As men, we often think of strength, and courage, and honor – which are certainly qualities that go with manhood – but when we think about how our manhood relates to the fairer sex – there are things they notice that they see as manly that we may not!
In that list, several things were answered multiple times
The idea of Masculine and Feminine Energies is a misnomer
I believe that men and women share many qualities. Women can nurture, and men can nurture. But women do it in a feminine way, and men do it in a masculine way. Men are strong, and women are strong – but we are strong in ways that are unique to who we are. A strong woman is not masculine, she’s feminine. A gentle man is not femnine, he’s masculine. We need to stop ascribing energies to genders.
Life is hard sometimes. We face obstacles in our path that stop our progress, hold us back, even harm us sometimes. What if those obstacles were NOT the enemy that we thought they were? What if overcoming those hardships was actually the very point of it all?
“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”
– Marcus Aurelius
We need to view hardship as an opportunity.
“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”
– Napoleon Hill
Sometimes, we know the reason for our adversity.
The question of WHY is always running through our heads and hearts when things get hard. It’s okay to look for that. Sometimes, the answer is that we are foolish. Our own stupid choices may have caused our hardship. Sometimes, the hardship may be the result of injustice, or someone else’s bad decisions. The answer to WHY can be helpful sometimes for us to avoiding the same hardship in the future.
For example, if I eat Taco Bell at 9PM and get the runs at midnight, i can curse the adversity of the runs, or I can learn from the situation.
Sometimes we do not know the reason for our adversity.
There are times that despite our best efforts to decode or understand, the hardship before us is impossible to decipher. We look for someone to blame or hold accountable, or a way that we can avoid similar hardships in the future, but answers elude us.
It’s in these moments that we have to remember that the purpose of our suffering or the purpose of our obstacle may not be an intentionally, cosmic or divinely ordained moment, but rather a natural progression in life. Hardship will always come. That’s the way of it.
We often look at life as a force that throws things at us… we blame life, or God, or the Devil, or “the system” or whatever malevolent entity we chose. Maybe our perspective is jaded. Maybe it’s not that bad things are handed to us to hurt us. Maybe the truth of life is that SOME challenges come our way so that we can be strengthened as we overcome them?
The right question about hardship is, how can this strengthen me?
We must learn to view hardship as an opportunity for growth. An opportunity for something great to happen. That’s not so hard when it’s an easier hardship. That’s really hard when it’s accompanied with great loss and pain.
But the truth is that is the human condition. We are all living in a broken world, where broken things happen. Since the beginning of time, when sin and brokenness entered the world, perfection was broken, and broken things happen. Redemption is what happens when we allow the brokenness to be overcome.
“Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.”
– William Arthur Ward
“Hard times don’t create heroes. It is during the hard times when the “hero” within us is revealed.”
– Bob Riley
The secret to overcoming adversity is in not avoiding the hardship, but in facing it.
And in some cases, embracing it. Surely, there are some needless hardships that we can avoid by making better decisions – that in fact is the very nature of getting stronger in the face of adversity, in that we learn from the consequences of our mistakes. But for most hardship, enduring it, solving it, learning to bear it, learning to get help when we should, becoming strong – this is what we are supposed to do. If we avoid it – we never learn these things. We never grow. We never thrive. We never WIN.
And he’s not alone. Many scholars have pondered the question, are we living in a reality, or a simulation of some kind?
In the Matrix trilogy, Morpheus addresses Keanu Reeve’s character, Neo, and offers him a choice. Take the BLUE PILL and continue to believe what you know, or take the RED PILL and you can see the truth. That Red Pill metaphor has permeated culture, with everything from conspiracy theories to the incel movement, to just a general representation of mankind accepting truth.
Are we living in a simulation?
I don’t believe that the simulation is a computer or holographic simulation – but I do believe that there is some truth behind this concept. Let’s look deeper.
According to Simply Psychology.com Cognitive dissonance refers to a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviors. This produces a feeling of mental discomfort leading to an alteration in one of the attitudes, beliefs or behaviors to reduce the discomfort and restore balance.
If the last couple years have taught us anything, it’s that there are often multiple narratives, and often a prevailing narrative that we are expected to accept. Some of those narratives are perpetuated and bolstered by powerful forces.
Who owns the media?
15 billionaires and 6 corporations own and control almost all of the major media outlets in the United States.
The FBI and the CIA have declassified many of their old case files and operations. They are not all declassified, and some are heavily redacted. One thing is clear, there are things that have been done by these government agencies that raise suspicions about their motives, their intentions, and their allegiance to the Constitution of the United States, the sovereignty of other nations, and the freedoms of the American people.
If the CIA could do experiments on US citizens in the 1960s, why would we believe they stopped today? If they were influencing foreign journalists to portray a false narrative to the people in order to participate in psychological warfare, why would we assume they stopped today?
I understand that these questions are bordering on conspiracy theory. I want to make it clear that I’m not saying with concrete evidence that there is malfeasance, but judging on what was done in the past, it takes a certain degree of cognitive dissonance to believe that these actions have stopped.
Here are a couple of declassified events and programs that ought to give you pause before you trust the narrative that the media is telling you the truth, and that the government has your best interest at heart.
I want to encourage to look these up for yourself, and read the original declassified files, and then rather than just assume a conspiracy theory about them, be aware of these as historical instances that may shape our current reality.
The Tuskegee Experiments
The Gulf of Tonkin
What is the truth?
Part of the problem we have in our culture today is that we have muddied the entire concept of Truth. One group says one thing, and the side says another. We have very little ability to distinguish the Truth from a cleverly crafted fiction.
Is There A Higher Reality?
I spoke with Brennen Nakane recently as we recorded an interview that will air later in the season, and in our pre-interview conversation, he had some amazing thoughts on the idea of us living in a simulation that I thought were worth adding to this conversation.
What if it’s not about a “simulation” but about a higher “reality”? What if this is a temporary reality in comparison to a permanent reality? When we see “glitches” or random coincidences that seem to point to a designer, maybe they are actually pointing to a Grand Designer?
What if there IS more to this life than just the 70-90 years of sleeping, working, and complaining about random crap?
A covenant is a sacred promise. Marriage is a prime example of that. When you marry someone – you make a permanent bond that is meant to be unbreakable. A promise of fidelity. Breaking that bond has severe consequences.
Men – we have other covenants too. Some unspoken, some formal
We’ve been talking about the Virtues of Manhood, and this week, Josh Hatcher of Manlihood talks about the virtue of Service, and how every man should view his role as a leader through the lens of service.
To Serve is more noble than to dominate
Leadership starts with service.
Those that serve will reap rewards.
You don’t need a title to lead.
Kindness – The golden rule
Ultimately, we all want to be KINGS, the king of our home, the top dog at work, etc., but the truth is, KNIGHT may be a more accurate title for our role. We serve a King or a Kingdom (and we can unpack what THAT means another day) and we serve it not as a ruler, or a lord, but as a leader who lays his life on the line for those he loves.
Courage is a virtue that is often misappropriated in our current toxic culture. It’s often assigned to people who did nothing to earn it, and folks that display courage are often treated as villains. Courage is something all of as can ascribe to and attain, but it’s important to know and understand that courage is not a lack of fear, but rather the testicular fortitude to push back the fear to do the thing. (Note: Testicles are not required for courage.)
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Josh Hatcher of Manlihood appeared on one of the introductory episodes of The Significant Man Podcast with Warren Peterson this week. Josh talks about the importance and the value of masculinity in today’s culture, talks about properly processing emotions and becoming more emotionally resillient. He tells some of his story, how faith and becoming a man helped him overcome bullying and many other issues in life.
Warren Peterson is the Founder of the Significant Man movement, and the author of several books for men. He discusses masculinity within the context of faith, and holds an annual Men’s retreat in the Colorado Rockies.
Listen to this episode, and subscribe the Significant Man RECHARGE podcast!