Feminine energy: Why it’s important for women and mothers to lean into it
My mother wore the pants in our family. She prided herself for being stronger, harder working, harsher and smarter than anyone else. I think she found pleasure and relief in putting my dad (and everyone else) down in order for her to shine and feel good about herself. She wanted to show she can do it, build a company, run it, close deals, cook, wash, spend time with friends, have children, travel to see the world, go shopping, attend school plays and be the life of the party. She wanted to be the do-it-all male and the adored female at the same time, and when she realized she couldn’t, she would crash and all hell would break loose - and it would usually be directed to my father and myself.
I used to have a love hate relationship with her because of this. I wanted her to love, accept, understand and nurture me (be in touch with her female energy) while resenting her Donald Trump bully side. In the meantime, I am realizing that she was confused and in a lot of pain. Like all humans, she wanted to be loved, she felt she was not enough so she rebelled and looked for things that would make her feel good about herself. She came from a widowed mom who raised seven girls by herself, so my mom took on the responsibility to be the man of the house. Being confused about what the man of the house meant, she resorted to stereotypes of masculinity - being strong and fierce all the time, controlling, harsh worded, know-it-better kind of type.
Her feminine side was trying to get through, but she would suppress it (probably thinking it would look weak) and as a result those feelings would turn into anger and frustration of not having her needs met. Without realizing that the choice of voicing, accepting and satisfying those feminine needs was in her hands, she would look for people outside of herself to blame. And who would be the obvious choice? My father and myself. So I grew up hearing endless fights about how everything my dad was doing was not good enough and other men would be doing it differently - from presents he bought for her (or didn’t buy) to how he made (or didn’t make) the coffee in the morning. When my dad was not enough for her to blame, she would project it on me, comparing me with other kids who would be better, or telling me that I don’t understand what she is going through with my dad, that we don’t appreciate her, that I should talk to my dad about him standing up to his male role in the family and so on.
Needless to say, I grew up to be confused as well. On one hand, I desperately needed to be loved and feared being hurt or abandoned in my relationships (so I quickly turned anxious and needy when liking someone) while on the other hand, I felt like I needed to put up a mask of being secure, strong and independent with my partners. I never felt like I could fully be myself, also because I did not really know who myself was. Was I supposed to be secure, strong and independent all the time? That did not feel great. But it surely felt better than showing I was anxious and in need of love, because that meant showing I was vulnerable, and that’s no good at all - big red alert for being abandoned.
I’m not writing this to blame my mom or victimize myself. I did that unconsciously and consciously for a long time in my 29 years. I feel more love for her now than I ever did, and that’s because I finally let go of my victim mentality and started to understand her situation, where she is coming from. She did not consciously choose her path. She did not have the knowledge or resources to deal with her family situations and feelings like I do now. Her mom did her best and was in survival mode, and consequently my mom did her best and was in survival mode. It can happen to anyone and it surely has happened to almost everyone since the beginning of time. But what I find special now in the time that we live, is that we have the knowledge, resources, concepts, words and tools to analyze our own family patterns and to heal them. So I’m writing about it, not only to cement it for myself, but to inspire anyone who is willing to do this work for themselves.
Maya Angelou used to say “Do your best until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” My grandma and my mom did their best. Now I know better, so I am going to do better for myself and the generations that come after me.
Feminine energy is the energy of creation, it is mother earth, it is loving, nurturing, vulnerable, receiving. It enables life. Without it, things get stuck, they cannot thrive or they die. Being feminine is a blessing and we should celebrate it, not suppress it. I am happy to live in a world where women have more power and choice than they ever did, where we are getting closer to restoring the balance between male and female - a crucial balance for the good working of the universe. But we must not forget that the aim is balance, not going into polarity. We have not risen from our female suppress in order to go into male extremities. What we want females to do with this newfound power is to help create a world that is more loving, nurturing, peaceful and kind. Not to show that they can beat men and focus on matching their male energy. That’s just going to get us from one problem into the other.
My mom grew up in the era of feminist movement, so this contributed to her adoption of male qualities and renegation of her female side. She interpreted female as weak and male as strong, same as many others have done. I feel that many women, going through this era of women empowerment and equality between sexes, are adopting the same confusion. We need to be like men is the mantra.
But that is not what we need. We need feminine women that are empowered to use their unique energy and qualities in order to inspire and nurture their families and communities. We don’t need more male energy in the world, what we need is a better balance of the two energies. Females need to feel comfortable to express their female energy and males need to learn to respect and cherish it. We need to get better at this delicate dance between action and relaxation, between giving and receiving, between providing and nurturing - between male and female. Our children need to learn from their parents how to be in touch with their energies and how to relate to their future partner’s energy. And especially, women need to learn from their mothers that vulnerability and emotional responsibility is a bigger proof of feminine strength than suppressing our feelings and compete with men.