The Problem

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The Problem

Many individuals are unhappy with either their current relationship status or the relationships they are in. With all the tools we now have to expand our choices, you would think that we would be doing much better. But as divorce rates continue to climb, it has become obvious that the problem is within us and not with the process itself. We need to be clearer about what would actually work for us. We need to prepare ourselves to be in good relationships by grounding and balancing ourselves. We need to develop greater responsiveness to possibilities without feeling compromised or co-dependent. This takes a fundamental shift in our conception of our self to actually create better relationships. This possibility requires an evolutionary shift from the way we envision ourselves in relationships to how we can become net contributors to both ourselves and others. Some would call this shift from a personality perspective to seeing ourselves as creative contributors. Until we are ready to make this shift, just doing the old stuff better is not going to work.

There are three obstacles to quality relationships:

1) Our reactions and past conditioning shape and limit us to parental patterns; 2) Our Sensations, Feelings, Emotions and Thoughts (Modalities) are often out of sync, which creates three types of distortions that keep us from seeing our best partner choices; and 3) Until we creatively honor our desire to make an authentic contribution and are committed to an aligned course of action, we do not ultimately know which partner(s) would be best for us. These three problems interfere with being able to embrace the fullness of our Creative Intelligences. Getting caught in the polarities of self-denial forces us to define ourselves defensively. When we have a partner with opposite Defenses, we are not seen, constantly irritated, and end up compromising ourselves to minimize our differences. The more we heal our defensiveness and get into authentic expressions of our masculine and feminine sides, the easier it will be for us to attract conscious, quality partnerships.

The first way of discussing this issue is that we commonly do not honor our inner knowing about Intent, Content and Context in relationships. With Intent, we are present with our guiding motivations, so our actions can be aligned with others (Life energy expression). With Content, we can speak our truth and share it with others, creating Wisdom (Light energy expression). With Context, we can invite others to co-create with us (Love energy expression). Without these three connections (Life, Light and Love), we lack practical knowledge about the purpose, value and creative possibilities of relationships.

To the degree we are unconscious about these choices, we choose partners based on Excitement, Intensity and Anxiety, respectively. Each of these types of superficial Attractions reveals an inner compromise where we place ourselves at the effect of our relationship choices. This means we are often caught up in gender role-playing or are driven by desires for safety, security and self-importance that require our partner to adapt to us. Co-dependent relationships are the result. Pretenses and Defenses take over and when we ignore our authentic Creative Nature, we choose partners who cannot grow with us. This drives us to seek fulfillment outside of the relationship.

Our Attachments To Predetermined Choices

Ironically, the more we grow, the more reactive our partner becomes because they have to keep adapting to our changes. This puts pressure on us to limit our growth or leave the relationship. This is why our divorce rates keep growing and the length of time in each relationship shortens. Our Personality’s need for safety, security and importance also sets us up to compromise ourselves or, at best, compete with our partners, believing that relationships are a zero-sum game (whatever others get means less for us). What makes this even more difficult is that we are seldom complete with our parental relationships, which means that we seek partners who are either like them, or improvements of them in order to complete us. We can break these problems into three subsets: failing to recognize our full masculine and feminine potential, becoming overly identified with our defensive identity, and being scared that others will not accept our authentic Creative Nature.

When we are unbalanced and unclear about our purpose, either in terms of our Authentic Nature or, in terms of what would be the best relationship for us, we create superficial relationships where little is expected from us. We call this process of fixating on outer appearances ‘Objectification’. Objectification is the result of incomplete parental relationships where we unconsciously seek to replicate better versions of our parents, not realizing how irritating and ineffective this will be.

We call it Objectification because we get lost in the outer form and do not affirm any authentic motivation, Life Energy or Spirit. Because we are denying ourselves in this way, we automatically deny others any capacity to impact us. The more we are identified with gender identity roles (a framework of masculine or feminine assumptions where our expectations about how we treat each other are fixed), the more likely it is that we have projections about how our partner should look. These projections are based on our self-denied Life expression and spirit and do not have anything to do with whether or not this person would make a good partner for us.

When we define ourselves in terms of our needs, we organize our self by our defensive identity and seek out individuals who will complement us. This means we will be attracted to those with opposite Compatibility Factors. In this way we deal with our security issues by choosing a partner who will complete us. To simplify this, some of us become identified with either our feminine or masculine side (which means submerging our authentic masculine or feminine Creative Expression into a simplified framework of masculine and feminine ways of acting). This provides an Illusion of safety. Unfortunately, our defensive identity does not reflect who we authentically are, but is rather, a projection of who we think we need to be to protect ourselves. In our co-dependent haze, we think that it is good that the other person completes us, when actually it means that we both have to suppress a considerable part of ourselves. We have not mastered Autonomy because we are still accepting only a part of ourselves.

While this creates longer term, compromised and co-dependent relationships, the polarization itself creates its own form of stability. While it greatly inhibits our growth and institutionalizes personal creative repression, we are unwilling to confront the parts of ourselves we deny. As a result, our self-anger turns into anger about our partner because we cannot confront it in ourselves. While each partner can react differently to this repression (one becomes dominant and the other submissive), we argue over the fact that we cannot feel complete with our partner. As a result, we try to share our pain to let our partner know how much they are impacting us. As a result, we become worn down or broken down by the arguing, conflict and assertions that we are not okay the way we are and cannot accept others the way they are. Using this type of leverage makes the relationship a miserable experience. The only reason we do not leave is because the greater unknown is the insecurity we would experience of being on our own.

In these unconscious, static relationships, being alone is scary for both partners. Both partners need reassurance that everything is going to be okay. This means when we introduce any change it just fuels our insecurities because our partner may not adjust to us. Instead, we become more polarized in our areas of expertise by constantly trying to tell our partner how they should be. We call this process ‘Subjectification’ and it is fueled by the irritation we feel when our partner will not do things the way we would do them. It is focused primarily in terms of Thoughts or Emotions and the misperception that they cannot be aligned.

Subjectification is based on the fallacy that our truth supersedes the truth of others. It operates from the false belief that our knowing is superior to others’. It is fueled by the frustration we feel when we could get something done quickly and others have to struggle with it. The more inclusive Truth is that everyone has their own expertise and optimum way of getting things done. It is rarely the same for people, which means that to honor them, is to give them more fluid ways of responding rather than less. The unknown cost of Subjectification is that when others conform to our ideas, we deny them the opportunity to improve on what we are doing.

When we define ourselves in terms of our aspirations, we seek others who agree with us. While this may seem like a good idea because we are finally choosing people who are more similar to us, it is easy to become enmeshed and trapped in a false world of agreement. This is because we do not want to upset our partners and we have learned enough about what triggers them to avoid doing so. Unfortunately, this is still not honoring us fully as Creative Beings. It can frequently lead to an Idealization of our partners which, when pushed, becomes a repulsion when we feel them not agreeing with us. The more we vacillate between seeing the good and the bad, the more we question whether we can make the relationship work. We do not know how to be neutral and yet remain passionate about the possibilities.

Idealization is based upon the confusion between our Feelings and Emotions. We can identify it by the degree to which people fixate on goals without considering the practical ways to get to those goals. When we are idealizing people, places or things we elevate them, which means that later, when things do not work out, we are caught in a state of apathy and repulsion to all that we previously believed. An example of this is that some of the politicians we idealize only to find out that they are human beings and that they cannot solve our problems the way we imagined. As a result, the population has become more apathetic about politicians. In relationships, Idealization shows up as not wanting to elevate people or minimize them, which means we artificially try to hold them in a moderate position. We do not want to project our hopes and desires on them but we do not want them to depress us so we do not challenge them to become more.

If we are going to solve these problems about relationships, we are going to need better tools of perception. First and foremost, we need to be able to distinguish masculine from feminine so we can find a true balance within ourselves. This means being able to affirm our natural embodied masculine and feminine and be able to distinguish it from the potential we have not yet expressed. We can also make greater progress in integrating the masculine and feminine by neutralizing many of our conflicted Attachments, Positions and Projections about who we should be. Until we can clarify the confusion about who we are, we cannot express our Autonomy easily. This would solve the first two problems highlighted above (gender identity confusion and defensive identity differences).

Identifying Motives is the tool we use at the first level to clarify and be conscious about our purpose so that our Intent is clear. If we do not have expanded or higher Motives, we have no future because we will continue to do the same things over and over again. Identifying Attractions is the second level of tools because they help us to see what our lessons are. Without honoring our lessons, we cannot take responsibility for our problems and move forward. Finally, the third level of relationship problems requires us to honor our Creative Nature, become conscious of Compatibility Factors, and engage Relationship Skills. Without these tools, it is easy to become enmeshed and to lose ourselves in our projections of how others are not supporting us.

The core issue is how we are now able to love ourselves for our Creative Nature and affirm who we are with partners, without losing ourselves in their beliefs about us. What is useful about being in this level is that we have seen a lot of challenges previously in relationships that inform us when something is not right. For example, individuals who cannot be Autonomous or share their Truth, or individuals who are avoiding Intimacy because they are scared that it would reveal too much about them, cannot speak their Truth or share themselves fully. If we cannot build appropriate boundaries by the time we reach this level, we need to do it before we can move on. This means that we need to be able to know what is us versus what is not us in our actions and have the ability to see this in others as well.

What is the Masculine and Feminine? 

We are able to embody Conscious Relationships and Authentic Life Expression only when we fully integrate our masculine and feminine. Before this occurs, we need to confront our defensive distortions where we artificially attempt to present ourselves as either masculine or feminine or a limited combination of both. These superficial defensive patterns keep us identified with our history and beliefs so that we do not engage creative opportunities. Masculine expression is frequently thought of as what we do ‘in time’ to accomplish a goal. It is an implementation process where we use tools to gain mastery over our environment. We tend to believe that our masculine expression makes us more objective, because it is easier to validate our Sensations and Thoughts when we have a new experience. Feminine expression is often considered a nurturing, fluid expression of many options emerging from the unknown. It invokes possibilities with unpredictable results, but could either enhance or be a shortcut to greater results. The challenge is that we are more fluid and flexible, and are not based in a timeframe. This allows us to believe that because Modalities in this case are more focused in terms of Feelings and Emotions, these experiences are more subjective, abstract or unreal.

The differences can be seen in the world in terms of the West versus the East. The West tends to amplify the masculine and minimize the feminine, while the East tends to amplify the feminine and minimize the masculine. On a personal level, we amplify the power of these differences by believing that we represent exclusively our Gender Identity. Higher Alignment suggests that we have masculine and feminine influences on many levels, which make us multidimensional beings. Every one has some of each. We could measure the degree of masculine and feminine on the Instinctive, Intellectual, Idealized and Intuitive levels. The desire is to find authentic ways to integrate both our masculine and feminine so we do not become polarized by one or the other and reflected by others needing us to be a particular way.

Integration of masculine and feminine allows us to be interdependent, without losing ourselves. Therefore, we can maintain our Autonomy. Our guidance about this is that first we have to know our truth to be able to share and manifest mutual truth. An example right now is how we can be inclusive to the transgender community by accepting their need to differentiate themselves. Their desire to shift more of their gender identity perspective can now be valued and appreciated as reasonable. This is a more reflective, higher way of looking at themselves. Otherwise, everyone is caught in repressing themselves because we are not thinking alike.

The source of our authenticity is through our three main Creative Expressions, (Primary, Secondary and Mental Body), each having a degree of masculine and feminine qualities, combining and changing as we acknowledge the truth of ourselves and manifest our Authentic Nature. In this way, we are all evolving toward greater self-acceptance. For example, in order of greater masculine to greater feminine Creative Expressions, the seven are: Implementer, Orchestrator, Investigator, Storyteller, Visionary, Compassionate, and finally, Inventor. These expressions (on three levels) evolve from the Mental Body in our childhood years to the Secondary in our late teens and twenties, and hopefully to our Primary by the time we are thirty-five. What slows this process down and minimizes our ability to accept ourselves, is how we adopted Imprinting, Pretenses and Defenses that cover up our authentic Creative Nature so we become defined by what others want us to be.

Masculine Focus

As Ken Wilber has said, the masculine is a structured, lesson-based process of ‘growing up’. He calls these lessons Holons because each opens the door to engaging the next level, when we complete each Holon. Higher Alignment agrees with this premise and has mapped out these Holons in terms of Motives, Attractions and Skills. We further suggest that lessons can be grouped on four levels. When the first is completed, we naturally move into the second, the third, then fourth. In Higher Alignment, the lessons are identified from bottom to top as Instinctive, Intellectual, Idealized and Intuitive. Ken Wilber has four levels as well. We both agree that the masculine is an exploration of options, where we learn from making mistakes and seek to emerge from each engagement with a greater sense of wholeness, mystery and mastery. On the masculine side, this is about ‘Building Self Esteem’. In Higher Alignment, it is about using Aliveness, Playfulness, Paradox and Mutual Learning to identify where we are in the process. This enables us to engage new activities that allow us to become what we desire.

On the masculine side it is the courage to engage and persevere, despite the obstacles that empowers us. The masculine is about setting goals and attaining them. It is prescriptive and loves measuring results so we can improve them. This is why we say Co-Measurement is so important. Co-Measurement is the ability to assess a course of action or plan and focus on doing exactly what is needed at exactly the right time to maximize results. For a person to do Co-Measurement, they need to be able to anticipate the impact of possible actions against the cost it takes to create them. We only invest when there is a positive exchange. This requires us to have our Autonomy because if we compromise ourselves by doing something that is not in alignment with our higher aspirations, it is not co-measured.

Co-Measurement is the capacity to produce the best outcome with a minimum of resources. It is about being conscious of the cost of choices and communicating pre-emptively so that everyone is updated about the changes as they occur. Most importantly, it is about identifying what our priorities are and what is most on our path to contribute. The more we embody Co-Measurement, the more we recognize what is the most authentic way for us to engage a process. We also become clearer about how to bring in the right support people so that everything flows effectively. This way, energy is not wasted in discussions that not everyone needs to be a part of. With Co-Measurement we determine, with others their best contributions to a project. In this way, everyone is acknowledged for what they do well. The result is Mutual Accomplishment.

The key quality that allows us to be fulfilled in our masculine aspects is the ability to choose courses of action authentically without attachment and doubt. Paradoxically, it is the feminine quality of inclusion and intimacy that permits us to make the best choices. To fully engage the masculine, we need to be able to see the whole picture and choose a path of action that is not just fulfilling for us but for those around us as well. This is because, at its core, the qualities of masculine and feminine are inherently transpersonal. When we deny or are repressed in our masculine, we withhold, become overly structured and are driven to attempt to control outcomes. The more we discount the feminine internally or externally, the less we trust that the best possibilities will emerge and thus, we shortcut our decision making processes and attempt to force the issue because we do not know what else to do. When we allow options to emerge so that decisions become clear and obvious, the better we will operate in the world.

In the Western world, we believe that doing this is the answer to all challenges. Many of us falsely believe that progress is an intellectual assessment of how close we are to a particular outcome. We back this up with the belief that our purpose (which may not be very deep or inclusive) is the ultimate arbiter of our Self Esteem. We believe this when we elevate the masculine over the feminine. Motives have a more masculine expression, particularly when you consider that the Instinctive level is much more feminine.  Some would say that Motives are the structure where we first affirm our Self as a thinking entity. Only by going along with the herd mentality and then determining what is best and right for us as an individual, do we begin to make real choices. It is the contrast between these that demonstrates our will, which at this level is considered more masculine. For most individuals, the Instinctive is not a place of will, but rather acceptance, where we let things emerge and usually feel at the effect of our circumstances.  This is what makes the Instinctive level more feminine.

Feminine Focus

On the feminine side, Ken Wilber has talked about ‘waking up’ as a process of spontaneous unification. He describes this as an unpredictable event or opportunity that, when we engage it, integrates us in unexpected ways. Higher Alignment has used this process for over twenty years to shift us into new ways of seeing others and ourselves. The more we honor our spaciousness, the greater our Self Respect. This allows us to feel connected without being enmeshed in others. We agree that the feminine is an internal space of Self Reflection and Being that is a unique state of consciousness. It is about the quality of Being (not the outer appearance), so in many ways the feminine expresses itself as mystery. In Higher Alignment, the three primary feminine ways of waking up are Stillness, Solitude and Silence. These qualities teach us Concentration, Meditation and Contemplation, respectively. They are amplified in the Relationship Skills of Physical Discernment, Personality Detachment and Intuitive Discrimination. Each term is a spacious and inclusive way of being, which helps integrate the structure of our masculine side. Without them, clarity is compromised, a buzziness and busy-ness creates distractions that keep us from being present to our Truth.

Initially, the feminine is demonstrated by its capacity to absorb and transform circumstances into a larger, creative response. This occurs because there is an unseen impact that arises from the interaction of things that is not easily identified upfront. Some would say that this form of synergy is the result of ‘Co-Operation’ on an energetic level. When we are open to possibilities, we maximize this type of shared creativity. When we have our agendas and are fixated on what we want, this type of co-operation is minimized. Divergent decision-making utilizes this open space to respond to whatever shows up in unexpected ways. It is a state of being present and available so that in the process of observing our expression, new possibilities can emerge. Co-Operation empowers self-respect because it allows us to trust that who we are is enough to transform our world. Self-Respect enables us to appreciate that our potential can be valued and even directed toward any project we wish.

Co-Operation is the feminine process of engagement. While some individuals may feel that it is not productive, this is an Illusion. This is because Co-Operation operates from a context of wholeness, where relationships are somewhat formed or pre-established. It becomes easy to create structures to server a particular purpose because they have always been there. We see this in times of emergency, crisis or catastrophe. Everyone is drawn into the process of contributing in different ways without needing to be told exactly what to do. Instead, there is a natural trust that occurs that it will all work out. This is different than the masculine counterpart, which is Unity. In Unity the structure is built from the bottom up and is operationally engaged on a regular basis. When we are engaging Unity the process is prescribed. When we are doing Co-Operation the process is fluid and evolving to suit the circumstances of the time. Co-Operation evolves by concentrating on what is needed in the moment.

Concentration promotes immediate presence and is the most masculine of the feminine breakthough tools. What concentration does is promote a clear differentiation between our primary, direct attention and where our secondary or indirect attention occurs. This is about foreground and background awareness. Meditation has more balance between the masculine and feminine, but is the most powerful of the feminine breakthrough tools. This is due to how we are learning to question our Thoughts and Emotions so we can see what is authentic and what is a defense. Meditation helps us to gain perspective so that we can begin to appreciate how things are constructed. When we are present to our truth, it helps us to build a larger Context and prioritize what we can do. Contemplation is the most feminine of the breakthrough tools because it uses our imagination to explore our larger possibilities. It is most powerful when we honor whatever feminine we have, and use this energy to embrace solutions.

As many will notice, when we use a feminine tool, it empowers our masculine. Just like when we use a masculine tool, it empowers our feminine. This is because masculine and feminine circle or revolve around each other, and any time you go too far in one, you end up in the other. For example, if you want to really deepen into relationship possibilities, you must first understand yourself to be a deeply Creative Being, and the opposite is also true. When exploring our relationships it automatically takes us into our Authentic Creative Nature. The purpose of Higher Alignment is to embody and integrate these two aspects of ourselves into a self reflective wholeness.

The Twelve Attractions are powerful examples of the interplay of feminine energy within and between individuals. Attractions evoke or deny opportunities for connection through communication. In seeking to be heard and acknowledged, there are four types of responses: 1) No Interest (or No Synergy); 2) If You Are Interested, I Am As Well (Power Investments); 3) You Need Me More Than I Need You (Co-Dependence); and 4) I Choose You Because We Naturally Uplift Each Other (Synergy). Much more can be found in our Attractions section. Attractions overall have the greatest impact or effect on the Intellectual level because they are all to some degree feminine invocations in the predominantly masculine cognitive structure. Again, it is the contrast that makes choosing or accepting Attractions powerful. Unfortunately, most individuals get caught up in trying to re-create past, good experiences and do not realize this limits their growth. It is the Emotions of our Attractions that can either anchor us in the past or bring new light into our life.

How Gender Identity Becomes A Demand For Evolution

Everyone seeks a partner to match them, but seldom are we satisfied. Initially, we believe we want a partner who can provide for or nurture us.  What drives this process is the notion that if we have nothing to give to our partner, they will not want us. Most people traditionally think of relationships as providing safety, security and possibly a loving connection. The common premise is that we need to have something to give to be of value in a relationship. In Higher Alignment we do not believe in this premise. From our perspective, who we are as a Creative Being adds value in ways we cannot even articulate. We take a top-down approach, where our Creative Being defines what we want in relationship, which defines the kinds of interactions we manifest.

Individuals who are confused about their masculine and feminine identity tend to attract individuals with a fixed role. The two roles are either a provider or a nurturer. Both men and women in this group can do either as long as they demonstrate some commitment to their partners and a desire to be of support. In these relationships, we can either play hard to get or pursue partners based on the need to confirm that they are with us. Even the acknowledgement that we have a boyfriend or girlfriend can be a big thing in these types of relationships. What makes these types of statements so important is that they go against the perspective that they are all alone and that no one is going to be there for them, which is their common state of operating. You can easily identify these relationships because the individuals, while they may want a connection, will keep themselves somewhat distant and unavailable, even after they are committed to each other.

Unconscious individuals need to convince partners they are the ‘right ones,’ usually by doing something for their partners. This creates an expectation that the partners we want most will require us to perform at the ‘top of our game’ or else they will leave. Gender Identity is more often considered a role we play to bring comfort and physical connection to our partner. It is based on our sexual identity and not necessarily on who we are. Usually, we use gender identity frameworks to initiate the exchange of value between potential partners. Unfortunately, if our gender identity is different than our intellectual or personality identity, it creates a degree of incongruence that makes us reassess who are our best partner candidates. For example, a male with a more feminine Creative Expression who uses relationships to develop connections, will tend to attract a female with more task-management focus and who is more grounded in her personality.

This occurs because when we seek partners, we are naturally most attracted to those who bring out the parts of us that are not yet developed (our better half). This means we seek partners who make us feel more safe and secure because they seem complementary to us. It is not merely the gender-identity role we take into account but how they seem to expand our sense of possibilities together. This is the reason why so many of us are in co-dependent relationships. These co-dependent relationships end up preventing the very growth that they initially promise to bring out in us. Our partners need to know we need them to be in our lives. If they perceive us becoming more self-reliant, it means we do not need them as much, which creates anxiety. There are many different reasons to be in a co-dependent relationship based on where we are in our development process. The Seven Personality Fears and Desires in the Higher Alignment program delineate this growth path. The more we internalize and embody our masculine and feminine sides, the more options we have among partners.

We do not realize this when we are young and we fixate on a one-dimensional gender identity approach based on sexual chemistry. Eventually, we realize that intellectual and emotional stimulations are also important in relationships. Finally, we clue in to the creative chemistry that makes a relationship something we continually wish to invest in. When individuals move between these levels without bringing their partners along, it creates chaos, disaffiliation and ultimately, divorce. When we understand where we are in the Four Levels of Relationship, we are able to choose partners because they can meet and grow with us.

How This Applies To Us

When we accentuate the masculine, we are Dynamic. This means that we focus on our personal authentic contributions and doubt ourselves in our choices in relationships. When we amplify the feminine, we are Disarming. This means we tend to invest in relationships and doubt ourselves in terms of our personal, authentic contributions. When we jump back and forth between both, we are Disnamic. Whenever we are stressed, we jump to the perspective that appears stronger within us, which is usually the opposite of where our partners are currently operating so that we will feel able to support them in a complementary way and remain safe.

There are those who separate themselves from the Universe by denying both their feminine and masculine sides, which is called being Distant. Distant individuals have difficult both in relationships and in their Authentic Life Expression. We can act out the East/West struggle in our personal lives by choosing partners with opposite Defense styles, or in the case of Distant Defense styles, opposite roles of nurturer versus provider. When we choose individuals with opposite Defense styles, we not only increase the likelihood of Co-Dependence, but we guarantee that our partners will not accept or understand us completely. This is the source of much of the confusion currently in Western society and promotes great arguments, which is another way we act out our Defensive differences.

Defenses do more than close down opportunities, they distort the perceptions in our Sensations, Feelings, Emotions and Thoughts so that we are easily blindsided by opposite defense individuals. Dynamic Defense style individuals are strong in their Thoughts and Sensations and weak in their Emotions and Feelings. Disarming Defense style individuals are strong in their Emotions and Feelings and weak in their Thoughts and Sensations. This means that when Disarming and Dynamic individuals get together, they experience difficulty maintaining their boundaries and Autonomy. Disnamic individuals are attracted to each other because they appreciate their flexibility on all modality levels.

They get in trouble with individuals who are not their style because others perceive them as being erratic or oppositional, when in fact they have no intention to be so. Distant individuals are strong in their Thoughts, but often weaker in the remaining modalities, requiring their partners to intellectually agree with them to get along. This is how our repressed Creative Expressions combine with the distorted experiences of our Modalities to create most of our relationship problems. The more differences in the strength and sequencing of modalities, the more conscious we need to be about communication differences. There are three basic distortions where we misread our circumstances and make poor choices: Idealization (distortions between our Feelings and Emotions), Subjectification (distortions between our Thoughts and Emotions), and Objectification (distortions between Sensations and Feelings).

All defenses are partial perceptions that we create as the whole truth. This means we build defensive structures based on what we believe our strengths are while hiding our projected weaknesses. We heal our defenses by expanding the continuum of masculine and feminine behavior that we can engage simultaneously. This is not about finding a fixed truth, but accepting that there are many truths for each circumstance. Until we break out of preconceptions that there is only one truth, we will not be able to love ourselves. The more we fall victim to our Defensive Identity, the more inner conflict we are holding between our masculine and feminine sides. This turbulence covers up our creativity and encourages us to see Love as expressions of Safety, Security and Self Importance. This means Radiant Self Unifying Love, which is Transpersonal, cannot be experienced. This means it is harder to trust ourselves and others, as what we are seeking are artificial personality connections and not creative Communion.

In order to understand how we grow in our ability to embody our masculine and feminine sides, we need to discuss the four levels of relationships and how each breakthrough in the type of relationship indicates a new threshold that we are able to embrace. The four levels are: 1) on the Instinctive level, Unconscious Entanglements, 2) on the Intellectual level, Status Quo Contracts, 3) on the Idealized level, Partners in Process, and 4) ultimately, when we fully engage both our masculine and feminine sides on the Intuitive level, we operate at Co-Creative Partnerships. It is important to note that this is a ‘holonic’ structure (a term from Ken Wilber’s work), meaning that every level completed allows us to embrace the next, higher level.

In Higher Alignment, the Four Levels of Lessons allow us to prioritize what we are doing and when to maximize our results. In our masculine development, we always seek to move forward or upward. The Twelve Motives (three types of Motives on four levels) use a navigational structure that allows us to identify where we are going. We use constructs and maps to describe the territory we wish to cover so we can get where we want as soon as possible. Each Motive has a default set of assumptions about what constitutes alignment or non-alignment. This is how many individuals make choices about whether or not they are on the right path.

Unconscious Entanglements

Connection is the driving motivation that we are seeking because we feel disconnected from others. Mostly, this is because we have not yet integrated our own Creative Nature and connected to ourselves. To the degree we see ourselves being arrogant (on the masculine side) or greedy (on the feminine side) or jealous of others (both masculine and feminine), we are trying to prove ourselves on a superficial level when we have not actually accepted ourselves inwardly. Seduction is what we do when we do not believe that who we are is enough. Another way to view this is that we are constantly seeking Excitement externally because we have not yet embodied our own inner Aliveness. This drives us to seek safe partners who meet a certain image so we can feel they will support our growth and evolution.

Men develop themselves by being outwardly confident in expressing their Aliveness. This reflects that they are taking risks to expand their sense of self and learning about who they are through activity. Some initially go through outer emotions, but are not fully passionate about what they are doing. They become repulsive to women when they have too much inertia or sloth (Wimps). They want to be seen for being reliable and consistent. Women develop themselves by being open, available and intimate. They want to be noticed because they get along with others, but frequently find themselves submerged or ignored in groups. They react to those who operate indifferently. While this naiveté is safe, it does not let them promote their independent growth, but rather their ability to grow with others. They become repulsive when they are jaded or cold (Ice Princess). Both men and women can get caught in the trap of trying to look good, but not developing themselves internally, which leads to narcissism. This need for attention to stand out or be different is an indication they have not applied themselves in their own growth process. Each gender identity has an effective way of being noticed based on its ability to express itself appropriately. Participation and engagement is what they have in common.

What we will notice at this level is a lack of connection or less availability on an energetic level. This is because individuals at this level have the least abundance and mostly operate from a sense of scarcity. This shows up a greater withholding, more reserve and less appreciation for their interactions with others. While this sometimes is not true, we could observe that they will have difficulty expressing themselves on all five modalities (sensations, feelings, emotions, thoughts and intuition). Our This reflects their concern that they should not make a mistake, or at least not show it to others.

The predominant Defense Style of individuals found on the Instinctive Level is Distant. Some may have overtones of Disarming (feminine) or Dynamic (masculine) as they learn to take on the authentic aspects of these energies. It helps to be traditional because we do not have to integrate our defensive pattern with our Gender Identity (because they are the same). When we are non-traditional, we have conflicting impulses that create more chaos, in terms of how we present ourselves. Sometimes, our parents try to reinforce our Gender Identity frameworks at the cost of our Defensive Identity. This only increases the natural repression at this level and delays our development.

At the Unconscious Entanglement level it is much easier for Traditional men and women who adopt strong, congruent Gender Identity roles to create relationships that match their expectations. The source of this congruence is that both partners have matching expectations of each other because they adapt to their gender roles. When individuals are Non-Traditional their Attractions go against the basic gender roles and they must clarify their points of view to determine if their partner is willing to engage them as a possibility. Non-Traditional individuals initially have greater doubt about whether partners will be attracted to them. This typically occurs because Non-Traditional individuals challenge the common perspectives about why individuals choose to be in relationships and what they want. Since World War II, there are increasing numbers of non-traditional individuals, which has caused a battle of the sexes between male and female expectations about what is right.

Status Quo Contracts

Communication is the driving motivation where we desperately want to be acknowledged for our contributions. The challenge is that when we get past our Instinctive Safety issues, the need for Intellectual Security becomes even more important. If we are not congruent between our body and mind, we are labeled ‘non-traditional’ because our masculine and feminine expressions are in conflict. This is when a male has a more feminine intellectual expression or when a female has a more masculine intellectual expression. While opposite attractions such as these are the norm in our society, it does not make for a good choice. Instead, the defensive differences are always separating us from each other because we are initially seeking a partner who complements us. As a result, we have less unity and actual ease in the communication process because we are so different. This creates Intensity in the relationship and minimizes the development of Wisdom where we could learn to be supportive of each other’s way of doing things. The biggest indicator that we are caught up in this type of polarization is by operating in both conscious and unconscious competition. If we experience this in our relationships and we have difficulty acknowledging our partner for their gifts, it is likely that we are caught in this level.

Men develop themselves by being more courageous and enhancing their ability to implement tasks under intense scrutiny. This reflects how they accept their responsibility to provide for others and promotes a sense of independence, even if they are dependent in some ways on their partner. Traditional men have little difficulty doing this. Non-traditional men feel compromised and are typically seen as SNAGS (Sensitive New Age Guys). They need to make a special effort to learn to match some of the expectations of partners by taking charge. When we are growing, men focus on Strength and women on Innocence, but on the downside, this focus could be used as an excuse not to engage possibilities.

Women develop themselves through cooperation and realizing that some dependence is necessary to bear children and to nurture creative possibilities in the world. What they confront is the choice between conscious or unconscious sacrifice. They deal with this directly when they have to be sensitive to the egos of their partners. Ultimately, the issue is where do they want to go and what do they want to accomplish, rather than focusing on the present as an indicator of their long-term possibilities. Traditional women have no difficulty fitting into the structure, even though they are likely more rebellious than people realize. Non-traditional women become labeled as Bitches, which does not take into account the superhuman struggle they are undergoing to try to balance relationships with work life. The result is they frequently end up compromising their relationships because they cannot do everything. Women always have greater depth and capacity to deal with the bigger picture (Context).

On the Intellectual level we can find more Disnamic men and women who have been previously compromised on the Instinctive level. These individuals are a combination of masculine and feminine and can be identified by their attempts to take a different point of view to play devil’s advocate in their relationships. While this is well meaning, it makes it harder for them to feel they are teammates or partners with others. Our recommendation is instead of opposing potential partners, that we learn to engage our partners in either soft or hard ways, based on where their partner is. In other words, if our partner operates with a strong sense of self, we can match this directness ourselves. By doing so, we build partnership and can increase our capacity to be autonomous. The fear, of course, is that we will lose ourselves in our partner’s way of doing things. When we do not, we no longer have to worry about it.

Traditional women use Innocence and passive Seduction so they do not have to be strong. This form of manipulation is an anathema to non-traditional women who want to be above board and clear. It is not manipulation if it is what men want to do for their women. Unfortunately, non-traditional strong women believe this form of manipulation comes from weakness, which reveals their vulnerability. Non-traditional women, by avoiding their vulnerability, discard their natural attractions and capacity to connect to make relationships more fluid. This guarantees that each unsuccessful relationship drives them to be more Non-Traditional and thus, more co-dependent.

Traditional men have a similar aversion to the non-traditional sensitive man, because they believe these men will collapse at the first sign of trouble. Actually, non-traditional men are much stronger fighters than traditional men assume. What brings out their fighting spirit is feeling limited or trapped by circumstance. When Non-traditional men seek partners where they do emotional caretaking, it tends to keep them from focusing on themselves and minimizes their development. Over time, new partners start to sympathize for their lack of skills, but like it because it does not put them and their development on the spot. Everyone agrees over time that we should just leave certain things alone. This is a form of passive-aggressive co-dependence where they are angry, but not willing to do anything about it. These are examples of how Gender Identity gets misinterpreted, thereby creating greater competition and polarization.

When individuals are non-traditional on the Status Quo Contract level, it is very difficult for them because they have to work both on maximizing their strengths and minimizing their weaknesses. In Higher Alignment, we always recommend working from our strengths by not focusing on our weaknesses. By reframing everything in terms of the positive, it gives us greater chances to come up with and integrate new solutions. Since we can only access strengths our strategy is to use our strengths to compensate our weaknesses. Eventually, they get addressed by using a positive expression, which counters them. The more we have to work on our problem areas directly, the more tedious and time-consuming it is for very little return.

Higher Alignment primarily attracts Non-Traditional men and women because they are the ones who need real answers. What we discuss in this work is how to bring out the natural feminine in women and the natural masculine in men. Sometimes, the process of highlighting these differences actually helps individuals integrate the various gender roles so they have greater flexibility in all situations. The core issue is to become as comfortable with both masculine and feminine ways of expressing themselves so they are not excluded from great relationship opportunities. Another benefit of doing this is that they become more Pioneering, which is Higher Alignment’s way of acknowledging that they are no longer identified with their Defense Style.

When we embrace both our masculine and feminine simultaneously, our Self Esteem enhances our Self Respect and vice versa. Self Esteem is based on our resumé of accomplishments, while Self Respect is based on our potential to make a specific contribution. This is why we say Self Esteem is one of the key factors in the growth of our masculine, while Self Respect is a key factor that indicates we are embracing our feminine. Since every individual is a combination of masculine and feminine, we need to see Self Esteem and Self Respect in terms of one another to build both. The more we can integrate our creativity and shape our contribution so both our masculine and feminine co-exist, the more unified and whole we become as Creative Beings.

When we are identified with either our gender-identity or our intellectual defense perspective identity, it encourages us to be defensive. Everyone’s Defense is based on the false premise that we see the whole picture, when in fact, we only see a part of the whole and believe it is complete. A Distant Defense style identifies with their gender-identity roles and does not take into account how they can grow. A Dynamic Defense style individual assumes that the masculine part of them is the core of their identity because they have disowned their feminine side. A Disarming Defense style individual assumes that the feminine part of them is the core of their identity because they have disowned their masculine side. The Defenses and the other combinations of partial perspectives of masculine and feminine distort our ability to accept the full range of our Creative Nature. This is how Defenses usurp our lives because in the effort to protect ourselves we end up compromising our Creative Expression.

On the Second Level, where we try to figure out our Truth, it becomes difficult, if not impossible, if we cannot trust the structure of our knowing. The void, which is this amorphous part of ourselves, which we call our Defensive Identity, tries to be a way to guide us through this Land of No Possibility. In exchange for its support, we agree to follow its guidelines because it appears that it is the only pathway that can be secure. What actually ends up happening is that since we denied our authentic masculine and feminine, we are only allowing a certain part of our being access to our knowing. What we know, we do not even trust, but it seems to be our only option. Until we are willing to confront this paradox, where our masculine and feminine can both be honored, we continue to isolate ourselves because it is the only thing we know to do. 

While it may feel crazy to operate from two or more points of view at the same time, it is only with a multitude of reference points that we begin to anchor ourselves in a more concrete way of responding that actually works. This is when we start seeing how overdoing or underdoing our masculine and feminine expressions is at the base of a lot of the reasons that we unconsciously sabotage ourselves. The answer is having multiple points of view with the ability to see what brings out our Self-Respect and Self-Esteem in any situation. Every activity has some positive impact on who we are. We just need to become more aware of what that impact is so we know when to choose this type of response.

Partners in Process

When we discover the limitations of opposite-attraction or co-dependent relationships, usually we give up on relationships for a time. What becomes obvious is that much of the time the arguments, tension and intensity are not actually serving anyone in the relationship. This forces us to re-evaluate the nature of relationships and recognize that our previous assumptions about masculine and feminine identity are actually very limited. We wake up to the possibility that we are both masculine and feminine in various ways. This allows us to be more conscious about our projections on our partners and we learn that we would rather not get entangled in their problems and needs. Previously, this was a way we thought we added value. Now we realize it was preventing us from growing. The key mandate is to have relationships where we can be responsible for the outcomes without taking responsibility for the partner.

We move into aspirational levels of relationship when we begin to embody both feminine and masculine together. This makes it easier for non-traditional individuals to engage in a way that their partner can unify with them, hopefully without too much co-dependence. Co-Measurement is the driving motivation, which means we want to find a balance between our expression and our partner’s expression. We also want to be clear that we are not compromising ourselves to make things work for our partner, because this just breeds more co-dependence. Co-Measurement is where we provide what we have in abundance and see how both individuals’ contributions can produce unexpected synergistic opportunities. While it is not perfect, it is a huge move forward from the previous level because we are becoming more informed about how to be energetically congruent with each other. When we are not engaging positively with partners, we get caught up in Personality Self Rejection or Personality Self Importance. These issues compromise the natural problem of Idealizing our partners.

When we reach Stage 3, we need to integrate our Defenses with our defensive facades, which are typically opposite to each other. A façade is created usually as a teenager because our main Defense is not accepted in our life by the people we need or love. For example, a Disarming Defense style man may need to adopt a Dynamic façade to please his strong-willed father. When we begin to see how incongruent this is within us and begin to deconstruct our façade the full impact our main Defense emerges. We start to appreciate how sharing our Truth and speaking about the things that were previously off limits, can help us resolve our inner conflict. When we see our main Defense for what it is, a way of compromising our Creative Expression to meet the expectations and needs of others we realize we need to heal ourselves.

Another way to heal our defensiveness is to choose partners with the same Defense. When we do this, it is a lesson in self-love because we cannot hide from our partner and partner cannot hide from us. This means we need to tell the truth. This can be a turbulent process because it shakes out all the false assumptions we’ve had about why we need partners. It is important to see how we can become more congruent in our expression by accepting our True Nature and releasing all the dissonant impulses related to our upbringing. Being able to separate out our Imprinting, Pretenses and Defenses from our natural Creative Expressions is an amazing awakening. This Unification Process is what makes us attractive to similar Compatibility Factor individuals. Until we integrate these Factors, we are caught in opposite Attraction Co-Dependence.

After the transformational questioning that occurs on the Intellectual level, we start to explore what our Truth is on the Idealized level. We begin to understand that our Gender Identity and Defensive Identity are only elements in our larger Creative Identity. This allows us to explore how to show up in ways we previously did not, and makes us more available to partners who are better for us. Dynamic women and men both learn about relationships by engaging their feminine. They become more balanced in being present with themselves and, paradoxically, around each other. This occurs because they are able to reflect each other. Disarming men and women learn about task management skills by engaging their masculine. They become more balanced doer’s by being around each other. This occurs because they love engaging others on deeper levels when in action.

When Non-Traditional women become frustrated in relationships with Non-Traditional men (because of the inherent co-dependence that occurs), they gradually come to realize that they need Traditional (Dynamic) men so that they can be seen in their feminine sides. The more they experiment with Dynamic men, the more they realize that while it is difficult to get seen by Dynamic men initially, when they do, they show their vulnerability, which allows the Dynamic women to relax and be supported by these men. Women respect the men more when they can take charge, which leads to greater sexual connections as well. When you have two Dynamic Defense style individuals together, they both naturally become better at relationships and dealing with their feminine sides. It loosens them up and makes them less defensive overall.

The same is true with Non-Traditional men being with Non-Traditional women and feeling frustrated (and even castrated) by these women. This awakens them to the possibility that they could choose Traditional (Disarming) women who are more willing to be led. When they learn to assert themselves, they will attract more Disarming women, which allows them to balance their inner masculine and feminine more. They also have greater depth of connection because they are not defensively polarized. When you have two Disarming Defense style individuals together, they naturally become more productive and task-oriented without difficulty. The result is greater alignment between both of these sets of partners.

One of the final indicators that we are integrating our masculine and feminine is how we bring the benefits of competition and cooperation together. The value of competition is that it accentuates Personal Achievement and helps affirm masculine Self-Esteem. The value of cooperation is that it accentuates Personal Dominion and helps affirm feminine Self-Respect. When we realize that any individual contributor needs both personal support to make their contribution and needs a feminine receptiveness to be able to make their contribution to someone, then we start to see that these apparent opposites are two sides of the same coin. We can also state that cooperation is supported by Mutual Accomplishment among many contributors. In the world today we can see that the problems of competition are much greater because of our over-reliance of the masculine and repression of the feminine in the U.S. society.

At the third level, we begin realizing that our Imprinting, Pretenses and Defenses are not us. This begins to open the door to who we actually are as a Creative Being. It also sets the stage for moving into our Primary Creative Expression in a large way. What we need to overcome is our fear that we will not be able to support ourselves by doing the things that inspire us the most. Our Secondary Expression becomes more obvious as the way we get seen in the world. Another way of looking at the Secondary Expression is how it is designed to support our Primary Expression instead of by default, attempting to take charge.

Usually, we first embrace this possibility when we realize how we sabotage many of our goals and desires. Even when we do complete a goal, if it is not aligned to us, we wonder why we even did it. The same is true about meeting long-term goals like purchasing a house. Initially, we are really excited and motivated, but after the purchase, we realize how much energy it takes to sustain it, which changes our perspective about how much we are willing to invest in the process. At this point we realize our Motives and aspirations are changing and we doubt our future because we do not see the stability we once had. These doubts and constant comparisons to others are what creates anxiety. We are often in relationships at this level that start off well, but quickly deteriorate, which is opposite the second level. This is because we are becoming recalibrated to how much truth we want in a relationship and how it allows us to trust our partners (or not) moving forward.

Individuals develop themselves by knowing the difference between their Authentic Nature and their Imprinting. Parental Imprinting, Pretenses and Defenses are all false Beliefs where we think we have to live up to the perspectives of others. When we release them as our anchors, because we see how much an obstacle they are to moving forward in our lives, it changes our perspective about what is meaningful. As a result, we either become overly attached to the current reality, or fixate on how the future is going to be different. Usually, women have to learn to be more Autonomous and men to be more Intimate (or team-oriented), during this stage. This ends up as a choice for either Anxiety or Awareness. Are we willing to step beyond our history and choose our present and engage Life and Light possibilities from our heart energy? If yes, keep reading.

Co-Creative Partnership

Until we manifest both our masculine and feminine simultaneously within ourselves, we cannot be great Co-Creative Partners. When we take ownership of both our masculine and feminine natures, we can be inclusive and undaunted by the Creative Nature of our partner. Perhaps we can even appreciate them for being the magnificent people they are. This takes being equally comfortable with both order and chaos. It could also mean letting go of the traditional bias for the masculine in the United States. The result would be relationships that have Growth, Autonomy, Intimacy, and Co-Creativity.

This means the relationship would have the ability to separately reflect upon itself. This of course is greatly facilitated if we can create a separate and independent Common Neutral Ground space for the relationship to exist within. Both women and men are capable of fully participating in and being receptive to new possibilities at the same time. There is an incredible Spaciousness that comes with the embodiment of Skills at this level. We would also know that we are operating on this level because of the way we are able to address problems and have them naturally work out. The key indicator is that we are willing to take responsibility for the impacts we make on others, even if they are unintentional. We have the skills and a sense of timing so that items of potential conflict can be resolved in an easy way.

When we are balanced internally between our masculine and feminine, we possess the freedom to choose how we wish to interact with others. We do not need them, they do not need us, so it becomes a choice to Co-Create together. The freedom of not being entangled allows us to fully invest in relationships without feeling manipulated, controlled or directed. Pioneers appreciate how each person can be self sufficient, yet come together for partnership and community events on a regular basis. The more we can see the true contributions of our partners, the more confident and capable we feel working with them. Beyond the obvious economic power, and because they are living in their creativity, they operate from abundance. This means they love giving and loving because it makes them feel great.

In Co-Creative partnerships, there is greater expression in each partner of both their masculine and feminine nature. More importantly, they can simultaneously track each aspect of themselves to construct a more comprehensive way of connecting with their partner. This can be seen in their fluidity, Aliveness, Wisdom and Awareness, which shows up a lot of times in a charismatic way. This is because these individuals are unpredictable and open to new possibilities transforming them. We call them Pioneers because they love engaging and exploring new territory. They are not complacent with what they know and are always seeking greater vistas. Another indicator is that their presence invites people into their life. We can see this energetically in how open and transparent they can be. They are the opposite of a Distant Defense style, which is trying to keep people out to protect themselves.

We like to call men at this level Cosmic Magnets, and women Cultural Leaders. This is because men tend to hold mastery and action as their internal contribution and women hold mystery and motion as their fundamental contribution. It is really about how the inner and outer come together. At this level, Enthusiasm and Creative Flow are the main indicators that we have attained this level. All Co-Creative endeavor is the result of feminine and masculine approaches being embraced without separativeness. You might notice that the Motives, Attractions and Skills charts all have their masculine and feminine sides articulated, along with the unifying factors that bring them together. Eventually, we come to realize that it is the unifying factors that make the difference.

At the Co-Creative Partnership level there is a Unification of our Authentic Life Expression with our desire to be in Conscious Relationships. We cannot be fully supportive to a partner without knowing their core purpose. We also cannot be effective in conscious relationships unless we know ourselves. This means the masculine pursuit of Authentic Life Expression ends when we finally embrace quality relationships. It also means the feminine expression of being conscious in relationships when we embrace our Authentic Life Expression. Each path leads to the integration of both. The more we are conscious about this interaction, the less we will be surprised when we feel that we have to change partners due an ultimate lack of alignment. Creative Alignment is, therefore, the critical factor that unifies us, both internally and externally with our partners.

Heterosexual And Homosexual Differences

In heterosexual relationships both partners have to deal with Autonomy before Intimacy, while in homosexual relationships, both partners deal with Intimacy and complete the process with Autonomy. Our Defenses indicate how much we are able to integrate the authentic masculine and feminine within us. Most people begin as a Distant Defense style and then differentiate themselves by developing either masculine or feminine qualities. Sometimes, because they do not feel seen or accepted, individuals develop defensive facades, which cover up the basic Defense itself. Eventually, they need to reconcile these polarities within themselves and unify the masculine and feminine perspectives within themselves in order to mature.

Heterosexuals possess greater differences between each other, which drives them to deal with Autonomy issues first. This separativeness requires them to develop an inner commitment to their own growth process, rather than being pressured externally, as is the case in homosexual relationships. Heterosexuals, like homosexuals, need to go through a level of self-acceptance around their gender identity, but unlike homosexuals, this leads them to distance themselves from others to see who is naturally attracted to them. Heterosexuals believe that partners will naturally be attracted to their defensive identity and not necessarily their Creative Nature. This means they try to prove how tough or open they are, depending on the Defense style and usually seek polar opposite Defense style individuals. On the third level, they start to transition out of their Defenses by accepting their Creative Nature, which allows them to consider partners who are similar to them. Until they unify both masculine and feminine within them, they do not maximize their partner choices.

The key difference between the development process of homosexual versus heterosexual is that homosexuals develop Intimacy before Autonomy, while heterosexuals develop Autonomy before Intimacy. On the third level, we can see this in the greater amount of physical difference between the partners, which demonstrates that they are beginning to open up and accept more differences in the relationship. We call this opening up process Becoming More Pioneering because it is about going beyond the surface separation to recognize inherently that all individuals have a combination of masculine and feminine. At the fourth level, the Intuitive level, we see this in full operation, where both masculine and feminine can operate simultaneously in each person. The partners are closer together here, which means they need less separation because they are more accepting of themselves.

What makes homosexual relationships fascinating is their ability to take both the creative, defensive and instinctive personality characteristics of a partner as a given. This means that homosexuals are quicker to respond and seek greater unity with their partner, even though they may act out small differences with greater drama. This is because gay men are working more on the feminine polarity together, while lesbian women are working more on the masculine polarity together. This forces homosexuals to be more intimate and respond to each other and usually cuts the development time to grow out of their Defenses and into their Creativity by half that required by heterosexuals. The only real issue is getting balanced in their Autonomy with partners when they are fully able to utilize their Creativity. It should also be noted for the diagram that they grow through a self-polarization process in Level 2, the Intellectual level, when they adopt defensive facades. Some would say that in Level 1, the Instinctive level, they go through a phase where they deny acknowledgement of themselves.

As the diagram ‘Homosexual Defensive Patterns’ indicates, gay men are typically Distant Disarming, Disarming or Pioneering Disarming. In order to get some polarity in their relationships, in the middle of the cycle, they can develop masculine or Dynamic facades so there are some superficial differences to work out. Lesbian women are typically Distant Dynamic, Dynamic or Pioneering Dynamic. In order to create some distance, a few manifest feminine or Disarming facades. It is interesting to note that since they deal with Intimacy before Autonomy, they do not need deeper divisions, in terms of major Defense Style differences, to develop a full range of masculine and feminine ability.

What this costs them is greater initial defensiveness due to the increased adoption of facades. When they start to discover their natural truth, they call themselves out on these facades and actually reveal their hand. This means, by the time they get to the Idealistic level, they will have released most all of their facades, which will reveal further subtlety in their masculine and feminine balances. This does not mean the men become super-masculine, or that the women become super-feminine, just that they will possess a greater capacity to simultaneously employ masculine and feminine approaches. The key to remember is that lesbians will overall become more feminine (over time) when they authentically address their creativity and gay men will become more masculine as they become more balanced and authentic.

In the LGBT community, there are some differences because lesbians trust their masculine more than their feminine, while gay men trust their feminine more than their masculine. This means they start at opposite ends of the spectrum but eventually cross over as they become more conscious. Ultimately, just like heterosexual couples, they learn to incorporate both their masculine and feminine sides. It has been our experience that lesbians and gay men are actually quicker in their discovery of these imbalances and can resolve these issues with their partners because there are fewer overall differences with their partners. In other words, gay men choose partners with less polarity but make it more interesting by being more dramatic. The same is true with lesbians who do not prefer the drama.

As the Homosexual Defensive Patterns graphic shows, at the Instinctive level, there are some gay men and lesbians who are caught up in Defensive role patterns and will interact in the same way that heterosexual, Distant people connect. Eventually, gay men who are more Disarming, will connect to those who have some Distant patterns. Lesbians who are Distant Dynamic will also choose Distant partners. On the second, or Intellectual, level, Distant-Disarming gay men will find partners who are the same, but have different Facades. This creates some superficial differences, but they both will tend to respond in the same way with each other. On the lesbian side, Distant-Dynamic partners will look for similar partners, also with an opposite Façade. Eventually, both of these will release their Distant background and move either into Disarming or Dynamic styles.

The Activation of Masculine and Feminine

As we have described, our perspective of the masculine and feminine changes as we become more mature. At each level of relationship we become more able to appreciate the things that previously were not on our event horizon. For example, when we get into Status Quo relationships, the Motives of people become more important. When we get into the Partners in Process level, the Attractions are more important. When we get into Co-Creative Partnerships, Relationship Skills become more important. Certain Compatibility Factors are not even apparent to us until we have started dealing with the problems they represent in partnership. We could break out the same distinctions so that Pacing, Communication Process and Decision Making Approach do not become obvious issues until people are working at a Partner In Process level. This is very different from the Instinctive Factors such as Pretenses, Goals, Modes and Attitudes, which everyone recognizes. The fact that the Higher Alignment assessment structure is so large just indicates how much we have compromised when considering what types of relationships may be better for us. If someone is not willing to engage this level of conversation, then it is probably due to a lack of awareness and the impact of their parents’ frameworks upon them. This reflects how our level of consciousness is driving or limiting our choices about what we are comfortably able to engage.

Individuals with a Goal of Growth could be irritated by these statements. The answer for them is to investigate these larger possibilities to determine if there is something they may be missing. Others may just seek incremental improvements as they find individuals who want to move forward with them. The real problem is whether anyone they attract will be interested in the change they might seek. This is why Higher Alignment encourages everyone to take a stand for what they are looking for and what they want. It is clear that many of us find it uncomfortable to engage larger possibilities unless we know what is required and what the benefits will be in advance. Higher Alignment’s answer is to provide this information upfront, free of charge to support individuals in their consideration process.

The driving question of Higher Alignment is: Can we present concepts that will promote the growth of our consciousness? Our provisional answer is yes, if we are willing to throw ourselves in the deep end of the pool. We have to be willing to choose things beyond our immediate understanding. For some, this is a bridge too far. Some of us need to have the experience of the problem before we are willing to trust that there is a problem. Fortunately, there are enough people who recognize these problems and want to do something about them to keep us in business. It would be nice to imagine that individuals could lean into some of the possibilities we suggest because it would likely allow them to grow and stay together. Some of these recommendations will have a profound impact on whether we end up having to get a divorce (or not).

The second one in the group of two is a Some individuals will feel that this body of information is too much. They will assume they have to learn everything by themselves, which makes the process unappealing. The real opportunity is to interact with our group to make the work accessible. Without the interactions and insights about how to personally apply this work, it may be difficult to embody. It does not matter how clear we are or how obvious the distinctions are. If we cannot apply them to ourselves and use them as tools to improve our relationships there will be less value transferred through this website. The deeper problem is that some individuals are not available locally to facilitate interactions. This makes it more difficult for the transmission of this technology to occur. However, we are able to work through video, webinars and local host groups. Until this work is available on a satellite basis by creating larger groups in local areas, the student will have to make do with available options.

Defensive Perspectives

The feminine quality is suspect in the West because it suggests that the observer changes what is observed by how they observe it. This is because the West wants to believe in the simplicity of the observable, structured masculine and tries to avoid the reality of chaos. The West wants to believe in an objective and measurable reality. This is why, in the West, there is a need for control and a fixation on outer power structures. Scientists, through Chaos Theory, now recognize there is more subjectivity in everything we experience. In the East, individuals pay so much more attention to subtle energies and hidden power structures. The East sees the objective, outer reality as Maya, bluster and a fixation on outer appearances because it is obvious that the inner quality is different than the outer quality. This creates a more subjective viewpoint. With this openness comes a greater capacity to embrace the unknown.

This is why we say the feminine is primarily focused on interactions, whereas the masculine is more focused on objects. In the West, we tend to believe that the Universe is a mechanical thing that is working out its purpose, as we randomly interact with it. This is, from Ken Wilber’s perspective, an exterior point of view. In the East, the perspective is internal, where we create the experience of the Universe from our source. Ironically, the West believes this perspective is inherently egotistic, yet the East believes that there is no self. Our Defenses mirror these patterns on a personal level. An internal point of view can suddenly alter the external by how it is perceived. All defensive distortions are imbalances in three different dimensions between the perception and what is perceived.

The undeveloped masculine seeks territory. We ‘grow up’ by realizing that there are limits to external power, which allows us to evolve from physical to intellectual and then to passion as part of testing and expanding our boundaries. Our pursuit of answers becomes an acceptance of the wisdom of the current status quo as we evolve. Masculine individuals often overestimate the power of declaring needs, although in a masculine society (such as the United States) it is the norm. The main indicator of the undeveloped masculine is the motive of Arrogance. The undeveloped feminine seeks the safety of possessions, which is why the main indicator is the motive of Greed. We complement this self-centered focus by recognizing what is going on around us. We wake others up in the process of quietly asserting ourselves in various key locations that engender socialization and discussion. As we promote our insights into the underlying purposes and value of what needs to occur, we discover our Power. The more we are able to engage others, the more they learn not to ignore us, for we have greater influence then they imagine. The feminine works from passion to the intellect to the physical. Feminine individuals are often underestimated because they are not as concerned with external agreement.

The undeveloped masculine initially works on Autonomy lessons before considering the value of Intimacy. For the undeveloped feminine, the reverse is true. Intimacy is the first lesson engaged, and then as mothers, we seek to make our children more Autonomous. This is another way that demonstrates the mirror-image qualities between masculine and feminine development. Autonomy, in its personal development phase, is always about independence, which means that it needs to grow up and confront its transpersonal nature where interdependence rules. The more we are Autonomous, the more we mature and build our Self Esteem, which is actually a resume of what we have accomplished. With personal Intimacy, we learn to nurture ourselves. With transpersonal Intimacy, we learn to nurture others as a way to build our own Self Respect. Self Respect is an indication that we are able to share our spaciousness and get into Creative Flow with others without difficulty.

The most important message is that we all have both masculine and feminine sides, and everyone, on some level, will learn these lessons eventually. The sad circumstances of our upbringing are that we tend to think of our gender identity as the source of our masculine and feminine expression. This means that we personalize the problems we have expressing ourselves, and are therefore, sucked into gender identity warfare.

One example of this is the Stanford Rape Case where a male student, Brock Turner, raped an unconscious female student and was punished with only six months in jail, which could be even less with good behavior. When the defendant’s father wrote a letter to the judge that stated, “…His life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve. That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life….” it revealed how he was minimizing the violation that was done by his son. This also reveals how he, along with his son, objectified women. The woman he attacked and raped wrote a statement of her account that highlights the impact and cost this event has had on her life. The contrast between these different points of view shows how patriarchal the system is and how it mistreats and does not take the feminine into account. When this statement was read on NPR, many individuals started to reconsider the real horror of what this woman went through. These different gender identity perspectives are part of a larger, cultural framework where women are not honored as equal citizens. It is also a more gender-based perspective because people have been reducing it to male or female differences, which further diminishes its natural impact.

As long as we continue to codify our assumptions on a gender identity level in order to simplify and support our own personal assumptions, it will only get worse. For instance, because we cannot confront the African-American issue of slavery in the United States, we still have problems with racism. Recently, this has shown up as antagonism and violence in encounters with the police. The Black Lives Matter movement is an organization committed to revealing how we minimize certain differences and use those differences to make others non-human. This allows us to ignore their needs, or at best, placate them. The answer is to express ourselves and not keep buying into the complacency of believing that we cannot do anything about these problems. Unconsciously, or even consciously, we are objectifying these patterns in the ways we engage others. Otherwise, without remediating this, we are all doomed to repeating our mistakes.

This leads to generalizations about how men or how women are always some way we do or do not like. What does this gain us? Why can’t we recognize that we are all masculine and feminine, and applying these stereotypes rather than distancing ourselves from the people we want to relate to? Instead, let us consider that our Primary, Secondary and Mental Body expressions all give different emphases in terms of our masculine and feminine complexion. We tend to fight this acceptance of our greater self by getting over–identified with the masculine and feminine position of our Defenses and the false notion that we cannot reconcile and find the easy, middle-path.

The Three Problems Of Relationship

Most problems in relationships are based upon uncomfortable similarities, differences in ways of operating or mismatched goals or aspirations. Uncomfortable similarities generate irritation because our partner is either implementing something we previously denied or they are faking a solution that we have figured out the real answers to. What is uncomfortable is the dissonance we feel because we are not in alignment with them in what they are doing. When we have differences in our way of operating, say, for example, defensive differences, it creates tension that is never fully addressed. If we were operating in a more creative way, this tension could be positive because it could lead to a higher level of integration and resolution. Unfortunately, when we have fixed differences and we do not understand their perspective, then we just argue and become more polarized. Eventually, the relationship becomes completely dysfunctional and poisonous.

What makes relationships work is how we grow in our capacity to embrace our partner’s differences without losing ourselves. This means we need to build greater Autonomy as the first step to resolving these problems. The second step is to be able to be transformed by our love of them and their love of us, which is about creating Intimacy, If we have this ability to remake possibilities between us. The third issue, then, is where we have differences in aspirations or goals, which can be addressed by finding small things that motivate us together and building upon them. Finally, these problems have in common is whether or not we can be understood and trusted or not. The trust issue can only be addressed if we can own our impact on our partner and their impact on us. This requires us to understand how defensive distortions reinforce differences and a lack of alignment between partners.

Our defensive distortions come in three major styles: 1) Objectification, 2) Subjectification; and 3) Idealization. While some individuals can have all three of these, it is better to work on the more personal ones first so that we clear the distortions in a way with the greatest positive impact on our lives. Distant individuals have more Objectification issues while Disnamic individuals have Objectification and Subjectification issues. Dynamic individuals are more trapped by Subjectification and Disarming individuals are more trapped by Objectification and Idealization. Our Primary Creative Expression also has a major impact on these patterns. Feminine expressions such as Inventor, Compassionate and Visionary are more impacted by Idealization and Objectification.

Masculine Expressions such as Implementer, Orchestrator and Investigator are more impacted by Subjectification. Storytellers are most impacted by Objectification and Subjectification. We usually address Objectification first in Safety & Security and early Outer Success WorldViews. Then, we address Subjectification in Outer Success and Early Relationship WorldViews. We address Idealization last because any imbalances between Objectification and Subjectification automatically amplify Idealization. Idealization is always a major factor at the Relationship level.

Objectification is a problem because we are not comfortable with taking into account the people around us. We usually fall into this pattern when our parents did not have clear boundaries and we felt minimized and not seen by them. The core distortion is disconnection, where we feel compelled to prove that we matter by doing activities that will build our reputation and let people know they better not mess with us. What we are most concerned about is personal safety so we build up our sense self-respect by trying to do things where others would value us. This isolates us and we never fully feel comfortable that others have our best interests at heart. Instead, we attempt to micromanage our interactions and zealously protect our prerogatives to do things the way we want. The ironic thing is, that while we are attempting to prove how important we are, we have not taken the risks that we need to be truly actualized. We lack both trust and unity in the good nature of others in our lives. This inhibits the support we can count on and we diminish how much the Universe will show up for us.

Subjectification is a problem because we overly focus on taking care of ourselves and trying to impose our own solutions on others we care about. This usually shows up as telling someone the ‘right way’ to do a particular thing. We usually believe that our experience is superior to others’ around us. The truth is that we are great task management experts in our own lives, but we may not be able to understand the people around us very well. The more we succeed at getting people to adopt our truth, the more likely they become resentful and resist our input. This is because we rarely give them a choice or take their input into full consideration. We also do not want to be beholden to others, so we diminish the active support of others. What this does is teach us how to take charge and make others do what we want. The core distortion is about disaffiliation, where we do not want to be responsible for others. It becomes easier to criticize them when they mess up than to show them, in a positive manner, how to make things work. As a result, we insulate ourselves from others so that we are not really available to them.

Idealization is a problem because we get caught up in superficially caretaking others by trying to create some long term change, without being fully committed to making the change within ourselves. The key distortion is enmeshment, where we confuse our Feelings and Emotions and end up projecting them on our partners and certain situations, wanting things to be better. These projections keep us off balance and prevent us from dealing with the tactical requirements of creating the solutions we desire. We also cannot separate our desires from the desires of others, which means we unwittingly put ourselves in situations where we attempt to fix others. This, of course, is most likely unsuccessful and creates a lot of impatience because we think things should be easier than they are. Ultimately, we need to recognize that it takes personal diligence to implement changes in our lives, which can only happen one small step at a time. Anytime we get swept into greater aspirations, we need to recognize that it may be beyond anyone’s capacity to do it as fast as we want it done.

Idealization Distortion Creates False Hope

For example, a Visionary (feminine) woman with a Dynamic Defense style (masculine) will need to express her Emotions to actualize her power, but instead, frequently diverts her Emotions to her intellect. In her attempt to protect herself, she minimizes her vulnerability by not sharing her Emotions. This has the profound effect of increasing her susceptibility to Idealization, which minimizes her authentic Creative Expression. This distortion, where she vacillates between over and under investing in Emotions, makes her inconsistent and less trustworthy to others. This imbalance in Emotion combines a need for the Visionary woman to use her Emotions to link with others, yet she will be unwilling to own her desires, creating irritating attempts to manage others.

By not affirming or acknowledging her desires, she could attempt to influence outcomes without assuming personal responsibility, or overdo her responsibility by not letting others contribute to her (so she will not lose control). The main indicators are an overemphasis on outcomes at the cost of the process, endless delays where we have difficulty getting everyone on the same page and not being satisfied with current progress or results. Since she is sensitive to the perceptions of others, it is hard for her to be denied success. This leads to negative self-talk, which eventually results in becoming angry or upset at the lack of progress in others. The frustration and impatience she feels will lead to choices that are not optimum for her.

Subjectification Distortion Denies Trust

Then there is also the issue of Subjectification where we become overly identified with what we know and seek to push others to implement our solutions. For example, if we are an Investigator (masculine) man with a Distant Defense Style (denying both our masculine and feminine), we could fall into the perspective that our intellectual clarity (without Emotions to bias us) makes us superior decision-makers. Others may see this as being arrogant, aloof, or acting like know-it-alls. The challenge is that others could find us always shifting from feelings of inadequacy to lacking the love and appreciation of others. As a result, we become overly fixated on providing information so others will affirm us.

This focus on being seen as knowledgeable may promote false perceptions as struggling to find our voice. As an Investigator, we would naturally be seen as smart if we could relax. We could believe that the structure of our thinking is self-validated enough to tell others what to do and ignore their perceptions in the process. We could convince ourselves that what we are doing is helping others become more proficient, when, in fact, we are undermining their knowing. On the other hand, we could, out of our own desire to be heard when people are not listening or are not taking us seriously, subjectify them so that they will have to take us into consideration. We justify this as ‘sharing our expertise’ but we react when others question our suggestions, revealing our defensive orientation. We react to the possibility that others could learn better if they would just accept their own mistakes. Subjectification is usually a desire to be seen as self-important, but this is only because we have not yet accepted that we are important. As we get more balanced, we see the value of Emotions to reflect and clarify our Thoughts. Until then, our denial of Emotions leads us to over-intellectualize solutions so we do not take into account the Emotions of others around us, leading us to poor choices.

Objectification Distortion Creates Superficial Temporary Options

The third example is Objectification, which is the most common defensive distortion. Objectification is the denial of the Intent quality or value of something because we have become fixated on its appearance. The more we pursue Beauty and ignore Aliveness, the more we try to create substitute ways to manage our own safety. If a Storyteller (equally masculine and feminine) with a Disarming Defense Style (feminine) is caught in Objectification, it means that we cannot see the whole picture. Instead, we are fixated on feeling safe and trying to be seen and accepted by our partners as we are. We are frequently trapped by assumptions that Safety can only be achieved by looking a prescribed way. We keep trying to please others when really, it becomes about how much we will compromise ourselves to make them feel better. Sometimes this programming is completely inept.

For example, we could falsely believe that blondes are ‘cuddly’ or that softer features mean that someone is much ‘nicer.’ These perceptions are frequently the conclusions we have made because of our unresolved history with our parents, and therefore, are unconscious and irrational (because we established these beliefs on a preverbal level). This is why a lot of our expectations are frequently unmet in relationships, because they are not validated in our current experiences. This Storyteller could be constantly repeating patterns of relationship that only make sense to him, but are not tested with partners in any realistic way. This results in repeating the same basic patterns over and over without any change. He could also become disillusioned because he always ends up as the caretaker, but is never valued in the process. Usually when we are caught in this pattern, we take on partners who feel safe, but who always end up hurting us. This is because our assumptions and associations do not match the reality of those we attract.

When We Cannot See Our Options Fully, We Choose Poorly

Many individuals have Objectification, Subjectification and Idealization patterns at the same time. The sources of these patterns are imbalances in our Modalities, which keep us from having an integrated response. The cost is a reinforcement of certain imbalances in us that attract individuals with complementary imbalances. Objectification occurs due to imbalances in our Sensations and Feelings so that we cannot process our actions or hold our Intent. Because Beauty is a form of engagement to something more inclusive, some of us idealize it, ignore it or get distracted by it. We lack the body wisdom or the Life energy direction that would bring Aliveness to our actions. This blockage in our Sensations and/or Feelings paralyzes us from taking action quickly or engaging in conscious, appropriate risk-taking. When we can experience Stillness in our body and notice the movement going on around us, then it indicates we have attained a degree of integration. Cellular Affinity (also know as sexual chemistry) is the Stillness driven awakening process meant to transmutes our incomplete sensations and feelings so they are balanced and made whole. We talk more about this process in the second CNG section.

Subjectification occurs due to imbalances with our Thoughts and Emotions, so that we cannot process or operate autonomously in our Truth, or dispassionately hold our Content. We lack the discrimination and character that comes with understanding both ourselves and those around us. We lack the presence of Wisdom and instead fall into defensive patterns and Intensity where competition and self-aggrandizement rule us. This blockage in our Thoughts and/or Emotions produces Positions where we cannot see the whole set of circumstances. When we can experience Solitude (in our mind) and know we are still connected to the Universe because we know that separativeness is an Illusion, then it indicates that we have attained a degree of acceptance of our Creative Self. Vibratory Response (also know as intellectual stimulation) is the Solitude driven awakening process meant to transform our incomplete emotions and thoughts so they are balanced and made whole. We talk more about this process in the third CNG section.

Idealization occurs due to imbalances in our Feelings and Emotions, so that we cannot process or operate in a larger Context. It also prevents us from developing or enhancing our Intuition. We lack the balance and gravitas that comes with seeing both the positive and negative of any situation together. What become limited are our Growth, Passion and our ability to love and be loved by others. This blockage in our Feelings and/or Emotions produces projections where we compare ourselves with others, seeking to be more important. This leads to cycles where we overemphasize others’ contributions only to bring them down later. The real problem is that nothing ever seems to get done or be completed the way we imagined it. When we can experience Silence (in our being) and realize the contributions we are making merely by our presence, then Idealization will no longer have its hold on us. Vibratory Expansion (also know as creative chemistry) is the Silence driven awakening process meant to transfigure our incomplete feelings and emotions so they are balanced and made whole. We talk more about this process in the third CNG section.

The reason we do not see larger relationship opportunities is because we are caught in patterns of denial and limitation when it comes to our Modalities. It is hard for us to imagine a relationship where we do not have arguments. We begin to believe that the work required in co-dependent relationships is a given. The more we do not see our full range of expression, both in our Modalities and in terms of our Creativity, the less we expect from our relationships. Instead, we fall into re-creating the limitations of our parents’ relationship with other people. In effect, we take on our parents’ lessons and do not step back and consider what we would like to solve, explore or do to choose the kind of relationships that would work for us. Higher Alignment stimulates discussions so we can appreciate the versatility and greatness of our Creative Nature.

Healing Our Imbalances

It makes sense that the more balanced we are between our masculine and feminine, the less we get caught up in relationship problems. We not only heal our co-dependence tendencies by being balanced, but we actually address a lot of our defensive distortions because these are just another level of imbalance between the masculine and feminine. The only real problem is when we become polarized within ourselves and do not think the incorporation of masculine and feminine energies is natural to us. We can assure you that expanding into both masculine and feminine expressions is the only true way to bring out our full Creativity and gifts. Unless you want to continue to creatively hobble yourself and limit your future, you will need to expand your self-definition to include a masculine and feminine side to everything you do.

In summary, individuals initially are caught up in roles of masculine and feminine expression, which are not embodied. When this happens, individuals have a ‘deer in the headlights’ look and are more concerned with how others perceive them, which makes them more adamant and focused on their outer strength than inner qualities of connection. They either are or act more distant and externally strong to offset their internal lack of knowing. If individuals have an intellectual framework the same as their gender identity, it is easier for them to initially be seen. Their big challenge comes when they need to embrace their opposite sides, but many never reach the third level of relationship. Non-traditional men and women have more difficulty being seen initially, which makes them more open to change when they see creative opportunities in different relationships. Eventually, everyone in the process of life itself learns masculine and feminine ways of operating.

Relationship Skills help us to expand our ‘being’ and ‘becoming.’ As we have said, the masculine is about ‘becoming,’ while the feminine is more about ‘being.’ There are feminine skills, which are introspective tools, such as Wisdom, Physical Discernment, Personality Detachment and Intuitive Discrimination that we use to wake up. There are also masculine skills such as Aliveness, Playfulness, Paradox and Mutual Learning that we use to grow up. Each skill is a doorway where we take responsibility for being complete and engaged with our partner. We call this combination of skills ‘learning to show up.’ We make the assumption that we have what it takes to make our own choices and to create our own possibilities. This is summarized by the process of owning our destiny.

We build our Autonomy by letting go of false or confusing self-identifications. For example, Creative Imprints confuse or distract us from our authentic Creative Expression. This occurs when we adopt parental patterns at the cost of our own well-being. Imagine having an Implementer father who does not appreciate our Inventor openness. In this situation, it is easy to take on the authoritarian structure of our father’s pattern and end up denying our own creative exploration of possibilities. These opposing patterns create dissonance within us, as we feel torn between affirming our father’s pattern or affirming our own.

Other examples occur when we have authentic feminine Creative Expressions and feel the necessity to present ourselves in defensive masculine ways. This conflict between our inner truth and the outer need to prove ourselves reduces the clarity we express when speaking. Others end up reacting because they do not feel secure that we are a particular way. This doubt and second-guessing can be amplified whenever we shift between our natural way of doing things versus what we think we need to do to prove ourselves. The more defensive we are the more others believe our reactions indicate the actual truth, because they no longer trust their experience of our Creative Alignment.

Even on a Gender Identity level, when we operate outside the predefined role of what it means to be male or female, it creates confusion. Others do not know if this is because we lack commitment or clarity or even know what we are doing. The source of Gender Identity confusion is because since WWII, with the shortage of men, this opened the door to Non-Traditional gender perspectives. Traditionally, women were seen as the weaker sex, which meant they deserved to be supported and nurtured. Men were required to be providers and therefore had to pursue potential mates and convince them of their sincerity. As long as our masculine and feminine Defenses matched our gender identity, they reinforced each other. This is called a traditional relationship. Non-traditional relationships happen when our masculine and feminine defenses are the opposite of our Gender Identities. It also requires greater integration and processing to affirm what works for us because we are no longer fixed in Expectation frameworks.

Overall, we have either masculine or feminine expressions on our Mental Body, Secondary and Primary Creative Expressions. In addition to our obvious Gender Identity, our Decision Making emphasizes either masculine (Convergent) or feminine (Divergent) approaches based on circumstances and the people we have around us. Our Communication Process emphasizes Intent, Content or Context, which can be either masculine or feminine, depending upon the evolution and integration of our consciousness. Finally, our Defenses, Pretenses and Imprinting can sabotage our authentically embodied masculine or feminine. While other Compatibility Factors do have some impact on the embodiment and integration of our masculine and feminine, they do not make a big difference. What this means is that the more natural we are in our expression of our masculine and feminine, the less we are trapped by our own perceptions, previous decisions and judgments. This makes us more available to apply ourselves to the contributions we wish to make.

This means that we do not project Positions or have Attachments that our partners have to be any way other than the way they are. As a result, there is no Defensive Inertia, Resistance, Intensity or Projection. All skills are about mutual growth because each can only be demonstrated with a partner who is aligned with us. The critical point of this mutuality is that skills are both masculine and feminine and bring out both sides in their implementation. In short, this means we are operating in a Transpersonal manner and taking others into consideration as well as ourselves. There is less contrast on this third level because Relationship Skills are a mixture of masculine and feminine. The Idealized level is feminine as well. When we shift into the fourth Intuitive level it is with the recognition that we are affirming ourselves in both masculine and feminine ways and have integrated our Authentic Life Expression with our desire for conscious, co-creative partnerships.

The Power Of Synergy

In Higher Alignment, we have, for the last twenty years, recognized the power of both the masculine and feminine perspectives. The differences between the two are at the heart of our growth process as human beings. When we integrate the two we are able to “Show Up”. Showing up is about energetically connecting to partners, listening to and recreating their communications with the commitment to autonomously Co-Measure and Co-Operate so true Communion occurs. Only by combining these tools can we become full creative contributors and demonstrate mastery in our relationships. By bringing masculine tools to our relationships and feminine states of being to the pursuit of our Authentic Life Expression, we become more whole and balanced. This is encouraged by the exploration of Mystery in both ourselves and in our world. It is only through the exploration of Mystery that we become masterful. Most importantly, we have integrated and embodied all the masculine and feminine qualities within us, while eliminating the precursors or placeholders of feminine and masculine behaviors, which are Defenses and Pretenses.

It is the imbalance of the masculine and feminine that produces the defensive distortions of Objectification (denying masculine and feminine simultaneously), Subjectification (denying the feminine), and Idealization (denying the masculine or feminine separately). Identification with Defenses is the core issue that keeps individuals from growing in their relationships. It also compromises our Authentic Life Expression, because our personal actualization is compromised. It compounds our communication problems, confuses our Decision Making, and leads to gross misunderstanding of who we are as Creative Beings. By recognizing the limitations of Defenses, it encourages us to explore both our masculine and feminine.

When we are able to create equality in our relationships it is because we have integrated our masculine and feminine. At this point, Common Neutral Ground becomes a critical developmental tool in our relationships. Until this time, we have not honored our Autonomy nor learned to love ourselves. When we can affirm our Creative Nature and operate with Intent, Content and Context, it is time to create this experience with others. The first step is to establish a separate relationship space so our space remains uncompromised. When we experience the Transpersonal nature of the CNG, it clues us into how we are doing in the partnership or as a team. It helps us recognize the conflicts, differences and uncomfortable similarities so they can be addressed. We can do this without taking on the reactions of our partners.

CNG skills are about developing our creative uniqueness. When we reach the fourth level, the Intuitive, our masculine and feminine are working together to create a greater wholeness. With CNG skills, we master our state of being by becoming Co-Creative Contributors in any area of endeavor. Our Co-Creative contribution or the quality of our relationships becomes a measure of our progress, rather than pursuing growth for its own sake. There are three types of growth that support our well-being: 1) Authentic Life Expression, so that we can make the kinds of contributions we came here to make, 2) Growth in Relationships so that we have partners that can fulfill our social and/or romantic aspirations, and 3) Building Community, which functions as a space to bring Constituents and family to these larger possibilities. Instead of pushing ourselves forward, it is about doing more with what we have within ourselves.

Summary

We begin to operate in an inclusive rather than exclusive manner as we become more authentic. This allows us to integrate our Motives and Attractions and to build Common Neutral Ground skills. With CNG, we learn how to optimize our connections using Spacious Presence, Pregnant Duration and Skillful Means. With Spacious Presence, we use our feminine side to embrace our masculine so we are available to respond. With Pregnant Duration, we use the structure of our masculine side to open up our intuitive nature, enabling both to work together in producing new insights. With Skillful Means, our masculine and feminine inform each other so the most effective plans work out effortlessly. With this type of support it is easy to be in Co-Creative Partnerships.

The fundamental problem of relationships is that we do not know who we are as a Creative Being and this limits our ability to have fully functioning, conscious partnerships. This is due to our inherited gender and defensive identity structures that limit the perceptions of ourselves. When we can heal these misperceptions, our creative energy can blossom and we become more of who we truly are in relationship to others. We then attract partners who are more aligned with us. We deepen into this possibility by affirming, “I am that I am” and having new ways to focus ourselves in our contributions toward others. The upside of relationship is that being with people who are finding their truth is a great adventure and their ability to reflect what they see in us awakens us to more of who we are.

Along the way, we become more clear because we can identify our Intent, Content and Context. This allows us to consciously develop areas of growth together, rather than being at the effect of circumstances. What this takes is a commitment to growth and discovery. Instead of assuming that we just need partners to take care of us, we need to ask, “How can we best contribute?” Instead of seeing ourselves as isolated and alone, we need to see ourselves working with others and the universe to fulfill our aspirations. While this may seem like a lot to pay attention to, we can do it at whatever speed we want. Our growth process is totally managed by our capacity to engage new things and to put them into perspective so that we can choose what we want to accomplish.

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