The Authentic Male

In the last two generations we have virtually erased the definition of what it means to be a man. Our personal identity mostly defined by work, structure and presence in the family unit is all but gone.

The sky rocketing divorce rate has only fueled the problem with children being raised predominately by their nurturing mothers. A mentor to offer guidance of what it means to be a man was often absent.

Of course even our fathers would have been lost in the modern world, the game changing so quickly and drastically that they as well would have been left in crisis. Men and women are very different in how they grow and develop and what they need to be happy. Women having more emotionally based-resources are more fluid, allowing them to adapt more easily. Men being more mind-based value more structure to know how to proceed. We prefer to have a straight ladder to climb.

In the 80s and 90s, having little guidance, we also looked towards women for help, they seemed to be faring better than us. But advice such as being the nice guy, being more sensitive and nurturing didn’t particularly lead to improved male / female bonding connections. It was the same old story, you were the nice guy but she still went for the bad boy or the one she could fix.

This is not the fault of women of course. How could a woman be expected to know what a man is like at his core? They aren’t men (thank goodness). As well, asking women to tell us what would make them happy is very different than knowing what would make us happy. And the most emotionally satisfying relationships occur when both partners are happy.

It seems it was up to us to do the work, work unlike any other we had ever done in the past.

A New Age

Throughout the last 30 years there have been a number of strategies that have been used. If anything men aren’t willing to give up the fight. Motivational seminars, life coaching, NLP and pick-up artist seminars have all been explored with varied results.

Returning to a positive male identity through connecting with elders, mentors and taking Shamanic journeys are all helpful, offering a positive direction of how to interact with the male self and the world.

At the core of human happiness is authenticity or what it means to be genuine and human. Authenticity is the clay within your heart that you work with.

Developing it is a process, for only with experience can truth and wisdom arrive.

With the help of mentors, elders and other men the path becomes more clear but an individual journey is also necessary. The journey towards authenticity is a combination of both.

The Authentic Male carries truth within his heart along with love, creativity, integrity, strength and wisdom.

It’s simpler than it sounds.

To start, be yourself and do what makes you happy.

Great paths are often the most obvious.

Peace Love and Happiness,
Heron Free, M.Ed.


  1. Johnny Quinteros

    Dude, I like this.

    I worked in a Native Healing Centre for men for 4 years. An Elder once told me that the reason men in the native communities are so lost today is because their way of life has disappeared. Their forefathers were born into a free world with clear expectations and roles as men within their communities. The men today, cannot hunt or fish the way they did a long time ago. Their identity and dignity gone. So they have not been able to adapt to the new realities Thrusted into an uncertain, new, ever-changing world without tools from their fathers who have also been lost. Alcohol and drugs are used to numb the pain. Violence is the only way they know how to resolve conflict. The Elder ended his story by telling me that men nowadays, take their women for granted. Women are strong he said. They hold a community and the families together. But the men, in their own insecurities, ignore them and abuse them. The Elder compared the relationship between men and women to an eagle. Each representing a wing. The right wing, is the man. The left, is the woman. The eagle needs both wings to fly strongly. The men, who are ashamed, are unable to help the women. Without a wing, the eagle falls. Both men and women have fallen. One needing the other to survive and unable to exist alone. Sharing the same fate. The relationship between the two needs to be repaired and re-balanced if the eagle is to fly again. You and I both know that that is easier said than done. Of course, he was generalizing but in the native communities, there is a real crisis today.

  2. Allan Cooper

    I had a colleague at work do a presentation at work on this very topic as it applies in Social Work. It was very interesting and the response to it by my predominately female co-workers was varied and very interesting too.

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