“Because I was not superhuman, I was just a human, and my attempts to be this Superman, this Telon star, someone infallible who everyone could look at as the perfect man, were eventually my downfall…” – Terry Crews
There is something freeing about allowing yourself to feel. Taking off the mask of perfection and admitting weakness. There is a bravery to that vulnerability. I’ve been thinking about the unfortunate culture we have among men where we choose pride over vulnerability. We constantly have our walls up.. constantly have ‘everything under control’.. constantly have monster trucks on our minds (we’re not about to admit that a cat video is adorbs!)…
It’s all very exhausting…
“There’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I’m not going
to let anybody see
you…” – Charles Bukowski
How about the fact that we don’t talk. We crack jokes, we talk about news and sport but we hardly create a safe space to talk about anything vulnerable. It’s hard to just say “gents I’m not okay”. Justin Baldoni spoke about how he resented his father earlier on in his life because he was open and vulnerable and he expected quite the opposite in a father. It was only later on that he realized that what his father taught him was invaluable. I wish we had more fathers like that, teaching their sons that it’s okay to show emotion.
There are so many layers to this and I intend to dig deep and write about manhood more but the one thing I have learnt so far is that indifference is overrated. We have to learn to show up emotionally, to allow ourselves to feel and to share those feelings with the people in our lives. Let’s just say as far as the really important things are concerned, as men, we are mostly missing in action.