Reclaiming the Wild Woman in Me

It has been 24 years since Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés first published: “Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype.” 

There were many times I wanted to read this book, but somehow felt (or was told) that it was another indicator of the inappropriateness of me in life and the family in which I never felt that I belonged. I somehow believed that by avoiding this book, I would be safe from embracing the “me” at my very core. 

Over the years, I have struggled with coming into my own, believing that someday I would “get it right,” if only I could quiet the voice, tame the spirit, and act according to the rules set forth by those who believe that their version of “what is right” is the only way.

I found myself struggling in my family, the military, in work situations, and in the online expression of myself in writing and interaction.  I was the “bad” one. Just ask those who asked me to wear the collars they designed for me. 

Recently, one of my sisters described me as “the talking mirror”; the one who holds up the reflection for others to see themselves. Another of my friends gave me the distinct title of a “lightning bolt of instigation.” 

In my introductory post in the members’ forum, I have shared a part of me that is as honest as I am alive. I cannot do it any differently. To deny who I am is to die a slow and painful death.

I suppose that I am finally coming into my own, and embracing the Wild Woman that has perpetually tried to live true to self, and never quite fit-in where life has taken me.

Today, I began to read Dr. Estés’ book.  In the introductory chapter, I found so many of the words jumping out at me. Speaking to me. Telling a part of MY story. 

I imagine this will be the story, as well, of the many women who have preceded me, and who have followed in my footsteps. 

Let this journey back to reclaiming the Wild Woman in all of us begin. 








  1. JoDee Stout

    I know as I get older, I don’t care what people think of me..I am who I am. I also find myself saying things that I shouldn’t say, but they just slip out, but at least I’m honest even though the person who is hearing my “honest” opinions might not like what I have to say!! lol

    1. Coral Levang Post author

      Agreed, but we still hold back sometimes. I’m really enjoying reading this book today!

  2. Eva James

    Glad to be reading you again. I will have to look that book up. I have always been the black sheep of my family. But have to say I think I have enjoyed life more than my brother and sister have.

  3. Dawnwriter

    I think most of us who write here are a bit different than those around us in real world. We need to express ourselves, we need to be free to be ourselves and that is why we use these platforms. Lovely to see you here. Keep writing and be wild as much as you want to be.

  4. Priscilla King

    Everyone in my family being an introvert, I think the first distinction among people I recognized as a child was between “wild” (or “horse people” = high energy) and “tame” (or “cow” or low energy). As in “I love Mother more than anybody in the world, but she’s just sooo tame.” (I still do, and she still is.)

    1. Coral Levang Post author

      I like that much better than “good” or “bad.” 🙂 As long as there isn’t a lesser value given to cows than horses, or vice versa, I’m okay with it!

  5. Priscilla King

    Only to the extent that I saw myself as a horse and other people as cows 🙂 (My father and brother were also horses, so I chalked up my differences from them to gender. Then again, now that I come to think of it, my favorite aunt had been a horse, but post-mastectomy seemed like more of a cow, which may have been why I stopped thinking in those terms…)

  6. S.L. Luna

    This post is closer to reality to me. Your story and mine may be conjoined twins. As I was the rebelllious “defying daughter, and now called myself defyingmama , my namesake and title of my personal blog. I have also an FB page titled Defyingmama. . I was different, not fitting in. And a nonconformist at an early age but very timid then, until I came to my own skin, when my dad died and my mom became a widow, i helped being the eldest . we were traditional family , a Catholic raused , authroritatrian setting and my siblings went on to become “good sisters and “brother” . My mom was the archetypal singlemama defying odds , but not norms, I completed the package and added some spice, like battling illness, and the conformist Filipino society and Filipino male machismo norm that dominates family life . I became an engineer when I finished my college in seven years ( a working student and helping suppotr to my mom and siblings ). My life is a telenovela, a story of triumph over tragedies, which us not really extraordinary in the Phils. , But the fact I’m still alive after twice nearly coming face to face with death , and been singkemom and sane for 19 years , I consider it a feat. Im working on my memoir , just recently thought about it , that I should leave this world with a legacy for my children and the wild ones. A wild journey from the Third World realities of inequality to one of living your purpose and coming to terms with your inner being ( your soul, yourr identity , and fulfilling the destiny that was written for me . it wasnt easy to have come to this point at age 52 and knowing my life purpose. Sometimes you need to experience different roads getting lost in the way , before getting to the right direction and destination. I was and still is a lover of beauty and light in darkness, but I don’t wish to call myself gothmama anymore, (Stella Luna in the gothscene) , labeling myself only puts us into restricted territories, boxed into this and that and being looked at us not ” normal” . I continue to live my life with a clear purpose now, goth or Christian , or better yet as a Christian loving goth , just to keep me on track , it is me and God who knows the truths in our hearts , not other people, not even my mom or my children. . keep living yourself as you, and. Live with fullness of life. .

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