By Raphael Awen
I thought to ruminate out loud about what we might call the reticent masculine, where the masculine (both in men and women) is absent from settings where vulnerability is called for (like the whole global situation right now for instance, or a romance for that matter, or emotional/spiritual community).
Based on my own experience, I’d say that men are typically busy trying to be powerful, drawn to providing, drawn to making themselves needed, and then asking the feminine (both inside of themselves and outside) to settle for that equation.
If their mate asks for more feeling, or for more heart open presence, he will point to what he so willingly and caringly does provide, and maybe even go on to whine about how she doesn’t see and appreciate that. He leads with defense, covering an unconscious ‘I can’t go there, for fear that I’ll lose myself.’
But I see all of that in the process of change. Men are becoming done with defending these old burdensome ‘paternalistic’ ‘patriarchal’ ‘patterns’ that are turning out to be so much less than what they promised they would provide for us. It’s an idea whose time is done.
I get the masculine is meant to feel empowered and full of worth. That’s obvious, or we wouldn’t have been so prey to the false promises of power, nor would we have been so vulnerable to pornography (a safe kind of shallow feminine presence that doesn’t ask for any vulnerability – she bares everything and I give nothing, in turn actually leaving me with nothing in terms of actual nourishment)
This need for empowerment has been seen in the various men’s movements that have made a showing in recent decades, where you attend a men’s large group weekend event, give up your familiar patterns and get real with the guys, move some big energy blocks to realness, and commit to getting together on a regular basis in small groups to support this new breakthrough. From what I’ve observed, all of the groups that fit this pattern have this big push away to the feminine, in many cases even outright toxic and abusive, making ‘them’ the problem. When boys become independent men, they do need to find their healthy push away to mom, for a time, especially if Mom was overly invested and invasive to their energetic and emotional masculine space. This healthy need and boundary setting however gets way over projected onto women in general, leaving women wondering what (in the hell) just got into their mate.
I believe all of this has to do with men and the masculine (again in both men and women) exploring the key issue of autonomy and sovereignty. Vulnerability is seen as a threat to their seat of personal power because the last time they were open hearted (vulnerable), they got invaded and taken advantage of, leaving them with the felt reality of powerlessness, that vulnerability equals weakness. The masculine then went off on a long and necessary journey to reconcile itself to itself and to the feminine, especially around this vital need and fear of vulnerability.
Vulnerability is defined as the willingness to be hurt. Only a man or masculine in possession of some degree of power would possess such a willingness. Romantic relationships, in the dance of the masculine and feminine, without vulnerability are stuck in a very narrow bandwidth, doomed to medicating each other’s pain and estrangement from themselves and others.
This whole journey may well be reaching its conclusion in our collective. Men are honestly and vulnerably admitting their discontent with the previously seen safe patterns. They’re willing even to admit their unhappiness even before they know much of any alternative.
Men and the masculine are becoming more and more willing to divest of their investment into the 3D playground structures where they’ve felt some autonomy and power, by obeying the shared playground rules. They’re like, ‘How is this autonomy real if it’s been handed to me on a plate?’ and ‘Why am I playing someone else’s game for a sense of power when no one’s forcing me to play?’
Then that brings us to the yet present noticeable absence of men in more emoto/spiritual settings and communities (like the one I’m a part of). I believe men are understandably asking the sovereignty question that goes something like this: ‘How will surrendering myself to a group and the paradigm of that group be an expression of my power? How will it not be a repeat of the forfeiting of my power that I really need to be done with?’
I believe (and this is where it gets possibly interesting and exciting), is that a man (and the masculine in women) can only answer that question of surrender and vulnerability when he or she is in possession of sufficient power.
In other words:
‘I’m willing to risk and even to be hurt in connecting with you, because I know it will be to my benefit, rather than my detriment.’
‘I can stand to lose, because I know and feel like I’m a winner at heart.’
‘I can invest my power and remain in possession of it at the same time – (true contribution)’
‘I can hold my own ground. I can enter and I can leave’
Men and the masculine then come to realize that they can’t grow into their power or have a playground for their power to play out into, without vulnerable relationship, without shared values, without community. They are not dependent on any one community, AND they can admit their need for one community, both.
Our retraction from vulnerability (our wounding) occurred in relationship and so does our healing also occur in community. You can’t completely heal or grow in a box away from community. Our need for fulfillment invites us back into community after the necessary going solo phase has completed its course.
Man, there’s a whole universe waiting for you to show up into, there’s a sacred and quite ready feminine patiently waiting for your crossing the space and invitation onto the dance floor. You can find it first inside of you and then let it flow outside of you. You got some hot stuff waiting and wanting to ‘man’ifest!
Please do consider if you haven’t already joining Jelelle and I for tomorrow’s group call on relationships – a really great place to explore your masculine manifestation! Details here: SoulFullHeart.org/freetobe
Photo courtesy of https://unsplash.com/@impossible_monster
Raphael Awen is co-creator, teacher, and facilitator of the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life. Visit soulfullheart.org for more information about sessions, events, videos, etc. Visit our Patreon Page to send love in the form of money: https://www.patreon.com/soulfullheart 🙂