Monday, January 11, 2021

ONE Is the Loneliest Number

 I am lonely at times...there, I said it. It wasn't so hard to say, and for the life of me I am just now beginning to understand why it is that so many men seem to have so much trouble admitting it. In the many conversations I've had with multiple guys the one thing that is constant is that there is a lack of authentic expressions and especially to sharing internal feelings up front. It takes time to develop into something really close and really intimate but why is that? I think I have an idea and I'd like to throw it out for your consideration and thoughts if you would like to share.

There seems to be this internal notion for most men that sharing your feelings is a "female" thing so when there's any thought of sharing something intimate with a male friend men seem to hit a brick wall and absolutely will not go beyond. Can I paint a picture for you? They feel like the Israelites when they arrived at the Red Sea and could not go beyond that point. They looked behind and saw the Egyptian chariots racing towards them to bring them back to Egypt. If they looked towards the sea, they saw drowning and sure death. They were at a place where there seems to be no solution. It is at this exact place where men find themselves when they have this mentality, and, it has created generations of men who have had their emotional growth stunted by ideas, perceptions, and opinions of others. The idea that if I become vulnerable and share internal feelings, it shows that I am weak or cowardly. This in turn perpetuates a guy's inability to forge strong and caring relationships with other men. Then what we have left are men that won't speak, won't share, won't cry, and maybe even won't hug. This breaks my heart and causes hurt to the very core of who we have been made to be. Makes sense??

So without an intimate (come on guys, don't assume that means sexual) and close relationship with another man, what occurs is that men slowly begin to push that "closeness" off to their wives or girlfriends. Are you getting an idea of what is going to happen over time? Yes, men begin to believe that their mate is responsible for their emotional well being and let me just insert here, it can only lead to failure. Slowly that expectation is whittled away (probably because it was never expressed) due to the fact that a wife or girlfriend is not wired to meet that need, much less truly understand what it means. Guys! Ladies do not understand your need as a man and the simple reason is what? She's not a man!

Men place so little effort in solidifying their relationships with other men because they don't know how and for the most part, were probably instructed as a youth to not expose themselves as weak or hurt to other men. This stigma carried a sickle with it that the moment any man felt close and wanted to speak authentically to a friend, the picture of slicing and dicing takes over and the poor guy just exits stage left.  Let me throw this in here, I've heard admissions that it is easier for men to fess up to feelings like anxiety and disappointment so much easier than to admit being lonely. This is a dragon of a different color. Why?  Well it's because the first two can be placed towards others, but loneliness is personal and internal realization that it's on me and me alone. This means and presents a worth or a value of who I am or how I see myself. This is BIG when it comes to a personal perspective of "me".

So how do we slay this giant in our midst? By simply facing it...meaning make positive steps with a small circle of your friends you know well. Begin to share some of your sacred "feelings". Express how at times you feel like you need a friend to listen, to support, to simply to provide audience. Not only will this help you reach another level of friendship and intimacy, but may also very well open the door to another man that all this time needs exactly what you are needing and work to help him to realize it too.

No man can be an island, you may think so but somewhere sometime, you too will feel alone and it will hit you like nothing else you have faced. Be courageous and take a few steps forward to find your friend(s) but also know that those steps you have taken will payoff immensely.