Tigre, Shamanic Healer
10 Jan 2018
Life is a spectrum.
Even though we may perceive things to abruptly end as they transition from one color, scent, touch, or sound to another, at some level that change is gradual.
As two (or more) elements change into the other, a blended gradient of experience, resonance and vibration is created.
Our masculinity and femininity are exactly the same, and I believe that honoring, embracing, and nurturing that blend (and the many other blends inside us) is key to healing our personal and collective wounds.
Yes, we may appear to be solidly male or definitely female. We may be blessed to possess the easily identifiable (and current culture’s accepted) markers of masculine or feminine expression, but deep down, at some level… there is a gradation, a blending of the two.
This blending of elements creates a unique, third entity; a wholeness incomplete without either part.
Many of our fellow humans reject such concepts and choose to hold tightly onto the ideology of duality: This is Black. That is White. This is Good. That is Bad. This is Male. That is Female.
In adhering to a worldview of opposites, there requires a rejection, a counter to anything that is not identified as my half of the duality:
“I am not a woman, I am a man.”
“I am not white, I am black.”
“I am not gay, I am straight.”
Yes, all those things may be true at a certain level of perspective, and they are also false at another.
By embracing and honoring the various blends in our lives, we create a world of greater resilience, variety, creativity and compassion.
Nuancing Human Hormones
The human body is made of billions of chemicals and compounds, mostly carbon-based. Are you just “you”, or are you a community of those elements? Are you just carbon and not oxygen, nitrogen, bacteria and the whole host of other elements within you?
Inside that miracle of a body there are chemicals that science has identified as hormones. These powerful molecules vary in name, function and impact. A handful of them are classified sexual hormones: testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, oxytocin and vasopressin.
Culturally, we associate masculinity with testosterone and femininity with estrogen and progesterone. Scientific study has proven those correlations to be relatively good indicators of “masculine” or “feminine” traits, desires and behaviors.
However, the simple reductionism to 100% masculine or feminine dishonors the reality that you are neither fully testosterone-loaded nor vice versa – estrogen/progesterone-loaded. There is no black or white.
You are a gradient.
Men produce a form of estrogen, estradiol, that is converted from testosterone by an enzyme called aromatase. It is usually in much smaller amounts compared to testosterone, but it is a critical component of a healthy body, especially as men age.
Women also share hormones associated with male libido and development: testosterone, and it’s equally important for their healthy body functions.
So, in varying degrees and unique to each individual, we have and need hormones that dominate those of the opposite sex.
Excluding, denying or rejecting these hormones simply because they are more dominant or culturally and scientifically associated with the opposite sex constitutes a rejection of vital parts of ourselves.
What We Resist, Persists: Establishing a Holistic Foundation Through Acceptance
If rejecting certain hormones based on what “sex” science assigns them can cause serious bodily harm, imagine what rejecting parts of ourselves (or others) that don’t align with our culture’s dominant archetypical man or woman does to us.
The three major stress hormones—adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine—are useful tools for responding to danger, but repeated production of them due to stress can create panic attacks, hyperventilation, muscle tension, and/or cardiovascular issues.
When we hate, despise or fear something, we are creating stress in our life. Left unchecked and on repeat, these negative emotional states can lead to toxic conditions for our immune systems.
However, if we dare to embrace and honor the nuance, variety and diversity of life and experiences at all levels of existence, we help heal ourselves and others.
If what I see in you is also in me (negative and positive, male and female, black and white), then not only does that help me embrace the complexity that I inherently am, it makes room for a myriad of perspectives, life experiences, and emotional states in the people I observe. It reduces stress, it releases me from the pressure of being right or wrong (I am always both, and sometimes neither), and I am freed to be my full self at any given time, regardless of the labels our culture would heap on my head.
This is “mirror” theory, without the victim blaming or self-flagellation that sometimes goes along with it. I simply accept that I am all things and a unique, one-of-a-kind blend containing elements of the ALL.
In seeing myself in others around me (and I in them), we are all connected once again. I can take a look at (and not ignore) my impact on those around me, especially upon those I perceive as being different (and maybe lesser) than me.
Plus, taking personal responsibility means that my body need not bear the stress of toxic separatism or holier-than-thouness. I am returned to equilibrium and health.
In recognizing the spectrum that we ALL are, healing happens.
May you also find and accept the unique blend of life in yourself, in others, and the world we share.
May you return to health, wholeness, and release from the stress of being “different” and the feeling of loneliness that it brings.