Embrace Your Feminine and Masculine Sides as a Man.
When I was a young boy raised in central Alberta, I was shown what it meant to be a man in a very blue collar, old school conservative province.
For any readers who don’t know Canadian geography stereotypes, let’s say I’m comparing Alberta to Texas. And looking back, the older I got, I didn’t like how it looked. I wanted something else. For a while I thought I wanted to be somewhere else. Somewhere else where boys could say they were men and cry to their girlfriends without getting laughed at, or like pink without getting called a sissy.
A place where the ultimate totem of manhood wasn’t what I’d undoubtedly say to the question of “Which trade are you going to do?” not “What do you want to do?” When I was five, I wanted to be a dentist, then a firefighter, then a therapist, then a chef.
Only as I got older, I realized that place didn’t exist.
“Straighten up, little soldier.”
This world was broken, everywhere. I didn’t have to move; I saw it everywhere. I just happen to live in a province abundant with toxic masculinity.
For no reason but a double standard that pushes the point, girls could be a tomboy without being questioned, or play sports, kiss another girl without being judged, or do martial arts, but boys were labelled feminine if they danced, liked yoga, or heaven forbid, question their sexuality.
In order to feel like I’d earned the right to be called a man, I thought I needed to be tough, be a player, get lots of girls, and not cry in front of them, because they don’t like that. I learnt I can’t be sensitive. Men are hard. You need to be strong and manly to find a nice feminine girl. Don’t show weakness.
That’s what being a man is, right?
“Boys don’t cry.”
Don’t get me wrong. I came from a loving home, and my parents said all the nice things to encourage me to do what I wanted with my life. Yet as parents I think we fail to realize the impact our mere influence has on our children.
My dad was a roofer, and by the time I was in high school he’d made me a partner. And I only realize now that this isn’t his fault I eventually thought it would be safer to get a construction job where nobody would ask questions and he’d likely be more proud of me, but that was merely a societal expectation to live up to the male standard I’d built up in my head, based on social molding and conditioning.
I was realizing that standard was old and outdated.
However, I learned when I had a daughter at 21 that I was already fast becoming a well-rounded androgynous man, and she challenged me even more. This made me wonder if dads could have tea parties and get our nails done without being made fun of. One thing was sure, I wasn’t going to raise a girl under the example that men shouldn’t wear bright colors, cry, have bubble baths, write poetry, or be nurturing.
“Men shouldn’t talk about emotions, no one wants to hear about that.”
Honestly, how come there’s so many guys questioning why girls like crystals and moons? Like, c’mon guys, they’re good for you, and the moon syncs with our moods — if it affects the whole body of water on the planet, why not us?
“Girls can be bi, but it’s weird and instantly feminizing if a guy is.”
There is something broken in a world where a young boy stays in the closet from 15-25. Before deciding I didn’t care who knew I was bisexual, I hoped that we now have a world where we can accept people for who they are. It wasn’t that I didn’t come from a home with loving parents, but most people don’t even realize that they aren’t an ally.
It’s easy to say you’re uncomfortable with it when you don’t know it’s also your kid too. You think you tell your kids their truth is safe with you, but they don’t believe that when they catch you complaining about gays when you think they’re not listening. I was simply terrified for half a decade to let myself be anything other than the token male cliché that was expected of me.
Cultures are hard to break.
I noticed something along the way. In every type of self-growth class that I was in, I was close to the only man. Yoga rooms, spiritual workshops, reiki classes, even mindfulness in college, I was beyond questioning the old male stereotype, but I was starting to question what I was doing, and why this broken thing receded into the lack of men willing to delve into personal growth.
Why are we so afraid to look feminine by taking a dance class, doing yoga, baking, liking musicals, or saying I love you to someone other than a partner?
Is it just our fragile male egos?
Aren’t these things just an expression of being human?
I wanted to be better. For my own daughter. I wanted to find a way, and it wasn’t the way we’ve been doing things. I wanted to find out how we could merge into a world where we didn’t have to judge or expect the old paradigm. The reality is, we need to let go of our current cultures around things that don’t work anymore and embrace a new kind of man. One that exists without patriarchy.
But this doesn’t come without teamwork. My friend Raven Hightower recently said to me,
“Only when the Divine Feminine is doing her healing and giving space for the Divine Masculine man to find his balance, can he feel he has permission to heal.”
This means it’s not just up to men to be better, it’s up to us all to work together to reach a new standard of being. The ownership is on everyone. It starts with showing our daughters what men could be like, so they don’t be that girl that picks on a boy for crying.
It’s about letting ourselves express our fashion even if it looks like a beard with glitter in it and a pink shirt, while you still box with your best friend on weekends and drink beers with your buddies, but you’re not afraid to stand up and talk about mental health. It’s a cycle that only moves forward.
When the women in our lives are a true support like the strong women I have the blessing of working with, we feel empowered to embrace our feminine goddesses and bring balance to our Wounded Masculine, then we transcend into the Divine Masculine.
“You’re safe to be authentic.”
When we look at these things as archetypes, it’s easy to see how we could embody different energies at different times. The Divine Masculine is a leader, he leads and sets an example out of love, he’s not afraid to be vulnerable, he pursues his life without caring what others think, and others feel safe around him. The Divine Feminine is creative, nurturing, artistic, spiritual, and is a creator of everything she has.
Yet there’s more sense to it. Strip away the notions of what a man is, and a woman is, instead let’s replace the nouns with left-brained and right-brained. Now how realistic is it to think a woman could be logical, strong, athletic, crass, responsible, rational, reasonable, or that a man could write, be empathetic, draw, sing, express love, or hug another guy as a friend?
“You’re free to be you.”
It’s not that any of these things are opposites, but rather complementary to each other. And feeling every bit of it is all part of the human experience. Laugh, cry, sing, dance, shout, stomp your feet, go to the gym, but be a dork too, and fall in love — not with a girl but with yourself, and then find out the kind of man you can be when you (as my sensei used to say) leave the ego at the door.
And just let yourselves live this life to its fullest extent. This is my mission. This is why I’m a health and wellness coach, as well as a reiki therapist. I strive to be a light for men, especially in Alberta, to feel like we can express ourselves, heal the inner child, care about our health, build goals to better growth.
Let’s break the chains, break the cycles, and have a source of culture around masculinity that doesn’t have the word toxic in front of it.
Jordan Forget is a loving father, a healer, and a seeker of the Old Norse wisdom. He draws from his background in kinesiology and his reiki training to provide his clients with a path to healing and balance. He has dedicated himself to helping others through this holistic approach, and is committed to continuing on his own shamanic path. Through his practice, he aims to demystify the road to being healthy and whole, and strives to provide his clients with the tools and training to be the best possible version of themselves. You could contact him via Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok or email. You could also join his upcoming online event here.