Growing up, I had two very powerful forces in my life that I’m sure you can recognize in your life as well – “Mom” and “Dad”.
Now, if your parents are human beings like mine, you already know that they are wildly IMPERFECT (oops: it’s hereditary). And of course, that’s absolutely acceptable. All humans are imperfect – it is what gives us our unique essence and style.
But consider for a moment, all of the messages that were shoved in our little chubby baby faces during our first years on this planet, either by our imperfect parents OR by our imperfect society:
“To be a real man, you gotta act like Dad.”
“To be a good wife, you have to act like Mommy.”
And there it is folks, the first formal introduction most of us ever had into the realm of “Feminine and Masculine."
For some people, this is GREAT news! It’s produced some conscious, healthy, and fully integrated humans capable of sustaining beautiful and harmonious relationships with their opposite force – masculine or feminine.
But for most of us…
This deep social programming is not serving us in our relationships with each other, and certainly not in our relationships with ourselves. It’s fully evident from the amount of divorces taking place, and the overwhelming number of people both in and out of relationships feeling lost, confused, and imbalanced.
Often, boys grow up thinking that if they show any emotion or even cry, they’re “weak”, and girls grow up thinking that if they are assertive and concrete in their beliefs, they’ll be seen as “bossy” or “pushy”. There are so many more layers and examples out there that shove the concept of being a “real man” or a “desirable woman” into a square box surrounded by limitations.
In society today, masculinity and femininity are portrayed as “personality types” or “roles” rather than ENERGIES. Not only that, but masculinity and femininity are taught to be like oil and water – you can pour them in the same bowl, but they’ll never fuse together into one. They’re seen as separate because they are so opposite.
When women are obsessed with being purely feminine, and men are obsessed with being purely masculine, they leave NO room for their full expression of both energies – therefore choking off an essential part of their emotional wholeness, forcing them to search for their “other half” in order to achieve some sense of wholeness within.
The thing about masculine and feminine energy is that BOTH live inside every single one of us, whether we are expressing both or not.
For example, have there been times in your life where you felt…
- Singular “every man for himself”
- Common sense-driven
- Like you’re on a quest to conquer
Yeah? Well, you can thank your masculine energy for those traits.
But YOU, the same person that has felt “all that masculinity”, has also probably felt..
- Great at multi-tasking
- Release, or “letting go”
- In the “flow”
- Like you’re on an adventure to explore
And you can give thanks to the feminine energy for all of those goodies as well.
When I was first introduced to the concept of masculine vs feminine energy...
I discovered and was absolutely horrified that I’d been shutting down my femininity in order to be an “achiever” and “logical”. I was living in imbalance, putting all vulnerability and emotions on the side while focusing solely on success and getting to the new destination, because according to my social programming, emotions are not science and are therefore a waste of time, and irrelevant. I’m certain a lot of you can relate to what I’m talking about here!
I was working towards a never-ending list of goals, attending seminars and workshops from peak performance strategists, working out for 2 hours or more almost every day, having an aggressive “don’t-fuck-with-me” attitude and really just “making it happen” 24/7. Living in this state served me tremendously in my years throughout and a bit after high school because I was so dedicated to success…
However, this pattern was not serving me in one HUGE area of my life: My relationship with self and others, especially in romance.
What I’ve learned is that masculinity and femininity are naturally drawn to one another because of their polarity (oppositeness). This is how attraction is created: polarity! Think magnets. The S end is drawn to N, and the N end is drawn to the S end. If both charges are the same, they lose attraction and cannot connect. Similar to us humans when it comes to romantic relationships. So naturally, because of my masculine force, I ended up attracting partners who were very feminine in energy (VERY).
Because I focused so much on common sense, logic, success, and strategy - I would constantly be frustrated that THEY were the ones being emotional, looking for validation, having no real goals or direction, etc. I would often say things like, “I feel like I’M the man in this relationship”. In other words, I always wore the pants! And because I’m feminine at my core, I was imbalanced, tired, and so frustrated.
After three failed relationships from this same core issue, I knew it was a result of some kind of imbalance within ME.
And so began my journey into femininity…
I did my very best to exile all traces of masculinity within me, filling my time with meditation, creativity, being emotional, crying (haha), opening my mind to new belief systems and ideas, allowing my emotions to release freely, letting go of goals, just “being”, listening to my body’s needs, and of course, doing my best to live in “flow”. Basically all the things I used to think were completely irrelevant!
This helped me TREMENDOUSLY to understand myself as a more “awake” and aware woman. I was able to go within myself and uncover years and years of social programming and conditioning, and shed away from it. I started drawing and designing, connecting to my spirituality again, learning to trust in life, and I was able to allow this feminine force of grace and love to heal my mental wounds and become a more well-rounded emotional being.
As I sank deeper into my feminine energy, I began to feel restless. I missed my FIRE. I missed my no-bullshit attitude; I missed my spunkiness and sense of unwavering motivation to accomplish whatever I wanted. My diet was spontaneous and random, and I only worked out when I “felt like it” (aka never) resulting in some weight gain, and I realized that my goals were weak and out of touch with what I truly wanted.
But I was afraid to let any masculinity show again, because it may mean I’d lose attraction with my very masculine partner… And then I’d go through that old pattern AGAIN.
What I didn’t understand is that masculinity and femininity are harmonious and compliment one another, both in a relationship with a partner, and also in your relationship within YOURSELF. In an ideal energetic internal environment, I believe they are completely interdependent and balancing of one another’s wholesomeness.
Let me dive a bit deeper:
Consider the classic symbol of “Yin and Yang”. Yin represents the feminine, and Yang represents the masculine side. Notice how they are in perfect symmetry and balance when combined evenly. This is, by far the greatest example of how masculine and feminine energies interact healthily.
See… I didn’t have to “pick one” because they both live within me regardless of which I choose to show.
So I realized that when I was constantly “trying to be IN my feminine”, I was simultaneously shutting down all masculine expression of myself, which would obviously create a massive imbalance.
I learned that although it was healthy and fulfilling to let my feminine side run my relationship, my creativity, my sense of adventure and exploration, I also NEED my masculine side to help me achieve what I want to in this life, and succeed in the areas that I value.
I now look at it this way: the feminine and masculine NEED one another in order to make anything worthwhile.
The masculine – driven, goal directed, analytical – takes me from point A to point B. It drives me to get to the next destination.
The feminine – free flowing, spontaneous, emotional – makes the journey memorable by exploring and smelling the roses on the way.
Masculinity without femininity results in constant achievement, yet no real appreciation for the journey. Femininity without masculinity results in a beautiful journey.. yet no real destination.
I believe both are incomplete without the other.
I know that for me, the fullest expression of myself lies in the release of both energies. It’s like this: I laugh at dirty jokes, I like lifting weights, and I like business development and masterminding. I also like meditating, sleeping in, being emotional, I like being fed and told I’m pretty.
It’s simple now: for example… when I workout, I’m masculine. When I’m with my partner, I’m nearly always feminine.
I have learned that these energies can be responsible for different parts of my life, allowing me to be flexible and free to make my life work for me on the highest level of fulfillment. These two powerful energies can help me be AND do whatever I want when they are working harmoniously in their own spaces in my life.
I’ve found that when you release both energies to full expression within you, you can truly find your “sweet spot” where balance and happiness exists in abundance!
So, the question emerges: what part of yourself haven’t YOU been expressing? Why? Aside from personality types, ego, stereotypes, gender roles… have you been dimming your fire? Or have you been stuffing down your emotions?