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