1.04.2012

Isolation

A ManKind Project man posted this in the Your NWTA and MKP Experience page. I just wanted to give it a bigger audience.

I'm out.
Bravehearted Old-faithful Wolf






I went thru the training in a snow storm in West Virginia at age 57. My Mom and Dad had died earlier that year and even though I was "successful" by all accounts, and had done years of self-awareness and EQ work, there was something missing. I was constantly feeling like I was operating from false bravado, pretending to be capable, but always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I had felt alone most of my life -- I had never felt like I belonged anywhere. That weekend one of my many critical moments was in the sweat. During the 4th round we were asked to simply say to ourselves over and over something we wanted to give up in our life. I began to quietly say over and over to myself -- "I am giving up being alone". As I let the darkness and heat seep into my body I began to believe my words. And suddenly I realized everyone in the sweat was saying the same thing in unison with me -- I don't know if they started it on their own and then we synced up or if they heard me and it struck a chord - it doesn't matter -- in that moment I knew I was not alone.

I have continued my work on myself -- the weekend is only a door, not a journey. I am still working every couple of weeks with an I-Group. I've taken other MKP trainings that have proved equally powerful in differnt ways, and I have staffed a number of NWTA trainings. Each staffing is its own revelation. I think of it more like building an onion by adding layers (I spent a lot of years peeling the onion -- here I have gotten to add the layers I want to add).

In 2007, at a staffing I suddenly realized I felt something I had never before felt and took the time to say it in a large circle of men -- "As a man among men, I belong". If felt as if I belonged there, at that moment. Not to MKP. Not to that circle. To the world and that moment. Having been a Navy brat and moving almost every year of my childhood, I had never felt like I belonged anywhere -- I always felt as if I was a transient. It is an amazing feeling to have -- I can't describe it -- perhaps people who have felt it all their life don't get the big deal, but for me it was life changing.

I continue to define my life's purpose with the help of work in MKP, and have found the power to carry that purpose outside of MKP -- "I create a safe and connected world by leading, listening and mentoring". That sounds rather simplistic when I say the words, yet that mission has empowered me to make a difference in many people's live for the better.

It constantly amazes me how an organization that intentionally has no agenda can so effectively help men find theirs. Well, I guess MKP does have one agenda -- to empower men in their own lives.

Great Bear
Claymont Court, WV
December 2003

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