We sit around, waiting for a “spiritual man” to sweep us off our feet—you know the one:
He’s dressed in 100 percent organic cotton, swigging a green juice, and freshly gleaming with sweat from yoga. We seek him out in workshops, vegan restaurants, and the local co-op. We look for him in the corners of the “spirituality” section of the library, or in the kombucha aisle in Whole Foods.
We walk straight past the men who smile sweetly, hands calloused from days of work, or soft from their consistent nine-to-five jobs. We politely decline requests for dates with those who smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol, the ones in business attire and formal-wear, or caterpillar boots and fireproof pants.
We either fetishize men with their sexy, rough exteriors, or we assume that if a man doesn’t appear to be spiritual, he just isn’t “woke.” We don’t see the man in front of us, smiling warmly. We yawn and look away from the guy on the bus who asks about our favorite music while we scan for a “spiritual man” who we “just can’t seem to find anywhere”—do they even exist outside of Instagram?”
But, know this: the sacred masculine exists in everyone.
He exists in the butcher at the deli, and the actor on stage dressed in drag. He’s in our mother, our father, and even our baby sister. He is the urge to protect, defend, keep safe, create structure, and derive practical wisdom from experience.
So what are we craving?
The sacred masculine is a medicine man and sage. He is the prophet, little boy, and wise one. He is the various faces of Shiva, Yeshua, Mohammed, Siddhartha Gautama, and Neem Karoli Baba. The only problem is, we are suffocating him with what we think he ought to look like.
Concerned only with appearances, we search tirelessly for examples of the “spiritual man.” And these men who fit the stereotype exist, and they are glorious.
But does meeting our standard of a “spiritual man” mean he will help us find the direction we’re seeking? Does it automatically mean he will witness and cherish our heart? Does it mean he will champion and fight for our inner little girl, reassuring her and keeping her safe? Will he tempt and ignite our inner mistress? Worship and serve our inner queen? Honor and challenge our inner boss?
What good is a yoga membership if he does not make you feel safe, listen to your dreams, and hold space for you to heal as loudly and violently as you need to?
Why seek to date a vegan if you cannot proudly proclaim that he is out in the world creating good? What good is acroyoga if he is not there when you truly need him to catch you? In moments when you’re floating in a cloud of unknowing, feeling submerged in darkness, can he be a light?
A modern woman looking for love must understand that the man who will support her wildest fantasies, champion her tireless warrioress, and see her beautiful inner goddess does not have to do or look like anything at all.
Much like we would never want a man to confine us to how well we can cook, whether we can tie a knot in a cherry stem, or how wide our hips are—see how derogatory it is?
What we are truly seeking is a level of consciousness. And to confine a man to a specific image of “spirituality” is to also vastly limit our own potential as spiritual beings. Because the strictness to which we hold his appearance will also be the strictness to which we hold our own.
Our idea of of what a spiritual man or woman looks like will eventually suffocate us—and we will berate ourselves constantly for falling outside of our own perceived mold.
Like when we go against our gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free, raw diet to enjoy a few cookies. And then spend a week in front of the television with minimal movement. Or how we fall off the meditation train for six months. Or how we love beer, indulge in drunk cigarettes, and get really angry when someone cuts us off.
If our perception of others truly is a mirror, look at how strict we have been in our own representation of our “spirituality.”
So, let him be himself, whatever that might feel like to him.
Maybe he spends his weekends at yoga class and workshops—or he’s front row at a hip-hop open mic. Maybe he’s swaying at music festivals where he directly communicates with the divine. Or carving tables out of driftwood and offering them up to his higher power—whatever that might be. Maybe he’s painting beautiful pictures of the sea while blasting punk rock as loud as his speakers will go. Maybe he’s climbing a mountain, or digging through dirt to plant seeds because he knows how happy it will make his father when he sees them bloom.
The point is—it doesn’t matter.
The spirit of the divine masculine permeates every description of a man written in this article, and more. The point is, we need to learn to release the tight grip we have on what we believe to be the divine masculine and let him breathe.
Because in doing so, we also release the tight grip around our own necks. We relax into our own spiritual identity, however that may look to us. However imperfect, messy, violent, loud, unsexy, and inconsistent that might be.
With acceptance, we heal. With consciousness, we are freed.
Bonus: The One Buddhist Red Flag to Look out For.
Author: Lauren Jade
Image: Aziz Acharki/Unsplash
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Copy & Social Editor: Callie Rushton