I have a couple recent epiphanies I want to write about before I forget them. One I had back in Missouri in August. I identified a subconscious belief that men/boys only want one thing. A belief that was conveyed to me by my mother, and corroborated by my father – probably about the time I began to reach puberty. For me it was true, then. I took this information into my split being and went two ways with it. Part of me was angry and disgusted with men for only wanting one thing. The other half – that identified with all things male and for all intents and purposes would have far rather been a boy, felt ashamed. Nonetheless, I took this idea to heart and I only wanted one thing — from men. Add to that, the fact that I had no boundaries or social skills or sense of self. What I had learned from my parents by watching them with my opinionated sisters, who were considered bad, and were punished, was that it was not safe to have boundaries, and that it was okay to have an opinion, as long as it was aligned with theirs. If I felt differently, it would need to be kept underground, at least for now. Realistically, I had no idea what to talk to a boy about. Sex and making out was the one thing I knew I was capable of. My body just seemed to know what to do, and it wanted tender caresses, the warmth of another human body, attention. Besides, I was going for marriage – and the sooner the better. I couldn’t make it on my own. I was not complete without a partner. Two more beliefs that came down to me from my well-intentioned parents. And because I believed that men only wanted one thing, I drew to me men who, at least from me, only wanted one thing. All we had in common was one thing. And when we got bored with that, there were no bonds to hold us together.
The second epiphany. I didn’t know what to do with boys. Didn’t know what to say – I was like the mute mermaid – all I had to do, by the power of my will – was to get him to kiss me before sundown and my problems would be solved. Or so I thought.
Over time, however, I began to age. My child-bearing years passed, and I began to get less attention than I had when I was young – at least that kind. I studied my failed relationships, and I never gave up on love. I began to develop a healthier relationship with myself. I got myself some boundaries, and identified my opinions, my preferences, and my needs. I interacted with men of great substance, in an arena where sex was not permitted – where part of being a professional meant being as sexually neutral as possible. It was a role that was easy for me. And until my personal boundaries were healthy and strong, my professional ethics served as a set of guidelines that allowed me to see life from a different lens. I got to see that men wanted lots of things, that men were deep and lovely and creative and honorable. I got to see all this from my therapist chair, wearing my therapist hat.
In this second incarnation, I have identified and released the old idea that boys only want one thing. Now I can explore the world of men and see how that changes or doesn’t change everything. Something that Judith Hemming (Systematic Constellator) said, that has been rolling around in my mind since Acapulco is that women in healthy monogamous relationships, if they want to stay in healthy relationships, need to go out and play with the boys once in a while, so they can reconnect with their femininity. That when a couple only hangs out with one another, they become alike. The man becomes more feminine and the woman becomes more masculine, and they kind of meet in the middle. That seemed so odd to me. So I kept thinking about it. I had spent half my life believing that I couldn’t hang out with boys unless I was f***ing them. And that didn’t make me feel very feminine or connect with my feminine nature. Not for very long anyway. And it sure didn’t result in bonded or satisfying relationships. No wonder I’ve never felt like a very girly girl. I surround myself with women, and hold the male space in the groups of women I’m with.
This half of my life, I get to see what kinds of relationships I have with men and women, that are based on the newfound information I have about boundaries, about using emotions in a healthy way, and about power and control. I will use my experience, time, and my senses to decide what I think about people. I will bring consciousness and myself to interactions with others, and I will stay connected with the guidance that is always available to me from within, when I listen.
I will also remember that the source of what I need is never another person, and that I will always, always be my best and most trusted friend. Thank you, Spirit for all of it. Amen.