When it comes to emotions, it’s safe to say that most men don’t talk about theirs very often. It’s commonplace for men to act nonchalant when it comes to things of the heart, but perhaps it’s what’s been keeping us from experiencing the deeper things in life.
When I was an adolescent I grew up with the hidden notion of not being enough. It’s a fear that exists within everyone so keep reading. Despite the seemingly popular exterior and some head smarts I carried a sense of loneliness within self that I just couldn’t shake. After finishing school and promptly leaving home I believed this was the opportunity to find the missing piece. But after several years of trying just about every vice (a common teenage/twenty something approach) the feeling persisted.
It wasn’t too long before I found myself leading a life, as Henry David Thoreau stated, ‘of quiet desperation’. Yet despite this increasing sense of emptiness, there was a beckoning deep inside that called me to more, which compelled me to seek. And in the decade between my mid-twenties and mid-thirties pieces of the puzzle came together that finally changed it all.
Here are three lessons that made a huge difference and may offer up some answers for you.
Our Responses To Our Own Feelings Is Learnt.
When boys are young and they hurt themselves, or feel overwhelmed, it’s common place for fathers to be dismissive about it with their sons. It’s not that fathers intend to limit their kids emotions, it’s usually just how they themselves were brought up. But as a result of not fully engaging in meeting their child’s emotional need, they unconsciously communicate that emotions of vulnerability are to be suppressed and sometimes even ashamed of.
It’s no wonder then why as boys grow into young adults they have such a difficult time navigating their own emotions. Whenever they feel uncertain about something, they try to suppress the feeling of vulnerability to not experience rejection or shame. It’s also why an increasing number of young adolescent males play up so much.
Consider the following. If a young adolescent male, grows in an emotionally supportive environment and does not feel the need to prove himself because he’s secure in who he is, would he be more likely or less likely to engage in anti-social behavior? It may seem like a weighted question but the fact is most anti-social or destructive behavior is a result of compromised self-worth.
That’s because the impact of not being able to appropriately express nor navigate emotion leads to an internal conflict which manifests in poor self-image. And it’s from this place that we see so many men creating relational issues.
Boys need love and tenderness just as much as girls so that they can learn that their emotions are a natural part of the human experience. By doing so we sow the seeds of emotional intelligence that today are so desperately needed. And when nurtured well make for amazing men and incredible partners.
Masculine & Feminine Energies Exist Within All.
Now before we explore this further we must first be aware that the masculine and feminine energy types are independent of gender. This is because these energy types relate to the hemisphere of the brain which is most consistently accessed in a person’s experience. The left hemisphere (masculine) is the logical center of the brain versus the right hemisphere (feminine) being the expressive creative side. As you can imagine, both hemispheres will output different meaning to the same experience of an event.
The literal nature of masculine energy allows for it to maintain a focused directive in that it is action driven and able to accomplish task based on desire. This means that given an outcome the masculine energy will seek to resolve the outcome in as short a time as possible often in the most efficient manner.
The masculine energy requires clear and concise information to be provided in communication so that outcomes are as desired.
The weakness of the literal nature of the masculine energy is that any inferential or ambiguous communication can lead to outcomes which are a deviation from the desired. This is not because the masculine energy seeks to rebel; rather this is because the masculine seeks to derive the literal meaning from the communication provided. This literal approach is often times cause for conflict within relationships.
The inferential nature of the feminine energy communicates in ambiguous and indirect manners and anticipates that the responsibility of interpretation lies with the listener. The reason this is so it is because the feminine energy seeks to determine the level of engagement the listener is willing to have.
This manner of communication also serves to maintain relationships by minimising statements that are direct in nature and could in some form cause emotional hurt to the listener. This is because the female energy is intrinsically experiential in nature.
Now depending on half of the brain you most rely on will determine how you experience your world and the type of communication you both give and receive. Now that you know a difference exists, you can stop asking yourself unresourceful questions like, “What’s wrong with me?” or “Why don’t they get it?” and instead start appreciating the difference.
Love Is The Ultimate Purpose.
For what it’s worth, if you’re a guy reading this, I get that you may find this hard to swallow, especially if you were brought up in an environment where emotions were suppressed. That empty feeling inside that all of us carry can only be filled with one thing, and that’s love.
Unfortunately the notion of love has been tainted to mean a warm fuzzy feeling, a euphoric sensation, bliss or some other such expression. Whilst these are all representative of love they only paint half the picture. That’s because there are both masculine and feminine manifestations of love.
Love also shows up as strength, courage and certainty in the face of challenge. It chooses to look beyond the limit and believe in the highest good. It refuses to stay silent because it knows it’s worth speaking up. It can be likened to a warrior going into battle, to reveal the light. This is what we all search for. This is what we all seek, to love and to be loved.
So the challenge is at hand, will you choose to accept it? Will you take the path less travelled and discover more meaningful connection? And if you do, you may just change the world.