Masculinity – Self Mastery

Here’s a Diddy from Timothy Keller…

Men who indulge…We’ve certainly seen our fair share of men who live in excess. Politicians, church leaders, neighbors, executives, athletes. We may even be “that dude”.

For all the masculine wars I’ve seen online about how to define masculinity, there is still a need for men to be taught self-mastery. We need other men who can model for us what this looks like in relation to sex, relationships, money, power, and curiosity. I also think we need women who model self-mastery. I guess we men might benefit from a masculinity that is caught and learned by observing both men and women who embody this self-mastery.

I think I’m a hard ass because I immediately think of how much culture sucks at self-mastery. Look at the scandals, the shootings, and the overt addiction to consumerism (in many shapes and forms). Men are being released into society who have not learned to rule themselves, let alone “rule” others.

I recently met with a new friend who is a later stage in life . I’m learning about long term financial investments living and about re-inventing yourself at different stages of life. What I admire about Cliff is that he’s been working on self-mastery for 6 decades. And he’s still willing to learn how to go about it.

We need a recovered manhood that isn’t so much about being an MMA fighter who carries a gun or about a passive, soft spoken introvert that wears sweaters everyday. We need a manhood that is about self-mastery and learns to be released from the unhealthy cycles of excess and indulging.

Safety and trust

Working on creating safety and trust primes us for deeper work and living.

We can’t confront others or work towards our goals without any collateral trust building.

We will accomplish more and get our ideas heard when there is trust building.

When meeting new people, I’d propose we listen and build trust first, THEN offer suggestions and observations.

People need to know that you’re for and with them before you inform them.

Daring Greatly: 12 Shame Categories

I chose to read Brene Brown’s book, Daring Greatly, for a seminary class because shame sucks.  Her work has been so helpful to many, including myself.  Last night, I was recounting how helpful it is to be aware of your shame triggers so that you recognize the patterns.

Brown says that “Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging”, (p.69).  I describe it as the feelings and thoughts that tell us “something is wrong with me”.  I remember feeling different when I was younger, asking myself “what’s wrong with me”.  It’s an ugly feeling.

Brown lists 12 shame categories to be aware of.  Her books talks about building shame resilience as a way to cope with the shame triggers:

  • appearance and body image
  • money and work
  • motherhood/fatherhood
  • family
  • parenting
  • mental and physical health
  • addiction
  • sex
  • aging
  • religion
  • surviving trauma
  • being stereotyped or labeled

the text mirrors human development

I never quite knew how to word this concept until now.  Forewarning:  provocative statements up ahead…

“This is how God trusts incarnation. God allows us to see God and uses that as his word. It’s through us. Therefore the text itself is three steps forward and two steps back. It gets it, it loses it, it get it it loses it…My Jesus hermeneutic is like this: Jesus never quotes Joshua and Judges. Most of Joshua and Judges are two steps backward books. Doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be in the Bible, I’m fine with that, there’s a lot in my life that’s two steps backwards. The text mirrors human development and growth and understanding” – Richard Rohr

Here’s the second quote I liked: “When it says Yahweh says… I know they [the writers of the Bible] wouldn’t like this but Yahweh didn’t say that. They said that. Like we do. We project our own consciousness onto God to justify our own evil behavior. We still do that-but that’s a totally different narrative for an evangelical.” – Richard Rohr

I always “knew” this as felt knowledge but couldn’t figure out words for it.