Sicily Frigid Ohio, five years ago. The bottom of my stainless steel sink is buried under a layer of baby bottles that must be washed tonight or her 3 AM wakeup is not going to go well. Tears stream down her face as soon as I walk away to do anything. The Xbox rumbles from the basement below. The warm embrace of a long shower beckons me from the floor above. Yet I’m grounded in place, soft, chubby arms wrapped around my legs like cinder blocks. Daring to do anything for me or this house would detonate the bomb that is my one-year-old. Attachment means being held. Close. Always in her sight. Immobilized. I love her. I’m exhausted.
Rage boils up over the surface the next day. I stomp, yell, pout, slam the door. I command. Demand. Insist. Beg my husband to help me. In my head, the Rolodex of his shortcomings flips at rapid-fire. Each pierces my heart and I. Feel. So. Unloved.
We’ve Shot Ourselves in the Foot By This Idea That Women Should Abandon Themselves and Be More Masculine
The new American Dream is to work 8-5, have a fat 401k and a skinny waist, a clean house, fresh organic meals, and two kids who we spend a glorious 2.5 hours with per day–which are mostly allocated to getting them dressed, undressed, bathed, and fed, all the while watching them like a hawk assessing every move of its prey. This brief parental interlude is but a small part of the overall duties of parenthood, including the nights spent waking up in their nursery with a very sore neck and a floppy boob still hanging out of a tattered nightgown.
And in our ears is the constant chatter of how we can, should, and will DO-IT-ALL. As women, we have risen up and given up. We’ve given up so much that we now spend a good chunk of our time projecting our anger onto the men in our lives because, for f^c#s sake, we just can’t get it all done by ourselves and bask in the glow of having it all! We march in the streets with our anger–what should be valid disgust at the ways we have been violated and have lived in minority status for thousands of years that is instead being dimmed by the noise of our collective misery from the years we’ve betrayed ourselves to “succeed” at life.
It Has Nothing to Do With Gender Roles or Biological Sex
Picture it: The same kitchen, the same mess (truly one of life’s glorious constants, am I right?), three years later. Without having to raise my voice once, my husband is washing the dishes. He’s emptying the trash. He’s not choosing Xbox over bedtime snuggles. Did I put him in some kind of seductive trance? Did I send messages to his subconscious while he slept like a baby every night? (Actually, that might work…)
Well, the disappointing answer is no. The truth is less magical and very real. I had to get honest about who I really was. I had to reclaim the feminine energy I’d rejected so early on for the sake of being strong, resilient, productive, and responsible. See, the problem wasn’t my husband, it was the fact that I’d abandoned a huge aspect of my true nature in a bid to survive, thinking it would help me to thrive. I had tuned into masculine energy and gotten stuck there most of the time. It was my default. If I were a cookie recipe, there was way too much flour and not enough butter. I was falling apart. Motherhood was, by default, forcing me to tune back into feminine energy, but I didn’t realize it yet.
Let’s Break It Down. What is The Difference Between Masculine and Feminine Energy?
Masculine and feminine energy have nothing to do with gender roles. It’s not a luxury afforded to stay-at-home moms or non-breadwinner moms to be more feminine. And it also has nothing to do with biological sex. I can assure you I’m very much a female and was just perfectly capable, as are you, of tuning into the energy of masculine to get s#it done. So it’s important for you to take the label “masculine” and remove the association with a man. Do the same for feminine. While biologically we are set up as females to be more feminine and males are more masculine, as we’ve evolved we’ve adapted and our natural way of being–our frequency, the station we’re tuned into– isn’t dependent on our biological sex. There is easily a gay couple out there who has the exact same problem I had with my husband.
Comparing Masculine vs. Feminine Energy:
|Grounded in the physical (form)||Grounded in the non-physical (formless)|
|Concerned with life on earth||Concerned with life beyond earth|
|Physical connection (sex, touch)||Emotional connection|
|Providing & protecting||Nurturing|
|Destroying or acquiring||Creating|
|Take life||Give life|
|Provide the seed (semen, food, etc.)||Create with the seed (change it into another form; baby, dinner, etc.)|
|Jobs that are earth-based; physical, mechanical, technical||Jobs that are life and connection-based; caring for others, creating, art, nature|
|Practical, wild||Beauty, ethereal|
|Strong physically||Strong spiritually|
Energy & Attraction
When two people come together in an intimate relationship, I believe they are like magnets searching for their opposite pole. And as one shifts more toward masculine or feminine, the other shifts in the opposite direction to maintain attraction, or a sense that the relationship is whole. But if we are rejecting our true nature in our shift, then it creates this false frequency within which is out of alignment and eventually will feel incredibly uncomfortable, so we blame our partner for putting us there. Not realizing that we have the power to shift back to our most aligned state which will allow them to shift back as well.
I had shifted so far into the masculine that it was enough for my husband to shift further into the feminine. In fact, he became SO good at being present that he got a nifty diagnosis for it: Attention deficit disorder with hyperfocus. Literally, he could only focus on one thing in a state of being, or presence, so well that his doctor labeled and medicated it! I’m not saying he’s not wired differently, but this never became a “problem” in his life until me. 🙁
Why It’s Important For Us To Embrace Our Feminine Energy
To correct the imbalance in our home, I had to do the work to retune myself to a place that was more feminine and less masculine. But first I had to identify the limiting beliefs that got me there in the first place. Ideas like women have to be strong or men will take advantage of them. I’m not smart if I allow myself to be vulnerable in this way. I’m not worthy if I’m not productive. I’m not successful unless I’ve achieved power in a corporate office. He SHOULD learn to nurture, too! He should be better at this. If I don’t do it then no one will do it. I’m letting the patriarchy win if I let him provide for me. Something’s wrong with him if he can’t cook.
But all of those beliefs were BS. All of them are judgments echoing from a culture that is totally confused right now. Aren’t we supposed rise up? Aren’t we supposed to be equals?
This has nothing to do with that. We CAN be equal AND find our own inner energetic balance.
Let me explain what this looks like practically: I can embrace the knowledge that I’m wired to nurture our children and he’s wired to provide for and protect them. I can be ok with him being more concerned with our safety. I can be ok with me being the one concerned with making our lives beautiful and setting the spiritual tone in our home (as the beautiful Suzi Lula says). I can be ok with sharing my problems with him and leaving it up to him to uncover how to help me with them. I can be ok with receiving his love. I can be ok with knowing that my true self loves to bring the divine into form by dressing in beautiful things or wearing makeup. I can embrace all of this AND still have healthy masculine energy that allows me to be productive and get things done. I can be who I really am AND have it all. I run two businesses, am in school fulltime, and take care of our two children.
I don’t have to submit to anyone or be dominated by anyone. I can embrace my feminine energy and feel authentically empowered.
The point is not to reject who you are or become more of something you’re not, it’s to become less of it. To understand your own imbalance and correct it.
If you want him to help you more, do you even leave the space for him to step into the role of doing? Or do you consume it?