Our physical world is one of opposites, polarities, dichotomies and paradoxes; all of which we collectively represent as the familiar Yin-Yang symbol from 3rd century BCE China. Perhaps the most revered of all dichotomies, and certainly one of the most powerful, is that of the Sacred Masculine-Sacred Feminine.
As a young man, on the rare occasion I might hear the phrase, “embrace your femininity,” it seemed always to be directed at women; which makes sense on the physical level, to be sure. However, in more recent times, as this phrase became more commonplace, for some reason it began to resonate within me too, as if a quiet voice deep inside me was admonishing me to bring love, nurturing and empathy to a part of me that apparently needed some attention!
Before I started doing my deep, personal-growth work, (which began somewhat in earnest in 1995), I had a pretty strong idea of the so-called, “real man.” In my mind of yesterday, he was strong and stoic; rarely if ever giving into the weakness of expressing feelings. He might engage anger, (and woe betide anyone in the vicinity when that happened), and his joy was often expressed as a kind of rough-housing so that, heaven forbid, he might not be seen as actually caring for someone. He would never admit fear and tears would never leak out of his eyes, except perhaps in the privacy of his own dark solitude. This “real man,” the man of “machismo,” usually had a very rigid, if not actually impenetrable, exterior; something that gave him a great deal of pride. It would be a rare thing indeed for him to remove his armor and provide even a glimpse of his tender heart.
This iconic, “macho-man” of my youth, turned out to be a very shallow and fragile whisper of what I have now come to recognize as a “true man.” I didn’t really arrive at this realization until my inner pressure-cooker of shame, anger and rage began to boil over and start hurting the people that I loved most in the world; my three children. When that happened, I was rudely awakened into a painful, but ultimately enlightening, process of growth that allowed me to release all my venom into a powerful and safe container where I could look at it and understand it without hurting anyone. And, in this process, I was most fortunate to stumble upon one of my most powerful gifts of all; my vulnerability.
Vulnerability is still seen by many men in this world as a huge sign of weakness, because men generally don’t understand it at all. Vulnerability is considered to be the most profound and sublime of all feminine traits and because of its close association with the feminine, men are often afraid of it. And no wonder, really! Our ego-minds are quick to remind us that when we are vulnerable, we literally open ourselves up to attack; which obviously is very dangerous and even potentially lethal.
The Power of Vulnerability
But what I have discovered for myself, is that vulnerability is the exact opposite of weakness! It takes great courage to be vulnerable, and counter-intuitively, vulnerability actually puts you into a place of authentic power. The act of stepping into vulnerability magically creates a space for others to do the same. When I am vulnerable, people get to see the real me and when they see the real me, they are much more willing to allow themselves to be seen completely as well. As a result, vulnerability actually quiets the ego-mind and opens the heart; which leads inevitably to other beautiful and powerful feminine traits such as compassion, forgiveness, collaboration and peace.
An Invitation to Men and Women
Imagine what the world might look like if all men everywhere could recognize and embrace their innate Sacred Femininity; without giving up their Sacred Masculinity, of course. The world right now has an unhealthy imbalance in these two energies; far too much masculinity in my opinion, and not nearly enough femininity. It is time for all of us to work together to restore the balance, and this I believe, requires “true men” to stand up in their Lover, Warrior, Magician and Sovereign energies and fully embrace their Inner Goddess as well. At the same time, I urge “true women” everywhere to encourage this transition in men; while still empowering them to remain grounded in their Sacred Masculine energy.
I am excited to welcome-in a world where all of us live in the beautiful, harmonic balance of Sacred Feminine and Sacred Masculine.