(This entry comes as a specific request from a friend who hates to see people suffer)
Therapeutic conversations come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
Many people have an imposed stigma associated with asking for help or expressing how they feel. Men, especially, often see the exploration of responses to emotions as a sign of weakness. We remain in an age where men expect themselves to be strong, providers, infallible, and outstandingly independent. While this is often the case, men, as well as women, need to have relationships where they feel safe to unpack a myriad of clustered feeling and emotions and examine them… untangle them.
In a recent conversation I was told something akin to “I’m numb, and I don’t know how to rearrange all the letters to spell what I have to say.” Those were honest words, and I wondered at the time how many people feel similarly and, for whatever reason, hadn’t sought a venue for doing just that. We’re social creatures who are meant to work together to discover and rediscover and re-rediscover ourselves and each other. That can’t happen in caves of isolation. It has to happen where we can lay all the tiles out on the table and sort through them.
Fellas, seeking out a place where you can honestly deal with the anger, fear, hate, frustration, self-limiting beliefs, guilt, shame, pain, confusion, dreams, passions, joy, love, and a ton of other ideas floating around in our heads is NOT a sign of weakness. To the contrary, it is a display of great courage and strength. The notion that addressing the things inside our heads is meant to be independent is antiquated and unnecessary. We must embrace our sense of community if we are to grow as one.
So, Ladies, you’re not alone. Men, you’re not either. We all have complex personalities and room to grow and improve. Go ahead and strike up that conversation, make that call, make that appointment, and make contact. Connect with someone and have a laugh or a cry and be fully human as you’re intended to be. Men and women both need to discover the mysteries of themselves and unpack the outrageously awesome truths that make us the unique individuals that we are.
Tomorrow Begins Today.