I can feel the thunder that’s breaking in your heart
I can see through the scars inside you.
I was not always glad that I’m a girl. I got a bit more comfortable with the idea as I got older though. Looks surely had a lot to do with it but I’m sure that will eventually past. My mom was quite the chika back in her day by the looks of the old pictures, and my dad wasn’t too bad to look at either. Both are too old now to be on the hotness scale these days but I do appreciate the genes. Hotness aside, the point I’m making is that – it is not always easy being a girl, especially where I’m from. I suspect that there are those of us of whom it doesn’t get easier being a girl as we get older but rather gets considerably harder. However, nothing is really ever hard enough to a soldier. To a girl, the harder it is, the more powerful we become until that power scares us. For us girls who are not driven into submission by fear, we become soldiers.
The oldest of us still have a little girl inside us; she is always there and for the few who have forgotten her, it does not take much for her to be remembered. I remember mine well and she is still with me. We have a mission to accomplish. That mission is to find a General. When I was younger, my mother told me a story about a General called Rhalaxia. My mother referred to her as the Scarlet General. She commanded an army of one hundred thousand men – bound to her by a blood oath of honor. She was a medicine woman who saved her village from famine during a civil war. Her mastery of herbs and reading the signs of the weather helped many to survive severe scarcity of resources; the men sacrificed their lives to keep her alive for if she died they all would perish. Each of the men, who protected her, taught her a skill and with each sacrifice they made she promised to never give up. She improved upon every skill she learned. Over time she became more than a healer but also a warrior, the most skilled of her people and the one who ensured all the trades of her people were learnt by as much of them as possible; she was by then a school master. After 13 years, the civil war made a turn for the better, conflict had diminished drastically. The Scarlet General’s people were the most robust of all the peoples in her country that survived the war. As a result, her village became a clan unto itself; the leader of that clan being Rhalaxia, the Scarlet General – honored leader of a hundred thousand men. Being the most robust of her people and skilled men, it is said that just ten of those in the clan of Rhalaxia could fight off the raiding party of one hundred. Even under such dire conditions it is also said that the movement of the men under Rhalaxia’s command was like a dance. So it was that after 13 years of war, a period of peace was called the Dance of a Hundred Thousand. Rhalaxia used her power to rebuild her country and although she could have, she did not conquer it. In the end, the civil war was for nothing since no dominant power had emerged absolute. Rhalaxia and her people left that land after helping as much as they could to rebuild. She and her clan went far into the wilderness to form a society of their own. I always liked that story, it seem like the sorta thing a powerful woman would do. What fascinated me the most though was how in the world a girl had managed to command such loyalty of those men that they would die to protect her. This was the mission that the little girl inside of me stuck around to figure out.
The little girl inside, she is a soldier. Not just any soldier, but one to teach me the ways of the Scarlet General. After all, to be a General one must first be a soldier and with such a hard life being a girl, what else would she be but a soldier. She has hard lessons to teach. I like to call her, The Soldier of Dianthusa. There is a story behind that name. Scarlet is a poetic way of saying red and just like before being a General one is first a soldier, before one is red then at the very least one must be a pale version of red which would be pink. However, I hate pink and “Pink Soldier” did not have much of a ring to it anyway. Dianthus is a flower that was commonly called “Pink” back in the 16th century so I substituted that term for pink instead. Dianthus, the pale rose seemed appropriate for one pale in comparison to a Scarlet General. Thus the little girl inside was the Soldier of Dianthusa and one of her first lessons was:
- Don’t let that which is within scare you; for if you are afraid it means you have turned away from yourself. Own it for that is your power.
On reflecting on the story my mother told me, it occurred to me that the healer is by nature a vassal of the light. As if, she was the daughter of the sun itself that lived on the Earth rather than above it. She will attract the wounded and the wild things alike with her light while walking the land. If she is afraid to embrace her power as a healer, those that happen upon her will destroy her. But if she sharpens her craft, she will become a giver of life itself and those that survive by her hands will in-turn sacrifice their very lives to preserve hers. Even the wildest of best can recognize this power within her and if she can face them without fear they will in-turn respect her. This respect is not found in sympathy but is merely recognition of power; power recognizes power.
Upon the recognition of power there comes a realization that there is an intoxicating thrill to wielding it. This is not your everyday, “I had an awesome time last night” kinda thrill. The sorta excitement I’m talking about is the kind where you see yourself getting so consumed by the joy of exercising power so much that you may inadvertently break the very world. With strength comes the responsibility of restraint. And who wants to be a bad girl anyway and break the world; breaking the world is very bad. So what do we do? Well most of us hide that power – deep down – and I mean deep. Seal it so far away that the temptation to wield it is absent; all to safeguard our place in society as a good girl. This not only leaves you vulnerable, but also weak; you can feel such weakness in your very soul. To be beholden at this level of concealment means that your very own power becomes an aberration, a shadow self – the kind of shadow that creeps out when you are angry and frustrated. Upon seeing what this power does when it creeps out in anger and frustration, it is buried even deeper. Thus becoming even weaker; a ghost of the self you imagine you’d ever be; a tamed version of yourself but this tameness is not one born from an acceptance of yourself but one out of repression. The worst state to be in. When we repress ourselves, not only is the world hard on us but, we are also being hard on ourselves. With such pressures we will eventually break and so many of us do, you can see them all around us – broken women with no power of their own, waiting on a hero that will never come. All this in mind, the lesson garnered from my Soldier of Dianthusa in this regard is:
- Don’t break yourself by being tame; accept the dangers of your own power and don’t let it scare you into the shadows.
We must admit to ourselves that we can be dangerous, that danger is part and parcel with being in possession of your own power. I know most may worry that doing this will scare away men but that is if you intend to manipulate them. Plus the ones you do scare away will mostly be the weak ones anyway. As I said before, power recognizes power. There is nothing inherently good or bad about power; what you do with it on the other hand determines your character. Surfing upon the waves of your most exhilarating experience, while utilizing the talents you are most skilled at – this is just another form of pleasure. A pleasure I would argue is the highest form of pleasure: ataraxia. It is our talents when expressed are the manifestation of our power. Owning this power within, you will glow like no other woman before you. This is a different kinda hotness with which you will burn, one that doesn’t fade with age but only gets hotter the older you get. This is the fire inside us all, a fire we can also see in the strong women all around us. In the reaches of your own power there is no shadow, just only light; a light that can defend those who we love or heal them. For in the fires of life we all burn.
Still, all this is merely just a beginning to the life you want and not just the life that was given to you. Let that little girl within guide you. With her help, we all can become creators of something other than what is already given to us in this world. Even more assuredly we can become transformers, to take what is given to us and make it into what we truly desire. To create or to transform is requires a type of magic – to take from the eternal possibilities that which you can make possible- taking what already is and turning it into what could be. One day, maybe we all can become Scarlet Generals and rebuild a country, may we all become the rescuer of all that was broken. One day, maybe! Till then there is the work that needs to be done and it will take the power inside us all to do it.