If there’s one thing you should know about Women Who Run With The Wolves, it is that this book isn’t something to be read in the span of a few days, or even weeks. (It took me nearly a year to get through this book. Women Who Run is a companion book; the book I turned to when my mental illness became too much to bear. Its pages are stained with orange highlights, read ink, and pressed flowers. I have held this book in my hands longer than any book I’ve read before.
At first encounter, I found the book to be slightly pretentious, too flowery, and tended to be a bit too generalized in some parts. This book won’t work for everyone, and I wouldn’t recommend it as a “must read”. As for me, I took a lot of valuable lessons from this book; I want to share some of them with you. Now, you may not agree with all of them. Still. Here are some quotes that gave me strength and I do hope it will help you, too.
Call her by her high names or by her low names, call her by her newer names or her ancient ones, she remains just what she is.
To understand what around and about us and within us must live, and what must die.
All creatures must learn that there exist predators. Without this knowing, a woman will be unable to negotiate safely within her own forest without being devoured. To understand the predator is to become a mature animal who is not vulnerable out of naïveté, inexperience, or foolishness.
The deepest work is usually the darkest. A brave woman, a wizening woman, will develop the poorest psychic land, for if she builds only on the best land of her psyche, she will have for a view the least of what she is. So do not be afraid to investigate the worst. It only guarantees increase of soul power.
Respect in the face of great power is a crucial lesson. A woman must be able to stand in the face of power, because ultimately some part of that power will become hers.
Although sweetness can fit into the wild, the wild cannot long fit into sweetness.
To choose just because something mouth-watering stands before you will never satisfy the hunger of the soul-Self. And that is what intuition is for; it is a direct messenger of the soul.
The desire to force love to live on in its most positive form only is what causes love to ultimately to fall over dead, and for good.
Without a task that challenges, there can be no transformation. Without a task there is no real sense of satisfaction. To love pleasure takes little. To love truly takes a hero who can manage his own fear.
[That] time cannot be erased, but it can be eased. It cannot be sweetened up, but it can be rebuilt, strongly, and properly, now. It is not the rebuilding of the internal mother that is so frightening to so many, but rather the fear that something essential died back then, something that can never be brought back to life, something that received no nourishment […]
If we stay as survivors only without moving to thriving, we limit ourselves and our power in the world to less than half. One can take so much pride in being a survivor that it becomes a hazard to further creative development.
A woman cannot make the culture more aware by saying “Change.” But she can change her own attitude toward herself, thereby causing devaluing projections to glance off.
Sometimes the only alternative to cringing before a parched collective is to commit an act drenched in courage. This act need not necessarily be of the earthshaking variety. Courage means to follow the heart.
When a woman goes home according to her own cycles, others around her are given their own individuation work, their own vital issues to deal with. Her return to home allows other growth and development too.
The basic wild instinct that determines “only this far and no farther, only this much and no more” must be retrieved and developed. That is how a woman keeps her bearings. It is preferable to go home for a while, even if it causes others to be irritated, rather than to stay and deteriorate, and then finally crawl away in tatters.
A woman must be careful not to allow overresponsibility (or overrespectability) to steal her necessary creative rests, riffs, and raptures. She simply must put her foot down and say no to half of what she believes she “should” be doing. Art is not meant to be created in stolen moments only.
Even raw and messy emotions are a form of light, crackling, bursting with energy. We can use the light of rage in a positive way, in order to see into places we cannot usually see.
Anger is one of her innate ways to begin to reach out to create and preserve the balances that she holds dear, all that she truly loves. It is both her right, and at certain times and in certain circumstances, a moral duty.
With changes of weather the scar can and will ache again. That is the nature of a true grief.
In all dying there is uselessness that becomes useful as we pick our way through it all.
The challenge of loving unappealing aspects of ourselves is as much of an endeavor as any heroine has ever tried.
So come out, come out wherever you are. Leave deep footprints because you can.
All of these quotes talk about women but I’d rather us not simply narrow it down to that. These words can apply to just about anyone no matter the gender. I do hope you these quotes touched you as much as they did for me. They gave me the clarity I needed as I worked through my mental illness and trauma; no matter what you’re going through I hope these helped you.
Which of the quotes spoke to you the most, and how?
If you’ve read the book, did you enjoy it? What was your personal journey like?