Shadows of the masculine
Carl Jung, one of the founders of analytical psychology, talks about the anima and animus, the opposite gender that lies within us.
If a woman’s animas (masculine) is out of balance this can create external issues such as being over analytical, negative self-talk, competitiveness, envy and disdain. For men, if the Anima (female) is off than they can feel despondent, fearful, weak and lack ambition.
My internal animas is a little bit of an asshole.
In my teens I used to daydream that I was a boy and I was beating up my bullies. In my twenties I fantasied my male image doing some horrendously aggressive attacks on guys who had hurt my feelings. I am the most chilled person you will meet, I can count how many times I have lost my temper in my life and I certainly don’t have the strength or inclination to physically harm anyone.
But my animus does.
He is aggressive, he solves arguments with his fists, he is vengeful, verbal and smart to the extent of manipulative. He can be cruel and disinterested. On the lighter side he is funny, always up for a good time and the life and soul of the party.
My animus was created from my family ancestral female linage and their relationship with men and my own experience starting from early stages in my life and highly influenced and repeated by the men I chose to love.
This masculine has saved me many times, he has protected me and made me feel safe and in control when I was afraid. He has allowed me to compete in a work environment where more masculine was at play than feminine.
He has also deeply tainted my view of men and relationships. Most of the men I have dated have either been a carbon copy of my animus or the opposite, where they could barely cope with anything in their lives, in both cases I responded in my Animus. I battled with the aggressor and became the strength to the wounded. Never have a dated anyone who stood in his masculine strengths and allowed my animus some peace, while my feminine virtues could come to the forefront.
This is something I am working on healing, it’s not an easy process. I need to forgive relationships in the past and engage with men that make me feel safe and protected. It means I need to rewrite my idea of the masculine. I must learn to sit in stillness and let my animas know that it is okay, we are safe, we can soften and feel love instead of constant attack.
Some tips for healing the unbalanced Animus and allowing your feminine in:
· Practice being assertive without aggression
· Take charge of something in your life but allow others to help by asking.
· Learn how to listen with compassion
· Speak your truth and allow your voice to be heard without undermining others
· Take up dancing like salsa where you dance with a partner and let them lead in a safe and fun environment
· Go outside and grow a vegetable patch, this will allow your animus to be physical and your feminine to nurture in a safe environment
· Find a male figure (fictional or real) who you admire for their masculine strengths
Always remember that progress takes time, be gentle with yourself on your internal journey of discovery.
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