When you see a boy, a young or fully grown man cry or show emotions, how often have you heard, (or maybe even found yourself saying);
‘Real men don’t cry’,
‘Don’t be soft’,
‘Harden up’ etc.
The old conditioning, the old societal pressures and generations of hard men raising hard boys who didn’t show emotion, was forced upon the hands of men (and women) raising men, that is still being filtered and passed down today.
Historically, boys went to fight in wars that were not ours, in strange countries across the water, and had to become strong, brave men literally overnight.
Where other men fled war torn countries or those who stayed behind had to battle it out in tough times, who helped create this beautiful nation (and world) we are fortunate enough to live in.
Where men then had to work in tiresome conditions, life threatening environments, live in harsh realities, travel mountains, rivers and valleys sometimes for hours, to go to and from work to support their families .
And not just family as we know it now; their wife and kids, but their whole family; mother, siblings and so forth.
Where strength and ‘being hard’ were not an option, but a life preservation strategy.
Real men were real hard because they didn’t have any other choice.
It was literally live or die; do what needs to be done or die, travel for miles for money or die of poverty, shoot or be shot at.
Hard men bred hard men as that was the only option for survival.
So yes, society, families, conditioning, self preservation, unconscious drivers of ‘threats’ were real then – there was a lot they had to survive, to live through, to protect and to support.
Was it harsh – yes.
Was it unfair to have our men be so conditioned to be so seemingly cold, heart-less and emotion-less – absolutely.
Did anyone know any better then or think there was a better way – unlikely.
Yet, here we are in today’s world, in a society where yes, we are still very much living in a ‘man’s world’ in the hierarchy of business, politics, wars and so on, however, women now too are stepping up (and by means of necessity or simply choice), they now to are playing the role of protector, supporter, bread winner.
The dynamics of relationships, families and the work place have very much changed.
So where does that leave our men?
How do they now fit into this new world, this new structure, this new dynamic, with all their old conditioning; being the man of the house – providing for, supporting and keeping the family safe, when that barely exists in the same or even similar circumstances now?
And most men don’t even realise the unconscious conditioning or conflict they are running, to understand why they are feeling so torn, emasculated, less worthy, and/or less of a man.
Our men and women are unlikely aware of why there are many conflicts within relationships, particularly if their `feminine` half is taking on some or all of those roles in the family/household dynamic now too.
Understandably, how can our men feel like the ‘man of the house’ if based on old conditioning, patterns, cycles, systemic structure, he no longer is?
Now, as the world evolves, consciousness opens, we become more mindful of such things, or even just recognise that it is not ‘soft’ or less manly to cry or show emotion, rather quite the opposite, this is slowly shifting and we are starting to support our men to connect with their emotions, sometimes for the first time in their lives!
Change is a difficult feat for anyone to accomplish, yet we put so much pressure on our men to change this deep rooted inherit trait, quickly and easily.
It would be like telling a woman to not automatically feel the need to nurture and do everything for the ones she loves, even though she is disabling them by not allowing them the capacity to do it on their own, (that’s a whole other post).
What we could be doing rather, is being supportive and allowing vulnerability and a safe environment for our men to be able to start to open up, connect and share, particularly from one man to another.
Be mindful of our words; offering encouragement, empathy and someone to listen to without being judgemental or critical.
Rather than saying men are ‘soft’, expressing and praising how gentle they can and should be (after all, it is ‘gentleman’ for a reason).
Soft implies weak – ‘ not strong or robust ; incapable of great endurance or exertion; can easily be penetrated, divided or changed’, yet the showing of emotions, to feel emotions enough to display them openly, takes courage and is incredibly difficult to do.
Someone is showing raw vulnerability, putting themselves in a position where they could be judged, scrutinised, belittled, shutdown, ostracised or ignored, but they still open up and share that anyway.
That is the opposite of soft.
That is true bravery in today’s world and we should all honour that.
Society and the threats of today, are much less life or death, extreme and/or harsh, so the perceived threats of today adjust accordingly and can bring about the same types of stress factors over much less situations and circumstances.
Showing emotions and vulnerability, to go against their old conditioning and generational cycles, that is a huge threat for a man, in today’s world.
And that should be celebrated, encouraged and witnessed more than it is.
So rather than calling our men soft, or weak – encourage and express how brave they are to feel their emotions and how courageous they are to express them.
Rather than enabling our men to continue to bottle up their emotions, be angry and volatile (as they may have had no healthy outlets prior) – encourage connection to who they are, what is real for them and being the man of their life, while still being a gentle-man and bringing about healthy, natural outlets of their thoughts, feelings and emotions.
Let’s teach our boys and young men early to once again protect women, respect others, respect themselves, respect and honour their emotions, whilst being able to feel, express and share them openly with whom they feel comfortable to.
Let’s show our young men how to protect their loved ones from the threats of today’s world, to shield them, to support them, to love and honour them, to show them the meaning of what’s in their heart and how to display that respectfully, strongly and with gentle grace.
To me, that is a real man of today – Someone who can connect with what’s inside, who can love with their heart on their sleeve, shed tears when they have lost or feel pain, who will protect what’s important to them and will fight for that, who can communicate effectively, honestly and with prowess.
Genetically speaking, most men should be able to unconsciously express coldness, violence, disconnection through the passing of the DNA from the forefathers who have come before them, for what they had to endure and work through.
Until they are shown, taught and conditioned otherwise, this will continue, to the detriment of others, to themselves and the generations to follow.
But today’s man should be encouraged to be the gentle-man they deserve to be, feel and encompass in today’s world.
And should feel comfortable and unashamed to be able to do so, in any environment, around any group of people, circle of friends, work or sporting cohorts, and particularly within the family dynamic.
I truly believe the more we allow space for our men, our young boys to honour the balanced feminine energy; (compassion, introspection, intuition, patience) that makes up the yin/yang, and reduce the over driven masculine energy; (fearful, withdrawn, lost, hopeless, unaware), to be that more of balanced masculine; (valour, assertion, direction, action, giving, consciousness), the true balance of life and living, that resides within each of us, then we can and will see drastic change; within the globe and within our relationships; wars, domestic violence, abuse and just in day to day living.
But rather than getting consumed in the big picture, and being overwhelmed with ‘what impact can I have, I’m only one person’, identify that it all starts with what you can actually do.
You can help change and facilitate change in the incredible men that surround you, in your life, particularly if you are a parent or mentor to young boys and men, or a leader to other men in your life by utilising what has been mentioned above.
Because that’s where it all begins – with one person.
Man or woman.
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About the author & why I, a woman, is writing this
I am incredibly passionate about change, but particularly in connecting beautiful souls to whom they truly are, to love and honour themselves, and therefore love and honour others with grace and vulnerability.
How humans function/behave and this ego driven, over assertive, masculine energy that has expelled my life into the pits of darkness many times, has shown me that there has to be another way and being a Mumma to a beautiful boy, I had to find out how.
And there is actually many ways.
I grew up in a household where the highly unbalanced masculine energy consumed us all; fear, violence, withdrawal, hopelessness – it all drove the behaviours of the family – each one of us, (though my mother, with her mental illness, wavered between highly unbalanced feminine also).
As a women, I have been subjected to all types of abuse since I was a young girl, and I recognised early that things drastically had to change; in my life, but also in society and the world.
What I have since recognised, is that I too had been unconsciously driven by the unbalanced masculine, until recently, as that was my conditioning growing up and having the very real threats of life/death, fight/flight/fright as the norm.
It was prevalent in most of my relationships, though I vowed to never live the same life I experienced as a child therefore I made different choices to ensure that.
I always believed in equality, (though now realise that was more unhealthy feminism than true equality).
I now firmly express, act (most of the time, when humanly possible) and believe in true equality; both sharing a voice, being heard, being nurtured, feeling and offering safety, sharing divine connections, growth, opportunities, unlimited fear-less life.
That took me some hard truths and massive shifts to recognise, see and validate – but also to change within myself and yield the protective masculine that had kept me alive for most of my life, to now be gentle, nurturing and compassionate – embrace a more balanced feminine and honour my truth.
But my massive driver for writing this and being passionate about this subject; I have a little human that is now not so little, and whose hormones and puberty are currently facing us both with automatic, unconscious characteristics of past generational threats, that have been emitted to often over the last month, as his body changes – displaying unbalanced masculine energy – yes, puberty – but there still needs to be an enforcement of boundaries and respect displayed, whatever the reasoning.
This is about being able to enable him to be the man he deserves to be, that the DNA passed down to him (through me and by other generations) and in truth, my old conditioning which heavily influenced both our lives, is more difficult to easily help him change now that I am more aware of it myself.
He must now be willing to do the work, change and take on his own learnings from this too, after all we each have life lessons to acquire (that`s why we all agree to this human experience).
However, thanks to my training, I can absolutely support him, enable, interrupt, emphasise and facilitate the environment and change, to embed change and some work unconsciously now, for when he is consciously ready.
As a parent, as a Mumma, I have realised it is more empowering (however, much harder for us as a parent) to allow them the time and space to make their own mistakes (more so now, while they are still in a safe, nurturing, loving environment at home).
Lead by example, rather than rule with an iron fist.
However this write up wasn’t just inspired by my beautiful baby boy (which at some point I should probably stop saying that in public), but was inspired by an incredible man who, over the years I’ve known him, is extremely conflicted by a lot of what I have shared today.
He is a manly man and takes immense pride in that, as he should.
But, it’s his old conditioning and the immensely unbalanced masculine that continues to override and drive his life, the results and his behaviours, which obviously impacts on the people around him, as well as deeply affecting him.
So, I do what I can to encourage, to enable him to be vulnerable, to share, to connect to his emotions and support him through that process, give him the space to be ‘the man’ and make the change on his own, while assisting and providing guidance on how to balance the masculine and feminine energies.
But there are other factors that I can help influence and provide the right space to allow him to make change too;
Environment is an imperative part of change, and that I can help influence.
My own actions, reactions, and emotions – I too have control over those (in most part – I am still human), therefore that can also help influence.
Looking after myself; taking time for me, to heal and grow, changing my projection and that which resides in my being, will inadvertently change my external world, and those around me too – which can also help influence, as well as giving others permission to do the same.
There are many factors that can facilitate beautiful change in others – but the most important thing is your belief that they can.
So this post is not only for him, but also for my son, my nephews and the beautiful souls that I meet, connect with and get to share my gifts, knowledge and healing energy with, through my events; either directly connecting with these gentle-men, or their loved ones that attend.
The passion is not just for those in my life, though they certainly drive me and are my creative inspiration, but the many beautiful souls I am blessed to connect, inspire and share collectively with.
And so this is for each and every one of you, who feel drawn to my words, for I am only a reflection of what is already inside of you.
The love and light in me, sees and honours the love and light in you.
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