A Man’s Peace of Mind

 

“You see me on the street, well you guess I’m doing fine

Oh but its fantasy baby, almost all the time

I’ve got to get away, by myself

Oh the way it’s going, soon be needing help

‘cause I’m just a man, doing the best I can

don’t you understand, I just want some peace of mind.”

 

 

These words from a track on Van Morrison’s 1991 epic wonder, “Hymns to the Silence” say so much to me about the state of men—and the state of this man during many times in my life. This melody has floated through my awareness for almost twenty years now.

Hmmm, “doing the best I can”, how often have I uttered this phrase when called forth or challenged to grow into new behavior that I couldn’t?, wouldn’t?, make manifest at the time? Oodles of times. Certainly there is, as a friend would often say, a time for all seasons—a time when things are ripe for transformation, that can’t be rushed.

There is also a time for digging in ones heels and remaining stuck. But why would we choose this option? Probably not for any reason that’s very noble—fear, angst, rigidity, power and control, unwillingness to grow up, among others. Guilty, I’ve used them all. I thought “some peace of mind” would come from these stances, and I did want some. After bellowing the “doing the best I can” line though, did I feel better? Usually not. Usually I’d go sit alone somewhere, sulk somewhat, and wonder what the heck will it take to find some of this peace of mind.

Thankfully as those “seasons” come and go and maturity continues, combining this with inner inquiry, and evolutionary leaps and desires, that “doing the best I can” posture actually becomes drastically more functional.

What does any of this have to do with men in particular? Well as one, I can surely state that we all desire peace of mind, its just that many times we were taught outmoded ways of achieving this. How limiting it has been to be a mans man, and while in the process many of us were roaring absolute nonsense. Looking good, thinking I’m fine, and knowing somewhere deep inside that much of this look is fantasy. Baby—ouch. Yup fantasy. How many will admit this?

Certainly most of the worlds problems are caused by men. Operating from dysfunctional patterns and playbooks, using a “power over” model, greedily amassing heartless wealth, squelching dissent and acting like a child, but, in a suit—these were recipes for success. How many sensitive males have been squashed under this system? How many males hearts were broken and crushed before they could even walk? How many of us are willing to rectify this calamity and strive to create a saner, more just equitable playing field for everybody?

The new men’s work is to engage our hearts, learn what’s in there and what the darn thing is truly for. We—who were never taught what really matters, we—who were shattered with old outdated paradigms, we—who were allowed, due to our physical prowess to run amok, we—who are more capable than can be imagined—it is time. It is time to pull up our pants, it is time to spend time alone and with others learning who we really are, and it is time to learn to cherish—everything, knowing then, that we can cherish our peace of mind.

 

 

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