For Kelly Marceau, exposing the complex struggles men face isn’t easy. But ignoring them is even harder.
It’s easier to size men up by their actions and feel outrage at the behaviors.
It’s a lot harder to take a second look and examine the trigger point.
There is a cognitive dissonance happening in this world. In case you hadn’t realized it, our idea of men and who they should be doesn’t align with reality, and while most people don’t care to do anything about it, I care. I see the discrepancy between who we think men should be and who they are, and I want to examine this discrepancy.
In our culture, we have convinced ourselves we are living with men’s stupidity. What we are really living with is the effect of the emotional crimes against men. We are living with how we expect men to act no matter what has been done to them. And yet most people have no idea what has been done to men to make them act the way they do.
Is it too frightening to hold space for the atomic bomb inside of men?
If men are messed up, if men don’t know who they are, if men haven’t found their courage—who will protect us?
Instead we just stop at the behavior. We are angry and disappointed. We’d rather deny the need of men and lose faith in them than invest in what is beneath the surface.
In my previous article, THE SECRET LIVES OF MEN (which you should read before you finish this piece) I began a journey of understanding the emotional landscape of men as a means to look beyond the actions of men and start examining what’s really at the heart of struggles many men face. I see amazing men caught up in struggles only bad men are supposed to be gripped by. For so long many people have believed men who lack integrity are no good, emotionally unintelligent, unworthy, immoral men, but I have found this to be a grave misjudgment. How men act is a symptom of a deeper wound, but it’s not a complete portrait of men’s worth or what they are capable of. While it’s easy to ridicule and point the finger at men, it’s much harder to look for the root cause of what is going on emotionally inside of men.
As a woman I write this for men, because I believe in men
I see the same pain in men that I carry in myself.
I see the same story of abandonment and betrayal, and it is about damn time we started talking about what’s really going on not only with men but what has been done and what continues to happen to the boys of our world.
If we are ever going to forge a different path of relating and connecting between men and women, if we are ever going to get our needs met and learn to be allies instead of adversaries, we need to talk about the history of abandonment and the pillaging and plundering of the feminine in boys in our culture.
It begins with a story … that is very real, that happened and that continues to happen globally …
1. The story of men is a story of lost boys.
Within every man who was ever broken or forced to split is a story of a boy. For it wasn’t the man who was broken first, it was the boy.
It was the boy who was taught to be someone different than his own nature. It was the boy who was molded and shaped by tradition, society, religion, and culture—even if it is was not in alignment with his personal truth, he was forced to be what was expected. It was the boy who didn’t have the right to choose. It was the boy who was forced to be a certain way in order to receive any love, or acknowledgment, respect or worth.
Fractured and wounded, the little boy was forced at a very young age to betray his emotions, exile his connection to his heart, and cut out what I’ll call his feminine energy (first his inner feminine, next his emotional connection to his mother).
The true story of men has been lost for ages and yet it’s been right in front of our faces plaguing our adults relationships, epitomizing the mentality and habits of men around the globe as Peter Pan Syndrome threatens to dominate mankind and fundamental masculine still rules with an iron fist. It’s no wonder men don’t want to grow up; most of their childhoods and innocence was robbed from them before 10. It is only now that the ghosts of the lost boys are beginning to find voice in men and society.
And this voice will not be silenced any longer.
While most people shun this voice and stop at the actions of men, I am listening. I am seeing beyond the actions and hearing into the cries in the hearts of men.
I hear the voice of the lost boys in men, for I know the plight of the lost better than most.
I know what it’s like to be a feeling being and have your heart ripped out of your chest. I know what it feels like to have the fabric of reality torn in half. I know what it is like to go numb. I know what it’s like to be forced to supress your emotions and put on body armor so you can’t be hurt. I know what it’s like to cut the feminine out of me and walk through the world a wounded shell incapable of receiving love.
And I know what it’s like to scream inside and desire healing and have no idea where to find the answers.
What happened to boys completely fractured their emotional worlds, and yet we still stone them with our ideologies and expectations.
The crimes against boys made it impossible for them to fully understand what it means to receive love.
I don’t know if many of you even understand what that means. Incapable of receiving love, but that is the truth for many, many men.
The only way a man is incapable of receiving love is if his inner feminine was carved out of him.
And that is exactly what happened.
2. Many men were split when their inner feminine was plundered out of them.
Contrary to the stereotype, little boys are deep feeling beings, and because feelings and emotions are considered more feminine, little boys were taught cut off their connection to anything that was an expression of the feminine.
You are masculine and feminine. Yang and yin.
Instead of little boys learning to embrace the strength of emotion and feeling (which are considered feminine) within them and harness those powers, there was no place for the feminine in boys, because men traditionally viewed (and to a degree still view) feminine as weak and frail, the territory of girls and ladies. Divided became the energies, hence our history of gender and what became socially accepted as boy and girl behavior.
Our ancestors created an internal war, a polarity between the energies pitting feminine and masculine against one another, creating warped versions of each to the point that masculine was unrecognizable without its contrast.
When a split like this occurs, fundamentalism and extremism are born.
The war between masculine and feminine is not natural.
It is denying the very nature of humanity, poisoning the truth of what we need and who we are if we seek wholeness as human beings.
What has been done to boys by carving out the feminine is not just torture on their souls, it creates a deficit so huge that men cannot receive.
It’s no wonder men have cravings that are inexhaustible. What would you do if your other half, half of who you are was ripped away from you?
And we wonder why we have such an obsession with soulmates?
A boy’s lost soulmate … is his inner feminine.
When you look at some of the problematic behaviors we tend to associate with men: emotionally unavailable, tortured, insecure, manipulative, controlling, terrified of intimacy, would even force themselves on a woman without consent for fear of rejection—it is clear as day what happens to a boy when his feminine is carved out of him.
You women think it is you. You think you’re the reason he can’t come forward.
You are not the reason he can’t come forward. His lost feminine is the reason he can’t come forward. He was forced to abandon his inner feminine, so he sees you as the lost feminine in him that will abandon him. But you are not his lost feminine. His heart, emotions, feelings, and ability to receive is his lost feminine.
No man with his inner feminine intact would ever hurt a woman or cower from intimacy.
Please understand this.
It is important you women stop blaming yourself and taking what’s going on inside of him personally and start seeing that is missing him is a part of himself he must find again and heal. If you want to help foster a world of whole men, you need to encourage them to find their lost feminine and integrate it, not tell them who they should be.
Men will not find you until they find their lost feminine first.
All of us are looking for what’s lost in us in other people, and it’s not until we wake up and realize what is lost in us is our fractured feminine or masculine energy within, that we will have the kind of relationships we seek.
What can we do to change this?
You can recognize that you are dealing with a society of broken boys who have never been initiated into manhood properly.
You, women, can stop seeing yourself as the part of men they need to find.
You can stop beating men down and instead encourage them to find healing in compassionate and loving ways.
You can start understanding men and boys, and stop projecting on them.
You can stop breaking your son’s spirits and discover who they are beyond who you want them to be.
You can identify that there is no yin without yang; there is no yang without yin.
No matter what gender, we all have masculine and feminine energy.
Stop dividing the masculine and feminine energies; they are already different in nature, but they also need one another to flourish and achieve balance.
Emotional wounds are scary; don’t pretend they’re not that bad. You can see just how bad emotional wounds are expressed in the actions of men who haven’t healed.
Encourage men to feel. Encourage boys to feel. Teach them to feel that their emotions are empowering.
Emotions are just information. We need to teach our boys the language of emotion.
When you see actions don’t stop at the action—ask your boys, ask your men how they feel. And listen. Don’t analyze, listen.
We need to teach our boys the power of the feminine.
I know this issue is complex, and understanding these layers will raise awareness and help us all adjust our ideas of men and who they have the potential to be.
It is for men to decide who they can be, not women. All we can do is empower them and stand by them as they find themselves and their courage.
XO, Kelly Marceau
Originally published on kellymarceau.com.