Looking at my life and what I have learned being in relationships with men, starting with my father, I realize that at lot of what I learned has been indirect. I was forced to learn qualities that were missing in my male partners, qualities that I had to find inside.
My father was an alcoholic. He was either not there or when he was there he was depressed or complaining. It was very difficult as a child, and I dealt with it by saying to myself that I don’t have a father. I can now see that that helped me to find my own strength and courage inside. And so in a strange way it became a gift.
My first boyfriend lacked direction and purpose which inspired me to find that inside.
Later I had to find integrity and honesty, because I picked partners who didn’t have that either.
As I found those qualities inside, it became possible to meet someone with a lot of positive male energy and to learn more directly from that energy.
In my relationship with Krish, I have been challenged to trust myself, to go with my rhythm and not speed up to try to keep up with him; to move according to my inner sense of direction and to give myself the time and nourishment I need. I appreciate and get inspired by this male energy that constantly moves and creates, and at the same time my challenge is to stay true to my way, which many times is slower and just different. Over the years I have grown to love and appreciate the differences and do no longer feel threatened by his intensity.
We live in a world where there is such an imbalance between the feminine and the masculine energy. The male energy has been domineering for so long that even women have begun to favor the masculine energy in themselves. What happens when there is too much masculine energy and not enough feminine, is that the male energy becomes pushy, aggressive, impatient and even violent. And in this imbalance the feminine becomes submissive, lethargic and depressed. All the beautiful qualities of the feminine, such as acceptance, love, trust, creativity and receptivity are lost in the dead energy of depression and resignation.
If we look at the two energies as just energy, nothing to do with sexes, but simply the female energy and the male energy, it is two energies that complement each other. The female is soft, gentle, flowing, in tune with nature, in tune with the body, sensing, feeling, more centered in the belly and the heart, living in tune with intuition; like water, ready to move and flow and adapt to the circumstance and the environment it is in; very flexible and yielding. It has qualities of warmth, compassion, love and acceptance.
The male is more solid, stable, dependable, clear, ready for action, intention, having courage and will, focus, energy and strength and presence. The male energy has the energy of perseverance and creativity.
In it’s unhealthy state the male energy can become violent, aggressive and judgmental. The unhealthy state of the female energy is collapsed, lethargic, depressive, complaining and losing one self.
It is important to be aware that we have both energies inside us. If we have a tendency to move towards the negative female energy, and get depressed, collapse, feel hopeless and meaningless, then we will attract the negative male energy; inside in the form of our judge being very hard and harsh with us, and outside in the form of a partner, who may be judgmental, angry, critical or pressuring. It gives us a lot of power when we realize this fact. It is our being locked in the negative female energy that attracts the negative male energy, and it is not just coincidence that we attract a particular person.
This person is in our life to teach us a valuable lesson.
What is the lesson we can learn in this case?
Our lesson is to wake up our positive male energy; to set limits, to block the negative male energy and to protect ourselves from criticism, violence and pressure. As our male energy becomes stronger and we become more confident in our boundaries we will feel safe enough to allow our female energy to flower…to relax…to expand. Then it becomes possible to be in a healthy relationship with a man and it is safe to be vulnerable.
It is a fallacy to believe that our flowering as a woman can only happen when a man on the outside is safe enough. If our female energy is unhealthy; collapsed, lethargic, depressed then we will attract an unhealthy male as an attempt to heal, to challenge ourselves to wake up that healthy male.
It is our attempt to create balance in this world.
Working with many women I can see how challenging it is to set limits, as we have to face our fear of abandonment. And as a woman, or a person with a lot of feminine energy, it is even more challenging as the female energy naturally melts, blends and yields. The nature of the female energy is that it connects and melts, so it seems at first almost foreign to our nature to set limits, to stand up for ourselves. We may judge it as being rigid, insensitive and even selfish, but without this strong firm male energy we will never feel safe enough to fully melt and merge with the other. Without deep respect and love for our individuality, this natural tendency to melt and merge, easily converts itself into the negative, which is bitter, angry, resentful, depressed, lethargic, hopeless and mistrustful.
How can you set a limit when you are so desperately hungry for love? The wounded hungry part of us is longing for connection and doesn’t care about dignity and self respect. All this part of us wants is some connection, some feeling of belonging and oneness. It takes a lot of maturity and depth to be able to hold and nourish ourselves rather than go to someone to fill up that emptiness.
Many women are very confident and strong in their work life, in their creativity, and then when it comes to intimate relating they easily lose themselves.
A good example is a client of mine, who is very successful and confident in her business life, but as soon as she comes closer to her partner, and spends more time with him, she begins to compromise, to focus on him, to please him, to melt with him, and stops feeling herself and her needs. The hunger to melt and merge takes over, and she is no longer centered in herself. She starts doing things that he wants to do, becomes involved with his projects, and even eats what he wants to eat. She stops exercising and taking time to meditate. In fact she doesn’t feel anymore what she wants or needs, but starts to be moody and emotional and quickly feels misunderstood and rejected and gets angry with him. She often doesn’t see that she is rejecting or rather abandoning herself when she comes close to him and then freaks out on him, when he is not in tune with her. This is a very painful dynamic and it feels so real when we are in it.
In reality she has attracted someone who is very strong in his own will and energy, and who does not so easily feel her. He is very much in his male energy, which is what attracts her to him. But that also means that he often is not tuned into her the way she would like. This puts her right on her edge.
How can she come back to herself so that she can allow him to be just the way he is?
Her process is to recognize that her abandonment wound is being triggered and to take time and space to be with herself even when she is with him. It is important for her to know that when she comes close, she will easily lose herself. She needs to take extra time and care to be with herself. She needs to listen inside and feel when she is doing something that isn’t right for her and to have the courage to follow her energy, even if he doesn’t like it or get moody. She has to set limits if he tries to control her and to turn her energy to herself and trust her own way of being in this world.
Of course, she can share with him what is going on for her. But if her sharing is a manipulation to try to change him, she doesn’t learn the lesson and find the strength inside.
We have done a lot of work together, and she is now much more able to feel herself and her needs. She no longer abandons her own projects, friends and interests, which is a huge step for her. To risk doing what she loves to do, even though her partner at times freaks out or judges her for this. She needs to wake up all her strength to be able to stand and face his judgments and pressure and clearly set limits.
So what can women learn from being in a relationship with a man?
We can learn to wake up, develop, integrate and embrace the beautiful qualities of the masculine energy. We can find the courage, the strength, to trust our own feelings, to go for things in life that we always wanted to, but something was holding us back, to explore nature, our creativity and enjoy being on this beautiful planet.
When the strength and confidence in our boundaries are there, then the flowering can happen, the opening, the loving…the full appreciation for the man, just the way he is…
Then the moments when the man is lost and insecure will not threaten you, because you have your own strength. The moments when he needs to rest and you can take charge, those moments when his female energy takes over and he becomes receptive, you can rest in your male presence inside. The beautiful dance of yin and yang.