Dominion or Devotion:
What does it mean to you to be taken care of? Or to take care of someone else? It’s an important question, a hot button for many based on issues of equality, that produces interesting reactions.
I’ve had several conversations of late with women grappling with the idea of being taken care of and men grappling with the idea of taking care of. Whatever your perspectives, traditional or non-traditional, let’s play with this.
The women’s (or feminine role) reaction tends to be based on the fear of relinquishing power, independence and freedom. They have worked hard to establish themselves and their creative value in the professional world (and the world in general), to advance and enjoy the rights they now have compared to previous generations, to be financially secure and well off, to know they can take care of themselves.
The men’s (or masculine role) reaction tends to be afraid of betrayal, retooling their sense of value in how to honor the feminine partner in her power without feeling emasculated. Redefining their manhood, they have learned to examine their patterns and psyches for chips of power bargaining, lording, entitlement, and disengaging. To examine and take responsibility for their own emotional landscape, and emotionally engage with the women (feminine) in their lives while remaining rooted in their manhood (masculine).
The defense statements of either may be anything from “marriage is only a piece of paper” to “I can take care of myself,” to “I don’t want someone after my money” to what it means to be a man (masculine) or woman (feminine). But as the baggage (energetics of their perceptions) dissolve away, and the energetic walls constructed that went with them, there is still a simple, raw clarity that emerges of what each person values.
Above all, each person values connection, with individual variations. The peace and relaxation that come with trust. Being loved. Safety. Emotional intimacy. Respect. And the high-risk-high-reward that come with devotion, not a term used a lot in today’s relationship vernacular.
In this particular vein, the women want the feeling of what it is to be taken care of in their power, and the men want the feeling of what it is to care for, provide (or whatever your word), to be that valuable and happy, while being respected and appreciated.
This is not to promote marriage or not marriage or any particular kind or container of relationship. Please apply the principals here to whatever shape of relationship you wish.
What is profound is what people choose when they dissolve their perspectives and resistances regarding labels, cultural expectations, wounds, rights, the fear of being powerless or betrayed, what they feel they must prove or protect, and what emerges instead from their true hearts.
This kind of freedom gives you the ability to actually choose and create what you desire rather than your baggage choosing for you. It gives you access to your deepest desires and fulfilling them.
Whatever the subjects being wrangled with on the surface in a relationship—money, past relationships, breadwinning, communication, groceries, chores, whose house you keep, where you live, children/grandchildren, work, sex, fixing the toilet, social activities, travel—they are all expressions or symptoms of the underlying principals driving everything.
That is, the current arrangement of power, connection, trust, trustworthiness, safety, devotion, intimacy, equanimity and so on in each person and together. Change the frequency (vibration) of the underlying dynamics beginning with yourself, and hopefully in each person, and you change the surface conversation or outcome.
“…I’d like to think the best of me is still hiding up my sleeve…” ~
John Mayer, Musician, Song: No Such Thing
Jack Canfield, author and personal development leader, talked years ago of something he decided to do in his marriage. On a regular basis, like once a month, he asked his wife how he was doing and what was important for her to receive from him to be fulfilled in the relationship. A conversation followed. Maybe it was nothing. Maybe there was something. Then he did what was asked of him and asked again next month.
Now there’s a proactive and vulnerable way to grow a relationship. Does it trigger anything in you? Bring up your defenses of what you want or what you’re afraid to give? Those are important clues, trails of development and freedom.
Our hard-won boundaries and rights of equality need integration, composting into a grander form, if we are to drop our defenses and deepen our relationships; to call out the falsities, connect in a new consciousness beyond legalities and psychology, into a deeper love that moves this world, that moves you, forward in that vein.
“Quantum physics reveals to us that turning the gaze of our attention towards anything is a powerful creative act that alters, energizes, and potentiates whatever our gaze falls on.” ~ Paul Levy, The Quantum Revelation
Imagine how you energize, alter, and expand the potentials of your relationship(s) with the quality of attention in your gaze. Commitment, partnership, marriage, being taken care of, bread winning, communication, power, intimacy and so on all carry the meaning that you give them, and that you give them together.
What happens when power (or anything being given power–money, emotional vulnerability/unavailability, social entitlement, etc.) is no longer a bargaining chip, no longer being fought for? When we’re no longer carrying chips of inequality or domination or disrespect or bitterness or fear on our shoulders? When each one is owning and developing their feminine and masculine natures fearlessly into a new conversation?
What happens when we’re asking instead, how good, how deep, how wide, how high, how safe, how rich, how fulfilling can this love, this (or the one to come) relationship be?
When connection, being present, valuing, respect, honor, deep listening, happiness, kindness—and add to the list as you wish—are the underlying intention in every issue and conversation? The conversations practically take care of themselves.
For devotion (or deeper devotion) to have room to take root, there may be some dismantling to be done, some new foundations and building established, attention to restoring trust and dissolving the walls to be willing to trust/to be worthy of trust; to let love in. To let love in deeper.
Who do you become when this is where you live?
Ideas to play with…
- It can begin with intention—writing down the changes you want to make as if they have already happened, then seeing, feeling and becoming (energetically shifting) into that new way forward.
- Equality is meant to increase our connection and intimacy, not erect walls that limit our ability to give and receive love. What are you doing or not doing for fear of losing some sort of power (power could mean money, respect, joy, separateness, independence, or whatever you perceive)? What could you experience if you were no longer afraid of losing that power? Who would you draw into your life from this trust and vulnerability? Who would no longer be in your life?
- It takes much more power to be devoted than it does to lord it over another or have to protect yourself from another. What is your version of devotion? Are you free to be that? What needs to shift, if anything, to be there?
Here’s to more of You in this world,