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Counselling: The Reflective Self in Men’s Life

The Importance of the Reflection

The Reflective Self is important because without it a man will not visit the core of his heart, and therefore, not Know who he really is. Sadly, most of the men need to be forced into a place where he cannot control and where he cannot fix, in order to start developing the ‘Reflective Self’. If he can fix, make money, be successful and be powerful, why one would change?! The Reflective self is a courageous inner dialogue full of listening from the heart, surrounded by silence and stillness. It (often) needs to be from a place of suffering, a place of darkness and sorrow, otherwise, it won’t happen.

The Transition is Hard

The problem is that the transition from the Ascent Journey to the In-Between is never easy. Most of the time a tragic event must happen: a divorce, a bankrupt business, a loss of a job, a death of a loved one, a car accident, or a serious illness. This kind of events launches one into deep and meaningful reflections. It is the moment where a man starts to challenge himself with questions he never has the courage to ask before.

Reflective Self

It is the stage where the ‘Reflective Self’ is developed, inviting a man into courageous reflections on his experiences as if he was his experiences. It is the moment where a meaningful inner dialogue is born. An inner dialogue that requires listening, not just speaking. Moreover, in order “to allow encounter and knowing, it demands sufficient silence and stillness in the interaction. Reflection is a gentle action of holding experience in hospitality and openness” (Benner, 2012, p.124). That is the crucial moment of the masculine awakening of a not yet seen future in a man’s life.

The Authentic Male Journey Stages

In order to give a better explanation let me remind you the three stages of the Authentic Male Journey:

The Ascent Journey: the development of the body and of the mind. The search and exploration of the world, of the self, of the body. It is the construction of the ego;

The In-Between Journey: the awakening of the Soul within. Normally, this stage is not easy. The ego, the mind, and the body don’t give satisfaction anymore. Something more is asked. Something that is not visible and palpable. But it is there, it can be felt.

The Descent Journey: the awakening and awareness of the Spirit within. It is about living the questions and enjoys the answers IF the answers show up - it starts on the stage before. This stage does not exclude the other two. It is the most complete stage of life. The first journey is about achieving, becoming and doing; The In-Between is about deep and meaningful examinations, and The Descent Journey is about Being and Accepting that life is simple AND complex at the same. It encompasses a complete vision of what life is. It gives a great sense of the meaning of being alive.

Felipe Oliveira provides counselling for men seeking to live an Authentic Life™.

To read about The Ecology of Life & Depression, click here .

To read about The Benefit of an Addiction, click here.

Reference:

Benner, D. (1991). Spirituality and the Awakening Self: The Sacred Journey of Transformation. BrazosPress - Baker Publishing Group.

The Authentic Male Journey provides space for awakening reflections

The Authentic Male Journey is counselling for men to journey carefully and attentively in the In-Between Journey. The space for awakening reflections is about who one really is, rather than who one wants to become (The Ascent Journey). In the In-Between Journey, one reflects on what is inside of what was built on the Ascent Journey. And what is inside is what one really is and always have been. The Descent Journey is not about becoming, it is about Being what you always have been and got lost during the construction phase of the self, that we all must go through. The denial of the invitation of the In-Between Journey has been causing many psychological disorders worldwide.

Felipe Oliveira provides counselling for men seeking an Authentic Life™. Click here to know more about his work . Or, please, continue reading this short article about the importance of the reflective self in a men's life.

Photo by William Recinos on Unsplash