The truth about men.
I was speaking to a young mother with a baby the other day and as I wasn’t sure of its gender, so politely I asked “little girl”? The mother of many children responded “boy actually, but they are pretty much the same at this age“. It made sense and lead me to ponder more about why there are so many imposed ideals, beliefs, and pictures in our society as to how a boy should be. As babies we are so fresh, new, and even genderless at first glance.
Why can’t we let boys just be themselves without imposing our judgment, and ideals/beliefs on how they should be?
The natural essence, sweetness, tenderness and harmlessness we see and feel in babies and children are what draw us to them and their presence. Have you ever witnessed the effect that children and babies have on others at a party or social gathering? They are very much treasured for their innocence and natural joy causing people to flock around them.
So why is this then forgotten as the hardening process begins for boys early on and continues through their transition from boys to men?
Are these societal pictures of how a man should be the thing that can get in the way of us being able to connect with our children, partners, friends etc. when older?
These imposed ways basically separate men and boys from their true essence, like being marooned on an island, but separate from your true self, only able to express what is considered the norm and acceptable, but unable to express the truth or were they are at or share their vulnerability and fears.
I understand that we have been constantly at war somewhere on this planet, for many thousands of years and our blood stained history is testament to this fact. Because of this fact alone there has been a hardening process imposed on getting boys/men ready for the horrors of war by hardening them up. However, all that hardening has not helped boys and men’s natural tender and caring nature to be protected by acts of violence and having to kill a fellow brother. As an avid reader of war stories and journals in the past the common thread expressed is the soul destroying nature of having to kill another even when there is no other choice. Post traumatic stress disorder and its high statistics amongst soldiers and police officers is proving that even under the most rigorous refined training and hardening processes the gentle human spirit and soul are not able to withstand this type of unhuman behaviour, for many end up sick and suffering from PTSD afterwards.
Historically, we stop honouring the tenderness and gentleness in boys and start training or imposing the hardening. In the beginning with young boys using all the sayings such as “Boys don’t cry, harden up, don’t be a wuss, you are supposed to be a man” etc etc as well as the rough and competitive gladiator sports, like boxing and rugby. What does this say to boys/men? To be a rock and not express just hold it all in, is this training and encouraging men to then become a walking time bomb ready to explode at any given moment, helped along by the use of drugs and alcohol, the current coping mechanisms used as our society norm. Thus, fuelling the high rate of domestic violence that our society deals with on a daily basis. Not to mention the fact of men holding everything in leading to the highest suicide rates over a 10 year period in current statistics in Australia (1). Depression rates in men are also very high at present (2). This all paints a picture that men as a whole are not doing so well, therefore, I feel it’s time that we as men have the chance to learn to come back to who we truly are, our true essence and learn to build and hold that as our foundation.
Before having to or choosing to harden up, men naturally are;
It is the living out of balance or away from our natural essence, one that is enforced or made a reality by the world we live in, and us men choosing to be less and closing our hearts to the truth of our birthright that we then choose to live with behaviours such as:
We need to know that we are not our behaviours. These negative behaviours are just being acted out as a reaction to something else, which could range from a misunderstanding, a deep fear, lack of being able to express true feelings, feeling imposed upon, or even just not wanting to be responsible and see the truth of a situation and therefore choose to react, hide, or not face up to the truth so as to not be exposed. There are a myriad of ways men can behave, too many to mention in fact.
As men we were born naturally tender, gentle, and caring. It is our natural essence, yet it is not fostered, encouraged, or held by society, in family, school, and general life as we progress from boys to men.
What if men were allowed to be free of the imposition of having to act tough, rough, aggressive, cold, hard, competitive, and uncaring etc?
What if men could connect to the freedom and expansiveness of being able to express how they truly feel without fear of judgement and critique?
There are times that we may not be feeling strong and together, it is those times when we are feeling sad, vulnerable, and sensitive that we get a chance to grow on the inside. As we know there is not an external distraction or lifestyle bubble in life that solves or evolves us through our toughest moments, but more a digging deep within our heart and soul to come to true understanding and bring us back to balance, harmony, and acceptance.
We as men and woman equally need learn to surrender and come back to our true essence and foundations — coming back is like the analogy of the spy coming in from the cold, a lost soldier, rider on the range. Therefore giving our selves the permission in many cases to come in and back to ourselves and our hearts and healing what is getting in the way — old hurts, new, real, or imposed from our connection back to our original essence. The journey back is different for all, but it starts with self-care, self-love, and appreciation, as we all are sons of God and equally held in his love. So giving ourselves permission is huge, it’s like saying “You know what? I may not be perfect but gee I am worth it“, because each one of us has a role to play in our constellation of life, within the sphere of our families, work, and the greater world. If we don’t let it out others don’t get to see it. So why not let ourselves shine like diamonds and be the most loving, caring, partner, parent, worker, friend there is and by us giving ourselves permission we equally give others permission to do the same.
That’s how we can change the world, man by man, brother by brother, as we are the brotherhood of man.
Men’s groups are starting up all around the world where men are gathering and getting used to trusting each other and allowing the conversations to expand further afield from the cars, business, and sports talk that keep men comfortably at a distance.
References — (1) 28/9/16 Huffington post — Australian Suicide statistics highest in 10 years
(2) Depression — Http:www.beyondblue.com/stats-and-facts