“I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naïve or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.”
― Anaïs Nin
I absolutely love these words. I believe we can be women with both our strength and beauty at full power, continuously building our lives and interests into an oasis where our truest selves can rest and grow.
We can also invite men into ourselves, into our lives, with their own clarity of vision and self-awareness. These men exist, but are unseen by the untrained eyes of women caught up in living the damage all of us carry with us if we’re not willing to address it and move forward.
A friend said to me the other day that she wondered when men quit being courteous and protective gentlemen. I suggested that those qualities were possibly resting by the roadside next to the grace and femininity we set aside thinking we had to war with each other.
I’m not a man, and I don’t want to be. We are of equal value but we are not equal in many wonderful ways that have apparently been forgotten. We bring different gifts into the world and each is made more powerful by what the other has to offer. Each can bring more joy to the other.
Beautiful music, well written books, cognitive therapy and a willingness to look inside for answers have helped me make my way to the life I’m building now. It will always be so for me, and that makes me happy. When I recognize that in a man, that kind of investment in himself, I am awed. I know what kind of courage it takes to do so.
It’s hard and it’s painful at times. But to be able to bring my whole self to the table with all I have to offer inside, and a man’s willingness to do the same is a breath-taking possibility of unlimited potential for a very real love.
I have a “deeper instinct” to choose wisely in the future. To preserve myself and offer everything at the same time. To be capable of maintaining my individuality as well as answering the masculine call to my femininity. I will consider it a joy, not a weakness to revel in the celebration of like hearts, like minds, and very different bodies.
We should not be at war. I love getting flowers, having my doors opened and a man showing his protectiveness. I adore these things that call to the feminine in me and will consider them a show of respect and an indicator of the value I will have to him. It matters little that I can do these things for myself. Likewise it makes me happy to show my heart in the things I do and the care I give even when he too will be capable of providing for himself.
I think men and women have both gotten a bad deal. We gave it to ourselves, and it seems like such a waste of time to me. There have been too many wasted opportunities to be more and have more as individuals and as companions of choice.
I grew tired of fighting. I set my weapons aside and picked up my books, my headphones and held my hand out for someone to show me the way in. It’s changed me in ways I will never regret. It’s grown beautiful things within me that can’t be taken away.
They can only be given or shared, guided by that “deeper instinct”.