Upon waking, I realize the deep symbolism and perfect timing of this dream. Immediately, I begin to research what the dream means, the cat "totem" as well as the feelings that went along with the attack. Interestingly, most come back to a cat representing the Divine feminine and the qualities of intuition, confidence and independence. The "negative" energy of the cat in my dream very much represented me being afraid of this feminine power, and finding myself in a struggle with my own voice, my own power. Finally. and most reassuringly, the fact that I conquer the cat is most interesting. Although threatened, and still scared, I am true to myself. I know that my feminine power, independence and vulnerability ultimately "wins". Although uncertain in the moment of attack, I find my way through. For myself, and for the other women.
This dream, upon deeper reflection, came to me at exactly when I needed it most. Knowing I have so much to say about midwives and persecution, having been there so recently myself. I have been searching for just the right words for this post, so that I might share encouragement with those that need it most, my "sisters in chains".
We are both the cat and the woman, each one of us. Serving women in birth, deeply intuitive and fierce and independent; yet, at times, full of fear for ourselves, our families and others like us. What place does this cat have in our modern world? Are our qualities of being headstrong, and "different" too much for us to bear? Are we really victims, or are we victors?
I believe the answer is "yes" to all of it. We are women. We are strong and brave, yet at times afraid of showing others how strong we are. We may cower in fear one minute, afraid we will be next in the string of persecutions. But then, somehow, we rise above it all and stand on the other side. Able to speak to the hearts of our sisters, reminding them of what they already know.
You are brave, and strong. Your service to women does not go unnoticed; and though difficult and heartbreaking at times, you were chosen. To be the cat, full of destructive power. But, then to be the one woman that stands up among other women, and stands FOR something bigger than herself.
I found myself in exactly this place, this one of dreams and nightmares, about two years ago. Attending a VBAC woman that no one else would, and being sought by the local doctors and state department for doing that, and only that. But it wasn't just that; if "they" were the cat, I enticed its fangs with my own rebellious power as much as I could. I wasn't going to give in, at least not without a fight. What could have been simple became complicated, because my independence led me there. Hiring a lawyer, standing truthful with the women I served, and knowing that their support was going to get me through. I stood, often terrified, as I forced "them" to subpoena me; and later, rejected all attempts at "settlement" because the terms were not ones I could ever settle for.
And before I knew it, I had the cat by the neck. From behind. I almost didn't recognize myself anymore. I went from a position of defending myself, to a position of true power. They could not defeat me. Yes, my world had been turned upside down, but I found myself in this place where there was immense clarity. I would not, could not serve them. I could only serve the women and families, and to them, I would answer.
So, I got the cat from behind, so to speak, and very sincerely did not need to fight any longer. I saw the vision of me serving women so clearly, and although it went against everything "they" know, it is right for me. I have found my true voice and my real power. And I believe in doing so, I have made gains (as all of you have as well) for many. We don't have to run and hide; and although we might be afraid, there is so much power in our independence, our vulnerability, and creativity.
I leave you with these thoughts, dear sisters. That your plight is not in vain, it is not without gain for all of us. When we stand strong in our own power, there is absolutely nothing that can be taken from us.
Blessed be, Maryn Leister