Having grown up in an era where feminism was taking off in leaps and bounds, and being a “daddy’s girl”, I never found my feminine grace. I grew up believing, and setting out to prove, mostly to myself, that I didn’t need a man, or anyone, and I could do anything on my own, and I had to do it with perfection, and above all, I could not be weak, or display weakness. Not only could I not ask, I could not comfortably receive…only give. I became hard. I would expand my chest, ball up my fists, take a deep breath, lower my head, and barrel on through anything that got in my way. But in reality, I was only fooling myself, and living in complete denial. Especially, since most of my behavior contradicted itself, even though it appeared logical…in my mind.
As a result, I always felt there was something missing in my life…this never ending longing that couldn’t be filled. Even though I had convinced myself that I didn’t need anyone, I really did, just the same as all of us. We all crave and need love and companionship. So under the surface, I wanted people to want me, to need me, to choose me, because somewhere along the line, I came to believe my self-worth was wrapped up in being wanted, needed and chosen, over and above anyone else, especially when it came to men. That was being loved, through my perception, which to some extent it is.
As a result, I became sexually active at a young age, because in my mind, if a man wanted to sleep with me, I was being chosen and wanted, for the time being, even if it was only because he wanted me to fulfill his sexual desires. It didn’t matter that was all he wanted me for. After all, he was not the only one getting something out of this…or so I rationalized. However, it never fulfilled that…something…I was always longing for...to feel complete. It was all just short term, so I was always on the hunt for my next fix, even in those times when I was involved in a long term relationship that something was missing.
We all want to be chosen. You know how it felt when we were in school being picked for the different teams in gym; the part for the play; the job position. We all need to feel accepted, good enough, and wanted, but even if we are chosen for that team, play or position, we will still continue to be unfulfilled until we discover that…something…and fulfill it within ourselves. We are always seeking more, never feeling accepted…enough…or for long enough. Not to mention, there will always be that next time when you are going to have to prove, yet again, that you are the one to be chosen.
For me, and I believe for all of us, it is our feminine/masculine energy, and a sufficient balance between the two for our perspective gender, that is that…something, or at least part of that…something. We cannot totally deny the energy of our biological nature. More importantly, we have to find it within ourselves. Not by using the opposite sex, in an attempt to validate that energy.
I grew up in only, or at least mostly, my masculine energy, and never found what I was meant to be, therefore, I never felt complete. Because I never felt complete, I could never love myself, or feel content. I was flawed, therefore, not to be trusted, and not good enough; living in fear, always waiting for the ball to drop, and being discovered at any given moment. This created the exhausting never ending mission, to never be discovered.
Like many in our society, I associated anything to do with being feminine, as being weak. Since I could not allow myself to be weak, and since I had concluded that being feminine was weak, I could not allow myself to embrace what I am, a woman. I turned my back on my true self, my true nature. Therefore, I could never fulfill that…something. I could never trust or love myself, because I was not embracing my core, which left me with the feeling of being incomplete.
I believed that since men were the ones who did the pursuing, that somehow made them the ones that were doing the choosing. I never considered whether or not these men would fulfill my core values, and standards; I had been chosen, wanted, good enough, loved…at least for the time being. As long as I could continue to be good enough, I would continue to be loved, and I thought that somehow gave me power.
It didn’t matter if they soon set out to mold me into their perceived “perfect woman”, as long as I was still good enough, and as long as they were still with me, I was wanted, and winning. Therefore, they “must love me”. I was the “chosen one.” As long as I was fulfilling all of his every need and desire, I was needed. Ironically, I still felt in control, because although I was being chosen, and molded, I still was not allowing myself to receive, or completely give of my heart. I was still in control by pushing and pulling them to see me the way I wanted them to. Hell, the heart was never involved, because it was all about ego.
On one of my favorite blogs, Have the Relationship You Want, there was a guest post by, Erin Ginkel, entitled, “Let Him Take the Lead – And Have the Strength to Follow“. In the article she used a movie about dancing as a metaphor to explain how it is the man’s role to lead, and the woman’s to be receptive, and follow his lead, as well as the strength it requires to allow yourself to be led.
Never in my wildest dreams, did I associate the strength and power of my feminine grace, by being the one who actually does the choosing, by choosing to be receptive, if and only if, he met my standards. Never in my wildest dreams, did I associate strength and power with allowing myself to show vulnerability and trust, for that man to lead me where we need to go. I was too busy trying to lead him into believing I was good enough, never once letting my guard down.
Can I have this dance.
Flowing, and supporting.
(Mr. Dulaine is trying to teach Rock and LaRhette to dance)
Mr. Dulaine: We are just going to move very simply.Let’s just walk.
(LaRhette takes a strong lead in the dancing and starts pushing Rock back on the floor–completely controlling the dance)
Mr. Dulaine: No, no, no LaRhette, the man leads. It is the woman’s job to follow.
LaRhette: Oh, so if he gets to lead, then he’s gonna think he is boss?
Mr. Dulaine: No, but he is not.You see, the man proposes the step.It is the woman’s choice to accept by following. Now, to follow takes as much strength as to lead.
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever realize that I would find that…something…when I began to find and embrace, my feminine grace. Never did I realize the burden that would be lifted from my shoulders, or the power and strength I would feel when I stopped trying to be a man, but rather settling into the role my creator meant, and constructed me for.
I have been beginning to trust myself, because I am learning to lay down the burden, anxiety, and fear of carrying all that masculine energy on my shoulders which I am neither meant, nor equipped to carry, all the time. I am learning to lay down the burden, anxiety, and fear of holding up those walls that surrounded my femininity, and vulnerabilities, for fear that someone might see it. I don’t have to prove anything, it just is.
In order to love someone, you must first love yourself, and on the same token, if you are going to trust someone, you first have to trust yourself.
(Mr. Dulaine is teaching LaRhette and Rock how to dance the waltz.)
Mr Dulaine: The Waltz. It cannot be done without trust between partners.
LaRhette: Well, its not gonna happen.
Mr Dulaine: But trust must to be earned.
Rock: Good luck with that….
Mr Dulaine: Alright, I have something here that is going to help.
(Wraps his tie around her eyes so she cannot see)
LaRhette: Don’t put that thing on my eyes!
Mr Dulaine: I asking you to do something VERY courageous.
LaRhette: Besides dance with him?
(Talking to Rock about dancing with a blindfolded LaRhette)
Mr Dulaine: Now Rock, You have the opportunity to use every bit of strength and skill you possess–not to dominate her–but to take her on a journey. It is a lot to ask.
IF and HOW you take the journey–that’s entirely up to you.
(Mr. Dulaine begins to dance with the school principal to illustrate a point to a group of disapproving parents.)
Mr. Dulaine: You see…if she allows me to lead, she is trusting me. But more than that, she is trusting herself.
Women are raised in this time to believe that femininity is weakness, and that is a lie. As a result we are giving up our power, and strength, which is, in fact, making us weak. And I have found that you can’t trust a man when you are trying to be a man, nor can he fully trust you.
When you are denying and unable, or unwilling to accept a part of yourself, you cannot trust yourself, and if you cannot trust yourself, you cannot fully love yourself…or another.