When I first came upon the Jean Shinoda Bolen’s book the Goddess in Everywoman, it shook the core foundation of who I was. I was back then, early twenties and in search of who and what I wanted. Desperately searching for answers and meaning. I was angry, defiant and determined to understand why I raged. I wanted peace and clarity.
This was the beginning first steps I took to embracing the Persephone archetype. I immediately recognized the young maiden. Compliant and eager to please. Yet there was the side of me, like Persephone that was defiant and wanted to carve out my own path. I was back then, stuck in limbo. Frozen between pleasing others and afraid of causing waves.
Through my writings, my poems, came the defiance and sadness. The rage and anger. I found power and a voice I never felt before.
Growing up in a traditional Korean family, I knew the path that was laid out before me. To be silent and obedient. To accept the path that was laid out in front of me. Even back then, I rebelled. I bucked the system and walked away.
Fast forward 30 years and I find the book again. I find myself transformed and no longer the young maiden. I am mother. I am hardened and weather worn. My own daughter is different than me, yet similar qualities. To fit in, to yearn for longing. We all do. Yet, like all women, the journey and path to self identity is never clear. Never straightforward. It twists and turns with hills and valleys.
This year, a change stirred inside me. A change that rocked the foundation of what I grew accustomed to. It changed me. Something stirred inside me. To rip and clear away the stagnant complacency that had me bound.
A change that had me question who I was and what I was becoming. This time, I am looking to the teachings of Quan Yin. She goes by many other names. Green Tara. Goddess of Compassion. She is also known as Isis in Egyptian mythology and she is the goddess of women and fertility Aphrodite. I look to the past to gain insight to the future.
I look to the past to gain better understanding who I want to emulate. There is always a better way to live. To move through life compassionately and positively.
I dream that my daughter and I walking through the city towards a stadium. There was a parade happening. There were 4 strange men sitting by the stadium. My daughter approached them as if to ask them something. One of them raised his fist threateningly and she quickly back away. We started walking quickly away from them and started climbing the stadium stairs.
What I remember was that my daughter was following my steps. Together we climbed the steps. I remember my legs ached yet I continued to climb. We eventually reached the top of the steps and I could see the horizon. The sun was beginning to rise.
I woke up and felt all was right in the world. There is a part of me that knows my daughter is ready to journey on her own. She can safely retreat from the threats of unknown danger. She is climbing the steps to her own life. They are hard and steep and at the end is the beginning of a new day. The beauty of a new day.
We are embarking on a new day.