Tuesday, 22 December 2015

The Balance of Masculine & Feminine Energies

Balance and flexibility are two of the most important ingredients for a successful and happy life. And identification (with concepts / labels) and rigidness can be obstacles that need to be overcome, or let go of, along the way. A simple example of a common concept that people can (sometimes rigidly) attach to is that of male and female, which can distort our capacity to tap into both masculine and feminine energies and takes us away from our inherent strength. If you can regain your flexibility and openness (and let go of rigidness and identification), then you can maintain your adaptability. And whoever has adaptability, has the biggest chance of survival in any kind of circumstance.

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change."   ~ Interpretation of Darwin's Origin of Species by Professor Leon C. Megginson

Different situations call for different responses. Sometimes life requires you to be tough, sometimes vulnerable. A lack of flexibility stops us from flowing with life. This is also an important reason why many societal structures and other regimes fail in the long run. They are created in a certain time period to satisfy a certain need at the time. But they fail to adapt to changing needs and circumstances, and usually long overstay their welcome (in the name of tradition) after they are no longer needed or useful. They may even become obstacles to the very purpose they were originally intended to serve.

My own process of identification and letting go

When I was a young girl growing up, many people described me as a tomboy: tough, bold, a little bit on the aggressive side, strong and independent (at least most of the time). This was the most effective way for me to be at the time, as school was an atrocious battleground from the very first day. I had to be tough. In that environment, kindness was a weakness without any rewards. The only rewards came from coldness and detachment: it allowed me to remain relatively untouchable. As I grew older and stayed in that same type of environment for more than ten years, I started to identify with that self-image and it became my 'behavioral set-point'. I lost touch with my 'softer side', which by then had become a scary, vulnerable place that I did not wish to explore. I did not see any benefit in it. I also didn't understand others who were more emotional than I was and saw them as weak and spineless. I lacked empathy and compassion, because I had given up on feelings.

It wasn't until I got older and after experiencing some serious long-term turbulence in my life, that I also started developing my softer, vulnerable and feminine side, but only because life forced me to do so. Life literally broke down the wall I had conveniently built around myself. (Life tends to do that.)

Now, after having experienced both energies very intensely for an extended period of time, I have come to see the beauty (and possible darkness) in each of them and I believe that having access to both energies and being flexible enough to live life with either one of them taking the lead depending on what life throws at you, is the most natural way to be, and a way to feel complete and balanced as a person. It happens naturally when you start to get comfortable in your own skin and stop caring about what other people think, want and do. And of course it helps if you stop comparing yourself to others.

Masculine and feminine energies

There are still many gender role expectations that put pressure on males and females to behave in a certain way, in accordance with what is culturally acceptable. We are conditioned to believe that we should only develop ourselves in gender-specific directions: females should develop their femininity, and males should develop their masculinity. Or sometimes, such as in my case, it is rather the circumstances that get someone to develop and identify with one side more so than the other. Both factors contribute to people holding themselves back from exploring and strengthening their complimentary energies and practicing flexibility.

When masculine energy is not balanced, or when it is forcefully displayed independent of external circumstance, a person can become closed-off, distant, indifferent, cruel, arrogant, superficial, over-analytical, violent, cold, selfish, remorseless, dominant and aggressive. When feminine energy is not balanced, the person can become weak, whiny, claiming, clingy, gossipy and blaming, helpless, victim-minded, manipulative, lacking initiative, passive-aggressive, demanding and overly sensitive (taking everything personally). However, when you are balanced, non-identified and flexible, and when you can tap into both qualities whenever the situation calls for them, then you can access and develop qualities like courage, presence, humanness, a grounded sense of unshakable self-confidence (because it is not about you), determination and purposefulness, compassion and love.

So let's celebrate people (men and women) who have the ability to tap into their feminine / emotional side, while remaining balanced. I appreciate your soft, loving, compassionate energy. I feel safe, taken care of and cherished when I am around you. I feel safe to express myself and I feel safe when I am around you. I am grateful for people who allow themselves to be open at all times and are able to share their feelings and experience heartfelt compassion. You teach me how to be vulnerable and stay strong, especially in the face of adversity. You show me what strength and freedom really mean: it is a balance of yes and no, with courage, passion and integrity as the core ingredients. You teach me how to deal with difficult people without getting into conflict. You teach me how to treat everyone with love and respect, and approach everyone with a basic understanding of their humanness and a natural acceptance of any perceived flaws. You show the world how to suspend judgment, or sometimes even refrain from judging someone or something altogether; not because you don't care, but because you care more about personal freedom and acceptance than about being right (and because you know that you never know the full story, even if you think you do). You remind me that strength has many faces, including vulnerability and the freedom of emotional expression, and that beauty has nothing to do with what a person looks like on the outside. You show me the depths of being and just how far-reaching love and compassion can be. You teach me about true wisdom, peace and unconditional love.

Also kudos to the people (men and women) who are in touch with their strong, masculine, protective side. You prompt me to remember my purpose in life, and give me the drive to overcome all the challenges I encounter. You teach me to never give up on my dreams, no matter what happens. You show me the power of NO and the importance of being principled and honorable in everything I do. My decisions and choices reflect who I am; they make all the difference. You teach me about personal responsibility; this is how I can change the world single-handedly (at times when there is no one to collaborate with). You inspire me to trust the universe: success will draw others in; it is only a matter of time.The ripples you create will affect everyone and everything around you, no matter what you choose to do in life; so make it count. You teach me that love is always free; and that true freedom encompasses all that matters. You teach me to think clearly and to express myself in an eloquent and precise matter, and why that is important. You show me what grounded confidence looks like: it is not about how great you feel about yourself, but about remaining balanced and having an unshakable groundedness about you, because you know that nothing is about you (nothing is personal). You show me how to stay clear-headed and not lose myself in the oceans of emotional turmoil. You remind me to stand by myself before anything else; to be my own best friend and sometimes even my only friend.

The energies complement each other: feminine energy gives depth and masculine energy brings action. This is why masculine energy without the feminine can seem superficial and cold (ungrounded) and feminine without masculine energy can cause others to lose themselves in the intricacies.

If you can maintain balance and flexibility (freedom from identification) and if you can see that no single thing is better than another (there are only differences); if you can go beyond form and tap into the universal energy source that contains all, then everything will fall into place. Separation disappears. Gender disappears. Right and wrong disappears. Black and white disappears. Everything melts into one. Let's celebrate our differences, because they offer us an opportunity to learn and expand and grow. And let's focus first and foremost on our similarities: what we all share and have in common. We truly are on big family. Not just humans, but all of life. Let’s stop pulling things apart that belong together. Let’s nurture our humanness and explore all of our strengths, removing all boundaries (and defenses) in the process.

We need more men (and women) to let boys know that it is uncool to act macho and we need more women (and men) to let girls know it is not self-serving (and very unsexy) to behave in a whiny and helpless manner. If we condone destructive behavior without any natural consequences, then we may be contributing to it. Love does not assist destructive forces. Not in oneself and not in others. This is different from condemnation: not assisting and not participating in behavior is much more powerful (and peaceful) than judgement and condemnation.

A new you is born in every moment. Allow, observe, relax, enjoy.

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