“Be a strong independent woman.” And so I was, and so I did, and so I am. What I have learned though, is there is a difference with being a strong independent woman who insists on doing it all herself, and being a strong independent woman who is confident enough in it to graciously receive regardless. I once heard a saying that goes,  “A weak woman won’t be able to do it at all by herself. A strong independent woman will say, “No thank you, I can do it myself.” But, a strong independent woman who is confident in her independence will say, “I know I can do it myself, but it’s more fun if he does it for me.”

What is so often wired into a little girl’s brain like mine was is to be operating off of masculine energy. What that has left me at age 24 is relearning how to embrace my creativity, femininity, and vulnerability because everything else was programmed as weakness.

We all have masculine and feminine energy within us, it’s not gender specific. However, we are one of these energies to the core. Masculine and feminine are merely adjectives used to describe the characteristics of the energies within us, not our gender or sexual orientation.

When you are goal oriented, following a schedule, doing the rise and grind and grunt work of your business, and giving, you are operating in your masculine. When you are creative, fluid, going with the flow and receiving, you are operating in your feminine.

Being the younger sister of two brothers, it was taught at a very small age to be embracing the masculine energy in order to “keep up with the boys.” Through a little girl’s eyes, showing vulnerability was weakness and just not what you did. Instead, you rub some dirt on it, get back up and keep going. Take care of your own shit, you don’t need anyone else to do it for you. I am a driven woman and I really embraced that with building my own business and having the grit to work hard day in and day out.

Being someone that didn’t need anyone else to look after me, attracted men into my life who needed mothering. The beautiful yet jaded thing about masculine and feminine energies, is that in relationships you need polarity for it to be healthy, strong and passionate. I didn’t need a man to take care of me, I was operating in my masculine with being so goal driven and giving, which lead to men that needed someone to take care of them to come into my life. I also wouldn’t allow myself to step back into the feminine and allow myself to receive and allow the man to “become the man of the house” and take care of me. I knew I couldn’t trust the male in my life to step up to the plate to do so, because I had attracted someone who didn’t operate mainly on the masculine and wasn’t driven and giving enough to do so.

As I stepped into newfound single hood this past year, I started to learn about masculine and feminine energies, the push-pull of it and the beautiful dance that is created when you harmonise your own masculine and feminine energies, all while doing the same with your partner. I recognised where I had gone wrong and the part that I played in the failed relationships. Ultimately, I had emasculated the ones that I chose to share my heart with in the past because of the programming I was running on. “Be a strong independent woman,” was a phrase that I was taking too far without even realising it. I was not allowing myself to be taken care of.

The better part of this past year, I have been working on harmonising my own energies in order to be the best version of myself, for me, and if there was going to be a future partner, for him too, whoever he may be. I had the masculine traits nailed down, it was the feminine ones I needed to work on.

I have learned how to surrender, by accepting situations are out of my control and just letting them be. I have learned how to receive, when even though it feels like I’m going against the grain of everything I have ever believed in, I will say “thank you,” rather than, “Oh you didn’t have to do that! How much do I owe you?” I have learned that people feel better to give to you when you graciously accept rather than trying to resist, and they wouldn’t have offered if they didn’t want to.

I have learned how to be fluid like the ocean, going with the flow, constantly changing, shifting and embracing my free spirit. I wear dresses often now, because I like the way they hug my curves. I no longer am chasing abs, because I prefer to be softer. I do yoga to balance out my energies after a masculine workout like weight lifting. I have learned how to embrace my creativity through writing, designing social media posts, and modelling for photos that I use on my social media pages. I stopped listening to hard rock all day every day and started to listen to acoustic covers, deep tropical house, and indie, something that gets me dancing every day. Do I still listen to hard rock? You bet, but there’s more variety on my playlists now. I have stopped mothering to anyone but my dog – mothering is actually a masculine trait.

I will dance, I will go skinny dipping in the ocean under the moonlight, I will do yoga under the stars, I will have deep and vulnerable conversations with people and share parts of me that still make me feel uncomfortable, I will write, I will create, I will allow the man to be the man.

Now, I know I am a strong, independent woman who can do it all myself, but life’s more fun now that I know I don’t need to do it all by myself.

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