Hazelden’s Meditation | Touchstones Daily Meditations for Men
A woman should be able to be both independent and dependent, active and passive, relaxed and serious, practical and romantic, tender and tough minded, thinking and feeling, dominant and submissive. So, obviously, should a man!
~ Pierre Mornell ~
The weakest men, most vulnerable to stresses in life, are those with narrow ideas about masculinity. In our growth, we are finding parts of ourselves we didn’t know where there. Some of us are finding the tough part of us that makes it possible to stand up to our bosses or our wives or lovers when necessary. We are also finding the soft parts, warm parts, sad parts. And the grater the variety of sides we develop, the more successful we are in meeting life.
Whatever we discover about ourselves is another example of being human. Sometimes we might think what we feel is not right or is weak or sick. We need never fear our feelings. The denial of our feelings had devastating effects on us. Knowing and accepting our many sides will lead us into strength and health.
Thoughts, Meditations, and Scriptures
Recovery teaches us that we need to rediscovery, or maybe discover for the first time, who we are. For me, that is discovering what it truly means to be a man and understand true masculinity. There is this false idea that a true man is rugged, tough, and quite attractive. We see this in the movies. We read of tough men in literature. What does it mean for me to be a man in recovery? For me, it means becoming complete in understanding and knowing who I am.
It means, knowing when to be tough minded and resilient in the face of challenges and stress. It means to stand my ground in true faith and being bold and assertive. It also means to be soft, gentle, kind, and full of compassion. Moved by mercy and charity toward others.
Reflecting upon this, my thoughts turn to what the Apostle Paul writes in Galatians 5:22-24:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, self-control. Nothing in the Torah stands against such things. Moreover, those who belong to the Messiah Yeshua have put their old nature to death on the stake, along with its passions and desires.
My own spiritual journey and recovery has shown what true masculinity is all about. The character and integrity. Finding joy, since happiness requires right circumstances, means to come to a place of experiencing life – regardless of the good, bad, and those ugly moments. Having peace. Not the type of peace that appears shallow and empty – without meaning – but of a peace that is enduring and sustaining (see John 14:27). It also requires patience. With self and others. Enduring faithfully those things that I must face while trusting in the process that leads toward a better outcome. All of these virtues rely on the bedrock of humility and self-control. Ability to manage my own fears. Manage my own emotions and learning to be emotionally responsive and not reactive.
None of these traits are possible without sacrificing my own self. Christ taught that those who are willing to follow Him are to deny themselves and take up their cross every day (Matthew 16:24). If I am not willing to do this every day – I am not growing and progressing to become complete.