and engage with the "invisible," we start meeting ourselves with another level of warmth, compassion, and radical love, learning to witness ourselves and fulfill ourselves.
This is how we eventually live fulfilled lives. We are not surviving anymore, but we are thriving instead. We feel how precious we are; no one on this planet or in this universe could take away our Precious Things.
I find my ultimate way into this level of womanhood and psychological transformation through sacred womb work. Womb healing work is a particular way of relating with your feminine self, and I intend to write about it much more in upcoming reflections. And, if you ever encounter a chance to get deeper into it, do it; it's magic. You can also subscribe to my newsletter here, and if there comes an opportunity to work with me, you'll get your invitation.
** Tina Bozic is a psychologist and psychotherapist. In her private practice, she helps women heal deep soul wounds to build lives on their own sacred terms. Tina specializes in energy work in psychotherapy tailored to heal the painful effects of trauma in relationships.