As men, we’ve all had those days when we failed ourselves — when we did not live up to the standards of integrity and leadership that are expected of a husband, father, or leader. It happens to the best of us. But why?
Well, one reason it’s human to err. But there is more…
Our male ego fueled by our genetic programming tells us we are infallible, strong, and resilient, but truth be told, hiding within every man is that little boy that got ignored or disrespected. A little boy that despite his best efforts, one day got overlooked or undermined by his father — his first male role model.
Despite 30,40, and sometimes 50 years of reconditioning, those initial childhood traumas can live on, lurking in the dark corners of our minds, ready to unravel our fortified masculine shell, like a “trojan horse” appearing as an innocent childhood memory. In other words, these childhood traumas can continue to impact the way we react to situations unless we address them once and for all and tell them to fuck off! That little boy, lurking in the shadows of the mind is long gone. His traumas are mental constructs built whimsically like a “lego house” to appease the pain he experienced at the time. But truth be told, those traumas and the “mental fabrications” built around them, do not serve the new man that lives today. And even more importantly, as a soul animating physical form, we need to stop identifying with these material impressions.
My personal experience of such emasculating moments rears its ugly head when I fail to take the time to think through a situation and just react with the first idea that comes to my mind. This passive, accommodating nature, while executed with the best intentions, can come across as whimsical, unthoughtful, cruel, and sometimes weak. I later reprimand myself but it does not solve the problems caused by my actions. As a result, a veritable “demon” is released into the heart of those impacted by my poor judgment, and all I can do is repent, profusely apologize, and pray that time will heal.
But what can we do to fix this recurring issue? How can we stay consistent as a father, husband, protector, and best friend of our dependents?
We are all very different and have our unique life script to contend with. While it’s easy to say mine is special, I truly believe in my case, the set of circumstances that unraveled in my life is rarer than most men would ever experience. You see, from the age of 19 until 33, I lived the life of a celibate monk. While that helped mold my spiritual character, it also had a profound effect on my natural masculine qualities. As a teenager, I grew up in the 70s macho culture, where every young man had to prove himself constantly through fighting, verbal assertiveness, or sexual conquest. One of the reasons the life of a monk appealed to me was the relief of not having to fight that social battle and to find the true meaning of life, beyond male bravado and those “biggest dick” competitions.
It was not that I had issues with masculinity because I loved having a male body and was attracted to the female form. It was how masculinity was being taught to me was where the issue lay.
Once I immersed myself in monkhood, a huge burden was released from my shoulders as I began identifying with my true identity as a soul, transcending the male/female construct.
However, it was only a matter of time, well it took me 14 years, that the genetic programming kicked back into full gear, and once again I felt the urge to pursue a relationship with a woman. However, in making this massive change of direction, I soon realized that being a man, a husband, or a leader of other men, required much more than spiritual awareness. Whereas qualities such as humility, patience, and passivity are praised as a monk, those same qualities do not always work well in leadership or marital relations. And that is where my personal challenge is unique.
The spiritual training I received, has given me a tendency to give others the benefit of the doubt, to be too trusting, or too accommodating, thus sometimes minimizing my own self-worth or values, simply to please others. When a firmer, more assertive role was required. This accommodating attitude can sometimes come across as weakness or un-leadership-like. And that is not how you want to be perceived by your closest allies like your wife and children.
As men, it is too easy to pass off the critique of our behavior, and the emotional pain suffered by a woman because of it, as their feminine weakness, or their over-sensitivities, but that just reveals our own weakness and inability to not accept our mistakes. Besides, a truly wise man, sees a woman, man, dog, cow, bird, or you name it, with an equal vision — because behind the veil of physical form, spins a whorl of spiritual energy equal in quality to God — a soul — our true eternal identity. In other words, we are all energetically connected and equal. No one is better than anyone else.
To act as a man in this modern world is not always easy, especially when the lines have been blurred as to what exactly constitutes masculinity or when masculinity is frowned upon as somehow “toxic.” It was much easier to just transcend these external identities as a monk and focus on self-realization, but at the end of the day, unless you are some kind of saint, the reality, is we have been gifted a physical form according to our past karma, with its concomitant genetic coding, and this specific form is perfectly designed to accommodate our current state of consciousness. As the soul evolves to higher consciousness, the form we are rewarded will perfectly match the level of our awareness and facilitate the lessons we still need to learn. At this time in my spiritual evolution, I possess a male form, and with that, comes a set of responsibilities and lessons to be learned that are specific to a man. One of which is to unravel the mystery of my true identity, and another is to navigate my way through the challenges of social and marital life. We all make mistakes and hopefully, we will learn from each one and make progress, but if we don’t, we will certainly get another chance in another life.
The bottom line here is, as men, we have to learn to take the mistakes we make on the chin and accept them as part of the territory of masculinity. We should never be afraid to admit our errors. We need to own them. To run from our mistakes and not accept our failings is a recipe for them to repeat.
I am flawed as a human and I am flawed as a conditioned soul. I pray that I continue to get better and that those around me that depend on my leadership will tolerate my flaws and allow me the chance to improve. After all, to be human is to err. The question is, for how long do my dependents have to wait?