Hardy Boys: The Case of America’s Missing Man
by Keith Paolino Jul 21, 2016
I’ve been crying on and off for the past 5 days. By the grace of God and some of the most important men and women in my life, I was shown exactly how deficient I’ve been in my man duties.
I’ve written some interesting things over the last couple years. Writing about getting fired, and learning about my inner tyrant and how I began the work of changing an emotional legacy into a way to help heal myself and the world. Writing about what I saw when it came to how men were attracting dating partners and hopefully illuminating some patterns there. Today I write about coasting on “last year’s recovery”, as my friend Hamza would say.
Recently, me and 20 of the most powerful, generous, loving, feminine-supporting men that I know spent 3 days in a house together. We were there for atonement to the feminine. Not the eye for an eye kind. Rather, we were there to be shown that our energetic credit card debits had FAR EXCEEDED our credits, and that if we could see that, REALLY see it, would we be willing to make a commitment to something greater. In “getting ours”, we had overspent funds that didn’t just belong to us. These are funds the feminine toils away in the world to deposit into a common account. We had become oblivious to our impact. All of us. We had been using and abusing our predilection to support the feminine as a way to make ourselves feel better about our resentment, our feelings of powerlessness, and our desire to feel superior.
For me, after 7 years of the practice of Orgasmic Meditation and all of the transformation of the work that goes with it, I had started to use what I learned AGAINST the very feminine that I had promised to serve. Similar to the way you can use what you know about someone you’re intimate with to hurt them when you’re fighting. I began to use the access I had been granted to overpower, avoid or otherwise undermine the feminine in my life. Mostly for two purposes: One, to avoid being called to be the man I’m capable of being, and Two, to maintain my ability to feel special and exempt from the former. I found ways to justify not doing my practices. Not feeding my soul. Not taking care of myself, physically, spiritually or emotionally. I allowed a sludge to build up. I was coasting on last year’s recovery. I was slowly dying inside, endlessly proving to myself and everyone around me that I am special, and that I did not have to do all the things that everyone else had to do to keep my soul scrubbed clean.
And then, when I slow down, I look around and I see what the women around me are creating, able to hold, able to handle. How they live in their feminine AND their masculine. They can birth an idea AND manifest it into existence, both through consistent attention on the idea AND consistent attention on the concrete actions to create it. Plus they are working on their spiritual and emotional growth, keeping their bodies healthy, earning a living, making sure there’s food in the fridge, keeping a todo list in their heads a mile long, which they frequently revisit and reorder and complete items on. I see them do it all. Knowing that if they don’t do it, it simply won’t get done.
And then there’s the men. Well, let’s be honest. There isn’t the men.
There are boys. Mostly boys. Boys who like to dress like men. Boys who inhabit 25 and 35 and 45 year old bodies. Boys who look like men dressed like boys. Boys who run hedge funds and have second mortgages and drive too-expensive cars paid with the second mortgage. Boys with gym memberships, sitting around talking about their dating life with the disdain of a unaffected middle schooler. Boys who still think their INTENTIONS are good enough. Boys who have become so adept with the language of change and the comfort of inaction that they think buying carbon offsets is the same thing as saving the world. Boys who have such distorted visions of their rights and those of others that they would rather kill or rape than have to sit in the discomfort of rejection. Boys with beards riding longboards down the street, one foot rhythmically kicking as though outrunning adulthood in slo-mo. Boys who have done such a kickass job convincing the world that they just can’t quite GET IT RIGHT when it comes to growing up that the women have all but given up too. Instead of searching for a man, the women now just get the good job, build the good credit, buy the nice house, lease the sensible car and then go out and pick themselves a nice man-sized boy to take home and care for and fuck. Boys who have set the bar of expectation so low that a woman is happy if you put the seat down, earn most of your share of the bills, don’t break anything she likes and remember to do something nice on most of the important days of the year.
“Not me”, you say.
Most of us. Sitting in the false notion that what we’re doing is good enough, and DON’T EVEN THINK about encroaching on our personal sports/craft/armchair/aficionado/artisan/foodie/time. Except most of what we make important, isn’t. And most of us are living at about 20-40% of our capacity. And then we have the gall to complain when we’re asked to do more, be more. It’s like a teacher is saying, good job, and I know you can do better, and we look down at the C+ and promptly flip that teacher the bird and say, in that feigned tone that only a 13 year old boy can pull off, “You don’t understand, YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT I CAN DO!!! I’m outta here.” and turns on one foot and leaves.
So fellas, it’s time to level up. It’s time to do all the big and little things you said you’d do. Without her having to ask every day if it got done. It’s time to handle what you said you were going to handle, or communicate proactively why you aren’t and update your due date accordingly. It’s time to look at your behavior, to REALLY look. Time to look at your calendar with a longer view than that morning. Time to pick up the food you drop and wipe the counter when you get it wet and the thousand other million things you let go of without doing. You know. And if you don’t know, get yourself a mentor, or a coach or a therapist or a sponsor, or preferably all four. Because the time where it’s okay to not know is past. It’s not cute anymore. It’s not endearing. And you don’t want to attract the woman that thinks it is. Seriously, knock it off.