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.

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© Copyright 2016, Larry Byram. All Rights Reserved.

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