Here’s how all the women in my life have helped shape me to become the man I am today…
March 8th was International Women’s Day and a reminder to me of the incalculable positive influence women have on our world. I can honestly say that the best of who I am as a man and how I show up today is primarily thanks to all the women in my life. They taught me joy, compassion, appreciation for beauty, quiet strength in the face of adversity and the value of nurturing others and allowing myself to be nurtured. They taught me how to reign in my ego while allowing my heart to shine through and live fully self-expressed both in playfulness and as a lover. Overall, I’ve learned from them how to be a much better human being and for that I will be forever grateful.
Mother, Sister, Daughter, Aunt, Friend, Life Partner
I was raised in a highly patriarchal very strict German-Catholic family which my Dad ruled with an iron fist. I never really knew my Mom because by the time I was born as the second youngest of 10 children, she had pretty much checked out, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Yet I know from stories I’ve heard about her younger days that she was a high-energy, vivacious, creative and sophisticated woman. Though she didn’t exhibit such qualities when I was old enough to be aware of them, I somehow knew, even at a young age, that deep down she had them. It is because of her that I have always sought out strong women as life partners. Women who I love and admire as equals. For that and the limited amount of love and nurturing she was able to muster for me, I will always be thankful.
I have four fiercely independent, creative and wonderful sisters, the oldest of which has passed on. Despite being treated as second-class citizens to be seen and appreciated but not heard, they have all emerged as incredible human beings. Each of them has made an indelible impact on my life and through their struggles helped me appreciate the challenges all women still face in our society.
My oldest child and adult daughter changed my life for the better the moment she was born. When she was growing up she taught me the utter joy of what it meant to be a father to a most amazing little human being. As an adult she is my “buddy” and mutual confidant with whom I’m as comfortable with as any friend in my life, male or female. And to this day I continue to be in wonderment as I witness her continual blossoming into a highly conscious, thoughtful, confident and compassionate human being who can be just as playful now as she was as a kid.
I have several heroes I look up to, both men and women. However, if you were to ask me who my biggest hero was within my family, I wouldn’t hesitate to respond with my Aunt Ruth who just recently passed away at the tender age of 95. I remember visiting her about five years ago just after she turned 90. She still drove, cut her own lawn and had a mind as sharp as any 30-year-old. Yet what I admired about her the most was her positive “can do!” spirit in everything she did. And she was not afraid to do or say what needed to be done or said. She was a force of nature amply expressed both in physical form and her spirit. She was so formidable that I would actually feel a bit sorry for any muggers that were foolish enough to attempt to roll her in a dark ally. Even after her passing she continues to inspire me.
I consider myself to be a very wealthy man with so many strong, resilient female friends that have helped me through some of my toughest times. Friends who stuck with me when everyone else bailed during my life transformation that happened almost five years ago. Friends that were always ready with a shoulder, encouraging word and a smile on their face no matter how down or distraught I was at times. Friends who don’t hesitate to tell me like it is even if it is hard, sometimes very hard, to hear the truth. Friends who continue to remind me of the good I can bring to this world.
I am extremely fortunate to have had two incredible Mates with whom I have shared my life. My ex-wife of 26 years could not have been a better mother to our children for which I will always be appreciative and grateful. As with having enough faith in me to see through two major career changes that took nerves of steel and miles of confidence given our young, growing family at the time. She is also the first to help me open my heart.
My current Life Partner is truly a gift from the Universe. If you have read any of my other work, you may be familiar with the story of how we met under the most unusual and trying of circumstances. She is my Life Mate, Life Partner, confidant, inspiration, Muse, fellow adventurer, Warrior Princess and most beautiful sensual Lover ever. She and I continue to evolve and grow in every way because of the space we create for each other. Because of her, we experience levels of extraordinary emotional, physical and spiritual intimacy that continues to boggle my mind. Intimacy that only gets better, deeper and richer with time. While others may have cracked my heart open just a notch, she has helped me fling it wide open for the world to see. Even after being together for nearly four years, I feel I barely know her. Her sense of Presence is so strong that I continue to have new glimpses of the nearly infinite expanse that is her beneath the surface of common labels most couples assign to each other. She, more than anyone else I have ever met, is a constant reminder that *anything* is possible. Despite the fact that I currently have two cancers and live with more perceived uncertainty than I’ve ever felt before, I wouldn’t trade my life with anyone else on the planet. Thank you with all my Heart and Soul for agreeing to be on this journey with me Sweetie…
Take a Moment
I hope this has inspired you to acknowledge and thank the women in your life that have helped shape you into the best of who you are. And to acknowledge the absolutely crucial part women play in our society, culture and humanity. Every bit the equal to men. It’s interesting to note that some of the most desperate, strife-torn, brutal and underdeveloped regions of the world maintain cultures that systemically oppress women. To me that says our world needs both men and women –on equal footing in all areas. We are all human beings that happen to be assigned one gender or the other. To assume that one is more important than the other is not only uninformed, it is increasingly dangerous to the very survival of our species.
We need strong, resilient, compassionate and independent women more now than ever. Let’s make this most recent anniversary of International Women’s day serve as that reminder.