Contributed by Bianca, Authentic Living Guide
I am not a man, yet I have great compassion for them. It was not always this way. I used to fear them, tolerate them and even love some of them. Today I acknowledge them as they fight to claim their uniqueness and to live in a way that feels genuine and whole.
In many cultures, man dominates woman. In the U.S. men are typically paid more for the same job. Men are often treated better and promoted faster at work.
Yet men struggle to live authentically and to express their individuality in our culture. As a society we’ve agreed they must be physically strong; yet some are not. We’ve decided they must never need assistance and yet sometimes they do. We’ve contracted they aren’t to cry; yet sorrow is universally felt.
Each man is supposed to have it handled. I’ll tell you a secret, often he doesn’t. Sometimes he’s unsure. Sometimes he’s scared. And sometimes he fears, in that place that we all have, that if he does not live up to the male ideal that he has no place in society.
Today I understand how little we offer men in terms of support, opportunity and imagination. It’s like our vision for what is possible, necessary and desirable is incomplete. Men have few outlets for their fears. They’re offered few places to share their concerns. They have limited opportunity to express themselves in open and honest ways when it doesn’t fit with what we’ve agreed to as a society. What a shame!
As a Vision Quest guide I’ve had the honor of working with men. All of them are very different and have different cultural overlays, but all are looking to find their place in this world. Each wants to be comfortable with himself so he feels at ease in his own skin. They all seek to share their unique gifts and contribute to the rest of us in an authentic and meaningful way.
By giving men the space to be who they really are, we all end up winning.