From Steel to Mercury
As I have long considered the feminine to be weak, I have consistently drawn upon my inner Animus or masculine seed when in need of strength. It has become my habit to use a steely “take no prisoners” attitude of will and strength to exert myself in the world on a daily basis. His strength has been instrumental in getting through things like PT school and Divorce. Even a good deal of my writing has been with a steamroller approach, force feeding my readers snippets of my adventures and avoiding some of the deeper inner work.
Animus is not taking a beating, instead, I have asked Him to fall back to the FOB. He’s there in the command tent if I need a QRF, growing in his own masculinity while I surrender further into my own femininity. He very much still has His place.
With this change in command, I find myself having difficulty adjusting to this new level of surrender while I adjust to the liquid feel of my mercurial strength. I am further submitting to my understandings of the Divine Feminine mysteries through submission vs domination, through allowing vs steamrolling.
A series of books that have helped me in this endeavor: He & She by Robert A. Johnson, Understanding Masculine & Feminine Psychology, respectively. I highly recommend both of them for men and women alike. They are quick and powerful reads, both less than 85 pages each. I read He first and began to see where I use my animus excessively. In She I began to understand how to embrace my feminine essence more fully and plan to reveal what I’ve learned here and later in this series.
First a poem!
How many ways can I hate the color Pink?
Stifling, suffocating, robbing of my
strength that evil-doer: pink!
Weakness to me: kryptonite
pink screams meek (even its name is weak)
Truly, this color is foul: it stinks! pink!
I did not learn the gender of
my children before they were born.
Their nursery painted green; no fucking pink!
Old fashioned, perhaps,
or was it that I didn’t want
to throw up pink?
Pepto bismol everything
seemed so dismal,
I couldn’t think! Pink!
In neutrals, browns and blues,
I dressed my daughter as a toddler,
now at 8, her favorite color: yep, pink!
Having begun to embrace my feminine.
Slowly, sometimes begrudgingly
embracing this color: pink!
Gaslighting the Past: 20/20 Hindsight
In having my Animus as the ruling King of my inner landscape for so long, I can now see why ex lovers have often resorted to gaslighting to control me. Gaslighting is an extreme form of passive-aggressive behavior that is used to diminish the target, to bring her under the control of the aggressor. It is incredibly undermining and I personally consider it a form of brainwashing.
My ex-husband did this to me for years without my awareness. Through poking at my hot buttons (and I had many in my wounded state), he lead me to feel like I was completely crazy. While I’ve readily admitted to some of my own inner crazy, I do not feel I was ever completely crazy, or at least not for long.
Several years ago I started to see the pattern. Then when he began to act like he was my father and treated me like I was 16, when I was 38, my eyes were suddenly wide open. Within days of seeing this I was asking for a Divorce: it took a few days for me to gather my strength and figure out how to approach him.
When I began to see the early emergence of this pattern with a younger guy I was dating back in December, I told him I was bothered by his behavior. When this continued, I broke things off just a few days before Christmas (he did ask when I stopped responding to his messages if we were fighting or broken up, I’m grateful he made it easy for me). He was use to dating women half my age who I guess would put up with this (after all that was the age I started dating my ex). Needless to say, I saw the signs early having lived that for so long I was not willing to take that path again. He later asked me out to lunch…
If you would like to read more about gaslighting, follow this link. Thank you to Violet for sharing this so that I could read about it and gain a better understanding and name it!
Earning Bling: Running and Racing
Following the demise of my marriage, I relied heavily on my Animus for launching me out onto my own two feet. To increase my Animus’ power, I began running to raise my masculine energy. I needed to feel strong again, protected.
It was when I learned to surrender into my internal emotional waters that the excess weight truly began to drop off. A hip injury kept me from running, so it was soon thereafter that I started blogging under “Tiffanyrunningfree.” Then in October running became being – an outward expression of my inner softening. Now I find myself surrendering further into a place that is even more mind altering.
The Mighty Oak Tree
The mighty oak tree has been a symbol of strength for me. Most of my adult life I have desired to be this tree. Solid. Strong. Unquestioning. Unwavering. Now, I am beginning to realize it is not my job to be the tree.
According to yin energy I am the water and I am the earth. I see now where it is my place to support the mighty oak tree as it would not exist without me. While I am not the structure of the Oak, I am the matrix, the hidden strength that allows the Oak to be its best. Without my essences, the tree dies of thirst or is unsupported by the earth; falling, failing without nourishment and nurturing support.
By allowing the strength of my inner feminine to rise up through the phloem and xylem, I give strength to the tree. Replete in my own feminine strength, I allow Him to be full in His. By submitting to my truth in trust of myself and of Him, I allow Him to rise up stronger as the mighty Oak.
I am beginning to see this forest through the trees. Just as I am finding strength in my perceived weakness, the true strength of divine femininity is found in nurturing.
Now I see myself as water spreading into the branches and the leaves. Evaporating, turning to steam, melding with the Air that is Him. Falling back down through His air as Rain, filtering myself through the soil, being wicked back up by His roots and the cycle begins again. My travels are the infinite path of lifting and falling, traveling inwards (involution) then outwards (evolution). This infinite path will be revisited in another part of this story of recovering the truth of the divine feminine.
The Feminine Role
The feminine locus of control is found in the emotional, internal realms through nurturing. Both as men and women, our internal feminine role is to manage the internal emotions to prevent emotional flooding and burning. As such, we must learn to swim through our emotions without allowing them to control us. Likewise, we must stoke the hearth fires to keep the fires lit without allowing it to rage uncontrolled and burn the household nor to scorch the earth.
To manage the internal waters, it is our job to go within to swim through the rivers of our emotions and to come out unscathed. This cleansing helps us to shed the dross of our past, so that we attract less and less of that old energy to us. When we allow life to pass through us, instead of trying to grasp it and hold onto the pain or the pleasure, it is then that we free ourselves to be present. By being more fully present, we collect less dross. Our pain, our dross, our grasping at the past and fearing our future, prevents us from experiencing life to its fullest potential: the present moment is truly a gift we give ourselves and the people in our lives.
The Feminine Supports The Masculine
As previously mentioned, feminine strength is found in managing the internal and emotional environments through nurturing. By giving ourselves permission to live in our strengths as women, we give men permission to live in their strength as men. Much like the support that the Mighty Oak tree derives from the earth and water, the feminine strength is nurturing from the inside, whether this is within the home or within the internal emotional environments.
Masculine strength is found in managing the external environment through physical protection. Men who are strong in their divine masculine energy on all levels seek to protect, and not harm, women. In Traditional Chinese Medicine Yang protects the yin energies and yin supports the Yang energies. This pattern is true with the expression of the balanced masculine and feminine: He protects her and she nurtures Him.
Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance
When humans feel we are lacking our own personal power we often feel the urge to control others outside of ourselves through force or manipulation such as with the aforementioned gaslighting. On the contrary, when we are strong in our power, we have less and less desire to control others. “The more at peace I am with me, the less I feel I need to control you to keep me comfortable” is the thought I have here.
When out of balance in our own masculinity and femininity, we create relationships that reflect this state of being. Feminine energy when out of balance has a tendency towards enabling behaviors that support the abuser (I am NOT blaming the victim). Masculine energy when out of balance has a tendency towards striking out through emotional, physical, sexual and/or mental abuse. This reflects my marriage where I was a co-dependent nurturing the gaslighting man who “protected” me from myself (no blaming).
Denying the Feminine
When Animus ruled my inner world, my Queen was weak and could not protect/nurture my emotions. Her absence meant my emotions were unprotected as I was not receiving her feminine energy of protection. So I was wide open emotionally; my internal immune system was even weak (and it’s still recovering).
Stealing from the masculine energy, I believed I was stronger, but this was not the truth. In fact, I was more vulnerable that way. While I recognize I will need to continue to borrow from the Animus from time-to-time, to live only through Him means that I am ignoring and starving my inner feminine. To be healthy and balanced as a woman, most of my power needs to be drawn from within my feminine ability to nurture and manage my internal emotional landscape.
Since changing command, I feel my work here has changed. No longer is this inner work about attracting a mate. Now my work is about a return to All of me being in balance, with my Queen in command and the King back at the FOB. Yes, I am woman! I no longer have a need to roar.
“The Turning Away” speaks to me of my own turning away from femininity as well as my conscious choice to re-align with my divine feminine. There are so many lines in this song that have always resonated with me, and in listening to it play as I re-read this piece, I see my muse is far more brilliant and genius than me! “No more turning away from the weak and the weary….On the wings of the night…using words you will find the strength…it’s not enough to just stand and stare….is it only a dream that there will be no more turning away?” No pun was intended with this song being by Pink Floyd, though I’m sure my muse intended it!
Image: Google reflects how I felt when I read “She” for the first time.