Most of us think learning to be a man to is about the man things, like learning to shave, how to court
like a gentleman or how to dominate an opponent.
Speaking for myself, its one of the things I pined over growing up. If only my father had been there, I would have had an easier time navigating this crazy world and being the man I'm supposed to be. I would have had a resource to show me the way, how to fight, how to date, how to play, how to lead.
One of the things I've been learning lately is what it truly means to be a man. And, that most of us don't learn this, even if our fathers are in our lives.
To be a real man is to give your gifts, to walk your path, to follow your heart with abandon and without looking back to see if its okay.
The masculine is truly courageous, a leader, a powerful direction, facing his fears and walking through them purposefully.
So many men today get stuck in a box that keeps the things they truly want captive to their fear of what others will say or think. Perhaps even more so, they keep the things they truly want captive by not facing their own fears of failure and vulnerability. He makes logical excuses like "it's not responsible", or blames the kids, or he doesn't have enough time, money or knowledge.
What I know now is that this journey of becoming a real man is up to the each person. When you grow up with an absent or distant father, I believe that we learn as a boy to please others and to look there first. Perhaps the road is harder for us, but fulfillment lies in learning your deepest intentions and pursuing them step by step, moment by moment, courageously spiting your fear on your path to greatness. Fortunately, you were born with a remarkable well of tenacity and courage.
Please don't turn this into another thing you beat yourself up for, simply start to practice discovering what your intention is and following it.
Do this when you are making dinner plans, making love, standing for what you believe in, saying no, saying yes, planning a date, giving a gift, making a presentation.
Mostly, stop seeking permission to be who you are.
This is power, this is the masculine, this is your gift.
You and everyone close to you will develop an incredible trust and respect for you as a Man.