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Loving Relationships: What About Men?

February 14, 2015

union-0All year long, and now on Valentine’s Day, those of us advocating women’s empowerment might ask: What about men?

What’s their role in every-human liberation? In creating and sustaining loving relationships?

People often ask me “What about men?” as I’m praising women’s bellies as sacred, not shameful. Praising our body’s center as home to the soul-power kin to the Source Energy creating, sustaining, and renewing the world.

What about men? Don’t they have soul-power too?

What about men? That’s also the title of a chapter my editor chose not to include in The Woman’s Belly Book, a book on women’s multi-dimensional empowerment. You can read the full text of that chapter here.

The chapter’s major point: As a man enters into his own wholeness, integrating feminine and masculine polarities,

he begins to perceive a woman as a person, informed by her own purpose. His need to control her diminishes. He becomes more capable of entering into a relationship of mutual respect.

As men increasingly live and breathe from center, they prepare themselves to enter into the egalitarian relationships many women desire, and which we deserve. Truly loving relationships can develop as the partners each live from their inner source of being and support each other in returning to their core wisdom, again and again. In this way the relationship takes its strength from the shared center that emerges in the partners’ midst.

As men and women support each other in coming home to ourselves, we can engender a more peaceful, just, and sustainable way of being human together on this planet.

Loving relationships? There’s a story, its origin said to be circa 1450, that — by my lights — holds the key to loving relationships between women and men.

I came across this story as I was preparing The Woman’s Belly Book and its companion, the Rite For Reconsecrating Our Womanhood. As part of my research, I delved into Maureen Murdock’s book, The Heroine’s Journey.

Murdock tells the story of Lady Ragnell and Sir Gawain. The story is part and parcel of Arthurian legend; it relates to other tales of transformation as well.

You can read the original in Middle English here and adaptations into modern English here and here. In brief, the story demonstrates just what restores women’s beauty and balance: Men perceiving women as persons, informed by our own purpose. Men recognizing, respecting, and supporting our autonomy, our sovereignty.

Respecting our sovereignty? A man by the name of Padma Aon Prakasha copied the text of my “What About Men?” chapter into his own book — without ever asking my permission. In his “note to the reader” he asserts his entitlement to appropriate others’ words. That’s either amusing or appalling, or maybe both.

turtlebat toastBut here’s something much more interesting, and a thrill: My friend Denise Ostler (a.k.a. Merri Beacon) has of her own accord, without any previous inkling of Lady Ragnell’s story, written her own and up-to-date version as part of her Fairytale Medicine series.

Her Goals & Dreams tale begins:

Once upon a time, in a tiny kingdom, there dwelt a sweet princess who cared for injured animals. She created a special place in the royal stables where she could tend to her patients. She loved her work, but alas, it was time for her to marry.

The king narrowed her suitors down to three eligible princes. Each prince was invited to dine at the castle and give a speech about why he would be the best match for the princess. On the first night, a very handsome and confident prince stood to address the royal assembly….

The story continues here. Enjoy!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 14, 2015 1:12 pm

    Oh please tell me Mr. P at least cited you as author! Thank you for putting my link in here, you’re a gem!!


  2. February 14, 2015 3:10 pm

    You’re welcome! I hope many people have the pleasure of reading your story. And yes, Mr. P did at least cite my as author.


  3. Kimberly permalink
    June 16, 2015 7:07 pm

    Hi Lisa, a few months late in reading your blog, so I read down to this one, and had to comment that your thoughts about men seem to be common sense, but our society is lost in a confusing melee’ of power struggles between men, and between men and women. Your blog thoughts overall remind me much of my time spent in Boulder, where the issues of dominance, and men/women treating others within their gender as evil competitors for property, seemed not to exist. If you ever come to metro Atlanta, know that you are welcome to stay with us, short or long term. We welcome your loving spirit.


  4. June 17, 2015 6:38 am

    Kimberly, I appreciate your comment. And thanks so much for your Atlanta invite!


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