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What a Relief!
What a Relief!
The workshop I attended this past weekend, "Celebrating Men, Satisfying Women," was really great. I have a whole new appreciation for men and their potential contribution to my life as a woman. Embracing men as they are offers me freedom to be feminine again.
It's one of the things I've realized about women going out into the workplace is that we ramp up our internal masculine at the expense of softness, of femininity. I believe now that I can safely choose tenderness, to be feminine, and to need a man and what he offers without losing my own power. That's a huge shift for me. And a relief. I don't have to be so guarded any more.
The essence of the workshop is a shift in paradigm, a shift in point of view.
What if we stopped viewing men as large, hairy misbehaving women? What if we could enjoy testosterone and masculinity without fearing it? What if we gave men an opportunity to do that which they want to do, that is:
* Make women happy
* Be needed by women
* Help, protect, save and be women's heroes?
The workshop did not say I have to hand my power over to men. I can be a strong woman and choose to be vulnerable. I can surrender, stop fighting and fearing men.
That's a huge relief, because I genuinely like men. In fact, I love men, but I've been fearful of being hurt and have viewed men as an adversary, as "other." As a central tenet of the workshop, I have agreed I will let men be men and give up the right to diminish them, to keep them small, as a way to deal with my fear of being hurt.
It doesn't mean that I'll never use the sword of language to diminish a man again, but that I no longer believe I have the right to do so. You see, it is something in the context of our culture that says that since men are powerful, and their power and testosterone are scary, it's okay to take them down a notch. We see it in all of the comedies about the guy who's an incompetent boob: Home Improvement, Everybody Loves Raymond. We hear it in the way women laugh at their men, as if they're just overgrown children, when we get together. We see it in the eye rolls, the disrespect and The Boyfriend Project.
Now, I understand why I didn't respect my ex-boyfriend. I sent him to a makeover, a sort of "My Eye for the Surfer Dude," and then had total contempt for him for putting up with it. Of course, it doesn't mean that women can't help men to change their behavior or views, but that there's a respectful way to do it that doesn't emasculate. I am relieved not to feel I need to emasculate men any longer. Instead, I can simply appreciate them.
The piece that's a little harder for me to swallow is that, to date, I've chosen to be Unhappy on Principle. I'm finally getting it that happiness is a choice like anything else. I can choose to be happy or unhappy right now, without waiting for whatever it is that is going to make my life worthwhile.
I discovered a while ago that the external signs of success in life: next promotion, big house, expensive toys or wardrobe had nothing to do with one's happiness quotient. It's taken me longer to realize that the goals of finding love, getting married, having children, even finding great sex, they do not produce happiness either. And, the final one I've discarded is the idea that if I just could discover my life's purpose, if I could just accomplish something worthwhile, if I could just contribute to the world, that would finally make me happy.
Nope. That whole goal thing is a trap, even if the goal sounds noble. Instead, the trick--for me-- is simply to choose to be happy in this moment, to enjoy the things that I enjoy naturally.
I love snowboarding, going as fast as I can down the slopes. I love singing and being fully present in my body. I love sex for the same reason. I love hiking and smelling trees and dirt. I love nuzzling my children's necks and squeezing their perfect round half-cantaloupe butts. I love driving my convertible to feel the sun and wind on my skin (and the smell of French fries as it burns vegetable oil!). I love the sharp contrast of red bougainvillea against a brilliant blue sky. I love reading and learning new things. Just enjoying those things, moment by moment, is enough. I am happy.
Wow! What a relief to be able to set down this thing I've been carrying my whole life, wondering what the answer is, what it means to be human, what our purpose is. What if there's no purpose other than to choose to be happy, moment by moment, enjoy the very fact of being alive and to appreciate the mystery of creation. It's pretty cool that we don't know exactly how we came to be, how this Universe got created. Yeah, there's a Big Bang and evolution. But what created that Big Bang? It's just an idea to hold as one stares up at a full moon and appreciates the magic of it all.
(c) 2006 AskAphrodite aka BiPolyBabe
Check out my blog Bi-Poly-Babe for more sensual, sexual pleasure!
4/24/2006 12:22 pm
And isn't it a beautiful thing to appreciate the majick of being exactly who you are? As i read your blog i have come to appreciate a beautiful and talented, articulate,..did i say beautiful....woman. c|
4/24/2006 7:48 pm
I took a class called "Happiness is a Choice" a long time ago and it has really stuck with me, though the ability to keep making the choice is hard. My path was: stop working toward long term goals that will "make me happy", and shorten my focus. Long term goals are fine as long as the process makes me happy (thus I quit my management job to return to being a geek). Avoid things with a great first step and a shitty path beyond; go for the things with a beautiful path. Example: avoid sex with the psychotic hottie; go for a sexual relationship with the merely neurotic babe whose intensity, passion, willingness to explore the shadow side, and endurance match my fantasies.|
4/25/2006 4:38 pm
I was going to add this reply to your previous post Celebrating Men, Satisfying Women, but now that I read this one, it seems more appropriate here. You said (in Celebrating Men, Satisfying Women ):|
It makes me happy to spend time with you.
When you're together, do you feel happy? Or do you feel happy knowing that you are spending time with someone?
The first is similar to the experiences you describe here-- like rubbing my dog's belly on a warm, sunny morning.
The second is born out of angst-- a sense of relief from the disquieting notion that you're not complete-- of and for yourself-- as you swirl through this world.
4/26/2006 4:44 pm
Girl - YOU ROCK! |
I lived through the sixties, when we all did what we felt was right, but girls were girls and boys were boys - they were fantastic years. Here in the 00s, women are more masculine in their attitudes than men and men - particularly YOUNG men are searching for their identity!
When, mainly in the 70s, women demanded equal rights, I couldn't understand why they would ant to regress to that level and give up the extra rights they had. We opened doors for them, gave up seat for them, stood to greet them, walked next to doorways to protect them, paid for dates with them, indeed, we worshiped them - and they wanted all of that to go so they could have JOBS and buy THINGS.
Woman have always been intellectually superior to me, they don't need degrees and other bits of paper to prove it - it's just a fact. Woman have always been socially more adept than men, they don't need to be president of the Lions or Jaycees or Chamber of Commerce to prove it - it's just a fact.
Women ARE female, and therefore have feminine attitudes. Women look GREAT in frocks and skirts, frilly blouses, scoop necked tops and all kids of feminine clothing (not to mention underclothing!). That they look so good is why men want to look - because they like to be pretty is why they like to buy! Women used to dress to look good to men - now Gaia help a man who looks at a well turned out woman - he's perving!!! AAhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!
Go forth as a woman. Hold both your head and breasts up high and proud and revel in being a woman. Most importantly - keep your resolution - let your men be men for you, appreciate their appreciation of you, flirt a little, swoon a little, your world will be better for it I promise you.
But a little thought - throw away the trousers! Keep the shorts, just dress like a woman all the time and see how your self esteem goes up: especially when the man around you realise that you revel in their admiration!