The Feminine quality of nurture is just one of the most misunderstood of all feminine qualities. The word doesn’t sound powerful. Nurture may sound insignificant to many because it’s defined as something you do for someone or something else. Our dictionaries define the word to mean, ‘care for and encourage the growth or development of someone or something’. There’s no ‘take charge’ in the definition. In our ‘out of balance’ understanding of the masculine and feminine qualities, we think that if something doesn’t sound powerful, almost fearful, then it is not important. The words passive, silent, soft and supportive seem to take a back seat to the words active, loud, hard and independent. We applaud when a person is outstanding in their achievements, yet we overlook the pensive person who gets to the finish line more slowly contemplating every move instead of rushing to the end line. I recently learned of the possible harm we are doing to children that are introverted. We tell them to get involved with others. Be a good team player. Speak up! We don’t realize that introverts are usually very smart and contribute so much to our society by their contemplative ways. Many times, they are the ones in creative mode while others are acting out. We make them wrong for their passive quiet personalities. We make them wrong for enjoying their time alone instead of being part of the crowd.
I believe these misconceptions are some of the issues at the root of our imbalance between the masculine and feminine. For so long we have been suppressing qualities in our children that seem soft, emotional, passive and inwardly creative. We don’t want children to cry when they are disturbed. We want them to bypass the feelings and go straight for the solution. We certainly don’t want to show our emotions at work. It’s is considered inappropriate behavior. We are literally taught what is acceptable and what isn’t. We learn to hide, suppress and camouflage our feelings to an unhealthy extent and then we wonder why our youth is insensitive to the feelings of others.
I know many of you agree with me on this. Innately we all want to be nurtured; we all want to express our feelings. Our feminine passive, nurturing, feeling qualities are as necessary as our masculine, assertive, independent, focused qualities. All in balance. All needing to be managed, but not discarded. Knowing this and allowing it to become our reality however, are two different things. I have clients tell me all the time they won’t cry in public. They keep the illusion going that no one cares and that they wouldn’t dare make anyone feel uncomfortable. They even acknowledge that they know it can physically and mentally hurt them to suppress their feminine side. Yet, they do it anyway. How many times have you heard someone say, I almost cried, but I held it together.
So, how do we fix this problem and come back into balance? Summertime is a perfect time to begin feeling again. Nurturing the landscape will help to bring out your loving side. Playing outdoors with your pets or children helps those emotions to show up again. Laughter is so expressive and healing. Find a movie that will bring tears to your eyes and open your heart. Don’t watch it alone, let the tears flow!
Being human is such a complex and fabulous existence. In Indigenous cultures, feelings, nurturing, passivity and all the sides of being human are honored. In this way we become whole and healthy and balanced. Learn from our ancestors. There is so much we can gain by just being our true selves.
Featured in Great South Bay Magazine