There is a code of silence around the phenomenon of hurt, particularly what it does to men and how it affects communication. Talking with my Namaste this morning – I read an article describing how Men respond to their wives when they experience their disappointment or disapproval. To give a quick thumbnail – Guy does A, thinking that it will be pleasing to her.
And it doesn’t work. She doesn’t like the gift, she hates his choice of restaurant…the flowers he brought are ‘um…nice’…but she was really hoping for a different flower than the kind he purchased, and it shows on her face and in her choice of words.
When this happens, a few things occur almost immediately, much of which is below the emotional ‘water line’ of visible responses from him. First, he goes through a range of complex feelings in an instant; surprise that the ‘gift’ of whatever wasn’t received well, the pang of pain that she’s not happy, and probably irritation at having failed at pleasing her. If she picks up on his disappointment, as shown in his face or in his energy she may attempt to soothe him by trying to educate him on what he could have done differently. This scenario is fraught with tension on both sides and in the face of the tension, one or both parties may be on the lookout for a quick escape. He’ll withdraw internally, relying on the masculine skill set of masking pain with careful neutrality…he begins to go internal. Even though he’s still present physically, from an energetic place he’s not really a full participant in the encounter going forward- having retreated to ‘safety’ inside his head, he is now observing his life from his own internal ‘observation deck’.. Sure, you nod in the right places, respond with a half smile to something you’d normally consider hilarious…you contribute just enough energy to the conversation to keep things moving along. You are partly present, but most of your attention is directed internally. Above all, you absolutely DONT want to make things worse by triggering some sort of ‘what’s wrong’ type question from her.
Men thrive on acceptance and respect – and from birth we have been socialized that making women happy, especially OUR women (girlfriends, wives, moms) happy is essential to our own feelings of emotional well-being. As a result, when she expresses that she isn’t pleased, he doesn’t feel good. Additionally, her rejection of his efforts to please her and the subsequent ‘correction’ from her indicate to him that she doesn’t respect his ability to make decisions. As a result, many men come away from these experiences either consciously or unconsciously declaring an emotional ‘no fly zone’ over the area of the disagreement. How does this show up? – Instead of buying the ‘correct’ flowers – he might stop buying her flowers entirely, or he will buy them, but it will never be a surprise – he’ll ask for her input and will avoid inserting himself into the creative process. Instead of being adventurous and trying new restaurants with her, he will instead rely exclusively on her picking out where they are going to eat and looks to her for direction in an effort to avoid future disappointments.
All of the above are symptomatic of something else entirely, which is the fact that he was both disappointed and hurt by her response to his offering. The worst thing? He never communicated anything about how he felt. Being hurt, experiencing hurt is an experience that is largely internal for most men. We rarely admit to hurting about anything and as a result the emotions associated with ‘hurt’ are something that we teach ourselves to ignore, press down, minimize. Admitting hurt is also to be vulnerable – we don’t want that. The women in our lives don’t associate it with us either, as a result the concept of emotional hurt becomes one that has been gender identified as being almost exclusively female in experience and effect. When discussing this with my namaste, I was very surprised to find out that although in my mind I had experienced and communicated things that I felt hurt by any number of times, in the over 10 years that we’ve known each other, she could only recall TWO times in over 10 years that I’ve actually vocalized that I’d been hurt by something, a situation, an action that was taken by her or something that she had said.
Two times in 10 years.
I was shocked. I consider myself to be an emotionally mature person and one that is reasonably proficient at expressing myself, in using words as a bridge between my own internal emotional landscape and the world around me, particularly in talking about how I feel in our relationship. As I thought about what she said, I realized that over the years I’ve been really, really good at keeping my hurt hidden from view. When I’ve attempted to communicate how something hurt me, I’ve rarely if ever copped to the feeling – the emotion of being hurt – instead she’s understood my hurt through the lens of my irritation, my anger or some altruistic appeal to an ideal of ‘fairness’ e.g. “I don’t ever say X to you, why would you say that to me?” Which is completely different from a direct statement of; “when you say X to me that hurt”. I apparently have feelings – but why is it when the issue of communicating those feelings comes up I resort to the use of defensive tools like anger, irritation or blame instead of actually OWNING my own feelings? They are mine, after all.
In the world of computer programming, a stack overflow situation occurs when a program attempts to use more space than is available (that is, when it attempts to access memory beyond the call stack’s bounds, which is essentially a buffer overflow), the stack is said to overflow, typically resulting in a program crash. I believe that many men experience a similar phenomenon from an emotional standpoint in relation to how we are wired to share our hurts. It is typically when we are said to be ‘truly hurting’ – when the hurt seems to multiply upon itself, when we literally run out of space to store pain internally and we are starting to crash, our literal ‘stack overflow’ situation happens to us and it is only THEN that we feel that we can allow our hurts to be addressed. Actually I think most of us aren’t ‘allowing’ much in that moment – for most, it happens that the situation is sufficiently serious that we can’t hide, we can’t hold it in. cant help it…we just erupt. If you’ve ever seen men caught in the grip of overwhelming tragedy or grief, you’ve seen this happen. We literally come apart with wrenching agony – undoubtedly painful to experience…. it can also be painful to watch. Our struggle to maintain the illusion that we do not hurt contributes to the wreckage in my opinion – in the face of the overwhelming, our safeguards crumble and because of our ’stack overflow’ we…crash. What makes it even more traumatic is that most of us attempt even in our most painful moments, to try and keep it hidden from view and it is usually our inability to hide it that is the alarm that alerts someone external to us to reach out in compassion and hold space for us.
Reclaiming our humanity
Effectiveness is the measure of truth, as the Huna saying goes – and to find out what will be effective I believe that we have a number of clear examples if we look at how women communicate. Have you ever noticed how women attend to someone who is hurt? Often in the case of disagreement or disappointment a statement of hurt given by the person that has been wounded results in an automatic ‘time out’ and a reassessment of what is going on. There’s an immediate cease fire at which time the hurt is addressed and then once the hurt has been addressed the two women involved then give themselves permission to go on with the discussion. It is often the case that the process used to address the hurt feelings unearths enough common ground that the disagreement can be resolved and there is no need to go back to the discussion again. In my opinion, there is something that we as men can learn from this example and it is a subtle truth.
Women in our lives are already sensitized to an expression of hurt, Im missing a beautiful opportunity to get closer to her when I hide my hurt from her. As a man, I need to get out of the Hurt Locker in my head and let her know how Im feeling, especially when Im feeling sad, upset, angry or hurt. I need to resist the temptation to only communicate during good times and to shut off and ‘go internal’ during times when Im hurting. Real Talk – my lack of emotional transparency turns out to be a negative, self fulfilling prophecy. Like attracts like – if I intentionally hide my emotions from the person that loves me, then I have to also hold myself responsible for the sense of isolation that is the inevitable result of my getting really good at hiding. Similar to the childhood game of hide and seek – being TOO good at hiding actually defeats the purpose of the game. Imagine her finishing the countdown and going to look for you – and never ever finding you! I can’t imagine a more emotionally traumatizing game of hide and seek! And yet, for many of us isn’t this how our relationships have evolved? – the male emotional epitaph reads years later..”and He was never heard from again!”
The word instigate is commonly used to mean initiate – but I believe there is an important distinction between these two words. Initiate means to be the first to do something, as in “I felt something hurt me and I opened the dialogue with her about it” Instigate is another word that means ‘to begin’ – but the energy it holds is different – it fundamentally means to incite others to do something, e.g. “I felt something she said hurt me and Im not going to just sit here and take it – we need to talk…..” Can you sense the difference between those two states of mind? You want to initiate conversation about what’s going on with you internally. That’s YOU taking the initiative – being the first to talk about how you feel. That’s owning your emotions…and sharing them. On the other hand, responding to a perceived hurt by instigating a fact-finding commission to establish blame is very different experience energetically. The blame game will not draw you closer together, in fact most of the time the hurt feelings on both sides after a round of ‘Who’s Fault is It!’ are often worse.
Understand that just like in the development of any sort of meaningful skill set, it takes a while before you get good at it. You’ve spent a long time not communicating effectively about many of your internal emotions – it may be harder before it gets easier, but stay with it. Most men’s ’emotional spice cabinet’ contain the equivalent of three basics – sugar,(pleased) salt (displeased) and pepper (angry), which are wonderful spices in their own right, understand that it will take a while to build up an inventory of spices that can be useful in cooking a broad variety of emotional ‘meals’. There are hundreds of different kinds of sugar, and thousands of varieties of salt and pepper, not to mention the thousands of other emotional nuances/spices that are available for your use. But you have to use them to get good at this. Be patient with yourself, but most of all its important to initiate. YOU need to be the person to bring it up FIRST, to start a dialogue on how you are feeling. A consistent lament we hear most often from female clients is their longing for the men in their lives to open up and to communicate with them about how they (Men) feel.
And that is a good enough place to begin. Want to instantly improve your relationship? Start working on opening up, owning your feelings and sharing what’s going on inside you with the woman that loves you – this one act will be rewarding in contentment and happiness in your relationship far beyond anything you could ever bring to her as a gift or the trappings of a special occasion. Letting her truly see you and taking the time to share with her how you truly feel inside, especially when you are hurting is a rare and special gift that she will always cherish. She will feel closer to you as a result and will open to you in response. And from a sustainability perspective – this opportunity is always available to you, truly a renewable resource.
Theres only one handle on the Hurt Locker – and its on the inside. You want out? Open up.
For years now I’ve noticed something… and it’s been a bit disturbing.
I’ve watched as women have bought into the “truth” told to us by our culture of what it means to be powerful, strong and successful.
And I’ve observed women harried, stressed, burned out and tired.
Women who don’t feel supported, loved, or connected.
I’ve noticed women believing that conscious masculinity is is basically the feminine in a male body.
Women for whom the word “pleasure” is some distant and meaningless thing that others should have.
And like someone whose hair is on fire – I have watched women run faster and faster in an attempt to put out the fire that is draining their life force, making them ill, and bringing them misery.
We need more rights!
Men need to communicate better!
We need more money!
We need more success!!
We need better pharmaceuticals!
And yet- as each demand is met we find ourselves more internally frustrated and lacking in Fulfillment.
On the side of the Masculine- we have inadvertently created a culture which forces men to find their identity through us.
Men are now insecure, lacking in direction and checking out of relationships while constantly seeking to appease and manage their women’s moods, emotions and volatile behavior.
We call this being a “good man.” And yet even with these good men – women find themselves equally stressed and frustrated.
We have made a grave error.
As women in our quest for love, for actualization, for feelings of value and respect – we have created an environment that is adversarial towards masculinity.
Anytime we require men to do things in ways that are based on what works for women – we emasculate them.
Anytime we require women to do things based solely on what works for men – we devalue her.
It is time for the birth of the Divine Couple.
What is the Divine Couple?
The Divine Couple is both the Sacred Feminine and the Divine Masculine working together as the powerful complements they were originally meant to be.
We are more than the sum of our parts.
It is not feminist nor is it patriarchal. It is truly based on mutual respect for our differences in business, delicious fascination for that polarity in our relationships and seeing the world as better and actualized when we have BOTH the Masculine and the Feminine.
A relationship based on Acceptance and embodying love. A relationship that allows for each person to unfold and remember who they are.
Richard and I have been doing this work in our own relationship for over a decade and in helping others in their relationships for over 6 years. At this point we are feeling called to reach a broader audience and to open this concept up for exploration and internalization in a deliberate and conscious way with others who are feeling this as something they long to actualize.
The School of Feminine Transformation – is the Feminine side of this Divine manifesting. Not only does it serve to create a space and learning avenue for the Transformation of women into their more empowered Feminine selves – it approaches this education from a perspective of complementing the masculine. (find out more here)
On The Divine Masculine side – Richard offers one on one coaching helping men harness the power and passion of their Masculine presence and purpose and also to complement the feminine.
We also offer classes, retreats and sessions for couples who seek to do the work of Transforming from the common into the Divine. Manifesting Infinite potential, love and power.
This is what we live. This is what we do. And now, this is what we offer to you.
This is the last post in this series about Men and Being Stuck in Neutral…
Shifting from Neutral into Drive
Unfortunately, the emotion that works almost 100% of the time to shift the masculine from neutral into drive – is ANGER.
Being angry is like being The HULK for a Neutral Guy – one moment you are calm, serene and in chil land – the next moment you feel like a giant raging green beast monster. Seeing or experiencing some form of injustice, either personally or observing can bring it out. Being fully immersed in a sporting event or contest can be a catalyst as well – watching our fave team struggle on the playing field can lead to anger and shift us into DRIVE. Being in DRIVE is exhilarating, its exciting – for most men its a level of being alive that is orders of magnitude beyond the mundane and everyday. Unfortunately using the emotion of anger to shift one’s energy from NEUTRAL into DRIVE in your relationship is like blowing out a birthday candle with a hand grenade. Sure its effective – but its also messy. Extremely.
An imbalance in polarity between men and women in a relationship can also be the catalyst for a shift into DRIVE. Relationships can be a self-correcting system akin to a stock marketplace ‘correction’… when the pendulum of energy in the relationship swings too far in the direction of the feminine, it is often the feminine that ‘forces’ a shift back toward the masculine. She finds the experience of carrying the energy for the masculine and the feminine in the relationship exhausting…and near impossible to do long term. In an effort to restore some sort of balance in the relationship, the person NOT in neutral will get so frustrated that they literally become the catalyst for change. Sometimes this inspires anger in the masculine to the point where HULK begins to emerge as part of that process. When there is a deficit in masculine polarity, in some relationships the feminine will appear to poke and prod at the masculine, challenging, demanding – the unspoken question below the surface: Where are you?
Finally, when the masculine arrives at the That’s Enough stage, then everything goes crazy for a moment – because the two parties are literally forced BACK into polarity, and the energy of this reaction is wild and unfocused. This is one of the reasons why some couples cycle from doldrums to arguing to happiness and then back to the doldrums until the next argument cycle. The relationship has a built-in circuit breaker that trips periodically in order to preserve the integrity of the system. After an argument cycle, the anger dissipates and is replaced by attraction and passion ignited by the resurgence in polarity. This will mean a short period of time of good times for the relationship. Make up sex anyone? As a result of the resurgence in polarity they experience intense attraction and interest in each other again.
Because the polarity between them isn’t conscious, it will be difficult to sustain – and after a while old habits will return. He gradually shifts back into NEUTRAL and she will begin taking on more and more responsibility for maintaining the polarity in the relationship. Because neither party is conscious of exactly when they start to slide backward into old patterns, they may go on like this under the tension of frustration (which is WAY different from the tension of polarity) building up until the next relationship cataclysm. This relationship has become a volcano that erupts sporadically, sometimes with little warning. Between eruptions the calm (or lack of hostilities) looks a lot like peace, but it isn’t. Not really.
Getting out of NEUTRAL
How can you shift out of NEUTRAL into DRIVE without the potentially devastating fallout of anger and irritation? Is there a strategy that is sure to defuse every tense situation, bring instant harmony and understanding, inspire and ignite polarity and lead to hot sex and a deeply fulfilling relationship for all?
Is it possible to be crazy happy and content in your relationship with her and with him, even if you don’t always understand why they do the things they do? Absolutely. First thing – stop worrying so much about what THEY are doing and concentrate on yourself. GASP am I advocating selfishness? Sorta. In my opinion the masculine today is TOO focused on the feminine for clues, cues and permissions to be masculine. Yes I know we are pretty hardwired to want to make her happy and what better way to find out what makes her happy than to be hyper vigilant about what she wants, I mean who would know better than she would about what she wants? Right? So just do THAT, and all will be well.
As a relationship philosophy it seems like that should work – the reality is that it doesn’t work for most people. There are a lot of frustrated women and men going through the same song and dance everyday and wondering why it doesn’t work. Why do we keep doing the same things but expect different results? Its my opinion that most men follow this philosophy due to conditioning and observation. Its likely how your Dad did it and how your Grandfather did it as well. The reason why it doesn’t work is not because there’s something wrong with you or with her.
Here’s the secret;
The feminine cannot teach the masculine how to BE masculine. Anymore than the masculine can teach the feminine how to actualize her femininity. We (Men and Women) don’t think the same, our brains literally work differently in a lot of ways – this is not just my opinion, it is actual scientific fact. The doctrine of ‘She knows best/everything/what you should be doing’ is a well-meaning philosophy, but its really a terrible idea, specifically when it comes to being yourself and actualizing your masculinity in the relationship.
This isn’t a case of inability or lack – for example my Namaste is strong, capable, intelligent, insightful and altogether wonderful it so many ways, there isn’t enough time or pixels in the world to articulate the full breadth and scope of her wonderful-ness. At the same time, she can be ephemeral, mysterious, effervescent, and holistic, flipping rapidly through emotions and thoughts and desires at a dizzying pace – a pace that doesn’t translate very well for the masculine mind. If I am constantly looking at her for clues as to how Im supposed to be in the world, we both will end up confused and irritated. By the time I’ve delivered to her exactly what I think she meant, she will have changed her mind! My consistency and focus doesn’t mean Im slow – and her ephemeral changeability doesn’t mean she’s flighty. We’ve learned in our society to attach negatives to our natural talents and tendencies – this is unnecessary and wrong to do. Difference is not a disability. We have different ways of looking at the world – but that’s all they are, different. Not better or worse – just different.
Being Your Best You
- Being your best you and having the relationship of your dreams means being vulnerable – it means opening the vault and getting out of your head and into your body.
- It means feeling the fear of potential misunderstanding and rejection and moving ahead anyway to have the tough conversation.
- It means communicating when you are hurting, especially when it would be much easier to just be angry or withdraw.
- It means letting her know how you are feeling, how you are REALLY feeling. It means owning your feelings, acknowledging and honoring them, instead of burying them, ignoring them or trying not to feel anything.
- It means taking the initiative – to be the opener of communication on any subject – to participate as a leader and an advocate for your own feelings and not just waiting and constantly responding to what SHE wants to talk about.
- Finally – being your best you means fully participating in your relationship as an equal partner and taking responsibility for its success. It is essential that the masculine stop making the feminine the custodian and guardian of all things having to do with the heart and emotions.
Open your mouth.
Open your heart.
Open your eyes.
This is what it means to shift out of NEUTRAL into DRIVE. Trust me, its worth it.
Nobody wants to be That Guy
What’s negative masculinity? Well, nobody actually knows…but most men know that its an unwritten rule that they should NEVER be perceived as being ‘that guy’ – its almost a staple in media representations of ‘how men are’… boorish, aggressive, inconsiderate, did I mention aggressive? What about rapey (which isn’t a word as far as I know…but we know what it means nonetheless) Nobody really wants to be That Guy – In short – men want to appear to be the exact opposite – considerate, not aggressive, non-threatening, friendly, not, NOT aggressive and generally easy to get along with. And not aggressive. At all.
We’ve been trained to keep our masculinity on a short leash – to hold ourselves in check and to constantly monitor HER. Her face, her energy, her responses and movements for clues, cues and permission to move forward, to be authentically ourselves, waiting for permission to reveal ourselves. We try as hard as possible to be what we consider safe and dependable. Comfortable. Someone that a woman can feel safe around and with. Picture that adolescent guy on his first movie date and his internal angst – sitting there facing the screen but can’t see the movie – he’s in a world of torment because he wants desperately to put his arm around the girl, to touch her – but he knows he can’t just DO it…not without her agreement. And in the absence of her permission he’s bewildered – should he go forward? Wait? Retreat? He’s stuck in NEUTRAL. Imagine spending your life like that and you have a window into what Life In Neutral feels like for many men.
Meanwhile, in the same theater, approximately 1 half inch away she sits waiting for him. Hoping, perhaps longing – and much of the time becoming more and more frustrated. Eventually he makes his move. Even though she wanted it before, she doesn’t want it now.. its not personal, its an energetic thing. Consider this – for the last little while his energy has vacillated between tense and tentative and tense and neutral and she’s instinctively turned off by that. Instead of melting into the ‘safety’ of his arms, she’s stiff, unresponsive and irritated. His inner critic instantly begins kicking his ass for screwing things up. Or perhaps he becomes irritated in response to her irritation. She asks what’s wrong – he doesn’t respond, preferring to keep his thoughts to himself.. thinking ‘why make things worse than they already are?’. Both come away from the encounter thinking…I don’t like this..I don’t understand you.
In many of our relationships, the masculine NEUTRAL causes the person carrying the feminine energy to shift gears in an attempt to restore the polarity balance. They becomes strong and unwavering to counter the void they perceive in the NEUTRAL guy. This is a MASSIVE energy drain for her – with one person feeling they have to be strong and unwavering and dynamic and ephemeral by turns…and the other person stuck in Neutral. What many of us fail to understand is that it is our desire to please, the desire to show up as something else – keeping your masculinity in check and defined by popular culture and goofy ass media representations is at the heart of why you and your woman dont get along as well as you could. NEUTRAL keeps you from the passion that you both need and deserve.
YES you can change things, but there’s a cost associated with that..
Most men that I know carry around a secret reserve of strength – but because they are stuck in neutral most of the time, like a car – the engine is running, but the drivetrain isn’t engaged and they are unable to move either forward or backward. Because of spending so much time in the neutral zone where ‘being a GOOD man’ is seen as being very dis-passionate and agreeable, this can be very confusing to the man stuck in Neutral.
“I try to get along with everyone” – “I do my job, I don’t cause trouble” and this one – which is probably the most confusing and the source of the most unintended heartache in relationships: “I try to get along with her and go along with just about EVERYTHING that she wants…and we still do not get along!!! I DONT GET IT! I devote my life, my finances, my resources…everything to her happiness…and she’s STILL not happy. WTF!?”
I hear this a lot from men that are confused and unhappy – they are doing what they consider to be their very best at being a ‘good guy’ – and it seems that the more they try to ‘make her happy’ the more her irritation seems to be on a hair trigger. These guys are often situationally wavery and generally are perceived by most people that they know as a ‘good guy’- they try their best to get along with everyone by not being objectionable to anyone. Because they don’t ‘stand’ for anything, they have no passionate positions or feeling about anything (other than getting along with everyone and being nice) they are often frustrated as to why they aren’t noticed, are passed over for promotions or leadership positions and do not feel like they are truly ‘seen’ by anyone. They push this frustration down into their belly and spend a lot of their thought-life imagining living a life that is drastically different from the life that they feel ‘stuck’ in.
Next time – How to get out of NEUTRAL into DRIVE
How ‘neutral’ f**ks up your relationship
Im not implying that authenticity demands that we embrace the antithesis of being ‘nice’ – I don’t want to demonize that word, because I truly believe that it is always appropriate to be a generally pleasant person, regardless of one’s gender. On the other hand, I also know that the tidal forces of attraction, of passion in our relationships are ignited by the celebration of our differences. There must be a tension of sorts between the ‘poles’ if you will of masculine and feminine energies.
Feminine energy can show up in being dynamic and ephemeral…its counterpart, masculine energy shows up as being strong and unwavering. The tension between those two states of being = polarity. Polarity provides a transformative energy to our relationships – using the energy of polarity we each become more interesting in the eyes of the other – we become interesting, wondrous beings that generate attraction because we are so different and therefore special – we are unique and worthy of attention because of the energy of polarity.
The importance of Men ‘showing up’
When men park our masculinity in ‘neutral’ – we stop showing up in the world as a generator of polarity in our relationship. Neither hot nor cold, we are comfortably ‘still’ vibrationally speaking. Easy going, we spend most of our time in our heads, thinking our thoughts. Physically we may appear to be vaguely distracted, like we are listening to a barely audible radio station that is broadcasting something really important that only we can hear. Constantly living between the now and the ‘not yet’ these men seem to have all their energy in reserve. Almost always ‘reserving’ your energy, your judgement, your passion – you seem to be perpetually waiting for something. This is a source of frustration for many women and a growing area of confusion for many men. For men stuck in Neutral -all can seem like peace and tranquility on the surface. Nothing ‘bad’ is happening, there has not been an argument or a cross word spoken in ages – you appear to be ‘getting along’. As a result you feel blindsided by her sudden irritation or unhappiness and you think that she’s just making things up, just being disagreeable for no reason or just being unfairly emotional about nothing. After all, YOU havent done anything to be objectionable about, right? Bingo.
How Nothing becomes a Big Deal
The ‘nothing’ that is going on in your relationship eventually puts her in a state of unease that grows and grows until it eventually erupts in some dramatic and unexpected way. You arent contributing your passion to the relationship. You arent really present during conversations and rarely if ever voice a strongly held opinion about ANYTHING. When do YOU bring things up that YOU want to talk about? When’s the last time you had a discussion where SHE was the person that couldnt fit a word in edgewise because you were talking so much? You think being quiet and calm and unassuming equates with being ‘easy to get along with’ when the reality is that your silences are becoming more and more frustrating for your woman. She feels like she’s carrying everything on her shoulders and making all the decisions. She decides everything – you just agree. That’s called Not Showing Up for y’all playing the home version.
You literally arent showing up on the radar…which means that the pleasure she once took in taking care of you gets drained out of the bucket over time …because you arent ‘in residence’ she ends up feeling like she’s taking RESPONSIBLITY for both of you. Which is exhausting for her and puts her in a very masculine mindset and energy. You think you are ‘in charge’ because she asks your opinion…some of the time? Or checks with you periodically to see if you’re still alive and have something to contribute? Why is she irritable? Perhaps because running on that kind of fuel doesnt ‘feed’ her (like it used to feed you) – therefore she’s always exhausted and feels like she’s burning the candle at both ends. Yah, I know Im sounding a little harsh around the edges here. That’s okay – I really need you to wake the fuck up before things blow up. So yes – Im hitting you with a few shots here, but trust me its all in love. The alarm clock is irritating by design – otherwise you would oversleep every day. Dont hit the snooze button. Pay attention.
Next; What is Negative Masculininty?
We were talking this morning listening to the rain outside, Namaste was looking at some of her material for an upcoming workshop she is leading called “Exhale” which focuses on teaching women how to add the power of the feminine back into their lives.
She turned to me and read me a passage from her notes;
“To lead a fulfilling, healthy and passionate life where we create what we want for ourselves and our communities, we must start adding the feminine principle back into our experience to compliment the strong and unwavering masculine.”
She then followed that up with a question – “If the feminine is all about being dynamic and ephemeral, and the masculine counterpart is strong and unwavering…do you see the masculine principle today showing up as strong and unwavering?”
I had to think about that for a while – as much as I would like to say an emphatic YES – Im elated to report that the masculine is showing up in the world as strong and unwavering as EVAR!!…that’s really not true. I must say that in my experience Im seeing the obverse of strong and unwavering from the masculine these days. Nevertheless I don’t want to cast wide aspersions here – its not all doom and gloom – actually what I see most often is a masculine principle that is neutral most of the time, strong when it MUST be strong and wavering situationally most of the time.
Stuck in neutral
Before I learned to drive, whenever my parents would take me with them running errands or visiting friends, I would often stay in the car I would immediately hop into the drivers seat and sit there, imagining the day when I would be able to drive. Driving to me at that pre-teen stage of my life represented the ultimate freedom. To be able to go where I wanted – awesome! Looking at what appeared to be an incredible array of instrumentation, I remember noticing for the first time the letters above the steering column…PRND321…
R obviously was for Reverse, D for drive and so on. What about N? N for me at that time was a mystery – I asked my Dad and found out that N was for Neutral. What’s Neutral? – Neutral is for when the engine is running, but the car isn’t moving. Neutral disengages the gears so you can’t use the engine to move the vehicle either forward or backward.
What does this have to do with the masculine principle? Many men are ‘stuck’ in Neutral. We do not feel strongly one way or the other about most things…and we’ve been indoctrinated by our society that the highest acceptable expression of masculinity that one should aspire to is the development of a personality that is easy going, easy to get along with – accommodating and ‘nice’. Not fierce, strong, unwavering, consistent – just ‘nice’. Nice guys end up in the ‘friend’ box all the time and are bewildered why the women they are into cant “just see” how much they are into them. Being stuck in neutral keeps us from showing up as strong and unwavering. Instead, men believe that we can inspire passion and desire through being easygoing, accomodating to a fault, and giving into and over anything that is requested of us. Showing up in this way has serious repercussions for our relationships, regardless of the duration.
No Polarity = No Passion
A lack of polarity thwarts the dance of courtship – men who do not inhabit the masculine rarely if ever show up on the ‘radar’ of the women they are interested in. A relationship in its infancy will be stillborn – even though the man may believe that he’s doing everything neccessary to make her happy and therefore inspire attraction to him, he’s often secretly heartbroken when her attentions wane and his affections are not returned in equal measure. Older relationships that have slowly drifted away from polarity experience a gradual descent from passion into a quiet platonic friendship. Which can be satisfying for a time…until something or someone happens, sometimes external to the relationship that inspires polarity in either the masculine or the feminine. As changes in the waterlevel in a lake can cause islands to appear that were not previously visible, the appearance of polarity adjacent to a polarity-less relationship can quickly expose a lack of passion.
Next: Is Neutral F**cking Up Our Relationships?
Stress affects all of us – I understand that. Being a Man, however – I also understand what it feels like to walk around feeling like Im watching my life through my own eyes. When that happens, when Im truly stressed out – although I may appear on the surface to be calm and unruffled, the reality is that underneath, Im completely somewhen else. You know the feeling – you can appear to be present, and certainly your physical frame is there going through the motions – going shopping, attending an event with your beloved, doing something with the kids or appearing to enjoy a nice meal with a friend. Your body is there, smiling or laughing in the socially acceptable places, nodding, looking interested and even contributing a comment or two when the conversation starts getting severely lopsided and you realize you aren’t really contributing to the substance of what is going on.
When are you? Most Men are adept at this particular form of duality – being physically present, but mentally and energetically occupying a different reality.
When are you today? We each have an opportunity to inhabit both non-local and local reality. When you are stressed, where do you go? As men we can often seem detached and distant from what is going on around us – when we are under stress we can mentally inhabit a different WHEN. Today, be conscious of WHEN you are. Are you focused on yesterday? What happened at work last week? Something from 3 years ago? An impending deadline? You cannot be present TODAY and someWHEN else at the same time. Commit to bringing your best self to those that you love and care about. Just for today – concentrate on being HERE, being NOW.
Is this you? How to find out.
I know….some of y’all have hard heads as my Pops used to say. Trust me on this – you aren’t fooling anyone. She knows when you “aren’t home” – thats when you get the gentle and tentative arm rub in the middle of a conversation…the ‘you okay babe?’ look in her eyes. Know what I mean? You arent being the ‘strong and silent type’….you arent THERE. So there’s your clue by four – you need to be more present. Here’s my advice to you.
Many men approach the prospect of our being a ‘real’ man from a flawed premise;
e.g. the more you DO the more you are worth.
the more money you make, the better you will feel.
the more that you HAVE, the more you ARE
a better way to approach this would be – the better you FEEL, the more you ALLOW.
Having a Heart Focus
Focus on your heart – concentrate on opening your heart and looking around from your heartand letting your attention come from THAT place, your heart place, instead of your head. Like Tony Stark in Iron Man – envision your heart as your POWER center and shine your light from there – let your attention come from there and pay attention to what your heart has to say to you. Literally ‘breathe’ through your heart – take a deep breath and imagine it coming through your heart and when you exhale, exhale through that same place. ALLOW yourself to be present. ALLOW yourself to be NOW instead of some OTHER WHEN.
You’ll feel differently almost immediately.
- Get in your body and out of your head. Simple things – reach out and touch your beloved.
- Pick up a stone. Feel its weight in your hand.
- Feel the weight and presence of your body sitting in the chair reading this.
- Send your consciousness down into the soles of your feet – FEEL where you are and feel literally grounded – connected to the earth.
Remember – You cannot be present TODAY and someWHEN else at the same time. Commit to bringing your best self to those that you love and care about. Just for today – concentrate on being HERE, being NOW.
In this podcast we’re talking about Men and Women and the need of us VALUING each other and our differences.
This series is one that imparts deep wisdom as far as WHY men and women have issues with one another why it is that the more apparently “free” from gender norms we’ve become the more dissatisfied in our relationships we are.
This is part 1 in the series.
Take a listen, share, comment and be sure to subscribe to know when more podcasts are released!
Your Love is A Beacon….
On the day of our wedding I told you these words; “I know that I am blessed among all men in this, that I know that the Divine loves me because he has given you to me in love…”
I am reminded of you when I look around at this season, when the very earth seems to take this last opportunity before the sleep of winter descends, that in this season each blade of grass, every leaf, plant and tree sings its special song as loudly as possible in vivid color. All foliage is nearly luminous with color and the air is crisp – the temperature grows cooler and the days shorter and there is a sense of vibrant anticipation in the air.
Vibrant anticipation – what a delicious concept and a perfect description of how I feel about you, my love. When Im apart from you I cannot wait to hold you in my arms again. When we are together, throughout the day I will reach for you, automatically, spontaneously. You are My love, you are my heart – there are so many reasons why I love you, Im daunted by the enormity of the task before me – but Im willing to give it my best! Do you remember when I told you the other day that you reminded me of a sacred text?
An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.
My heart safely trusts in you. Your love is a beacon to me out of the shadows and an inspiration to me to be the best version of myself that I can be. With you at my side I feel that there is no obstacle that I cannot overcome, no goal that is unreachable no happiness that is beyond my grasp. My heart turns toward the warmth of your love like a flower follows the arc of the sun in its daily path.
You are priceless and altogether wonderful. I am captivated by your wisdom, inspired by your compassion, motivated by your generosity and ignited by your passion. It is a said that those in love share a common delusion – that they truly believe that no other love has ever been as complete, as intense, as wonderful as theirs. It is my fervent wish for all those impassioned souls and all the world beside them that one day they may enjoy a love even a fraction as wonderful as ours. If the Divine would grant that it could be so I believe the entire world would be transformed in an instant!
Each day we are blessed to spend together is a precious gift – and when I go to sleep at night my last thought before sleep takes me is of thankfulness and appreciation of our journey together. As you mold your body to mine in slumber I count my blessings – a peaceful home, a loving relationship – to go to bed content and to awaken the same way. These simple pleasures – I am adrift in an ocean of delight!!
I realized in this writing that this container of language is too small, my hands are inept at this task – to try and use these crude tools of language to fashion an image of the unimaginable, to describe the depths of the unfathomable – how can I describe the magnitude of my love for you? All the words of all the poets are not enough. If I live for 1000 years, perhaps that will be time enough – but I seriously doubt it.
Love Always and in All Ways,
It is important to me that we always seek to express our love to each other in deeper and more powerful ways. That our love continues to blossom and bloom through the ages no matter how long we are together. And tonight my heart turns towards the question
“Where can I love more?”
Perhaps it is the changing of seasons or the shortening of days but I find myself turning ever more inward – and as always taking you – your Essence – with me. The weather turns cool and we head towards Halloween, or Samhain or Dia Los Muertos – all days of the Dead – honoring ancestors, ghosts, saints and more. And I too am thoughtful of the “dead” – I honor the past seasons of our Life together – the day we met, our first kiss, spending nights talking until dawn, staying out all night dancing or working through an issue until we could find ourselves back to harmony. The NRE stage is long past- or so they say – though I still feel full of New Relationship Energy for you. You continue to delight my senses, challenge my mind, inspire me, compel me – I am still in Awe of you. And that is the thing – is it not, my Heart? The more I know of you, the more Universe I realize remain to be explored in you. How vast and infinite!
As our time together grows longer (more than 10 years, already? and yet we both know it’s been lifetimes) as I look back over our past experiences – far from stagnant or bored – I find myself excited and mesmerized. I wonder what our future will hold on this Great Adventure we call life – and where will we go and how will we get there. The past serves as a blissful memory- the notes of which enrich the depth of the present but do not overshadow it. I am intensely thankful. As I sit here typing this listening to your breathing as you sleep, I am thankful. For each day our lives intertwine around each other there is no where else I’d rather be.
And so – as I end this letter my King – I pause to ponder once more – How can I let more love out in your direction? How can I offer you more support and tenderness? What is it about you, you need me to understand? I delight in loving you.
Always and Allways yours,
Today’s Quote; “Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.” – Albert Einstein
My Thoughts; I’ve been thinking of late about the pivotal events in a man’s life. Pivotal as in vitally important, especially in determining the outcome, progress, or success of something.
Pivotal in the sense that we recognize the significance of that moment…after which everything has changed in some way and you find yourself headed in a new or different direction. In a man’s life there are many.
- The first time something or someone you cared about passed away.
- Creating something with your own hands for the first time.
- Devotion of your time and intention to Becoming Really Good at Something.
- Making that first Big Purchase
- …Or what about the first time she lifted her hips slightly to enable you to take off her panties. No..Not last week – although good for you if that is the case…Im talking about the first time it happened, ever. That’s pivotal Bro.
- What about the first time you truly glimpsed the Path you were on – and you understood what it means to devote yourself to Mastery of …what exactly? What have you learned? What has it required of you?
- What are some of your pivotal events? What did they teach you? How have they changed your life?
Things We Love; There are some transcendant moments when you realize how good it is to be alive and how excellent it is to be a man. There are a host of Good Things that go along with being a man – and among those is the richness of camaraderie, of brotherhood – there is nothing to compare to the experience of laughing together with men of like minds.
In my minds eye I can go back to a warm evening with two very dear friends…two of us with cigars and two fingers of the dark liquor of our choice in hand, the other with a cigarette. I dont remember what the hell we talked about – its not important. What is important to me is the laughter. Deep, rich..from the belly..the kind that leaves you slumped over sideways in your chair, short of breath and wiping a tear out of the corner of your eye with the back of your hand. It comes in waves – as soon as it dies down, someone will say something that will start it up again.
My wish today for every man is that you be blessed with friends that you can laugh with like that. I believe the entire world would benefit.
Now, It’s not too late if you do not have those kinds of relationships in your life, and I’ll share with you a profound secret that I’ve discovered along the way. You can change big things in your life today, if that’s what you want.
And only you can want whatever it is in such a way that it is going to work for you. How? Im glad you asked that question;
- Say what it is that you want. Not ‘in your head’ Bro – actually say it out loud. Yes, I know it sounds goofy – but its real. Think about this: What if the things that are missing in our lives arent there simply because we’ve never said that’s what we wanted? These days, the concept of self-advocacy is taught in the schools all the time. People of our generation missed a lot of those lessons. So lets begin today – now, while nobody’s looking – lets advocate for ourselves and speak our truth out into the Universe. You want good friends? SAY SO. You want a new JOB??? SAY SO. You want a new vehicle, to lose weight, to be able to spend more time doing something that you love? SAY SO!! Having good friends (or anything else on this list) does not have to be a rare occurrence that only happens to other people. And by saying this to yourself, today….you will know the truth of it and see it actually begin to unfold after this moment, true? Consider it an experiment of sorts. Of course when the magic happens I’d love to hear about it! Do it now!
Music in my Head: Old school stuff…Marvin Gaye singing Distant Lover live…Steely Dan, AJA…Earth Wind and Fire….Would.You Mind.
Adventures this week; I’ve been working on focusing my intention toward what it is that I actually WANT out of this life instead of spending so much time and energy thinking about that which I do NOT want. It seems like a small distinction, but it is actually very important. Check this; “Continuing to tell stories of shortage only continues to contradict your desire for abundance, and you cannot have it both ways: You cannot focus upon unwanted and receive wanted. You cannot focus upon stories about money that make you feel uncomfortable and allow into your experience what makes you feel comfortable. A different story will bring different results: My thoughts are the basis for the attraction of all things that I consider to be good, which includes enough money, and health, for my comfort and joy.” — Abraham
I am thankful for; my Namaste, good friends and family and a good nights rest. If you’ve ever suffered from even the smallest bout with insomnia you know how good it is to rest deeply and peacefully and to awaken refreshed and ready to meet the challenges of the day.
You are close to your goal.
Rest if you must – but dont you quit.
When I was a kid, my Dad would recite parts of this poem to me and as corny as it seemed then – its amazing how often I’ve heard these words in my head, in his voice…right at the time when I needed them. I offer a bit of it to you here – enjoy.
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.