To me, being a good man means living beyond myself.
I don’t mean that in an idea kind of way, like being a good father, brother, son, or boss, though my definition certainly includes all of those things. I mean it in a literal way. Like, we allow something beyond us to take possession of us, something bigger and more benevolent than we are, so it can do its work through us.
This is something that sounds very abstract, at first, but once we’ve had the experience of it one time in our lives, we know exactly what it means, because we’ve felt it.
Once is all it takes.
It’s so easy for us, as men, to get into a groove of dutiful living in our lives. We have girlfriends, wives, children, co-workers, employees, finances, and so much more to be responsible to and for. And, we can become consumed by dutifully fulfilling those responsibilities.
It does feel great to be dutiful and responsible, but, that grooved pattern also easily gets in the way of the experience of something more. An experience that can only be had when we surrender our masculine way of engaging the world, even if for just a few moments, and enter a state of release, passivity, and receptivity.
This is the hardest thing for us men to slip into, and it’s because since we were born, we’ve been conditioned into a “dutiful” and “purposeful” way of engaging our world. We’re driven toward that which is directed and intentional, and away from that which is flowing and uncertain. All masculine men feel a deep desire to be purposeful in their actions, and this world gives us men a ton of options and potential life paths to fulfill that deep desire.
The issue with this is, it causes us to close off to that which brings vibrancy, creativity, and depth to our life experiences. Because of this, our ways of living in the world originate in our minds and bodies, but lack the feeling substance required to really enjoy, connect with, and move our lives.
It’s through the act of surrendering our directed, dutiful, ordered ways of living that we open ourselves to be flooded by something that has eluded us our whole lives. Our precious life force energy that exists beyond the mind, and outside of the confines of our somewhat black and white reality constructs. Our precious life force energy that terrifies us to some degree, because it threatens to destroy any semblance of order we’ve established in our lives.
HUMILITY IS THE WAY
The most important step required of us to allow ourselves to be possessed by this life force is exercising humility.
So many of us men think we have it all figured out, that we know it all, and that our way is the right way. No, it’s not. We might know a lot of stuff, and we might be damn good at living the way we do, but what I’m talking about here has nothing to do with what we know. It is beyond knowing. It is simply about living.
I’m sure pretty much all of us have had an experience with a woman where, somehow, she pulls us out of our minds and into the moment. She does something unexpected that calls us into meeting her as who we truly are, not as what we’ve practiced.
What women are wanting from us in those moments is our surrender, so that we can live. They want to feel our life force, and they don’t give a damn about what we think about the moment. They only care about who we’re being, what we’re expressing, and how we’re living.
And, we love it! We love feeling so free and alive. We can’t get enough of it, and that’s why we can’t stay away from women.
This is the gift of woman, and it is also the gift of life itself. Life is doing its best to draw us into a state of surrender so that we can truly live, and yet so many of us men push against it with all of our might and try to control it so that our lives stay neat, tidy, and predictable. All so that we can each, ultimately, feel like “the man”. All because we’re terrified of feeling out of control, and the feelings of inadequacy that go along with that.
This is also why we so often push women away, and want nothing to do with them. We hate how clumsy and unworthy we feel when pushed or pulled into a boundless domain, where our masculine power is no longer sufficient. And, our women constantly draw us into those zones.
SURRENDER IS STRENGTH
It’s quite maddening, to be stuck in this in-between space with ourselves. Life is constantly beckoning us to let go of our practiced ways of living so that we can let more and more of its benevolent goodness flow through us, and at the same time, because we’re terrified of being out of control, we fight against it. It’s like a never ending existential tug-of-war.
Let’s stop playing tug-of-war with life. Let’s choose to humbly accept that our practiced, dutiful, responsible ways of living in the world are not the total picture. They are important, yes, and they are part of the beauty of what we are. Yet, without the feeling substance, the life force, to back them up, they are empty, purely mind-based, and devoid of depth and compassion.
If we want to truly contribute to a better world, if we want to truly feel what it means to live a fulfilling life, if we want to truly love our loved ones and our work, then we will need to surrender. We will need to let go of our arrogance that, really, is just a clever way of buffering ourselves from that terrifying, moving, totally unpredictable life force that is constantly beckoning us.
The moment we say yes to this call, and stop fighting it off through clinging to what we know or arrogantly insisting that “our way is the way”, it will begin to move through us. We will begin to invite in experiences that help us open to it even more. We will begin to feel alive in a way we didn’t know possible, and we will begin to move toward those experiences that draw forth even more of that aliveness.
Let’s even let go of the idea of being “a man” for a moment, and consider the possibility that it’s just an idea that’s stood between us and the lives we’ve longed for.
What if we are more than the definitions of “man” we have bought into all our lives?
We might just discover something that completely rocks our worlds.
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