A young man asked me about our A Man’s Journey Retreat in Bali, his question was to do with what happens there?
My comeback was “When do you reckon you became a man?” We covered the usual ‘first time’ response, first time with alcohol, sex, driving licence, left school, first job, got married, had a child, etc until we had exhausted all the possibilities. He looked a bit sad when we couldn’t actually determine when he became a man, there was no clear turning point that registered with him although his ‘first time’ stories all contributed to his turbulent journey so far
My question continued as to “What do you think the rest of life will look like now that you are a wage earner and father?” He became quite distraught at this line of questioning and confessed that his life was actually quite confusing and full of doubt as to the future and particularly how he was not well equipped to take on the role of “MAN” as required by society.
This brief interlude was one of many I have held with men over countless years, the questioning of “who am I?” seldom raises its head with lots of men, we plod through life doing what we are supposed to do, rarely questioning our internal doubts, complying with a societal and peer expectation, sometimes becoming addicted to dependency upon the opinion of others, working and playing hard in some form of sleep walking obedience to an unknown power over which we have no control
We concluded our conversation by me assuring this delightful younger man that he was now actually on a man’s journey and that continuing to question his blind adherence to what society expects of him, will at some point enable him to make the changes he deeply knows are necessary……………and no, I didn’t pester him to join us for our next A Man’s Journey Retreat in Nov/Dec this year, he will know when he is ready for that experience.