Part Two: The Draconian Inner Male
This is a four-part series on the shadow male and female. Start with Part One.
T he greatest gift you can give yourself, and the world, is to face and heal the fragmented shadow aspects of your inner male. In Part One of this four-part series on the shadow, I described the collapsed inner male. I also explained how the inner male becomes fragmented and destructive when it disconnects from the healthy inner female, and how this rupture with the feminine principle is what creates the shadow inner male. This present article continues with the second type of shadow inner male, what I call the Draconian Inner Male.
The draconian inner male embodies the characteristics of the inner male taken to an exaggerated extreme, making it the more destructive of the two shadow aspects of the inner male. In fact, the draconian inner male is the very hallmark of patriarchy, and it is the root cause of the domination, inequality, and discrimination that defines the worst of our society. In order to best understand the fragmented shadow aspects of your inner male and inner female, I recommend that you first explore the description of how they function when healthy in my previous article, How Your Sacred Lovers Within Play a Crucial Role in Your Life.
Recap of the shadow collapsed inner male
The collapsed inner male disconnects from the feminine by shutting off her life-giving and nurturing energy, repressing the emotions that would otherwise propel him into action. Consequently, he collapses inward and loses his potency—along with his proactive effectiveness in the world and ability to serve as a protector. The collapsed shadow inner male also creates patterns of withdrawn and passive-aggressive behavior, depression, passivity, and an inability to assert oneself in the world.
The draconian shadow inner male
In contrast with the collapsed inner male, the draconian inner male disconnects from the inner female by metaphorically imprisoning and controlling her. When this happens, you are still aware of your feelings, but you criticize them as weakness and compartmentalize them. Consequently, your inner male loses the ability to direct his actions from a place of deep connection with your inner female. With the draconian inner male running your life, your goals can become dictated by superficial, mental, self-centered desires that are disconnected from your true purpose in life. You might work very hard at attaining these false, often narcissistic goals, only to feel deep down that you are on the wrong track, even when you are successful and your ego feels gratified.
While the draconian inner male propels you at full speed toward what you think is your goal, it will do so without the corrective navigation system of your inner female, and you end up heading in the wrong direction. As a result, when you reach your goal, you feel empty and depressed, and life loses its meaning. The draconian inner male never asks the question of what is truly meaningful to you, he’s just intent on getting you there as fast as possible, no matter the consequences. If you have experienced a loss of meaning in your life it is likely that you need to reconnect with your inner female, through whose guidance you can rediscover the feelings she elicits from the inner world, and thus correct your course according to the core desires of your soul.
The hyper-focus and hyper-activity of the draconian shadow inner male
The draconian inner male, which is exclusively oriented outwardly, is hyper-focused on action and achievement. Because of this, he considers anything extraneous to productivity, achievement, and external recognition to be a waste of time. This hyper focus is the reason he feels he must put the inner female in “prison” and control her. He doesn’t want to be distracted by her feelings, her emotions, her sensuality, her need to nurture the body, or her empathy for others. All these are considered to be signs of weakness and impediments to his accomplishments, therefore he must exert dominance over the inner female.
When the draconian inner male is acting out in you, you end up feeling exhausted because you are always on the go, always doing, working, planning your next move, or plotting your long-term course of action. Self-care will ultimately take a back seat, and will not be considered valuable enough to receive any attention. Being still, resting, and nurturing your body makes you feel anxious for two reasons: First, when you are idle, you begin to really experience your feelings as you go “internal,” which the draconian shadow inner male within you perceives as dangerous territory. If you spend too much time exploring this inner world of your feelings, the shadow inner male experiences a loss of control. These feelings are the territory of your healthy inner female. She knows how to navigate in their fluid waters—whereas the shadow inner male fears he will drown in them.
The second reason for your anxiety is that the draconian inner male makes you feel that resting, being still and inward, is a waste of time; that if he does not continue to work he will fail, and then be judged, punished, and lose dominance. Of course, this pattern is severely deleterious for your physical health, your stress level, and your emotional well-being. If you realize you have some of these patterns in you, it is imperative to train yourself to tolerate inaction for increasingly longer periods of time in order to reorient your system to feeling safe even when at rest and listening to the call of your inner female.
The draconian inner male causes you to lose your 360-degree perception
The draconian shadow inner male has an exceptionally narrow focus because compartmentalizing and controlling the inner female causes him to lose the 360-degree perception of a situation, the well-being of the whole environment in which his actions are taking place. He is completely disconnected and disinterested in how his actions could be harmful to others, or destructive to his emotional or physical environment. He just wants to get the job done at all costs. But as the proverbial “bull in the china shop,” he will cause you to trample over other people’s feelings and needs because they remain outside of your perception. This, in turn, creates struggle and conflicts in your relationships because people don’t feel met, or even seen by you. If you want to change this pattern it will be essential to train yourself to expand your focus, practicing empathy by perceiving the situation from the other person’s point of view. By doing so, you will be able to act in a way that is sensitive to the needs and feelings of the people close to you.
The draconian shadow inner male and violence
In the most severe cases, this draconian shadow inner male can utterly dominate people, causing them to become exploitative, tyrannical, and violent in the pursuit of power, control, and dominance. These are the rapists, the abusers, the rigid upholders of rules and regulations over compassion and inclusivity; the racists, autocrats, and bullies who all grow out of extreme fear of their own inner feminine, as well as the feminine principle in the collective of society. Hell-bent on dominating and humiliating her—rendering her powerless, binding her by externally imposed regulations and moral rules in order to demonize her and cause her to be submissive—the draconian shadow inner male wants the inner feminine to be under his control.
What to do about it: Tools for Transformation
- Learn to be still. Begin by setting the timer on your cell phone for 5 minutes. During this time, just sit and do absolutely nothing except breathing. Restrain yourself from judging, second-guessing, or making plans. Just sit, breathe, hear the sounds, smell the scents in the air, feel your body. That’s it. You are trying to achieve nothing. Just be. Increase the time a little during each interval as it becomes more comfortable.
- Face the fear of emotions and feelings. When an emotion arises, do nothing. Just feel it, fully and completely. Don’t try to fix it or understand it. For the purpose of this practice, don’t process the cause of the emotion, and don’t try to change it. Just accept it, committing to feeling the emotion in its full power while sending the radiance of golden love from your own heart into it. The emotion will ultimately move through you like the water of a river flowing into the ocean.
- Cultivate empathy. When you find yourself engaged in a conversation with a group of people, stop. Then take a breath and expand your vision and your feelings. Take in the rest of the room. Are people standing, are they sitting? What expressions do they have on their faces? Are they listening, or are they fidgeting? Pretend you are one of them, how would it feel to be looking back at you? When you are in a one-on-one situation with another person, stop talking and listen to her/him. What is this person feeling? Look the person in the eye, and then look at their body language. What is that person trying to communicate to you? How are you impacting the emotions, the thoughts, the life of this person? It helps if you can put your hand on your chest and feel with your heart.
This article is Part 2 in a 4-part series on the shadow. Start the whole series here.
Photo credit: Patrick Neufelder