Just Go For It!

I’ve been thinking a lot about the balancing of our inner masculine and feminine lately. I realized I simplified the process in my own mind and made it more of a generic one size fits all exercise than it is.

I don’t expect people to be the same, so I don’t know why I expected the balance of these two different energies within each of us to be the same either. Or to be finished as a dynamic after a balance point is reached. This balancing process is a fluid thing that never reaches a set point but keeps on evolving. A certain balance point of our inner masculine and feminine may work well for many years only to need rethinking and restructuring when our life changes or when something within us changes. It actually begins to feel a lot more accurate to say we are in a birth canal of birthing a new balance of our masculine and feminine energies all the time!

What has made me look at this in more than a cursory way? I have been hearing from a number of you who find your lives have called you to a radical new balancing of your masculine and feminine energies. One woman explains that she finds herself unexpectedly separated from her husband of several decades. The allocation of her inner masculine and feminine energetic strengths are now up for reexamination with the end of her marriage. All the outer roles that brought both comfort and confinement in their consistency are gone. In this emptiness, she has a chance to reexamine and eventually find a different understanding of herself and find a new balance of her inner masculine and inner feminine, one that may send her outer life in vastly new directions.

Another young woman tells me how she found herself at a dead end after several years trying to relate to men by dressing in ultra feminine clothes. She has zeroed in on a deeper truth that while the balance of her inner feminine and inner masculine doesn’t feel expressed by a pretty in pink moment, there is within her an authentic self who is a woman that has her own genuine way to express herself. She brings no judgment to the wardrobe she wanted to inhabit with ease. She knows it is genuinely right for some people. She wished she was one of them, but in accepting that she is not, she finds herself exhilarated with a new freedom to explore who she really is. And, as part of the fun, dress to express this.

Perhaps the reason I am following the scent of stories like these is because I am in a place of seeking a new balance for myself. I have had twenty five years experiencing myself as a person whose primary role was usually that of mother. Within that context was a certain balance of feminine wisdom about being a loving mother taken forth into the masculine action of being that mother as best I could. But it’s not as necessary a pattern of self expression anymore. As my children begin to joyfully dig into their own separate lives, I have come to a place where this role takes up much less of my time than it did. Who will this person Molly be as mothering takes up less space in my life? I can see a glimpse of where I am heading and it is new territory. Territory that will require a listening to my inner feminine for new wisdom and action from my inner masculine to manifest these ideas into a new life. I can’t get to the crone place quite yet. It looks to be a particularly exuberant expression of feminine wisdom matched by an equally liberated masculine energy. I can’t go there quite yet because I am still a bit in the world of the last twenty five years. It looks fun to be a crone though. Maybe that will be where my journey takes me. I can’t know just yet, but the possibility helps me when I miss the particular physical and emotional pleasures of those years with small children, the tumble of small bodies so ready for hugs. Knowing of others who have navigated this specific transition into new unexpected joys and hearing all stories of major rebalancing helps me head out to unknown territory with more confidence. I listen to your stories and find community.

As I think about the new balancing tasks on my plate, some things haven’t changed. I continue to think of the dynamic of the male and female energy in the same general way. I think of female energy as the receiver and container of wisdom as well as the aspect of self that perceives and holds our true self in consciousness. I like how Jungian Marion Woodman’s connects the idea of a sacred well of water to feminine energy. The water feels more and more apt an analogy for the self. I also like the Native American tradition of the moon lodge as an example of right relationship between the inner feminine and inner masculine, and right relationship between men and women in a manifest community as well. The moon lodge was a perfect construct to protect, honor, and enhance feminine wisdom and represents male energy acknowledging this feminine wisdom in right action. In the best of all possible worlds, masculine energy aligns with the wisdom of the feminine and her experience of true self and this masculine energy moves into action in the outer world in union and alignment with this experience of the authentic self. In the best of all possible worlds, the masculine within accepts the changing nature of the inner feminine’s self understanding and flows with expressing this changing inner reality in the manifest world.

More and more, I come to think of external events as showing us when our inner masculine and inner feminine need our attention. A young friend finds the boss of her new job highly critical of her every move. She may need to find different work, but this dynamic has lead her to examine whether her inner masculine is also harshly judging instead of warmly supporting her journey to articulate her authentic self. To see this outer dynamic as a helpful mirror is to feel empowered to seek a new inner balance. But I suggested she look at the dynamic gently. There is nothing like adding insult to injury by beating ourselves up for having a bullying inner masculine!

The patriarchal wounds carried by all of us are so old and deep. We need to go gently as we analyze external events to help heal our inner wounds. The cosmos lives by Emily Dickinson’s line, “Tell all the Truth but tell it slant” but sometimes we can get confused in the slant. What kindness to be gentle to ourselves and each other as we seek balance and understanding, seek to live as our authentic selves, and seek to see if today we can best express ourself in pink or best express ourselves in hip high boots and a man’s shirt.

Maybe it is silly to dwell on costumes, but really, aren’t our bodies costumes we are wearing for this incarnation? And the playfulness of finding our way to an authentic expression of self through trying on different dress ups certainly strikes me as just as productive and a lot less harmful than a lot of the other ways we try to know self and express it.

In this, the best of all possible worlds, the costumes, the relationships, even the jobs are there only to help us know self. They give us a freedom to try things on and then, if that doesn’t work or feel right to try something else on. It’s one big wardrobe of choices there to support the exhilarating, painful, amazing, scary, but ultimately joyful process of figuring out who we are and what we want to do about it.

And no need to wear clothes or relationships or jobs because someone outside ourselves defines those things as right for everyone. Our self discovery process is too vital to waste in generic costuming in order to fit in. Yesterday I heard Ashley Judd say that one of her affirmations is “It is none of my business what other people think of me.” I thought this was an amazingly liberating affirmation, as good as any Zen koan I have ever heard. It’s a powerful nudge to be our truest self right now, a nudge to just go for it!

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