The following is part of a transcript from a podcast interview between WisdomWomen Founder, Michelle Stransky, and her long-time teacher, Shakti Malan, who passed away on July 18, 2017. This post is part of a tribute series to her and her contributions to WisdomWomen.
Michelle: I wonder sometimes, is there an easier way to do this? The journey of birthing WisdomWomen has been so challenging because it takes going through the shadows and failures. It’s important to have the framing that it is part of the process of creating something new in the world.
Shakti: The work that WisdomWomen is doing is pioneering in that every woman who participates is going to meet their own edges, their own conditioning, their own internalized patriarchy. We have to keep meeting those places. It’s not a failure. It’s part of what it is. This is the journey. It’s not about having arrived there already. We have to meet our conditioning with compassion in order to move on to the next level.
It’s an old masculine paradigm to think in terms of getting it right and getting it wrong. It’s not the way the Feminine operates. The Feminine LOVES the mud. The domain of the Feminine is all about welcoming the stuff that comes up that we didn’t want to come up, the boo-boos. The things we didn’t want to happen. We have to become more willing for the messiness of evolution. It’s part of the nature of the feminine. She’s not linear. It doesn’t go in clean, straight tracks all the time.
Michelle: Can you talk about the victim-perpetrator-hero triangle? And how this relates to power and to women stepping into their power?
Shakti: I believe that in the time we are living in in the 21st century, a lot of our power and energy gets trapped in this triangle. The way the triangle works is that whenever somebody has experienced and identified with being a victim, whether consciously or unconsciously, from an individual or collective level, that we will move into, at some points, actually becoming perpetrators or tyrants ourselves. And at other times, step into becoming the rescuers or heroes.
Within those 3 positions of the triangle, most of us prefer to be in the position of the rescuers or hero. Which is why there are so many dangerous healers, community workers and even politicians – because they are presenting themselves as the rescuers of the world but they have not dealt with the part of themselves that feels like the victim. They unconsciously actually become tyrants. I’ve seen it happen so many times. It’s obvious in terrorist organizations where there is a reaction to being victim and then the victims become tyrants.
It’s important to look finely at your life and the ways in which you do that. We have to own the places in us where we still believe that we are victims – that we were put into positions we didn’t choose, that we don’t have control over, and that we are trying to get someone else to pay for in some other way. It shows up in women as a resentment complex – towards men, the patriarchy, or the system. This keeps us in a position with no real access to power. Our energy keeps going in the triangle. Unconsciously, we’re going to try and resolve the triangle by getting ourselves to not be victims, by getting the tyrants to pay. But, in the process we’re actually becoming the tyrants and we’re using all our energy that we could use to create a new world to just perpetuate a system that is dualistic. One that believes that some people have and some people don’t; that some people are victims and some are predators.
It doesn’t discount the fact that of course there have been and continue to be atrocious things that happen on this planet that need to be addressed and people need to stand up about that. It is the deep identification with being the victim that we have to face and look at carefully because we can be very invested in a false, pseudo power that keeps us away from the real power we have.
Michelle: This is constantly with me on my journey of stepping into my leadership. As we re-envision the world from a different paradigm I can’t help but notice all the revolutionaries who have tried to take power and have become the very thing that they tried to take down. On my own journey, I related to being in the victim role – and as I stepped into the authority role, it was shocking to see how these things play out in me too. At the same time very healing and equalizing.
Shakti: You had the courage to take the power in any case even though some part of you must have known that it is going to bump you up against your inner Trump. That is the very reason many women do not want to take on power or step into what we are called to – because we know we will have to face our shadow – but that is what we have to do. You are modeling something very important in the journey of yours.