Men and Masculinity
The “real man” is many things. But above all he is to remain strong and invulnerable, that is, unemotional. While we all face life challenges, if a man reveals that: something’s wrong, he’s troubled, something’s missing, there’s something he can’t fix, he’s lost his way, he feels fear, worry, pain, or suffered through a childhood wound, hard knock experience, loss, or victimization, he can be perceived as weak and woman-like. This sexist “demotion” strips a man of his masculinity, resulting in a loss of rank or “man points,” bringing social humiliation and shame, not only on him but also his family. Most men go to great lengths to avoid this at all costs. They expend a lot of time and energy trying to conform to the macho stereotype. Many men, feeling pressure to measure up to the impossible image of "a man's man," sacrifice their authentic selves. In striving to achieve this ideal, many men become disconnected from their true needs and emotions, losing touch with who they really are - their true selves, which becomes their lost self. Most men are only too familiar with this split between their public and private selves, not knowing how to bridge them. This dog-and-pony show is extremely stressful, and keeping everything bottled up inside takes it’s toll, causing a long list of mental, physical, and social problems: anger, violence, crime, substance abuse, depression, isolation, suicide, fear, anxiety, stress, eating disorders, body image and esteem issues, high risk behaviors, self-sabotage, relationship problems, health issues, and so on.
Since men aren’t taught how to tend to their inner lives, they may focus on a more familiar landscape – their outer lives. For instance: sports, alcohol, sex, TV, Internet, work, the attainment of titles, money, cars, houses and other status symbols, creating a family, and so on. Men are forged to look outside of themselves for fulfillment, hoping such things meet their needs and bring them happiness; and many do – up to a point.
My work with men understands and maximizes men's strengths by honoring the fine achievements they’ve created in their outer lives. I assist men to transfer the skills they’ve built in their outer lives to their inner lives, where they can be even better served. Each man can subsequently explore the depths of himself, heal past wounds, discover the full range of his potential, charge ahead, and reclaim his true self. Breaking himself free from the shackles of a stereotypical male caricature, he can define his own manhood, be his authentic self, and give rein to his full power.
Isn’t it time that you proclaim your power, achieving more in your inner life to complement your outer life? Look good inside and out. Contact me. Let's have that first conversation that will tell you how to accomplish just that!