You will see under the blog title that my key theme words are ‘the extraordinary power of the ordinary self…’ These words come from a book by Marcia Westkott, ‘The Feminist Legacy of Karen Horney.’ This is an amazing book and was a life changing perspective for me many years ago, about twenty years ago now. I was given this book as a gift and the gift unfolded in reading this book at that time and still resonates today. The words above come from the last chapter, ‘From feminine type to female hero.’ It’s complex but was and remains something I intuitively understand.
‘The power of the ordinary is an idea of transcendence that is especially appropriate to the feminine type,’ (Westkott, p212) It’s about how women especially create a false personality, are not truly themselves out of a desire for approval, for what others want them to be. How they become divorced from their authentic self, devalued, angry and detached. How the audience keeps shifting and the demands for perfection are therefore without bounds.
In the end, after working through a process of learning and discovery, for me, often through tragedy and in a context of all the shifting of stable supports, there is a sense of realisation of the true power of the ordinary self and what it is capable of. It is a message essentially of self-acceptance and growing into your own skin, but with a real backbone of why this occurs:
‘Neither perfect nor contemptible, she discovers the extraordinary power of her ordinary, unique self and what is truly possible…’
I know it’s a brief summary of a complex theme but do these words resonate with you also? What do they mean to you and how can they give you strength in moving forward?