Thursday, June 3, 2010

Getting in Touch with the Masculine: Part of a Series on Authentic Relating

The Yin and Yang, the feminine and masculine, are part of the all of nature. These energies comprise the duality of life on earth plane and can been seen most dearly in our personal relationships. The opposite nature of each is important in forming the whole (or couple) as they offer the potential for full and complete experience, of self and other.

The Yin is the feminine and represents openness, surrender, receptivity, earthiness, and a container to be filled along with the space within. The masculine Yang on other hand is initiatory, aggressive or assertive, penetrating, and fiery. The feminine is more naturally patient, in the moment, more process-oriented, and open ended while the masculine is more linear, problem solving and solution-oriented as well as expeditious.

We all have both aspects of Yin and Yang, but the extent we developed each in our families is almost as influential as gender. It is not uncommon for instance to see women with more developed assertive masculine sides and men with a more passive feminine sides. Oftentimes this difference serves the original purpose from which it derived (childhood survival strategies), however there are many times it doesn’t serve the original purpose and, unfortunately, can impede one’s growth, maturation, or success in life.

We all know men who somehow haven’t developed the kind of male strength or ability to be direct or confront that would have given them what’s necessary to assert themselves powerfully enough to fully succeed in life. A man’s nature is one of penetration, of breaking ground on which to create, and of taking a stand for survival or justice. Over the past couple of decades men lost the role models of the past (albeit archaic or machismo ones) while newer more balanced or developed ones were yet to emerge. Men needed to in a sense reinvent themselves by coming back in touch with their own essence as nature intended. They began to band together with other men so as to more deeply and directly experience themselves, their organic strength and power as well as learn to reflect back to each other the male aspects they never developed in their family or cultural upbringings or perhaps had been lost in relationships with women. Additionally, since most of western civilization has few or no rites of passage for young men to grow into mature manhood, this absence has been filled with numerous kinds of men’s trainings or men’s work so as help men experience themselves more deeply and fully. Here they learn to trust themselves and each other as they journey through the challenging gauntlet of personal self-development and realization in order to emerge more fully Male.

This kind of transformation is healthy and beneficial both for men in accessing and utilizing their own inherently biological life force energy and for women who will then be able to experience a True Man in his fullness able to meet her in her strength and vulnerability where she can safely surrender and offer up the tenderness and beauty of her unique femininity. This is a very transformative process that allows men to really “be all you can be” and thus have a fuller expression of the primal, spontaneous, zany and powerful energies that make a man a man.

Michael Mongno MFT, Ph.D, LP is a licensed psychoanalyst, relationship counselor and holistic practitioner in Manhattan. He is the founder of Present Centered Therapies which synthesizes Gestalt and Cognitive Behavioral therapies, Eastern spirituality, as well as Imago and Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. He brings a wealth of successful experience with a wide range of couples issues as well as down-to-earth wisdom and modern sensibility to what it takes to create healthy, loving, and empowered relationships.

Please visit or call (212) 799-0001 for more information.

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