Lately I found myself in a situation where I had the choice: Be vulnerable or toughen up.
To be honest it wasn’t easy to do either. Both were hard decisions. All I wanted to do is crawl up in a ball, in a hole, in a dark place, far far away and wish the situation away. But is that ever possible or realistic? Not really…unless you’re a hermit.
So I had a decision to make…
A part of me wanted to totally open up, express my feelings, cry, sob, show my heart-felt emotions, talk about my feelings, wear it on my sleeve, be vulnerable. And another part of me wanted to man up, grow some balls, show some spine, take life by the scruff of the neck, snap out of it, get over it, sweep it under the rug, and toughen the f**k up. It was basically my core masculine and core feminine at war.
Which happens often (for me).
Naturally I am very feminine, but naturally I am also very masculine. Most people sway or favour towards one energy however I have a strong ability to embody both, depending on the people I am around and the situation I am in. [I introduce you to my masculine side, Roxy] And it makes things a bit sticky sometimes (sometimes where if I prefer women over men!)
In personal situations and when it comes to matters of the heart, I usually err to the side of masculine when dealing with emotions…it seems to come more naturally to me. I don’t like to show too much weakness, I prefer to not over-talk about my feelings, I try to get over things quick, I don’t like to harp on about things and I certainly don’t like to appear too vulnerable, at least not to the person who hurt me. The elephant in the room stays well and truly covered up by the rug and firmly placed in the corner until the storm sweeps over. I deal with it in my own way and it works for me.
This leads me to my point: it works for me. You have to do what works for you. I keep being told by the media and leaders, writers, bloggers and self development coaches all around the world that I need to be more feminine and vulnerable. Why? Because I am woman! Don’t get me wrong, I think Brene Brown’s notion of shame and vulnerability (definitely watch this TED talk if you have 20 minutes free time) is next to genius, however I also believe you have to do what feels right for you. As a female (or male), embracing your masculine side can be crucial, even vital, in times of stress, war, risk, strife, life/death, pressure, trauma, urgency, pain, shock or any ordeal which requires survival mechanisms. Just like the cave man and the saber tooth tiger; you go into survival mode to protect yourself and your brood in times of danger…and these are natural born masculine tendencies or traits, which women tap into some times as well…
When Tony Robbins picked me out of the audience at Date with Destiny this year and asked me what I valued in a relationship, I responded with one word… ‘freedom’. He basically said this was a very masculine thing to value in a relationship (true) and therefore guessed that I tend to attract more feminine men in relationships (yep, true) and that I need to let go of my masculine masks and focus on embracing my femininity AKA that I just want to be loved/cared for/share my life with someone (also quite true) in order to attract the right kind of man for me. Although I agreed 99% with what Tony was banging on about, I also felt as though my masculine side/energy saves my ass a lot of the time. Roxy is awesome. She is strong, vivacious, independent, self-sufficient, hard-core, and strong; she is a warrior woman, decisive, risk-taking, adventurous, daring, bossy, domineering and an inspirational leader. She takes control. She has balls. She takes life by the horns. Makes shit happen. She loves boxing and rock climbing and running and paint ball. She likes wearing denim shorts and a singlet and chucking her hair in a pony tail, wearing a cap and not wearing any make-up. She sits with her legs open, sniffs her arm pits, drinks beer, snorts when she laughs. She wipes the sweat off her brow and gets on with it.
Now, this is just one side to me. And this side worked for me in this situation this past week. It’s all relative. And she wasn’t an ounce feminine or vulnerable…nope! Roxy was out in all her glory.
Being feminine and vulnerable is fucking important. Admittedly, I sat on a park bench and sobbed for about five minutes to feel sorry for myself and let the pain out. After wiping my tears away, I got up, stood tall, shoulders back, chest open, took a deep breath in and believed in myself & my divine and took the world on, head on. It’s OK to fall to pieces sometimes and show weakness, of course. It’s key. But it’s also OK to toughen up and get on with life.
Besides, it doesn’t so much matter how we got into situations, but more so how we deal with getting out; It’s how you cope & move forward which is a testament to who you are.
Be strong, whatever you are going through. Define you masculine side – give them a name…identify them. Appreciate them. Honour them. Use them in times of need.
Each part of you is there to be utilized…don’t dismiss one side, or overcompensate one energy for another, just because you are a male or a female. Embrace both…for different situations. Strike the balance.
All the answers are within you.