Not your typical man

None of us fit the stereotype of a ‘typical man‘.

Not your typical man

Questioning your ‘manhood’ is not something that sits easily with any man, but it is something I have found myself doing through periods of my life.

This has nothing to do with sexuality, but more with not feeling that I am like other men. It’s a kind of nebulous sense of not really understanding men, why they do the things they do, and finding it hard to engage in and be interested in the kinds of conversations men seem to want to have.

In my late teens and early twenties, I couldn’t understand men’s apparent obsession with talking about women in terms of their physical features, especially the size of their ‘boobs’. There was something disingenuous about it all that just didn’t compute with me. What I mean by that is that it didn’t ring true. Men were trying to create an impression rather than simply being themselves and that impression very often included the apparent need to ‘prove’ themselves sexually.

This didn’t sit well with me and I felt uncomfortable about such things, but rather than trust my feelings I started to doubt myself and question whether there was something wrong with me. The ‘typical man’ appeared to be very ok with ‘classifying women by their appearance’, drinking lots of alcohol, talking about football and cars ~ but never speaking of their feelings, their hurts, their health ~ and so, despite my reticence I tried to become a ‘typical man’ too, in the belief that I was wrong and ‘they’ were right.

When I ask myself ‘what does being a man mean?’ I find it almost impossible to answer. If I do come up with an answer it doesn’t feel like anything true but a projection of an idea. One of the reasons for this is that primarily I don’t feel like a man, but instead a ‘being’ that inhabits a male body.

The fact is I can relate more with this inner beingness than I can the physicality and in those times when I have tried to ‘fit in’ to the profile of ‘what a typical man’ should be, it just feels unreal, like I’ve lost touch with this ‘innate beingness’ and instead am adopting a character and playing out a role that isn’t true to who or what I am.

It’s not that I am not like other men, but that I’m not ‘a typical man’ because in truth, there is no such thing as a typical man.

A man trying to fit into a stereotype, is one who is not being a true man nor his true self, but instead is attempting to fulfil an image or picture of what being a man ‘should be’. It is pursuing an illusion, and hence my feeling of something nebulous ~ because it isn’t real.

If there were a truly typical man, there wouldn’t be anything very typical about him. He would be himself. When a man is being himself there is something very settling about him. He is not trying to be anything but that which he naturally is and in this, it is possible to relax and to be ‘yourself’ with him. That’s more akin to what is truly ‘typical’ or common in men, that beautiful sense of beingness that is the innate self.

When a man tries to be something he is not, this can be felt or sensed. It is harder to hear his words because they do not come from any authentic place within. Likewise, when a man attempts to convey something he is not, such as what he believes being a man ‘should be’, he moves away from the expression of his authentic self and takes on some kind of character.

The fact is on some level we all know this and to a large degree it has become normal for a man to present a character rather than to be his true self. The reflection of this can lead other men, particularly young men, to seek to be ‘typical’ or what is so-called normal, rather than to be themselves. There is rejection in this ~ rejection of the innate self and that hurts a man, whether he is aware of it or not.

When we ‘build character’ in boys or young men ~ what are we really doing? Is this really a healthy thing to do, or are we taking them ‘out of themselves’ in this rejection of their true being-ness? What might it be like to nurture the innate beingness instead?

The inner being has no need nor desire to be anything other than what it already is. It is already enough ~ it doesn’t need to adopt a character, but the world that we currently live in demands that men live as a character rather than their true beingness. But if we are all living as characters rather than what we truly are, doesn’t that make this world more like a stage play full of actors playing out roles like ‘the typical man’, ‘what a man should be like’ or ‘a socially acceptable man’?

This creates an illusion and it’s a tragedy because the innate being is one that is naturally full of love and yet all too often, we ‘educate, parent and condition’ our young men to not show or express this loving essence. When we do this, we create a world that has less love than it would have if we simply nurtured the true beingness of the young man.

What’s the point in doing that?

If you think about it, it is a very strange thing to do, because we take a being that is naturally full of love and turn him into a character that is apparently lacking love, who then becomes someone needy of love and looks outside himself to others for the love that he thinks he needs.

One of the big problems with this is that in a world where people are conditioned to seek love from others, does anyone actually have any love to offer? We have created a realm full of characters disconnected from the innately loving being within, who then try to find love in another character who is equally disconnected from their inner source of love. What a farce!

The idea of a ‘typical man’ is an illusion that distorts the awareness of ‘what we truly are’. We are not meant to be typical; we are here to be ourselves and that means being the beautifully loving, tender and soul-full ‘beingness’ that inhabits the male frame.

When we allow ourselves to be convinced by this world that we should ‘build a character’ we are taken out of our innateness into something we are not and as we do, we lose touch with that which makes us what we truly are.

So, these days when I reflect on the sense that there was something wrong with me, I realise that the truth is that actually there was (and is) something very right with me because I could (and can) sense the great incongruence between what being a man truly is ‘within’ and what so many men have been conditioned to present ‘without’.

Meeting men who have said no to the character and have returned to the embrace of their innermost beingness is a very beautiful experience and confirmation of the fact that once we nurture the innateness of our boys and young men rather than force them into creating such a character, we will witness more examples of what it truly means to be living as a man in our world.

"Turning 16 years of age is not an ongoing permission to hold yourself hardened by society's ideals and or your upbringing."

Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings & Revelations Volume I, ed 1, p 551

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  • By Richard Mills

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