Real Men, Cars and Bubbles

Real Men, Cars and Bubbles

Real Men, Cars and Bubbles

We are born male and grow up to be a man and yet how do we know what being a real man is? Most of us turn to the world around us for clues or cues as to how to be a man, and from very young in life the world shows us many models or ways of living as a man.

Family, workplaces, society and the media are just some of the sources, everywhere showing us many different acceptable models of what a supposed ‘real man’ is and how he behaves. For example there is the tough ‘Terminator’ model, there is the brave, independent, adventurer ‘Indiana Jones’ model, and the sensitive misunderstood ‘Luke Skywalker’ model, the super cool and sophisticated ‘James Bond’ model and so on. The world is constantly presenting to us many models of a so-called real man.

On the surface it appears that we have a large and exciting range of man models to choose from and many of these models seem attractive, secure and successful.

Like a man walking into a car sales showroom, it can be an exciting thing to seemingly have a smorgasbord of choice on offer, as to how we wish to live as a man.

Even more attractive is the idea that at any time we can change or switch from one model to another and that this is acceptable. And that we can even choose more than one and live them all at the same time. This can give us an impression of freedom and that we have a right to choose our own path.

However, have we considered the degree of conformity here in our attempts to be original?

If we are being honest, we all feel the pressure to ‘sign up’ to one or more of these models and it is considered strange or weird if we do not pick at least one of them. So how much freedom do we really have in this?

Have we really honestly clocked just how much of a strain it puts on us men to be constantly trying to live up to these models of manhood and has anyone asked the question why do we feel we have to do it?

What if we stopped to consider that although the models all look different on the surface, they all come with the same terms and conditions. These conditions actually ask us to suppress our own innate knowing of manhood (which we are born with) in favour of the version of manhood that the world and its models impose on us forcefully. When we sign up to the models of manhood we end up contorting and compromising ourselves to meet the expectations those models demand.

And if we fall short of meeting these expectations we feel like we have failed as a man.

One term for these models of manhood is the lifestyle bubble (Serge Benhayon, 2005). The term lifestyle bubble describes very well the self-made lifestyle cocoon we weave around ourselves based on these manhood models, which actually become very restrictive and isolating.

These bubbles or lifestyles models can look ok on the surface, but in reality keep us separated from others and from ourselves. We create these bubbles around us (according to the chosen model’s terms and conditions) believing they will bring us some kind of security and safety, but we end up being dominated, isolated and harmed by them. We end up fighting and suppressing our own natural way, which creates even more tension and insecurity, so we build more bubbles to compensate. And so it can become a vicious cycle, one that can only be broken by reconnecting back to our natural innate knowing of what it means to live as real men.

We are witnessing an increase in extreme behaviours in men around the world and a widespread decline in men’s health e.g. suicide, violence, drug abuse, obesity etc.

So we have to question if these lifestyle bubbles are really working. Could the shocking statistics on men’s health and wellbeing have anything to do with our manhood models and the pressure we are placing on ourselves by giving our power to them?

What if none of the many male personas that the world gives us the ‘hard sell’ on are actually part of the essence of a true man?

What if the car sales showroom is full to the brim of attractive fancy looking models but does not contain the one model that is our true nature?

Have we asked the question whether we are even in the correct car sales showroom, or if maybe we should walk out and find the deal that truly works for us? A true freedom that allows us to discover who we are from the inside out rather than being pressured from outside how we should be?

As men we crave connection, intimacy, and love. We are naturally very tender and sensitive and we do feel the impact of these lifestyle bubbles on us. We can devise lots of clever ways of hiding this fact, but ultimately we all feel the tension of living in a way that is a denatured version of ourselves.

What if there was a way of living free of any impositions or expectations from the world and it was as simple as living who we naturally are?

In this there is no trying, no striving, no contracts, no demands, no expectations, no ugly terms and conditions! There is just a beautiful unfolding and acceptance of ourselves as a true man where we can choose how we live, and stop allowing the world to make this choice for us.

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  • Photography: Matt Paul