A couple months ago a dear friend asked me what I thought the deepest desire of men and the deepest desire of women are. And, with a lack of hesitation that actually kind of surprised me, I blurted out, “Men most desire freedom and women most desire connection.”

He didn’t argue with me.

I mean come on, with the exception of Jesus, most famous male spiritual icons talk about walking the path of liberation. And what else are man-caves about? And year-long obsessions with beer and weekend football/basketball/baseball? If the modern man can’t obtain enlightenment, at least there’s the opportunity to go brain dead.

Yeshua was the only spiritual leader to talk openly about love and connection. Maybe the Son of God was gay?

Anyway – so the other day I’m listening to a well-known female spiritual leader talk about female empowerment. (I try to keep up on what spiritual leaders have to say about gender and sexuality.) And as part of feminine empowerment she prompted her webinar audience to “Know your deepest yearnings.”

So, I’m taking a walk later in the day, thinking about my deepest yearnings. And I go straight to my default position, which is: I YEARN FOR LIBERATION. It’s been my goal for over 30 years. And all of a sudden—because gender issues are always close to the surface of my mind (Yes, another book will soon be in the offing)—I literally stop in the middle of the road and think, “Holy crap. Have I been yearning for liberation all these years because I truly yearn for liberation? Or is it because I’ve been raised to think and feel and set goals like a guy?”

What about connection? Don’t I yearn for that? Like a real woman?

An instant later my psyche whispered, It’s easier to seek liberation. It’s acceptable. It’s not weak and needy. It’s a lofty goal! Seeking liberation you never have to think about rejection. You’ re never lonely because you’re beyond all that relationship stuff.

WHOA! Seriously? I still had that kind of crap malingering in my brain?

And then, because I’m . . . well, me, I thought: Are liberation and connection all that different? So I finished my walk and meditated on it. And lo and behold I found that liberation and connection took me to the same place. The only real difference was that liberation carried an energetic overtone of out. Connection carried an overtone of through.

Ultimately, the difference between them shook down to something like: “I’m outta here!” vs “We’re outta here!”

Both went to the same place: Wholeness. Peace.

Which makes sense. Liberation is the transcendence of the illusion of the personal self. Connection, when not about need, ultimately expands the individual ego to such an all-inclusive space there are no boundaries left to the self at all.

Same difference. Huh. Maybe men and women are alike in their ultimate yearning after all.