I have observed myself and my amazingness for a while now and have discovered that I have a tendency to relate to men and women in a different way. I did not feel safe opening up and communicating with men in relationships in the same way I did with women, because there was always a lurking fear that I would be misread. When I wanted to open myself up, I have been scared that men would want more than simply platonic relations. So I never really opened myself fully in my communication with men, and as a result, men could never be fully open to me.
In the past, when I have been relating to men, because of my non-acceptance of myself as I am, I have attached a lot of need towards words given as compliments, such as “you are beautiful”.
The truth is we are all amazingness.
Amazingness is a natural way of being true, simply by feeling the heart and expressing as such. There is no thinking or rehearsing or putting on an act to being true, it simply occurs naturally. Before, when I could not accept my own amazingness, I also could not truly accept any of the compliments I received. The conflict between wanting to hear how amazing I was, but not accepting the amazingness I already know I am, was indeed crazy. When I have an expectation to hear compliments because of my need to get proof from the outside world that I am amazing, those compliments communicated to me from men were also loaded with expectations. When these needs between myself and the men I related to did not get met, we were both very devastated.
This all felt wrong – in my communication with men and women there was a sadness that I felt in these relationships from losing the beauty of men and women simply just honouring and relating with each other as human beings. Everywhere I turned there were expectations in how I was relating to men and how men and women relate in general. Men were blaming women, and women were complaining about men and it all just felt so unnatural, however it was accepted as normal in society. For many years I was convinced that there was nothing I could do as one single woman (not even in a spousal relationship with another) to live being true, and what the heart knows a true relationship to be.
Yet the commitment to living what the heart has always known is never short of co-creativity and playful ways. Instead of holding onto a knowing in my heart for most of my life, and reacting within my relationships with both men and women towards how ridiculous it was that the world cannot see what is simply felt, I simply decided to begin expressing and communicating with both men and women with as much awareness as possible in the same way, with no difference, simply as being true to me. In short, I began to live what I knew, instead of expecting everyone else to first do so. When relating to men, I did not close myself up lest I give a wrong signal, when I would have no problem with such communication with a woman. I lived platonically and with integrity with every man I encountered and communicated with, including the men whom I felt treat me differently.
The reason that I could begin doing so is not out of force, but simply because I have decided not to just know that men and women are equal, but to begin living this equalness as well.
Every situation is a play in progress: when I feel a man treats me differently (usually more special than awful), instead of closing off, which would be my instant reaction in the past, I immediately ask myself, is there some part of myself which needs this relating to be more special as compared to relating to other men, or women? If I find in my communicating there is a need to having a certain relating with men be more special, then I return to the awareness that I have chosen need over true love, and that is simply not living the equal amazingness that I know both men and women to be. How I choose to live is reflected in how we all live – and it is in amazingness that I choose to live, for irrefutably we are all this amazingness within. Should I not celebrate that amazingness then, instead of getting in the way of myself (again)?
In short, I have said yes to being true and to my own amazingness. No wonder I have been shown over and over again that this amazingness is also what others feel, be it a man or a woman. Once I was able to accept and let go of my own hurts, then I can truly accept my own amazingness, and therefore, also now the reflections from the world. And being genuinely comfortable, without any need in such a reflection from the male gender, has allowed me to feel once again the simple yet very truthful fact that whether relating to men or women, men and women are equal. When I began seeing my own amazingness, it was not whether men treated me or communicated with me differently throughout the years or not, it was simply myself not accepting my own amazingness and blaming men for it. I held onto this justification for so many years… how incredible!
My views on men did not have to change, but I have changed. And because I have changed, relating and communicating with men in relationships, and in-truth, with the whole world in all of my amazingness, cannot but change.
by Adele Leung, Art Director / Fashion Stylist, Hong Kong