Photo by Aaron Burden

Balancing our masculine and feminine sides

As human beings, regardless of our gender, we all carry masculine as well as feminine energy within us. Are we comfortable with both sides or do we reject part of ourselves? Is one side over-developed and the other side under-developed? Let's look at how we can balance ourselves.

A few years ago I decided to go back into IT. I had been working in IT already as a system administrator when I was younger, but when I became a mother, my interests shifted to psychology and personal growth. And personal growth is something you can practice a lot when you have children. I felt insecure as a young mother and I was determined to grow and cultivate my parenting skills to the best of my ability to give our children a good start in life. I read every parenting book I could get my hands on, and I enjoyed it so much! I started reading other books about personal growth and later about spirituality and mindfulness and my focus shifted away from IT. I even started to study psychology, because I was convinced that that would be my new career. Until I got stuck. At my job I was doing the same thing over and over again. I had to quit university, because having a job, taking care of two children and studying for exams was just too much for me. And strangely enough, after a few years I discovered that I really enjoyed programming. I was so confused. What had happened? I wanted to become a psychologist, and all of a sudden I want to go back into IT.

At first I resisted the idea. This couldn’t be the right direction for me. But then someone made a remark that struck a chord with me. She said: “Maybe you have created these ‘nerdy’ circumstances for yourself to stay balanced, because you have a very strong feminine energy, almost fluid. So please allow your inner nerd to shine”. Her remark removed my fear of choosing the wrong direction. I focused fully on my programming skills, and here I am, a software developer.

This example made it very clear to me that it is important to balance our feminine and masculine energy. And to do so in a healthy way. Every person, regardless of gender, has masculine as well as feminine energy. Men often have more masculine than feminine energy and women the other way around. But there are also feminine men and masculine women. It is important to be more or less balanced and to cultivate the healthy versions of these energies.

Society as a whole is off balance and tends to reflect mostly unhealthy masculine energy. Aggression, competition, domination, being stuck in the mind. But that is slowly shifting. In the IT world I see more and more focus on soft skills, on empathy and communication, and in other industries this trend has started even earlier. It wouldn’t be right however to become unbalanced the other way around. We don’t need the unhealthy feminine energy of victimhood, self sacrifice and manipulation. What we need is the right mix of healthy masculine and healthy feminine energy, in ourselves and in society.

What then are the healthy qualities of these energies? With healthy masculine energy, you can think of qualities like:

  • Action
  • Strength
  • Encouragement
  • Focus
  • Intellect
  • Confidence
  • Giving
  • Responsibility

And with healthy feminine energy you could think of:

  • Nurturing
  • Compassion
  • Intuition
  • Healing
  • Receptivity
  • Creation
  • Harmony
  • Wisdom

As you can see, these are all qualities we need, regardless of our gender. The people that naturally have more masculine energy can balance themselves by cultivating the more feminine qualities. The people that naturally have more feminine energy, like myself, should focus more on developing their masculine side. So for me, instead of focusing on being more compassionate or harmonious (my strong sides) I should focus on being more confident, action oriented and firm (my weaker sides). I should give healthy boundaries to my fluidity. If you have a well developed masculine side, then maybe you should focus more on compassion, nurturing and intuition for instance.

Are you aware of how these energies are present in your life? Where do you carry unhealthy patterns and where are you displaying healthy feminine or masculine energy? Is there a certain balance between your masculine and feminine side, or are you rejecting one of them? As a man, are you afraid of your soft side, or do you embrace it? As a woman, are you in harmony with your inner power? With your masculine side?

As human beings we need both sides, the masculine as well as the feminine, to function well. To be happy and healthy. As a society we need this as well. We need people that demonstrate this balance in positions of influence, be it the government, at schools etc. But it all starts with ourselves. In order to arrive at a balanced society, we will have to balance ourselves first.

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