Celebrating Women, Celebrating the Feminine
Today is international women’s day, a day to celebrate women around the world and our achievements in all spheres of society. It is also a day to highlight the need for continued action to restore a balance between the genders, which many believe once existed on our planet, and which affects not only women’s lives but the way we treat our planet, other animals, etc. This year’s International Women’s Day campaign theme is #BalanceforBetter.
I want to talk about a kind of balance that is not very much talked about in the gender equality discourse but which I believe is the key issue we need to focus on and develop if we are to create a more balanced world, not only with regards to gender but at all levels. That balance is between the Masculine and Feminine in our world. I purposefully capitalize the words Masculine and Feminine because I am referring to the Divine energies that give rise to those elements in all of us and everywhere in nature. There is an overabundance of masculine energy in the world. The Masculine is overvalued, distorted and amplified, while the Feminine is undervalued and suppressed, even repressed. From domestic violence to sexual abuse and rape, from the masculinization of women in positions of leadership and negative views on feminine qualities (often associated with weakness or fickleness) to the objectification and control of women’s sexuality; everywhere we look, femininity is under attack. When I speak of femininity or the Feminine, I am talking about qualities such as creativity, openness, receptivity, compassion, intuition, and sensuality, as well as things like healing and restoration. These are feminine qualities not because they belong to women alone but because they come from the Feminine element of the Universe. We all – men, women and all genders – contain both the Feminine and the Masculine within us in different proportions. And we all should be able to express all of who we are. No part of us is better or more valuable than another. These qualities are important because they counterbalance masculine qualities, which are important too, but which left unchecked can wreak havoc.
In case you are wondering what all of this has to do with mental and spiritual health, here is the answer: when we try to be something that we are not or suppress parts of who we are, mental health problems arise. So, when we suppress the Feminine within us, which most of us do in order to conform to society, we create mental states that cause us suffering and we break our spirits. To embrace our femininity is to live in alignment with who we are (the same goes for embracing our masculinity). To live in alignment with who we are brings us peace of mind and good mental health.
We have allowed a distorted version of masculinity to rule the world for far too long, it is time to bring the feminine back and make the Masculine more authentic. We bring the Feminine back simply by expressing more of it – by reconnecting with our intuition, healing ourselves, being more compassionate, owning our sensuality and being open and creative. Recognizing that that is easier said than done and that variations are great from one individual to the next and from one context to the next; I nonetheless call on all of us to begin with an intention to express more of our feminine selves. It starts from within, it starts from each and every one of us, and then it spreads outwards.
Sisterhood plays a very important role in elevating the Feminine. When we gather together as women – to heal ourselves, to support each other, to build things together, to make art together or whatever it may be – we amplify the Feminine energy and we bring more of it into the world. As we do so, we must remember to honor our foremothers, including our planet, our ultimate foremother; and we must acknowledge the Feminine face of God, for She has long been abandoned and forgotten. Unless we can honor Her, we cannot honor Her expression within us.
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