"The time and place for a man to fight his battles, whatever those battles may be, is not in the home or with his family. The time and place is with other men - men who know how to hold the space for another man's battle. In that place a man may bring his anger and humiliation for transformation, so that he might return home the man he has always dreamed to be, the one that is capable of the deep love that his partner and family so hope to hear and feel."
From Beyond the Blame Game: Creating Compassion and Ending the Sex War in Your Life by Dmitri Bilgere
I believe holding space for a man, sacred space, is what allows a man to deal with all his emotions in a clean and clear way. Look, a man has anger, fear, rage, joy, love, sadness, and shame -- all of it. I think what makes it tough is that we as men have been taught we can have anger and rage and certainly shame (just don't show it); that's it. It's out of balance.
I was at a festival this weekend where MKP had an educational booth and were talking to men about the program. A man and woman came to the booth and a friend of mine engaged the man in a conversation about how men need a space with other men to have safety and time to deal with all that they feel. My friend got no further than it's a men organization and the man took several large steps back and almost ran from the booth. The women just stood there for a moment, stunned a bit, and then started to explain that the man believed that all groups should be inclusive.
To make a long story shorter, the man believed MKP was against inclusion and that no organization that was just for men could be inclusive.
I am here to tell you I strongly disagree. Men who want to be inclusive need to learn it from their fathers and brothers in a clean way. They need to learn to honor the men and women and children in a space that allows them to be angry and rage and feel joy and sorrow in a honoring and safe space; so then they can have a clear heart to be inclusive.
Often men's anger and shame come out in aggressive and passive ways. If a man has no place to let it out and be who he is and feel what he feels, it will be damaging in some way. Men hold that space with the fierceness and trust needed for men to do that work. Men do that. Men in the ManKind Project do that for each other; week in, week out.
Are you ready to stand in a sacred place and be you? I will stand with you.