I’ve been thinking a lot about how deeply ingrained our cultural idea of masculinity is.
I’ve spent most of my life assuming that my feeling of being nervous around other men was because I was gay. Not until a few weeks ago, when in the closing ceremony of my healer training, did I get to see clearly that most men share the same nervous feelings. I came into that weekend knowing I had some of my own healing to do around masculine energy. That healing happened in a surprising way. I walked into the workshop to find that there were many more men at this training than in the previous. I felt my guard go up. Not only were there more men but they were all straight men. I judged the shit out of a lot of them. I assumed that they weren’t able to be deep, vulnerable, and loving. During a couple of breathwork sessions over the weekend I dug deep into pain from childhood that was related to men. That was deeply healing itself but it wasn’t until the final ceremony that the healing felt complete. I stood in front of a fire, in front of my teacher, in front of about 70 people, including those men, and I shared my truth about feeling afraid of men. I wasn’t planning on sharing that but it just came out along with tears. The ceremony ended and we all hiked back to our cars to say goodbye and on that hike, three of those straight men vulnerably told me that they also had their own deep fears of men. They thanked me with warm embraces that healed a lifetime of fears. This has opened my eyes to what all men face - the fear of being themselves in the company of other men. The “bro talk” of straight guys or bitchiness of gay guys - it’s all a shield. We’ve seen where that leads so let’s all decide to allow men vulnerability, especially with each other. Our world depends on it.❤️