Monday, September 10, 2012

We Wear The Mask

I'll admit it, I am just not an emotional man. I feel joy, happiness, hurt, pleasure, anger, and pain just like any other human being but most times I just can't show my emotions, especially not if they make me appear weak. Like most men I internalize the vast majority of my emotions. This attitude or way of life is almost monolithic when it comes to men. Some of us spend so much time being strong for our families, that we don't have time to manifest what we feel inside. We go straight into "fix it" mode, and we demonstrate our feelings by doing all of the things that a man is supposed to do. We protect, we provide, and we come up with solutions for those that we love. But there are times when we as men feel like we are being crushed by the weight of our own logic. More often than not we fight the urge to appear vulnerable, and a lot of us have been masquerading as iron men for so long that we barley have to put any effort into it anymore. It has become second nature. Our children might cry and our wives may even cry, but as the heads of our families most of us believe that we have to be the rock.
As comfortable as I am in my own skin I still take pride in being a man's man, and I am always in problem solving mode. Whenever I feel emotional I tell myself that my time is better spent trying to find tangible solutions to the situations that effect my family, so I quickly put an H on my back and handle it.
The topic of vulnerability is sort of like a taboo topic for men. We never talk about it, and we never discuss it, but it is reality. A reality that we all face and deal with on some level. Whenever I attend church. I feel the spirit moving, I feel the weight of the week lifted off of me, and then I begin to feel myself slowly losing control. In the midst of it all I see the stoic expressions of other men trying to hold it together just like me. I feel a praise on the inside, I stand in acknowledgement of his presence, and I may even shed a tear but, I never let it all "hang out." My wife is able to manifest her praise for all the world to hear and see. But, I still remain reserved, calm, and cool on the outside, while I shout on the inside. Sometimes I feel like breaking down but I don't, because I know that The Lord recognizes my heart no matter what the world sees. My Pastor says that everybody praises God in their own way, so I remain just as I am. I just wonder how it would feel to step outside of myself and just let go, and I know that I am not alone.


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