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This is not intended to harm, but rather to shed some light on what it’s like to be under your thumb.
I know not all of you are like this, and I imagine that only those who are triggered by these words will find some semblance of themselves within these paragraphs and critique this article as a result.
Maybe some of you saw that video “Be a Lady” going around—or maybe not—but the message is similar. I know you guys aren’t always sure where your place is and there is a long-standing tradition that implies you are always right and that is not entirely your fault.
Our society has shaped and molded you into believing that your way is the only way and that when someone is not doing things the way you think they should be doing it, then you feel it to be within your right as a man to put people in their place, namely women or feminine energy.
I understand it intimately. I was raised by my father who taught me everything that a lady should be and that, as a woman, I was not only responsible for myself, but also responsible for men too. Sometimes it was a message that was overtly given (if I get pregnant, it is my fault) to less obvious things such as always knowing what a man needs and wants to the detriment of myself.
Well, I stopped shoulding on myself a long time ago, and I would really love it if you could stop shoulding on me too.
I decided a long time ago that the only one I am truly responsible for (kids aside, of course) is me. I am responsible for how I choose to show up every day. I am responsible for the things I write about or speak up about. I am responsible for my actions or inactions for that matter. I am responsible for my feelings and the things that don’t feel in alignment with me. I am responsible for my body and what I choose to do with it. I am responsible for the way I choose to heal and the insights I can offer.
I am responsible for what I choose to read and what I choose not to read. I am responsible for the way something makes me feel and I am responsible for how I choose to respond to it. I am responsible for understanding my feelings (something that is not second nature to me), and I am responsible for how I communicate them as well as my needs to others.
None of these things have come easy to me just because I identify as a woman. It came with a lot of tears and the willingness to get real f*cking uncomfortable. It came with identifying my own shadows and learning how to love those aspects of myself. It came with looking at my own imbalanced masculine energy and doing the inner work to heal that. I didn’t look to men to fix it for me or coerce men into believing that they were the problem.
Men, I can no longer be responsible for your limitations around expressing your feelings. I would love more than anything to tell you how you’re feeling or speak up about the injustices you have experienced with women, but I can’t because, for starters, I am not a man and I do not think in the same way as you. Plus, it is my experience that men might do better to hear from other men about the hurts they have experienced. I cannot be your mouthpiece and I cannot tell other people what your experiences are—only you can take responsibility to do that.
Men, I love you, but I’m exhausted with having to be responsible for you or your reactions toward me. I am not a pushover and I am not one to sit quietly if I feel like I’m being treated unfairly or make myself smaller in order to be considered acceptable for you.
I have spent the better part of my life shrinking in order to keep others from feeling uncomfortable with me, but it never felt good doing that and it always came out as overcompensation for my own limitations around being able to express how I felt, which only ended up hurting the men I loved.
I decided a long time ago that I was responsible for healing my own wounded feminine and imbalanced feminine energy. It is still a work in progress. I used to operate from a masculine place and often it resulted in little patience or compassion for others. I felt my way was the right way—and the only way. I had to be in control and force myself into situations that I had no business being in.
I feel like we could all use more healing of the feminine, but that is a topic for another time. Men, I cannot heal your inner feminine for you so please stop expecting that of me.
I cannot heal your mother wounds or previous girlfriend/boyfriend wounds or society’s messages that men have created for themselves around what it means to be a man. Only you can do that because you are responsible for you—no one else.
Men, I see so much strength within you, and I feel like if you understood how strong it is to be vulnerable, then you would see that that is your golden ticket. Take it from someone who struggles with vulnerability. It’s easy to put up a good front and pretend that everything is okay, but it takes even more strength to admit when we feel defeated.
I know you can do this, men, and I believe in your willingness to step out of your comfort zone, start owning the wounded parts of yourself, and most importantly, giving those wounds a voice instead of acting them out in hurtful ways toward others.
I believe that you are all warriors and kings and that you are all capable of letting go of the need to fight for your limitations and step into your greatness—I just can’t believe it for you.
I love you men, but I have my own wounds to heal too. So can we just both just agree that, in the end, we are only responsible for ourselves?