The “Hello My Name Is” sticker on the front of my shirt reads “Bitch.”
A small group discussed and then came up with that name, that quality, and now the word is glued to me for the rest of the weekend.
I get it. We’re in the middle of getting trained to be coaches and the assignment is to emphasize an area where we can bring more power, balance and authenticity to how we show up. Women run from the term, and yet, from me, they wanted more bitch.
“You know things that you’re not sharing,” one participant says. “Let it rip, I can take it. You don’t have to protect me,” says another.
I’ve been a people pleaser and have often done the equivalent of back flips to avoid being thought of or called a bitch. I’ve been nice. I bit my tongue. I bit my tongue for nine years in a marriage where my ex gave me plenty of opportunity to let my bitch out — like when he kicked me so hard I had a knot the size of a golf ball on my leg for months. I stewed silently. Or when our friend Mohammed confronted him after a particularly nasty and humiliating diatribe to say, “Hey, stop speaking so cruelly to her,” and my ex had me explain why I deserved to be spoken to in this way. Yes, had me explain.
I was in deep; I was deeply disconnected from my worth, my power and especially my bitch. I thought my ex determined my value and I was scared that if I resisted I would be further emotionally and even physically hurt. So instead of being a bitch, I was his bitch.
We Manifest What We Reject
According to linguist Deborah Tannen, “Bitch is the most contemptible thing you can say about a woman. Save perhaps the four-letter C word.” I spent a lot of energy avoiding being called a bitch, and what I learned is that I was trapped by my own fear of a WORD. I gave my power away, contorted myself, lied and hid all to avoid owning that I could, at times, in fact, be a bitch. Even as I avoided being called a bitch, I was a bitch.
Debbie Ford, transformational coach and author of The Dark Side of The Light Chasers, would point out that what we reject about ourselves will manifest in our lives until we integrate it. This is shadow work. By recognizing and owning that we contain the potential for all kinds of behavior, then we take back our power and our choice. We don’t have to act like a bitch, and we do need to know that we have the potential to and even the right to when we chose to.
Another way of looking at this is to compare every quality or emotion to a musical note or a color of the spectrum. An emotion or quality is not bad in and of itself — we assign judgement and limit our own range. Maybe you choose to paint with only orange and white, fine. It’s a choice and the other colors are available should you change your mind or the situation arise where some blue or purple or yellow or green might serve your creation.
Hi, I’m Cara. I’m kind, passionate, curious, powerful and strong. And sometimes I’m a bitch.
How about you? What words or attributions are you so desperately trying to avoid that they’re running your life?