My Father never told me what it meant to be a man.
It wasn’t his fault of course; he didn’t know either. You see, one of the biggest issues that we face as modern men is that there is no clear line between boyhood and manhood.
No Rite of Passage
One of our greatest failings as men in modern society is that we are little more than boys playing grown-up. I know that much of my early adulthood, I felt like little more than a fraud; a boy playing games. One minute I was running around shooting toy guns at my friends, the next I was paying taxes, cooking for myself and doing my own laundry.
To further explain this point, let’s take a look at the difference between tribal life and modern society. In tribal life, there is usually a Rite of Passage that occurs when someone leaves one group and enters another. These Rites take place over three stages; Separation, Liminality, and Incorporation.
In the first stage, the boy goes through a process of separation from his boyhood. There is a symbolic ‘cutting away’ of the former self. The Liminal stage is the actual Rite and it varies greatly depending on the tribe. Finally, Incorporation is where he re-enters his society with his new status. In following such an approach, the boy is left behind and space is created for the man.
By contrast, in modern society we have no Rite or initiation into manhood. We believe that coming of age is when we can drive a car, get drunk with our mates or be a productive member of society by being able to vote. In all cases, we have not separated from the child. We instead push him down inside of us and drag him into manhood with us.
The problem is children are running the world!
So here’s the greatest issue with the world as it currently stands. In almost ALL cases of conflict, we have hurt little boys calling the shots. I have noticed within myself that when I become upset, 13 year old Chris comes out and makes the decisions. Aside from the obvious, when we are threatened as boys, we puff ourselves up to appear bigger and more threatening than what we really are. We become overtly aggressive and try to prove our strength against what we perceive is threatening us.
For me, I have spent my life trying to prove my strength, both to myself and those around me. I joined the Army, fought in ring and cage, ran deserts, swam oceans. My main motivation was in showing the world that I was not a scared little boy yet rather a brave Warrior.
There was a major part of me that believed I was stronger than others because I could puff my chest out further than they could. I actually believed that in building taller walls around myself and around my heart, I could protect my frightened little boy. I had no way of knowing that I actually needed to forgive and release him from me. As long as he was in there, he would take control whenever I felt threatened or became upset.
Why not, it worked so well as a child. One temper tantrum and most of the time I could have anything I wanted. But you want to know what is even stronger than keeping old childhood patterns alive and keeping them safe by building walls?
Not building walls!
Remaining open regardless of what comes. You see, despite how solid a wall is, there will always be a force that is stronger. Walls can always crumble. Take the mighty oak tree. A strong enough gale can uproot it and lay it over to die. Yet a simple reed with no roots, standing exposed will just lay flat until the gale has passed by. Such is the way of an open heart.
Where lay the real strength of the Sacred Masculine?
We as men have absolutely no chance of becoming Sacred Masculine Warriors until we have first given up our inner boys and actually become men! Whilst we continue to puff our chests against each other to prove who the biggest or strongest is, we will remain lost. The days of the schoolyard have passed, and the world is now screaming for the presence of the Sacred Masculine.
Part of embracing this new path is taking responsibility for our own emotional state. As boys we would expect our Mothers to pick up the pieces each time we couldn’t handle ourselves emotionally. I know that I personally dragged this behavior into my adulthood by expecting my partners to do the same thing. For example, when I would find myself emotionally compromised, I would expect my partner to baby me with nurturing until I felt strong again.
Think about your ‘go to’ move when you get hurt, angry, upset, sad or whatever. Do you believe that someone outside of you is going to make it all better, or is there an understanding that it is YOUR experience and YOU have some work to do?
It wasn’t until I found myself in a Twin Flame relationship with the Divine Feminine that I was able to truly release my hurt little Chris and step forward into my role as the Sacred Masculine, which included becoming my own rock.