Fight for Freedom

The masculine man is always searching for freedom. You can see this in all areas of his life. At the heart of his seeking of victories in his work, sport and of course relationship, is a deep desire to free himself from the chains of his life. He wants to break through barriers in everything he does so that he can experience the bliss of freedom on the other side.

Every single guy-movie ever made is about this very thing. The hero is constrained by some challenge, he fights it, almost loses, then breaks through at the end. For a brief moment, he enjoys the bliss of his freedom, and we all share that with him as we watch. Then the credits roll.

The ultimate freedom a man can attain, and which has been made the hardest to attain by society in recent history, is freedom from his own need for approval.

Many men who have found this book, will be reading because they feel that they have found a way to become good enough as a man that everyone will approve and accept him as a heroic man.

The truth is, it’s this very desire that holds you back in all things, and which is made particularly apparent in your intimate relationship.

At the root of being able to hear your woman’s request in order to not feel criticised, is to reduce how much being criticised hurts you in the first place.

Consciously shifting your focus to see what her request is and move away from feelings of criticism in the moment is one level. And essential. But removing or drastically reducing the instant knotting in the stomach, the uncontrollable defensiveness at her being upset with you, is achieved by having first fought for the freedom from the need for constant approval as a man.

Know too that the very desire to please your woman – to ‘keep her happy’ – will make her feel deeply unsafe and is in fact at the core of so much upset in relationships.  

The desire in men to please people, to keep everyone happy and be seen as a good boy comes not only from the left-overs of wanting to be a good boy for mother, but from the inner caveman part of ourselves.

Yes, as a boy, your mother or other caregivers may have knowingly or subtly created the unconscious belief in you that you must perform well, be good, be nice, not upset people - but the root motivation for this comes from a deeper part of you and from much farther in the past than your childhood.

For our earliest ancestors – whose DNA you still physically carry in your body – having our mother not want us, to be emotionally abandoned by her would lead to physical abandonment. And this, for the human infant in the wild, would certainly result in death.

And so the habit of wanting to keep our woman happy and avoid displeasing her is almost always a straight-up Jungian transferring of your relationship with your mother to your intimate partner. But because it’s roots are instinctive.

Your woman’s inner cavewoman is affected by this also. The unsafe feeling she gets in knowing (if only unconsciously) that she can bend your will with the threat of her upsets, that you are essentially afraid of her, also comes from the ancient DNA that she carries.

For our early woman ancestors, having a weak man meant a lack of physical safety and the potential for weakness in her offspring. She sought the strongest man – in will and in body –and rejected the weakest. If it turned out she made a bad choice or her man later became weak, this, like the human child being abandoned in the wild, also spelled death.

While it’s possible that a woman (or any person) can be so neurologically wired for unhappiness and negativity that very little will ever make her happy, more often than not, your woman’s ‘nagging’ is a manifestation her insight. Remember, a good woman knows your potential better than you do. She yearns for you to be all you can be as a man. Which is a beautiful thing.

A lesser man, will subtly try to make his woman wrong for this instinct she carries in her body. Even understanding the roots of her upsets - his changing his mind, his bending and placating – he will fall back to labelling her a nag. He may even try to plead with her to lower her standards or override her DNA, her inner cavewoman.

A relationship samurai will work with his bodily instincts that lead him to fear his woman’s upsets and take ownership of those times he has changed his mind to please her, to be a good boy.

What you really want though, is not to be a good boy, but to be free. And she wants you to be free too; free of the need for her approval. This doesn’t mean you never consult her in decision making, but know that any time you make a choice based on a need for her to be happy with you (not the decision) you are not free. You are trapped by your need for approval, and you both can feel it. She loses attraction to you, and you feel like shit.

At the root of seeking freedom from the need for approval is your self-love practice. You must fill that hole in your heart that you have been trying to get her to fill. No amount of approval with really fill the space that should be filled with self-love, no matter how satisfying that praise feels in the moment.

The next piece in healing this dysfunctional behaviour is mindfulness; observing your own feelings and actions in order to identify where you might be falling into a pattern of pleasing.

Fear is the primary feeling at the core of pleasing, and it’s this that you need to be on the lookout for.

What does fear feel like for you? Tension in the stomach? Clenching of the jaw? Weakness in the legs? Feeling like your heart or lungs are in your throat?

However fear manifests in your body, this is what you must now set your radar to identify.

When you are wanting to make a decision or express an idea or intention to your woman and you simultaneously feel your fear holding you back, this is your opening to examine whether you are trying to avoid displeasing her. Are you abandoning yourself to avoid being abandoned by her?

Can you breathe through it? Can you relax into your fear, and follow through anyway? Can you, like a samurai, know that you are afraid, know that death is on the cards and still do what you must?

Know that she still may be upset, even if you are doing the right thing. Her own interpretations may still cause her to believe she is being wronged in some way. But if you are acting from your heart, from a place of service to all and if you have considered all options, then her reactions are her responsibility, not yours.

As with any endeavour where you are trying to get stronger, you start small. You allow for failures and you continue to try every time.

And as you become more aligned with your intent and sense of purpose, as you become free from the need for approval and she can feel that you do not bend and are no longer afraid of her, she too can relax.

If in your becoming a free man, she refuses to relax into openness and trust, then she is not a good woman. In which case, you should consider letting her go.

And as a free man, this will not be so difficult to do. 



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