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7 Reasons men need to be encouraged to change (stats prove it)…

February 17, 2013

and if you, as a woman, love the father, male partner or son in your life – you will want to help.

Due to their conditioning and make-up, men too often can find themselves facing their own crucifixion – and there IS a modern equivalent. It is the result (real or imagined) of failure to “keep up” financially, and to otherwise conform to all of the huge societal pressures. For so many who can’t keep up, they put themselves on that cross.

We may not be always able to SOLVE our problems or pressures, but women are at least much better equipped to DEAL with them – simply because we have no issue with talking about them, nor in asking for help. But as these statistics prove, the minds and souls of men DO NOT similarly deal so well.

1) 20% of middle age men suffer a mid-life crisis (UK NHS figures)
2) 1 million people across the globe die by suicide every year (= 1 every 40 seconds)*
3) 5 times more often it is men committing suicide
4) highest numbers are amongst 30-44 year old males
5) suicide accounts for 1 in a 100 deaths
6) it is estimated that 5% of people attempt suicide at least once in their life

And a final shocking figure is this:

7) MORE DIE BY SUICIDE EVERY YEAR THAN BY MURDER AND WAR COMBINED.

(* source for remaining statistics: International Association for Suicide Prevention)

It has to stop.

But when was the last time you looked at your partner, your father or mother, your child, or your best friend or colleague and thought “I wonder how they REALLY are?” And when did you actually sit them down to ask?

Or perhaps you ARE that person about to implode. When was the last time you felt anyone cared enough? When did you last beg in your head for someone to reach out, notice you enough, feel your pain enough? If these moments/days pass without fatality they will not be your break-down, but your break-out. It will be your breaking out from a mind that has imprisoned you, and will be your free pass from the machinations that capture so many. But the cost is huge.

I love this time of year as Easter approaches. I love the story of Jesus and his resurrection. It matters not if you believe the story or not, what matters is the picture I am painting. The life so many of us live turns us into that solitary figure carrying his cross. That person not fulfilling the expectations of family or society, not making enough money, not succeeding enough, not yet married, or not yet fully conforming can feel IMMENSE stress for all of these transgressions. They have the equivalent weight that Jesus felt – of being humiliated, spat upon, jeered, shunned, and then hung up to die. And the weight shatters ones heart, and shatters ones soul until that moment is reached when one similarly cries out

“Why have you forsaken me?”

– and those words are shouted at all of the people who SUPPOSEDLY love us.

I am on a mission, and I will pull no punches in saying what I will say. My father was one of those people who took on the love of his family so much, worked so hard, whilst still living life to the full, that his heart gave out. He died in tragic circumstances in front of me. He was 45. I was 14. It was the most crushing blow. He was still an utter God in my eyes. He was perfection in a father. And the thing was, I was also still perfect. Nothing had rocked my world in the slightest by that age. My life had been bliss. I had never seen awful things on the horizon by that age – nor did I imagine they existed. His death was catastrophic to us all. What is saddest is that in all of the pain that followed, I quietly wished my mother had done more to look after him. (We all do place such awful blame when so monstrously hurt and confused.) Since his first heart attack she had done the very best she could. He was a man who would not ever stop living life to the full. He would watch his rugby or football (televised to us in Canada) and he would scream his encouragement or fury! He would work hard to provide us with the nicest life. And in his spare time he would love us all with his whole heart. I just wish my mother could have persuaded him to down-size, or to change direction. I know he would have had none of it, but I feel there may have been a chance if we had all been given the opportunity to say how we all wanted to live. It may have convinced him that we COULD change from the path society expected us to live. We COULD be different and still happy.

Consequently, I live a very different life to most. I have the fewest friends, I work from home, I hardly go out, I choose not to overwork, I haven’t travelled or holidayed for years, but I am as happy as a sandboy. That joy comes (yes, from how much I have evolved as a being), but also from all of the time I CAN give to those who are the most precious to me: my daughters, my man, family, friends and dogs. It is self propelled joy. I give immense love and time to them, and it comes back so wondrously that it insures I keep giving and loving. In no way do I smother them because there is always so much to do in being a single, working mum. The thing is, if I were to live in a different way – working more, socialising more, shopping or doing anything normal MORE, I would not have the time to truly cherish what it is I DO. The love I receive back, in no small way, has always made me thrive. Superficial, surface stuff does nothing for me. You have to get in there deep. So, now I have no needs, I just have desires. And the biggest one is to give.

I have learned enough to know I should not, and cannot, tell anyone what to do. But I can stop you and make you think. So many of us over work, over socialise, and over DO all sorts of things because we have “issues”. But stop and think; when you can’t swim but want to, do you seek a swim instructor? When you need financial investment advice do you seek an advisor? When you’re not “doing life” too well, do you seek a self-help guide or life coach? You could. Some of us are worth our weight in gold! But whether you do, or don’t, always endeavour to be true to yourself, speak up for yourself, get to the point of respecting and loving yourself, and on the way truly look at those you love, and truly love and respect them. We all need to cherish each other more. And we especially need to help the men in our lives learn to talk, learn to feel and acknowledge their emotions. For too long they have been conditioned to behave as if they none – “that’s all SOFT stuff”. But that’s crap. We all have hearts, we all break, and we all need to feel and express love.

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2 Comments
  1. Agree with your comments on over working over socialising Roxanne. Yes its a personal thing and if you love ‘doing’ that that is great. So many of us though miss the fact that we are human ‘beings’ …not human doings as Dr Wayne Dyer might say. I think you are touching on subjects in regards to men that many women would not entertain – feminism (and any ‘ism’) in its endeavours to highlight the plight of its own concerns and demographic, inadvertently takes the spotlight away from the other gender that is just as oppressed as what they are! Your article backs up that something is wrong here. The sooner all of us realise that the exclusive club of oppression includes all of us, the sooner we can start moving towards new ways of living and being.

    • What insightful comments Teaman! – I know you have plenty of them so I will keep writing so you keep commenting! Thank you.

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