All of life has a cycle and we must acknowledge each stage of the rotation to benefit from the next. There can be no success without failure. No joy without pain. No light without darkness. We must learn to calibrate ourselves through the challenging times, to develop and experience the flight of enjoyment.
The seasonal flow of food supplies can teach us a lot about human nature and our relationship with our own flow of intimacy. Just as oranges flourish in the winter months and strawberries in the summer, our own masculine and feminine cycles experience times of growth and rest, intimacy versus independence, love versus hollowness. Yet all too often we get caught up in the blueprint of society and create expectations for ourselves that need us to experience a constant state of happiness, love and positivity. Just as we now manufacture strawberries and oranges to be available all year-round, we tend to expect the same of our own emotions.
In earlier posts I’ve talked about how men automatically alternate between needing intimacy and needing independence. Relationship expert Dr. John Gray talks about the ‘rubber band’ metaphor, which explains the theory that when a man pulls away he can stretch only so far before he comes springing back. The metaphor involves getting close, pulling away, and then getting close again with a renewed sense of energy and want. This is the foundation of the masculine cycle.
Understanding intimacy cycles allows us to normalize and accept the flow of emotion we experience on a regular basis. Rather than tapping in to a constant need for high energy and positivity, we can instead acknowledge the flow of our emotions.
This post focuses on the female wave of emotion. While men pull back and then get close, women rise and fall in their ability to love themselves and others, similar to a wave motion. A women’s ability to give and receive love in her relationships is generally a reflection of how she is feeling about herself. When she is not feeling great about herself, she is less accepting and appreciative. This low level of the female wave tends to be characterized by feelings of overwhelm, where high emotions are easily activated. During this time a woman is more vulnerable and requires more love.
Without the awareness surrounding this display of human behavior, many men become confused and frustrated during the low level of the wave, causing disputes and relationship breakdowns. One minute she seems so incredibly happy with life, love and everything in between. Happy wife equals happy life, and he believes he is doing so well. Yet the next minute the tide may be retreating and the low level wave rolls in bringing feelings of uncertainty and low self-worth. Given a woman’s ability to give and receive love in her relationships is a n of how she is feeling about herself, this low level wave has an immediate impact on the world around her. Suddenly he wonders where it all went so wrong? What happened and how can he fix it?
Hold up!! This is the first key learning for men when it comes to the female wave of emotion. It is not something that needs to be fixed. The last thing a woman needs when she is on her way down is someone telling her why she shouldn’t be down. Rather, what she needs is someone to be there as her support, to listen while she shares her feelings and to empathize with what she is going through. Love, attentiveness and support are key. When she hits her lowest energy she searches for love and support. When she finds it (or chooses to re-connect) she then begins to inevitably rise up again, with increased self-acceptance and the return of her ability to radiate love in her relationships.
Often we may see the disguise of a corporate suit or social niceties cover up the low level of the tide, yet in the comfort of her own home when the curtains are down, woman are forced to acknowledge their feelings. The key for men is to provide a loving, attentive and supportive environment always, through the high and low levels of the tide.
Relationship expert Dr. John Gray sites a study in his work that reveals a woman’s self-esteem cycle generally rises and falls in a cycle between twenty-one and thirty-five days. While this time frame averages at a twenty-eight day cycle, the self-esteem wave is not automatically in sync with the menstrual cycle.
As a suggestion for the ladies, while you may check and note your menstrual cycle, it may also be beneficial to record your waves of emotion to better understand your own rhythm and flow. While the façade may serve a functional purpose at times, allow it to come down when it needs to and allow your true emotions to come through. Following acknowledgement, find satisfying ways to best serve yourself during the low levels of your tide. You may choose a hot bath, home baking, reading, journal writing, exercise, meditation, art or more. Simply trust the flow of what it is you need to be doing to reconnect with your own self-love.
Ultimately, whether it’s the male intimacy or female self-acceptance cycle, recognition gives us the freedom to relax and embrace what our body and energy levels are really communicating, rather than plugging up and disregarding our true emotions. A real connection with what we are experiencing means we can better understand ourselves. Through this increased understanding we can then experience love and affection at a deeper, more intimate level.