As I was composing last week’s blog post, An Open Letter to My Unborn Son About the Recent Tragedies Committed by Men, I asked my husband for his input. “Hey babe,” I said, typing at the dining room table over our morning coffee, “What do you as a man think it’s important for our son to know about masculinity?” He began rattling off scads of wisdom and I began furiously typing notes. Pretty soon it was apparent that he had too much good stuff to say to simply be quoted in my blog post. He needed a blog post of his own.
So for the first time in Professional Wild Woman history, here is a guest post by a MAN (gasp!), my husband, Omar Munir. I hope you enjoy his insights as much as I did.
I am so proud of you. How can I be proud of you when I don’t yet know you? Because I know what potential you have, as I know what potential man has. I know the greatness and subtle tenderness that man can give, like water to the earth. So if women bring life as the earth does, then men can feed that life like water does. Water can be a powerful force that in extremes can devastate, but when in balance, with a softer touch, water can nourish the gentle greens and even move big mountains with a slow and steady stream.
There are some things you need to hear that people in our society might not share with you.
All men have both the masculine and feminine within them. It’s just that most men are ashamed of the feminine, believing it’s somehow weak. The truth is that when you are balanced with both, you have the strength of truly great men… Men who don’t take things personally and instead, act on their principles. Men who take the time to hear and understand very different view points and find a way to work together. True leaders who break through the barriers of domination and bondage. These are men who have the subtle, gentle touch and fierce strength to endure great hardships and come out the other side whole and complete.
I like the image of the yin and yang symbol of taoism. It is a beautiful, simple representation of the masculine (yang) and feminine (yin) energy in us that swims back and forth. The masculine or yang in each of us is what allows us to push forward and use our strength of will and determination to achieve great things in our lives. You can see this in women as well; you can see this in your mother. This force allows you to express yourself without being caught in the shame and fear of others. It allows you to take bold steps in your life, as your mother and I have in our lives before we met each other, and in the life that we now share together. So take bold steps in what you believe is good and right and true for you. Speak up for yourself and what you feel. Follow those feelings and find out what you can discover about yourself and about the world through that expression.
So with anyone, especially those you find your heart is interested in, be bold yet be patient and take the time to find out about this new and different person. Learn about those differences. Don’t be fooled by boys who are too afraid to express themselves so they express the fake stories shown by men in movies and tv. Too tough and distant, too cool to open up. Those boys grow up sick with feelings stirring in them that they never let themselves express. Don’t be afraid. Be bold and be receptive to what your feelings tell you about your thoughts and fears, and do the same for others.
Having women mentors is a blessing for a man in this life. Find role models for both the yin and yang of your being. I was so lucky to have many female mentors throughout my life. I learned more than most of my friends and peers about making connections with people. It was from women that I learned to be strong - not head-strong but heart-strong. You may have already learned this from your mother as she is truly your first women mentor. Learn from her and from others. A man can be just as nurturing and creative if he takes the time to do so. You will find that your touch is powerful when you are subtle and nurturing. You may have already experienced that from me. It’s almost innate to fathers to share that gentle and strong nurturing touch. When you offer it, you will feel the soft subtle strength within moving through you.
So what is your duty here, my son, what can you do? Well, you are not responsible for others, they must find their own balance. But just as I have shared with you the slow and steady strength of my water in balance that you may be nourished by it and moved gently in the direction that gives you greater opportunity and harmony in your life, this is how you can be in the world as well, so that others will find the same value of living together in harmony and cooperation. This is how the world heals, by healing ourselves and finding balance in our own masculinity.
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Hello! I'm Melanie Munir, founder of Professional Wild Woman - a women's empowerment business dedicated to helping women who are tired of feeling either "too much" or "not enough" to connect to their inner wildness so they can create work that allows them the fullest expression of their unique voice. Welcome!