This past week I have been sitting with a question that I would like to share with you.
This question is one that I feel needs to be asked by all men at sometime on their journey. For me, this questioned has been asked many times. It is something that I have asked as part of the journey of self-discovery and self-empowerment.
The question is this; When can I truly claim to be a MAN? Perhaps for the women who read this – they could ask – When can I truly claim to be a WOMAN?
Back to the question. I have asked myself this question many times at different stages of my development and life. At 18 I really thought that I was a man, as this is the legal age of being an adult. At the age of 21, I realised that at 18 I was not a man. At 25, I realised that at 21 I was not much more of one either. Legally, yes, I was an adult, yet much of my behaviour and understandings of the way in which I played my role in the world was less than what I now call ‘being a man’, ‘being in my manhood’.
Now, being in my 49th year, I feel that I have stepped into my true manhood, into my true essence of being responsible and being able to own it. I feel good in my man energy. I feel safe in my manhood. I feel content. I feel powerful. I feel that finally I have reached that place of feeling that I am a man. So for me, it is only now that I claim, with true conviction, to be a man. It is only now that I know in my being that the ‘boys’ in me have been tamed and healed to the degree where I can hold myself in the place of being a man. The boys within me do come out and try to take control on occasions, but I feel confident, and know in my being, that I have the ability as a man to deal with them. My ‘inner children’, my ‘inner teenagers’, my ‘inner adolescents’ are less and less in control.
As I look around my community of men and around the world of men, I see many so called men who are still acting like adolescents; like spoiled brats in some cases. If you carefully watch the actions and listen to the language of some of the ‘men’ in our communities or in the wider world, you will see and hear that they are still in their boy or teenage phase emotionally – and perhaps mentally and spiritually.
So, back to the question. When can I truly claim to be a MAN?
Can you ask yourself this question and evaluate where you are Right Now in your own journey of being a man (or woman). Can you step up in some way and become more than you are Right Now? Can you take steps to become more of a man (or woman)? Can you allow the true adult in you to really shine?
For me there are a few key aspects that we need to do to step up into this place of being an adult, in the true meaning of the word. These key things are RESPONSIBILITY for our thoughts, feelings and actions. RESPONSIBILITY for the way that we carry ourselves and place ourselves in the community. RESPONSIBILITY to be an example to our younger generation. RESPONSIBILITY to let others know that their actions are acceptable or not acceptable – think here of family, friends, colleagues, leaders, etc. RESPONSIBILITY for our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being is a big part of being a man or woman.
What I have come to over the years is that it is all about Self-responsibility with a good mix of responsibility for challenging other people about theirs too. If, as a man, I can challenge the negative behaviour, and support the positive behaviour, of others then I am doing my bit for my community and the world. If I see someone doing something that is not positive, or is detrimental to myself or the community, I believe that I have a responsibility to say something. Oftentimes, in our own families or communities, we see things that could be questioned and/or stopped if we were man enough to do so.
Little Adrian loves it when I express myself like this. He feels safe, he feels protected and feels that he has a man that he can look up to as a mentor; as a role model. When Master Adrian speaks and is presents, the boy knows that the man is here. That is when I know that I can truly claim to be a man! I know because the boy in me knows it too. And for me, Right Now, this is man enough, enough for me to be content. And yet I know there is more growth for me to come – there is more man to step into.
Now, the cake recipe for the week. This week I have made some Banana Muffins.
Ingredients: 3 eggs, 450 grams self raising flour, 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, 150grams of sugar, 200 grams of soft butter, 2 bananas, teaspoon of vanilla essence, teaspoon of cinnamon, teaspoon of ground nutmeg.
Method: Beat the eggs, add the sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla essence and mix well. Mix the butter and banana together until soft and add to mixture. Add the flour and bi-carb and mix everything together for a few seconds – do not over mix.
Grease/butter the muffin tins or containers. Will make 12-15 muffins.
Bake for about 15 minutes at 180 degrees.