This is my version of men are from Mars, women are from Venus. I love to watch how people process information, and I love when others share their insights with me. This topic had to be pointed out to me, probably because I think in a more masculine way. Sometimes. We all have both masculine and feminine energies and habits at play, regardless of gender. And for the record, this writing is about mental processing, and nothing to do with gender or sexual identity. I will separate the groups into men and woman, but only for simplicity. If gender terms bother you, think of the groupings as electric and magnetic, or linear and circular. Again, it’s really just grouping by processing style, not necessarily by gender. I want to share these insights, so we can all become more aware and balanced in our thinking.
Women tend to start with the big picture, then work down to the individual. Men tend to start with the individual, then work up to the big picture. Think about this a bit. If you are always shaking your head at people staring at the opposite end of the argument, it may just be a processing difference. Let them work through the layers, and they will (probably) find their way to where you started. This was a huge revelation for me, and really strengthened my communication skills.
Another fascinating tidbit is how we work. My Mom pointed this one out to me, and it has saved me so much exasperation! Women think an endless “to do” list is normal, and if you aren’t moving, something is terribly wrong. Men tend to have one task in mind at a time. They like to plan for it, prepare for it, do it, then celebrate its completion, before moving on. Let’s look at our caveman history…
Once upon a time, the men were responsible for bringing home a kill, to feed the tribe for weeks. It was important to plan and prepare for this task. The survival of a whole tribe depended on this one task. And when it was done, it was celebrated by all for days. (side note: Men generally are more able to hold a single focus, and have more developed spacial awareness.)
Meanwhile, the women were responsible for keeping the home fires burning. This included an endless list of daily chores, which never stopped. Remember, at this point they weren’t chores, they were the stuff of life. Cooking, tending to children, making and washing clothes… all the day-to-day work of living. And as long as you’re able, you keep moving. (side note: Women are generally better at multi-tasking.)
In our modern world, neither group is doing what our genes demand. The endless tedium of our work schedule leaves the male side unfulfilled. Leaving the home to work, on top of the chores of life, leaves the female side overwhelmed. The shadows of the eternal child and the martyr are in full bloom. No one is happy with the way things are.
My goal here is simply to raise awareness of parts of this unconscious issue. I’m not even vaguely suggesting that we return to gender-based roles. I just want to mention that we all have a genetic link to a past we rarely think of, and also that we are each in the process of balancing these energies within. We all go out and hunt (work). We all tend to our home life (chores, kids). We all have access to both the negative and positive energies of each.
We can feel disenchanted by our jobs, vowing to remain as childlike as possible, or we can celebrate the fact that our “hunt” provides food. We can be overwhelmed by the chores, feeling victimized and unsupported, or we can be joyful that we have “things” to tend to. I’m suggesting mentally reframing our experience, not suppressing the negative emotion around it. Just really be aware of what’s at work within you, and consider changing your views on life. Know thyself. As always, awareness brings freedom.
The shadow of the male side is always looking for an escape. This endless list of life isn’t natural to this half of the mind. The solution is to know the list never ends, and it isn’t supposed to. You will only stop doing the chores of life when life ends. Stop dreaming of a distant shore, where you will magically have every need met, without any effort. Try singing while you clean, or through a few dance steps into your dinner preparation. Celebrate the work of living.
The shadow of the female side is to be in a constant state of overwhelm. Yes, it is a lot to do both work and home, but you can do it. The solution is to celebrate every accomplishment. If you went to work, you “hunted” today. Good for you! If you did laundry or dishes, you were tending to life. Good for you! The female side was never taught to celebrate each accomplishment, because it works from a never-ending list. Celebrate each individual task.
Since we are all working to balance both sides of this polarity, I recommend you use both reframing tools – sing during “life work”, and celebrate each accomplishment. I usually have music on during chores, so that part is pretty natural for me. Taking notice of accomplishments is harder for me, so I usually mentally list them before bed… “Today I got groceries, brushed the dog, and dusted. Yay me! I did more than I thought.” Figure out how you need to reframe your thinking, and do so for your own happiness.
You may also want to read my writing on finding balance with the Masculine and Feminine energy within. It’s worth the contemplation to discover how you think… and how the other half does, as well.
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