Today there was a parade of men and women going past our house to commemorate a traditional rite of the village we live in. As I was standing at a window on the first floor watching them roll past on their horses, a man looked up and greeted me with a military salute and automatically I replied with the same.
In that salute I could feel how far away from each other we are – the salute gave recognition, but it also held the two of us at a distance. I realised this was not a true honouring of each other but a formal way of saying: “you are where you are and I will stay where I am.”
I compare this to a Singing and Expression workshop I attended. There was a group of men singing to me and other women. These men opened up to us, but even more astonishing: they were open to each other – they sang about their tenderness.
I cried like a waterfall both in relief and joy to feel a group of men in this way. They felt vulnerable without being soft, they were tender, lovely, a bit unsure here and there, but stood together, a group of buddies, not gathered to fight but to express who they are. There was something very strong in their tenderness. And I cried and cried, it was a sight I had waited for my whole life… and longer.
And I started to question how much do we support men in their true expression?
We seem to raise children differently if they are male or female, if they get injured or hurt and they cry, the daughter is typically held and told everything will be alright, but the boys are told to be tough, they are told that “boys don’t cry.” In short, they are sold a picture of what it means to “become a man!,” that men are not allowed to feel, or to be vulnerable, sensitive or tender.
We are fragile by nature – all of us.
Men are capable of many things, but what we ask them to focus on is what their reality becomes:
“Admire a boy’s strength and
He will become strong –
Admire a boy’s intelligence and
He will become very smart.
Admire the real him and you will see God’s Love.”
(Serge Benhayon, Esoteric Teachings & Revelations, page 561)
What the Presenter and Philosopher Serge Benhayon addresses here is the fact that the more we characterise men as rough, competitive, tough, strong and/or smart – the more we squash what is natural in our boys. We only seem willing to support them to go in one direction, unwilling to leave the way open for them to unfold.
Girls are easily allowed to have toys like fire-trucks AND dolls, they can wear pink AND blue, but boys are mostly limited here. It starts so early and it starts so subtly – boys are treated in a way that asks, encourages, even forces them to be something they are not naturally. At the extreme end are child soldiers, forced to fight and kill, but by not allowing men to be more naturally gentle and sensitive are we not putting them at war with themselves?
What impact has that type of manhood had on the world?
It leads them to want recognition, to competition, to be better, to win. It hurts them terribly and it divides us all.
To deny the vulnerability of boys and men is not just a habit, but a method to keep all of us away from each other – in short it serves to separate us. It is part of what allows wars, abuse, even greed, as sensitive beings struggle to find an outlet for what is being suppressed.
So – we all get lost. Tender beings become empty puppets in front of TV shows, lethargic hermits or screaming followers, fighters and perpetrators of violence. This is not an extreme version of ‘what boys (or mankind) are like’ – this is what we are acting but not who we truly are, not in any way.
To stop this we cannot just contain the extremes, we have to come back to who we truly are: sensitive beings. Therefore we have to invite ourselves back into our hearts and build trust within ourselves and with each other again.
While we can’t wait for someone else to change before we do, every one of us can support the other in expressing openly, with honesty and with tenderness – when we start to express like that ourselves.
When we start to see in the other that we are all equally sensitive.
By Sandra Schneider, Field Agent, Licensed Therapist, Counsellor & Relationship-Coach, Cologne/Germany