If you're a woman and reading this blog, you may recall adolescence as a turbulent emotional time, fraught with insecurity. We worried about our bodies - would they mature to resemble those of the supermodels being held up as paragons of beauty? We worried about relationships - would we be able to attract and develop an intimate, loving relationship with another without having to exchange sexual favors before we were ready? We worried about pregnancy - would we be able to make it through the "danger years" of adolescence without finding ourselves saddled with a child before we were ready and able to fully care for one? We worried about protecting ourselves from sexual predators - would we, innocents that we were, be able to recognize that danger before it was too late? We worried about accidentally bleeding all over ourselves at the most inopportune times, and we suffered through the pain of menstrual cramps as well as the emotional ups and downs of our own hormonal tides. We worried about belonging to the right clique, about wearing the right clothes, about saying the right things, about (heaven forbid!) not embarrassing ourselves to the point of no redemption. In short, we worried. Constantly. At least most of us did. Even those of us who were popular and expressed supreme confidence on the outside, on the inside still felt occasionally diminished by the uncomfortable changes of our adolescence.
The result of all this was that during adolescence, the happy, energetic girl-child who held her own with the boys during prepubescence lost her confidence. As she looked around, she noticed the boys getting bigger, bolder, stronger, more aggressive, more assertive with every passing day. Masculine energy, fueled by a massive increase in testosterone, became something against which she could no longer physically hold her own. By contrast, and out of an innate desire to protect herself, the feminine retreated into the safety of her own psyche while the masculine practiced expressing himself and manifesting his own ideas into the world.
Why is this so important for us to discuss? I believe it's crucial because if we look at how we develop on an individual basis and recognize that, as has been scientifically validated, our cosmos applies patterns and uses fractals to replicate itself, we can see that the social behavior of humanity seems to be reflective of the behavior of human individuals as we mature. In other words, the way we each evolve as individuals is very likely indicative of the way we've been evolving as a species.
What can we observe about human society today that gives us clues about our species evolution? To begin with, we can observe that it is indeed still a male dominated society, and that - at least when it comes to social design - women have yet to fully reclaim their status as equal partners working in communion with their men. We can also observe the behavior of humanity and draw some conclusions from that. For example, we're still a highly aggressive and competitive species, which is reflective of the adolescent male. We're short-sighted, selfish, narcissistic and highly self-conscious, all of which are also classic adolescent characteristics. We're still fear-based, and many of us continue to harbor the sense that, deep down, we're just not good enough. That too reflects our adolescence and the lack of competency juveniles feel, even as they desire more personal freedoms. At the same time we project arrogance and an unwillingness to acknowledge we might just be wrong and perhaps have much yet to learn. What stage of your own own life do those traits remind you of?
On the bright side, we're also a bold species: adventurous, clever, resourceful, imaginative, and courageous. Still, we have yet to solidify a common dream toward which we collectively aspire, a shared intention toward which - laser-like - we can focus and direct the vast amount of human creativity and energy we have at our disposal. We're still floundering to define humanity's purpose, still seeking and searching and questioning who we are, and why we're here.
If all this is indeed true and humanity is making an evolutionary turn from adolescence to species adulthood, we can look to our personal evolution for clues as to what we might expect to happen next. We know adolescent boys kill themselves at a rate of six times the suicide rate for adolescent girls, have 20% more accidents than do girls, and that four in five adolescents who commit murder are also male. From those statistics we can extrapolate that so long as we remain a male-dominated, primarily adolescent society, we're far more likely to destroy ourselves (purposefully or inadvertently) and to continue to recklessly kill each other than we will be if/when we make the successful transition into our species adulthood. While those may seem frightening statistics and perhaps cause for some pessimism, we also know that the female brain fully matures at 22, while the male brain doesn't mature until the age of 25. If we include that information in our template for our species evolution, it becomes clear that, on whole, the feminine aspect of humanity, which was diminished during adolescence, will awaken, rise and enter the fullness of human adulthood before the male aspect of our species steps into its full adulthood as equal partner with her. While male energy may have led the shift from our species childhood to our adolescence, it's more likely that female energy will lead the way from our adolescence into our adulthood.
Perhaps this explains why modern spiritual movements, ecological movements and social equality movements are populated more richly by women than by men. Perhaps it also explains why humanity's modern challenges reflect our neglect of tasks that would have traditionally fallen to women to perform in the typical home of old. When we observe our society today, we note that our infrastructure is crumbling; our planetary garden is not being tended; the other animals living with us are not being properly cared for; not all humans are being fed, housed, clothed, educated or nurtured properly, and the elderly and infirm are not being well treated. Because our society has had a predominantly masculine thrust over the past few thousand years, what has been neglected (or gone underground during our adolescence) is the womb-like environment that is our planet, which both birthed us and continues to provide us with necessary sustenance. We've been growing frantically and furiously, as is typical of adolescence, but the time has come for us to cease our rapid growth and enter into a more thoughtful, introspective age.
As we leave behind the industrial age and the age of information (the sponge-like period of adolescence where we gather data without too much discernment) what comes next? Here again we can look to our individual shift toward adulthood for clues to add to our species' evolutionary template.
The key to becoming successful in young adulthood is the development of our core competencies. Competency arises through experience, failure, learning and growing...in wisdom, rather than in size. We discover - through painful trial and error - how to live in harmonious relationship with one another; how to choose partners with whom we can work to raise a family; how to set long-term goals and delay our personal gratification to enhance the odds of our success; how to validate ourselves and make sacrifices for the sake of others (especially the helpless innocents who look to us for support) and how to love others for the sheer joy of it, without any expectation of a reward. We also learn that we're not in control of life's events, and that life has a way of expressing itself that is presently beyond our ability to comprehend. We learn to surrender our egos to that truth, to relax and allow life to be as it chooses to be, even as we use our skills, talents, passions, abilities and drives to shape it as best we know how. We let go of our need for continual drama to stimulate our adolescent psyches, and settle into a pleasant state of peace. Though that state may be broken externally by circumstances beyond our own control, we allow our emotions to rise, pass and return us to peace once we've weathered the storms we must face. Through it all, we remain humble in our awareness that - no matter how much we learn about life - there will always be more to learn, to experience, to honor. Last but not least, we trust the inner compass that is our heart (our feminine self) to guide us through the unknown wilderness of the ever-unfolding moment as our mind (our masculine self) continues to mature.
Today, as we ponder these things, let us take a moment to honor the feminine, rising. Let us not in any way diminish, blame, shame or make "wrong" the masculine for being as it is - as it was meant to be - even as we allow ourselves to feel freer to reveal the feminine heart-light which has for too long been hidden from the world. I call to the rising feminine within us ALL - male and female - to step into the fullness and richness of your own truth, your own deep sense of purpose, your own desire for harmony, and embrace those divine and beautiful aspects of yourself. The cosmos itself, by forcing us to confront so many challenges all at once, is calling for us all to shine in the here and now, to mature into the ripeness of human adulthood. Allow your own heart to glow and become giddily pregnant with the infinite possibilities, and let us see what wants to transpire next.