The song goes “..One day when my crying’s done, am gonna wear a smile and walk in the Sun.. until then, I do my crying in the rain..” Do you guys? And I am talking to guys..as in men.. (‘cos these days everyone calls everyone guys.. so it gets confusing).
The other day, I was in a particularly emotional state. and had broken down into a few tears .. in front of my mother and my sister..no less. Just for a few seconds, mind you! (well,I had ..by some personal miracle, been holding back the emotions for a good 2 hours as I traveled through the London Transport system at evening peak travel time.. without any tears showing in public!). So you know what my mum said, as she patted my back briefly? That men don’t cry.. Okay so she said that in a consoling tone..but that’s what she said.
Now I am a deeply sensitive guy (as in Man!) inside, and most of the time the best expression of emotions I have is anger.. and frustration.. I can give all sorts of psychology- but the truth of it is, it’s a habit learnt from my father (sadly). I had of course seen him cry in the past – either when he was drunk, or that one time..when he held me ( I was a 5 yr old boy) and while watching his father (my grandfather) die!!
Between then and now, I have shed tears.. in sympathy, empathy..or just because I am plain old upset or deeply sad.. about one thing or another. (Some 4-5 months ago, when a select few people of a Pagan community were hell-bent on bullying and harassing me online.. I had had darker days..and only my partner saw me in moments of despair and tears). But yes, most of the time.. 99% that is.. I hide… either very late at night, quietly.. or out in the garden ..underneath my sacred Willow Tree ..(a weeping Willow is no good if one can’t actually weep under it sometimes…!) And yes, I have stood out in the rain at times crying too.. The other great excuse I’ve used to hide tears is…cold! Yeah, just say you have a cold, and that’s why your eyes are watery.. Sniffle a few times, and blow your nose in a tissue in front people..or go as far as to act out a quick sneeze…and no one will guess!!
Seriously, leaving my personal trials and tribulations aside (and what’s the point of a personal blog if I can’t do the occasional revelation?).. I got to thinking about all sorts of things.
Firstly that if more men do express emotions, then for people like me, those suppressed emotions won’t surface as `anger’.. and the world will really be a better place.
Secondly, that if there are more groups, places or support – for men ..to help deal with our struggles, then much breakthrough can happen. It’s not about some great big scheme, where men turn up and do communal crying… as some therapeutic act (though here may be serious merit in that too). No. It’s about a place.. physical or online, where without this social stigma that men can’t show emotions, ..we men can live emotionally enriched lives.. and face crisis and struggles better (instead face them with aggression – something I am known for doing!)
Male Mysteries – Esoteric & Magical Explorations
Some 8-9 years ago, I was having weekly counselling . No, not because there was something wrong.. I was studying Transpersonal Psychology, and training in Counselling Skills. So the course required me to be in counselling to deal with old stuff…and so much resolutions and wisdom came out of that. The lady who helped me was the late Maureen Brown. And she often spoke of a deep lack of `Male mysteries’ in pagan, esoteric and spiritual communities… Or just in modern world…for all ! We got a little group going.. monthly. But it did not progress. However, I took some of those ideas and started forming the pagan outdoor group `Hern’s Tribe’ – which was to be a Male Mysteries group. That changed however, and became a unisex general outdoor shamanic group. Some of the guys in Hern’s Tribe did how ever explored a few male mysteries in 3-4 outdoor special activities & ceremonies (ideas of fire, hunting etc). It was a private subgroup we called Obsidian Order (taken from the fact that Obsidian is a hardened glass-crystal that stone age man used to fashion sharp spear-heads or arrow tips).
But recently I had been thinking about all that, and have been inspired (by Circumstances and just socially aware thinking)…to take those ideas forward. Already I have set up a facebook group and a page (Can you believe that? almost 1 Billion people on facebook, and no Male Mysteries group or page until yesterday!) It’s just a seed…work in progress…but do look for it, and become a member or a fan.. I’ll of course promote it once it has taken shape.
I’ll close this blog post with one final though.. on tears again. Very much all those ancient Egyptian statues and art works seem to have that specialised Eye-design.. and why does it always show a tear? Tears of Isis? Tears of Ra? Tears ..why?
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