The Power of Following

You can say that you want a man (whether it's your current partner or the currently imaginary man of your dreams) to step up, but you might hate it when you get what you ask for.


If you think of following, especially of following a man, as a disempowered state, you'll fight against it.


If some part of you churns with angst at the thought of following, if some part of you believes that following is obedience, you'll punish any man who tries to "step up" and lead you, even though that's what you say you want.


If following is an experience of disempowerment for you, you'll focus on criticizing him and his leadership (usually as absent, weak, or flawed) to avoid the experience of disempowerment and retain a feeling of power. If he's a bad leader, you never have to experience the humiliation of following.


This is how we've been taught to think of following. It's bred compromises all around in the dating game.


Telling us that following is rote obedience, that it's a state of subjugation or powerlessness is the way that oppressors have stolen the elusive power of following from us. Tyrants want us to believe that power is in the hands of the leaders, that we are subject to another's power when we are following.


The truth is that following is a power all its own. It's mysterious and subversive and its scope is unlimited.


When you understand the magic, the influence, the effortless force field created by graceful, intentional, artful following, you'll notice men around you stepping up for you in every moment.


You will descend into a low throne, where you will receive the deepest bows from your admirers.

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I wonder if I'll ever stop finding nuanced gifts in the primary wound of death, loss, and grief. Reflecting on losing my parents early, I have to say it's one of the gentlest and most forgiving paths

When I say that I follow his leadership, I mean that I don't ask him whether he gave the taxi driver the right address or if he's bought our train tickets yet or when he will buy them or how. I DON'T

It seems like every time I make a post about following and how I mostly follow in my relationship, someone will heroically swoop into the comments section to say "I find that we switch who is leading