Guys – We Need to Have a Talk!!
What is the driving force of success in our society? More importantly, why is that force so pervasive that it appears to leave little to no room for error? Living in the heart of the Silicon Valley I witness the drive for success every day – and I can tell you it is like living in the movie Mad Max. This drive for success is nothing new, and it is, in fact, the driving force that helped us accomplish things like landing a man on the moon. So it does have value for sure. The issue I have with it is that when this drive for success becomes all consuming to the exclusion of…well, let’s call it connections…then we have a problem – and YES WE HAVE A PROBLEM!!
So what connections do I speak of…Well, I am glad you asked! The connection I am talking of is a connection with ourselves – especially men. For generations in this country, men have been conditioned into being perfect, showing no emotions, not making a mistake, and carrying on despite being scared shitless on the inside. Back in the ’70s, when I was a little boy, my dad drove this point home to me regularly. I have always known I am an empath (a whole other blog post to be dealt with later), and such I have always been a very emotional person. So when my dad would catch me crying, he would punish me. He would say “you stop that crying right now or I am going to put you in a dress like a little girl! Only women cry – it is a sign of weakness”!!!! I tried to conform to this notion, but for some reason (Thank God) It is probably me being rebellious, but I remember thinking that I would not give him the satisfaction of turning me into what he was.
You see my dad was the epitome of a man back then – very successful in business, a pillar in his community, many friends, women fawning all over him (despite my mother being there), a functional alcoholic, abusive to those who viewed as weak (To include his son). So the fact that these type of behaviors are becoming part of the commentary (i.e., countless men in prominent positions being accused of inappropriate behaviors) is nothing new – we just have more access to information at the speed of the internet, rather than the rate of a newspaper (50 years ago). So the result of men of my generation (every generation for that matter) of being raised this way is a generation of shamed. Brene’ Brown has accomplished fantastic work in this area, and I strongly encourage you to watch the TedTalks (I have embedded the links in this post. In her work, she explains that shame = the fear of disconnection.
I see this in my own life for sure, this shame has kept me feeling disconnected from my father for the entirety of my life, and the fact that he has been gone now for 18 years makes this even more devastating. So I am not sharing this with you to show it as a badge of honor, but rather than to illustrate this is just one example of what has been going on with men for generations. So then I feel I owe you the next part of the story of how I moved forward with my life. In my travels in life, both physically, emotionally and spiritually, I have been blessed with the universe bringing terrific people into my life. Good people who either by choice or happenstance have shown me a way forward. I learned as Brene’ calls it, the power of vulnerability. This is the ability to “stand in the arena of life, get the shit kicked out of you, make mistakes, and stand there in my own strength knowing – this sucks, but I am going to be ok”! So that is where my father got it wrong- Overcoming your emotions does not make you strong (it makes you crazy, an alcoholic, overeater, pick your addiction here), being present with those emotions and staying in the fight of life does.
This is part one of two of this post, but I will leave with this thought that comes from my heart to all men…If you are the kind of guy who thinks showing your emotions is a sign of weakness, we should have a conversation. Click the Link below – I offer 2hour free session that will give you at least a start of an answer
To learn more about my program designed for men click the link below here!