BOYS DON'T CRY, THEY WEEP
I spent last month immersing myself in the world of Tantra. Attending the Tantra Festival in Melbourne, I got a glimpse of what this experience entails. I learnt that Tantra is complete moment awareness of all of the good and the bad that resides within you. The polarities that exist within, otherwise known as the masculine and feminine, or Shiva and Shakti. What really stood out for me during this festival though, was a brief encounter with a stranger.
I attended a workshop on ‘Conscious Relationships’, where we were asked to pair up with the person sitting next to us and talk about what we most desire in a partner and then notice whether we’ve ever recognized those traits in ourselves. We were also asked to discuss the partnership between our internal masculine and feminine energies and notice how we feel about each. For those who are new to the masculine and the feminine, here is a table that indicates the qualities that each of these energies embody:
Quick note: We all contain within us both masculine and feminine qualities, with most men being more in their masculine and most women being more in their feminine. (Usually due to our conditioning and growing up with gender stereotypes). We utilize both energies quite frequently in our daily lives. For example: I might wake up with the desire to want to go out in nature, or on a hike. This desire starts with a feeling or a sensation inside me, something I feel beyond words. After which, I think to myself “I feel like going out into nature”. This is a feminine quality; where I’m using my feelings to guide me. Next, I would use logic, and a bit of planning to decide where I would go, when I would go and what mode of transport I may take to get there. That’s me utilizing my masculine energy. Imbalance between the two energies occur when one is more evidently stronger than the other.
Back to the story: Naturally, I gravitated towards an empty spot next to a 40-year-old man in the workshop. I remembered his face because he was working at the door and let me into the festival. As we opened our hearts to each other, I softened to this stranger. What I heard from him left me speechless. He simply stated: “I have too many emotions, and growing up, I really didn’t know what to do with them. I’m sensitive and I had to hide that part of myself away because I am a man. And I can’t show this side to my family. I have to show up, work hard, provide and be the rock for many. I’m tired of hardening up though. I want to cry all too often. I feel trapped sometimes to the point where I’ve questioned my own sexuality. Is it normal for men to have so many emotions?”
This man brought me to tears. He spoke for every single masculine figure that I know of in my life. He spoke for those men who have held it together too long. Who were told: “boys don’t cry”. He was never given a safe space to show up and express his feminine. And as a result, he feels torn inside.
What followed this wonderful encounter was a powerful few minutes of eye gazing that created a safe container for his emotions. Watching him in his vulnerability shook me to the core. His bravery to show up, pour his heart out and identify this imbalance is what I believe to be one of the boldest acts. It’s this awareness that will break the cycle for the other men in his life, should he choose to share this, or bring kids into the world.
Boy’s cry. Girl’s cry. We all cry. I’m not entirely sure why and who invented the saying “Boy’s don’t cry” and why it has been thrown around for centuries. A baby boy cries as soon as he is born. So since when do boys not cry?
Crying is strength. Vulnerability is strength. Softening to the feelings and emotions that course through your body, be it anger, sadness or disappointment, is strength. Strength doesn’t lie in holding it all together and pretending to be ‘fine’. True strength lies in vulnerability. I believe that fine is simply another term for “Feelings Inside Not Expressed”.
But when we have years of social conditioning behind us, what can we do? How can we make men feel more comfortable and invite them to feel more vulnerable with us? How can we encourage them to open up to their own sensitivity and feel the effects of this softness? Well, the only place we can start with is with us. (By us, I mean women). Only when we, as women open up to our own emotions and relax into our true feminine nature, can we invite the men in our life to do the same. When we are in touch with our deepest emotions, and willing to feel what we’ve been suppressing for so long, do we give permission to the men in our life to do the same. Through our actions we say to them “Crying is okay here. Being sad and spending time with sadness is okay here. In this space, it’s okay to be vulnerable”. This happens on an energetic level, not on a physical one. Energetically, the men in our lives will start to see that all emotions are welcome here, and they’ll slowly start to open up, when they see us embody and live in this way.
In my own relationship, I’ve watched my partner open up like a flower over the past 4 years. When we first entered the relationship, “emotions” were an alien word to him. By learning how to take care of my emotional needs, and opening up day after day, he started to get the message that “It’s okay to be vulnerable”. Today, it’s normal for him to see me cancel plans to honour my emotions, and it’s standard for him to witness me having an evening off to cry and actually feel my emotions. Crying is an act of releasing resistance, releasing pain and processing the stuck emotions that have accumulated within us throughout our lives.
If you’re a woman whose reading this, dare to be soft. That’s your truest nature. Be soft to your emotions, your needs and your wants. Be soft to yourself even when you’re not feeling 100%. You are Shakti, and Shakti gives strength to Shiva, grounding him and welcoming him with softness. The greatest skill you can ever learn is to keep your heart open, regardless of what occurs inside.
And if you’re a man reading this, know that it’s okay to cry. It’s only human. Granted that you may have developed different ways to cope with your emotions, I invite you to look within, into that part of you that you may have shunned away and suppressed, in fear of looking too ‘weak’. Start with awareness, if it isn’t easy for you to access your emotions right away. Even having the awareness about how you have been programmed to respond when you experience anger, sadness or frustration is a promising first step. Then, and only then would you be able to experience the magic of experiencing your vulnerability. Paradoxically, the way to see the value in feeling all your emotions is to actually create the space and summon the bravery to feel them.
Start by noticing which behaviours you’ve adopted to cope with your emotions. Socially withdrawing, distracting ourselves with TV, alcohol and other drugs, and working long hours are just some methods we’ve adopted to distract ourselves from the discomfort within.
If you feel compelled to do so, invest in a 60 minute Emotional Healing session with us. There’s nothing more valuable than receiving support and guidance to integrate both the Masculine and Feminine traits as you embark on the journey of self discovery.
For a limited time only, we’re offering Emotional Healing Sessions at a heavily discounted price. Book your 60 minute session today to explore your relationship to your masculine/feminine and experience liberation. In this 60 minute session, I will be showing you ways to truly open up to your emotions and go to the places you’ve been avoiding. It’s this place that holds the key to living a balanced life.
“Men often feel that they need to be self-reliant and provide for their loved ones, so it is not appropriate to express their emotions. This behaviour can be reinforced in the stereotype of the heroic male, so often represented in popular culture. Fearless, resourceful, stoic and usually facing adversity alone, these characters tell us a lot about what is considered to be ideal male behaviour within our society.
More powerful than film characters are the roles we see our parents playing. Many men have experienced fathers who were emotionally distant, who rarely, if ever, cried or expressed affection outwardly. The way we see our parents behave may become the unconscious template for our behaviour.”
With all my love,