Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Coming To Terms With Masculine And Feminine

For a long time, I struggled with who I was.  I knew I was a boy (and now a man), yet I was always emotional or sensitive.  In many ways I hate those words because they often pegged me as being weak. In our society, to be considered a weak man is a death sentence

For a long time, I despised my sensitive side.  Yet, it was nearly impossible for me to hide it or ignore it or run from it.  It was there.  It was who I was, but it was a painful part of my existence.

I remember having my head bashed into a wall of a laundromat by a classmate because what I considered to be normal, he took offense to and he was going to teach me a lesson.

I remember having to sit through and watch horrible TV shows and movies with shooting guns and violence in them, while I cringed and hid deep within.

I remember being beaten if I didn't cry enough, and beaten more if I cried too much.  I remember being beaten when my poor little hands would be cold from the Midwest winters and inadequate mittens.  I was expected be strong and brave and courageous and unafraid.

Being a sensitive man (person, human, etc), I've picked up things at maximum levels that most don't even realize, yet there's often been nowhere to go with that.  There's hardly any men that I can talk to and share it.  I can often share it easier with my female friends, but there is a void there.

Being a gay man who is sensitive is like another whack on your head in our society.  The alpha-male dominant screaming and grandstanding individual is what society holds up as some great leader; the man that will say it like it is and go around shooting someone or knocking them down with one punch.  I see life completely different, and this portrayal that is pushed out every day is sickening at best.

For a long time, like I said, I hated that I was sensitive.  I had just as many feminine traits as I had masculine.  I felt like it was a curse!  Why was I created this way?  This was what I constantly asked myself.

It wasn't until I met a couple of influential people in my life that started to help me see that my sensitive side was a good thing.  It was there to help not only myself but others in life.  When these people would share with me that I had a good balance of masculine to feminine, I started to learn what that meant.  I started to see that in fact, it wasn't as bad as I thought.

Yes, growing up, I got beaten hard for not being a man or "not acting like a big boy", but to this day I don't know if I ever remember my dad showing emotions other than anger and rage.  When I brought this up in a letter, I was chastised and ostracized by my family for it.  If his emotional side was ever there, I did not see it.

It is difficult in this world not only being gay, but also dealing with a sensitive side.  I see so much that hurts me deep to the core while others close their eyes.  I'm gay and I see relationships differently than much of the world sees.  I've felt hatred directed at me for who I am and I can tell you that it is painful.  It angers me when I see people who boast how much they love others and yet, they show hatred in their words, actions, tweets, and likes.

I actually think we need more men that rise up and become who they are, not who society says they are.  What most men were taught would not stand up in court, but yet we propagate it over and over, passing it from one generation to another.  We are so unconscious in our thoughts and behaviors that we don't see the pain we are inflicting upon our children and their children.

If we don't embrace all parts of our self including the mind body, soul, spirit, masculine, feminine, and the love in our hearts, we're going to run our society off the cliff.  We have choices each day in what we do and while perfection is too lofty of a goal, we need to move toward a better awareness in  life that leads us to a greater consciousness.

Don't lose hope if you're a man and you struggle with the issues I've described above, because I will be the first to say, you're okay - you're fine, just the way you are.  You don't have to be someone you are not.  To understand who you are is by far a sign of greater strength than all the macho attitudes on display these days.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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