"You need to toughen up!"
"Stop being such a girl!"
"Why are you so emotional?"
"You need to be an independent woman if you want to be successful. You can't need a relationship."
Sound familiar? Maybe as a woman, you've either heard these phrases directly or they were implied from well-meaning family, friends and, through our Western culture, in movies, music and social media.
I grew up a "girly girl" in rural Oregon. This was not considered cool at all. I was told to be tough, stop feeling so much and that the key to my happiness, ultimately, was to be so independent I didn't need a man. I remember, as a teenager and in my early 20s, even hearing that I needed to "find a man who loved me more than I loved him."
As a deeply feminine woman, these were almost impossible pills to swallow. I felt things, deeply. I loved luxury and didn't want to get dirty and toughen up. I valued being independent, but hated the thought that my options were to either let my relationship define me (from my grandmother's generation) or be so tough I only attracted a man who followed me around like a lost puppy (the wounded feminine from my mother's generation).
Through following my connection to my soul and higher consciousness, I was guided to this knowing and this deep appreciation within me. (I love that a man speaks so clearly what has been in my heart since I was born into this life):
While it is obviously healthy for every man and woman to learn to become whole and independent, it is self-destructive for a woman to try to lessen the import of relationship in her life. If she has a feminine sexual essence, the desire for the flow of love is at her core, no matter how dedicated she is to her career or other activities. Without a deep and loving intimacy - with a partner or with the divine - she hurts. It will never work for her to try to quell the pain by absorbing herself in her career, her art or her friends. If she has a feminine essence, she must honor herself by owning her deep desire for the flow of love in her heart... Our culture has become so anti-feminine that many women are trying to deny their feminine core desires and adopt the masculine way of dedication to mission. By denying their feminine essence, such women are predisposing themselves to emptiness of heart, depression and bodily symptoms of disease. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
Being the tough, independent woman (love you, Beyoncé, but that song is now in the old paradigm canon) doesn't actually work. Read more about my experience in my most recent HuffPost piece here. It makes us sick and tired and it forces us to deny our core truth -- we love to love. We love to love our family, our pets, our plants, Mother Earth, our friends, our homes, our bodies and our intimate partner.
In fact, if we have a core feminine essence and we aren't doing this, we aren't experiencing the fullness of our being, in this body, at this time.
We are currently in a mid-paradigm shift, evolving from our grandmother's dependence on their men to survive and away from the 50-50 or overly independent, feminine girl power which yielded a lot of disease, disharmony and not much sex for anyone and into an empowered feminine/empowered masculine paradigm that allows each individual -- regardless of gender -- to embrace their primary sexual essence (masculine or feminine) and lead from there.
So, now that we know that tough girls finish last -- how can we live at the top in our core feminine expression?
• We let ourselves love.
• We let ourselves love with the fullness of our hearts.
• We notice where we hold back, we notice where we guard and we open our hearts further into loving.
• We speak our love, we share our love, we do not resent or recoil when the recipients of our love are not as open to receiving as we desire (whether this is a stranger on the street or the man/woman in our bed). We see them as a reminder of where we are guarded and we step into loving them ever further.
• We use our divine feminine powers to conjure, attract and connect in the energetic realms knowing our work from our soul space has more power than any work from our mental space.
• We bathe in luxury and love.
• We adorn ourselves in self-care (massages, hair care, nails, energy alignment, flying first-class, luxurious sheets and goods -- essentially anything and everything that makes us feel like a queen), and we allow our hearts to open further and wider in order to love from the beauty of our divine feminine essence.
Now, I'm not going to lie, this can be terrifying for those of us who were told time and again that we needed to be tougher. But this is the role for those of us who feel called to live from our divine feminine essence. Ladies, you know who you are, and if you've read this far, you are most likely called to this path.
Life is giving me more and more opportunities to practice this -- in intimate partnership and in my everyday life. No more powering through, no more withdrawing or isolating. Our divine feminine demands more from us, and honestly, so do the people in our lives. They need us in our loving, feminine expression; they need us no longer making excuses about why we need to be "independent" and instead, stepping into loving interdependence.
Try it out this week and see what happens! Report back on what you discover. And remember, you are not alone. We are in this together, soul sisters!