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.