“Who are you,” I demanded in surprise, “and what are you doing here?” I asked as I climbed the steps of the front porch, encountering this hunched, raga-muffin person. There was something vaguely familiar and discomforting about her, something I couldn’t put my finger on.
“I’m the Stinger Woman,” she exclaimed, chuckling under her foul breath, half in defiance and partly in smug confidence.
“Tell me what you want, and then please go.” I could feel the eerie prickle as the hairs stood on end over my body, knowing her message was a foreboding one. Did I really want to listen to her?
“You have invited me here,” was her confident reply.
“I WHAT? What do you mean? I’ve never seen you before nor do I know your business with me,” I declared, as the words spilled out with more irritability and lack of control than I realized I was feeling. I surprised myself, so caught off guard was I by her aura of pervasive power and cunning self-assurance. Her unsettling business did indeed seem to be the ability to foster—rather quickly I might add—my fears, doubts, and questions about the strength of my own power. She had arrived unannounced but was already creating her little dis-quieting waves of uncertainty and chaos. I hoped I wasn’t visibly shaking.
“I see you are trying to figure out who I am,” she grinned with glee, puffing out her chest with confidence that she had taken the upper hand, “but you know very well who I am. You can’t kid yourself and you surely can’t deceive me. I, the renowned Stinger Woman, come into your presence whenever you welcome me in.
“I would never welcome you anywhere, even if you were the last person on earth!” I retorted, trying to stabilize my equilibrium as I stared into her piercingly deep eyes of knowing.
“And so you like to think,” she rejoined. “When your stream-of-thoughts are on a negative wavelength, like the energy of a train barreling down a greased track, you open the door and I step right with-‘in,’ having been invited by your own self doubting and fearing. So you see, she boasted, I sting only if and when you have first stung yourself.”
I could feel the red flush and heat of my impatience increase.
“When you foster that little, nagging, saboteurial voice inside your head,” declared she, “I can undermine you in a blink, only because you have first undermined yourself! I have power over you the moment you lose power over yourself through your negative, critical, judgmental, self-centered thoughts. Every time you berate yourself or think, ‘I know Sam or Sally can do it but I don’t know if I can do it’ I pounce on you. Easy prey then, I can sting you to my heart’s content so that you wallow in discouragement, rejection, laziness, resignation, shame, self-reproach anxiety, victimhood, or whatever emotion fits the downhill slide. When you are in this self-disenchanted state or resisting anything about your life this moment, you make it very, very easy for me! And I am a very busy, highly sought-out woman!”
Any of you recognize the infamous Stinger Woman? She crept into my dream earlier this week (not a fun dream!) and caught me off guard. It is her stinger that encourages us to think and feel that who I am now is not enough or good enough—in one way or another. In her sly moves, she shows us that either the past or the future is a better place than this moment. She cultivates the incessant, noisy, mental chatter of discontent. Varying degrees of paralysis through fear is another winning hand for her.
Her lurking presence haunted me for days. I was knotted with procrastination, stung with the poison of feeling nothing I could write would be of any value or consequence—to anyone. Poor little me, poor little self. . .
The Stinger Woman’s (or Stinger Man’s) teaching is not only profound but also a good, long belly laugh (once we truly get the opportunity she brings), for she personifies an archetypal figure we all have to encounter over and over and over until we master the deepest level of fostering our self with compassion, acceptance, and love.
The Old English meaning of “foster” is nourishment and to nourish, that which is akin to food. The meaning of foster I first intended to write about is “to encourage or help grow,” an evolving definition that later expanded to include the encouragement “of things, feelings, ideas, etc.” This essence of foster, then, is what are we nursing, supporting, favoring, advancing, or cherishing in our thoughts, feelings, words, and actions. As Rhonda Bryne points out, “when you give all your thoughts to something you are asking for it.” So, what food are you daily feeding yourself? What are you asking for through your thoughts?
If we take a comprehensive look at our life on the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels, we can get an honest evaluation of what we are actually fostering, much of which is done in unconscious, habitual ways. For instance, what does your physical environment look like: cluttered, chaotic, clean, orderly, beautiful? How is it a picture of who you are? And your physical body: well nourished on vitalizing food or the fastest option possible, exercised and toned, a weight that suits your frame, sleep deprived and tired? The whole physical landscape of your life is what you are tending and attending to. When you honestly know what is (in the present), you can consciously choose it or change it.
Do the same assessment for the emotional, mental, and spiritual levels of your life. See if you are comfortable with how and where you expend your energy. If you’d make any changes on these levels, which ones would you cultivate to be more in keeping with your essential nature? An eye opener is to consider what you talk to most people about because it actually reflects what you are thinking and feeling, your predominant attitudes!
Probably all of you have heard the saying, “She got what she deserved!” It’s virtually always applied in a contemptuous manner, as in she (he) played with fire and thus got painfully but deservedly burned. This is most certainly true. When the seeds of dishonest behavior or thoughts of poverty or fears about health are sown, to name a few, these crops germinate and give back the seed of the parent stock. Most of us never consider she got what she deserved can be as meaningfully applied to the positive consequence. She got what she deserved in recognition, success, wealth, and attainment because she sowed that crop. We get what we are and thus deserve. We are what we think!
The Stinger Woman (or Man) is a powerful entity. She can be a curse—if unconsciously dealt with—or a blessing, but either way, we give to or withdraw our power from her. Charles Haanel gives us the perfect antidote, through awareness of mind, to dis-invite the Stinger Woman into our space: “The same thought will always be followed by the same consequence, and no other thought will serve the purpose.” Thus, a thought will always seek its own through the Universal Principle of Attraction. Peace follows peace. A generous stance begets generosity. Confidence is the precursor of success. Affluence magnifies affluence. Beauty creates beauty. Harmony results in harmony. Acceptance frees life energies. Love follows love and increases it.
“Stinger Woman, thank you for your unexpected nocturnal visit,
• A Test of Tooth (more on the Stinger Woman!)
Text © by Zane Maser, 2010. All rights reserved worldwide.
My editorial guru and technological wizard is Chris Maser, my delightful husband.
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