Kylie Lenton writes on how she REALLY feels about men…
It started with a simple question my coach asked me one time, “MEN. What comes up for you when you hear that word?”
I smiled. It was easy to share what immediately came to my mind. “GOOD”, I answered. Simple, but I felt it in a very profound way.
Yes, men are good.
It’s not that my experiences with men have only been good. Like millions of women I have experienced many spectrums of relating to, and being received by men, starting way back from when I was a toddler and feeling the comfort of being picked up and carried by a man, to being chased by the boys when playing “catch & kiss” in early school, to then being teased and bullied by them in highschool. Not to mention all the trial and errors relating to them throughout my 20s and 30s. I have been rejected, cherished, intimidated, flirted with, amazed, hurt, humbled, outraged, smitten, confused, adored, betrayed, and unbelievably honoured in my experiences with men.
But there is just something about the way men are ‘designed’ that leaves me with a knowing that at the end of the day they are innately GOOD no matter what I see in the newspapers, online, or in person.
Admittedly, I have seen (and quite often been a part of) shaming men – all in the name of promoting “equality” between the two sexes. I have been involved in that gender struggle from time to time, fighting against men to prove a woman’s intelligence and stake in this world. And boy, how I and so many other women perfected the art of emasculating men – not just behind their backs but straight to their faces! But I have found that doing the opposite has proved to be a much MUCH better experience. When I chose to raise the value of men I saw that my experience of men changed powerfully and profoundly. Our world changes for the better when we women lift men up.
I can recall the times when I felt like I had died and gone to heaven after spending time with a man who was comfortable being vulnerable and honest, and what’s more – when he had no shame about it either. Let me tell you, when that happens women listen! Women become humbled, grateful, and best of all – liberated. Do you men truly know that your vulnerability and honesty (done in love) cuts to the heart of women? And when you relax into that vulnerability you exude strength, trust, and safety. Women will follow you to the ends of the earth.
Yet we are also aware that men are taught from an extremely young age to withhold those traits for fear of being seen as weak, insecure, a “panzy”, unstable, unsafe. How incredibly sad. Because of this universal but unspoken restriction on men, I feel saddened and indignant on their behalf.
It seems that men have always been under pressure to get it right and to perform not just in bed, but out in the field and in the office. So many “shoulds” have been placed on them, and the role we think they should play in the world. Sigh. Fortunately on the flip side, I am noticing more and more these days that a lot of men are courageously redesigning who they are and what they stand for, without shame and embarrassment. It’s a new season for which I am very thankful to witness.
Ladies, when you have a moment ask your man what does he think about the word “MEN” when he hears it? What does he enjoy about being a man? What does he hate about it? He may be lacking in words to describe it, or he may give a ‘war & peace’ speech about it, but take the time listen to his experiences. I think you’ll be surprised.
Although I currently work with women in a life coaching set-up, there’s a part of me that is unsettled as I find myself wanting to work with men equally as much as working with women. Why? Because men are the other half of the equation. Their pain, anger, shame, confusion, rage, hurt, and desire is just as potent as women. If they heal, we women heal. And visa-versa. Now THAT is a match made in heaven.