Saturday, June 17, 2017

We are both Masculine and Feminine

In our recent blogs on relationships (click here to see series) we stated it is easier to understand parental influence on children if we  have a clear definition of the masculine and feminine roles in relationships. The interesting thing about this type of definition is the fact the roles of masculine and feminine are actually part of each individual even apart from a relationship.
Robert Johnson, who penned several books dealing with the interaction of the masculine and feminine aspect of individuals,  developed the concept that the masculine, also known as the Animus, is the part of each person and is the warrior/conqueror. It is this part of each of us that drives us toward greater achievement and accomplishment. It is also the aggressive part of our makeup, which can be destructive if not consciously guarded.
The feminine side is called the Anima, and is the aspect of each individual which reflects compassion, nurturing, healing, and the gentleness of living. In each person, the goal would be to have the Anima and Animus work in harmony allowing a power of accomplishment to be balanced with a harmony of compassion. In most cultures the woman reflects the feminine side while the man reflects the masculine part of our emotional makeup. However, if the individual is not in touch with the opposite side of their emotional universe, then they are out of balance. More information on Robert Johnson may be found at (
A male, who is not utilizing his feminine side, will be seen as aggressive and uncaring with a detached and non-nurturing persona. A woman who is not in touch with her masculine side will appear as soft, weak, and dependent. 

Obviously, the goal in the individual journey is to bring these two sides into harmony. Further, in the relationship of man and woman, it is also necessary to bring these sides into balance if there is to be harmony and true love. As discussed in the previous blogs on Mother/Son and Father/Daughter relationships, our early lessons on this Masculine/Feminine balance are discovered by all children at an early age and become part or our unconscious definition of who we are and how we relate to others.
 Over the last centuries, the dominant male and supportive female roles have been a fairly normal interaction. However, in modern relationships, the masculine and feminine are not compartmentalized into defined roles and now the individuals in relationship need to find a balance in masculine and feminine not only in their individual walk, but also in the evolving romantic relationship with each other. No longer are the defined roles of masculine and feminine allocated to male and female, but now each individual is learning to embrace both their individual “anima and animus’ in order to live in harmony with each other.  

Understanding the impact of our parents on our own masculine and feminine emotional systems is essential. We suggest you go back to the last three blogs on parent/child relationships and read them again with this understanding of the masculine and feminine sides of our emotional makeup. 

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