Hot Dogs, Men & Self-Care

Why do grown men suffer the inability to self-care in even the most basic fashion?

Hot Dogs, Men & Self-Care

The reluctance that men have in taking care of themselves is evident everywhere around the world. There’s a tendency, very much learned, to de-sensitise away from ourselves and stop listening to what we need from quite a young age.

I’d like to give an example of self-care (or lack of) as a man. The scene: I’m sitting in my new partner Jessica’s car with her dog… it’s blazing hot, no breeze. Jessica has nipped back to the house to get something. So, there we were, her dog Tea and I sitting in the car in direct sunlight on a 30-degree day. There were a few doors open, but it was hot and getting hotter sitting there waiting.

Seconds turned into minutes and whilst I wiped my brow now beading with sweat, Tea jumped into the back seat from the rear compartment and then proceeded to make her way out of the car and into the cool shade of a tall stone wall nearby. I soon found myself (with my seat belt still on), sweating profusely, brow dripping – demanding Tea jump back in the car so we could go when Jessica returned, any moment now.

It was in this moment I realized Jessica’s dog had a level of self-care that I just didn’t display. Tea was listening to a simple, innate message: ‘too hot in car, lovely and cool in shade – get out of car and sit in shade’ (or something to that effect). I was experiencing all of the above but I was overriding this – I guess you could say I was the one being disobedient; not listening to my body suffering in the heat.

Men; why don’t we listen to our bodies – what gets in the way of that basic level of self-care? We all start out much like Tea… as a baby we cry when we are hungry, cold, hot etc. – when and why do we start to override our common senses?

Tea has become a daily addition to my lunch basket and water cooler, in accompanying me to work most days of the week in my trades business. She will stay put for 6-8 hours in somewhat the same spot, but if her work bed happens to come into direct sunlight, she simply moves herself to a shady spot nearby (I guess you could say she’s very consistent with getting her needs met by listening to her body).

If Tea is thirsty she’ll find the nearest pond or puddle and just start lapping away: if for whatever reason she’s particularly hungry and is yet to be fed, she’ll let us know loud and clear (antics include but not limited to rounding us up like sheep and pressing her nose firmly into the back of our knees so we nearly fall backwards). There’s a level of respect I have for her no compromise approach to life: no construct, no politeness, not even a client’s perfectly manicured front lawn will ever deter her from emptying her bowels when she feels to…

I’ve come to understand that a reflection of truth is something that one just surrenders to, if not something to congratulate the other for having provided it – so thank you Tea for not succumbing to my ideals of you being the ‘best trained’ dog around and just being as you are – knowing of what you need. An appreciation of Tea for reminding me to stop, move, drink, rest or even go to the toilet when I need to.

So, is there a takeaway message here? Men always know what they require, it’s just a matter of whether we listen and allow it, or not. Serge Benhayon is quoted as having once said ‘Energy First, Life Second’. In effect, the shortened notion from one of his books:

'In affect, and by fact, all human life, in every way, is the end result of energy. And, because this is in fact the case, every one of our choices needs to have the right energy behind it well before we consider it right simply because it may have the right words or seemingly the right intention'

Serge Benhayon An Open Letter to Humanity, Volume 1, ed 1, page 699

I like the saying ‘energy first, life second’ for its simplicity in being obedient to what’s felt first and then doing as per our mind second. Most dogs seem to have that down pat, and perhaps that gives man paws for thought…

What I learned in that stinking hot car that day was a strong reflection of how much more care there is to live with as a man. Anxiousness, aches, pain or thirst etc. are signals that when consistently listened to, yield the foundation for enjoyable and healthy day to day living.

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  • By Oliver Hallock

    I am interested in all things of the inner world. After many years exploring the globe, I now run my own business and love to pursue advancement for both personal and professional reasons in the arena of self-responsibility based health care.

  • Photography: Matt Paul