Every person has a virtuous quality, a unique vibrational signature. As our actual identity, it describes us more accurately than a name, job or social status. Tapping into this quality can be challenging when living in our dualistic (right/wrong), often polarized world.

When I was a child, my mother, God bless her soul, described me as “a bull in a china closet,” referring to my considerable willfulness. Growing up, I felt different and separate from others, and so I reacted angrily and retaliated aggressively to win and prove my value. I relied on my will to overpower any perceived obstacle, challenge or threat.  As prisoner of this conditioning, with will as my only reliable “go to” power tool, I often left much broken in my wake.

At forty-two, all my attempts to willfully power through life’s challenges began failing me. Frustrated and unsatisfied after scouring the external world for a new way of being, I was driven inward. I studied ancient wisdom: in a dualistic world (such as ours), the opposite is also true and archetypal in dualism, masculine and feminine qualities reside within each of us. 

Confused and conflicted at first. Some advocated for my incorporating more feminine qualities for balance. But wouldn’t that diminish my manhood? In questioning, I discovered that this new way is not the opposite of my masculinity as I had first thought. It is the opposite of my conditioning, my ego’s limited definition of me and manhood. This was something I could embrace and learn to apply.

Knowing that the starting point for all change is first, within myself, I applied this new way of being to forgiving my previous transgressions. I had discovered my Essence. Applying it to real life problems dissolved many of the harsh dualities at the core of challenges in my business and personal relationships. My heart opened. My anger and competitiveness diminished. Unforeseen solutions emerged. Combining my Essence with that of others helped establish powerfully unifying bonds while maintaining our unique individualities. Like a new tool, applying my Essence proved tangibly valuable. Life became much easier when I applied it.

The greatest gift of my journey inward is knowing that I am capable of transcending my ego’s conditioning. Having contrasting experiences and results, I am now equipped with foresight and wisdom to guide me. I am no longer a one trick pony, reacting to others according to the dictates of my conditioning. Most importantly, I am now aware that I have choices about how and when to apply my Essence to achieve results that benefit all concerned.   

When I first discovered that I had an Essence, I felt compelled to name it in order to claim this quality as my own. Tenderness, I found belongs to no one gender. With tenderness as my real identity, I am a multi-dimensional human being, now more graceful in my maleness, creating new wonders each day.


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