I have met many men in the 67 years of this life. Some have come into it for a moment or two, some for a little longer and a few have been around for most, if not all of my life. They have been of all ages, all sizes, all personalities and all so very different in the way they live and see the world around them.
Some of the men have been related to me, some have been friends and some more than just good friends. I have fallen in love with men, and them with me, and we often fell out of love together as well. We have laughed together, cried together and had adventures together but now I can see that through all these times I really didn’t understand what it was like to be a man.
What did it feel like to be a man in a world that expected him to be tough, macho and in control of his emotions: what made him ‘tick,’ what were his fears, his joys and was he really being the man he knew he could be?
I can also see that I had been well and truly programmed into believing the many ideals, beliefs and stereotypes that are attached to being a man. That he should be strong, the provider in a family, that he shouldn’t cry, that he would open doors for me, he would do the hard jobs but not the ones in the kitchen, he would be the fixer, the builder and the problem solver. He was the one on the white horse who would save me from the world and we would ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after – this ending was definitely not one to count on!
I knew from my own experience growing up that it was hard enough being a girl and then a woman in the world, at times feeling that I wasn’t being who I knew I truly was but who I was expected to be: I simply rolled with the expectations that society had of a woman, and therefore I should know how to be and how I should act to fulfil these ideals and beliefs. I wanted to fit in, be ‘normal,’ so I went along with the crowd.
So, was it the same for a man? What were the expectations he grew up with and did he have to change to meet them, or did he choose to stay with who he knew he naturally was and how did the world react when he did? Was he punished when he rocked the boat and did he keep on rocking or simply acquiesce to keep the peace?
So, let’s go back to the day a little boy is born. When you look at a new born baby girl and a baby boy laying side by side, except for a few obvious physical differences there is a deep sense of them being the same. They are very small, vulnerable, fragile, delicate beings having just arrived in this world at the start of this cycle of life. They sleep, they cry, they demand food and they need love and nurturing from those around them as they slowly grow.
But it doesn’t take too long before the expectations and beliefs of society begin to kick in… in some cases almost immediately when they are dressed in either pink or blue.
But who was it that first said:
- A boy should wear blue.
- Dressing him in pink is breaking every rule in the baby etiquette book, maybe even scarring him for life.
- His first stuffed toy needs to be blue and that as he grows the toys he begins to play with must include cars, trucks, trains and planes.
- It is so very wrong for a boy to play with dolls.
I would really love to meet the person/s who came up with these rigid ideas and ask them why colour code our precious children and place them into little boxes so early in their lives?
To me that makes no sense at all and surely fosters the separation of boys and girls from such an early age when they certainly don’t look at another as being different. As they grow, this belief that they are so very different may stay with them, manifesting in various extreme behaviours in adulthood such as misogyny and man hating – a really big step away from being colour coded I know, but a possible step if they continue to be raised in this separatist way.
I certainly don’t feel for a moment that the fabric of the world would fall apart if little boys were encouraged to retain their tenderness and their sensitivity, were allowed to be whom they truly are and it certainly wouldn’t fall apart if they wore pink. In fact, I would go as far as to say that the world would be a whole lot more harmonious than it is now if a man, from the time he was born, was supported to be who he naturally is and allowed to express that in his own unique way.
It definitely didn’t fall apart for my youngest son when I used to put his sister’s pink trousers on him when he was little. But it did confuse people who would automatically presume that he was a girl; curiously there was little, or no, confusion when I dressed my daughter in blue. Have you ever wondered about the depth of the programming so many of us have been exposed to, lived by and in very few cases rarely ever questioned?
And then of course there are the expectations that:
- Little boys will need to harden up on the journey to becoming a man
- Tears and displays of sensitivity are not encouraged, and
- The games that they will play will be full on body contact sports, the harder the better.
And I have also noticed that boys are often referred to as little men whereas I can’t remember anyone calling a little girl a little woman very often.
It was hard enough growing up to be a woman but observing the process of a boy growing up to a man in this world seemed so much harder. From where I see it, a little boy is just as precious as a little girl, just as sensitive, tender and just as delicate, so why is he expected to bury these innate qualities to become someone that he’s not, and what happens when he does? How much force does he have to call in to bury what he naturally is and what happens to his body and the state of his mental health as a result?
I remember blaming some of the men I was in relationship with for not being sensitive to my needs, for not running after me if I ran away, for not knowing when I needed a hug and so much more. It now makes sense that if they hadn’t been raised to know who they were beneath their macho behaviours, how on earth were they going to understand me as a woman? – I didn’t understand me!
So, no wonder relationships struggle under the weight of expectations when the parties involved (both the man and the woman) don’t understand who they are in the first place as they have been programmed from a very early age to be someone they are not.
If today someone placed a new born boy in my arms and I took on the responsibility of raising him, how would I do it?
I would honour him for the delicate and tender being that he naturally is and support him to retain the connection to this true essence.
I would allow him to express his feelings, show his sensitivity, encourage him to be honest and to respect all others as equals.
I would support him to be himself in a world which is set up for him to be anything but the true man he innately was born to be.
By Ingrid Ward, West Auckland, New Zealand
Men – Are we set up to fail?
“Boys will be boys”…I Don’t Think So
I have a friend who has a little boy and he has decided by his own actions it’s time that he came out of nappies. It suddenly occurred and so the only pants to put on him where his sisters and he happily went round all day in his sisters knickers which fitted him perfectly; who cares if a little boy is running around in girls knickers? Did this change his personality? No of course not, so who made up the rules of society? Well we did, probably men actually so we as a collective have contributed to a society we all hate because it is so cold and heartless and has us pitching ourselves against each other rather than working side by side with the understanding that we have all got something to contribute to the world no matter how small the contribution may be.
Pink is such a great colour it should be allocated to who ever you feel like at a young age and then as we mature it is a great colour to wear and feel the connection to our essences.
Greg we have as a society deliberately manipulated men in such away that they never get to feel their essence.
A company that I used to work at had a dress code for men. It was a dark blue suit, white shirt, blue tie. I was unable to tell the men apart because most of the men had got to that time in life when they had lost most of their hair. So was it any wonder I did not recognise the CEO of the company when he walked up to say hello, who would have thought the CEO would come and say hello? It became the company joke that I didn’t know who this man was. At the next sales meeting they put up a slide to show everyone the hierarchy of the corporation and everyone agreed the men all looked the same. They were like robots toeing the company line, it was difficult to have a conversation with them outside the parameters of work. It seems to me that we have turned men into human machines, so far removed from the sensitive beautiful babies that were born into this life.
No wonder that there are so many male suicides this blog says it all.
The expectations we impose on each other are very confining and confusing. Being aware of our own sensitivity and vulnerability is to know that everyone, man, woman and child, shares an equal sensitivity and vulnerability, even if they have learned to put up protective barriers.
I love men in pink it’s very cute, especially when they rock it, knowing that they are sensitive and totally going with it. The more I understand and accept my own sensitivity the more I see it in the men around me.
Leigh my brother wears Pink and he definitely rocks the colour. He also loves to wear the colour yellow too and looks very dashing in a gold silk waistcoat. So much so that the men actually comment on his waistcoat and wish they had one too. As he has grown older his dress sense has blossomed as he connects to his sensitivity and is not afraid to show it.
Ingrid this is a brilliant topic of conversation
“Have you ever wondered about the depth of the programming so many of us have been exposed to, lived by and in very few cases rarely ever questioned?”
I don’t feel that we have really questioned anything in life or it wouldn’t be the way it is today. We have for centuries accepted the status Quo without ever questioning who or what is behind the people who control; for example who is controlling the controllers. And those people that did stand up and question life and the part we all play in it were persecuted for their efforts. It’s a well known fact that the Vatican holds the history of their torture on the people who stood out against the control they had and still have today. I remember years ago reading about the torture of innocent people because they did not conform to the thinking of the time so they either recanted their beliefs or were tortured. Has anything really changed in the intervening years?
‘I can also see that I had been well and truly programmed into believing the many ideals, beliefs and stereotypes that are attached to being a man.’ When we subscribe to those beliefs we keep men incarcerated into roles that are not true. It is the ultimate abuse to hold a man to account for our own need to be secure, in whatever form that may take.
I so love the innate qualities men have. I love their tenderness, their humour, their deep sense of care, their physical strength and how beholding all this is. Even if they haven’t claimed this for themselves, or acknowledge the value in these traits, they are none the less there and can be deeply felt by anyone who would care to.
“So, no wonder relationships struggle under the weight of expectations when the parties involved (both the man and the woman) don’t understand who they are in the first place” Gold Ingrid and so true.
Most relationships are doomed to fail in the true sense of the word because non of us are in a true relationship with ourselves. Which begs the question ‘who’s having a relationship with who if none of us are being true?’ Is expectation having a relationship with expectation? Is it emptyness that’s taking emptiness our for dinner?, is it pictures that’s dating pictures? Seriously who are we and what are we doing?It’s only by first shoring up a relationship with ourselves that we can then do the same with anyone else, otherwise we’re just taking shaky ground out to everyone we meet.
Alexis Stewart it has taken me many years to understand what you are saying
‘Most relationships are doomed to fail in the true sense of the word because none of us are in a true relationship with ourselves.’
I now understand that when we are empty we seek outside of ourselves for others to fill the hollowness we feel. I did this for most of my life so I know it doesn’t work, instead it places a huge burden on the other person that they have to fill the void. If they didn’t do this, then I would feel let down and blame them for not loving me enough. It was always their fault, never my fault. It has taken years for me to develop a relationship with myself, and this probably wouldn’t have happened if I had not met Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine. Through the workshops and teachings of the Ageless Wisdom has gifted humanity a way to reconnect to our essence to truly feel and love who we are.
Super sad how as a society we make our sensitive young men conform to something that they ultimately feel is wrong.
Both men and women frequently grow up to give into the expectations and beliefs of society, and lose connection with their essence, ‘at times feeling that I wasn’t being who I knew I truly was but who I was expected to be’.
In a way the hardest part of the man cave we imprison ourselves in is the way it keeps other men distant and at bay. We’ll get to know women and feel safe with them but other men we treat like aliens – a sad state of affairs when we have so much to share that could assist with our healing.
My goodness – aren’t you just missing out on the utter yumminess of you all that is there to share! Important not just to let go of that protection in front of women as each man has something amazing to offer all the men he knows too. A sad state of affairs indeed, but when more men have the courage just to naturally be who they are, more and more boys and men are given permission to do the same.
When we see and feel the gorgeous, true qualities such as sensitivity, caring and gentleness in a man I am blown away and feel humble and when I see a man change through conversation from acting slightly aggressive to being gentle as I present myself I cannot but appreciate what came through me in that or those moments.
A lovely example of both appreciation, and the power we have in being and allowing our delicateness and tenderness to be seen and felt.
Imagine if we took every step with this level of understanding for each other – life would be incredible.
It’s high time man remembered to be kind and cherish himself. There’s a wealth of riches within each of us if only we stop selling ourselves out.
I absolutely agree Joseph. But I suppose the questions then arise as to why we are “selling ourselves out’? – why we don’t allow ourselves to see how beautifully amazing we are and the “wealth of riches” every single one of us has to share with the world? The answers to those questions are in themselves gold.
A beautiful blog to read as I bring a baby boy into this world. If he can experience what it is like to just be him and not need all the ideals and beliefs that come with being a man, then the world sees a different way for men to be in the world – tender and sensitive and who they really are.
How wonderful it will be for a baby boy to be welcomed into a family where he is going to be honoured for the beautifully sensitive being he naturally is and to be encouraged to retain this sensitivity as he grows through his life. The world cannot help but be blessed by a boy who, from the first moment, knows who he is truly is.
This is such a great point Fiona “it gives us the space to reflect on what really feels true to us and to honour that rather than just relating to others on auto-pilot”. I feel that so many of us live in auto pilot mode when it comes to living with the many beliefs that, in my opinion, have kept society in a holding pattern, ones that we often accept without discernment as it’s the way it’s always been. The one around what society expects from men is definitely one of these beliefs and look how much damage that has inflicted on our beautiful men.
It would be amazing if everyone appreciates men and women for who we are and not just for what we do. I too have experienced the weight of expectations and how damaging they can be on relationships. It caps us from truly meeting each other in full and it gets in the way of our true connection when we load our relationships up with expectations and needs.
Those expectations are definitely relationship killers – I know that well as I have ‘killed’ quite a few in the past as the man did not match up to the pictures I had in my head. And I am sure that I am not alone with those perfect pictures of how life should be, pictures that only serve to get in the way of what could possibly be a most beautiful relationship.
I love being a man and feeling the immense power through caring I have.
Yes I agree, Fiona, any opportunity to review our beliefs, where they come from and whether they support or not, is a gift to be embraced whole heartedly. Supported by many people I have broken through so many ill beliefs and ideals about how we ‘should’ be.
This is a very inspiring invitation to consider the way we treat all the men in our lives… do we offer the safe hands for them to be the sensitive, delicate, feeling beings they are or do we perpetuate the expectation of them being tough and able to handle anything?
I’d go for the first option Matilda, in a heart beat, as men are born to be these “sensitive, delicate, feeling beings” and to treat them as anything else is simply abuse. And it is so obvious that perpetuating the current societal beliefs of what men are expected to be hasn’t worked and men are suffering the consequences, as is the world.
In a world where the tough and hard approach to life is sold as the way to be for men there is little for them in true reflection. It is blogs like these that are showing there is another way that is far greater in embracing the true qualities all the men in our lives hold within.
It is a great point you make that women’s ideals and beliefs about men are part of the problem that keeps men imprisoned in the stereotypical man role, rather than allowing himself to just be.
Fiona we are all caught in the spider’s web because if a female growing up does not have a caring relationship with her father she is left bereft of this. If she then gets married and does not have a truly intimate relationship with her husband and has a boy, it is very possible that all the love and care she wants to share with her husband goes unexpressed and instead it gets channelled into the little boy. This places a huge burden on the boy who grows up to be the man. We perpetuate the same cycles generation after generation so that we move away from any possibility that there could be a different way to live. So when someone does come along and offers a different way, they are shunned by society because we do not want to admit that the model of life we have is not ‘it’, very far from ‘it’ actually.
The whole world is worse off because of how we treat men. This needs to change.
I agree Elizabeth, this applies to how we treat ourselves, women and everyone as well. Currently the way we treat each other in society is predominately void of respect, decency and love. For this to change we first have to treat ourselves with absolute love, decency and respect in every aspect of our lives.
It certainly is Elizabeth, and it is not just how we treat men, it is also about how we treat women and how women treat themselves. It is becoming more evident to me that the change will come about when women begin to honour themselves as the beautiful beings they are and in doing so reflect back to men the truth of who they are, which will offer them the space to begin to claim the amazing beings every single man naturally is.
I love men, I love being in their company and having a real heart to heart conversation. The idea that men have no feelings is ludicrous, they have feelings and they are very good at expressing them if given the space.
This is not only a beautiful insight into the men’s world but the women’s too. We all need to allow ourselves to see how very precious we are and how very deserving we are of absolute tenderness and love.
I can feel it is the re-claiming of the ‘preciousness’ that we, both men and women, innately are, that will be the key to the doorway to a true equality between us. This preciousness is definitely something that I never associated with me as women, so that is what I reflected to the men I met, which of course did not support them to connect to their true way of being. These days I am slowly reconnecting to this preciousness and I can now feel this reflection offering a natural way of being to those men, and women, around me. I don’t have to try to be precious but to simply know that I am.
We hide so much of our true selves from each other for all sorts of ‘reasons’ however by allowing ourselves to become more aware and reading more carefully what is going on we can understand more easily where we are all coming from and drop the ball of judgement that we can so easily pass from one to another.
I met an old friend of mine we hadn’t seen each other for 20 years and a lot of water has passed under the bridge since our last meeting. What I discovered was that 20 years ago I completely overlooked what a super loving man he was and still is he has such a beautiful quality about him. I can look back and see I was so locked away in my own hurts that I was unable to appreciate the beautiful qualities he had, just like his mother who was such a kind hearted and gentle woman. I’m so glad I had an opportunity to meet him and finally allow myself to fully appreciate his qualities.
This is so beautiful to read Mary and I am sure also very inspiring for those of us who have had relationships, of any sort, in the past where we have not truly seen the other person for who they are. It feels so amazing for you to have the opportunity to look at this man through such different and very loving eyes. These opportunities are price-less.
A moment to realise and appreciate how much you have changed, Mary, to be as open hearted as you now are and able to see and appreciate the true qualities in another… super cool.
When we are driven by the hurts that we carry we can often miss out on feeling the essence of another. The world can mask this with many images and beliefs and it is our choice to choose to ignore or ingrain them.
People joke about having ‘beer goggles on’ that cloud and distort what we’re able to see but pretty much all of us are wearing ‘hurt goggles’ which distort what we’re able to see to such a degree that it becomes unrecognisable. At least with beer goggles it’s pretty obvious when we’re seeing double but with hurt goggles life looks like it always does and so we never question it. Until. Until we heal our hurts, take our goggles off and realise that the world is actually a completely different place.
Ingrid – reading this blog sets a powerful foundation for the baby boy I am about to bring to the world. I can feel how still and tender he is already – so why lose what I know his essence to be. I know that as a parent – one of the most loving things to do is to not get in the way – this is true love. A beautiful opportunity to not hand him over to what society expects.
I so love that you can already feel how your baby boy is “still and tender”. It almost brings me to tears to feel the love and the deep honouring that he will be feeling now and then welcomed into the world with. And with this foundation for his life being so beautifully prepared he will, without doubt, hold that tenderness as he grows, and from him the truth of what it is to be a man will naturally ripple out into the world.
We do as a society seem to have great expectations of what a man should be. A work colleague of mine phoned me to say she was having an issue with her male boss and felt very hurt by something that was said or done. I was able to share with her that he isn’t perfect that he is trying to cope with the responsibility he has been given and my colleague was able to look at the situation from a different perspective and realise that she had a expectation that was unrealistic.
This was lovely to read Mary. I am sure the way you inspired your colleague will support her to deepen her understanding and then maybe even support others to come to the same understanding – that men, like women, aren’t perfect. “Great expectations” usually fuel great disappointments.
Mary a beautiful expression of the fact that Men are not perfect, far from it but the image men often have to hold that perfection. I know for me its been a hard one to crack, fessing up to the fact I am not perfect and then enjoying life and a constant learning thereafter.
‘So, no wonder relationships struggle under the weight of expectations…’ It makes sense that we do struggle in relationship if we are brought up with false ideals and beliefs about what our roles should be, rather than honouring our deep tender nature we all innately are.
We are all expert builders and architects but what we construct and establish is not an evolutionary life based on love but one of rigid reductionist boxes we look to fit into. No wonder we end up feeling unwell – trying to squash ourselves into these tight spaces does not work out so well.
I so agree Joseph about the futility of “trying to squash ourselves into these tight spaces”, spaces that have actually been created by the beliefs of others. There is little chance of evolving as a man, or as a woman, if we keep ourselves small; it is very harming, not just to us but those around us. To make the choice to liberate ourselves from these “reductionist boxes” is one of the most self-loving choices we can make and when we do we quickly realise how much space there is for us in this world.
Great point Joseph, you have highlighted that we are the builders and architects of our own life and this puts the responsibility back on us for everything that happens or doesn’t happen in life.
Growing up I never wanted to be a man, none of what men stood for felt true to me and yet I was destined to be a man! I’m deeply greatful for coming to Universal medicine and seeing what true men are like as in that I rebulit myself from my essence and now understand what a true man is.
” It definitely didn’t fall apart for my youngest son when I used to put his sister’s pink trousers on him when he was little. But it did confuse people who would automatically presume that he was a girl; curiously there was little, or no, confusion when I dressed my daughter in blue. ”
This is quite amazing that baby boys are targeted by adults to conform to what adults want baby boys to be.
Yes the stereotyping and imposition about how boys ‘should’ be is very deeply entrenched. One step at a time we can change this.
Yes John, it is amazing and from my observations of my reactions and those of others around me it is very ingrained and accepted as normal. I can still find myself being grabbed by the old patterns of pink for a girl, blue for a boy, when I am buying something for a child and it feels so horrible but at the same time, so familiar in my body. This is one familiar I am dismantling one step of awareness at a time.
Yes boys and girls are raised in a very separatist way, it would be very beautiful growing up with the other gender and not feeling this huge difference between you and the boy or the girl because it is not emphasised as much by our parents and society and made about who we are inside instead which is very much the same.
Yes, it would be so liberating to be brought up this way, free from the expectations that have been ingrained into our society. I see often that girls and boys from an early age are aware they are being treated differently. Crazy really, for if we observe very young children most of them don’t separate their playmates into gender. Unfortunately it doesn’t take long for this to begin to change and gender separation becomes the norm.
“I would support him to be himself in a world which is set up for him to be anything but the true man he innately was born to be.” as someone that is raising a chlid this advice is the advice that I fully embrace. How amazing to raise children to be all they are and not anything they are not.
I am sure that this demonstration of tenderness and sensitivity from new fathers is not a rarity in the maternity unit and I am now starting to observe these same natural qualities shown in various situations during the day. In the supermarket the other day I heard one man congratulate another on the news he was going to be a father and when they hugged, in the middle of the aisle, I saw tears of joy in the eyes of the one offering the congratulations. It was a beautiful moment in time, one it would be wonderful to see more often.
I suppose the ‘raising of men’ thing also depends on the country we live in. New Zeeland, seems to impress more idealistic macho images on men, than for example the country I live, the Netherlands. You can see the difference by sports, and therefore the “heroes” that are most adored: in New Zeeland it is rugby, In Holland it is soccer, which is more feminine than rugby, and is even considered a “girls” sport in some countries.
Working in maternity there is absolutely no doubting the deep sensitivity and tenderness that men naturally are and to see a man holding a new born baby surrendered to these qualities is very precious.
These seemingly “innocent” ways of treating boys and girls, when they are younger, are pure lies. The only thing they want: keeping us to stay in the false roles we grow into. So that the world can continue to disfunction – it is a perfect set up to actually raise vessels of energy that just follow the mainstream.
So many false ideals are imposed on a boy, and they hardly have a choice to distinguish that. Result: a man actually believes that he is the provider, should have a career and should not pay attention to his body when there are pains.
The constant created tension because of these false pictures and ideals, that need to be fulfilled, must be enormous !!
It is important for women to see the stereotypes we have accepted from society about what a man should be. These unconscious beliefs are part of the feedback loop that keeps men trapped in being disconnected from who they are. When we women stereotype men, they are boxed and held to be less. Therefore all our relationships will be less than what we are capable of.
I so agree Fiona that women have a huge part to play in the stereotyping of men and therefore they are the ones that can start to support them to dismantle the constricting exteriors that they have had to construct to be accepted as a man in this world. And when men are able to truly claim who they are then all men, all women and the world benefit in so many wonderful ways.
Yes, how much force do we have to call in to bury our innate delicateness. Many girls are also raised to bury their innate tender sensitive nature, I certainly was.
The whole world is saying boys you can’t express your true self, there is no space and no leniency for you to do so. How would we expect boys to grow up to be? That they only allow themselves to be a certain way, mostly hardened and with protection because they are expected to be that way. This limited way they allow themselves will be the limited way they know how to be with others and women. In understanding men, we could never judge their lack of worth or overt arrogance, as these are their coping mechanisms to just survive. The responsibility of us women is to never hold back our expression in being all that we are, never hold back all our tenderness and power, our love and understanding, our acceptance and vulnerability, our speaking up of what we feel in how we are treated. Together we are able to become much more.
I agree Adele that as women we have a huge responsibility not to hold back who we naturally are; our “tenderness and power, our love and understanding, our acceptance and vulnerability, our speaking up of what we feel in how we are treated”. When we begin to express from a place of deep honesty we then offer the foundation for men to begin to feel their true selves and from there the long closed doorway to living in harmony will be once again wide open.
Pitted against one another in an underlying gender face-off, leaves us all so poor of the richness of collaboration, respect and honouring relationships.
The divine beings that are far greater than we are choosing to live.
A beautiful understanding of the expectations placed on men and the reality of how this effects us all. “What did it feel like to be a man in a world that expected him to be tough, macho and in control of his emotions: what made him ‘tick,’ what were his fears, his joys and was he really being the man he knew he could be? A great question for all to ponder on and allow men’s true expression and tenderness to flourish.
“I can also see that I had been well and truly programmed into believing the many ideals, beliefs and stereotypes that are attached to being a man.” I have noticed about myself that when I stand next to the man, I don’t feel like the woman. I still feel like a younger version of the truly powerful, responsible ‘woman’ that I am. This brings me to realise that this can only be the product of too many corrupt ideals and beliefs that I have bought into over the years, of what a man is meant to do and provide and be for me. I have done everything I possibly can to avoid being the ‘woman’, the responsible grown-up one, the capable all powerful one. And here again I see the corrupt ideals and beliefs that I have bought into about being a woman also. In my rejecting of them I have still bought, owned and become them. of them. I wonder if this makes sense to any other women reading this comment.
Men when left with feeling the connection with themselves they are deeply tender and sensitive like all women are. When men around me are hard from their conditioning and forget this, I will remember to not be hard and will show my vulnerability.
It does not make sense to impose on boys or girls how they should be when we are already enough just as we are.
Every day love teaches me to recorrect many human ways to return to a loving divine way, including how I am with men.
I agree Julie. It is so easy to feel that the men who have commented all have a wonderful story to tell and these stories need to get out into the world to the men of all ages who are stuck in the societal patterns of what a man is expected to be. I will so love to see these beautiful men share their stories of how their lives have changed since reclaiming the tender and sensitive man that they innately are. What fantastic role models they will be for all those young boys who are in the process of becoming men so they do not lose the truth of who they are during this transformation.
“I knew from my own experience growing up that it was hard enough being a girl and then a woman in the world, at times feeling that I wasn’t being who I knew I truly was but who I was expected to be: I simply rolled with the expectations that society had of a woman, and therefore I should know how to be and how I should act to fulfil these ideals and beliefs. I wanted to fit in, be ‘normal,’ so I went along with the crowd.” I can fully relate to this, however, I took it one step further and learned to harden my body up so as to match any man in competition with me. If I could be like a typical ‘strong’ man in the world, I would be accepted by him, wouldn’t I? I would fit in. I would be safe and I would survive the onslaught of life coming at me.
I love reading the responses from men about how life is for them as men as it brings greater understanding for all of us and offers a pondering for other men to go deeper with what they are choosing for their lives.
I have two boys of which the elder of the two loves to wear pink. He is nine years old and is aware and has been for some time the beliefs and ideals about men and boys wearing the colour pink but it doesn’t phase him, in fact he enjoys as a young man reflecting the colour pink.
I was raised to be a real man, according to what my parents thought was the right way. Not the clear ” getting touch” and doing contact sports, but performing well at school, going to university, while at the same time never asking how I feel. My childhood felt very lonely. My parents never asked me how I was feeling.
This is also a very crushing way of boys. I am still working of letting go of the energy I called in to live according to these expectations. These expectations that I never questioned to be not normal, even though I did not feel happy at all.
And this is how the cycle of raising boys is perpetuated, Willem, by parents who were programmed in their childhood as to what a ‘real man’ is. Add to that, the reality that every parent wants to protect their children from what they see the challenges of the world so maybe they see by preparing their son to harden up that he will be ‘safe’ from what comes at him. Unfortunately though, in the process of hardening up the true man is smothered, but in truth, never lost.
In the dishonouring of ourselves as women, in the fight to compete with men, we have had to toughen up, harden up and become more dominant in the work place. In short, we as women have chosen to become more male in our approach to life to simply survive and create equality. In that we have, on the whole, buried our tender and sensitive natures and do not reflect to men, on masse, what it means to express from this place… is it no wonder then that we don’t bring up our boys to be the sensitive, caring men they naturally are because the space is not provided for them to be so?
It is so true Rachel that many women have almost done as much denying of who they truly are as men have, simply to achieve a very distorted view of what they believe equality is. But with women by trying to be just like men the energy that they are bringing into their bodies is male energy which simply has no place in a women’s body. No wonder women are suffering from many illnesses and diseases specifically related to being a woman, as living in a body in this amount of confusion is so damaging and eventually they will be brought to a stop.
Yes Rachel, when reconnecting to our own tender, sweet, sensitive selves we cannot help but see and feel the these qualities in our men too, so allowing them to reconnect too without expectations of how they should be.
As women if we are attracted to men who present as macho or tough we need to take a look at what it is within us that wants this. Why do we not want to allow men to be of their true tender nature, and why are we uncomfortable with this? If we need men to be a certain way to feel good about ourselves we most certainly have a need that needs looking at. If we are comfortable within ourselves we can allow men to be as they are naturally without the expectations for them to be a certain way. This is truly loving for ourselves and for them.
Absolutely agree Shirley-Ann. And this is what I have shared with the children in my life from a very early age and over the years I haven’t stop reminding them. Who knows how their lives will unfold from here but at least within the foundation that carries them through life there will always be the message that they are beautiful just the way they are.
What lies within each man and woman is the same quality of essence, the same quality of being. The tenderness and fragility of our physical form which we will often deny and try to suppress is there to remind us of the fact that we are far from tough and hard. And as each of us in our time come back to this truth, we remind everyone else of this as well.
Brilliant Ingrid – there is, you are right, so much junk we have absorbed about who we are. In truth all we need to do is just be – it is that simple. Nothing more complicated is asked. We no longer need the cloaks of gender, or race to obscure our innate grace.
It is very inspiring to read about our innate grace… a reminder and foundation for our daily lives.
A beautiful invitation offered here for all women to behold and cherish the men in their lives as the tender, sensitive, strong and loving beings they are. Thank you, Ingrid.
And a marker of what we can continue to reflect to the next generation coming through.
Knowing who we truly are – everything falls into place.