Men, too, have been victims — of passive-aggressive behavior and mixed messages from women. Here is my gentle ‘Men are from Mars’ plea for amends.
BY JEFF BROWN — Over the years I have become aware of how I and all men have behaved toward women. I set out to redress some of those wrongs and apologize, and that process is still ongoing.
More recently, though, I have also felt the need to acknowledge some of the suffering I have experienced. Although there can be no question that my brothers and I have been far more destructive in our actions than the women in our lives, we, too have suffered in the gender wars. With this in heart, I offer the apologies and gratitude that this warrior-in-transition would like to receive from the divine feminine…
A script for women
Ladies, here is what men long to hear:
“I apologize for those moments when I couldn’t see beyond my projections to your true nature. With so much relational trauma in the rear view mirror, I couldn’t distinguish the heartless from the benevolent warrior. With my lens blurred by unhealed emotions, I was unable to see you in your wholeness. I unknowingly projected my negative expectations without recognizing those moments when you were moving from love. Please forgive me my projections, and know that below my pain was a heart that genuinely longed to merge with yours.
“I apologize for pushing you to open your heart when you weren’t ready. I longed to be met in my openness and couldn’t bear the disconnect between us. I am nourished by direct communication, and I took your silence personally. I didn’t understand the relationship between your detachment and your warrior conditioning. I do see this now. Without your emotional armor you would not have been able to remain vigilant on the battlefield, nor succeed in the competitive marketplace. As our world moves away from survivalism as a way of being, I am hopeful that you will feel safe enough to live from an open heart. Such beautiful light comes through that opening.
“I apologize for not always seeing your limitations and struggles. I had grown up with a fairy tale of a great knight that would save me, and I clung to that vision, preferring the perfection projection to the reality of humanness. As a result, I didn’t always see how much stress you carried, how difficult things were, how hard it was to hold it all together.
“Of course, we perpetuated the projection together – you hid your humanness from view while I chose not to look for it.
“I apologize for giving you mixed messages about how I wanted you to manifest. At times, I wanted you to be soft and tender. At other times, dominant and protective. How confusing this must have been for you! It has been so confusing for all of us, trying to straddle the line between our needs for both safety and vulnerability.
“I apologize for being passive aggressive towards you. I was not taught to express anger directly, and I was frightened of your aggressiveness. I know that you have had similar challenges with experiencing your sadness and releasing your tears.
“I am sorry that I expected you to fill my emptiness, when the only one who can fill it is me. I have often looked for answers in relationship, somehow imagining that another could complete me. After so many centuries of disempowerment, I didn’t realize that I had the tools for my own self-creation. I am recognizing it now.
“I continue to apologize for any sexist, bullying or terrorist traits I have acquired from being male. But men, too, have been victims — of passive-aggressive behavior and mixed messages from women. Here is my gentle ‘Men are from Mars’ plea for amends.
Hey Man, Thanks
“I am grateful for all those moments when you held me safe and operated within the heart of compassion. In my efforts to find my voice and stand my ground, I have not always given credit where it is due. I encourage you to re-claim anything you have lost along the way, and to proudly embody the sacred masculine as you once did. I apologize for those moments when I discouraged your power. I could not distinguish it from its historical misuses.
“I am grateful for the many positive contributions you have made to my reality. I realize that you often communicated your love deeds, not words. I thank you for helping to construct the structures that my expansion relies upon, and for laboring long and hard to establish rule of law. I honor the warrior spirit that built the railroads, the cities, the bridges that bring us into contact with one another. I honor those warriors who fought and died on battlefields in an effort to protect us. You have sacrificed so much in order to hold us safe. Praise to those benevolent warriors who came before.
“I am grateful for GrandFather, for holding the space for my expansion with patience and wisdom. I am grateful for Father, for defending and sheltering me. I am grateful for Father Sky, for showing me a vision of possibility that transcended my circumstances. As for the Divine Father, the real Father of us all, I now feel his divine presence so close. Fiercely protective, he was always right here, holding me safe.
“There has been so much blame between us, so much hatred and name-calling.We had to express our anger and heal our hearts. Nothing chould be swept under the rug in that process. Everything had to be exposed. But let us now have compassion for each other and aim to understand the context for our actions.
“We are each here to participate in this dance of sacred imagination, stepping on each other’s toes and turning each other toward God one clumsy step after another. We trip, and then we get back up with greater awareness.
“May you feel the presence of the Divine Mother close at heart, inviting you to rest deeply on the tender shores of your own essence, nestling you in the grateful arms of those you have protected. Those who have received your blessings may not always acknowledge it, but your acts of love have landed within us, growing us stronger and infusing us with love’s light. Rest dear warrior, rest. I hold your heart safe.
A former criminal lawyer and psychotherapist, Jeff Brown is the author of Soulshaping: A Journey of Self-Creation, recently published by North Atlantic Books. Endorsed by authors Elizabeth Lesser and Ram Dass, Soulshaping is Brown’s autobiography – an inner travelogue of his journey from archetypal male warrior to a more surrendered path. You can connect with his work at www.soulshaping.com
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