Warnings: this long article is written from my perspective at this moment. Meaning a heterosexual white man who has awakened to some of his stuff, and surely not all.
Also, by real man, I mean someone who’s fully authentic, courageous, real, integral. Finally, by no means I mean that if someone is gay and black for instance, he cannot be real. Same stuff for each of us. So please read this post as such.
When I was 16 years old, each time I went to clubs, I kept attracting gays.
Yes, it’s somehow ironic that at an age where I was really eager to touch and being touched by a girl, other guys thought I was a good fit for their desires. “Mama mia, what’s wrong with me, was I thinking!”
When this happened, and it happened several times, I did what was the only natural response to do: getting angry and rejecting them.
In this post, I’m going to talk about rejection and violence that we men, perpetuate on other groups of people because of their differences. Misogyny is on the plate, Racism too, and of course homophobia like in my personal story I’ve just described.
Right after, I’m going to address this topic with what I think is a step process to improve our relationship with the unknown and differences.
But first of all, let me tell you WHY I think it’s so important for us men to evolve on these topics. We don’t have to talk about rapes, incests, murders and all kind of violence to address the roots of our unhealthy behaviors. If we were to think that the issue only comes from those of us who are these abusers, we would miss the point: we are ALL responsible and concerned about these. In other words, you and I are concerned.
We all need to deal with these topics. Why?
I believe we all have everything inside of us, the beauty and the beast. For sure we have the charming, respectful man who wants to change the world and contribute, applying his talents (whether we do it or not is another story). Cool.
At the same time, when we don’t address our unresolved issues, unconscious attitudes and behaviors surely show up in a way or another. I know many men who belittle or just don’t listen to opinions of women; we all hear “jokes” about gays not being men; and I could say honestly that my first impulsive thought when I see a black man is not always about how fun it’s going to be with him.
So here is the main point: do we want to keep being the slaves of our fears?
Fear that a woman can actually know better than us, fear that this black man is going to steal something from us, or fear that this gay is going to somehow mating with us, or even worse, reveal that we’re not real strong men?!?
Or do we want to be the masters of ourselves, one of the very few men truly free from our conditionings, our past memories and being able to respond instead of reacting automatically as soon as a perceived thread is showing up?
If we really want to change the world for a place of acceptance, love, compassion and where we can all enjoy our differences, we need to transform ourselves and being at peace with all what used to bother us.
Or we can leave it the way it is, and being insensitive to the fact that women still have more difficulties than men to get high paid jobs, that they are verbally or sexually abused every day.
I’ll go even further on this topic: ask your women friends whom you know well enough, whether they’ve been sexually abused in their lives. I realized one day that 100% of my girlfriends had (!!!), so I asked to others, and realized it’s much much more frequent than I (we?) thought.
And I’m not coming from a poor or supposedly violent environment. Can we call ourselves real men for accepting this situation?
So, to summarize: yes, this topic concerns all of the men, because if we’re not part of the change, we contribute for a status quo that is not as bright as we want to think.
Fortunately there are solutions to these issues, and I need to introduce the concept of psychological projection, so let’s briefly welcome Mr Freud:
“Psychological projection is the act or technique of defending oneself against unpleasant impulses by denying their existence in oneself, while attributing them to others”. (Case Histories II)
Now in my words: what we see in others, whether it’s something we appreciate, or not, is also a reflection of what’s here inside of us. Again, the beauty and the beast, or in male words, the hero and the murderer.
Projection by itself is not necessary a bad thing, it actually could be a gift…if we want to look at it this way!
Therefore the solution is as provocative as the title of this article: instead of blaming others and fighting against racism, misogyny or homophobia, let’s look, listen, feel, accept and own these parts inside of us.
This means to find the part of us that wants to sexually dominate the sexy girl in the street.
This means to realize we have a part that is programmed to believe blacks are…(fill the blank: lazy? violent? stupids?), asians are … (sheeps? repressed?), and of course that the best are the white skin people!
This also means, as I said earlier, that we too, have a part that is attracted in men, a part that is sensitive and would like to be hugged and supported by a strong man. Yes, a feminine sensitive intuitive and juicy part within us.
To illustrate with my personal story, I’ve had issues related to sex. For instance, I was addicted to watch girls on the net, frustrated for years for not finding the way to attract them in my bed, and had a few experiences with red lights women. Lots of blind spots have been revealed along the way, and thanks to the guidance of healers, coaches and therapists (and the women who loved me), I came to accept these parts in me.
I also know there is a strong killer inside of me, and when overstressed, I used to reveal this violent insensitive part of me with whoever was on my way.
Finally, I can honestly say that I have sufficiently embraced the feminine aspect of me so that I’m now at ease with gays (actually, some are my best friends), I’m open to my feelings and intuition most of the times, and I’m more vulnerable and touched by emotions than ever before.
Does this make me an enlightened man? I don’t think so. Work still in progress in all these areas, and all what is uncovered. At the same time, I feel like I’m a completely different man than in my twenties.
To summarize: we all have to embrace the parts of us that we don’t like in others, because they are also inside of us, believe it or not, denial or not. By doing so, we can become truly respons-able, integral and free to live our missions wholeheartedly.
The steps to follow to be a master (as far as I can tell today)
I remember once my coach told me:
”masters fall as much, if not more, than all of us. The difference with us is that they come back to their centers much faster.”
Before we can be recognized as such masters, we all have our homework:
First, slowing down and recognizing that we are activated by something.
Maybe we can catch ourselves thinking that the woman in front of us is too sexy to be intelligent, so ok, this is the thought we’ve just had, get it, the misogynic inside has spoken.
Maybe we can catch ourselves hearing inside our minds the word “nigger” to describe the colored man in front of us.
Or maybe we can feel the burst of rage when a gay man is trying to flirt with us.
Then the second step can occur. If no first step, we’re still living under an illusion and, with fears leading our path.
So, let’s create the habit to press the pause button and feel what’s going on inside when we’re activated.
Building the muscle inside to wait till we’re at peace before taking any action (that we probably would have regretted later) is indeed the way to go.
Second step: accepting this part inside of us and re-centering.
No kidding. What we resist persist. No matter what is revealed here, honor this wisdom, there is always a good reason why we have this part. Sometimes it’s even useful to think about it. And better have some support for this kind of exploration.
So for now, I’m suggesting to just telling ourselves things like “yes, I have this killer inside of me”, or whatever is the issue. Note that it’s different than telling ourselves “I am a killer”. We want to own our stuff so that we can go to the third step. If instead we associate ourselves with our issues, it’s another illusion and another place in which we can’t be really powerful.
Third step: responding from a place of integrity and courage
Once we have embraced and accepted what Jung calls our shadow parts, and feel at peace with them, it’s now time to finally respond to the situation.
Hopefully this time, it won’t be an automatic fear-based response, and instead it will be a mature, reflective and emotionally intelligent one.
We might say “no thanks” with a compassionate smile to the flirty man who just had the courage to show his interest in us.
We might have the courage to tell the man who just had some abusive words to the waitress in front of us that it’s not cool. Quietly. Without resentment. And yet, with fierce conviction.
Or we might decide to meet our fear of the unknown and chat with a group of black men who previously looked mean and scary from our preconceived world view.
The final goal here is to be the man we wish to be, not only when everything is easy – most people are nice in chill out moments – but also in stressful moments.
When we are tired.
When we are activated and want to fly or fight.
These are potentially THE moments we can become our own heroes.
And only from this transformed place we can and do change our world.
Let’s be realistic here. We might not be able to arrive to this 3rd step each time.
On the other hand, we might be able to break our patterns, by just applying the first one.
So next time we feel activated and willing to react to a situation, let’s PAUSE.
And feel what’s going on inside.
This might be enough to feel like a successful Champion.
And in any case, this really helps our world to transform.
This world needs each of us to awake.
To recognize that, hey, we’re humans and, we all have things inside we’re not necessarily proud of.
So, let’s look at it.
If we don’t, it won’t transform.
If we do, it might become our best allies in life.
I wish us all true success with ourselves first, and therefore our abilities to reveal who we are by honoring what I call in my e-course our great Unknowns.
Also note that if you want to go deeper in Being The Man You Wish To Be, you might want to be part to this e-course program with the same name.
Its second theme is about exploring this Great Unknown inside each of us, and we are doing this in a safe compassionate environment that helps men to own their stuff as explained in this article. Our “beautiful shit” if I may say.
This e-course is by application only, so fill the form here.