Richard Rohr says a healthy masculinity incorporates five truths: (1) Life is hard. (2) You’re not in control. (3) You’re going to die. (4) You’re not that important. (5) Life is not about you. This is why boys need godfathers (good fathers). It is mostly the case that strong spiritual direction doesn’t come from dad. That’s not to be regretted. It’s just how it is.
“You are my son, whom I love. With you I am well pleased.” Few and widely spaced are boys whose fathers tell them that. So they cobble together a sense of themselves from other sources. Now they are men, divorced from the ceremonies of innocence, twisted by compensatory behaviours and lost in their lusts.
We’re awake when the commonplace is suddenly elevated and we see beauty everywhere, in everything.
We are not in control. Most men don’t understand this. Reason? No credible person sat them down when they were boys and spelled it out.
Knowing I’m not in control, I am a stranger to disappointment and bitterness. I am not what happens; I am to whom it happens.
The responsible man is response-able. He responds to Life. He does not react. Re-action is the forte of the fool. We cannot step into the same river twice.
Ego isn’t just the Big Strut. According to the ancient enneagram, ego exhibits in nine different ways. In its most veiled manifestation, ego is shyness. Shyness courts attention in order to reject it.