How Wounded Energy Is Stopping You From Getting What You Want
Do you ever feel like it’s easier to be defensive than it is to graciously accept constructive feedback, tell a white lie rather than upset someone with the truth, or suffer in silence as opposed to asking someone for help?
You’re not alone!
To understand why this happens, we have to dive into feminine and masculine energy.
Feminine and masculine energy is used to describe the energetic flow of the universe. Despite the names, this isn’t a gendered concept – it simply illustrates the balance of all living things (think Yin and Yang).
Understanding masculine and feminine energy
Masculine energy is associated with doing, light, structure, rational, and analytical. Feminine energy is associated with being, dark, flexible, emotional, and intuitive. You can think of feminine energy as water and masculine energy as the container that shapes the water.
For example, trees embody feminine energy in the spring when they are budding and regrowing their leaves (creation), and masculine energy when they ground themselves by rooting into the earth (grounding). There’s feminine energy in the way that their trunks sway in the wind so they don’t break (flexibility), and masculine energy in the strength of their branches (strength).
Masculine and feminine energy in people
For people specifically, we all have a balance of masculine energy and feminine energy that governs our physical organs and biological functions – much like the tree. But these energies also show up as specific energetic and behavioral qualities that shape our day to day interactions with ourselves and others.
Healthy feminine and masculine energy is also known as divine or sacred energy. This means it’s in its healthiest, most balanced form. The divine masculine energy and divine feminine ebb and flow together.
Divine feminine energy looks like being in touch with your emotions and intuition, owning your wants and desires, shamelessly following what brings your joy and pleasure, and graciously receiving help and support from others.
On the other hand, divine masculine energy is providing for others selflessly in a way that feels good to you and honors your boundaries, maintaining a healthy relationship with structures and routines, engaging in intellectual and analytical thought, feeling grounded in your life, and being assertive and confident.
However, sometimes these energies get out of whack. Our society values masculine energy and shuns the feminine. But when the scale tips too far into the realm of masculine energy without a splash of feminine energy to balance it out it becomes unhealthy, or wounded.
Wounded masculine is responsible for our society’s obsession with productivity, to-do lists, and getting as much done as possible. Wounded masculine energy is also characterized by aggression, wanting to force or control, and taking power from others.
Wounded feminine is feeling overly needy or dependent on others, repressing honest expression in favor of passive aggressiveness, or being manipulative towards others to get what you want.
When we are operating from these wounded paradigms, it makes it really hard to thrive. It can make it feel like something is always off but you can’t put your finger on what it is. It’s why we struggle to meaningfully create the lives we want.
Here are some common ways that wounded masculine and feminine energy show up in our day to day lives and what you can do to swing the pendulum back into balance.
Wounded masculine energy contributes to:
Obsession with results
Have you ever felt the pressure to reach your goals, achieve, and check boxes, but felt dread during the process? That’s our hyper-masculine society that prioritizes results over the process. We think that getting results is what will help us create feelings of success and happiness, but we completely ignore having fun on the way.
Feminine antidote: make the process fun
Smashing your goals is always fun, but what are you doing to practice enjoyment right now? If you knew you would get to your goal no matter what you did, how would you choose to get there? What sounds like the most fun? Then, do that!
At the root of control is wanting to manipulate exact outcomes so we don’t have to deal with the discomfort of not having what we want. We think that if we can plan and meticulously set up all the dominos, then all we have to do is knock them over. It can also be a defense mechanism if we don’t trust ourselves to navigate and problem-solve in unexpected situations.
Feminine antidote: surrender and self trust
If you need to have a sense of control over your life your are telling your subconscious “it has to be exactly this way and if it’s not I won’t be okay.” To soften this, practice the skill of surrendering – or accepting that you can’t perfectly bend your life to your will. This also requires self-trust that you can successfully navigate challenges no matter what happens.
Judgment runs rampant in our society, and the thought “what will others think?” stops so many of us from pursuing the things we actually want. When we judge other people, we know what that feels like and we want to prevent other people from feeling that same way about us. When we become overly judgmental we limit our ability to connect with ourselves and others.
Feminine antidote: compassion
You can practice compassion in two ways – either towards yourself or others. The less you judge yourself, the less you judge others. The less you judge others, the less you judge yourself. Work on whichever feels easier and the other will follow too. Remember that there’s no one “right” way to do something or to be.
When we don’t feel good enough, we turn to perfectionism. We think that if we can doenough (there’s that masculine doing again) then we will be loved, accepted, and we will finally feel worthy. Instead, this keeps us fixated on our not-enough-ness and only feeds the cycle of perfectionism.
Feminine antidote: practice being
You are worthy as you are just by existing. Let go of the impossible standards you’re setting for yourself, you don’t need them! You do not need to do anything or achieve anything to be worthy, because you already are. Practice being instead of doing. Tip: consider what you would spend your time doing if you weren’t focused on achieving.
Wounded feminine energy contributes to:
Outsourcing validation looks like only feeling good when you’re getting compliments or words of affirmation from others. You feel really down on yourself and struggle to give yourself the validation you need, which can come across to others as needy.
Masculine antidote: confidence
When you are able to validate yourself, you clear up an energy leak because you’re not reliant on other people to make you feel good about yourself. When you practice validating yourself and building your own confidence you can create it whenever you want instead of waiting for others to create it for you.
Ignoring your own needs
Women are taught that our needs and desires don’t matter (thanks patriarchy), and we often end up self-sacrificing and ignoring our needs to satisfy others. It leaves us feeling small and unfulfilled.
Masculine antidote: assertiveness
How can you create better boundaries, be more assertive, and stand up for what you want? How can you communicate to the people in your life that your enjoyment is a priority? What can you do to start embodying that?
Do you have a habit of thinking you’re right and others are wrong? Do you struggle to take any kind of constructive feedback? Defensiveness comes up when we aren’t secure in ourselves and we don’t tolerate anything less than perfection. I struggled with this for a long time until my boyfriend pointed out how defensive I was to which I replied “no I’m not!”
Masculine antidote: security and grounding
How can you have your own back and be on your own team more? When someone is offering constructive feedback, it’s not an attack on your worth. It’s an observation about a thought or behavior. Stay grounded, view the comment with objectivity, and then decide if and how you want to receive it (from a non-defensive place).
If you’re feeling like something is off in your life, think about the balance of your masculine and feminine energies. Are you in your masculine energy when you need to soften into feminine? Are you too far into your feminine and need to create some stability with masculine? Think about how you might be able to bring more awareness to how divine and wounded energies are showing up in your life.