Verse 22: “Pharaoh then ordered all his people to throw every new-born Hebrew boy into the Nile, but to let the girls live.”
Walt Kelly’s cartoon character Pogo once said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” It is true that we are our own worse enemy! We go through some days battling ourselves—critical voices; should, must, ought to; conflicting feelings; opposite desires; our head wanting one thing and our body another. It’s as if an inner Pharaoh were determined to kill the sparks of our life that want expression.
Unfortunately, our inner Pharaoh’s tyranny often gets fueled by the outside world. We recall critical comments people made to us; we relive moments of discomfort and shame in relationships; we feel as if another’s lack of response or negative response means we’ve done something wrong or we’re worthless. We pick up other people’s negative feelings about themselves and life; they drown out the impulses we feel to express our life force.
Pharaoh ordered only the boys to be killed, not the girls. Symbolically, the boys represent the masculine principle and the girls represent the feminine. The masculine is dynamic, penetrating, discriminating; the feminine principle is magnetic, receptive, integrating. The masculine separates and leads us to move and take action; the feminine unites the myriad parts of our self and leads to a sense of stability and wholeness. Both men and women possess masculine and feminine energies.
It is our impulse to move, to take action, that so often gets thrown out by our inner Pharaoh. We lose access to the energy that stirs the desire to do something life giving for ourselves. We get caught in the inertia of the body-mind! We think we’re lazy, undisciplined, incompetent, etc. We fail to see the big picture of how our psyche/soul operates and comes into manifestation.
The body-mind has a propensity to create patterns that become set. They operate without conscious control or thought. The body processes of digestion and respiration are examples. The mental processes of habits, beliefs, and chosen behaviors are another. The Pharaoh within wants to maintain the status quo. It wants us to keep going with the same ways, beliefs, and directions. When new seeds of the life force prompt us to move beyond the current situation, the Pharaoh feels threatened. We suffer under oppressive self-talk, attitudes, and beliefs that zap our energy and make us feel lethargic.
In the scripture story, the midwives did not carry out Pharaoh’s orders. Symbolically, I love the image of an inner midwife who helps deliver and protect the newborn aspects of Self/God Within. In spite of destructiveness towards our selves, something in us nurtures the seeds of the Self as they show up in new feelings, thoughts, sensations, impulses, etc. When allowed to grow, these seeds manifest in new interests, hobbies, pursuits, relationships, daily self-care habits/disciplines, etc.
Spring is a time when libido (the life force, chi) naturally moves. We feel stirrings to play, to clean house (inner and outer), to love another, to do creative projects, to engage in healthy activities (diet, exercise, etc.), to take care of things we’ve put off. Nature’s expansion ignites inner transformation that leads to new life. We can respond like Pharaoh and thwart it, or we can respond like the midwives and protect and nurture the new within.
What are you feeling stirred to do? What have you wanted to change, but haven’t? How does the inner Pharaoh interfere? Ask the Self/God Within to help you know the energy of the inner midwives. Look to see and identify how you can consciously midwife the new aspects of Self /God Within coming into your self/ego. Let yourself claim and be moved forward by the transformative energy of spring.