A Poem by: Steve Biddulph
There are men who wake up in the morning energized and happy.
Whose partners and children love and trust them.
Who do work they believe in and enjoy.
Have loyal and interesting friends.
And are deeply involved in the wider world.
The may not be famous or wealthy.
They value something quite different.
They are learning how to be real.
It takes a lot to know a man because he comes in many forms. The king, the father, the son, the warrior, the sage, the hunter.
“What is the measure of a man?” This is a question that men have been asking long before Shakespeare penned it. It is a question that still inspires interest and debate.
In indigenous societies, the original characteristic of masculinity are admired and respected.
He is the treasured companion of the feminine and walks in harmony and balance with her.
The masculine and feminine are viewed as equals in spirit, intelligence, and importance. Emotionally and sexually they were viewed as complementary.
The masculine is spiritually self-aware, secure in his power, wise, and creative.
His symbolic qualities are:
His valued as the explorer, the seeker, and the creator of something greater than himself.
Never were the energies of destruction and irresponsible use of power associated with him.
Today, the ordinary man is living a very unbalanced life, because his values have been turned upside down.
- Money is more important than self-awareness.
- Logic is more important than love.
- His mind is out of balance with his heart.
- Power over others is more important than self mastery.
- Mundane things have a greater priority than finding his depth in his being.
There is a feeling of a spiritual void that holds men back from exploring anything that is not clearly tangible.
Often this comes from childhood and teenage years. From birth, your room is painted blue, you are given guns and trucks to play with and taught not to cry because you are a boy and boys don’t cry.
Any boy who demonstrates emotions is considered a sissy in the eyes of the adults whom he relies on for love and guidance.
From an early age, you are taught that you need to drive a nice car, wear nice clothes, make tons of money and sleep with many women to validate your self worth, which proves to be a failing endeavor.
Hiding your true self gets very lonely. Pretending to be someone you are not is hard work, sooner or later cracks start to appear in your façade.
So, how can a man reunite his masculine identity that has been handed down to him with a conflicting desire for a new and more fulfilling spiritual identity?
As Ram Dass wrote in his legendary book ‘ Be Here Now:’
“In our Western Culture there has been such an investment in the models of man associated with the second and third chakra (sex and power) that we have developed strong and deeply held habits of perceiving the inner and outer universe in these terms.
Though we may realize intellectually that the spiritual journey requires the transformation of energy from these preoccupations to higher centers, we find it difficult to override these strong habits which seem to be reinforced by the vibration of the culture in which we live.”
Men who have opened themselves to an alternative road, of practicing meditation, yoga, and spirituality are finding that they can devote the same energy toward living peacefully and compassionately with much more productive results.
The core concept of yoga is unity. Men who are exploring yoga are finding a new model from which to develop a new character of masculinity.
They are finding themselves in an environment where they are encouraged to explore their thoughts and feelings.
This kind of environment holds safe space for men to not only express qualities like vulnerability and thoughtfulness, but they can further explore the deeper core of their beings, expressing previously unimagined qualities like grace, confidence and transcendence.
When a man’s actions are based on competition and aggression, his self-esteem is in constant jeopardy based on whether he perceives that he has won or lost.
When a man is not on the defensive to protect his self-esteem and his sense of masculinity, he is then able to deal more openly and effectively in all the relationships in his life.