Males have always had a big impact on my life. I have three older brothers and a Father and I also worked in probably the most masculine of career fields on the planet which was in a State Prison Facility. Talk about masculine energy.
The men I know are very strong physically and mentally. They are wildly creative and were athletic and hulk strong. I could write a bunch of stories about their strength but that’s not the point of this writing.
While working in law enforcement there was always this thing about being prepared for the unexpected. Being ready for whatever happened and making sure to stay strong physically. Physical training was essential and just a lot of ego and strength.
One thing I started to see was that when men would get hurt emotionally, they would take it very hard. Most of the time the way they dealt with their pain was just to not discuss it, stay strong and suffer in silence. If I knew of a man who got a divorce or had some losses, in general they had a bit of a hard time bouncing back.
Then there is this whole thing about how “Real Men Don’t cry,” “Suck it up buttercup” and other slogans that encourage you to be strong and persevere through difficult times. But sometimes things are difficult and the if men get sad and depressed they often have a difficult time expressing themselves. Maybe they cry but it’s not typical behavior. In fact I don’t think I ever really saw my brothers cry. Maybe if they got hurt really bad but just not a lot of male crying. Me on the other hand was crying every time the wind blew. I would cry over the way they would talk to me or if they would say something mean, I would cry.
This suffering in silence is a real problem. So what do you do if you have a problem but you can’t discuss it? What happens? In general it seems to me that not discussing an issue doesn’t solve anything and in fact can make things worse. It’s like covering a something really stinky with a pretty blanket. You won’t see it but you will smell it. Until you get that blanket, take it off and shine some light on the problem will you be able to get rid of that problem. And sometimes it takes professional help to be able to get yourself right. There’s not an easy answer.
So yeah men, I’m really sorry that it can be difficult to express your emotions. Art is a great way to express yourself, meditation and hiking. And don’t ever forget the benefits of silence.
Anyway I just wanted to apologize that things are the way they are and you can always feel free to cry. It will be OK. It’s amazing how much better you feel after a good cry. Then you’ll be ready for a brand new day.
Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach in Northern California. She believes that as you heal yourself, you heal the planet.