TIRED OF NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS? DO THIS, INSTEAD.
All of us possess dark shadows within us. Those who say otherwise are in denial (and even that is their shadow self talking!)...
BALANCING FEMININE AND MASCULINE ENERGIES
Unless you are truly in my inner circle, I'm sure you would easily see me as this feminine, soft-hearted woman who is passionate about self-love, passion-based and minimalistic lifestyle, as well as 'conscious' relationships.
Otherwise, you would've definitely experienced a different side of me.
When I started working with a coach on emotional healing and spirituality in 2013, I thought that being feminine was the answer to everything in my life, even though I already knew back then that nobody is either 100% feminine or masculine.
It wasn't my coach's fault, but it was just how I interpreted it. Now, seven years later, I realized that I was unable to reach my full potential and unhappy because I unconsciously suppressed my masculine side, when trying to surface my femininity.
Of course, being feminine, I always attract masculine men who just love the thrill of the chase as it satisfies their primal instincts.
The relationship deepens almost effortlessly as our energies polarized with one another. No power play.
But, even then, there are time and place to be 'badass' (masculine energy) with them, especially when dealing with things that I consider some form of disrespect on their part.
And that usually increases their attraction even more!
(note: if their action violates my values, I'll walk away for good)
However, if you don't know how to use your masculine energy in a healthy way, you'll end up being treated like a doormat.
You may also risk looking like a deranged person, and lose their attraction forever (and, yes, attraction is important, even if you've been married for 20 years. Anyone who tells you differently is a liar).
And that's what I always help women with when doing relationship coaching - how to balance feminine and masculine energies with a specific person, and in any situation.
But, most of the time, I walked away from some of these masculine men when they were the ones repressing their feminine undertone (the loving, caring, and good listener side) and allowed their masculinity to become toxic.
This toxic masculinity sometimes appears in controlling behavior, unhealthy competition, love for confrontation, aggression and abuse.
To be honest, I've almost never experienced the above traits but I've seen criticism, selfishness, materialism, hypocrisy and anger in the men I had previously dated.
However, there are also wounded masculine men with repressed feminine side, who find comfort in mothering (read: not motherly) and over-compensating women (which are some form of wounded feminine energy) to give them attention that they were deprived of while growing up.
Until I find a man whose energy matches mine, I'll happily remain single, while working on myself, of course.
Read more: WHAT IS A FEMININE WARRIOR? HER TRAITS...
I suddenly recalled some of my experiences where I embraced my masculine energy in the past:
Embracing My Masculine Energy
** My love for competitive team sports i.e. hockey and soccer since 11 years old. I still regret not turning up for my 1st practice as soon as I got accepted into both soccer team (in high school) and hockey team (in campus).
** The adrenaline rush being in the forest, especially survival camps. I couldn't understand why some of my friends cried, wanting to go home. I just loved the challenge.
** Borrowed some guy's shoes to climb a giant rock without a harness and only wore it when going down.
** Had to pass through a narrow passage at the exit of a forest, surrounded by the staring big troop of monkeys that we had to ask for permission, hoping they could understand the tone of our voice.
** Wearing men's stuff - straight cut jeans, Basketball shoes, leather bands, etc.
** Being comfortable having more male friends than female because they didn't gossip but talked about sports during lunch breaks. But then, some of them talked about women too lol
** Reached the top of a mountain for the first time without prior training.
However, there were also events where the masculine side of me wasn't a pretty sight. It has the ability to even bring out my dark shadows (i.e. my less socially acceptable traits, which psychologist Carl Jung called The Shadow).
MASTERING MY SHADOW SELF
All of us possess dark shadows within us. Those who say otherwise are in denial (and even that is their shadow self talking!).
We can recognize its presence in us by observing:
** the opposite character from the one that we show the world
** traits that we hate in another person
** things others do or have that we are secretly envious of
** the character or lifestyle of celebrities or public figures that we admire so much
** qualities of our parent of the opposite sex that exist within us but not socially acceptable
** the attractive character of our chosen partner that are totally opposite from who we are
Embracing our dark shadows isn't a bad thing. It's a matter of how we handle it.
It's because dark energies can actually be useful, like Kobe Bryant used anger as well as competitiveness to become the best in the game; Martin Luther King Jr. used anger to fight racism; Coco Chanel used secret fantasies and desires to inspire her legacy.
The danger lies when we merely act on them to get what we want. However, suppressing them is just as fatal, because they are a form of energy. And energy cannot be destroyed. They will come out in one way or another.
Over the years, I thought I've gone soft, but the truth is, my masculine energy and shadow self that I had repressed all these years always have a way of surfacing here and there, especially during stress or conflicts.
In extreme cases, a person can even develop split personalities, like in the story of Dr. Jekyll (the public persona he created) and Hyde (his shadow self that had been caged for too long).
Expressing My Shadow Self
Anyway, there were moments from the past where I was rather successful in expressing my shadow self (especially at work or to protect myself) without any awareness on this matter:
** Confronted one of our most important clients about how we've given him too many freebies that got his whole team in panic. In the end, out of respect, I became one of the very few people he trusted to take care of his office. I wasn't even his staff.
And when he invited me to join him and his assistant for a ride in his car, my boss just had to salute me because even he never got that privilege LOL
** Punched an insecure bully to the ground who needed to be taught a lesson. A friend had to remove me from the situation because I was ready to fight while he could only manage to curse me with his big mouth.
** Intentionally ignored the instructions from a boss of a boss who explicitly asked the team to abuse the SOP to make him look good.
** Cold-heartedly terminated poor-performing staff (with HR advice, of course), which reduced 50% absentism cases.
** Faced a criminal / gangster who burst into my office using the backdoor because his leasing contract was terminated. But, of course, I was smart. I stayed calm but lodged a police report after that.
** Developed empathy from understanding my own weaknesses so that I wouldn't hurt anyone with my dark tendencies, or when noticing the weaknesses in others.
The empathy also inspires me to always look out for the underdogs and fight injustice, such as calling out someone's BS when nobody has the audacity to.
** The courage to learn and try new things, such as offering my transferable skills to get jobs or projects outside my field.
New Year Resolution
For next year, I have decided to be my whole, authentic self again, where I embrace both my femininity and the masculine undertone in my personality.
As for my shadow self, I will not just embrace but also master it so that I could be a more complete person who channels her intense energies into creative works.
Previously, I had exploited my anger, sadness, resentments, and even hope from my life's experiences into poetry.
And my relationship with an emotionally unavailable man years ago had inspired my spiritual journey (inner work) where I began blogging and coaching practice.
My coach had even praised me that I was the type of person who turns lemons into lemonade!
And I'm sure many of us are like that too, especially during these trying times! If it's you, bravo!
If you are an overall feminine / masculine person, which part of yourself that you've repressed or left undeveloped all this while?
How about your shadow self? What are the opposite traits of your public persona that you've been hiding your whole life?
What was the outcome because of that?
Will you maintain what you've been doing, or make changes from what you've learned today so that you could attract better people and things into your life?