What is Authentic Manhood?
Authentic Manhood is a man with a clear sense of purpose in his life. It is when a man who knows from his heart who he really is without any need for external approval or validation.
Deida admits the man’s mission is his priority. “Unless you know your mission and have aligned your life to it, your core will feel empty. Your presence in the world will be weakened” ( Deida, 2004, p.27). Moreover, on top of the mission of the Authentic Man, is his free spirit. A kind of wild and furious freedom that comes within the man described by Chris Mccandless as “the passion for adventure being the very core of a man’s living spirit” (as cited in Krakauer, 1996, p.58).
Freedom & Purpose among Men
It is easier for men to feel their Freedom and Purpose among other men and away from women. The latter are more familiar and confident with the language of feelings and emotions, making the men’s soul shy, leading them to avoid important decisions and actions. However, when a group of men get together, with simple and clear guidelines, a sacred space is formed and, slowly, men start to state and name the story of their hearts, clearing the way to find his Real Purpose in life and his Authenticity. Again, it is a long journey and it is very complex.
Feminine & Masculine Pole
Fox , an ex-catholic priest who was expelled from the church by being accused of being a feminist, wrote a book about Sacred Masculinity. In this book he asked a man what he had learned from the first man’s movement that happened in America started by Robert Bly . His answer: “It made me appreciate the gold my father did not give to me. The men in my family were all alcoholics or crazy… it made me understand about the feminine pole and the masculine pole - awareness and awakening. And a lot are awakening to their vulnerability and their sensitiveness to Life” (Fox, 2008, p.XX).
It is not an easy road, and I dare to say it is meant to be hard. If it was easy, we men, would not be interested. The whole mental health crisis that is going on worldwide is a great opportunity for men (and women) to use these symptoms as an ally to awake themselves to the True Self within.
The symptoms of depression , anxiety , and suicide have the power to reveal the old strategies of the ‘Loyal Soldier’ ( Plotkin , 2003): the games our ‘false self’ is taught to play in order for us to feel safe, loved and accepted by others. While these games served us in the first 3 or 4 decades, after the 5th decade of life they become a problem revealed through the symptoms mentioned above. Some letting go needs to be done.
Deida, D. (2004). The way of the superior man: A Spiritual guide to mastering the challenges of women, work, and sexual desire. Sounds True. Canada.
Fox, M. (2008). The hidden spirituality of men: Ten metaphors to awaken the sacred Masculine. New World Library Publisher.
Krakauer, J. (1996). Into the wild. Villard Books. USA.
Plotkin, Bill. (2003). Soulcraft – Crossing into the mysteries of nature and psyche. New World Library Publishers.Lawrence, R.J. (2007).
The work of letting go is the noblest work a man can do for himself, for his family, for his community, and for the world. It is the road less travelled and it can be taken by any man, not just those presenting the symptoms of psychological wounds .
The Authentic Male Journey is a counselling framework specialising in the work of letting go with caring, gentleness and compassion. In this way, the True Self gains a stronger voice, Authenticity becomes visible and a man’s mission in life is clarified, allowing him to feel the wild and furious freedom of Life - even though it does not happen overnight.
Photo: Muhammed Fayiz - permitted to use from unsplash.com
Photo: Chris McCandless
'Angel Muelle' painted by Alfredo Araújo Santoyo - used with permission.
Felipe Oliveira provides counselling for men seeking to live an Authentic Life. Click here to know more about his work . Or, please, continue reading about the importance of the work of letting go.
Felipe Oliveira provides counselling for you who is seeking to become Authentic by doing the work of letting go.
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