MMM #17: Why Men Self Sabotage
One of the biggest issues facing young men today is the lack of rites of passage and mentorship. Without community and having others in our lives with a shared vision, we cycle thru self destructive patterns. We can change this TODAY, starting by looking within and then by connecting to the Rising Man community.
There is a simple truth about humans that has existed for as long as we have been around. That is, we thrive in community. We are social animals, period.
- As part of a community, we are designed to spend our formative years learning from our parents, Aunties, Uncles, and elders how to care for ourselves, first, and others, next.
- It’s the greatest natural instinct next to self-preservation and perpetuating our DNA – contributing to our family
- Being of service. Helping others. Being USEFUL.
But, the reality is that life itself is challenging.
- We’ve spent tremendous time and effort designing a society that seeks COMFORT instead of learning how to embrace DISCOMFORT
- We crave CERTAINTY over embracing the UNKNOWN
- And, at the time when boys need it most, we fail to provide them with a Rite of Passage, a ceremonial transition marked by facing off with challenge and overcoming great hardship, that will prepare them for this inevitable journey into adulthood
Let’s take a look at the big picture:
- Now, more than ever perhaps, we have:
- Men addicted to alcohol, drugs, pornography
- Men avoiding long-term committed relationships, disrespecting and dishonoring women
- Young men who resent their existence SO MUCH, that they are choosing to end their lives at alarming rates.
- We also see wayward teenagers, “bad eggs”, kids who fail to live up to their potential…
- Instead channeling their frustration and anger into crime, violence, rebellion, and destruction
- We see boys being initiated into gangs, early sexual activity, and rebellion because they simply do not know what else to do…
So, what’s the solution?
- Every boy must experience significant adversity before he will be prepared to walk the fires of life as a man
- If those adversities are not presented to him with support from his people (family, loved ones, mentors), he will CREATE THEM HIMSELF – Auto initiation
- The need for initiation is seen in the way we marvel at heroes
- It is classic “boy” nature to relate himself to the superhero character he sees on TV
- To dress like him, speak like him, and even take on his physical movements
- The stories of heroes have been told as long as there have been humans, though the nature of the stories and the context of the adversity has surely changed
- What we appreciate in movies today, our ancestors used to marvel at around the fire, listening to the eldest members of the village speak about warriors, healers, and brave souls who had since passed
- In the absence of these journeys, boys will create and attract adversity to themselves by the ways I already mentioned above
- So we MUST create ways to lead them across this threshold of boyhood to manhood
- Rites of Passage
- Creating a society where this is all our children know
Otherwise, the cycle of destructive masculine energy will continue and likely get worse. Now is the time!
- Reflect on the greatest adversity you’ve faced in your life
- What GREAT challenge have you overcome, and how has it shaped your life?
- What did you learn? What did it cost you?
- LASTLY, who was there to support you through it…if anyone?
- SHARE inside the Rising Man Facebook Group