September 3, 2013

Women: You Are Not Crazy. ~ Ben Wills

Photo: Alison Postighone

“Men are assholes. Women are crazy,” the saying goes.

I don’t buy it.

Before I began to understand you a little bit better (it didn’t take much to make a little progress since I didn’t understand you at all for most of my life,) I began to realize that you are not crazy like the story that’s perpetuated through much of our culture.

I began to realize that it’s this stunted, immature masculinity that pervades the culture of men which created and spread this story of women being crazy. It’s only when a masculine man (or woman) has no connection to their own femininity that women/the feminine seems to be crazy. (Likewise, feminine men and women not connected to their masculine often view men/the masculine as assholes.)

As I began thinking more about the truth and beauty of the feminine experience, I began to discover common areas where you may have, for whatever reason, come to believe that you (particularly in your femininity) are crazy.

I’m here to tell you: You are not crazy.

Here are eight common situations where you might think you’re crazy, but aren’t.

  1. That thing you said to the man you love, when you really just wanted to cut his balls off.

You will have times (which, depending on your range and intensity, may be often) when you say something to the man you love and, later, think to yourself “Oh my god. Did I really just say that to him? Why would I say something like that?”

When he’s with you, really with you, what you really want is his deepest presence. And when he’s anything but, it’s incredibly painful for you in your feminine.

You’re not crazy, he’s not present. And each moment he’s not present with you, hurts. And each moment that you open more to him and he’s still not with you, hurts even more.

 The best thing a man can do in these situations is to see that whatever pain you may unconsciously be bringing to him is simply a reflection of the pain he is bringing to you in your femininity.

2. You’re not indecisive. The decision just doesn’t matter.

I’ve seen a question as simple as “where do you want to go for dinner?” cause more pain and strain in relationships than any other question. What I began to realize was that the decision doesn’t matter to you. It’s not that you are indecisive—you can certainly make the choice—but it’s not at all what you want.

When your partner can’t be so present with you as to at least offer a suggestion or two as for where to go for dinner, it feels like “What’s the point? He can’t choose, out of the dozens of places I’d be up for going to, where to go for dinner? Why would he be able to guide me through more tumultuous parts of my life?”

And that’s what I thought it was for a long time. And that’s a big part of it, but there’s another part of it that I realized is important for you:

It’s not where you go, it’s how you show up.

So when he asks “where do you want to go for dinner?” and he finally makes a decision after ten minutes of talking about it and he’s been driving in circles around the city, you’re not even interested anymore because how you’ll show up simply won’t be enjoyable for you. And at that point, what’s the point?

3. What you do want is not unreasonable.

The smaller decisions, got it. Not so important to you.

But the big ones? The ones about how you want to live your life? How you want to love and be loved? How you want to raise a family (or not)?

More than half of the women I talk to, when they tell me what they really want, they always wrap it up with something like “But that’s crazy. I can’t really expect that.”


What you most deeply desire is one of the truest reflections of who you are. And if you compromise on your desires because you think they’re “crazy,” you’re only compromising yourself, your values and your sense of self worth. And if you’ve compromised and you end up having a family, you’re not the only one who’s likely to continue living a compromised life…

What you want is not unreasonable. What you want is what you want and that’s all there is to it.

4. You are not a pessimist or an idealist. The pain you see in the world is real. The joy you see possible is also real.

It’s my experience that meaning is found in life through the feminine, then the masculine serves that meaning through designing its purpose. Therefore, because most men are disconnected from their feminine, they keep themselves from discovering what’s most meaningful to them. And because they don’t connect with what’s meaningful to them, they go to work at jobs that aren’t important to them and wake up one day to realize that they’ve been waffling their lives away with no idea how to change it.

But you don’t have that problem. You’re deeply and intimately connected with your femininity. So when you see those tear-jerking commercials about puppy mills, your eyes begin to water. And when you see documentaries about how the animals we eat are treated and raised, you swear off meat. And when you see some sort of pain in the world, it might stay with you for hours or days or weeks.

And when you try and tell your partner about it… they just don’t get it.

You aren’t crazy. In fact, when you allow yourself to be connected to what’s meaningful to you, that might be the least crazy thing anyone can do.

5. What you can’t see is just as real as what you can see.

There will be some of you who will exercise your fantastic critical thinking skills and interpret “the unseen” as the things from fairy tales, sci-fi, fantasy, etc. While that may exist in some peoples’ worlds, that’s not what I’m talking about here.

What I’m talking about when I say “the unseen” is moods, your truth, Self, your knowings, etc. You can’t see it or touch it, but you know, without a doubt, that it’s there. Christin Myrick uses the analogy of a tree; its roots are unseen from above the ground, but contribute directly to the what defines the tree and how it grows.

In our culture, truth has come to be defined only as what is known by tangible evidence. Because this over-masculinization of understanding the world has occurred, the unseen has traditionally been devalued to almost nothing. But the unseen is very real.

Only in the last decade or so has science been able to find evidence of these things that philosophers and scientists have disregarded what the mystics, empaths and spirituality have described all along. Plato also talks about this when he describes that which is intangible being more real and permanent than that which is tangible.

In Christin’s model of the seen and unseen, freedom, love and connection are much more real. And I’d have to agree.

6. Your feelings are real.

I used to enjoy flirting much more in the context of teasing a woman than getting to know who she really is. Inevitably, there would come a time when you would backhand slap my shoulder and I’d respond with “Ow! You hurt my feeling!”

 I never delivered that line without it getting a laugh and most women would then keep bringing it up through the night and for days or weeks or months after whenever they would tease me. “Oh, did I hurt your feeling?”

The idea that, as a man, I would have only one feeling represents two cultural cliches. The first is that men don’t have feelings. We’re assholes, remember? And the second is that women have too many feelings. Women have so many feelings, in fact, that they’re crazy.

As I grew through that stage of my own life, I discovered my own range and texture and experience of feelings. And, in the process, began to have a deep respect for the way that most women feel (rather than think) as their primary experience in the world. Where I used to fascistly distrust my own feelings, I now had a deep reverence for the truths they knew that my thinking mind simply couldn’t know on its own.

Trust your feelings. They are real in a very different and more profound way than most of us know.

7. You are not too sensitive.

What I’ve come to realize is that your sensitivity is truly a gift to the world.

Without it, the masculine pathology lives in a world of black and white, meaningless, without color and one day after the next, just doing what needs to be done to get through the day.

But the sensitivity of your femininity draws us into something else. If we have even the slightest clue of our own sensitivities, yours draws us into our own feelings in a way that we simply couldn’t do on our own. Your attunement to nuances of moods, textures, colors, temperatures, feelings and emotions helps us get to a place that’s hard to get to on our own.

This is why us men love radiant, responsive women. You draw us into you by drawing us into ourselves. And it’s your sensitivity that guides this. The more nuanced your sensitivity, the more enchanted we become.

8. How you feel matters.

In the purely masculine world, how you feel doesn’t matter. From the masculine perspective, you have a duty in this world and you perform that duty. How you feel about it is secondary to everything else.

And there’s something very true and honorable about this. As a man, I would prefer it no other way. When I imagine laying on my death bed and looking at my life, I’d rather suffer mercilessly and get the things done I feel I’m here to get done than to experience joy and pleasure and only get done half of what I feel I’m here to do.

But this is not the deepest truth of the feminine. For you, anything done without lightness and love…why wouldn’t you just be in the deepest place of love that you can be, then do the best you can? The flow of love in your life, with yourself, with your friendships, your family and intimacy…without love, what’s the point?

A man looks at that perspective of “without doing it with lightness and love, what’s the point?” and answers “the point is to get the job done.” And, unfortunately (and, in my belief, not for much longer), that has been the culture that has been handed down to men. As a result of 3,000+ years of a patriarchal world culture, that perspective of “to get the job done” has also been imposed on you.

I’m here to tell you that your feelings matter. Yes, getting the job done is important. And so is doing it with love and joy.

After all, perhaps we’re all here in some way or another to serve others. If we don’t feel a deep sense of love through our service, how well are we actually serving?

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Assist. Ed: Jade Belzberg/Ed: Sara Crolick

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