A major issue men face is their own judgment of themselves. In the recent past, the term metro-sexual reared it’s ugly face into mainstream social circles. Because it seemed unthinkable that men would want to break free from the oppressive stereotyping which has been dictated by our media for so many years, it had to be given a name, a label, a pathology! Why? Maybe to try and give an explanation of a new male paradigm. However, this label didn’t explain anything, instead perpetuated the sexual divide.
Levels of masculine and feminine are determined by much more than just gonadal anatomy. Just because it’s unfairly labeled “feminine” for men to show emotions and feel deeply, doesn’t mean men should feel feminine when they access the deeper, more evolved parts of them. It’s this self-ridicule and fear of public castration that keeps men from finding their true loving potential. As long as there are self-imposed walls protecting men from really being seen, will they ever be known? Let’s face it, vulnerability is scary and uncomfortable, yet is the key to love. Love? Of course Love. What is your partner loving when you’re not vulnerable? Simple, a facade of you. I had a well-built facade. The barriers we put up only allow for a sneak peak at the real “us,” don’t they? It’s similar to a 10,000-foot satellite view of who we are–the details are not discernible and just too far away to connect with.
My hope for men is that they can learn to drop the false bravado and machismo and access the parts that want to love–both self and others. If you say, “That’s not just me. I don’t feel like that. I’m not a pussy!” Then I will invite you to look at who’s really talking? The loving man behind a facade or the facade itself? I also invite women to let men explore this without ridicule. When men explore themselves, sometimes we seek out other men who share similar goals/paths/desires–it’s a pack mentality. Or better yet, a human quality. Sometimes men find places where these parts of us can be nurtured with other men, such as retreats. But let’s get something straight ladies and judgmental men–men’s retreats don’t have “circle-jerks” or strippers; nor do we dance around in our skivvies, and bad mouth women. Men are on these retreats not only to better ourselves for us, but for our women/partners too (the ones who have to deal with our manly bullshit!). So, women, push men to feel and talk. Men, seek other men who help you become a better man. Be bold, brave and courageous and if you know you have a “wall” up, then and only then, can you have the power to do something about it.
One of my favorite quotations is this by David Schnarch (thank you to my beautiful wife Jenn – Sorry I haven’t finished his book yet):
“Only the best in us can talk about the worst in us, because the worst in us lies about its own existence.”