Perspectives

The 4 Pillars of Healthy Masculinity

01 Jun, 2021

I’ve been hearing from a lot of men that they struggle with claiming their power, setting boundaries, and feeling confident in themselves and the world. This had me wondering recently: what is masculine empowerment, and what is it composed of? It seems to me that there are 4 components, and they can be seen to follow a yin/yang axis.

Expression (Yang)

Expression is the first aspect of male empowerment. It’s the physical, felt confidence of the ability to penetrate any situation with our consciousness. We impose onto the world our sense of what should be, or what wants to be through us. This is what you might call a kind of physical, sexual confidence. It’s the knowledge that you can and will bring your truth to the situation, that you will be received, that your truth will compete with other truths, and that you will guide and control the course of events based on your desire and particular wisdom.

This is often what people think of when they hear “male” or “masculine empowerment”, but as you’ll soon see, it’s really only one aspect of this idea.

Surrender (Yin)

The second aspect of masculine empowerment may surprise you. It is the opposite of the first. It’s the capacity to surrender, and to have the confidence of knowing you will be taken care of. It’s understanding that you are held within a natural flow that knows what it’s doing, and that you don’t need to control, you can just relax into what is already happening, and find your place in it. It’s a deep, rested sense of male confidence.

Try on what it would feel like to simply surrender to the flow. Not in a defeated or brooding way, but in an open, unconcerned, relaxed way. Isn’t that an empowering way to direct your energy?

Boundary (Yang)

The third aspect is boundary. How to set boundaries, in real time—how to knock down threats big and small, as they occur. Maybe someone wants to give you advice, or slide a judgement your way, or tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. The ability to say no, without needing to apologize for the fact that it might sting—this is an aspect of healthy masculine empowerment.

This is probably the hardest aspect of masculine power to connect with, because it requires the willingness to disappoint and upset others. It requires you to face your aversion to conflict.

Union (Yin)

The fourth and final aspect of healthy masculinity is the ability to relax your boundaries. It’s the ability to let down your guard, to feel, and to be felt by another. This power builds off the previous one (that is, the boundary) in that it requires you to have the confidence to be vulnerable by knowing that if something threatening were to happen, you would be able to quickly set a boundary.

This is an aspect of your empowerment that will allow you to have a refined, subtle relationship with that which each moment calls for. After all, how fulfilling can life be if it’s all boundaries? With this power in our quiver, we can play, collaborate, make love, and create consensus in ways most men don’t even know is possible.

So, these are the four pillars of healthy masculinity.

How are you doing with each of them? How are you at asserting and penetrating any situation with your consciousness and will? What about letting the reins go and letting the horse wind its way through the forest? How about setting boundaries, in the moment, when they need to be set? How good are you at allowing that vulnerability to be seen and felt and to rest in that and feel another?

I’d love to hear from you. Leave your questions in the comments below and if you’re ready to dive deeper into this work, reach out to me and book a free Connect Call.