"What's Your Idea of a Man?"

When your building a social circle you need to apply the intentionality that comes from the self-knowledge we have already discussed in going on the journey of self-discovery.

We are now in the process of applying that knowledge to; ‘where do we fit?’, so that we don’t end up as square pegs trying to fit into round holes. Men with our edges shaved off trying to fit moulds, lifestyles and social circles incongruent with the actual shape and nature of our souls.

It’s our responsibility to counteract this.

Now that we have gone to the trouble of arming ourselves with knowledge, it’s time to use this knowledge to navigate the often mine riddled field of our social circles.

It’s mine riddled because it’s not always easy cutting people off that you feel some sort of obligation to. It’s not always easy reaching out and making the connections you need in your life and then nurturing those connections in order to have the relationship’s that can buoy up the life your building for yourself.

Were here building a life for us that has meaning to us, this is so important when you look at the hopelessness and pain that characterises far too many men’s lives. It’s evidenced in the statistics of male suicide, male hopelessness, drug and alcohol abuse. And the many other symptoms of hopelessness that your average everyman is experiencing as we face the challenges of masculinity and leaving a mark on the earth that were in fact proud of.

I mean society tells us that masculinity itself is toxic, and without personal critical evaluation of this prognosis, we are left with the challenge of trying to avoid the eggshells of other people’s ideas of a man dodging the judgment and scorn of people gen up on all the latest societal vitriol, but oblivious to the venom and poison they are spreading with their unenlightened, narrow and unexplored perspectives.

Let’s not kid ourselves, some of this comes out of pain, very real pain in fact, but if we remember hurting people who as yet have not transformed their pain into useful nutritious fuel often times cause tremendous amounts of hurt to other people themselves. This occurs on micro and macro levels.

Which leads on nicely to the fact that as we strive for maturity in our lives because that is in fact the aim in all this personal investment of getting to know ourselves to lay a foundation for our own personal growth, we need to surround ourselves if not exclusively then certainly as much as possible with some individuals who also have achieved some level of maturity in their lives.

Like coals that keep each other’s fire alive. Other mature souls will continue to spark inspiration and passion for living within you and inspire you to keep reaching to the realisation of your potential.

These are the people I’m encouraging you to get around you, to hone and cultivate your relationships with these key souls, because their influence and energy will sustain you through many of life’s complex terrain.

So what’s the exercise to make this happen. It’s a simple pen and paper exercise, you do a dot in the middle of your blank piece of paper, and then an initial circle around the dot. Continue drawing circles till you have say 3 or 4 now begin to think about the people in your life. And who should be in your inner circle, then who should be a little further out. And on and on. Do this until you’ve established for yourself the circles that you want to surround you.

Remember we are in the process of tailoring a bespoke life for ourselves and our relationships are the fabric were using to build this tapestry. Be careful how you go here, the wrong people can cost you more than you should be prepared to lose easily.

Decide where you’re going, then whose going with you exhorts Sam Keen in Fire in the Belly. The Idea of a Man exhorts you to ask yourself; Who am I? and What do I want? – let the answers to these questions determine the makeup of your social circle.


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Hi I'm Omar Zac Phillips and I’m a writer. My Blog; theideaofaman.com is where I journal my experiences as a man and share The Idea of a Man Project, a 12 step process of self-discovery.

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