Mens Mental Health

Mental Skills

Sad man thinking
Photo by Ben White / Unsplash

Young men are 10 feet tall and bulletproof. A time will come though, from about 40 years of age, plus when the whole world will turn. Be ready for it!

It’s not a case of anything being wrong, in fact, in many ways, it is a sign of things being right. The questions start to come thick and fast, and the main energy behind the enquiry is “why"?

Why do I live?

Why do I die?

What’s this all about?

Why did that happen?

Why did they do that to me?

Why did I do that to them?

Why did I win and where did it go?

Why did I lose and where did it go?

Why do they have more than me?

Why do they have less than me?

Who and what the hell is god?

If it’s not channeled into the masculine enquiry, it becomes anxiety.

When men are young, the whole world is full of the reasons for “why” because the mortality bus hasn’t pulled into the station yet. We only see the outgoing flow of masculine energy, and, when that energy flow reverses and starts to move inwards, it can be terrifying for even the strongest men.

If you resist, you will face the battle of your life, a battle where you have to choose to either run from the truth or face it.

The word courage now takes on a whole new meaning, one where the courage to face the returning flow must be faced. The bravery then, is to face a new version of the self which is no longer defined by physical strength or physical bravado. Like everything in the physical objective world, if it went out, it will return, that’s natural. It is not a mistake, there's nothing wrong, it’s just what is.

The only thing wrong with it is our collective male argument with it. So many men go deeper into the projection of OKness. Yea, I’m alright Jack on the outside with a stomach full of turmoil and confusion about what it means to be a man in the modern world. So many men turn to booze to soothe the discomfort, or drugs, violence, or any other method of getting away from the discomfort.

Who are we to judge? Who am I to judge?

Everyone copes the best way they can. But for f..k’s sake, let’s open the dialogue!

Some men become disenchanted, disenfranchised, apathetic and emasculated as their outgoing energy starts to wither. So we hide as men. We want to fall apart, cry, kick and scream, the body needs it, but we want to be seen as this tower of strength, the alpha male. So we put on this hard exterior while the hurt child inside screams at the top of his lungs for some f..king recognition.

Rather than pay attention, many of us prefer to go the pub or light a joint to try and anaesthetise that child, or we stay at work all night, train until we drop, argue, throw things, blame others, get into fights, you name it we are doing it to avoid the inner truth that the child just wants to be seen.

We just hate how no one notices how hurt we are, right?

But that’s what we do to ourselves when we bottle it. But this is wisdom knocking on your door, not weakness: Wisdom is probably the most potent form of strength that exists.

The truth maketh the man!

In despair, but not lost. I try to remind myself, trials may come yet hope lies at dawn
Photo by whoislimos / Unsplash

The vulnerability that it takes to speak is not weakness. It is power, in fact, it is wisdom rising.

Sometimes I play the victim inside my own head. When I haven’t had enough sleep, when the challenges pile up and I feel overwhelmed, my thinking can descend and become a projection of me and my horrible story. However, at times, I am truly hurting as a man. That’s the truth. No one can fix that but me.

I must learn to step out of this projected OKness because sometimes it’s bullshit. I hope my brothers are hearing me. Just like our sisters, men need connection, understanding and, yes, even love.

I, like most men, prefer to suffer in isolation and it sucks. It’s gluey, it sticks like treacle and it hurts others. This male conditioning that hangs around our necks is sometimes like a dead weight.

The only option I have is to speak it, that’s truth, that’s vulnerability, that’s authentic, it’s something real, and that’s a form of true strength. Interestingly, when I write blogs like this, people invariably ask me if I’m OK, which is nice, but it is part of the problem.

Yes. I write these things because I follow the enquiry inwards. I hope the exploration will help others, but I’m no better than anyone else. I get lost, I get blindsided and I lose my way as a man.

The clarity it takes to write this comes from a direct experience of struggle and avoidance. Am I OK? Sometimes. Am I not OK? Sometimes.

Then. At times, I’m shown just how far off base I am. That’s confronting and humbling, but it’s a magnificent teacher.

I am always grateful to the men who hear me, mirror my bullshit and hold me accountable. They know who they are. Men, surround yourself with those who will call that out for you. Join a men’s group.

Find good men you can speak to honestly. Its value cannot be underestimated and it might just save your life one day. As men, we need to learn how to speak up, hold each other, connect, see yourself in the other, share the experience.

I’m OK because sometimes I’m not OK, and that’s OK.

No one is broken. Speak!

Much love,