Men´s Work

Men’s work is about developing a healthy masculine core, through the focus on authenticity, commitment and accountability

Picture of men, foto by: Rune Hammerstad

Through this journey towards integrity, the natural inner-leadership will emerge

I often hear men voice confusion and unclarity around what their role is in life, what healthy masculinity is, and how to act in life and with their loved ones. The society we live in also seems to provide a lot of opposing views on how we ought to be as men:

We hear that we’re supposed to be manly yet caring, strong but soft, take charge whilst stop and listen, initiate but ask permission first, lead and follow, and the list goes on.

How can we find our own compass in all of that?

I’d also argue that the feminine seems to have developed a subtle distrust to the majority of men. I know that’s a bit of a blanket statement, but most women I’ve spoken to have voiced a slight distrust on some level towards how men act and show up in life when it comes to their integrity. Looking at myself and the men around me, I do agree.

We have inner-work to do!  

The essential pillars towards a healthy masculine are:

– Authenticity

– Accountability

– Commitment

– Integrity

Can you truly say you are authentic, that you speak your truth and show up as “real” as you can?

That includes owning your emotional state, vocalize your feelings and integrate your shadows.

For those who say yea I’m authentic, I call bullshit. Most men I’ve interacted with struggle to voice their true desires, whether its to their long term partner or a new lover. So many men struggle to own their emotions, to the extent that it’s causing havoc in relationships. Not to mention speaking out against group pressure, and even vocalize  their clear yes and no in any given situations. So many of us are “good guys” who bend over backwards, silently hoping for a “reward” and becoming bitter and resentful when theres no gold at the end of the rainbow. Hell, I’m a “good guy in recovery”, as Dr. Robert Glover would call it, so I know what I’m talking about.

Do you truly hold yourself accountable for your words and actions and the impact they are having on the world around them?

I can’t. I want to, yet sometimes I break commitments, toss out a comfortable white lie, make lame excuses or blame my circumstances, such as my situation, partner, job, etc for how I am feeling and what I’m experiencing in life. I sometimes say: “I have to go to work”, even though that is giving away my power and taking away my autonomy.  Enough, let’s make a change: Let’s not say sorry, but state what we’ll do to make amends or to do better next time. Let’s say “I choose to go to work”, because I want to get payed or because what I do matters, rather than imprison ourselves with our words and world view. 

Can you really commit to something, honour your word and do what you say you would? To carry it through “come hell and high water”? And if you fail; take responsibility, course correct and do better?

My growth is dependent on having a strong community of men around me:

Men who can inspire, reflect, give feedback and support me on my path

Through this journey towards integrity, the natural inner-leadership will emerge

Ask any man today who he calls if he really need emotional support. Most likely the answer will be “no-one!” There’s an epidemic of loneliness amongst men. We’re also weirdly wired to deal with everything ourselves.

To be able to go sit in a circle with fellow men who lovingly wants me to show up fully and calls out my bullshit, is an essential key that I believe all men should have access too. We are not made to figure it all out on our own. There’s supposed to be a group around us that meets us at our core and where we can show up real and have our brothers reflect back to us how we impact them. Without direct feedback we cannot course correct. 

Since the beginning of time, we’ve gathered in circles. There’s something primal about it. 

“I need a place to take off my masks of pretence. To let down my guard. To simply show up as completely as I can, drop in, and share from that vulnerable place…” 

A safe space to be fully ourselves. 

This is what we can create a space for when we come together. 

Knowing that what I share in the circle stays in the circle. That we aren’t there to advice each other, but to reflect back, challenge and support each other as we grow as men.

I need brothers that can call out my bullshit. Brothers that accept my darkness, supports my growth, and want me to show up fully as a man. Brothers who want me to step into integrity and become my own leader, and will help me stay accountable for my words and actions. Brothers who calls me forward to be the best version of myself. 

This is the work we do together. 

This is why we circle.

For lots of tools specific to Men’s Circles (in Norwegian), go here.