Celebrating our Strengths

As men, it is as if we are brought up to be in a dog pit – constantly competing to be the top dog, always needing to show our superiority in whatever way we can so effectively we will not get crushed by the world or by others.

We are brought up with the idea of showing off our strengths and feathers, just like the majestic peacock, then keeping hidden any flaws and/or weaknesses we have, just in case someone else may see them, attack us there and expose the lie we are essentially living; a lie constructed so intricately that we can get through life seemingly unmarked.

We appear to ‘fit in’ and we avoid rejection, but underlying this we are still living with a tension because we know we are not living with the same joy and ease that we had when we were young.

This incessant need to live a lie changed for me when I met Serge Benhayon, whom I have been fortunate to know for quite a few years: Serge is a man who is not afraid to show all of himself – warts and all.

A beautiful thing about Serge is the way he always celebrates others for what they bring and who they are. If he sees someone doing well he will get fully behind them, unreservedly so, rather than trying to outdo or compete with them, as most men tend to do. This is not an extremely common thing to see in the society we live in today. Seeing Serge do this with myself, and others, has inspired me to also appreciate and celebrate other people more.

I have learnt that it is important to celebrate both our own strengths and the strengths of others. By doing so, our strengths will build and develop and will help us in the weaker areas of our lives, the areas we have chosen, for whatever reason, not to give as much time and focus to.

By celebrating the strengths of others we can be inspired to develop those areas in ourselves and can learn from each other.

We also give that person the confidence and confirmation that they will not be shot down for doing what they are doing, and by doing so, we are helping to take away the notion and idea of competition; that we should always be striving to outdo each other.

It has brought me a freedom and has taken away a lot of the tension and stress that I felt in relationships, especially those among men. I have found that it brings a great strength to relationships, a strength where we can all truly work together as a team, a team where we can all lead and all follow.

We do not have to be macho, super tough or anything like that, rather we can be our natural loving, caring and tender selves. I used to think that being ‘sensitive’ was quite un-masculine but now I simply see it as ‘being aware of what we are feeling’ – which I now embrace as an enormous strength to have.

I now am living far more the ‘man’ I naturally am and less of the act I used to put on to live up to the version of what I thought I needed to look like as a man.

by James Nicholson, BNat Design Consultant, Frome UK

Further reading:
Men – Are We Set Up to Fail?
To Truly Love Men: The Natural Tenderness of all Men

1,418 thoughts on “Celebrating our Strengths

  1. When we appreciate anothers strengths instead of going into comparison and feeling less or even envious of them, we can learn to grow from the inspiration they can initiate in us. For sometimes it is far easier to learn from the steps others have mastered than to make them just by ourselves.

    1. It sure is Suse and that is one of the joys of being surrounded by so many people who are actively choosing to return to living a life based on love. An equally even a stranger in the street can inspire you as we are all equal Gods just in physical form more often than not choosing to be less.

  2. Appreciation is something that feels very solidifying and strengthening, opening and expansive. The more I focus on what’s going well,what I’m bringing and the enormous amount that I have to appreciate about my life, the more I see this in more areas of my life. Equally the reverse is true: when I focus on what’s not going well, make myself feel bad about all my ‘mistakes’, I tend to stay stuck in that- a great trick for staying small. And the way back out of it.. cut the negative thinking and go deeper with appreciation.

    1. That is a great observation Bryony. I too find the same thing I have a choice to focus on all the negative things and thus make life a struggle or I can see the beauty and divinity in everything that is before me and appreciate what ever is before me is here for me to learn from rather than see it as an obstacle. Appreciation cuts all the downward spiralling negative and depressive thoughts and instantly brings back a sense of purpose and wonderment to life.

  3. There is a moment offered in the full grace of brotherhood, when a person is utterly wholly and completely being supported – without competition or need, just the simple act of seeing what is there unfolding for them and standing behind them in support of this.

    1. There sure is and the person gets to feel being hold in the love that they too are and so get inspired to choose that love too. The moment we judge another we are saying they are lesser, the moment we truly support them we see them as an equal divine being.

  4. The socialisation process for both genders is such a mess. We take something that is so utterly beautiful at birth and instead of appreciating it we try to immediately mould and direct it into society’s version of what that gender and person should be. It’s so very imposing. And if we are fortunate to find the work of Serge Benhayon then we have the opportunity to undo it all and begin to live connected to the true essence of who we are. That can actually take years. How wonderful and humane it will be when we appreciate the preciousness of baby boys and girls exactly as they are and nurture and support them to grow, but let them be the beauty they are naturally born as.

    1. It is a mess the way we currently bring our children up to fit into certain roles and pictures we have that they should. The whole growth charts start it off saying that something is wrong if they are not conforming to the standards. We are all unique gorgeous delicate sensitive beings and the more we get treated this way from day dot right throughout our lives the more we will value ourselves and thus stop this trying to be something for everybody else rather than simply being all the love that we are.

    1. Nothing else is needed or desired when we are ourselves. For me it feels complete and my body feels content; the moment I try to be something I feel a sense of anxiousness of not being enough. We are already everything.

      1. Thank you James, that was the perfect comment for me to read today, like the missing piece in my anxiety puzzle!

  5. This is so relevant to women too, when someone is truly doing well this challenges people and it can be confronting as they haven’t made the same choices and so people can cap or try to pull them down. I experience this often in my work and have just come to accept that now when I do well, people will put road blocks in the way or try to reduce it and that this is just part of it and my learning is to hold steady, not react and not drop.

    1. Great point and awesome you are putting it into action. For me when I see another doing well – I have choices: 1. To embrace what they are showing me and thus be inspired by them or 2. To want what they have without putting any effort in and 3. To bring them down or make them slip so I am not seen as less and another one 4. To test them so they have to prove they are the real deal.

  6. True strength comes from our ability to be open and transparent with each other, accept our imperfections and know that we do not have to do it all on our own and thus have nothing to prove in doing so.

    1. Accepting our imperfections is massive for me and many other people I have spoken with. I find as soon as I am trying to be perfect there is a drive, an ideal, a goal of where I should or want to be rather than just embracing the love that I am and knowing I am returning not going anywhere or needing to be anywhere.

    1. The world sure is upside down Eduardo – it is crazy how so often we strive for something which is the exact of the sweet, tender, sensitive beings that we are and why simply to fit in with what we perceive is expected of us.

  7. Men are forced into competition by our society from a very early age. It is up to us all as a society to change that, by offering men that the natural tenderness they are in no way is a weakness, but is their greatest strength.

    1. What I love is seeing how, when we do this, even some of the toughest guys really open up and their sweet, tender sides come out. It shows me that no matter what we are all the same and the more I express and live the tender man I am the more it allows other men to do the same as well simply by saying its ok and in fact awesome to do!

  8. Naturally there comes an ease with us when we accept and confirm our strengths, as if we are a master of them in a certain way (that is part of our foundation). When we recognize our strengths we equally feel how we serve with those in life (maybe even certain areas specific) and those areas where we can deepen our weaker points that we simply have given only less attention. A beautiful marker this is to be aware of in our daily lives. We all have strengths, everyone has them.

    1. I used to think this was big noting myself but actually now see it far more as a claiming and an honouring. The more we work to our strengths and utlise each others strengths the more we will see we are part of one big jigsaw puzzle each with an equally important part to play.

    2. The key with this is the ability of us to feel energy and our strenght to act on that from our quality. And I dont mean a quality as in soft or friendly; but a quality that comes with us when we open up and connect that we know is truly us. As above shares; we can feel energy all the time, so are we by origin not just human. Or human at all. To claim that and stand in that is our greatest power.

      1. So true Danna, we are far greater than purely the human physical bodies we occupy. The more I connect to my beingness, as you say, the more I stand in my true power.

  9. Its amazing what is really there once men let go of protections, ideals, images and beliefs that we have taken on over the amazing exquisite tenderness that he is.. Starting to see what falsities we have let come in our way, is making way for us to see and feel (re-connect) to what actually lays underneath — a real tangible tenderness to all men.

    1. I agree Danna, men are truly sensitive and exquisite we just have to get past the guard so many of us have put up. We only have to look a little boys playing to see how naturally tender and caring they are. The more we each embrace this tenderness the more other men see is is ok, in fact awesome to be the tender men they too naturally are.

  10. Those that are our stenghts can equally be our moments of weakness once we choose to not walk in our strenghts. So that which I am for example great at, which is my strenght of bringing to another, I than also can reject. And so we must be very open to look and observe our behaviors to each day let them less run away with us and be more steady standing in and with our strenghts.

    1. Very true Danna it can be easy to get complacent with our strengths and so not work on them when it is important to keep building and developing all areas of our lives. And as you say so often when we do not walk with who we are we can end up doing the complete opposite to our strengths which is very telling indeed.

  11. I recently observed how the dynamics change between a man supporting a woman through tutoring and then between two men. When the man was with the woman he allowed himself to be gentle, allowing, patient and there was no competition just a gorgeous holding of the other. Whereas when it was with two men, there was competition, protection and much tension around knowing more than the other. If we were to stop and feel our body when we act this out, we would feel how it hurts us deeply.

    1. The tension does hurt especially when we try to compete with others. After all we are all the same equal beings of light. With the Universal Medicine inspired men’s groups and just simply men attending presentations we are now much more open with each other and a lot of the competition and protection has gone which is beautiful to be a part of.

  12. I am appreciating the fact that we all have slightly different strengths, this is a perfect reminder that we are all suppose to work together as one. Also hence why it is so important to celebrate each other’s strengths instead of going into comparison because connecting together is how we can build a stronger foundation for a loving and harmonious world. Our different strengths are like a piece of jigsaw puzzle where each piece is equally important but slightly different in its shape so we can fit together as One.

    1. Very true, we are here to learn to work together and not think we can do it all alone or by ourselves. This is one of the illusions many of us have fallen for. The joy is when we do work together how things just get done and are so much more magnificent than if we were to have done it alone.

  13. When you need to live up to a picture of what being a man (or a woman) means, when you need to look outside to see what the world says about how you should live, then you are already far away from the essence and absolute knowing of who you are.

    1. For me I find as soon as I have a picture of how I should be then I am trying to live up to an ideal instead of simply being myself. The trick is that we have been taught to look outward and outside of ourselves rather than surrendering to the glory that we already are.

  14. Love this James, real men Sensitivity and True Tenderness is what allows us to open up express the Love we all are. Then be able to walk in a way that shares this way of living in our True power that comes from holding what is True and thus expressing Love in our every move to the best of our ability.

    1. The more we express love in our every move the more other men (and women) get to see they too can do the same and so the ripple effect is beyond all comprehension when we walk in our true power.

      1. So True James, when we look at our expression and how we walk as a True way of being, so we are Truly expressing the love we innately are, then as we walk magic happens.

      2. It is simple when we break it down to the basics yet we want to grab it and own it and so want to put our own twist and flavour onto it. I know for myself I have felt the depths of love I can go to yet know I am only at the tip of the iceberg with the true wonders of the Universe all there , as they have always been, waiting to reveal themselves in full or rather waiting for me to see them!

      3. Or could it be possible that the Constellations or Universe is constantly asking us to be more and it is only our self-critique that keeps us in the dark? We would not walk in the dark or with our eyes closed but we tend to turn a blind eye to what is there to express, which is the Love we all are. And in a reflection to the way we walk with the Constellations this can be our commitment to Love.

      4. It definietly could be possible that it is only our self critique and choices which keep us veiled in the dark, walking in and with Gods love yet seemingly not seeing it, in fact doing pretty much everything imaginable to not see it! Yet it is always there unwaveringly so.

  15. What a beautiful blog James – forever truly revealing the true expression of men, not the false version of what we have educated with.. I simply love this: ‘I now am living far more the ‘man’ I naturally am and less of the act I used to put on to live up to the version of what I thought I needed to look like as a man.’ Because this is so important, without the true expression of men and women — the world is lost.

    1. Thank you Danna, fully agreed yes ‘the World is lost’ ‘without the true expression of men and women’. If no one is truly expressing from their essence then there is no reflection from another to remind us of who we truly are and where we come from. Of course there is always going to be nature and what is around us but often for many that is too hard to see when we get focused on making life about getting through, survival and security.

  16. Celebrating and appreciating ourselves is an important daily ritual, ‘it is important to celebrate both our own strengths and the strengths of others. By doing so, our strengths will build and develop and will help us in the weaker areas of our lives’.

    1. I agree Lorraine, it is indeed very important to appreciate ourselves and others. I have found if I don’t appreciate myself, I am less likely to be able to appreciate and celebrate others. Without appreciation, complications, harmful thoughts and behaviours like jealousy and comparison can easily creep in to create disharmony in our lives.

      1. I have found the same thing. If I 1st do not appreciate myself then I can try to appreciate another but it does not fully come from my body and Livingness and so does not come with the depths of love it could easily do and so is felt more as words rather than love. Thus I find the response from the other persons body is different. When it comes with the depth of love then they surrender and accept it far more than when it is just words.

    2. I agree Lorraine is a daily ritual one which reaffirms the love we truly are yet something we so often do not do or forget about. The more I make it a part of the way I am with myself the more I find there is to appreciate and the greater the quality I am with myself and others. Otherwise it can be so easy to focus on all negative bits about ourselves that we can get consumed by that and miss out on the love that I am.

  17. “I used to think that being ‘sensitive’ was quite un-masculine but now I simply see it as ‘being aware of what we are feeling’ – which I now embrace as an enormous strength to have.” I too felt this way for most of my life hiding my vulnerability and delicateness as a woman but I now appreciate and confirm these qualities through my movements and it feels so different to move in this way.

    1. There s such a vast difference when we embrace, appreciate and confirm our sensitivity that it no longer becomes some awkward part of us we try to hide. The more we walk with all that we are the stronger these qualities become and the more it confirms to others that it is ok, in fact awesome, to simply be themselves and not try to put on a macho act or anything like that. No matter how hard I have tried to fit in when I have not been true to myself and honouring what I have been feeling I have never felt truly content. The only true contentedness I have ever felt has come from within.

  18. Thanks James, I appreciated your definition of being sensitive “as ‘being aware of what we are feeling’..” This definition is very simple and as a result it can expose the beliefs we may carry about sensitivity and being sensitive that are not true. We can view sensitivity as weak, as a trait just for women, or judge it in a myriad of ways, but all it really is truly is “being aware of what we are feeling”. It sounds like an honest way to be actually!

  19. What i have been learning more and more is to celebrate my strengths, but also the strengths of those around me. When I do this, it creates the opportunity to be inspired by them, not to go into comparison or jealousy, but to nominate they have mastered something that I am yet to, this allows a joy and the celebration to be there.

  20. There is a lack of honouring our true selves, and we become what we think the world asks us to be, in order to fit in and not be rejected, ‘We appear to ‘fit in’ and we avoid rejection, but underlying this we are still living with a tension because we know we are not living with the same joy and ease that we had when we were young.’

    1. It is crazy really how much we mould ourselves to fit in with the world and others. I could say I almost perfected being a chameleon but the problem was I alwasy on edge, never content and knew there must be more to life. But rather than stay with what I knew was true I gave up until I met Serge Benhayon. I still find it challenging at times as the world does not really embrace us when we live the fullnes of the love we know and are. Not because people do not know or are not love but because it reflects back to others the choices they too could have made but have not. So rather than being inspired and celebrating others we go into the default mode of attack and survive – yet we think we are intelligent keeping away the very thing which we all want most.

  21. Thank you James – it is all about sensitivity and how much we allow of that to live again.. We are instrumented in this world to be the opposite of sensitivity : become strong, hard and able to defeat the horrors in the world – whilst in fact, only this can be truly addressed when one stands in full authority of his/her Soul (that is mega sensitive!).

    1. Our Soul is mega sensitive but not in a weak pathetic way rather an all knowing and all encompassing way. Weare taught that being tough and hard keeps things out but all it does is keep love out and so taints our view on life and the world. As you say what is going on can only be truly addressed when we stand in and with the full authority of our Soul – the moment we do this we are not looking for or seeking self gain rather putting our focus towards humanity and this is when the real changes start to occur.

      1. James I reckon if we do harden ourselves and feel we have a wall between ourselves and the world, we are still sensitively feeling everything despite the hardness. We cannot change the fact we are all equally sensitive beings.

      2. Very true, no matter how hard and tough we act like we never still feeling. I find it is when I do not want to feel things or want them to be certain way that I react. When I see them for what they are, and keep observing them then what is happening makes sense.

  22. Life is a lot easier when you choose to be inspired by others rather than feel threatened by them simply because they are doing things differently to you. The jealousy aspect, I now understand, is simply a reflection of what you could be doing as we’re all equal, and whilst our expressions are all different, our ability to be the best version of ourselves is simple, but only if we allow ourselves to not get caught up in hiding or being better than someone else. There is enough room for all of us.

    1. There sure is enough room for all of us and the more we shine the more we also inspire others too to shine. I agree with you about the jeaousy aspect as it can slip in when we see another shining and know we too could be but have not made the same loving choices. So the only remedy is to make those choices and then hey presto we stand as equals.

  23. Celebrating our strengths doesn’t have to mean that we are saying we are better than any other but just purely a celebration and appreciation of what is going well to confirm and build on it. Genuine appreciation of ourselves and others is key for us all to grow and evolve.

    1. Appreciation is massive for us Fiona. As you say it is not in any way about being better than another but rather appreciating our choices and all that we bring, the moment we do this we set a foundation that we can then build and develop from.

  24. Yes James, I agree that we do not celebrate and appreciate each other enough. I’ve noticed though that it happens more easily for me when I am also celebrating and appreciating myself.

    1. Well said Rachael and we can choose to either be inspired by anothers strength and so celebrate what they are bringing further enhancing and confirming them or we can make ourselves lesser. Take playing the piano for example if someone has put in hours of practice and dedication towards it makes sense they would be better than someone who has never tried. So then how can we judge ourselves or another in any area when we have all led completely different lives up to this point. And the beauty is when we work together we can bring out all the awesome qualities in each other rather than trying to do everything ourselves.

  25. Thank you James, and yes it is super important as men to be able to celebrate our strenghts and to understand that our main strenght is our tenderness which is more often than not seemed as a weakness, embracing this quality opens us up to let more love out and in to our lives.

    1. Seeing tenderness as a strength and not some pathetic and weak I know at 1st most men struggle with but as you is one of our main strengths. Otherwise I find we tend to harden up and keep the world and others out at a distance so much so that we also suddenly find we are keeping ourselves at a distance from love as well.

  26. Well presented James. No one person has it all but together we are ‘given it all’ to get the job done working alongside each other. Celebrating each other’s strengths and accepting that we can’t excel at everything ourselves is the key to combatting the comparison that if not arrested will lead to a debilitating jealousy that wipes out both parties.

    1. Comparison is extremely debilitating and as you say completely wipes out both parties. Yet pretty much everything in this world tries to get us to compare and compete with others. From being at school or work we are constantly pitted against each other vying for the top spot – it is crazy and makes no sense. We are so much more productive when we work together.

      1. This is the truth. Yet we are played to be ‘polarised’ by the ‘us versus them’ mentality, the ‘dog eat dog’ way of living we have created that has got us nowhere.

      2. I agree and in many ways it has taken us backward. We just have to look at babies or young children playing before they have started to play ball with these beliefs and ideals.

  27. James it’s so true that when we celebrate our strengths and the strengths of others, its a win win situation. It is an acknowledgement that we all have our unique talents and that together we are far greater than the sum of our parts.

    1. Debra it sure is a win win situation. I find it very freeing both for the other person and for myself. When we truly celebrate another for who they are it feels like we are meeting the divine qualities in them and not just seeing purely the physical.

  28. A beautiful sharing James on celebrating and embracing the unique qualities we all bring, when we live this there is no room for jealousy or comparison and we find the relationship with ourselves and others naturally deepens and blossom.

    1. It sure does Anne thank you. We then use each other for true support and inspiration rather than trying to cut another down just because they have made more loving choices than we have knowing we could also have made the same choices.

  29. Men in their essence are all very tender, sensitive, supportive and caring, they are super beautiful and constantly inspire me to be more of a woman, as this process of inspiration between men and women is deeply inspiring to me. When we are willing to go deeper with ourselves and with each other, we always see our essence shining more.

    1. Indeed Adele, very true. The reflections we offer each other are huge. In essence there is no male or female and the more we live knowing this the more we truly take care of ourselves. I know for me this means that being exquisite and delicate with myself is natural as a man just as it is for a woman so it is something I can embrace rather than shy away from.

  30. “By celebrating the strengths of others…We also give that person the confidence and confirmation that they will not be shot down for doing what they are doing…” It’s devastating when we are shot down for shining our light. The awful thing is it only needs to happen once for us to start dulling ourselves all the time, such is the hurt it causes. The awesome thing is though, that when we start appreciating and confirming ourselves, we start to feel the absoluteness of our light. The more we do this the less the put downs of others touch us, until they just bounce off without leaving a mark. Yes it’s important to express our appreciation of others and celebrate them – absolutely it is, but we also need to do this for ourselves, for this is where the deep healing begins.

    1. We sure do need to appreciate all that we do and bring – this really is a foundation and something we ought to be doing all of the time. We can then confirm and build on what we have done and how we are – after all how can we be given more if we do not fully appreciate what we already have?

  31. It is crushing for a child to feel their parents competing with them, and where most of us have felt the awful energy of competition for the first time. To be in a relationship with someone where competition doesn’t come into it is amazing (Serge Benhayon is definitely someone who does not compete)….but only because we’ve experienced many relationships with competition. Our essence doesn’t have a speck of competition in it, we have created it from comparing.

    1. It is very true that competition is purely a creation we have made to stop us from truly and deeply connecting and opening up with others, It is natural for us to be open and intimate with each other which goes to show how far away from the truth that we have gone.

  32. ‘We also give that person the confidence and confirmation that they will not be shot down for doing what they are doing’. It feels so beautiful and expansive when we are confirmed whether that be by another or by life itself. It builds confidence and trust in oneself to keep expressing all that we are without perfection.

  33. What if the things that we choose to perceive as weaknesses in ourselves were really strengths in disguise? For me being sensitive is undoubtedly a huge strength regardless of what society might say about it.

    1. I totally agree Doug and just like me it is something I have shied away from for most of my life because of that thought that sensitivity is a weakness whereas as we both know it is a strength.

  34. A beautiful sharing and celebration of who men are in their natural state of being i love it .” We do not have to be macho, super tough or anything like that, rather we can be our natural loving, caring and tender selves. I used to think that being ‘sensitive’ was quite un-masculine but now I simply see it as ‘being aware of what we are feeling’ – which I now embrace as an enormous strength to have” Inspirational!

    1. It is very inspiring being around and seeing the men in the esoteric community not because they are different to other men but because they have started to make the choices to be more open and show the exquisiteness that they are which includes being deeply sensitive.

  35. Celebrating the strengths of others is only truly possible when we truly appreciate ourselves. True appreciation comes from the body and is felt in the body, and from that feeling we express and celebrate and appreciate others who they are and what they do.

    1. Very true Willem, we 1st have to start celebrating and appreciating ourselves before we can do the same for another. It is just like saying you love someone without actually being love yourself – it makes no sense.

  36. It feels so draining and such a waste of energy to try and out beat another and prove your worth. No one benefits from it, not even yourself because at the end of the day our greatness as a society comes from us all working as one, not from trying to be the best.

    1. No one wins when we try to out do another as you say working together is how we are designed to be. And the beauty is we all have something to bring and just like a puzzle we need all the pieces to get to see the whole.

  37. With relation on how Serge ‘get’s behind’ people to support there growth and not try and compete, I have felt that same quality in his daughter, Natalie Benhayon. She is a woman who is supporting women to be more themselves and live with power and confidence in their life – unlike many friends or whatever relationships held with women where there is so much comparison, jealousy and game playing.

    1. I agree Rachael and it is clear to see the way Natalie Benhayon has supported you with her Natalie with love TV episode which was a real joy to watch and then to see the 1 year later after video (http://natalie-with-love-tv.pageflow.io/natalie-with-love-tv#77908) – wow the difference in yourself is huge which goes to show when someone is truly there for us the way we are inspired to make more loving choices is huge – you just have to watch the video and no one could deny it.

  38. It is deeply powerful to experience men supporting other men, celebrating their qualities. We don’t see this often because, the discomfort in our own skin often makes men compete in order to survive, even though doing so actually hurts us far more than were we to not do so.

  39. I like this definition of weakness – “in the weaker areas of our lives, the areas we have chosen, for whatever reason, not to give as much time and focus to.” When I first heard this, I found it very refreshing because I had always given myself a hard time about my ‘weaknesses’ and to realise that they are just areas I have not given as much time and focus to, really helped put in perspective. It took the sting out of the tail so to speak and I saw that if I give more time and energy to it, it could well become a strength as well. So simple.

    1. It is so simple yet often it is our weaker areas where we end up beating ourselves up for. The more I celebrate and confirm areas in my life which I know are true the more these deepen and naturally raise up the other areas in my life. It takes away a lot of the struggle I used to live with. I have also found appreciation is key and is not simply something we do once but is a continual unfoldment confirming each step we take along the way allowing for the next to present itself.

  40. So very important to become aware of all the roles we play because we think we have to, to then step by step being able to explore how we truly feel and feel to express.

  41. Gosh it sounds so exhausting to live and that to proof yourself as a man, you always have to outdo the other, compete and never have a moment to just be and appreciate one another. It is great to feel your true strength James and how this is in not subjecting yourself to this picture of what you have to do to be a man, but instead of that just claim for yourself what it is to be a man. “I now am living far more the ‘man’ I naturally am and less of the act I used to put on to live up to the version of what I thought I needed to look like as a man.”

    1. It really is exhausting Lieke, constantly on edge looking around trying to fit in and never letting myself simply be. The more content I am within myself and my body the more this simply fades away and one of the keys is appreciation because then I am not constantly looking outside for approval as already know who I am and so when it comes it is lovely to receive but is a confirmation rather than anything new.

  42. Given the way the world currently is and has been, it would be difficult for many if not most to fathom that life is not about competition. We may see birds and animals in the wild and assume that we are no different, but perhaps we are simply yet to en masse arise above our animalistic nature and instead embrace our deeper innate qualities within…

    1. I know what you mean all around us we see people or animals trying to be better or out do each other. But the reality is how can someone say they are doing better when another as a result is doing worse. It is a bit like winning a race but not being able to truly celebrate because everyone else did not also get the same medal or appreciation as you did. Why celebrate alone when we can truly celebrate all that we bring together?!

  43. Your blog is great James, and so true, because we can see in children, how young boys are equally as tender and sensitive as girls, and as they grow up into adulthood, how this expression can be held back, hidden, or masked by the ideals and beliefs imposed upon a male by society expectations.

    1. I love observing the equality when a little boy and girl play – gender does not even come into it – they could essentially be either and it would not matter. What this shows is how innately we are the same, we all carry the same divine spark of God yet as we grow up we become tainted by what the outisde is telling us we need to be to fit in.

      1. I’ve seen this play out with my sons and how beautiful and tender they were playing with girls and how the girls loved this about them in younger grades. They were confused and upset when that all changed and they were pushed away and asked to be tough and hard. From observing young children you can see how this is learned and not natural for them at all to compete.

      2. The same gappened with me Aimee I always had close friends as girls but then I remember one friend, a girl, asking if I was gay because I just wanted to be friends with her/other girls, plus was not into all the rough ‘masculine’ sports! It is crazy how simply coming from a place of sensitivity within myself was confused with being gay just because I did not fit the box.

      3. It is crazy James, and that is why many young boys choose to toughen up just to be not called gay… which there is nothing wrong with being gay and then sets up another whole imposition. The thing is then very few boys are reflecting the tenderness that they are. Writing blogs about this are so powerful to deconstruct what children see as normal.

      4. It is a crazy merry-go-round many of us jump on just so we can fit in and not be seen as different. What is absurd is that being tough is completely opposite to who we truly are yet we think its the way we have to be. The more we honour and appreciate the tenderness in young boys and men growing up as well as living this way ourselves the more humanity we know it is a joy to live the love and truth of who you are and that we do not have to be anything for anyone just to fit in.

      5. There sure are and something I love is that we all have the same equal innate love and tenderness within no matter how hard an outer layer of protection we have put up. Whilst most of us men shy away from our sweetness with each other put a baby in pretty much any mans arms and you will see his exquisite tender side come out whether he wants to show or admit it it is evident. And the more we make this the normal way of living the less reliant we will be on the tough exterior to get us through life.

  44. I love how Serge Benhayon is inspiring so many people to let down their walls of protection/competition etc…and start to live the people we naturally are. He is a gift from heaven (as we all are).

    1. We sure are all gifts from Heaven. I know for me I used to think I needed to put up a wall to protect myself but since listening to and being inspired by Serge Benhayon know that the best form of protection is to be open and with a deeply loving heart – so it is not protection at all simply being all the love that I am. The beauty is that the more open I am the more I get to see and observe what is going on and so the more I understand life and the less I feel I need to react to life and hence the less I think I need to protect myself.

  45. I love working with other people and appreciating each other’s strengths, it means you get the best possible combination when we are all supporting each other, and when everyone works to their strengths tasks are completed more quickly without anyone getting left behind.

    1. I totally agree we each have soo much to bring and the more we bring all that we bring the simpler things and more flowing things become. I used to think and believe I had to do everything but now see there is so much more support and so much more can be done when we truly work together.

  46. It is crazy really that we get a fixed idea of what it means to be a man or a woman and then live life from there, and then it takes someone like Serge Benhayon to come a long and point out to us that we are playing a role – otherwise we would probably just continue thinking it was working.

    1. We get so entrenched by the ideals of the way we think we should be we get to the point, as you have said, that we lose all sense of reality and suddenly the role we have taken on becomes us even though as a child we knew there was so much more.

  47. These are beautiful words James ‘By celebrating the strengths of others we can be inspired to develop those areas in ourselves and can learn from each other’. The reflections from others is a great form of inspiration and through that we are able to build a deeper strength within us.

    1. And what is lovely about this is how many different reflections we get when we are open to learning more about life, others and ourselves. It is so easy to get caught up in making life about us we often lose sight of the bigger picture. I also love how we are always where we are, or with who to learn something and so can present and offer more love. Even if we may find a situation challenging, the more we view life as a playground to re-learn to live love the more we will fully embrace everything that is with and before us.

  48. James, this is really beautiful to read. I can see that there is so much pressure on boys and men to compete with each other, whether in sports or academically, Ii see in the playground boys wanting to be ‘top dog’ and win and not loose at sports or even simple activities. i love how you write about ‘by celebrating the strengths of others we can be inspired to develop those areas in ourselves and can learn from each other.’ This is really lovely and it would be amazing if this was encouraged in schools.

    1. It would be amazing if it was encouraged in schools, but we do not have to wait as we can start in our homes and slowly it spreads. It is hard to find more joy than when you truly celebrate another being, not for what they have done but for who they truly are.

  49. I love how you say, ‘everyone else being in their strengths and bringing their all to the all makes for a truly awesome world’. That is so true – when we all are simply ourselves in our the gloriousness is when magic truly happens. I know the difference it makes when I am feeling strong within myself and share that with others in contrast to when I am feeling exhausted, not really caring etc.. – it is massive yet soo many people simply are trying to get through the day rather than enjoying themselves, everyone else and what is truly on offer.

  50. Thankyou James, I have really enjoyed reading your blog again. There is something so gentle and nurturing about supporting one another and our strengths by appreciation. In today’s competitive world with terms like “dog eat dog” and the ideal that only one makes it to the top, other people with strengths are often seen as a threat. But life is meant to be beautiful and that means for all equally, not for a significant or successful one who conquers others. There is actually no threat by others being in their strengths, and nor by us supporting them to get there. In contrast, everyone else being in their strengths and bringing their all to the all makes for a truly awesome world.

  51. The wonder of Serge Benhayon is that he sees the true part of everyone. No matter what their behaviour, how they look, their past, he knows them as who they really are underneath all the persona. This is even when they don’t know who they really are…

    1. To be held in such love by Serge Benhayon has shown me what true love really is. In no way is there or has there ever been any judgement over the choices I have made rather a deep understanding and a willingness to help me see the truth of the situation. What I love is Serge has never told me what to do rather helped guide me to come to the truth myself by supporting me to see and understand the situation so that I can learn and move on from it.

  52. Thank you James, what you have shared is a game changer of how appreciation and confirmation of ourselves and others allow us to connect and embody something deeper within us and to feel the strength and power of such quality that can be lived in every moment of our lives.

    1. I feel that there is something special when 2 people come together and deeply value and appreciate each other. For me it is like anything is then possible. Yes, we can do things by ourselves but when we work together I feel it is when the Universe really shines. This starts with ourselves and our relationship with God and then can spread outwardly slowly one by one.

  53. It is a process of peeling off the layers of falseness and pretense, not just because we like to hold onto them as they serve as protection but much more because we first need to become aware of them; they are so ingrained and normal and constantly confirmed not just by oneself but society that it takes a different marker that can shine a light on the subject and expose what is hidden in the shadows. This light is awareness, love, care, equality, appreciation as lived by Serge Benhayon and thereby igniting more of this light to shine in others as well.

  54. It is gorgeous to read how you have come to a place through inspiration where you have been able to unravel and discard any facades that were not you to reveal the true honesty of the you beneath them and can now celebrate being the man you innately are. This is a reflection that is much needed in the world and a rarity that is worth appreciating.

    1. Thank you Samantha – it definitely is worth appreciating. What is lovely is that due to the inspiration of Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon there are no more and more men expressing from the exquisite tenderness that we naturally are. The transformations have been amazing and continue to deepen.

  55. Its the beauty and holding of another in their strengths that inspires us to also celebrate who we are and the world always needs more reflections of this. Thank you James for such a lovely sharing.

    1. Something I find real joy out of is appreciating and deeply celebrating another when they least expect it. I find it very confirming both for the other person and also for myself. The fact is we are all love and come from love so to hold anyone as less than the love we all are is effectively condemning them.

      1. Yes I agree James and in this we are separating from the all, which cuts off the chance for the true beauty of connection with others and how much fun and warmth is shared from an appreciation given and or received too.

      2. I love simply being open and sharing how amazing another person is, and there is no effort it is natural – in fact I have found it takes energy and effort to hold back and not express how awesome the person is that is opposite you.

  56. “By celebrating the strengths of others we can be inspired to develop those areas in ourselves and can learn from each other.” Celebrating and appreciating others can inspire us all including ourselves to be who we truly are – our essence – which is love.

  57. ‘By celebrating the strengths of others we can be inspired to develop those areas in ourselves and can learn from each other’. These are wise words indeed James that can be practically applied to the lives of all women, men and children alike.

    1. It is amazing what we can learn from each other when we simply open up and do not try to be anything. The sharings we can each offer and inspire each other with huge – working together there are no limits to what is possible.

  58. Awesome James, I know that when I appreciate another person for what he/she brings I let down a wall that I wasn’t aware of existed. But we usually live with that wall and get used to it. So appreciation is a very good thing to have for others. I agree also that it’s special with men because we seem to have something else going on between us as well, maybe that competition and comparing you mention.

    1. I have found it is amazing how much I hold back the full and real me with others – why all to keep up some sort of image or somehow to stop myself getting hurt – it is like I pre-empt it which really is crazy. We are all deeply loving caring and sensitive beings just have let things get to us so have closed off parts of us – but as soon as we deeply honour and appreciate each other for the love we are then wow it is amazing how we all respond. It shows how in our essence we are all the same.

  59. What you share with us James completely knocks jealously and comparison out of the water as if/when you celebrate another and their success, their can be no room for jealously and comparison.

    1. Thank you and exactly how can we be jealous or compare with another when in our essence we are exactly the same? It is crazy really. Yet we can be deeply inspired by the choices others have made and by doing so can make more loving choices ourselves and return to living the full stupendous love we are.

  60. I can relate to what you share about feeling like we need to show all our talents and hide our flaws. It is beautiful when we can be honest about our flaws so that we can look at them and let go of them.

    1. I agree however something I question is, is a flaw truly a flaw. Often it may be a flaw because of the way we have perceived it to be when in fact it may simply be something we have not given any time, effort and attention to and so naturally will not be a strong point for us. It is so easy to look at others and compare ourselves without appreciating the choices that they have made. The great thing though when we can simply say this is me take me or leave me is that we are then not trying to be anyone or anything for anyone else which makes life soo much simpler – otherwise, as I know, it is an exhausting constant game trying to keep up with a perceived image of how you think you should be to fit into the world.

  61. It is indeed rare to find a man who is willing to celebrate the strengths of another over and above himself, and yet, as you say James, all men are so naturally sensitive, tender and loving, and I feel want nothing more than to be able to support and encourage others. And yet we have a situation where they are pitted against each other from the get go, and feel they have to compete in order to be seen to be a real man, when this is in fact the antithesis of a man’s natural way of being.

    1. Nothing melts me more than a man who is expressing and being in their sensitiveness – it is not weak but is a claiming, saying I here and this is me – ie. fully open with no guarding or protection out of a just in case. I especially feel it in hugs and when you are both open it is like there is nothing between you yet the entire Universe is with. It sounds far out or airy fairy if you have not let yourself experience but it is very real and very solid once you have – words do not really do it justice.

  62. Even as women we are not immune from this type of behaviour but have in fact enjoined it. I loved what you shared here James in regards to sensitivity being an awareness of what we feel. There is still such a strong effort in the way we live to squash, crush, hide and belittle the sensitivity we are born with. What is there to be aware of if we connect to our feelings? It must be pretty big if so much effort and force is used to avoid it!

    1. What I find fascinating is the more I allow myself to be aware of things the more I understand and accept them and so they do not seem to be such a big deal or overwhelming any more. It is when I choose to lessen my sensitivity that suddenly life becomes burdensome and a struggle – yet this is the all too familiar pattern. So am I actually hesitant of the power I wield when I am truly sensitive, the fact that I can make evil shake and call it out without any hesitation? So could it also be that there is a lot of force trying to keep me, and all of us, away from truly being awareness because if we were the forces that like to play and manipulate us would no longer be able to?!

      1. We have the gift of this sensitivity that can cease all the struggle and yet we return over and over again to separating from this all-understanding aspect of us. It’s crazy but we do it and it makes me question – what is it about this sensitivity that I believe is not holding onto and at worst, worth sabotaging and squashing. What outcome have I wanted in that my sensitivity did not deliver to be the truth I invested in it to be? Those forces are only there because we allow them to be bigger than us. Something definitely worth exploring. Thank you James.

  63. Jealousy and comparison is common amongst women too. Appreciating and celebrating our strength is super important for us to be able to accept our weakness too so that we can understand and appreciate ourselves and others in full and as equal.

    1. It is rife amogst both genders especially woman to woman and man to man is where I see it being the most contrived and hurtful. Yet I have also seen it being the most supportive and loving. Appreciating each other is such a simple thing to do, the key here though is to start with ourselves then without trying naturally we appreciate those around us.

  64. There is this huge tension that comes with living a fake life. What is so macho about being fake? There is a huge separation in being in constant competition with one another. So first you are separated from yourself by not being who you truly are and then you are separated from each other with this set up of being competitive. Divide and conquer…now that is a set up indeed.
    Any logical investigation would uncover that there is no strength in this.

    1. I agree and it is this tension which I find keeps many of us on edge and thus competing even more out of fear of losing the security we have put in place. But as you say it is one big game where really no one wins, that is until we stop playing it and return to living and being the love that we naturally are – then everyone wins – as they get us! 🙂

  65. “I used to think that being ‘sensitive’ was quite un-masculine but now I simply see it as ‘being aware of what we are feeling’ – which I now embrace as an enormous strength to have.” You are quite correct, James, that sensitivity is not perceived as a masculine quality but we are no less sensitive than women. In fact possibly we are more sensitive than women and that is a major factor as to why we develop such strong protections as that is not appreciated.

    1. Embracing our sensitivity is something which is really supported me embrace myself more. Essentially it keeps me aware of everything that is going on so I can fully understand it, as soon as I cut off my sensitivity I am like a puppy in headlights – lost, small and frozen.

  66. It is so exhausting living a lie and the power that is there to be expressed when we start living true to ourselves, thanks to the inspiration of Serge Benhayon, is amazing and much needed at this time when humanity is crying out for answers to the turmoil of so many both physically and mentally.

    1. Serge Benhayon presents to us all the answers to all of lifes questions. The question arises do we then try to take what Serge has presented to better fit into the picture we have of how want life to be or how it should look like or do we go ok, lets embrace what has been presented and live knowing this truth? Otherwise we are only taking snippets and essentially reinterpreting it. We have been given all the answers, the question is what we choose to do with them.

  67. ‘By celebrating the strengths of others we can be inspired to develop those areas in ourselves and can learn from each other.’ Beautiful to feel how when we are inspired to drop competition that we can support each other to work together.

    1. Competition essentially means no one wins, after all how can someone be better than another when in essence we are all the same? So to think otherwise is looking at things and life purely in the physical and negating everything else. When we then actually truly work together it is amazing what is possible.

  68. I love re-reading this blog James as it is such a powerful reminder of how much we can learn, grow and be inspired to deepen our connection to love, to who we truly are through appreciating the strengths of ourselves and others. Appreciating our strengths is a confirmation the quality of the Divine being lived through ourselves or another, offering a beautiful marker, reflection and inspiration for us all.

    1. I agree Carola and it is something we definitely do not do enough of. We are all amazing beings yet confine ourselves most of the time to physicality, but there is so much more to us and the universe than purely what the eyes can see. The more we appreciate this the more we will truly see and live the magnificence we are.

  69. Celebrating the strengths we have is fun and a wonderful feeling. Your blog has me asking myself why I avoid doing this. My first feeling is that I will be attacked for my weaknesses as people will think that I need to be ‘brought down a peg or two’. You show that we can change this way of being one step at a time.

    1. One step at a time we can show the world who we are. The questions begs then are people actually trying to bring me down or are they feeling my reflection and the lack of their choices and so it appears like they want to bring me down yet actually just do not want to accept where they are at? When we actually stop to rad situations so often we find they are not personal attacks at all.

  70. Men tend to hold back on sharing their truth do to he fear of rejection. Serge Benhaon encourages everyone to speak and share with pure love, no judgements or comparison.

  71. An awesome blog James, thankyou for all you have shared including “By celebrating the strengths of others we can be inspired to develop those areas in ourselves and can learn from each other.” Life is really a team effort where we can learn so much from one another and receive support because of others strengths. Or, we can put pressure on ourselves to know it all and to be capable in lots of areas and do it all on our own – but it’s not very gentle or loving living this way! Humanity is really a beautiful symphony, each one uniquely supporting the whole, so what a beautiful reminder you’ve given me to celebrate everyone’s strengths and let them support me, just as I can support others.

    1. So very true it is amazing how much support we can offer others and they can offer us. We are almost taught we need to go it alone and somehow conquer the world. Yet we have so many loving supportive people around us it is crazy not to all support each other to be the depths of the love we know we all are.

      1. Thankyou James, I can relate to what you have shared. It takes me back to the education process and how being wrong was to be avoided and knowing the answers meant I was the best. Showing I didn’t know something meant somehow I was weak as well, which is quite a set up to go it alone! But instead of it being about what we know or our capabilities, how wonderful when life is about who we are and within that what we each bring to what we do. And as you say, this can change our relationships allowing a new depth of love to be shared by not trying to be it all, but opening to others and allowing ourselves to be supported. And celebrating each other is a darn sight more fun than the alternative!

      2. It sure is more fun when we celebrate ourselves and others – otherwise i find life can get very serious and then should’s and should not’s come in – whereas when we just bring all that we are we don’t think about it we just do it!

  72. The more tender I am the more like a man I feel – who’d have thought. This is a massive and quite recent revelation to me as a number of events have opened me up to new depths of tenderness and with every step that I take along this path the more of a man I feel.

    1. Your comment touched me Otto, ‘The more tender I am the more like a man I feel’ how we all have been mislead to even think men are tough and strong. Men becoming more themselves, opening up to tenderness is something to truly appreciate and to celebrate. Thank you Otto and all the other men who have chosen to get to know themselves in their essence.

      1. Until recently, I have found being a man to be slightly bewildering, complicated, fraught and confusing process! It’s a longer conversation than this comment allows for but, put simply, I have spent most of my life feeling an under-lying (and often surfacing) tension between what I thought I was supposed to be doing and how it felt. All of this is dissolving thanks to what I have learnt and felt through the teachings of Serge Benhayon…and this complicated conundrum is becoming increasingly simple and joyful…and it’s all connected to the sacredness that us men are.

      2. I wrote these couple of comments a month ago. Recently, these realisations have gone to a deeper level. The more and more i open myself to the love I feel for those in my life, the more I feel the truth of me..and the force required to maintain that shield of protection that I was wearing. Me, loving with absolute zero reservation and zero protection is the true me…and finding me through this deepening love is a very joyous journey.

      1. I agree John, tenderness is a quality that we as men all carry naturally and more we allow it out and express it in full the more I find my body surrenders and let’s go to the love that I am and the less trying I find myself going into as I can simply be myself.

  73. Appreciating ourselves and those around us for who we are and what we bring to society offers harmony rather than living with comparison and competition which leaves us all less.

    1. I completely agree Mary, we can either celebrate and embrace everyone for the love that they are, or confirm that we are all less and should be caught up in the struggles and tension of life. It all starts with us and as one man Serge Benhayon has shown one person can make a massive difference, as the ripples are huge when we walk with the love we are in full as it a reawakens the love in others and shows it is more than possible for them to also do the same.

  74. I feel their is a certain strength when a man openly expresses his sensitivity and tenderness and Serge Benhayon is an excellent example.

    1. There is massive strength when a man simply is himself warts and all and expressing from a place of fragility and sensitivity. It is by no means a weakness. Sure the words have been bastardised to mean the opposite of what they truly are but when you look at someone like Serge Benhayon then you get a sense of what a man living in and with his truth actually looks like. And it is not that we want to become clones either because we each have our own expression but Serge is a great example to use because he shows that it is possible to be fully open, sensitive and tender and live fully in the world without needing to retreat or seek any form of protection.

  75. Celebrating and appreciating who we are allows us to discard the many masks we wear as men and embody the sensitivity and tenderness which is innate to us, knowing that embracing this is an actual strength and not a weakness as we have been made to believe in the world today.

    1. It is amazing how we have converted sensitivity and tenderness to being a weakness when it is in fact one of the greatest strengths we have as men. Which is then no wonder why we are in such a mess because we deny this innateness in ourselves.

  76. Through men supporting other men allows us to feel a trust again where we may have lost a bit of hope and maybe shut down to our potential or our connection with other men. Serge Benhayon indeed offers a great inspiration for men to live in a way where we can hold all others as equal without the need for the competition and not be afraid to show our tenderness to the world.

    1. I agree Chrsitopher it is learning to trust other men again that helps us to show our tender side to world which many of us have kept hidden since we were children. The more we do this the less need we feel to compete with other men and thus the more they also drop their defences with us – after all we are born tender delicate beings and its a very natural way to live.

  77. I heard someone call a man a “suck” the other day because he was sharing how his back was sore! It is no wonder men don’t want to share how they feel. We have a long way to go in supporting men to just be themselves and to open up.

    1. I see it in my sons and their friends. Them trying to be “brave” in front of each other if they hurt themselves. Ironic, since true bravery would be to fully express the fragility and tenderness of the male body.

    2. We sure do have a long way to go, so often when I shared how I was feeling say at school I was called a sissy yet all I was doing was expressing how I felt. I also had close friends who were girls question me if I was gay because I was content being with myself and did not want to be with them! As soon as we look to the outside we get a whole load of reasons and excuses to not be the sweet, gorgeous, tender men that we are so we cannot judge anyone yet this should not be the normal, for we are all of that and heaps more.

  78. I understand the relationship between appreciation and harmony in a whole new way reading this blog today. I am especially struck by the awareness of the tension that arises when someone is doing well and the truth that embracing of another in their strength supports them to bring all of them to whatever they do. One way of being is nurturing and supports the all to expand while the other (competition) stunts growth and keeps us all small and separate.

    1. Great point to highlight Leonne. I have seen how equally supportive and also crushing I have been with others and what a difference it makes to them. When we truly embrace another for all that they are and celebrate them it is like their whole body goes yes and they either accept it, let go and go deeper or try to play it down but either way they feel it. Yet when it comes from our heads then it gives them more of an ego boost rather than a truly loving boost.

  79. It’s a beautiful flow on effect to celebrate others strengths for we in turn share an appreciation and love for another and we are then inspired to reflect our own amazingness too. A winning combo of love and celebration. Thank you James.

  80. I definitely second the fact that Serge Benhayon would absolutely never try to one-up someone. In fact, his life is a commitment to being a reflection for all to live as themselves

    1. Totally Michael, the equality Serge has shown me has been second to none – in fact rather than one-upping anyone he constantly appreciates and celebrates others – something that is very special and is deeply felt. ie. it is easy to tell when someone is genuinely appreciating another as opposed to because they want to get something in return.

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