you and me

In Honor of Great Men.

I did not have the privilege of a great father.

I had a sometimes-present father who showed affection primarily through funding and teaching me to read. Respectably, these were both extremely supportive resources for my growth and expansion. On the flip side, I received things from him I wouldn’t wish on anyone, ever.

What I understand, like many of us, as an adult, is that everyone is always doing the best that they can with what they know. Sometimes that best is not great.

There seems to be a self-perpetuating myth that there is a rare species deemed The Conscious Man, who has somehow spontaneously been born fully formed and prepared, rather than evolving into being, and is just waiting to be the strong-armed-everything for every woman who should lust after that solid emotional support beam she craves so deeply.

I have not been immune to this desire. And yes, I’ve read David Deida, thank you.

I thought the search might be never-ending. And in that search, of course, the search became my teacher. My guru has always been experience.

I am able to recognize many things, in testament to the greatness of men.

The first is the oft-mentioned and profoundly annoying truth that everyone is reflection. For many moons, naturally, I attracted and was attracted to men who would allow me to relive the stories I carried in my bones. Until I did the excruciating work of dismantling those, which is still in process, my very energy would carry an imprint that would keep me looped in that cycle.

In addition, of course, to a psychological aspect which leaves many women craving the kind of male presence they have become accustomed to. We are human, we crave the comfort of what we know, until we teach ourselves to un-know those things as comforting.

During the course of this, I lamented feverishly, throwing around the terms man-child and f*ck-boy with a casual disregard and frequency I am almost ashamed to admit.

As far as I’m concerned, judging someone’s emotional evolution is the same as any kind of judgment. It’s complete bullshit. And, I’m calling that out, because I think it’s important. Sure, it may not be the right time to shack up with someone who is making you insane. But it is an individual responsibility to recognize that not-quite-rightness and allow it to be what it is.

Everyone is growing, whether we accept that willingly or not. As a warrior for the empowerment of women, I know very well that it takes two to tango, and the championing of one body of energy cannot be done without the full participation of its counterpart.

There are varying degrees of greatness, and while not every man may be ready to meet you on the bridge over into your wildest dreams, if they are doing the work to arrive as a better person each day, which so many of us are, they are indeed phenomenal.

In fact, regardless of gender, anyone, anywhere, who is making an effort to ask questions of themselves and reflect on their lives is indeed on the path to consciousness. Where they fall on that path is not up for anything other than acceptance.

This comes, of course, with the exception of extreme acts of mindlessness, like violence or violation. These horrifying paradigms, while evolving, exist in plenitude, in every direction. In my own course of history, I’ve forgiven a multitude of experiences in this department, and have done so in service of my own freedom. This has also been my guru.

And while this may be a radical notion, I look at the pain of these things, and I can only say thank you.

Thank you, because without those experiences, I would not know the power of unconditional love and radical acceptance. Thank you, because without those experiences, I would not see how long and often arduous is the path of undoing conditioning. Thank you, because I learn the power of forgiveness, and therefore become stronger, every day.

I see the pain behind the actions and I can be compassionate. Of course, after periods of screaming, wailing, purging, raging, clearing, and crying.

In forgiveness also lies the invitation into greater consciousness.

In honor of great men, I only wish to say, if you are doing the profoundly illuminating back-and-forth of really desiring your own expansion, I thank you. Profusely.

We do not need perfect men. We do not need perfect people. The more we perpetuate the idea that because someone also meditates and burns sage and will allow us to throw emotional storms, they are far more capable of being a great partner, the more delusional we become about what is real and true.

There are sociopaths with altars in their bedrooms. There are many with unspeakable pasts who have truly transformed and are doing beautiful things in the world. Truly. We don’t live in a world of black and white, as much as we would like to, because it is easier for the conscious mind to say Good! and Bad! and Conscious! and Unevolved! with a self-affirming piety.

The greatness of a human being is not determined by who they arrive as, but as who they become in response to you, and as who they become in response to their own unfolding.

I’m tired of gendered stereotypes. I think the less we chastise other human beings for not being enough of something, the more we create space for them to find their own way, valiantly, into a form so unbelievable we can’t believe we didn’t dream it up.

Alternately, yes, the invitation is open for men to be aware of the nature of their own humanity. The invitation is open for anyone, anywhere, ever, to work on their shit.

If you want a Conscious Man, I say, find a man who is willing to grow. These are great men. And if we’re being honest, this is all men (all people), underneath their stories and their pain and their insistence on perpetuating cycles.

Sure, there are people who do terrible things. Sure, there are karmic contracts and painful marriages and truly stupid behaviors. Noted. However, it is not a testament to the superiority of those who have not lived the pain of rebirthing themselves into something new.

Personally, I desire the quality of mistakes. I believe those who fall down and have had to pick themselves up, who have lived through guilt and shame and profound transformation, are those of greatness. I desire the quality of full of life, and life is not solely the glittering experience of joy. It is the profound adventure of rounding out our edges, equally, on very sharp things.

I expect, also, that the sage-burning and meditation practice will arrive in due time after simply being near me.

Being a great human being is really just about being willing to ask questions.

And to those who are willing, I bow to you, say thank you, and assure you, your presence is one of greatness.

***

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Robin Lee
Robin Lee is a writer, healer, and modern medicine woman. Professionally, she is an alchemist and empoweress of humans and ideas. She is the founder of The Babe Collective, and is a seasoned Women’s Sexuality and Confidence Coach as well as a Registered Yoga Teacher, Breathwork facilitator, and Reiki practitioner. She has devoted her life to the studies of ancient mysteries, transforming trauma, and the wisdom of the Divine Feminine. A perpetual student of Tantra, alchemy, and magick; she seamlessly weaves together these bodies of inquiry with healing practices - delivering them through a modern lens of accessibility, pleasure, and laughter. She is equal parts dark and light, Kali and Shakti, and lives to encourage the wholeness and wildness of others. She lives in Brooklyn, travels often, never stops creating, and eats a lot of avocado. You can contact her here.
Robin Lee
Robin Lee

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