I have always really struggled with the issue of aggression vs assertiveness. As a woman with some particular life experiences of being accused of being aggressive when I stood up for myself and being thrown out of my religious community for being uppity this become one of my major anxiety triggers. I stand up for something and then spend the next few days in recriminations about my actions even when I know what I did was right and that it was raised in a respectful manner. But I just can't separate these two concepts. In the past week I had two situations where I challenged that link. I still felt those familiar scripts play out but I was able to be more detached about them.
I think that this is in large part due to the times I have had with the Elders, talking about the relationship with my parents and receiving support to stand up when I have to and not get paralyzed by that conception of the "nice girl". Bob Seven Crows told me that I need to be a strong mother bear. I think I have also been lucky to have some people come into my life who understand the costs of these things on sensitive people. It has been very good to be able to talk about it with someone who understands.
As so often, I feel like I just running ahead of my girls, learning as I need to teach, but I suppose that is better than never learning eh? I want to raise assertive strong women and not fearful nice girls. I think that the new post on Halfbreed's Reasoning is a great meditation on assertiveness. Hai hai to those who share and inspire.