Note: I do my best to not assume gender in my discussions of polarity. When I say "a feminine person," I am referring to a person who identifies with the feminine expression and who is working toward embodying the feminine pole. The feminine pole refers to the fully embodied feminine expression as understood in the context of a polarized relationship. A feminine person can switch out of her feminine pole consciously or unconsciously at any time. The same is true for the masculine person working to embody the masculine pole. The use of pronouns refers to a person's chosen expression rather than their gender.
Mothering in Polarized Relationships
Back to the elephant in the room I discussed in my expectations blog. Mothering, also called nurturing, is not a feminine expression. This is a hard shift to make and can be quite triggering for some, hence it's elephant status. This is a shift I am still making and practicing. This blog was inspired by a story that unfolded which demonstrates my efforts to apply this learning.
But first, let's get into what mothering is and how it is not a feminine expression.
Mothering is when a feminine person attempts to guide a masculine person into self care . A more degrading term for this is "nagging." We see this motherly nagging all of the time in our culture. It is portrayed almost as if it were an inevitable way of relating between a couple. The masculine person lacks self care, the feminine person nags him into it, and the masculine person resents her for it. Rinse and repeat.
Yet, this is not so in a polarized dynamic. When a feminine person is fully embodied in her polarity, she trusts the masculine person to care for himself. She knows that she can express how she feels about his lack of self care and that her expression will inspire him to check his inner boundaries and adjust them if he deems it appropriate. She does not express her feelings as a way to manipulate him into self care. There is a slight, yet powerful, difference. The feminine is responsible for a self evaluation of the motives behind her expression. She knows that the masculine will pick up on it, even if subconsciously, and he will most likely act out in response to it.
The unfolding of the events below demonstrates these concepts.
The Devoted was outside one morning, shoveling the driveway for ourselves and our landlord. He had both of our cars running and had pulled them up so he could clear our parking spaces.
At first, as I looked out at him from our second story window, I felt immense love and gratitude. I felt so supported by his stewarding. In my heart there was such appreciation for him. The warmest place in my heart was a feeling of deep thankfulness for the fact that my car was running. It is a well used car that does not get much action in the winter. Seeing it running and well cared for made my heart swell with recognition of his devotion to it, and to me vicariously. All of this was being done out of his own inspiration, with no direction from me or expectation on my part. I felt honored by the love and devotion he willingly chose to offer.
Yet, these feelings were fleeting when I noticed he was cleaning off the car without gloves! His gloves were in his back pocket and I found myself saying out loud, "you idiot! Take care of your hands!!!" As I felt myself become deeply upset by his lack of care for his poor cold hands, I felt inspired to share with him how I felt.
After over a year of polarity work, I knew that I had to get down to the feeling before expressing to him. The feeling quickly presented itself. I felt concerned. I was excited that I had found a feeling to express so quickly and that I was working to use feminine expression rather than simply berating him for what I had deemed to be a negligent choice.
He came back inside and I immediately jumped on my chance to express myself femininely. "I feel concerned," I said and waited for him to ask why. He did, and I shared "your hands were out in the cold without gloves!"
He then responded that he had his gloves on for most of the time he was out there. Had I stopped here and accepted that his hands were cared for as he deemed fit, the polarity may have remained intact, provided I was expressing without manipulation of course. Instead, however, I continued to express my disappointment that he wasn't wearing them the entire time.
Then, he reacted angrily. Calling me out on my mothering and leading me to "knock it off."
I felt upset and started shouting. I was not mothering him!!! I was just trying to love him!! I didn't tell him what to do!!! And I expressed it as an emotion!!
He pointed out that I was expressing as a means of manipulating and judging. That it was clear I did not trust him to take care of himself, if I did, I would have trusted that his gloves were off because his hands were not cold and he didn't need to keep them warm.
I collapsed onto the couch exhausted and sad. I reflected on my exhaustion. More and more I find masculine expression to be exhausting. Since I felt exhausted, I was invited to consider that perhaps I was in my masculine and mothering him after all.
I continued to evaluate what he had said and found he was right. I didn't trust him to take care of his hands. I was trying to manipulate him into taking care of his hands by expressing concern. I was grateful he called me out and I felt embarrassed.
Further reflection showed me an even deeper understanding of the unfolding. I practice viewing the world through the Law of Reflection. This law states that everything we observe in the outer world is a reflection of our inner world. I was afraid I could not trust him to care for himself. Where was this fear inside me? I could see that part of it was coming from a fear of allowing the universe to take care of me. I could also see that perhaps I wasn't taking care of myself.
Applying these reflections moving forward, I understand that as I learn to trust the Devoted, I am also learning how to trust in the universe, and vice versa. Next time I notice myself fearful that the Devoted is lacking in self care, I will to trust his discernment and turn the awareness into an invitation to take care of myself in that moment.
Looking at it now, I see the opportunity for true feminine expression was for me to share with the Devoted how safe and warm and honored I felt when he came back inside. When he asked why, I would have been invited to share with him how beautifully his stewarding of the driveway and cars had impacted me. The morning would have gone an entirely different direction. If his hands were cold, I could have trusted him to recognize that after the fact and he would have the opportunity to promise to himself to wear his gloves more as a result of his recognition. No mothering needed and polarity stays intact.
For a deeper discussion of how feminine expression can be used for manipulation, check out my expectations blog post.
Please note, how a feminine person knows it is safe to trust a masculine person in the masculine polarity is a different blog topic altogether. One I trust will develop for me to offer at some point, though it hasn't come through yet.
Lastly, for those interested in the topic of polarized relationships, I recommend the book Irresistibly Feminine by Zak Roedde which covers the topics discussed here in great detail. My understanding of this dynamic developed from this book and the Devoted and my practice of the concepts since the turn of 2020.