FROM THE BLOG…
Because Men Matter
Why is it so many men struggle in silence? Why do they keep it all in, hoping they will be able to fix it somehow?
The news feed on our phones tells us of the rise mental health issues that men are experiencing. Shocking statistics about male suicide rates bring home the very real struggle that goes unseen and undetected in too many men and then there is Toxic Masculinity, a phrase that is banded about “damming” all men in its wake, making men feel ashamed of being masculine because of a few self-appreciating egoists.
There is no doubt about it, men are having a difficult time and asking for help is not something that comes easily. According to the research I have done most men said that a “crisis” of some sort would have to happen before they would seek help.
The feeling that they should be able to “fix things” or that “things will sort themselves out in time” or “not knowing the answer is a sign of weakness” are just some of the reasons men gave. The very thought that they would “admit” that they are struggling is somehow worse than the struggle its self.
In the beautiful song Shallow from the film, A Star is Born Lady Gaga sings:
Tell me somthin’ boy
Aren’t you tired tryin’ to fill that void?
Or do you need more?
Ain’t it hard keepin’ it so hardcore?
So why do men keep it all in?
Brene Brown, author and researcher on shame and venerability says in her book Daring Greatly;
“It was heart-wrenching because men are deeply feeling and men are often very lonely. It was heart-wrenching because women are the hardest on men than anyone. Myself included. Women say to men be open, be vulnerable, let me see your fear but the truth is most women are absolutely disgusted and repelled by it. Men are smart. They know what they’re up against if they do that. I think it was heart-wrenching because I never knew and because of the culpability. As it turns out, I am the patriarchy.”
Could this be one of the reasons men are not seeking the help they need?
Are men deeply shamed by the thought of being “less than” by the women they love? Are men becoming fearful of showing their vulnerability and does the common understanding of masculinity no longer serve men and humanity as a whole?
I believe it is time for a new understanding of what it means to be masculine, time for a New Masculinity that is balanced, whole and valued, time for world where the masculine and feminine relate with equity, not dominion, where the natural strengths and attributes of the masculine and feminine are appreciated and respected and where together we can change the trajectory of humanity and our impact on the planet so our children and all future generations have this beautiful world to live in.
We know change has to happen, but these changes have to happen first inside each one of us. Getting our “stuff” sorted is the responsibility of each of us and getting the support and knowhow is vital, it lays within our control. Now is the time to stop blaming everyone else in our world, or our circumstances and the things we can not change.
We can not expect that changing things outside of ourselves is going to affect our inner happiness, as Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor 161 to 180 said ” Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking”
Fiona Ross Feb 2020
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