I want to speak to something that I see happening all around me. I am seeing women in some way compromise their full truth or integrity to be with a man.
I am speaking of heterosexual women here (because this is the experience I can speak from.)
In my community, with my friends and with my clients.
Women believing that they have to settle for someone who is not in full alignment.
Because it’s better than being alone.
Because they are so in love with the man and he is so in love with them.
Because they worry they will be eternally alone and don’t trust that they will be in a relationship.
Because they feel so held, met and seen by the man, however, the man wants to only be a lover and so they settle.
Because even though the man puts her down and doesn’t respect her, she’d rather have her family together.
As each woman tells her story, I feel her disempowerment, the hint of defeat in her voice and the downcast of her eyes and in many cases the direct words out of her mouth, saying “I know I should end it or I know this isn’t what I want but…. “ Each woman knows this doesn’t feel right for her but continues with it anyway, makes very convincing excuses, which often include going back and forth with why it’s not what they truly want.
Clearly, this has been happening for years. Right now, it seems more alive in the collective consciousness of women. I believe this is because we as women are on a collective path to heal and dismantle this patriarchal conditioning. And, of course, we are in a new era in history where women are not dependent on men for their survival and well-being.
The old belief that we need a man, at whatever cost, to be okay, happy, fulfilled, is alive and well. Men, we do need you but not in a life or death-need to survive sort of way. We need you to be a stand for integrity, unconditional love and truth for both of us.
The only way we can have what we truly want is to clear that space and no longer compromise our integrity, the inner masculine in all of us that is our truth, alignment and boundaries. I am not talking here about challenges and differences that occur in relationships between healthy, mature and sovereign individuals. I am talking about codependency, lack of sovereignty, fears of aloneness and feelings of unworthiness that lead women to not listen to their own inner compass.
Compromising our integrity inevitably leads to more pain, more lack of alignment and more aloneness because we have abandoned ourselves. Nothing life-honoring and generative can come from this pattern. Of course, there’s lots of learning and I still believe we can do it another way!
And, I’m not only speaking about other women. I am speaking of myself. I have been a woman who knows my truth – even as I continue to attune that antennae even more subtly, and speaks it and in many cases speaks the truth on behalf of others. In almost every area of my life. Except with men.
My biggest reason: I have spent much of my life out of relationship and desiring deep partnership. The right men simply didn’t come into my life so when there was a strong draw, I felt compelled to go for it.
Here are a couple of situations I was in. My guess is that almost every woman will relate to them.
I spent years choosing not fully available men, men who either met me on all levels but were not available for partnership or men who did not, but for whom I allowed myself to be in relationship with though I would never put up with such behavior in a friendship.
I left a relationship once because the man decided that he did not want to be in partnership with me, only to go back after a couple months because my desire and pain were so big
I chose to be in a relationship with a man who was committed to a period of celibacy after being an initial stand for him cleaning up the romantic energy he was still engaging in with women, me included. This impacted the entire course of the relationship.
I have been with relationship-available men that have not been a match for me, compromising my deepest desires and values, and playing into unresolved patterns of being a healer to them (and thus playing into the shadow side of the feminine: control).
I have had a couple of situations where I was out of integrity with other women around men they had been with in the past. Generally, I have been in integrity with this and this is clearly a huge way women are out of integrity with each other, one in which men often support in unconscious ways.
One thing I can say is that in all of these situations, I have allowed the crazy longing in the body, an addictive nervous system response that promises something good on the other side to run the show. The longing came out as intensity in the body that I simply was unwilling to sit with. I allowed an overwhelming urge in the body to be in charge. But why?
Childhood trauma and attachment styles are clear explanations for this. And, I believe it’s deeper and more complex than these alone. We, as women, have an evolutionarily biological urge to feel safe and secure; it is hardwired into our biology, brain and chemistry. This biologically-powered belief system wires into us that we will only feel safe and secure through home, family and procreation. For a woman, if this intense longing isn’t met, the patterned response of the nervous system can make it feel like we will not survive. Women can also do this through control and manipulation as a way to again feel this biological need for safety. Biology and evolution are not destiny though: we have the power to rewire our our nervous systems. We have the power to sit in the fires of this overwhelming bodily urges with awareness and know that we are safe exactly as we are where we are NOW.
Having walked this road and learned the hard way and now feeling completely done with this pattern, I feel a vehemence and intensity around supporting my sisters in making choices for themselves that are 100% in alignment with their truth and integrity. We harm ourselves by making out of alignment choices and we need to call each other out in the name of feeling good and right with ourselves, our bodies and our relationships. It is time to reclaim the parts of ourselves that we have abandoned to be loved, chosen and wanted by men.
Women, speak your truth and be willing to let go of the relationship if it’s not in alignment to your soul, your true needs and your heart. And know the truth deeply: even though your nervous system might be screaming something different because it fears for your survival, learn to mindfully sit with these feelings. Be courageously willing to be uncomfortable and use the power of NO. Be honest and humble with yourself: I don’t know how to get to my YES and I know this isn’t it. Rely on healers and other space holders to support you. Rely on your sisters.
And men, you can support women by helping them be in total integrity with their choices, asking them what their truth is and being more vigilant and curious if a woman is telling the whole truth. Though some women are a full yes to open relationships and polyamory, many women are not. This is one of the biggest ways I have seen women compromise their integrity to be with a man they love and desire. Men, you can support women by not taking their answers at face value. You can support them by listening to your own intuition and gut and being more interested in being their allies and friends than getting the love and sex you desire.
We need to all check ourselves and support one another to hold our inner masculine like a torch. The feminine is here to dance, play, be wild and surrender and needs the support of her inner masculine to stay connected to the truth and what is right. Let’s play with truth, respect and reverence.
September 18, 2019