05 Sep Why Men Need Other Men to Prosper
I’ve been warned at least once a year since I started this work. “Men are the toughest clients to get through the door!” they told me. “Good luck with that,” others snickered. Yeah, they warned me. Even fellow practitioners of men’s work, whom I respect greatly sighed and encouraged me to consider my clientele’s stubbornness deeply. In 3+ years of this work, I’d have to agree: where are the men who want this work?
On my brief journey in the personal development world so far, I have met some inspiring, empowered men, who instantly reflect my strengths and weaknesses in a way that has me say, ‘yup, this is what I want!‘ And so follows a concise explanation of why the world of men is in such need to find itself again, and how you can participate today.
I contend more now than ever that the fact that men aren’t participating in personal development as often as women is a major sign of deficiency, not health. Men are less likely to ask for help, and are identified so deeply with their own ability to both problem-solve and be self-sufficient. So, showing up, asking (paying!) for support – in relationship, nonetheless – from a therapist would be shaming at worst, and embarrassing at least, for many men. Yet men, like women, are constantly looking for validation, acceptance, and respect from their own kind. Think about the guy who will dis his wife at the office, if he thinks it improves his man-rating with his co-workers. The problem here, isn’t necessarily the man, but the male culture that creates him.
Present day US culture has very little to offer boys and adolescent males in the way of healthy masculinity. Many cultures – especially those more connected with nature – have an embedded rite of passage process with their adolescents, a ritual that has been key to boys becoming men since the first humans walked the Earth.
I look around today and I see drugs, porn, and violence. Fraternity hazing, MMA, and gangs. Masculine energy so desperately craving growth, instead spilling out sideways all over society. The truth is, at the core, men want this. They need this more than many will ever know, and yet they hide behind shame and walls of pain, choosing to “suck it up,” rather than open up.
Change is happening. Services are out there. Men are waking up to the possibilities of their own existence. Men’s circles are becoming more common as the adult generation recognizes the urgent need for healing. The dialogue is growing, as are the opportunities for young men to make a conscious connection with themselves and their path. The fact that men care so much about getting approval from each other is a huge motivator! This is why men need other men: we see and validate each other like no woman ever can. This is the same for women, they are just way better at it and society accepts it and expects it from them! Men, we need this, too, and it’s possible to do this while maintaining your manliness.
Opportunities for Portland Men
October-January: Empowered Man Course: Experience better results in relationship, career, and self through deep transformation. 8 sessions/$35-$45 a session.
Manifest PDX: non-profit center for building men’s health and community. Membership and drop-in fees.
For Men Everywhere
Mankind Project: Dedicated to serving the growth and development of the modern man.