It is a known cliche that men, in general, are considered ‘go-getters, explorers, thinkers, and more often than not, lovers of problem solving.’
But are you a responsible man who takes care of yourself and your surroundings? Are you leaving the right footprints for others to follow? Are you happy with yourself?
To get an answer to all the questions related to your life, it is essential to do some work at the inner or core level. Which is what you will learn as you read further.
The inner work for men begins with the most important keyword “Acceptance” which is the key quality that always leads men towards self-victory.
The acceptance that there exist several dualities in this world. The fact that it is not the men who are the driving force in this universe. The acceptance that the world is a mixture of different gender identities, including male, female, transgender, gender-neutral, non-binary, agender, pangender, genderqueer, two-spirit, third gender, and all, none or a combination of these.
The acceptance that men are not only the symbol of strength, there also exists a vulnerable being inside everyone, the men are strong as well as fearful at the same time. Most of the men spend their life catering the strongest being inside them whereas not taking much care about the fearful side of them.
Let’s begin with a short story of an orphan child who grew up in an orphanage in the city thinking life is all about the joy and happiness that he shared with his other friends and caretakers. He stayed there until he finished his studies and was now time to move out of the orphanage and make a life of his own. During his stay in the orphanage, he never really understood the feeling of unacceptance because he was in an environment where everyone accepted him because he had no one in his life.
Soon after leaving the orphanage, he understood that the second phase of life begins at 23, where you must face a lot of rejections. It is then he started understanding the real meaning of unacceptance. The societal pressures took him apart and his ideologies were shattered. Soon after some years, he got diagnosed with a rare disease, but this time there wasn’t anyone to take care of him.
While battling this rare condition, he met a wonderful girl who soon becomes his loving partner at the age of 33. She started pulling back the sense of acceptance in his life and took care of him in the difficult times. This new happiness started changing his life and he could feel the difference in his health condition, he got his charm back and decided to begin with a new life and started looking for a professional life to get settled down with his loving partner.
As he was gradually developing sense and meaning in life, he lost his loving partner unexpectedly and life pushed him back to grief and sorrow but this time the struggle was different. His loving partner already taught him the value of acceptance in life. He soon started accepting whatever life throws at him and that gave him the strength to withstand almost anything. He still carries many wounds but only to realize that the inner spirit is infinite.
What Inner Work You Can Do to Strengthen the Infinite Spirit?
The ever-demanding modern society forces us all the time to look within us. Self-respect is the only tool in this era to keep your positivity intact. More than the strength it requires you to have the right attitude to find the true sense of meaning and purpose of life. It is important to take care of personal responsibility and never shy away from seeking support or help whenever you need so. Below discussed are the various inner works that you can practice in life.
1) Be More Expressive
Popular author Terrence Real revealed in his book ‘I Don’t Want to Talk About It’ that men stay aback or hesitate when it comes to expressing themselves and that is a societal issue.
Right from childhood, boys are the ones who are noticed less, spoken to less, pampered less when compared to the girl child. This stays with them as they grow up and become an adult. This behavior creates a tendency in the men not to discuss their issues with others and tackle everything of their own. Solving everything in your head develops a tendency to just look at “who you think you are” rather than focusing on “who you are in reality”.
To meet the real you, you will have to speak up about your issues and seek other’s help in solving your problems and get an opinion about yourself. This makes you more involved with others and you can have a broader look at life. But make sure you have the right person in life to look up to.
The following is an except from Terrence Real’s book
They have learned not to expect their father to attend to them or to be expressive about much of anything. They have come to expect him to be psychologically unavailable.
They have also learned that he is not accountable in his emotional absence, that Mother does not have the power either to engage him or to confront him. In other words, Father’s neglect and Mother’s ineffectiveness at countering it teaches the boys that, in this family at least, men’s participation is not a responsibility but rather a voluntary and discretionary act. Third, they learn that Mother, and perhaps women in general, need not be taken too seriously.
Finally, they learn that not just Mother but the values she manifests in the family—connection, expressivity—are to be devalued and ignored. The subtext message is, “engage in ‘feminine’ values and activities and risk a similar devaluation yourself.” The paradox for the boys is that the only way to connect with their father is to echo his disconnection. Conversely, being too much like Mother threatens further disengagement or perhaps, even active reprisal. At this moment, and thousands of other ordinary moments, these boys are learning to accept psychological neglect, to discount nurture, and to turn the vice of such abandonment into a manly virtue.
Terrence Real, I Don’t Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression
2) Eliminate the Wrong Belief
Since your childhood you are told to be a certain way, act a certain way. A lot of these belief sticks with your life and you grow up the same way thinking you must be too conscious about everything. The takes away your freedom of being the real you and act more the way the society has taught you.
There are certain values and principles that you must eliminate from your life. One such false belief that you grow up listening to is “stay away from strangers”. This may protect you when you are a kid but growing up with this belief can be too dangerous for you. This will make you more protective and self-defensive making you stay away from any sort of risk in your life.
False belief will always force you to think a certain way and not accept anything that doesn’t align with your personal belief. Just because you have believed in certain aspects doesn’t mean it is right all the time. You tend to only attract the people who think your way. Never create an inner world that is set based only on your beliefs. This creates a state of isolation from the outer world and you tend to think that other people are not to be trusted.
The way you interact with others has a huge impact on your behavior. Carl Jung, a famous psychoanalyst from Switzerland explains the importance of putting your ego aside and never allow it to come your way. Seeing the world through your own belief creates a sense of ego in your head, even in a relationship you tend to make the other person behave the way you want them to. 80% of the relationships end because of this same ego which is developed from the same root of the belief.
3) Select the Right Role Model
Every man looks up to another man in his life and tries to behave or imitate the same way. Even you also fall in that same category, then it is time to re-think. It is more likely that a man will learn more from his role model than from books or through academics.
Most of the men choose an influential person as their role model, that could be an athlete, movie actor, a popular pop star. You may behave the same way these influential people behave. But do you know how they are in real life?
You might only know about how the athlete plays the game and behave on the ground. You don’t have any access to the personal life of that person. The athlete may be aggressive on the field but maybe too calm off the field. This approach will also make you aggressive in your daily life as you believe it is the right way to be. The charismatic and larger than life of a movie actor makes you believe that life is so happening, but you are leading such a monotonous and repetitive life. Be conscious when you enact someone in life.
4) Practicing Self Parenting
Parenting is essential because it is believed that every man has a young child within him. Imagine you being a parent and taking care of your child’s daily life. You will ask the child about how he is doing, how he spent his day, how things are progressing in his school, and many others. Likewise, ask yourself the below questions:
- Ask yourself how are you doing in life?
- Ask if your life is heading in the right direction?
- Do you take time out for yourself?
- Are you, your best friend?
It is important for you as a man to think about yourself at times. Taking care of yourself is one of the most underrated things nowadays. Self-parenting is effective to analyze your life and learn what you can do to help yourself. Ask questions about your daily life, work, relationship. Look at the fear that limits your life and take action to conquer that fear.
To create a new life, you must be aware of the current life that you are leading. When you ask questions to yourself, listen to the tone of your voice, the depth in your answers. Start treating yourself as the friend who always takes good care of you, simultaneously, treat yourself as the elder brother who always guides you holding your hands, and shares valuable experiences of life.
5) The Act of Balancing Your Life
All of us have multiple life within this same life. You have a life at home, at your gym, at your work, with your friends, with your family, are you able to create a nice balance between all these lives? Are you able to forget the pressure at work while you are at the gym? If not, then it is time to work on yourself.
Bring into action the three P’s of life: Propose Produce Prevent.
- Propose yourself a structure of the whole day right in the morning.
- Produce a list of tasks that you want to achieve in a day.
- Prevent yourself from anything that keeps you away from performing the tasks.
Once you focus on these three P’s, you will find it extremely easy to make the transition from one aspect of your life to another. Take time to relax between each session of your day and life. A quick jump from one to another is also harmful and makes you exhausted at the end of the day.
Why Are All These Things Important?
This is a stunning question and there is a stunning answer to this.
With the help of science and technology, we as humans have all the means to control the outer world. But do we have anything that can change our characters to implement the science to make this world a better place? All of us are heading in the same primitive manner of simply surviving. It is important, that you now focus on the world that is deeper than the entire universe, the world that exists within you.
Improve the quality of the thoughts and feeling you develop within.
The conclusion of your life is the combination of all the experiences that you have had individually as well as from your surroundings. Our life seems to be working for us but, it is not. It is our duty to end the internal conflicts and for that inner work is the best possible way. The most interesting thing is to engage, challenge, and satisfy yourself. In the end, you will thank yourself for taking care of yourself and looking deeply and seriously within you.