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Saturday, January 7, 2017

A Man, His Fears and Tears

From the ManUp videos. Link below article.

I look forward to the day when it will be socially unacceptable, everywhere, to decry a man his emotions.
Where four people suicide, three are men. Why is this?
Men are told to ‘harden up’, to ‘grow a pair’ (of testicles), to be a man, because apparently, men don’t cry. Isn’t it funny that anatomically (the parts of the body) and physiologically (the way the body works) men are no different from women in the regions of the mind and emotions? There may be biochemical differences, but as men and women we’re more similar than we’re different.
It’s hard enough for men to cry, because there’s already a biological default to deny his feelings, so it’s even worse that culture reinforces the lie that men can’t cry.
I can tell you there are several times I’ve broken down in tears in places I would rather not have. I knew each time that it wasn’t so much weakness that compelled me to cry, rather it was the urge to be me; the courage to maintain emotional integrity. Often it was because of genuine suffering, sometimes it was in response to reality’s sadness, and at times it was because I simply felt overwhelmed.
If suffering’s our lot, or our reality is nothing but sad, or we feel overwhelmed, it’s okay to be tipped over the edge into tears; infinitely better than bottling it up or harming ourselves. Indeed, the wisdom of tears are they relieve pressure and augment healing.
The Bible records the phrase “do not fear/be afraid” 365 times—one for each day of the year. The Bible isn’t just speaking to women. Men experience fear, too. And it’s not simply about being ‘scared’. Fear is manifest through a myriad series of activators including, but not limited to, not measuring up to the world’s, someone else’s or our own expectations.
We need to wrestle with the shame we feel when we cry and really ask why we feel it.
We have to start giving men permission to cry when they need to. And it starts in every home and in every workplace. The shedding of tears shouldn’t ever be public spectacles; indeed, they should be private and dignifying. We need to begin to feel very privileged that a man has trusted us sufficiently to open up enough to cry.

Acknowledgement: manup.org.au

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