For about a year now, since the popularization of the #metoo movement, the wail of pain from women hurt by men over the millennia has become loud enough for the entire world to hear and begin to look at. We still have so so far to go in terms of that cry being heard, seen, and healed by the masculine of the world. And I want to share with you an idea that has been percolating for some time in my mind.
The toxic masculine are those aspects typically (though not always) embodied by men that have been used in a corrupted way to gain power and control over the wild feminine, including Mother Earth. Women can also embody the toxic masculine, any time we deny our truth, our bodies, our changing desires and emotions, any time we drive forward unconsciously or push past our own limits to gain some power over others or to get validation for how we are perceived in the world.
The destructive power of the toxic masculine is coming to light, with a fevered pitch.
The collective psyche is reacting with disgust and rage at the ways men in power have abused their position to take advantage of women, grief and terror at the ways industrialization and apathy is altering and destroying our planet, a new dawning of how our own not listening to and being violent to our own bodies is causing disease and distress.
And men are stepping up.
Organizations like The Mankind Project are propagating the new definition of what it means to be a man, setting the standard with a mission statement that says:
“We believe that emotionally mature, powerful, compassionate, and purpose-driven men will help heal some of our society's deepest wounds. We support the powerful brilliance of men and we are willing to look at, and take full responsibility for, the pain we are also capable of creating - and suffering. We care deeply about men, our families, communities, and the planet.”
And yes, there are many, many men, including ones in high places of power who are not stepping up. As women, how do we take this as an opportunity to embody and lead from our own highest divine feminine, rather than getting caught in the blame and shame cycle, creating more toxicity?
Yes, we need men to hear and feel our pain.
And we also need to see, honor, and praise the fuck out of the men who are embodying the sacred masculine well!!
We need to meet them with our own sacred feminine, our queens, who can hold and heal the pain we also have inflicted on men, from our own unconsciousness.
We need to unashamedly take responsibility for how we also propagate the toxic masculine, and make a conscious choice to change ourselves to be the healing that the world needs right now. It’s time to ask ourselves “What corners of my own mind and heart have not yet been fully decolonized from the patriarchy?”, as one friend and colleague, Ania Ananda Wood writes in her post about why she didn’t report .
It’s time to rise up and speak our truths, do our inner work, and ruthlessly love ourselves and others well. And it’s time to humbly bow in our heartbreak and acknowledge when we lose our integrity in that intention, both with ourselves and with all the men and boys in our lives.
Life is busy.
That is quite possibly the biggest understatement of all time. We go around from work to home to family to friends to a second job to picking the kids up to dropping them off…. It is all so busy and we do not have time to slow down.
What this boils down to is disconnection. We get so caught up in the momentum of life that we lose track of ourselves, our families, and our place in the universe. In the process of working so very hard to try to keep everything going, we become disconnected from what truly matters, and we start to wither or arguably worse, become bitter.
I have an acquaintance that was working in an addiction treatment agency. During one time doing a group session outside, he was trying to just take the clients through some simple breathing exercises in order to just pay attention to their bodies. The purpose was just to help them reconnect with themselves and start to pay attention to what is actually going on around them. Unfortunately he was spending a lot of time in his head wondering if the group was getting anything out of this, or if he was doing the wrong thing.
His moment came when he was just staring at the ground breathing and he watched an ant crawl across his foot. The ant was going about its business and very focused on its task. The thought entered his head, “it’s not all about you.” The ant was connected to its colony, and he realized he needed to be connected with the group and not lost in his head. It was his moment to shine as he started asking them what it felt like breathing deep and slow. What did they hear. What thoughts did they find coming automatically in their minds. Slowly, the idea of reconnecting with everything around them became more obvious.
You can see that in this example he was so lost in his own head and worries that he was not paying attention to the people that were within feet of him. While we may not all be that lost, it can be very easy to get too focused on our routines and daily chores that we just forget what is within feet of us.
IT'S TIME FOR US TO RECONNECT.
Let’s all take a moment to reconnect with ourselves first. That’s all, just take a moment. One large inhale, then slowly let it out. In then out. Just pay attention on breathing. Feel your heart beat with each breath. Listen to your body as it talks to you with each breath. You don’t need a blank mind, just pay attention to what is actually going on. What thoughts and feelings are coming, even outside your conscious control. This is not even around you; this is what is going on inside you!
Take another moment, just one moment, and listen to the world outside your own mind. Listen and identify as many of the sounds that you can. Are there new sounds that surprised you? What do you feel on your skin? Is the air flowing in any particular way? Is there a taste on your tongue from the air? Slowly you are reconnecting with life. Not your life; with all life.
The universe, your higher power, and your spirit are talking to you with the breath you are taking and with the sensations you are having. With each emotion you feel, and sound you hear, you are beginning to reconnect with the divine. The spark of the divine is in the life all around us. And it is a joyful and glorious thing to remember.
We live in a beautiful area and when you have lived here long enough, the beauty becomes commonplace. You forget to pay attention to the majesty of nature when you see it every day. Today is a wonderful day to take just a couple moments and reconnect with that beauty and joy. Reconnect with life around you, and especially reconnect with your life, and the lives of your loved ones.
Karen Wolfe, MFT offers depth therapy with practices to deepen your connection to your Self and to others for individuals and couples in the Bay Area and via video conference across California