Every time you hear about an attack or a war or a call to arms it’s from a man. Black, white, red, yellow, blue, across race and religion, it is the masculinity of the world that is rampaging out of control.
ISIS? Men. KKK? Men. US government? Mostly men.
And the saddest part is that such violence often springs from the anguish of loneliness.
We need a new masculinity. It is time to transform the world of violence and find our hearts again.
If you missed the call to action, please don’t worry. This is the call.
Men: the greatest adversary we face is within us. It is the voice that tells us we are not enough and that we are alone and that who we really are is not okay. It is the torment of this voice that drives us into the world with aggression and anger and a demonic sense of inferiority.
This is what hurts other people and the Earth.
The journey of bringing light to this inner darkness is not a quick fix. We have to find ourselves in a community that can hold us in this courageous quest on behalf of the world.
Men, our first act of revolution is friendship with other men. We have got to start relating our way out of the prison of loneliness that the adversary of unconsciousness uses to torment us. As we prepare to turn around and face the adversary of shame and fear inside of us we need the companionship of other men who are doing this work. It is not enough to relate only to women in our lives on a heart level!
Let me repeat: It. Is. Not. Enough. To. Relate. Only. To. Women. On. A. Heart. Level.
That was me for most of my adult life. I know you know what I’m talking about. We have to find our way back to one another.
Why? Because we are so longing for friendship and intimacy with each other. There are places in us that can only be touched and seen and known by others who share the miracle of masculinity. And when we don’t have that we become emotionally and physically violent toward the feminine, including Mother Earth, who are our primary partners in relationship and community.
We actually need our fathers. We need our brothers. We need each other. We need to connect to other men in a real way. That is the single greatest act of revolution any of us can do. Friendship is not competing against one another to feel superior.
Friendship is not about getting drunk and distracted together; friendship is about revealing what’s deep inside of us and receiving our brothers’ inner truth.
The enemy of unconsciousness works by isolating us. We are scared of each other—and often for good reason. We are scared of being hurt and attacked and othered, defeated and laughed at by men who are possessed by the demon of loneliness.
We begin to think that the only way to survive is to become as violent as those who hurt us.
The antidote to this is friendship.
There is tremendous cultural pressure that conditions us to be lone wolves. It is nearly impossible to find images that depict adult male affection and intimacy that aren’t sexualized. Just a quick check on google images reveals that children and occasionally teenagers are still allowed to be loving friends and brothers, but adult men are not.
In popular culture (and much of the real world), adult male affection is mostly only openly shown between gay men. While there is nothing wrong with being sexually attracted to other men, those who are not should not be shamed or berated for wanting and demonstrating intimacy in the form of friendships.
I watch my son and his best friend together. They are five years old. They hug. They love each other. I remember my best male friend in high school. We were inseparable. We knew each other deeply.
I have not since known a love of that type and depth.
Now I look at my life and realize that as I have grown I have felt less and less permission to be intimately connected with other men. I have spoken about this enough to other men to know this is a huge struggle for so many of us. Friendship means vulnerability. Vulnerability is what we have been taught not to show at any cost, lest violent masculinity prey upon us.
For this reason it is an act of great courage and revolution to find connection with other men. It’s not going to be easy. Revolutions never are. But we have to start now. Finding a way to connect authentically with other men will change the world and change our relationship with the feminine. It is also the best way to enjoy life way too much to worry about conquering, dominating or hurting other people as a way to feel okay.
Reach out to a man whose company you enjoy. Risk telling him what you see in him and what you appreciate about him. Tell him what your dreams are and ask about his. Share what scares you, where you feel out of control. Ask him when he feels that way, too. Do this with your son.
Please, do this with your son.
Nobody safe to do that with? No problem. Google “men’s work” or “conscious men” and find a men’s circle—ManKind Project, Illuman—they are out there. Get creative. Don’t worry about perfection. Start where you are. Searching for the ideal person or the ideal men’s group is the voice of the serpent that wants to keep you lonely. We just start by making contact and claiming back the love that will change the world.
Author: Ernest Morrow
Image: Z S/Flickr
Editor: Renée Picard; Nicole Cameron