In 1991, I started seeing in color. I attended a workshop that introduced me to some simple concepts that were entirely new to me such as vulnerability and intimacy and how I had been co-dependent all my life. I also learned that 96 percent of all Americans are also co-dependent. And I learned how to begin the process of becoming a more emotionally literate and available man.
Brenee Brown, in her wonderful talk on TED.com explains that vulnerability is the path to connection. The problem, however, is that most of us men are hard-wired to believe that vulnerability equals weakness and if I show vulnerability, you will attack.
It turns out that vulnerability is actually very powerful and courageous, but it is still very scary for many men. In fact, most men have been trained to be as emotionally invulnerable as possible. The consequence is often relationships that are in deep trouble and men who feel angry, sad and scared but don’t have a clue how to express their emotions except through rage. Not a good strategy to stay in relationship.
I have been in relationship with my wife, Donna for almost 40 years. We are not star-crossed lovers, but two very different people who have chosen to make our relationship work. We have three children and we both have excellent relationships with all of them. My relationship with my wife and my children is the polar opposite of my father’s experience.
Teaching men how to become better, more conscious men has become my life work. I can help me because I understand me (well, most of them). But I freely admit that I haven’t a clue about women.
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