[Originally featured on The Good Men Project]
First, I am thankful. For you: the deep, beautiful, kind, gentle, strong, courageous, truthful, standout Men across the world.
I feel it’s time to celebrate the masculine - and help Him thrive in ways we greatly need, as women and as a global society.
I want to help bridge the gap between the Feminine and the Masculine. These twin energies define our human experience, and, when balanced and united, will resurrect us, and our ecosystem.
It’s not money, policies, or laws that will finally bring about justice and peace.
It’s the freedom to Know and Love ourselves and each other, fully and humanly. Believe me, I’ve had my own rough road to this realization…
This “Inside-Out Approach” will carry us through this global apocalypse (aka, the Great Unveiling), and show us a new way of life, for all created beings.
While conversations about toxic masculinity have helped shed light on cultural norms and abusive mindsets, we need more focus on healthy masculinity. Because there are lots of men who ARE doing the work…and I don’t mean praying about it.
While on the right path, these Spiritual Men also need support lifting their veils, healing trauma, opening their hearts, and repatterning behavior. It’s far too easy to get stuck in the performative aspects of equity (#feministmen), without true empathy, humbleness, and inner evolution.
Plus, spiritual narcissism is a real thing, and everyone, of every gender, needs to be aware of the blindness and ego traps that come with a pinch of higher awareness.
I wish I’d known this earlier. It may have opened my eyes to relationships that seemed spiritual (because we were focused on God, right?), but were, in fact, unjust, draining, and manipulative.
So here are a few practices & processes I’d like to offer, as food for your thoughts and actions:
- RELATIONING: This actually IS the solution – to everything. I’m not kidding. Relationships are the essential bonds that, when broken, create brokenness in our minds, hearts, and societies. But relationships aren’t a static thing. They’re processes that take endless patience, commitment, trust, humor, honoring, sharing…all the virtues we’re in this life to hone. Most women get relationing. Men are learning it. But guys, you really need our help. So that you too can experience the deep friendships, support, joy, and community that women have been drawing upon forever, just to survive. Relationing – seeing and treating all people and living things respectfully and lovingly– is the only way we’ll shift from mere survival (which definitely isn’t guaranteed at the pace we’re going) to collective thriving.
- QUESTIONING: This has always been my sticking point – in romances especially. Sure, a guy who’s courting you will show interest. You’re fascinating, he wants to know more about you. For the first few dates at least. Then, it’s all about him. Suddenly, the incredible adventures you’ve had, the books you’ve written, the countries you’ve lived in, fade to nothing. The woman becomes an ear, a receptacle, for his monologue. So Guys: please learn the art of sincere questioning and follow-ups. Then genuinely listen to our answers without making it about yourself. Also, feel free to question yourselves and your preconceptions about the world. Curiosity and attentiveness are waaaaaay more sexy than a sixpack. I promise.
- HOLDING: You’ve probably heard the phrase “holding space.” This is millennial-speak for the practice of creating an environment where people can gather, in safety, and be genuine and even vulnerable with each other. When you hold space for a woman, in person or over the phone/Zoom, you show her you care. And please, don’t fill that space with your own voice – that’s holding space for yourself, not her. Being quiet more than you speak allows women to feel safe, confident, and energized. Men, you are verrrry practiced at commanding space, taking up room, having opinions, projecting confidence and expanding your sphere of influence. Women are conditioned to contract. We’re socialized to shrink down, hush up, make space for others. So Guys: we need your ears and your open-hearted reciprocity. Think of it as bringing balance to the Force! And when a woman allows it, physical holding and hugs can be very welcome too.
- PRESENCING: This one comes with a warning: Our inner gems are brighter than the sun. Women can dazzle and stun, wound egos and save lives with tongues like Maya Angelou’s, sweet and sharp and glorious. Women KNOW what it’s like to be hated, ignored, and feared for our bodies and minds. We’ve often self-hated because of it. No more. Female Beauty + Truth + Power is here to stay. But the fact is: What Women Know and Feel will enrich and nourish you – only if you’re present with us. Turn off the devices. Stop the videogames an hour early. Re-appear from the rabbit hole of work and other distractions. Honestly, nothing dispels anxiety or soothes stressed out nerves more than being in the Here-and-Now with yourself, and the ones you love. Your presence is always the greatest gift you can give. It is the secret of healthy relationships. And it starts with women and men learning to be alone. With ourselves first.
- HEALING: I can’t emphasize this enough. Men, until you heal your inner child, until you explore the existential wounds in your psyche…no moon landings, electric cars, sexual conquests, or NFTs will fill the hole in your soul. No wars or emotional walls will stop your endless appetite for dominance, self-protection, and control. Over what? What are you so afraid of? The world is writhing in pain because you can’t sit with yourselves and take account. Instead, you choose to take over a country. Build gas pipelines through sovereign land. Wound dozens of women before you finally find “the one” who can take your shit and grow a garden from it. Healing is a solitary endeavor - no one, no woman, can do it for you. That said, you definitely need plenty of support in the form of friends, mentors, and therapists. We can walk with you, and light your way. First step of this journey? Men, all of y’all. Sit yourself down. In a comfortable chair. Go inside your own heart. And wait until the tears come.
- WEEPING: This is non-negotiable. Tears can be medicine, but women have had more than our fair share of the weeping cure. What a horror that the expression “boys don’t cry” exists. How many men have re-digested their tears of sorrow into fists of rage? And how many women have had to cry 10 times as many tears, so the soul-ducts of humanity can stay clear and healthy? Crying is how we water the tree of our life. It is also how we recognize injustice and suffering – and learn the skills of comfort, care, and repair – before a trickle turns into a flood.
- MOTHERING: Motherlove is a type of universe love that breaks every limitation you seek to place around it. Motherlove can be tender; it can be ferocious. It can be strict, as well as yielding. Whereas Fatherlove upholds the law and righteous acts, Motherlove goes deeper than law, beyond right and wrong. We need both. But we’re woefully overdue for some mothering. For centuries, many humans have defined God as Father. Our Father Who Art in Heaven. The divine Teachers we speak of are often men: Buddha, Krishna, Christ, Muhammad, Baha’u’llah. But each of these teachers was birthed and inspired by a Woman first. We are the Source, the Ground. Quite literally. Men, until you learn how to mother, Mother Earth will be endangered. Along with all of us.
- FLOWING: I can’t tell you how many women, including myself, have been experiencing menstrual irregularities lately. These aren’t isolated cases. As Indigenous peoples have long known, a woman’s blood is sacred. It is part of the life cycle of the planet, tied to the moon: the inner tide of Life herself. When those tides are out of whack, you know we’re in trouble. Men, you have your own natural cycle, but learn to ignore it. Push through, suck it up. Instead, try resting, allowing, softening. Guys, it’s ok. Those days when anxiety is eating you alive, or you’re exhausted by the grind: the women in your life will understand. Because when half of humanity is worn down by pressures to perform, produce, and provide, the other half is equally worn down – by pressures to support, sustain, and pacify. This isn’t a happy state of affairs, for anyone. Remember relationing: when one person suffers, we all do. Much less billions and billions of people, plants, and animals. It’s time to invent a better way to live-work-serve-play. Together.
- HEEDING: Guys, Women have learned a LOT from millennia of silence and oppression. We know how to stay alive in Spirit, even when our bodies are tied up, beaten down, and starved to death. The Feminine will lead us all out of the mess we’re in. But this means creating workplaces that are flexible, gentle, non-stressful. It means picking up the slack on days when She’s clearly overwhelmed. It means feeding and educating all our daughters and sons, not only intellectually, but emotionally and spiritually. It means being quiet and still, so you too can hear the Feminine whispering, in your own blood and bones. And then following her advice, wherever She may lead (and it ain’t always logical!)
- CHERISHING: This one’s for us all: every soul on the human spectrum. It’s time to wake up and revel in who we are! Stop the toxic comparisons and competition. Your beauty is a reflection of mine, and vice versa. But the only way we can lift each other up is by sitting with our pain and shame, sharing it, and allowing it to break open–revealing our true face. Try this: Stand naked in front of a full-length mirror. Naked before your own body and soul. Repeat this practice day after day until you sense a shift. Look at all you’ve been through. Your wounds and your scars. Your flaws and failings. Your fears, anger, joy, grace. Confront your naked self, alone, until you can ACCEPT and CHERISH. ALL OF HIM. ALL OF HER.
And know I already accept and love you. All of you.
2 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Spiritual Men [Featured on The Good Men Project]”
Dear one, the depth and breadth of this path of understanding of who we are in relationship to one another, all others, and how the embodied masculine energies are to find healing and balancing, within and with others, and with the feminine beauty gifted this world, is truth. thank you💜✨
Dearest Rebecca: chills. Your words humble me & fill me with joy. I was just thinking of you & your beautiful singing at the Temple. Talk about releasing the potency of the feminine Soul into this world! So grateful we’re connected. Thank you for reading & responding so lovingly