I (Shana) was playing with my son Ari the other day. I started thinking…
How is it that a little boy who smothers me with kisses, could become a man who is afraid that if he is sweet to a woman he will be seen as being weak?
How is it that a little boy who is so clear about what he wants, that he repeats himself 15 times in a row if I don’t acknowledge his desire, could become a man who is afraid to ask for what he wants?
How is it that a little boy who cries and expresses his feelings with exuberance, could become a man who holds it all in to try to be manly and strong?
How is it that a little boy who colors his tummy green, picks up worms and reaches into gopher holes, could become a man who is heady and disconnected from his body and creativity?
And how is it that a little boy who wears everything from princess dresses to batman underoos, could become a man who is afraid of being judged?
The truth is, that little wild, sweet little boy is still alive in every man you meet. Because our culture doesn’t tend to support men’s tenderness, most men learn to put on a mask and hold themselves together.
When you don’t understand this, you’ll put men on pedestals, and think there’s something wrong with you for how much you feel and what you want.
When you understand this, you realize that no man has it all together, or is completely confident, no matter how hot he is, how much money he makes, or how strong he seems. And then you can let your guard down, have compassion for yourself and share your own insecurities. You can start to relate with men in a way that makes it safe for all the tender parts you long for in him, to come out.
So, the next time you look at a man and notice yourself feeling self-conscious or scared he’s judging you, remember that he has a two year old inside him, just like you do. Take a breath. Let go of the idea that you should be perfect. Remember that he’s afraid of you judging him too. Experiment with sharing what you were feeling. Then ask him if he’s ever felt the same. Let us know how it goes here at the blog.
Leave a comment or ask a question here, too. We love your wisdom, your questions and even your challenges. We all learn together.