Lately my priorities have involved self reflection and goal setting. And just in time for Halloween, I discovered that the path to my good mental health meant allowing my inner bitch to have some breathing room. She is part of me after all!
I’m just a Wicked Witch trying to get by as a Dorothy in this Land of Oz. Of course I want to be nice, and people are always telling me that I’m too nice — ugh, typical Dorothy behavior. But it’s not healthy to suppress my inner bitch when she’s trying to look out for my best interests. The truth is, I have a terrible time saying no. It isn’t that I can’t ever say no; after I do manage to say no once in a while, I make a concerted effort to feel guilty for as long as possible. I have also spent much of my adult life making important decisions based on the input of others who feel compelled to tell me what I should do (like they know anything). I tell you, that makes it quite difficult for a gal’s agenda to progress, whether it’s raising a family or training an army of vicious flying monkeys (practically the same thing, by the way).
I have lost the ability over time to listen to my own voice and make decisions with a clear conscience. Guilty feelings about saying no to people who have certain expectations only feeds anxiety and self doubt. In order to get true respect from the world, I must first respect and love myself, delightful flaws and all. This is where being a bit of a witch really pays off! I decided that the best way to amend my problems is to reconnect with my inner bitch and allow her some breathing room. Since she is part of who I am, perhaps she could teach me how to reclaim my true identity and learn to listen to that identity with a clear mind. I did have to be careful when unleashing this powerful force. Honestly identifying my feelings and personal goals rather than fixating on distractions made me feel courageous and motivated. There is a difference between expressing oneself with emotion and just fighting dirty. For me, progress isn’t about executing a vengeful agenda to get a higher foothold on the ladder of life. The inner bitch is simply there to remind me of who I am and who I can be, if I focus on what is really important.
It wasn’t long before my confidence was put to the test. While attending a harvest festival at the local dairy farm, I ran into a friend from the school where I used to work. She asked if I would be coming back. “No,” I said simply, and smiled. “But we really miss you there!” The guilt started to creep in, and part of me wanted to make promises to appease her expectations, but I stood my ground. “I don’t know what to say, other than I’m not planning to come back.” No longer a Dorothy, I was free of the guilt and broke the cycle of letting other people make my decisions for me – finally. I would run into more friends and former co-workers from the school throughout the month of October. It was very nice to see them again, but they did not change my decisions.
For Halloween I followed my daughters’ advice and dressed as a witch. After my adventure of self discovery, why not? I was originally going to be Dr. Who (the Matt Smith version) but the girls convinced me to throw on a black dress with some witch-y looking black boots, and my husband helped me find an amazing red hat with feathers and black veil. I painted my lips ruby red, practiced my witch cackle, then sat on the front steps in the freezing cold for two hours welcoming a steady parade of children dressed in an array of colorful costumes. The highlight of the evening was a visit from an eight year old Dr. Who (Matt Smith version), and his costume was much better than mine would have been.
I am glad that I finally identified with my inner bitch and understood how she fits into my personality. I can pretend I am a Dorothy all day, but I AM a Wicked. Instead of skipping down the yellow brick road with random maniacs who pop out of the hedges, I would rather shutter the windows, light some candles, shove gingerbread men into the oven, and watch extra dark episodes of ‘The X Files’. And I will continue to consult my inner bitch for purposes of self empowerment, if not for evil (although that can be tempting!). Without her, I wouldn’t be me.