This question takes a few decades of life to happen. It comes in that point after three to four decades when a man asks himself when he is going to feel like a Man. When he is going to stop to feel like a boy, and know in his heart he is a Man. When does this transition happen? How or where he can find the way to process this soulful question?
I have been connected with a men’s group since 2009, and therefore have met men from all ages, facing all kinds of issues. One thing is common: the deeper journey starts when they stop and realise they need to mature. There is no point in being 55 y/old, feel like they are 16y/old, and is still waiting to become a Man to do what they really dream. Something happens and guide them to a further journey. In this journey, normally is found an old and significant trauma. A small fraction that irritates. An inner wound is still bleeding. Soon, the realisation of dealing with the wound and its blood is acknowledged as the way to grow. The way out is through the pain. It is a very sacred moment in a man’s life when this happens.
Normally, the wound was done by the people who have most authority in a boy’s life: the mother, the father or whoever were responsible. Amazingly, it is caused by those who love the child the most. Bill Plotkin – Ph.D., a depth psychologist, wilderness guide, and agent of cultural evolution – compared the wound as the birth of a pearl. He says “perhaps the soul sees to it, to catalyse a special type of personal development that requires a trauma for its genesis. Think of the birth of a pearl: the tiny grit of sand within the oyster creates an irritation the oyster seeks to eliminate by coating the grain with successive layers of lustrous deposits, ultimately producing the jewel” (2003, p.97). He compares the wound as the formation of what one has of most valuable to offer to the world. Dealing with the wound becomes the path to becoming human, or to become an Authentic Human Being.
There are many ways of dealing with the wound – counselling, rites of passage, vision quests, spiritual paths, mindful eating, connection with nature, poem, music, dancing, arts and many others. The most important one is Desiring to deal with It. The power of will is Essential for a man to start and to keep on the path – how it is going to be done is not important, because it will be done, if one desires genuinely. In this way a man becomes Authentic, generating the positive male energy that the world is so much lacking. So, yes, Authentic Masculinity does exists, even though, is difficult and rare to find.
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