What does it mean to be a man?

Too many men these days crave a chance to be gentle, to be soft, to express their emotions. A chance that is denied by every commercial, by every movie, by every work place, even by their own friends.
Our brains and our hearts have been short-circuited long ago, when Patriarchy replaced its own distorted version of what it meant to be ‘masculine’.
Peer pressure silences attempts to show otherwise. This starts in the early ages at school, and goes on our whole life, at work places and almost everywhere.

Media conditioning has seeded messages and images so deep down in our unconscious that, without a lot of self work, it’s hardly possible to overcome their power and set ourselves free from those impressions. And that’s where most men, that I met in this lifetime, are stuck at.

The best we can do in many cases is to acknowledge that our head has been pumped full of crap, take retreat from the world for a (can be long) while, detox, and learn to tell our ego to shut up when it comes up with crappy conditioned ideas and behaviors. Because it will come up with those, over and over again. It takes a very long time to consciously re-wire the way we think. But it can be done.

Actual positive masculine qualities are not about war, greed and anger. Neither are they about sport, money and competition. Neither they are about escaping, cheating and robbing. Those are the horrible myths created to suggest and enforce a model of power which is not real power, it’s not real strength.

Real strength has nothing to do with muscular strength, with breaking stuff, with lifting weights, with smashing adversaries. That’s what assholes do and care about. Breaking stuff if easy, anybody can break something.

Real strength has a lot more to do with knowing and feeling what is right and what is wrong, and acting from a place of Love and compassion in whatever we do.
Strength means commitment, thru thick and thin.
Strength is found in resisting temptations, not in conquering vaster territories.
Strength is found in patience, even when things suck.
Real men can cook, can tend a fire, can wait, can be caring – now THAT is daring!
We are perfectly capable of cleaning up, doing the washing, buying groceries..
We can see beauty (without wanting to destroy it).
We can build homes, not destroy them with bombs.
We can sing.
We can change nappies.
We can play with our children. We can read and tell them stories. We can give them perspective, give them courage.
We can make Love with our spouses and give them pleasure first, many times, before we take it for ourselves.

But before we can do that, we need to overcome our fears of being sissies, failures, dumb and all the things they told us we would be if we don’t behave according to the boy’s code of mischief in use in the gang… Society sets that bar extremely high – every man is pushed to compare himself to ‘highly successful’ people, especially meaning ‘financially’ successful, because patriarchy says we are supposed to be the bread winners, right? But when you compare yourself to the very rich and successful people, then of course you’ll never have enough money!
Trust me, you don’t want their lives. Those are miserable, empty, dark and cold – it doesn’t matter how many fake smiles they put up.

What you do want is to be free to experience the full range of emotions that a human being is capable of feeling – not just the negative ones!
Let’s work towards redefining ‘masculine’ in this world, by being all that we can be and not limiting ourselves by externally imposed stereotypes!