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Women you should meet

If you identify as male and desire wholeness in your life, there are four women with whom you need to develop a relationship.


The first is Eve. She gave you life and influenced your earliest memories. She is nurture, security, sustenance, and safety. Hopefully, your biological mother or primary female caregiver bonded with you, cared for you, and gave you a start in life in such a way that you felt safe and secure. Not all human mothers can do that, however. Some cannot because of circumstances beyond their control. Wars, famines, and displacement prevent parents from protecting their children. Some mothers are mentally ill, struggle with addiction issues, or are overwhelmed for other reasons. Babies are not always nurtured in warm, safe, environments. If you were not, forgive.


Regardless of our early childhood experiences, Eve is the archetypical mother, the one we all need. If our caregivers were unable to nurture us, we have to find that nurture elsewhere. Some men marry a mommy. Most women resent that. A healthier way is to learn how to reparent ourselves. We need to find Eve and allow her to hold us, rock us, sing lullabies to us, nurse us, and protect us. The neglected little boy within demands it. Use your imagination. Revisit hurtful childhood memories. Envision yourself held and rocked by the mother of all living.


Most adolescents and young adult men have no trouble meeting Helen. She is physical beauty, sexuality, stereotypical “feminine” charm, grace. She is Eros. Her beauty is seductive. In her arms, we feel fulfilled. Don’t mistake Helen for lust. Lust is self-centered; eros involves the interlocking of two souls. It may or may not involve physical sex. A celibate person can fully enjoy Helen, passion, emotional connection to another human being.


Helen is also archetypical. Her beauty launches a thousand ships. No real-life girlfriend, lover, or spouse can be fully Helen. If we are seeking Helen in a partner, we’ll become disillusioned. Breakups and divorces are common. Many men search for Helen in woman after woman, but she is allusive. She’s allusive because, like Eve, she is an ideal. Just as it is both unfair and unrealistic to expect a lover or a spouse to be mommy, it is unfair and unrealistic to expect her to be Helen. As we mature (assuming we mature – some men never do), we let go of fantasy and learn to see women as unique individuals, rather than as objects.


The man who seeks authenticity, wholeness, and to be fully human develops a yearning for meaning. He seeks it in poetry, literature, art, nature, philosophy, and religion. He develops habits of prayer, contemplation, sacred reading, silence. He learns to deeply listen and think logically. He is teachable and openminded. Before long, Mary enters his life. She too is archetypical. She is spirituality, connecting us with the Source of all being, reminding us of the vast spectrums of dimensions of which we are normally unaware. She opens to us the oneness of all creation; we begin to see our place in the cosmos. We find we love all other humans. We discover we love every living creature, all of nature, and the Creator. In the process, we begin to really love ourselves. We are no longer at war. We discover peace, connectedness, oneness.


If we continue with Mary’s companionship, we will meet Sophia. She is wisdom. She is Hokhmah. She encompasses Eve, Helen, and Mary. All we have learned, body, soul, spirit is blended, folded into deep, ineffable, mystery-embracing unity. Many men never meet Sophia. Those that do become wise mentor-elders.


Eve represents ideal nurture. Helen represents ideal passion. Mary represents spirituality, connectedness with the divine. Sophia is the wisdom to apply nurturing, passion, and spirituality to heal wounded hearts and broken lives.


God is not bound to gender. God has characteristics we historically have labeled “masculine” and those we call “feminine.” Archetypical Eve, Helen, Mary, and Sophia are parts of God’s nature. God is the ultimate source of nurture, safety, sustenance (Eve), passion, enthusiasm for life (Helen), connectedness with ultimate reality (Mary), and the wisdom to bring the kingdom of cruciform love to the broken (Sophia).


How do you meet, connect with, and learn from archetypical Eve, Helen, Mary, and Sophia? Likely, every path is different. I know what is working for me. A combination of spiritual direction with a wise spiritual director who has loved and walked with God for many decades, Jungian psychoanalytic depth therapy with a seasoned psychologist, daily contemplation, meditation, prayer, and sacred reading, long walks in nature, and frequent times of silence have introduced me to all four. I am enjoying getting to know them.


Footnote: Although everything above is written from the perspective of those identifying as male, the principles apply to all of us, regardless of gender identity.

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