I’m a guy, and I don’t want to cry. It is not something that is easy to explain, nor easy to share. Gawd, why am I even writing about this? Well, this week has been spent in half day workshops with an [[eclectic]] group of men from all walks of life. I have to say, it is my first experience with a group of men, versus co-ed, and I’m quite enjoying the experience. As the group spends more time together, we increase our comfort to experience more deeply. And what we’re talking about often are [[emotions]].
What I didn’t expect from this experience was a surfacing of buried pain. The tears burned inside me, wanting desperately to escape. I can’t do it, I can’t bring myself to cry. The lurking force feels to powerful for my comfort and self-control. It is a man thing, I’m sure. I don’t know why, other than the fact that many of us men [[commiserate]] this challenge in our lives. Not just to express the tears, but also, to finesse, understand, communicate, and master a full-range of emotions. Inhibiting emotions has been part of the boyhood rituals since as far back as I can remember.
Today, the pain in my soul, the grief in my heart, cried out for expression. Where in the past, uncomfortable emotions would be cause for battle, they are now a call to surrender. I’ve gotten better at this by simply being with the emotions, rather than running away by trying to suppress them, or to channel them into some other truly negative or destructive outlet. As I sit with them, I discover how much love is in my heart, and the grief that is causing all this emotional pain.
A sibling’s senseless death, the devastated family, divorced twice, financial difficulty, health crisis, near death experience, and a myriad of other personal story items have left a mark on my heart. The difficult gift in this is the heart for humanity that empathizes with every broken heart, every broken soul, and outrages against injustice, while flailing in what seems a sea of hopelessness against a multi-generational structure called society steaming down the rails of extinction. I’m only summing up a history, and still the question comes up sometimes, “What can a man do?”
I don’t have to go far to see tragedy. I could easily find a sad story every day. People, like you and me, we all played together when we were 5 and 6 year olds. Our lives were [[magnificent]]; we were magnificent! As Life happens, our paths become our roles in a [[schema]] already established, or so it sometimes seems. There are good times and bad times, yet somehow, there are those who weather the storms, and those who drown.
See him? The sleeping bag, barefoot, shuffling along, with long scruffy light-brown hair, and ragged pants dragging. He was a school teacher, a smart and kind guy. He never asks for money, never imposes upon anybody. What happened? Was he the kid who once helped me when I was little? He could have been. It’s sad. I harden myself. It is near impossible to carry this for every lost soul. Why are there so many today?
You see, this may seem silly. Yet, I don’t know what other way to describe the battle within. This is where I had come to as I questioned these tears, when a realization came that tears release that pain and it won’t be held by the body festering into a storm. Yet, and still I’m a guy, and I struggle to just let go. Ironically, given the right company, the safe space has been created that facilitated those tears. And a piece (peace) was healed.
What am I afraid of? I wonder.