Personal Growth

Experiencing Liberation Beyond Binary Limits

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We’re living in a time that is reflective of imbalance at every level, whether it be in physical and tangible space, or reflected in the depths of energies within us. What the Western world has created is a society that favors specific qualities, often related to masculine energy, and shies away from other qualities, related to feminine energy. This carries out into our personal lives, in our relationships, actions, and interactions, and can also be seen on a much larger scale. The Western world has defined narrow lanes of existence, for all of us to participate in, through the lens of imagined binaries.

Collectively, we see assertive and often abrasive energies moving to the forefront, meanwhile, compassion, vulnerability, and receptivity are swept to the side. These energies are often conflated with gender in a way that limits what we can access within ourselves. We all have the ability to show up with qualities ranging from focused, active, decision making, to receptive, nurturing, space holding, yet we often only express a limited range of our internal qualities.

It is a reflection of the fear-based living born from a place of harsh binaries—if you read my previous article, Existing Outside of Binary Truths, you might have a better grasp on how harmful binaries are and how they’re showing up in different facets of our lives.

As a transgender person in this world, I know all too well the feeling of hiding parts of who I am in order to fit into the boxes pre-determined by the world around me. We all know this pain and this feeling of shrinking in order to make ourselves more palatable for the world around us. For much of my life, I shut off my connection to energies that would be deemed “masculine” because the form I embodied did not allow for the assertion of those qualities.

As I began my journey through intentionally exploring my gender I started taking on a new form. Here, I nearly lost connection entirely to the feminine energies within me, again, because society couldn’t comprehend the multitude of my being. I was forced to hide away. I could never quite find equilibrium or balance because the conditioning from the world around me is rooted in binaries and I exist beyond what a linear spectrum deems “true.”

The imbalance I experience, which we experience collectively, to this day is beyond the realm of opposition or linear spectrums. We won’t find remedy through inviting in an opposing force because that is still rooted in a binary by nature and it reflects a tight clinging to ‘either/or’ mindset. There is an approach that offers the balance we crave while also giving us an opportunity for more expansion. It is a connection to wholeness through the dissolution of binaries.

A Connection to The Unity of All Things

Rather than finding balance rooted in opposition, this is a change towards embracing all that is. When I began seeking euphoria in my gender identity and expression, there was liberation. There was also confusion as I grew outside of the limits of what I was conditioned to carry as the truth. Our conditioning runs deep and perhaps the most firmly rooted falsity we continue to uphold is the concept of a gender binary.

In my recent article Moving Beyond the Gender Binary to Reconnect With Self, the universal experience of gender trauma is discussed in depth. Gender trauma, a symptom of the gender binary, is something that we’re all subject to and familiar with simply because we exist.

The gender binary is so deeply entangled in all aspects of our lives that liberation from it is almost unimaginable. Most spaces that have been created, from workplace to healthcare, in family structure and communities, are created with overt and covert expressions of out-of-balance masculine energy. This shows up in:

  • Valuing what and how much we produce over our humanity;
  • Hierarchical division;
  • Lack of empathy & care.

It’s clear that qualities associated with this energy have been at the forefront for a long time. Because we’ve become so conditioned, it’s hard to envision what embracing another lens looks like. Disconnecting ourselves from the gender binary is not an exclusive practice for gender non-conforming and transgender people, it is a liberation for all beings, of all gender identities and experiences. It is a shift in the very way we think and understand which can be a bit scary. Lucky for us we were built for transformation.

The Dissolution of Binary Mentality

The illusion of binary thinking tells us that there is something missing and in order to access harmony, we must add more of an oppositional force. When operating within binaries we will always find ourselves lacking. We will reach outside of ourselves to fill a gap or over assert inauthentic qualities to fit in with what society deems appropriate. In their book, “Beyond the Gender Binary,” Alok V. Menon says, The gender binary is set up for us to fail. For us all to fail.”

On a societal scale, we are told that qualities associated with feminine energy are meant to be hidden away so naturally, we hide. We keep those parts of our truth hidden due to fear, shame, or both. There is a secret, which is pivotal on the journey to harmony that allows for a complete disconnect from binaries. When we find ourselves looking for some missing piece or lost key to access balance, the secret is we already have it within us. The ‘lost key’ is already part of us and with this knowledge, we are capable of unlocking the wholeness within us that we’ve been seeking. We needn’t search any further than what is already there.

When I released the idea that other people's perception of me was supposed to dictate how I arrived in space I started to recognize that I was the key. In exploration, it seemed as though every emotion I was capable of experiencing began to surface. When something is ingrained within us since before the moment we’re born, the excavation period of shedding conditioning and stepping into our own truth is bound to bring up deeply entrenched emotion. The practice of holding onto binary thinking doesn’t allow for the full expression of all that rises to the surface.

Only through my own disowning of the binary mindset was I able to access and understand these emotions and this process of becoming in order to step into the truth of who I am—in my deepest and fullest expression. This is where I, we, find liberation. It isn’t forcing opposition or searching for what is missing, it is the realization that it’s all already there for us to access.

Finding Liberation Through Connection to Self

The notion that there will ever be a perfect ‘balance’ between two opposing qualities or energies is a contradiction in and of itself. It completely removes the organic nature of what energy is and how it shows up in space. Every individual person encompasses an entire universe within them. If we release our deep ties to gender binaries and any mode of binary thinking we give ourselves the opportunity to embody our truth.

Harmony among any and all subtle energies will look different for each person. The idea of wholeness can only be embraced through first recognizing our capacity to hold multiple truths at once. The more I am able to embrace the multiverse of my being the more liberation I experience. I am a non-binary, genderqueer person who has the capacity to hold space for all energies that exist within me. The more grounded I get in honoring the various expressions of my subtleties, the more confidently I can express boldly out to the world. The systems we live within will have us on an endless journey, constantly searching outside of ourselves for wholeness. Our ability to access a connection to our internal truth and power is the key we need to break away from binaries and make our way towards unity within.

There is a cry for equanimity from society, from nature, from deep within our hearts. This cry is a call for compassion, vulnerability, humility, and nurturance. This call for inviting in more receptive, lunar energies is really a deeper call to connect to self, to source, to our own internal power. The capacity to make this connection exists within all of us and when we can access it we experience equanimity. We created limits in this human experience which means we have the ability to unlearn, relearn and reimagine what we uplift individually and on a collective level. A harmony of all things—rather than a balance between two.

We as individuals have the ability to spark immense change simply by existing as we do. We have the gift of inquiry, of choice, and of exploration. Why remain tied to a system of limitation that keeps us cemented to the ground when we have the option to fly?

Join Alicia Keys and Deepak Chopra in the 21-Day Meditation Experience, Activating the Divine Feminine: The Path to Wholeness to bring healing to your life and our world, available now in the Chopra App.