Before I began to understand you a little bit better (It didn’t take much to make a little progress since I didn’t understand you at all for most of my life), I began to realize that you are not crazy like the story that’s perpetuated through much of our culture.
“Men are assholes. Women are crazy.” the saying goes.
I don’t buy it.
I began to realize that it’s this stunted, immature masculinity that pervades the culture of men which created and spread this story of women being crazy. It’s only when a masculine man (or woman) has no connection to their own femininity that women/the feminine seems to be crazy. (Likewise, feminine men and women not connected to their masculine often view men/the masculine as assholes.)
As I began thinking more about the truth and beauty of the feminine experience, I began to discover common areas where you may have, for whatever reason, have come to believe that you (particularly in your femininity) are crazy.
I’m here to tell you: You are not crazy.
Here are eight common situations where you might think you’re crazy, but aren’t.
01. That thing you said to the man you love, when you really just wanted to cut his balls off.
You will have times (which, depending on your range and intensity, may be often) when you say something to the man you love and, later, think to yourself “Oh my god. Did I really just say that to him? Why would I say something like that?”
Most men go through life stuck in their heads, reflecting on the past, designing the future, fantasizing future possibilities, etc. This isn’t so much of a problem…until it’s time to spend time with you.
When he’s with you, really with you, what you really want is his deepest presence. And when he’s anything but, it’s incredibly painful for you in your feminine.
That pain will often come out in ways that seem brutal, unfair, or crazy. But what you really want is him to be here, with you. And when he can’t see that he isn’t, you’ll often unconsciously use your words or your moods to snap him back into now, with you.
You’re not crazy, he’s not present. And each moment he’s not present with you, hurts. And each moment that you open more to him and he’s still not with you, hurts even more.
The best thing a man can do in these situations is to see that whatever pain you may unconsciously be bringing to him is simply a reflection of the pain he is bringing to you in your femininity.
If he wants the responsiveness and fullness of your femininity (and you wish to offer that as a gift to him), he will need to maintain his depth of presence with you. Until then, lock up the antique china.
02. You’re not indecisive. The decision just doesn’t matter.
I sometimes reflect on how much pain I caused to the women in my life simply by asking “So, where do you want to go for dinner?”
As innocent of a question as it might seem, there’s something about it that snaps you out of your femininity and into your masculine. The directionality of it, trying to consider the time and place and wants of everyone (or even just your partner), trying to decide what kind of food you and him are interested in, etc.
I’ve seen a question as simple as “where do you want to go for dinner?” cause more pain and strain in relationships than any other question.
What I began to realize was that the decision doesn’t matter to you. It’s not that you are indecisive, you can certainly make the choice, but it’s not at all what you want.
When your partner can’t be so present with you as to at least offer a suggestion or two as for where to go for dinner, it feels like “What’s the point? He can’t choose, out of the dozens of places I’d be up for going to, where to go for dinner? Why would he be able to guide me through more tumultuous parts of my life?”
And that’s what I thought it was for a long time. And that’s a big part of it, but there’s another part of it that I realized is important for you:
It’s not where you go, it’s how you show up.
Chinese food, Mexican food, Italian food…you might have your preference, and if your partner suggests sushi and you’re not up for it, that will come through. But what really matters, even if you’re not too thrilled about the kind of food or location, is how you both show up.
So when he asks “So, where do you want to go for dinner?” and he finally makes a decision after ten minutes of talking about it and he’s been driving in circles around the city, you’re not even interested anymore because how you’ll show up simply won’t be enjoyable for you. And at that point, what’s the point?
03. What you do want is not unreasonable.
The smaller decisions, got it. Not so important to you.
But the big ones? The ones about how you want to live your life? How you want to love and be loved? How you want to raise a family (or not)?
More than half of the women I talk to, when they tell me what they really want, they always wrap it up with something like “But that’s crazy. I can’t really expect that.”
What you most deeply desire is one of the truest reflections of who you are. And if you compromise on your desires because you think they’re “crazy,” you’re only compromising yourself, your values, and your sense of self worth. And if you’ve compromised, and you end up having a family, you’re not the only one who’s likely to continue living a compromised life…
What you want is not unreasonable. What you want is what you want, and that’s all there is to it.
I used to have a similar relationship with my own desires, one that minimized them, until I was on a date with someone who would turn into a long-term relationship.
She had been a student at the top art school in the country, RISD, and we were at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. I had studied art a bit, but with her, I was generally out of my league in terms of discussing art. I couldn’t explain well why there were some things I liked and some things I didn’t. And when I said that, she told me something that I’ll never forget:
“You don’t have to know why you like it. Liking it is enough.”
It was as though she gave me permission to like and want things without explanation or having to know why. And I’d like to extend that same permission to you.
Allow yourself want what you want. Only you can choose to settle for something less…or not.
04. You are not a pessimist or an idealist. The pain you see in the world is real. The joy you see possible is also real.
One of the impacts of the current state where most men are disconnected from their own femininity is that they lead meaningless, purposeless, and directionless lives. If there’s any one single desire that I’ve heard more than any other among my men friends and those doing personal development, it’s the desire to “find my purpose.” And from what I’ve seen most men don’t.
It’s my experience that meaning is found in life through the feminine, then the masculine serves that meaning through designing its purpose. Therefore, because most men are disconnected from their feminine, they keep themselves from discovering what’s most meaningful to them. And because they don’t connect with what’s meaningful to them, they go to work at jobs that aren’t important to them, and wake up one day to realize that they’ve been waffling their lives away with no idea how to change it.
But you don’t have that problem. You’re deeply and intimately connected with your femininity. So when you see those tear-jerking commercials about puppy mills, your eyes begin to water. And when you see documentaries about how the animals we eat are treated and raised, you swear off meat. And when you see some sort of pain in the world, it might stay with you for hours or days or weeks.
And when you try and tell your partner about it…they just don’t get it.
Your connection to the pain and suffering in the world is very real. And when you see what can be done to relieve that pain and suffering, you are not crazy. When your partner tunes you out, or minimizes your pain or the situation or your solution, that’s simply their own inability to connect with what’s meaningful in their own lives.
It’s difficult to empathize with something you’ve never experienced. And when most men haven’t allowed themselves the experience of being moved by something deeply meaningful, your experience is going to sound “crazy” to that person.
I’m here to tell you that it’s not crazy. And you aren’t crazy. In fact, when you allow yourself to be connected to what’s meaningful to you, that might be the least crazy thing anyone can do.
05. What you can’t see is just as real as what you can see.
I have the great honor of knowing some women more amazing than I could have ever conceived of knowing. I owe so much of what I have learned, and continue to learn, to them. In fact, without them, I wouldn’t be writing this and you wouldn’t be reading it.
One of these wonderful women, my great friend and men’s coach, Christin Myrick, has developed a model that describes people who impact and connect with the seen and the unseen.
Now, there will be some of you who will exercise your fantastic critical thinking skills and interpret “the unseen” as the things from fairy tales, sci-fi, fantasy, etc. While that may exist in some peoples’ worlds, that’s not what I’m talking about here.
What I’m talking about when I say “the unseen” is moods, your truth, Self, your knowings, etc. You can’t see it or touch it, but you know, without a doubt, that it’s there. Christin uses the analogy of a tree; its roots are unseen from above the ground, but contribute directly to the what defines the tree and how it grows.
The problem is, in our culture, truth has come to be defined only as what is known by tangible evidence. Because this over-masculinization of understanding the world has occurred, the unseen has traditionally been devalued to almost nothing. But the unseen is very real.
Only in the last decade or so has science been able to find evidence of these things that philosophers and scientists have disregarded what the mystics, empaths, and spirituality have described all along. Plato also talks about this when he describes that which is intangible being more real and permanent than that which is tangible.
In Christin’s model of the seen and unseen, freedom, love, and connection are much more real. And I’d have to agree.
06. Your feelings are real.
I used to enjoy flirting much more in the context of teasing a woman than getting to know who she really is. Inevitably, something would always happen where I used to use a line that, every time, got a laugh. I’m guessing you might be familiar with this situation…
When you’re bantering back and forth with a man, especially if it’s escalating well and building tension that’s both humorous and edgy, there will often come a time when you backhand slap a man’s shoulder. I’ve seen you girls do it a hundred times. And, for us guys, it’s a sign we’re on the right track.
When a woman would do this to me, we’d usually been bantering for a bit. It would get a little bit intense and she would finally hit my shoulder. I’d stop, look her right in the eyes, drop my jaw, and pretend to look as surprised and in shock as I could. Then I’d deliver the line:
“Ow! You hurt my feeling!”
I never delivered that line without it getting a laugh and most women would then keep bringing it up through the night and for days or weeks after whenever they would tease me. “Oh, did I hurt your feeling?”
The idea that, as a man, I would have only one feeling, represents two cultural cliches that create the humor in that idea.
The first is that men don’t have feelings. We’re assholes, remember? And the second is that women have too many feelings. Women have so many feelings, in fact, that they’re crazy.
As I grew through that stage of my own life, I discovered my own range and texture and experience of feelings. And, in the process, began to have a deep respect for the way that most women feel (rather than think) as their primary experience in the world. Where I used to fascistly distrust my own feelings, I now had a deep reverence for the truths they knew that my thinking mind simply couldn’t know on its own.
Trust your feelings. They are real in a very different and more profound way than most of us know.
07. You are not too sensitive.
There was a time in my life when I had no clue about what it meant to be sensitive to myself or others. In fact, I knew insensitivity so well that one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever known, inside and out, would probably prefer to never speak to me again as our breakup escalated, almost singlehandedly, as a result of my lack of sensitivity.
Early on in our getting to know each other, she would describe herself as someone who was deeply sensitive. She was so sensitive, in fact, that she often felt as though she were an over-exposed nerve.
I got the idea conceptually but, because I wasn’t even able to be sensitive to my own feelings, etc, didn’t really know what it meant to be sensitive to someone else. When I look back on how things unfolded at the end of our relationship, it now makes me ill.
What I’ve come to realize is that your sensitivity is truly a gift to the world. Without it, the masculine pathology lives in a world of black and white, meaningless, without color, and one day after the next, just doing what needs to be done to get through the day.
But the sensitivity of your femininity draws us into something else. If we have even the slightest clue of our own sensitivities, yours draws us into our own feelings in a way that we simply couldn’t do on our own. Your attunement to nuances of moods, textures, colors, temperatures, feelings, and emotions helps us get to a place that’s hard to get to on our own.
This is why us men love radiant, responsive women. You draw us into you by drawing us into ourselves. And it’s your sensitivity that guides this. The more nuanced your sensitivity, the more enchanted we become.
08. How you feel, matters.
In the purely masculine world, how you feel doesn’t matter. From the masculine perspective, you have a duty in this world and you perform that duty. How you feel about it is secondary to everything else.
And there’s something very true and honorable about this. As a man, I would prefer it no other way. When I imagine laying on my death bed and looking at my life, I’d rather suffer mercilessly and get the things done I feel I’m here to get done than to experience joy and pleasure and only get done half of what I feel I’m here to do.
But this is not the deepest truth of the feminine. For you, anything done without lightness and love…why wouldn’t you just be in the deepest place of love that you can be, then do the best you can? The flow of love in your life, with yourself, with your friendships, your family, and intimacy…without love, what’s the point?
A man looks at that perspective of “without doing it with lightness and love, what’s the point?” and answers “the point is to get the job done.” And, unfortunately (and, in my belief, not for much longer), that has been the culture that has been handed down to men. As a result of 3,000+ years of a patriarchal world culture, that perspective of “to get the job done” has also been imposed on you.
I’m here to tell you that your feelings matter. Yes, getting the job done is important. And so is doing it with love and joy.
After all, perhaps we’re all here in some way or another to serve others. If we don’t feel a deep sense of love through our service, how well are we actually serving?
Image Credit: Vittis from Lithuania