Hold onto your pants ladies — You are in for a ride as I tell you the tale of yin and yang and how it works in relationships – according to the formal psychology perspective! If you don’t know by now, I’m always going to seminars and subjecting myself to alternative therapies as part of my ongoing way to keep my resource list updated for clients. (If I’m going to recommend something to them, by golly I want to do it from a first person perspective if at all possible.)
So, I stumbled upon a free lecture that has apparently been going on weekly for 40 years by cognitive behavioral therapist Dr. Pat Allen. She’s been called “the love doctor” by many, as she helps people succeed in communication, dating, and of course, relationships .
She says, based on Carl Jung’s original work with the anima and animus, that in a successful relationship, one person (male or female body) has to bring the male energy, and the other (male or female body) has to bring the female energy. IN my world as well as hers apparently, that’s the yang and yin energies respectively. OK, that sounded pretty easy I thought. I‘m a chick and so I choose to be yin. But not so fast, grasshopper! She then continued. “Do you want to get paid or laid?” she asked. Wait – what? The group raised their hands showing interest in their choice. Then she said, “Who wants to get both?” (She calls those folks narcissists – YIKES!!)
The real question she means is, “Do you want to be ‘provided for’ more than having sex, or do you want to have sex more than be provided for?” A-ha! Tricky humor question…Yes, if given THAT choice, I’d rather be provided for. (Once you get your primary one and you give your partner theirs, you eventually get to have it all.) OK. No need to walk out on this seminar yet.
OK. So, by her analysis, I am choosing to be the Yin or feminine energy in a relationship, which means I must find a Yang or masculine energy person to partner up with. (Divorce AHA moment!)
OK, so far so good. I got this girl thing down…or so I thought.
“Giving and nurturing and protecting is masculine/yang.” Frickn’ say what? But, but but… But as a mother…why I object! Nurturing is surely feminine. (and then for some reason, a picture of Sarah Palin saying “MAMA BEAR” suddenly popped into my mind followed by a mental picture of an Italian overweight mama in an apron saying “Eat! Eat! Ya gotta eat!” Do I think of these as feminine? Nope!) Now that I think of my feng shui training, she is right…
“I bow down and acquiesce to your wisdom grand master Dr. Pat.” OK. This is getting serious. Mind now blown and taking notes fast now.
“The Yin should be cherished for their feelings and the Yang should be respected for their thinking.”
“Never ask a man how he feels if he’s in charge of the yang energy. Only ask him what he thinks.”
“Yin’s – only say how you feel and what you don’t want – NOT what you think or what you do want.” (This allows your yang counterpart to THINK OF and GIVE you what you do want without competing with him. “Males” competing is a big source of fights in relationships.)
So now I have to give up thinking? C’mon lady – you’re killing me here. Why I’ve spent the better part of my life doing just that and look where it has gotten me— I’m a kick-ass best-selling author, celebrated public speaker, teacher, landscape architect, blah blah, blah…oh, er, uh,…and recently divorced and financially taking care of everything …. Well, actually, none of which really displays my BEING a woman…OK, got it…touché Grand Master…
This new batch of mental-twisting info suddenly created a memory flash again. It is of the moment when I excitedly told my husband that I got a book deal with Random House for a second book, and he replied, “I’ll pay you twice the advance NOT to write it!” I’m thinking my new teacher here would say that my male “bring home the bacon” energy was competing with his job of providing. Son of a biscuit!
It suddenly makes sense — because honestly, that one floored me when it happened and never made sense until now.
OK, so ladies, are you getting anything here or is this old news to you? If it is old news, you were probably raised by a yin/female energy mother. If it is news, you were probably raised by a yang/masculine mother who took the bull by the horns, made big decisions, “wore the pants,” or “did the thinking” for the family.
So, what to do, what to do. Honestly, I can look back and totally see how my husband was the yin energy and I was the yang. As much as that can totally work for some, it was a role that I didn’t want to play, as my nature is really to be the yin – all accomplishments taken into consideration.
Another problem I discovered in Dr. Pat’s rooms is that you can’t have equality (mind blown again) and passion at the same time. If the man expects you to pay 50% of the bills, etc. and you are the yin energy, there’s nothing going on very hot in the sex department. OUCH! I thought my working my butt off was “doing my part!” Dang it – wrong again! All this time I was supposed to be a yin woman with a career working for luxuries for the relationship as opposed to a “career woman” (Yins must be yang at work, but you must switch back to yin at home. Everyone is yang at work she says.)
I left this seminar having to reboot my brain as it was so mind-altering because so much information went against everything I was ever taught. But you can bet I’ll be going back.
I hope that my honestly here will help you do-it-all, over-nurturing “thinking your yin energy but aren’t” gals out there. If you really want to be the yin energy, you need to be totally all about TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF. No more “hair on fire” days, no more “I didn’t have time to shower today” days.
Those days reek of being yang. Put your air mask on first, FOR REAL, honey. You are all about RECEIVING and ALLOWING (both yin qualities) so that you FEEL (yin) good. I know this sounds counter-intuitive to us yangin’s, but give it a try and see what your yang, pants-wearing man thinks about it. If he’s a true man, he’ll say that he’d love for you to take care of yourself so that you have more quality time for him. If you are a mom, he’d love to have his feminine lover wife back as opposed to the over-nurturing, worn out yang giver that you’ve become. Yep, who knew? Women who put others first are becoming masculine energy!
WOW! It’s crazy how I had this so wrong for so long. Armed with these and only a few other tips that I’ve been practicing at home, I’ve gotta say, my 16 year-old son is responding wonderfully to my “lack of nurturing”…as a matter of fact, he’s “manning up!” (Dr. Pat says, “Do not give money to anyone over the age of 10 – ESPECIALLY MALES – unless you have all of your needs met first!”)
Sorry, I gotta go now. My mani/pedi time is upon me and I don’t want to FEEL rushed. And you can bet I’ll be reading Dr. Pat Allen’s book “Getting to I Do” for more tips on how to be more yin.