Something I have observed about my experience of sovereignty is that the feeling of it comes and goes.
As if my conditioning were a landslide of mud and debris, I become entangled and triggered, scrabbling and alert, lashing out and fighting back at everything coming in my direction.
As I imagine it, what it would be like to go back into the Matrix after being extracted, knowing that anyone you interact with could turn out to be an agent. It is not my usual MO. Until recently I have always assumed the best in people, to my own detriment many times. One of my living spirit guides once told me, ‘they’re not your friends’. For so long I wanted to believe this wasn’t true, then for just as long I grieved at the loss of perceived trust and my naive sense of safety in the world. But then I realised how my own narrative still held me in place, deep within, the story I still told my self was that if I was just good enough…
So despite my understanding of sovereignty, and fresh memories of how it feels, my mind is still so full of hooks and potholes, I get caught up and trip over myself time and time again. I am a sovereign being with a conditioned mind, the accumulation of small traumas leaving craters on my heart, imprints on my soul.
I am observing that to be free we have to transcend our selves, our ego. As Viktor Frankl noted, freedom lies in choosing our responses, but in order to have access to all of the possible responses we must be able to transcend our own conditioning, to see when the only thing preventing our freedom, is us and the limits and restrictions we place on our selves.
This applies both collectively and individually of course. Such a salient theme as history plays out before us in this present time. Norms and expectations being questioned. Identity politics, left and right, right and wrong, black and white….
So many voices, of theorists, thinkers and contemplatives, flooding our awareness, like a meteor shower to the collective conscious, voices from the past, hearts and minds, planet and people.
A plea, for a revolution so desperately needed.
A cry from the Earth her self, the roar of a mother protecting her young.
As a sovereign being, I choose to rise above my anxiety, my fears, and turn towards my hope. I choose to harness my strengths, gather my gifts and continue in the direction of faith, in human kind and our collective evolution. It is hard work. Some days it flows, other days I have no energy for the fight, but every day I believe in what I stand for, I strive to be intentional in my actions, I think big, I aim high. But am I free in doing so?
With a certain level of cognitive maturity it becomes possible to continually rewrite and updates one’s own narrative, not to delude or omit, but to evolve and develop. To grow. A type of complex adaptive reasoning, that experiences identity as pliable, like modelling clay. You only have one particular lump of clay to work with, but you get to craft, shape and mold it.
The trick seems to be in nuanced, intentional crafting – gently, subtly altering your relational self to help others be at their best, to be free from suffering, to enable, facilitate, and navigate complexity. The complexity in the world around us, the complexities that arise between us and those we carry within.
I’m starting to believe that understanding and being able to intentionally ‘drive’ or manage your own complexity is the ultimate secret to navigating the world around us. To embrace all that you are, the shadows, the paradoxes, the reactive, hurt child. The saint and the sinner, the Madonna and the whore.
Women’s sovereignty in particular is attached to the social norms and expectations around the division of labour. If a woman is expected to raise children, prepare food, clean the house, the clothes, how does she find time to pursue grand ideas? In this way, her ideas are kept small by her circumstances.
(In much the same way, corporate roles and reputations keep people from ever knowing who they really are).
Just as Virginia Wolfe exposes in A Room Of One’s Own, not only does one need physical space to think, write, and create, but one also needs the mental space to allow for emergence, to wonder, to experiment, to meditate and contemplate and be inspired by the world around.
But with this physical space then comes the freedom to explore other things, to wonder about other aspects of one’s identity, other interests or passions, desires not yet explored….imagine a world where all women everywhere were liberated in their sexuality, felt free to dress and express themselves authentically, with no concern about shape or size, or fear of men’s interpretations, perceptions and reactions, or the sneers and snide remarks of other women.
Just the freedom that comes from the confidence gained from truly loving one’s self. Not through the lens of the ego, but the compassionate understanding of the heart and soul. Unconditional, ego-less, self love.
In my mind, the path to sovereignty is paved by love.
Learning to love your self unconditionally is the work.
The work is the continual process of knowing and re-learning everyday, who you are. Identity work develops deep self awareness and requires us to be willing to acknowledge both the light and the dark, learning to harness each as they are needed, to respond intelligently, with both wisdom and compassion, to the world you find yourself in.
In this lies freedom.
Here you will find sovereignty.
“I am not one and simple, I am complex and many”~ Virginia Woolf