“Most people are not likely to choose to address their Madwoman. Life inevitably brings her energy to us, nonetheless. She barges in upon our lives, defying logic, bringing chaos, usually just when we are trying to control our lives in a rational way. So we tend to try to continue to avoid her. We stress order and routine. We dismiss psychological problems such as anxiety, depression, phobias, low moods, or sadness. We may further suppress our emotional difficulties, which causes additional suffering as they affect us physically through psychosomatic symptoms and illness or resurface as intensified anxiety or depression. When we repress or suppress the Madwoman’s energy in our lives, she will often appear in a startling dream or even manifest herself to us in an event in our everyday lives. Like dutiful daughters, many of us try to lead tidy, unchallenging lives in keeping with the culture. We often seem to be rewarded with material comforts and success, and sometimes even with fame and power, but in orderliness we can lose our connection to the process of life, the continuous flowing river of energy and change. Our days are often dull, our relationships dry, our minds bored and restless, our lives empty. Something in us secretly cries, “There must be something more to life than this!” Seemingly successful and content as we skim the surface of existence, a crisis is often necessary to shake us up, to make us look and explore within. In crisis, the Madwoman appears to shock us out of our complacency, to shake us up with her chaos. Because we can no longer ignore her or our need to change or our inability to control our lives, we have to enter into her chaos and deal with it, one step at a time. The Madwoman cannot be described in quick and easy concepts. Her essence is chaotic. To find her, we must look inside to our feelings and our dreams, where we have encountered her many times.”

— Linda Schierse Leonard, Meeting the Madwoman: Empowering the Feminine Spirit