I spent this weekend at a Shalom Retreat, and – with mindfulness, practice, and determination – nothing will ever be quite the same for me again. This is at least as true for the ways in which I relate to women as it is for any other aspect of my life. I’ve developed a sense of my own power (I didn’t used to have much sense of that at all), and I’ve been in contact with some extremely powerful women – embodiments of the Divine Feminine if ever there were any. The combination of these two things – the exposure to such women along with the self-awareness and self-confidence necessary for me to really take them in in all their glory, without fear – has completely rocked my sense of what women are and can be, and how I might be of benefit and service to them without relinquishing my growing sense of my own self. How I can put my own power to use in the service of women, might be another way of saying it.
Earlier today I wrote in my journal:
I think a whole new level of woman is opening up to me; I feel like I’m becoming able to consider approaching and speaking to women like J. and S., who seem to me to need to be related to in a whole different way from many of the women I’ve related to in the past. I see them as tougher and more demanding than many other women. Immensely powerful and much more intimidating than other women I’ve related to. And, at least as yet, there is no sexual component there for me regarding these women.
i’m thinking there’s a parallel between the way I used to see women like J. and S., and the way fearful men see other women, even those less strong, in whose presence they feel intimidated. I responded with disdain toward S. when we met [a year or two ago – when, in fairness, I saw her plainly avoiding me and wasn’t yet capable of responding compassionately to that], and while I’m not sure I ever so disrespected J., I was definitely afraid of her and yearned for her approval. I think this is another before-and-after experience for me, that I’m going to wish I knew how to relate to other men. Perhaps that’s where training in facilitation comes in.
Having observed some deep and powerful embodiments of the Divine Feminine in action this weekend, I’ve also wondered whether it’s realistic for me to hope to ever fully understand women, or whether a man’s rightful place is to simply understand the limits of his own capacity for understanding, and to respect and honor those aspects of femininity he can never fully grasp.
It’s possible too that we men can fully understand the Feminine, but that we have to meet It on Its own terms, and understand less with our minds than with our hearts and souls, our emotional centers. When i think of “understanding” I think of an intellectual function, but understanding is not limited to that. We can feel our way to a much greater understanding than we can arrive at by thinking alone.
Aye, I think that might be a key.