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.

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© Copyright 2016, Larry Byram. All Rights Reserved.

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