September 15, 2014

Where I Extend my Apology to Men.


Gentlemen, it’s urgent for me to convey this message to you.

Not just to my lovers, male friends, brother—but to all men everywhere.

I need to apologize to men.

“We have to let go of justifying emasculating men. Every complaint goes back to a need. And those needs can become a cancer. Instead of complaining, go back to the need; come from the need.”

~ Alison Armstrong

I apologize for—intentional and not—ever emasculating you in any way. For following any blind, knee-jerk, even socially acceptable, habit or trend that led to me making you feel like less than a man.

And just because it might have been unconscious on my part, does not make it okay, either.

I apologize for using my past experiences with a few dysfunctional men to assume you are all the same.

I apologize for letting my past programing about men—from family, friends, society, “feminists”—keep me from really getting to know you and seeing you for the beautiful human you are.

I apologize for participating in man-shaming of any kind just because I was in a group of women doing that, and I didn’t have the courage to speak up for you.

I vehemently speak up for you now—every time.

I apologize for using anger as an excuse for emasculating you.

I apologize for using fear as an excuse to emasculate you.

I apologize for every time I rolled my eyes and said, “Men!”

Because I do not want to be that woman anymore.

I apologize for being so blind about myself, so blind to my own needs.

I apologize for not knowing, in myself, the need that was causing me to complain about (and to) you—for not taking the time and introspection to reach inside myself to find what I really needed and wanted from you.

And if I knew what I needed but did not communicate it, I apologize for not having been able or willing to communicate that clearly.

I apologize for rejecting your gifts of masculine energy, assistance, love and support, for not seeing you as the hero you truly are. I apologize for the hostility that always accompanied that rejection.

It was undeserved.

I apologize for meeting your anger, your impatience, your seeming indifference, frustration and stress with my own version of the same. I apologize for letting your masculine energy trigger, in me, a defensive, masculine, self-protected stance that pulled me out of my equally powerful, but softer, feminine energy.

I apologize for expecting you to think like a woman, for expecting you to immediately, willingly and easily express your emotions without first inspiring you from your head into your heart—the way only a woman can do for you.

I realize now that you needed that from me, but I was ignorant of how to get myself there, much less you.

I apologize for pulling back from my emotions and trying to be more logical, more exact, less feminine, less emotional. I know now that to be my emotional, feminine self is to call upon that polarization in you, is to call you up to be your best self.

I know that you need me to test you, to be my emotional self, to let you find your own way to lean into my emotions, as I lean into you and yours. I know that men need their women to be emotional because a man will meet the chaos of the world just as they meet and deal with the chaos of their woman.

I know you need me to be that for you—to help lift you up to your most powerful, aware self.

I apologize for underestimating you. I concluded, simply because you are a man, that I could not trust you and that I could not count on you.

I apologize for not trusting your timing, for my impatience, for insisting you do it my way just because you didn’t seem to be doing it in the time I thought was correct.

I apologize for not letting myself be truly seen by you, not trusting that you would appreciate, honor and love me even more because of that. I apologize for being so bloody arrogant, proud and/or frightened that I wouldn’t let you in.

I apologize for not showing you my heart, for not showing you my vulnerabilities, for not telling you my shameful, embarrassing stories, for keeping those walls around my heart so you couldn’t get in, and I couldn’t get out.

I apologize for having not been able or willing to meet and hold your vulnerability well, for shaming you or kicking the emotional shit out of you when you showed me your heart and told me your own stories of shame and pain.

I apologize for not, instead, holding that vulnerability gently, carefully and treating it and you with the respect and appreciation you deserve for trusting me with it.

I apologize for not doing my research, for not knowing how men’s brains work. I always thought you were purposely trying to piss me off.

I apologize for being so masculine that you had to polarize into a passive, feminine energy.

I apologize for being afraid of you and treating you like some kind of enemy to be guarded against.

I apologize for not letting you see my fear. I didn’t let you see my fear because I thought it would make me less in your eyes. I didn’t trust that I could step into your arms, your love, and that you could hold your own against my fear, my pain.

I apologize that I didn’t see that you wouldn’t judge me for being afraid, that you wouldn’t try to make me act like a man, that you wouldn’t try and shame me for my emotions.

I apologize for not trusting you to really see me and just accept me as that—a woman in need of your presence, presence that would have quieted the fear—had I allowed it.

“We women think we are crazy.”
~ Alison Armstrong

I apologize for pretending I didn’t need and want you. I do need you. Not because I won’t survive without you, but because we challenge each other into that next, higher realm we are always seeking.

We are each already complete, and together, we are more.

I apologize for assuming you couldn’t handle my wildness, my emotions, my passion, those times when I needed to thrash and wail or cry with joy and be the Goddess incarnate.

I apologize for those times when I assumed you couldn’t meet my passion, when I needed you to ravish me, f*ck me hard and long—or slow and sweetly—but in my fear, was unable to be the vulnerability called for to allow you to do that.

I apologize if I ever saw you less than capable to meet me there in that vulnerability, that wildness, the pain, the joy.

I apologize for being so blind, so ignorant, so fearful—so programmed.

I am here now.

I am awake.

I am listening.

I am still learning.

Please forgive me.


Relephant Read:

6 Things Men Still Don’t Get About Women (but Should)



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Digital Thangka Aug 12, 2015 8:35am

No need to apologize to me, Grace. I am not that easy to emasculate ;). And frankly, quite a few lines from your essay could have been said by men. That said, I find the idea that the world of humans can be split into 'male' and 'female' way too coarse and obscuring the value of the individual being. The generalization may be quite convenient for the masses but for me it's but a waste of my precious time and energy.
The sentence that struck me the most, was: "We are each already complete, and together, we are more.". Although I do not quite agree with your assumption that I am complete 😉 I fully agree that humans (in any combination of gender) can be more than the sum of their individual energies.
Thanks for sharig this good read _/_

John Ludi Aug 12, 2015 6:22am

Thank you for this!!! This exact type of dynamic in relationships has basically led me to celibacy after 30 years of being a giver, helper, nurturer, and, ultimately, punching bag in a variety of relationships…relationships where I have gotten very little in return for my efforts except derision and various levels of verbal and emotional abuse. When someone as engaging and full of life as myself decides to pack it in and spend the rest of his life alone, there is something wrong with business as usual.

Not that I cut men much slack, frankly…we come with a barrage of our own downsides…but the cultural shift that led to the net positive of empowering women also led to many of them becoming hard and mean and cold…and ultimately poor choices for partners. These attitudes and behaviors benefit no one…they just hurt and divide us…and at a time where the pressures of living in the world we have created make coming together all that much more crucial.

We should be co-equals and lift each other up…but we are competitors who tear each other down.

nnardella Sep 25, 2014 11:31pm

Thank you for this Grace. I have shared it with my friends and family. It is a real testament to equality, and many of the apologies you made struck a pang of guilt in me, which in itself is good; you've helped me become aware of my flaws and made me appreciate my Fiancé.

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Grace Cooley

Grace Cooley is a Certified Hypnotherapist and Registered Psychotherapist in Ft. Collins, CO, USA. She sees clients and facilitates Divine Feminine Hypnotherapy workshops for women. She’s a flaming, Earth-loving, tree-hugging, save-the-Planet, believes-in-faeries, bike-riding, card-carrying, spiritual-but-not-religious, hippie cowgirl liberal poet—yep, they do exist. You can find her blog here and her creations here. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.