A few years ago, a big idea occurred to me. I know it sounds strange, even to me, but I couldn’t let it go so I decided to write a book on it, taking the title from a Jungian archetype. I was new to taking action on my inspirations and I can see now, somewhat naïve.
“Great,” my brother proclaimed, “you’ll be the Virgin lady!” when I told him the name of my book on story structure, The Virgin’s Promise. I felt like The 40 Year Old Virgin, except I was 50.
Virgin is such an interesting word these days. My daughters were horrified at the thought of what they would have to say when someone asked the inevitable question – what is the name of your mother’s book? “It is way more embarrassing when you are one, Mom,” my teenager explained.
“Well”, I replied, “I am one, too”.
And I truly meant it. I had embraced in my heart the original meaning of Virgin. It is the journey to know your worth, just for being yourself, as in a virgin forest. I was at a stage in my life where I was struggling to reconnect to my value for just being me as I separated from my husband and spent all my time between child care and nursing my ailing father. I really wanted that re-awakening to a connection to who I was when I was simply being me. The first time you know it is quite magical. I think we need to find it again and again in life.
I wrote my book on this quest to know who you are separate from what everyone else expects or needs you to be, as I was trying to find my way. I look deeply into that face of the Boticelli Venus and I am sure she is deeply contemplating life. From the many readers who have responded to me I have learned that we probably all need to connect to that voice inside us that tells us we matters. We all need a Virgin journey.
I do spend a lot of time explaining the word but I think it is worth reclaiming. Although it is a lot of work. People have a strong reaction to the word Virgin. If anyone out there can think of another word for just such a journey, please share, I would embrace it whole-heartedly. In the mean time, I am really enjoying exploring the stories of connecting to yourself and finding your place in the world. I will be writing blogs on the structure of this journey. I use a lot of movie examples because they tend to be internationally recognized (I live in northern Canada). I would love to hear about books you know that also center on a Virgin journey – or your own story! We could be self-proclaimed Virgin’s together!