I started this blog because of something the poet and author of Iron John, Robert Bly, once said:
The best way to learn something is to teach it.
I have spent most of my adult life with a feeling of emptiness and inner discontent. I have and still go through periods of intense depression, anxiety and despair. That’s not to say I have not had my happy moments, but I think if I were to be honest with myself, even in the happiness I’ve felt, there’s always been something missing. Something…off.
I have now come to a period of my life which REQUIRES radical change. For a while the pain and suffering in my life has been steadily increasing, and it’s now reaching breaking point. I believe I have hit the bottom of the barrel, and I’m either going to sack it off and hang myself OR learn how to integrate this thing.
I am someone who doesn’t have patience for inauthenticity. If something is not my calling, I won’t pretend that it is just to please other people or society. And I think this emotional pain is an indicator that I’m not living true to my highest self, that I’m not following my calling. Some people may just learn to live with the pain, bury it under distractions, and trudge on, day after day, until some tragedy wakes them up to the preciousness of life and forces them to change. As I said, I don’t have the patience for that.
What has all of this to do with the modern male crisis? And what IS the modern male crisis?
The modern male crisis is the pain of being a man in today’s society.
The pain and grief among men today is greater than ever before. Perhaps you’ve felt it. Perhaps you are moved to tears by a Disney movie. When you first started drinking you’d become wildly emotional over small things. When you broke up with your ex you cried for days.
Well, that’s me anyway.
Robert Bly believes that the industrial revolution is probably the root cause of all this pain. Because of the industrial revolution, fathers were separated from their sons. It used to be that the sons would work alongside the fathers at their place of work. And Bly believes that the sons gained something intangible, yet vital, from this interaction with their fathers. They learned how to be men.
If we do not know how to navigate life with strength, humour, love and purpose, i.e. to be a man, life’s challenges can overwhelm us
And here’s where we come full circle. Sometimes, I’m so very near to becoming totally overwhelmed by the dilemma of life, that I can almost touch the next world. This frightens me, as I feel that I still have plenty to give to this world, and I don’t want to depart prematurely.
I have had depression, anxiety, insomnia, despair, grief, derealisation, suicidal thoughts and all manner of physical and emotional pain. Undergoing all of these experiences has given me gifts that I want to share with the world. I have accumulated resources that help me live as a man, with an open heart, fully and authentically. I hope to aid you in living your life as fully and as authentically as possible.
If you are struggling from any kind of emotional pain, there are always actions you can take that can help you alleviate and understand the pain.
It’s difficult, but it’s one of the most effective ways I know of alleviating suffering. Expressing emotions is still seen as a weakness or a flaw by some. It actually takes tremendous strength and courage, and we should learn to celebrate the act of sharing emotions.
Here are some links to videos that have helped me during tough times. They were all chosen especially for their soulfulness and richness – you will only find deep things in these; things that have been crafted from a life well-lived, or from a place of courageous honesty: