This post is a man's story. We all have stories. This man's story includes the New Warrior Training Adventure.
Your story could include this adventure, as well. You just have to get up and go. Simple as that.
The Golden Child, A Man's Journey Home
by Edgar Carter
Last night, lying in bed with my partner, I almost succeeded. After having spent the last three days living in my inner fearful child, I really connected with my pained child, and now I've almost gotten all the way back to claiming my Golden Child.
Who are all these “children”?
Let me explain. It's starts with my own story.
I came into this world as the third child to a teenage mother. The fourth was my brother, who was born when Mom was a mere twenty years of age. At twenty, Mom was not equipped to deal with four demanding, obnoxious brat kids under the age of six, and was even less equipped to give them the love and the nurturing they needed and deserved. So as time went on, Mom and Dad became alcoholics and abusive, and as a result, I took on a lot of pain, and created beliefs about myself that I know now aren't true. “I don't deserve to be loved”, “I'm better off alone,” and “I don't belong on this earth.” Somehow, even with these beliefs I survived. From the very beginning, I stumbled through life, acting out, and leaving a lot of damage in my wake.
In 1997, a good friend of mine in who was in recovery introduced me to the concept of “Men's Work.” He invited me to attend something called the “New Warrior Training Adventure.” The NWTA is an experiential Men's training weekend, designed to start a man on the journey to reclaim his own Golden Child. The training was created by three men, Rich Tosi, Ron Hering, and Bill Kauth. Bill was conducting men's circles before they were popular. In 1984 he went to a conference with his girlfriend who was president of the Wisconsin Feminist Therapists Association. As he noticed he was the only man at the conference and he began to ask himself, “Why isn't there anything inspiring for men? Women have all this support, and men - well, they don’' seem to have anything like it!” He asked this same question to Rich and Ron, and soon the three of them all gathered around Rich's kitchen table and planned a weekend just for men. So, the “New Warrior Training Adventure” was conceived and the first one was held in January 1985, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Since that time over 30,000 men worldwide have attended the NWTA. And now it has evolved into an International Men's Organization called, “The ManKind Project.”
In MKP, we often use a process called “Head, Heart and Soul” to describe the stages in a man's life. This process is designed to help men see how they may have been wounded and built walls within and around themselves. It brings clarity to how, as men our journey from childhood to manhood may have included disowning certain parts of ourselves so we would fit in, be accepted and loved. It starts with the Golden Child, that 360 degrees of pure, golden potential, complete in every way. As we move through the Pained Child, and the Fearing Child, we shut down parts of ourselves, especially those that don't work in our current environment. The acting out begins to really manifest as we move through the Immature Warrior, then as the Shielded Child we begin to hide who we really are. As the Rational Man we began to fully live in our heads, disconnect from our hearts, no longer able to see the Golden Child. Finally, the Bewildered Man looks around, and says, “I'm doing everything that is asked of me, why isn't it working, why am I not wondrously happy?” The process then goes on to describe how a man can turn around, look at those disowned parts of himself and began the journey of reclaiming them, and finally reconnecting with the Golden Child, the one who KNOWS how to be wondrously happy!
So, I attended the NWT in April 1997, and for me, this man began my own journey to reclaiming my “Golden Child.” At that training weekend I began to consciously let go of blaming my parents for my life. Sitting in a circle in Kentucky in 1998, I confronted how I had always ran away from those close to me. With the loving support of men in that circle I made the decision to do whatever it took to return to Georgia and get into a relationship with my family - my children, grandchildren, siblings, and parents. I had just reclaimed that part of me that is able to connect with those that I love.
And this led back to last night, with me laying in bed with the wonderful woman that I have finally been able to call to me. And as I lay in my pained child, crying I touched those early beliefs that no longer work for me. I made a conscious choice to now believe that, “I DO deserve to be loved” and “I DO belong on this earth.” And as I laid there feeling the love. I could now embrace my Golden Child, and pull him into my heart.
Edgar Carter is a co-founder and center director of Mankind Project of Georgia. A community of men committed to living lives of Authenticity, Integrity, and Accountability. MKP of GA. facilitates several “New Warrior Training Adventures” each year. You can reach Ed at: HealingJoy@adelphia.net