Loving a Man

A few months ago a female friend of mine said to me, “Men fall in love, women make a deal.”

At the time I was once again reviewing my “what’s wrong with this picture” database on male/female relationships. We understand each other so poorly, we disappoint each other so often… why, what’s wrong? I didn’t know that I couldn’t know. How authentic could my feelings and observations be when my entire experience of relationships arose from conditioning, programming, reaction and emotion?

I was conditioned by the relationship of my parents with each other and with my siblings and myself, and by the rural and small town culture of “this is what we believe, this is who we are and this is how we do relationships.” After that I entered into an emotionally draining marriage followed by a women’s liberation “throw away your bra” phase, followed by the “I need a music career” phase, followed by a “wake up to the Afro-descendant reality” phase… and realizing our white cultural reality is perniciously blind as a bat, I entered my activist phase.

Still solidly inside the matrix when it came to what love is, I helped my husband through the end of his life. Yes, I believe I did love him, for I had never felt such sorrow. So when my friend said men fall in love and women make a deal, I thought… no. Women love. After all, I was doing loving things, I was helpful and agreeable and very sacrificial. I had concluded that love was an action – something you do – a verb. Yet if I looked deep down, my feelings were often adversarial and resentful. I didn’t like the way I felt in my role even though I did my role well.

So, knowing the imbalance within myself, I gave her viewpoint some consideration. Jokingly I wondered if that’s why when a couple gets married people say congratulations to the groom, i.e. good job man, you got the one you wanted; and best wishes to the bride, i.e. I wish you well in making him into a decent husband – hope you got a good deal.

Funny, but there may be a lot of truth in it… think so? At its best such an agreement could develop into a family unit, friendship and cooperation – not top of the line, but certainly the apex as far as our culture goes. At its worst it could become a spiritually deadening situation complete with damaged children and the ever-present male/female drama.

I want to know what love is. Do you remember the Foreigner song by that title? (My favorite version is the one by Lucky Dube.) The lyrics say, “I want to know what love is… I want you to show me. I want to feel what love is… I know you can show me.” Here’s a man calling out to a woman to show him what love is. Deep, eh? How are we going to do that if in our hearts we harbor resentment and even disdain and we offer ourselves sexually not from love, but for the purpose of manipulation and control? I know we’ve lived under millennia of patriarchy, but wouldn’t it be just amazing if we, ourselves, hold the key to the way out of that matrix?

Some concepts are transformative in that they come from outside the matrix, and if you take them to heart they’ll cause a change within you. I came across such a concept in an article by the metaphysical teacher, Khris Krepcik. The practice is to develop reverence for the masculine energy and reverence for the feminine energy.

When I first read it I could dig reverence for the feminine energy. My feelings were, it’s about time! But reverence for the masculine energy? Respect we can do because men have the power – we’re used to respecting powerful men. Reverence is another thing entirely. When I first put my feelings into it, I got back the opposite – disdain. “All they really want is to get laid, get fed, and get their ego stroked.” Yep… I really went there. Sorry guys.

So then came my retraining in reverence for the masculine energy. I started looking at the men I know with an eye for their magnificence. Look at how skilled this one is, look at how noble this one is, look at how this one really has your back – he would actually lay down his life, look at how this one suffers from the words of his nasty girlfriend, look at the amazing mind of this one and the creative genius of this one, look at the stranger who just held the door for me, look at the gas station attendant who beams when I walk in, look at the bum in the street – how he struggles to maintain his dignity, look at how this one has spent his entire life and taken hit after hit after hit just to help people liberate themselves.

Men are friggin gorgeous!! They’re the light of my life – they’re the light of my mind. I am in awe of them. And then I went to the difficult place… all he wants is to get laid, get fed, and get his ego stroked. What’s wrong with that? It’s his nature! He needs to feel my softness, my receptivity, my response, my healing, my comfort… he needs my whisper in his ear… I see you, I feel you, I love the way you love me.

And then the most amazing thing happened… I actually felt/saw energy pulse from my heart center and enter a man in his heart center. The polarities recognized each other! Soft on the outside strong on the inside feminine energy mingled with strong on the outside soft on the inside masculine energy. I didn’t say anything in that moment, but I thought… that’s what love is – it’s a force of energy! On the inside I felt a delicious softness and receptivity that I knew was feminine – it felt like coming home.

What did he do? Well, he stopped what he was doing and paused in thought. “Joy,” he said, “…knowing you is such a joy.”

How long has it been since we have loved men with the love that takes no hostages?  (Please see this article by Soren Dreier.) So many of us have come to believe that man/woman relationships are a battle for power, a war of the sexes, an ownership or control kind of thing. In this war, we women fight with an armada of secretive and manipulative devices. I don’t blame us… the world is completely out of balance and we had to survive.

But you know, so few of us are comfortable with the way we are. We’re angry with men, disappointed in them, and chronically dissatisfied. I do believe we can begin a process within ourselves of return, and I think it’s time. The balance is shifting. It’s becoming safe to love them. Patriarchy has run its course and the collapse of it ain’t pretty! Remember, the guy across the room did not create this system – he’s a prisoner of this matrix just like you are.

Reverence for the masculine energy is a journey indeed, and I’m a beginner on the path. It’s all good… everybody has to start somewhere, and I’m thrilled and thankful to be on the path at all. Evolution is on the way and I’ll let you know what happens.

While you may not be ready to contemplate reverence right now, how about contemplating this: Stop listening to pop music caricatures like Beyonce, Lady GaGa, et al. The “I don’t need a man but check out my stuff” posture is not a model you created. Stop reading women’s magazines and deliberating on whether to get breast implants. This culture isn’t going to take you home but being honest with yourself might, and grace might, and looking at him with a soft eye might.

Look at him as someone who has been deprived of the real you for a long, long time and get that in your head. Why is he the way he is? Part of it is because you are the way you are. Stop trying to control him and change him… change you. Change the “men fall in love, women make a deal” paradigm into a “we love this love” heaven on earth. It takes courage, I know. There are plenty of toxic men out there, I know. But woman, where will we descend to if we don’t head for heaven?

“On we go, to where, who knows… to a place where there are no non-believers…” Thank you Stevie Wonder for that one! You’re so beautiful, man.

~ Ida Lawrence

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