Guest blog In Part 1 we looked at the challenges we as men consciously and unconsciously face in giving up control and finding the flow of giving and receiving in life – easier said than done, but well worth giving attention to. If you haven’t read Part 1 yet, I suggest you go to Why is it so hard for man to be the lover then follow the link in that post back here.
This second part of the post explores our relations to both our own and the collective unconscious. To have a good adult long term loving relationship without growing emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, is barely possible since the spiritual purpose of relationship is to help us grow.
This does not mean everyone needs to consciously understand it all. Joy’s father for example knew nothing of this but had a natural male authority, sensitivity and loving nature that leaves many modern men in the dust. If drawn to, we can better ourselves more effectively with guidance and mentoring than by just letting life teach us through our experiences.
My earlier blog post, Being Honest is still the compass that reveals where our attention is best placed.
As the song goes “…do you want the truth or something beautiful…?” The reason much of our unconscious is unconscious is that it can feel too hard to know it, yet authentic exploration eventually inevitably takes us into the uncomfortable truths we’ve hidden and to the gold beyond them. Actively co-operate with this natural unfolding – never resist it as it simply slows life down. Mainstream achievement oriented culture values the external and only even refers to the internal when it can be packaged slickly (as in pictures of slim women in a yoga meditation pose).
Feeling our feelings
We men and women cannot express archetypal Lover healthily unless we’ve integrated a lot of previously unconscious material and come to friendship with it. It’s hard at times and not for the faint-hearted but the benefits of undertaking this heroic inner journey mean that I’ve never met or heard of someone that did not regard it as the most valuable journey of their life.
How can we love ourselves if we only think ‘good’ feelings are acceptable but push away and resists our sadness, fear, worry, anger? Historically we men had to be ready for great physical hardship and death in battle. Now, when women, who are more naturally in touch with feelings, are becoming more male and taking on previously male roles, it is bordering dysfunctional (yet still really common) for men not to befriend their less acceptable feelings, their rage, disappointment, fear and shame.
Not befriending them does not actually make them disappear. For example, if we feel criticized or put upon and don’t address it, it will come out as grumpiness (men love the self-righteousness of being grumpy!) or barbed revenge words or withdrawal. Have you found this creates problems?
I asked Joy about this. Here is her in the moment response today:
‘‘For man his unconscious feminine energy is -without awakeness- a saboteur that overwhelms him with unmet fears and neediness. He may be driven by unresolved need for or resistance to the mother or Woman. This gets acted out with the outer women in his life.
At this stage the Lover energy is autonomous, perhaps vaguely threatening, and creates unpredictable conflicts or behaviours, until a man chooses to relate consciously with his inner Lover.
As man looks into life and dares to go deep, he learns to trust how his own feminine mediates into consciousness the real and surprising wisdoms of the unconscious.
The neediness he projects onto women and sex can be fully received rather than put outside of him. The support of his brothers is vital in this. His woman/women will thank him for it.
Flowering creativity, inner contentment and true, powerful purposefulness are the fruits, as well as a wholly enriched, harmonious relating life outside of him. How this planet needs this!’’
If on hearing this you say or think “I’ll pass on all that inner enquiry, subconscious and energy stuff” I totally understand but you’ve now been served – you would be passing up an adventure more exciting than anything Indiana Jones did. If you do take up this challenge now, would you like the magic keys to softening your woman to be open and to want you? – read on.
With reality TV we all recognise a faux (or even real) version of this when we see it, but that doesn’t make it any more appetising for us men. Befriending our unconscious vulnerability and deepest feelings, & becoming able to intelligently parent the small child we all are is both life and The Lover transforming. There are mind-based techniques but the real work is deep dive and ultimately energetic and best done with guides that know the terrain.
We are whole, how can we not be, yet for us more masculine men, certain more feminine qualities are inevitably more hidden. Life is inviting us to reclaim this territory and become whole. An example for me is that, being consciously more thinking than feeling, I can sometimes get sentimental about the sweetness of feeling sad. This is all seen and no problem, but the public life parallel of public grief accompanied by sentimentality (much of it in men) that started with Princess Diana’s tragic death is a mass unconscious yearning that I suggest points to something missing in the griever’s life. In the painfully slow growth of humanity it was a positive step in 1997, but you as an individual are ready to go to the source now.
The un-integrated man can be good at giving structure and space (which woman loves) but it’s likely to often have a hard edge to it. Women love your masculine presence tenderised with vulnerability (you’ve experienced this sometimes right?)
You’ve experienced sometimes standing up for what is deeply true for you, saying Enough! Or No! from a clean lion’s roar place – creating boundaries because life needs them – haven’t you?
You’ve seen people idealising a political or environmental cause as if it were a religion and felt…. Hmmm that does not feel like it comes from a balanced, integrated place so that’s not me… haven’t you?
You know the romantic pull to new ventures, new countries, new women & see through this being a panacea – don’t you?
If you know what I’m talking about, you’ve at least glimpsed the territory of the integrated masculine. This is a rich and never-ending journey which can only bring more of what you most value into experience. It can’t really be picked up from books, it is shamanic work (don’t be scared by this, it just means practices to access and transform the unconscious – the fast track to transforming your sexuality and all your relating). You need a guide who can help you move underneath the hollowness of life as you’ve known it and to undertake this great work of inner marriage between your own masculine and feminine.
For man to become The Lover takes time. Guidance. Support. It is a fractal – by becoming The Lover you will have mastered practical techniques to deepen your authentic erotic response. You will be able to penetrate your woman’s body and soul with your breath, eye contact and presence. You will reclaim power and an authority woman loves. You will inevitably improve all other masculine traits. You don’t do this for her, you do it because it’s the only worthwhile quest. I wish you challenges that your small or large inner voice says you are ready to overcome.
Do you intuit that you need other men to share your enquiry with? Secret Garden’s Men’s Circles within the Joyful Loving circles are for men who want to deepen in their commitment and passion for the insights and openings essential for happiness and the depth of love they value.
If these posts have interested you, you may want to find out more about the upcoming new Joyful Loving Ongoing Group starting in October. If I was not partly facilitating it, I’d attend for sure since being alive is a precious gift that is worth making the absolute most of.
Men, the programming to soldier on goes very deep in us. Real men are big enough to get help when they recognise the simple truths I’ve been exposing here.
With love, Tim