What is the gift of self that longs to find expression?
If you are a man reading this piece, chances are that you are not content to drift down the river of self-satisfaction, instead, you are brave enough to take that sometimes painful journey of self-discovery and to do that in the presence of supportive men.
On the other hand, if you are a man just landing on this piece, out of curiosity, or with your resident cynic whispering in your head that this men’s business is a crock of shit, then here’s some words that will either validate your opinion or call you to find your gift of self, that part of you that longs to find expression.
For some of us men, we are locked into rigid boundaries created by supposedly fixed logical and conceptual thinking, our original family messages, the beliefs and principles that we learned in our very early formative years, the system of education that we endured, our peers and the media among others. All of which combined to reinforce and assist in the production of men willing to subscribe to a societal expectation that this is how we men are meant to be.
Up until mid-life reveals itself and hits us quite hard, if we haven’t already fully succumbed to all the distractions that are thrown our way, being the hero and complying with all of those messages around how to be a man, mostly we are asleep at the wheel just following the pack not daring to really challenge the most obvious conditioning that rules our lives. Complying with the system is perhaps the easiest, we can voice our dissatisfaction by complaining and grumbling to anyone prepared to listen – hardly a recipe for success.
When that journey down the river of self-satisfaction hits some rough turbulence and we are shaken out of our slumber to ultimately question our own “story”, particularly when we are aware that our automatic response to given situations is no longer working and we are then willing to question the origin of our redundant beliefs and values that can now cause us much pain. We begin the process of moving into the hidden domains of our own psyche and taking a look at how we came to be this way, recognising those internal struggles that drove us are no longer reliable and that we previously ignored – that is the time when we can truly give ourselves the gift of self.
Many men never get to explore those hidden parts of themselves, content to participate in all the distractions that are available to us. If you are one of those men in denial, go sit in the company of really old men and listen to the “wanting” that is hidden within their conversations. Shoulda, coulda, mighta, if only, the embittered journey is but a breath away for us all.
Don’t wait for your canoe to become grounded or sunk, go take that other journey – self-discovery and give yourself the gift.