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By Kirstie Greenshields
We want a man who is romantic, who loves us and who shows us this love. We want a man who adores us and who is not afraid to tell us so. We want a man who is strong. A man who makes us feel protected and safe.
But the truth is, often, many of us don’t always know what this looks like for us.
There can be a number of reasons for this: role modelling, previous unhealed wounds, or fear, to name just a few.
Because of this we attract what we DON’T want, or we attract the man we want and then when he begins to open his heart wider we get scared. Have either of these happened to you?
As I began to explore what I wanted in a relationship, I discovered that my choices had reflected deeply held beliefs about a man in my life. These beliefs didn’t serve me for the relationship I now wanted to create, so it was important for me to decide to change and do the work required.
From my experience – personal and professional – as a woman continues to follow her bliss and open her heart, she will lead her partner down a path of doing similar. This leads to challenges, as we are both presented with opportunities to BE more open and vulnerable with each other. Why challenges? Because it exposes our fears.
I have written a much larger article about this, which you can read at:
But here are the nuts and bolts of it …
If we have been in a relationship for a while, and a man now begins to follow his bliss and truly open his heart, we can get scared. All of a sudden we realise we are not the centre of his world, because he has discovered who he is really living for.
And if he is living for himself first and foremost, does that mean I must admit I AM FIRST AND FOREMOST IN MY LIFE TOO? This can be uncomfortable, especially if we have not been putting ourselves first in our decision making.
When a man begins to explore more of his feminine, his primary focus begins to shift from ‘PROVIDING’ and ‘COMPETING’ in the world, to pursuing more of the things that make his heart sing. When both partners in a relationship have moved into this space, it may feel as if there is no CERTAINTY in the relationship.
In these times of uncertainty, IT CAN BEGIN TO FEEL LIKE MY WHOLE WORLD IS FALLING APART. In reality, my world is just beginning to become a whole lot more TRUTHFUL.
And truth can get scary. As a man starts to follow his heart, he may begin to appear a little lost – directionless.
The FEMININE creates a whole lot of SPACE and NURTURING, but it is the true masculine that creates direction.
LOOKING IN THE MIRROR
One of the greatest lessons I have learned is that MY PARTNER OFFERS ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO LOOK IN THE MIRROR of my EMOTIONAL BODY.
This is so because we have chosen to co-exist in an intimate relationship. Your partner is the direct reflection of the EMOTION in your life because you are connected at an emotional level.
If I’m feeling fear or uncertainty at this time, and I’m prepared to go within as I look in this mirror, I discover I have been EXTERNALISING MY POWER – giving it to him, in an attempt to MAKE ME FEEL SAFE and secure. It is a perception coming from within.
When I go within I discover I am just as responsible to ‘make’ him feel safe, as he is to ‘make’ me feel safe. That is, neither of us has the power or responsibility to make the other feel anything. That is a choice.
But what if I open my heart and allow myself to feel more vulnerable with him?
COMMUNICATION is imperative. Both parties are responsible for their feelings, and it is important for them to continue to communicate.
HOW TO DO IT
- Talk about it: Tell him you feel scared. Tell him you don’t have a reference point for this. You have discovered that, even though you ‘think’ men should be a certain way, you have a deep seated belief that he should be a ‘provider’, he should ‘make you feel safe’, he should be successful in his career … (insert other ‘shoulds’ here!)
- Allow him to express how he is feeling. He may not have done it adequately for some time.
- Allow him the space to grieve. If he wants to stay in bed all day, don’t try to stop him. But also be clear, through your own actions and voice, that it’s not okay with you that this becomes the ‘norm’
- The most important ‘how to’ is to help him feel safe in his exploration. The feminine is nurturing and compassionate. This is a fine balance, but when you allow yourself to take responsibility for your own feelings, you will find you get better at this.
He wants to know you don’t think he is weak. He wants to not feel ashamed for ‘falling in a heap’.
HE WANTS TO FEEL SUPPORTED AND HEARD.
Don’t we all want this?
As you provide space, and connect with your masculine, YOU PROVIDE the safety and nurturing he needs to stand his ground, and continue to follow his bliss.
And so the cycle of leadership continues. It begins a beautiful process of walking side-by-side, taking turns at leading, each finding balance in the masculine and feminine – within and without.
It is only when both partners take responsibility for their part in the relationship, that the bonds of ‘need’ begin to dissolve, and the suffering ceases.
As we each take responsibility our LOVE OPENS TO NEW DEPTHS, and we discover the truth…
I TRULY DO WANT A MAN WITH AN OPEN HEART
Whenever I travel anywhere now, and I’m asked of my ‘profession’, I write ‘Mum’.
It’s the most important role I play in life, besides being a loving partner to James.
It’s taken some time for me to be comfortable with that, though. I, like most other women, believed that you had to have a ‘career’ to be successful. I believed that ‘being a mum’ was simply not enough. I must be so much more and, because I’m a woman, I should be able to juggle many roles and priorities, and do them with ease, to be a ‘SUCCESS’.
My journey has been one of understanding that true strength and leadership lies in allowing myself to recognise my own importance – as a member of my family, and as a member of community.