There is so much confusion around the role of men. Many men are put into a box: either falling into a Harvey Weinstein category or being labeled a SNAG (sensitive new age guy). One main problem is men don’t have a lot of role models for how to be a true man. The difficulty is the separation we have between what is supposedly a man and what supposedly isn’t. Men can be strong and have someone’s back. We can desire sex and still desire women’s rights. We can back our friend in a fight, and still be the shoulder for somebody to cry on. So, what does it really mean to be a man? The answer lies in the return of the gentleman.
What would it take to create a space where men can be all of themselves, without judgement, shame or apology? And what is it to be a gentleman? It’s about being honorable, kind, and caring and also being potent, sexual, able to make money, able to contribute to family. The main word is honor. You can honor women, children, the planet; and you can honor you and your needs. You don’t have to discount yourself in the process.
The return of the gentleman is all about that. It’s about being the best we can be as men. It’s about acknowledging our greatness with no shame, no wrongness and no apologies. It’s the place of honoring everyone. It’s where you honor you. You honor women. You honor kids. You honor your commitment. You honor our future as a planet. Being a gentleman is about including everything and judging nothing. Yes, even you.
To help initiate the return of the gentleman, here are three tips with which you can start…
Trusting yourself more
Do you trust yourself as a man? For most men, that is a resounding no. From early on you get the projected lack of trust from mothers, sisters, aunts, and all females because they see what they have come to define as true: they can’t trust men. All too often, you buy that point of view and come to believe that you as a man cannot be trusted.
No matter how much someone else may be judging you, that judgment cannot affect you when you have value and trust for you. It’s only when you don’t value and trust you that you believe that the judgments of others are true.
Start to see that you have value. Start to recognize that you contribute. Acknowledge that you are a gift to the world, just as you are; not as anyone else says you should be. Start to trust you.
Your point of view creates your reality. If you see yourself as untrustworthy, your reality will reflect that back to you. When you choose the point of view that you have value and are trustworthy, other people’s opinions no longer affect you.
One way to change your point of view from believing that you are untrustworthy is to say “Interesting point of view. I have that point of view.” for every time you notice a point of view. For example, let’s say you are talking to someone and you say something, and you think, “That was so stupid. What’s the matter with me?” Say to yourself, “Interesting point of view. I have the point of view.” Say it 10 times. As you repeat this, your point of view becomes simply interesting. No longer real and true.
Being more vulnerable
Flip through the pages of a few men’s magazines and you are likely to find something written about what it means to be a man. Most often, it’s from the perspective of being tough, being strong, being macho. Rarely is there anything said about being kind, caring… and least of all vulnerable.
Vulnerability has gotten a bad rap. The idea has been perpetuated that vulnerability equates to being hurt, so put on a facade, perfect your image, be what you think you are supposed to be. If you desire sex or relationship, avoid vulnerable and work on that image.
What if vulnerability is something completely different than what you’ve been taught? What if vulnerability is actually one of the keys to having everything in your life that you’ve wanted to have but haven’t known how to get? I have found this to be true.
People are drawn to vulnerability. It’s something they desire. It’s something they like being around. Vulnerability is sexy.
Vulnerability requires that you have no barriers to anyone or anything and no judgment of anyone or anything. Have you ever been around someone who didn’t judge you? Have you ever been around someone who was in total allowance of you and your choices, no matter what?
No judgment is the place of vulnerability. It is where you exist with no barriers, no walls. And in that space of no walls and no barriers, you have total potency, total power, total capacity. Only by creating yourself as invincible, un-vulnerable, or judgmental, that you can create roadblocks in your life.
Real men like themselves. They are grateful for who and what they be. What if you woke up in the morning, looked at yourself in the mirror and had no judgment of you? What if you practiced gratitude for you – all the time. Even when you mess up. Even when others are unhappy with you? How much more fun would your life be if you could laugh at yourself when you do something stupid rather than taking yourself so seriously. Be willing to be you – unapologetically.
What we acknowledge grows bigger. When you start to focus on the things that you are grateful for, more of those things show up. A great way to be more aware of the amazing gift of you, is to start a gratitude journal and actually write down the things about you the you like and are grateful for.
Each day, write down 3- 5 things. The first few days might be easy – or maybe not! We are so used to judging ourselves rather than choosing gratitude. As you choose to deliberately put your attention on what you admire about you, you will have more joy, more satisfaction and more of you.
The return of the gentleman is really about you willing to be you. When you are willing to honor and trust you, when you practice gratitude and choose vulnerability, when you don’t apologize for the kindness, the care and the potency of you but allow yourself to be all of it, you become an invitation to something greater in the world. You become a gentleman.
P.S. To be a part of the conversation and movement of the ‘Return of the Gentlemen’ with me, visit here.
And for the full article in Aspiring Gentleman, check it out here.