I am 42, never married, in a stable job, and feeling crappy most of the time. I remember a time when I was very passionate about life. But it has been a long time since anything has excited me. I do not particularly enjoy my job. I seem to have relationships that last a year or so and then slowly fizzle. I have read many self-help books regarding finding your passion, self-esteem, and higher purpose. But I am still looking for the answer. Do you have the answer for me?
Some might just diagnose you as depressed, refer you to the nearest pill pusher, and then call it a day. That ain’t my style. In fact, the only time I can support the use of meds is if you’re balled up in the fetal position and incapable of functioning. Granted, my perspective is not especially popular in this pharmaceuticals-knows-best culture of ours.
But if you’re functioning at home and at the job and are just stuck, unhappy, but willing to do some work to turn things around, I think there is a better way.
You need to take action and you need to stop doing it alone. And by the way, the answer isn’t another romantic relationship. The answer for you is meaningful relationships with men.
We have a few generations of men who have habitually sought out the feminine to solve their problems, to heal their wounds, to make them happy. However, after the short-term thrill has worn off, the men are just as miserable, maybe more so. Why? Because we need to fix our problems. By retreating to the feminine-be it serial monogamy, recreational sex, porn, hookers, etc.-we’re not fixing our problems, we’re just getting another “fix” for our addiction. So, we wake up the next morning feeling even worse.
What most men don’t know is that what ails them is a lack of connection with masculine energy, with the masculine within, with our fathers. That’s right, we are our fathers’ sons. And to be the man you want to be, one of your challenges will be to come face to face with that original relationship with a man, your dad.
What happens when you’re in the company of initiated men, men who are committed to your growth and theirs, and are willing to hold you accountable and be held accountable to a much deeper, trusting relationship-is you begin to get fathered by the other men. Eventually, you become more comfortable in your own skin as you find your place among the men. You also have the opportunity to learn the lessons from your father, so you can move forward into manhood.
This may sound a bit cryptic, but the process is quite natural when you’re with men who are tired of the superficial and are willing to admit that they also need help to be better men, fathers and husbands.
It’s with men-having fun, learning about each other, receiving and offering guidance, wisdom, experience and advice-that we can get help to discover how we really feel, and then connect with our passions and our higher purpose.
It’s difficult for most men to believe that what they need to be happier and more successful is the support of other men. After all, most men have never had that kind of support. It wasn’t taken away from us in our lifetimes. In fact, it’s been several generations since men were raised by men, in the company of their uncles, brother and neighbors, and taught what it meant to be a healthy men in their communities.
But once you discover the power of being in a circle of men, you’ll never want to be without it. It’s within that circle where you’ll find your answer, and so much more.
Wayne M. Levine, M.A., mentors men to be better men, husbands and fathers.