Manhood, the Love Warrior
I’ll be married to Lady Gillian for 19 years this July. We also have three unique and great wonders as kids (Nia 20, Jabari 16 and Kasim 14). This marital and parenting journey with her has been the most eye opening experiences of my 51 years of living. I am learning so much about the impossibility of two imperfect beings attempting to love each other perfectly. The impossibility of parenting kids perfectly when so much of my own issues have not been resolved. So much of our experiences (positive and negative) from childhood to adulthood only show up within the intimacy of our relationships with our partners and kids. I would like to share a little of what I am learning about my Manhood and fatherhood, that loving my Queen and my Warriors are teaching me.
I am learning when it comes to loving, the demonstration of our Manhood does not come from our ability to tower fear or control over another, nor from our abil
So many of us as men are lost and hurting, yearning for a sense of self we can be proud of. Yet, many of the images honored by society have misled and betrayed us. What do we get from the images we find in the machismo of sports, in the coldness of the streets, and the betrayal and abandonment of our fathers from our homes and eventually our lives? What do images of superheroes from comics books or action flicks teach us about being a man? Do these not merely reflect images of a primitive notion of Manhood? He fights and eventually defeats the enemy in the air, on the ground, and at sea. This illusion of what a man supposed to be shows him with superhuman strength, big bank accounts or with great will power to overcome any struggle and save the day. He has achieved great success in academia and honored with plaques, statues and is read about in books, becoming a legend to the world. However, these are merely superficial attributes when it comes to authentic manhood and the realm of loving.
When the noise quiets and the day-to-day struggles of life emerges as the norm, where does the man find images to support him through? How do we keep our families
We demoralize women and other men, including our sons, when they express their emotions. We convince them that being in-tuned with their emotions and ability to express them, which is really a strength, that they should avoid them–at least when around us. How does the action hero or the baller guide us through these uncomfortable situations? When we don’t handle these situations properly, they create unhealthy connections that many times lead to the breakup of families.
We display Authentic Manhood and Fatherhood when we are able to feel
Let us learn to be strong in character, my Brothers and fellow Kings, away from the stereotypical expressions of the tough, emotional-less and insensitive portrayals of manhood and fatherhood. This strength is not usually displayed on the battlefield or against an opponent on the court, or in traffic or in business. It is expressed at its best during the stillness of our minds and being present with the pain. This act of courage is not for the weak-minded. We don’t run, walk away, leave the house or shutdown during the labor pains of the awakening and maturing of our souls as we encounter and live through the day-to-day struggles of making it work with ourselves and our loved ones.
Within each conflict we have a choice through courage, honesty, humility and honor to enter deeper into the awareness of who we are as human beings, as men and as fathers. Or we can choose a path influenced by an insecure mindset that at best can merely create a front of what being a man and a father is about. It is through our internal struggles that the authentic essence and character of Manhood is birthed and forged.