While it is useful to make bridges even to those groups one does not belong to, and it is important to try to be kind, it is also imperative to not strive too hard, to not believe too deeply that if one acts just right, if one manages to tie down all the itches and twitches of the wildish create, that one can actually pass for a nice, restrained, subdued, and demure lady-woman. It is that kind of acting, that kind of ego-wish to belong at all costs, that knocks out the Wild Woman connection in the psyche. Then instead of a vital woman you have a nice woman who is de-clawed. Then you have a well-behaved, well-meaning, nervous woman, panting to be good. No, it is better, more graceful, and far more soulful to just be what as as you are and let the other creatures be what they are too.
Lord did I spend a lot of my life trying to fit in and belong with a nice group of ladies. Ladies who wanted to do it all right, dress just right, and speak just right. And God bless them…they were lovely. But right there…just under the surface…was always the wild woman who would not be tamed completely. She was the one who said “Yeah, that’s a wine rack with wine in it” when the lady in her home for Bible study pointed and said “Is that what I think it is?” with all the judgement of a cop during prohibition.
It was there in the edge of my voice when I said quietly but with ferocity “You are welcome in my house. But you are not welcome to be a racist in my house” to the lady who thought she’d test that ground during a dinner party.
Always the wild woman was there, ready to pounce, when someone questioned my nature, my independence, my unwillingness to “submit” or my certainty that I’d been called for more. When a man that I respect said “What if you are wrong? What if God is not giving you permission to teach? What if this is just one more way God is asking you to tame your rebellious nature” and my answer was “I’m not wrong. God isn’t wrong. I know what I’m being called into.”
Then, the wildish nature would rear up in times of pressure or necessity. I was cautious and over studious to ensure that I could take an unpopular position with something to back me up. Then, women around me would try to coax me back into niceness by talking to me with soft calming voices about how I needed to behave in order to be acceptable.
Now, my true nature lives right out in the open. Now no one is surprised when I suddenly stop a conversation that is going left and redirect it. Now the people in my life know that I have an opinion and am not afraid to share it even if it is not fully formed or based on some research and study. They know that I believe “I don’t know” to be one of the best answers a person can give and that I’m likely to come back and let you know that I changed my mind the next day. My people know that I can overstep and that I can also apologize. And they know that I am generous with the opinions of others and that there is abundance in my kindness, open-heartedness, and willingness to listen.
When I stopped trying to fit in where I didn’t belong, I was able bless those I wasn’t a part of and find my people. And among my people…my tribe…I am loved just as I am. I am challenged and asked to face challenges and be better. I am given help and hope and encouragement in both failure and victory.
And that makes me a little more wild and a lot more loved.