From suffering from withdrawals – to healthy relationships and true intimacy
As men we would save a lot of time and complication if, straight from the outset, we admitted just how tender and sensitive we are.
To see the true nature of a man one only needs to look at a young boy of 2 or 3 years old. They are sweet, open, loving and extremely caring.
"All men are naturally gentle, and we ought to remember that the word ‘gentlemen’ has its roots in this fact."Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings and Revelations, p 551
It is the current reality of life that men are not encouraged to foster the natural quality that lives within them, and therefore we are faced with the high rates of illness, discontentment and abusive and bullying behaviour that proliferates in men across the world.
But underneath all that we see that is bad and good about men, it is important to remember that what lies beneath is a deeply sweet and caring man.
The problem is that men have a million and one tools in their tool-kit that they will use to protect the boy within them from getting hurt ... and this is what leads to the behaviours that at times can be so harmful.
The main tool that I have used in my life is to withdraw. Withdrawing from situations, relationships; setting up my whole life to not commit or be involved too deeply in anything. When I started the relationship in which I am in now ... where I am now married to a most wonderful and beautiful woman, every time an argument would come up or there would be an emotional complication I would internally just want to run away.
I would think … why am I even bothering?
But this wasn’t because I didn’t care or because I wanted a bachelor lifestyle from the movies. In this case, the real reason was that I wanted to avoid the pain of an emotionally charged or complicated situation. This was because:
Emotions hurt men. A lot.
"All men are super sensitive. They feel emotional hurt just like any woman does. Men ought to admit this instead of building fortresses that suppress the fact."Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings and Revelations, p 558
Although withdrawing may have been my consistent tool of choice ... it was not my friend. The problem is that the tool-kit that men use is decked out with tools that are designed and manufactured to keep people away.
The young boy would not naturally use these tools. They are a terrible brand.
So when I began the relationship with my now wife, my life was like the house that I had built with these shonky tools. It was not solid and it lacked any true foundations.
And when the prospect of the relationship came up: I was scared ... I was terrified.
I was terrified about opening up and I was terrified because I did naturally care and was worried about getting into a relationship and then feeling trapped and hurting this woman by rejecting her.
Obviously there was a lot going on.
But I changed my approach and decided to try out a different brand of tools.
I decided to not go into the relationship guarded and I attempted to stop withdrawing. Previously, I was always wanting another person to prove that they wouldn’t reject the lovely, very honest and deeply caring man within me, before I showed them who I truly was.
This trait is common in men, and in women also. We want to protect ourselves from being rejected so we hold back who we truly are on the inside, and only show glimpses of who we are until it is 'safe' to bring ourselves out.
But this doesn’t work.
By approaching life this way I just ended up feeling lonely and missing out. And so did everyone else miss out on the beautiful man that lived within me.
And so I started to reconnect to this man, the qualities of which I knew all too well from when I was a boy, and started to bring this out before the people around me proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that they wouldn’t reject this quality. From that point on everything has changed.
At first it was difficult, but I reconnected to the feeling of how I was as a boy and started to take care of myself in the way that I would take care of him if he were with me today. I remained open when I was talking with people, and tried not to withdraw but to stay present and listen. I started to pay attention to what I was feeling and express what I was feeling out loud ... it turned out that I was very aware and sensitive to what was going on around me, how others were feeling, dynamics between people, when people would say one thing but mean another, etc ... but in the past I would never say anything and just withdraw instead.
So I started to express and communicate what I was feeling around me and what was going on. The feeling of this was very freeing and made me want to withdraw less and less.
It has to be said that at times it was very hard to not withdraw when a situation would arise that I was worried I would be hurt by, and sometimes it is still very challenging to stay with myself when things come up, but the dedication to staying present has paid off in a big way.
The intimacy that I have in my relationship with my wife is something that I treasure on a daily basis; it is an amazing feeling to be loved for who you are.
The secret of intimacy
Intimacy is a way of expressing the tenderness you feel within openly with another by gestures and postures as well as with words.
But it doesn’t end there. The openness of living who I am on the inside doesn't stop with one person and isn’t something that you turn on and off with different people like a tap.
The level of connection that I am able to share with people on a daily basis, whether it be with friends, family, people in shops or at work, is equal to the openness and warmth that I share with my wife.
The huge difference that I have noticed is the way that people have changed towards me. I used to be scared and awkward and my interactions throughout the day seemed to have a way of justifying my perception that the world was a scary place that I didn't really want to be a part of.
Now I love connecting with people
When people do reject the quality of the man within it can still hurt, but often it doesn't matter so much anymore as I get to spend every day living with an openness and warmth that allows me to be the man I always wanted to be.
I am not perfect and I am still working on clearing out the tool-kit completely – but in the meantime I am enjoying living in a glorious house that isn't built using shonky tools.
I am re-learning to be the man that I always wanted to be ... to be me.