Episode 17: Healing the Boy, Strengthening the Man

Inside of every man lives a boy – a version of the man who is defined by adventure, curiosity, and possibility. This boy can also reflect our wounded self, the parts of us that bear shame and hold the stories we created as children from the experiences we endured. Tom McGee, our first Fathers’ Month special guest, brings decades of experience from men’s circles, psychotherapy, and ceremony to help us understand how to heal our inner boy so that we can strengthen ourselves as men.

Topics Covered:

    • Boys are more self-referenced than men
    • Men are thinking about more than just themselves
    • Other qualities of men: exercising restraint, accountability, holding the tension of opposites, choice over reactivity, gift oriented, empowering women, being in constant relationship with the life of your soul, protecting and blessing the sacred
  • The never-ending journey of becoming a man and refining who we are
  • Characteristics of the wounded boy:
    • Wrapped up in shame
    • Feels undeserving
    • Feels as though he doesn’t belong
    • Driven by fear and anxiety
  • How to heal the wounded boy within us
  • Losing connection with our inner boy, and how to reconnect
  • How we can get caught up in the arrogance of being a man
  • The trap of seeking external validation
  • Using arrogance and false confidence as a defense for shame
  • Why it’s important to be compassionate and loving to yourself, especially when dissolving shame
  • The subtle distinction between shame and guilt (Brene Brown)
  • Feeling the appropriate amount of guilt so that we don’t become overwhelmed with shame
  • When shame translates into violent behavior
  • Discussing violence from teenage boys: where has society failed these boys? And what can we do about it?
  • How the “Lone Wolf” narrative has played into male isolationism
  • Characteristics of a healthy father-son dynamic
  • Raising daughters: What does a daughter need from her father?
  • Recognizing that our children are always watching us, and using that as an opportunity to level up our behavior
  • The similarities and differences between parenthood and grandparent hood
  • Being curious with children, allowing them to lead where they want to go and still maintaining boundaries for safety
  • Why you shouldn’t keep score with your partner when it comes to raising kids and family duties

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