A Woman's Power to Help Men Thrive...
With The magic of the Feminine
A Woman’s Power to Help Men Thrive
Forrest Arnold >> The AgeLess Path Press
This little book is dedicated to my wonderful wife Sandra and to all the Women who care deeply about the Men in their lives…To Women who care about their Husbands and their Sons...and about the Men they know…
These Men who long for support from someone who cares...and especially I’m talking about those Men who might never admit it.
>>What do I mean when I say “Help Men Thrive”?
Let’s begin with some truth-telling...If you have given up on this man...If you’re done, you might want to stop reading and stop listening right now.
If you’ve been drained of the caring you once felt…
If you have been worn down by unkind treatment or just feel like getting even---you might want to stop right now.
If your lovelight has been lost in the fog of a busy life… let’s be real about that.
But...if there is a glimmer of that caring left...if you have the heart to try again (for the 100th time maybe?), let’s keep going.
If you can imagine more for your relationship and a better future for your Man, your family---and for your Self, then let’s take the journey together.
And if things are going well with him, that’s great! Then let’s paint with some new colors and create a future with even More Joy and Gratitude.
Let’s give each other the kindness and gentle treatment we surely want for ourselves.
And, of course, loving relationships can take many forms other than Man/Woman pairing...so no matter what form your relationship takes, we hope this writing can offer some helpful thoughts for your heartful journey.
So Forrest, who are you to offer all this?
After growing up in a family with four Boys and no Girls...after combat service in Vietnam..after 45 years in business...and after nearly 20 years in Mens’ work programs---I see many patterns of Mens’ behavior---some healthy, some certainly not.
The themes of “I’m not good enough” and “My Dad was never there for me” show up again and again...and they often drive the aggressive and unbalanced behavior of Men of every age.
So when your Man feels the pressure of a quickly changing work world...of a shifting identity of what it means to be “a real man”---how’s he doing with all that?
How is he really doing inside where he might hold the secrets men often keep?
What are the unexamined marching orders he took on when he was younger or that he made up after watching how other men operate?
Let’s take a look at some ways to support him in some familiar ways...and perhaps in some ones.
>>>Take Some, Leave Some
Please take what rings true and is most helpful...and we invite you to share with us your own wisdom on what you have found that adds the most aliveness to your Man...to your Family & (importantly!) to your Best Self.
So….How’s he doing with growing older?
>>> Is he aging gracefully?
>> Is he healthy and optimistic?
>>> Does he have plenty of vitality & life energy?
>>> Is he doing work that continues to inspire him?
>>> How about his balance about money & financial security?
>>> Does he have healthy friendships & a loving family life?
>>> Where does intimacy fit in his life?
(both sexual & being open about his “issues”)
>>> Does he enjoy satisfying hobbies that express his creative self?
>>> How about having long term plans and estate plans in order?
And, finally, when all is said and done,
how does he want to be remembered from this life? What is His legacy?
“It is being honest about my pain that makes me invincible.” ― Nayyirah Waheed
What else do I mean when I say “Help Men Thrive” ?
When the Man/Husband/Dad is in good shape, the Family can thrive...the Marriage can survive...and life be about shared understanding, kindess and even...(wait for it…) Love.
And, of course, when Moms & Dads are in greater harmony, the Kids get the healthy family lessons you’d want them to have for their future as caring people & sensitive parents.
So this little book may offer some ideas about offering healthy support to the Man in your life...and perhaps to the other Men in your life. And to do that in generative and joyful ways so that the Giver in each of us is also nourished and empowered.
Notice that I capitalize these key words...Men, Woman, Family, Marriage, etc. to accent how we might elevate each with our caring and positive regard.
>>>Healthy relationships Welcome!
This is Not just for troubled Men or troubled times…
Even the most healthy relationship and the most balanced Man can benefit when we see him with Kind Eyes and give the insightful support we might offer...and again, the “Giver is given to” in the process. So, very happy & solid relationships are welcome here too.
Let’s begin with some thoughts about navigating the path ahead…
>>>Remember your “Why” again & again…
Why are you offering this support to your Man?
>>>Ask for his permission to suggest new ideas that may support his thriving…
>>>Know that he may resist---
yet decide now that you will never give up…
>>>You may not get the results you hope for in the way you’d like...
>>>Know that your Giving gives to you both…
to your Relationship, your Marriage, your Kids
Chapter 1: A Mom’s love
The magic of a Mom’s love was offered to me by my wonderful Mom---Rosie...Rose Antoinnette, to be exact. As the second of four Boys, I somehow lucked into receiving the kind of caring and thoughtful support from my Mom that continues to fortify me through the years.
She was a Virgo—a Nurturer---and always came from a place of asking supportive questions and cheering me on through school and sports and a young man’s search for romance. There are a thousand stories of that support. Yet I’ll share the morning when, as a 19-year old sailor, the ship I was on was called to combat duty in Vietnam. I hurried to the nearest phone booth (there used to be these things called phone booths) and called my Mom….
As I shared the news, I burst into tears—crying for my mama---because I was so afraid of being killed and losing the life I was creating. I don’t remember what she said...but she held me and talked in such a kind way.
As Maya Angelou wrote:”I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.
And I’ll never forget that talk and that morning.
All of this speaks to the positive power that Rosie had in my life. A Mom’s love.
So in your closeup life with your Man (or Sons), you may find that you alone hold a unique place in a Man’s life. Only you can deliver this very special kind of healing medicine. And I’m not talking about coddling him...or tolerating bad behavior—but instead offering insight and help through the power of the caring Feminine.
Big Disclaimer: I do not claim to be an expert in Womens’ issues or to understand the many deep challenges that Women face on their LifePath...but I do know some things about Men’s wiring & ways that may be helpful to explore. And I truly hope you will join the conversation with me and with the Women you know and care about.
After my 20 years working in Men’s work via ManKind Project, many of the Men who came to The Work were actually sent/encouraged & “threatened” to do so by the powerful Women in their lives. That’s leverage!
Believe me, you alone may have huge power to save this Man...to save this Marriage...to show the way to these Kids---and perhaps, to help lift the spirit of this sometimes desperate world.
Chapter 2: How’s this for a mindset?
Putting on your own oxygen mask first...
(From Ryan Holiday’s book “The Obstacle is the Path”)
Never in a hurry…
Never stopping short…
You may ask, “Where do I begin to “Save My Man”? And what is my point of view about Him...and “Us”? Am I willing to reach higher/deeper in new ways?
Y ou might ask “How can I affect someone elses mindset?”
I would offer that if these ideas about mindset appeal to you, they can blossom in you and will have great effect on the mindset and openness of the Men in your life.
My mindset of fear…and my made-up marching orders
Speaking again of my Mom Rosie, she told me one day that when I was very young there was a time “that just broke her heart”. The wall with the family dart board had become beat up with holes from stray darts...and she recalled that I, in enterprising fashion, had filled the holes with putty and then stood back and declared “Now, Dad HAS to like me!”
From early on, I felt a chill that Dad probably never would…
My inner story was that my first born older brother was the star—and I was just an afterthought. And when I came along, Dad now had to stay busy building the business and support the Family with four Boys---and that’s what a Dad is supposed to do, right?
So I made up my own inner & urgent marching orders: that I MUST prove myself worthy in school, in sports, with girls—and I better hurry up so that Dad would see me...would like me, would value me---
and that he might one day say “Way to go, kid!”
And, after all, I guess I did pretty well in all those things---yet so much of the fuel for my urge to achieve was the fear of being rejected...by my Dad and later, by teachers...by girls...by the world rejecting me. So there was always a bit of worry or despair mixed in with my ambition. Not a mindset I would willingly choose again.
>>>How many Men can we imagine had to make up their own marching orders?
>>>How many had to guess at what they should be doing to be a good & worthy Boy/Man?
And when they felt scared or weak, how many took on a thin veneer of “tough guy”...or “the exile”...and chose to go it alone & never cry or never feel. Somebody wisely said “You can close your eyes to keep from seeing what you don’t want to see---but you can’t close your heart to what you don’t want to feel.” Though some Guys live a whole life trying not to feel.
In the Men’s work, they say “The tears either fall outside or they fall inside—and may one day drown you...” That is, unless a Man learns to see it all thru to clearer skies.
So let’s explore these mindsets in some detail (again from Ryan Holiday’s book The Obstacle is the Way):
“Never in a hurry…”
To be “Never in a hurry” really speaks to me...for so often I've found myself hurrying for no good reason. I would often worry that if I didn't rush through the task at hand, there'd be trouble--- where I'd be found wrong or judged---and, again, risk rejection. And at the same time, “always in a hurry” builds huge frustration as details of a task or working with tools in a hurry is a bad combo.
The inner message is “I really want to get onto something more important than this!” These are the makings of the multi-tasking trap = thinking I’m more effective (and so more worthy) if I hurry. And lots of research shows that multi-tasking is a fool's errand---and usually means you do a lot of things poorly. So we would want that “Never in a hurry” for the Men we know.
“N ever worried…”
How about the notion of never being worried about what’s coming in the future?
How about giving up the habit of “rehearsing disaster”, of expecting loss or reacting in advance to dangers that might be coming.
After Vietnam and my pretty dark time in the 2 years after when I sorta expected bad times—and they usually showed up. So were those hard times drawn to me by some earlier life thread? Hard to say... but I do recall being vigilant and always watching & listening for signs of threat---always wondering if I‘d be able to handle what might happen. It all felt pretty desperate. So how would it be to declare my freedom from that kind of worry or obsession with what might go wrong...and instead follow the Scout motto, “Be Prepared”.
I’d certainly want that for you...for your Man and for myself.
And how might it be to hold the mindset that I am Never Desperate?
Never at my wit’s end...To decide that I’ll find authentic ways to witness my emotions and my reactions to life events with the goal to stay resilient and resourceful.
So that even under pressure, I can think clearly and be effective---which is what I really want.
Perhaps it’s the martial art of Manhood...or perhaps all PersonHood.
Here’s a thought from Joseph Campbell:
“...a good life is one hero’s journey after another. Over and over again, you are called to the realm of adventure, you are called to new horizons. Each time, there is the same problem: Do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there---and the help also,
in the fulfillment or the fiasco.”
― Joseph Campbell, Pathways to Bliss: Mythology and Personal Transformation
“Never stopping short…”
Let’s encourage a Man’s (and our own) mindset to include:
“I Never Stop Short of My Kind & Worthy Goals. I never stop or give up on doing the right thing… I never give up when challenged. I am always mindful of my effect on others & the consequences of my actions. I never stop short of living a life that reflects my purpose and calls on my best self. I show the tenacity and conviction and resourcefulness that let me Be The Man the world needs me to be.”
C hapter 3: The Gentle Support That Only You Can Give
If we are willing to look, we can find many pathways to support the Men we care about...and it will not be by being pushy or shaming or forceful---but instead a more gentle way---a heartful approach. And it may be that only you have the insight into His challenges & His inner history...and to the programming that guides His action in the world.
So it's subtle---and this kind of support might only come from the Trusted Women in His life. And since Boys and Girls may grow up with such different marching orders, it can be hard to understand what drives him. This work is a shared learning process that may stretch you both beyond your comfort zones...and may feel like exploring a new frontier.
It comes from the idea that only Women may have unique access to a Man’s inner process...and so have a special role in helping a Boy (or a Man) grow up well at every stage of life. What if you can help him age gracefully through the years?
What if you can help these Men feel cared about and to build greater vitality and hopefulness? And to help them be kind and balanced...and frankly, to live a longer and healthier life.
So, once again, let’s consider-- Is this a mountain worth climbing?
My Black Belt Wife Sandra
One of the absolutely spectacular gifts in my life is my wife Sandra...she’s a black belt as a strong & supportive Woman. We’ve spent these last 18 years together as Sandra has shared her absolutely magical style of caring and helping me stay more balanced and healthy. And with her gentle support, I’m so much more grateful to be alive. And I’m not kidding around here.
So here are some of the ways (are they secrets?) you might help a Man reconsider his inner marching orders & to re-write some of his old (unseen) marching orders…to help him hear another call...dance to another rhythm---and I’d like to think, for you both to find Joy & Renewal along the Path:
Chapter 4: Write Him a Letter of Thanks & Gratitude
Sure, this may be something you’ve said to him many times...or maybe never. And perhaps these gratitudes have faded over the years and been lost along the way. But this Letter of Appreciation can speak to what you see in him that you value and respect---and what you have seen in him through the years. These are like wedding vows. This Letter of Caring may include what you see going forward to your shared future together...and what you’d most like to invite into your relationship.
And a suggestion that may be helpful from the Mens’ Work here... It is to say to yourself:
“Knowing I might not get it, here are my wants for our relationship…”
This sets up a healthy dynamic that at the very least, you have now shared your wants as something you are committed to.
And this can be a time to reflect on your own dreamscape---what you want to see today and into your personal future—with these dreams & wants updated for this age & stage of your life and your life together...so perhaps they will be very different than any time in the past.
This Letter can ONLY be written by You...for no one is his life knows what you know (for better or worse, of course!)
Chapter 5: Find out about his Marching Orders
What’s the drum beat he‘s marching to at this point in his life?
What’s the story and the script he’s working with?
What feeling of mission & urgency is active in him at this stage and age of his life?
And these may be very different than when he was younger and was living an earlier man’s mission. So be prepared for some possible surprises…some may be wonderful, some un-nerving.
He might say “Hey! I’m living my dream! With you & with my work in the world, All of it!”
or He might say “Gee...I dont know...I don’t have a mission. I feel empty I‘m just lost...Maybe I’m just bored…but I feel hopeless...and believe me, I’m worried about growing old this way…”
>>>So your careful listening will go a long way. The path may be dimly lit at first...but keep exploring as you walk together.
Here’s a verse that reflects what I’ve heard from so many men:
“I started walking strong so long ago
Going where, well, I didn’t know
But now it’s dark and I’ve lost the trail
I’m tired and I almost expect to fail
It’s so heavy to carry this very old stone
I’m tired and I’m alone…”
Experience shows that a Man’s old marching orders can become a source of deep suffering because they operate beneath the surface. As a Man grows older, his point of view changes, and his energy may have changed---His mission is different than that of a young lion chasing a gazelle across the plains. So the thoughtful conversations you might initiate are timely about what matters now & what old ways can be cut free. And then there’s room to talk about what might be inspiring into the future.
It’s Not About Making Him Wrong >>> This is not a time for guilt or shame or make-wrong about searching for a new path…It’s not another chance to have him feel unworthy because he’s charting a new course. But it is time for you both to trust that this quest is worthy… that it’s a natural part of growing up and growing older. This shared trust can be potent reassurance for the journey.
It may be helpful to ask him to journal about all this...or ask him to write you a return letter with his insights on his mission and inspiration.
Again from Nayyirah Waheed:
“It is being honest about my pain that makes me invincible.”
Chapter 6: Vitality: from Everything That We Do, Think, Eat or Drink
From the Hawaiian traditions about building mana or vital energy, it is said that everything that we do or think, that we eat or drink either raises our energy or drains it away.
The many ways to improve the quality of our diet may seem like well worn topic---but how might you help to improve your nutritional game? Especially as we grow older. What worked at a younger age may be out of step with our later life stages. So thoughtful meal planning can become another way to add spice and nourish your life together.
Add to this the notion of how you spend meal time---what you talk about over meals. This again calls for building permission between you both as you shift the tone of conversation---yet reflecting and appreciating your life history and where your life is going next can be the music of your shared gratitude...and that’s strong medicine.
During the recent years of political upheaval, I would often bring up “hot topics” that sparked upset/anger/outrage in me...how dumb & cruel the others guys are...and the many injustices we were seeing out there! And while that might be an outlet for frustration over the division and differences in our world---the truth is that may not be energy well spent. I’d like to think that my life and my life with my partner are meant for something bigger and deeper and better.
So I’m suggesting that how you think together and what you talk about is yet another way to help your Man speak about what he’s working on---and what’s working him. It can set up a bigger playing field to talk about touchy subjects…like being real about the signs of aging, about my changing eyesight or hairline…
about my aches, pains, stiff back...or changes in sex drive. Or being okay with talking about changing life purpose, financial security, or creativity or even our end of life plans.
There is no shortage of meaningful things to talk about as you build trust & resilience in the process. Having these open conversations may help a Man let go of the secrets he might keep about getting older and the worries that go along with that undiscovered territory.
And know that it may be challenging to see him with Kind Eyes as he might struggle to open up about matters on the unseen level. Those might be things that you’ve seen for years. It may be that your understanding and Kind Eyes will offer him a safety net...that there's light out in the darkness and that you are holding that light as you put flowers on the table and good food on the table that you share each day.
Chapter 7: Keep Things Moving: Let’s Get Physical
“Keep Things Moving” means suggesting short walks, a yoga class, martial arts practice, tennis, bike rides...playing with the dog, digging in the garden. Again and again it is shown that physical movement is a critical pathway to a longer and healthier life...and one with a More Alive Spirit along the way.
Have you heard of The Blue Zones Project? Blue Zones continues to study several communities around the world where more elders live healthy active lives---even past 100 years old. What these communities have in common is that a lifestyle of walking & physically active work are keys to their vitaility and healthy logevity.
Chapter 8: The Star He Steers By
(Life Purpose & Fulfilling Work)
T he work I've done over the last 20 years with hundreds of men shows how often a Man’s career can become empty and unfulfilling. Yet he feels trapped in the doing. I’m reminded of the sharing of a man I’ll call Joe: He said “Well I'm just trying to make peace with myself...I'm trying to be balanced but...I'm a call center guy... so I walk in there...I put on my headset for eight hours and that's my life…” and believe me this was not a bubbly, happy Joe.
Or there was Tom who began his career as a dentist and now has nine dental offices. He is so burned out you can hear it in everything he talks about.
If a Man grew up with the family thinking he should be a doctor or a dentist or a carpenter or you name it, how much of that is really his choice or a life that feels he’s obligated to live out.
Did you see the movie City Slickers? When Phil’s unhappy marriage was falling apart, he said something like “Hey, by age 40, where you are, you are...” and he was not a bubbly, happy Phil.
Maybe in a perfect world, each of us would find work that really matters...that is inspiring and is fulfilling. So is it time to talk about if the work that you and your Man are doing is affirming and creates more aliveness for you both?
And this is not about taking some radical bad action or to walk out on the job...but to consider if this is a work path that really calls on your highest and best self. Might it be time to shift gears and to invest your gifts and your long-earned life skills in ways better matched to this time of life.
For us all, it would be a dream deal if our career is the star we steer by and our source of joy and life purpose---but if it isn’t quite that star yet, let’s chart a course perhaps to somewhere over the horizon and know that we will navigate thru the winds and the waves and currents to get there.
Chapter 9: Money, Financial Security & Safety
How is your Man doing about money & financial security? How clear, solid & well-advised are your financial plans?
For many Men, their sense of identity certainly gets wrapped up or defined by their career achievement. And I certainly know in my life, anxiety over money would cause me to question my skills, my choices, my sense of worthiness...so issues around money can cook under the surface as shame/fear and so lead to unbalanced action.
A Man’s inner worries about being a good provider and the fear of failure call for healthy discussion with others they trust...so this can get pretty touchy since it rings bells about matters of survival and safety.
If you are comfortable with how things are, excellent. But if the financial future is a bit hazy, your gentle entry into the discussion is healing medicine for you and him.
If you take the lead in matters of money, what new plans might be timely? And if he manages the finances, you might ask:
“Honey, I’d like to learn more about our financial plans… Can I ask your help with that?”
Is it timely to find a financial planner? Is it worth looking at your long term plans in some new ways? As you are sharing the questions about money & security, it is another thread of authenticity about important matters that can bring you closer.
And something I see as a real estate broker is families thriving when they love their home, neighborhood and community. Over time, communities change and can start to feel unsafe or just doesn’t feel good anymore.
Where we live is such a basic element of life...and your home is one of the strongest ways to build wealth...so let’s be sure it’s a good match for You & Yours.
Chapter 10: Ah Yes, Family Matters... And So Do Healthy Friendships
Does family turmoil or old conflicts drain energy and attention from you both?
How clean is the family slate? And while some of the history may be immovable, it seems healthy to do three things:
1/ Resolve what we can---
2/ Hold a good thought for change that might happen
3/ Decide “Well! That’s the way it is…” and develop our sense of freedom from those tangled roots!
Easier said than done? For sure...but worth pursuing that sense of freedom.
They say that
“Blood is thicker than water….but it boils quicker”
So being proactive to clear up old hurts, struggles & other such issues may be calling out to you. And it will demand your best diplomatic skills and resilience---and you might feel like a hostage negotiator as you do it.
>>>Encourage His Healthy Friendships:
The power of healthy friendships helps him know that he’s not alone on the path...that Life is not trying to single him out for punishment or unfair treatment.
Many Men will isolate or withdraw into their cave and so away from the light of shared experience that he can share with other Good Men.
The inner world that a Man may inhabit (and may never talk about) can become one of confusion or suffering and a kind of private despair...and so encourage his healthy friendships. So for him to focus more on hobbies he might share with other guys can naturally work some magic. It may even be worth looking at the Men’s Work…two examples: The ManKind Project & Boys To Men Mentoring. Ask me for details.
Chapter 11: Support & Encourage His Creative Life
Finding the creative spark in ourselves & supporting it in those we care about is another channel to explore. Creativity triggers inspiration, hopefulness and balance to our busy left-brain activities. And first put on your own oxygen mask---finding your own creative joy is well-spring of healing waters. Then... how do you see His creative spark showing up?
Might it be writing poetry…or writing a series of letters to friends...maybe it’s learning to play an instrument? (yes, even starting at this age!). Might it be woodworking… taking a course in drawing or painting? Mentoring kids in town---maybe finding a creative new way to raise funds for the non-profit he values.
It has been my experience with so many guys that they have lost some passion for life...they’ve lost touch with a compelling purpose that feels real and feels deep and feels meaningful. And in this world of digital jobs and white collar city living, many Men have lost touch with the physical expression of work or creativity.
Through the ages, being a stone mason or a carpenter or a farmer or a hunter had a Man be a physical being strengthened by that labor and that movement.
This much newer identity of “modern Man” is still being formed and figured out in this more digital age and agricultural & industrial ages of the past are mostly gone.
So what creative spark might help to fill a void that he may feel but not yet put words to? Another way to “Save Your Man”, so to speak, is to track & fan the flame in his creative self.
Chapter 12: Long Term Plans >> Legacy
In the Men’s Work, we see that so many men do not have long term plans in place. There can be a habit of “I gotta get to that one of these days…” or the “I’m too busy for that now…”.
A good friend of ours had two heart attacks that finally showed him that he might not live forever.
And another moment that made me smile was when a young fellow named Jason said “Wow, you guys, I’ve been so stressed lately...and I found some gray hairs!
I realize I’m getting older!!”
By long-term plans I include facing the reality of aging and putting things in place like his will, his medical directive and power of attorney. Maybe it’s setting up a trust that directs what happens with shared assets in event of incapacity or death.
It’s planning that everyone “needs to do” but so often these critical plans are done in a rush when unexpected life events, accidents or changes in health bang on the door.
And I can tell you that once I got my will, my medical directive & my power of attorney all witnessed and signed---I felt calmness and real satisfaction that I'm being a big boy and supporting my family & my wife with that preparation. Yes, it calls for facing our own mortality...and stepping out of the illusion that I'll be here forever and nothing can go wrong in my life…
“Those things happen to other people---but not me!”
It is another chance to have authentic and meaningful conversations that matter.
>>>What about this thing called “His Legacy”?
As a Man gets older and faces (or fears!) the inevitable changes the future holds, how does he want to be remembered when he’s gone? What might be his legacy?
Not necessarily how many buildings he built or how much money he made...but what's the good character that he has shown in this life?
Encourage him to write about what has made him the Man he is...who were the teachers/guides along the way that helped him on the path? How has he touched the lives of others along the way?
As you can imagine, conversations like these bring his deepest values to light...and in that way help those values guide all his remaining days….and that is another secret perhaps to a happier & longer life – Living Your Highest Values.
These are certainly the kind of things you'll talk about over those nourishing meals and on those long walks is what has been the meaning of his life—and you will share yours. Seeing the highs and the lows...all the wins and the losses and the learnings.
My Favorite Scars>> Someone wisely talked about turning life difficulties into what they called “My Favorite Scars!” --- because we've all been challenged and scarred. We’ve all seen battles in life--- a fellow military buddy used to say “We have ALL had our Vietnam”.
So can we see those events changed now into a story of a favorite scar as a reminder of my survival? Times that made me stronger, clearer and more resilient… more able & willing to lend a helping hand to others?
And perhaps tt’s about finding gratitude for how we’ve been helped so much along the way by good people—and maybe even by bad people. We are shaped by what we endure---yet our healthy balance is made stronger by the story we tell ourselves about that history...and who we are now that we have made it home.
So, help him “write his book” about his legacy...help him “write his book” about what his life purpose has meant. This might take the form of writing an actual book or writing some letters to good friends...he might make recordings of his reflections. Encourage him to find some form of self reflective that may offer healing self-appreciation and honors his wins and his losses.
We often hear Men say their worry is about “dying alone”. In that phrase I believe we hear the fear of being misunderstood, being uncared about and disconnected. It’s the fear of facing the end with despair or emptiness...hopelessness.
And that set of feelings may not be known to anyone else but may drive the anger or anxiety that shows up as bad action or cold-heartedness...when it's actually a cold emptiness taking form.
Chapter 13: Finally: Why A Woman Holds the Magic
One of the wonders (& mysteries!) of this life is that it is Women that bring babies into this world. Yes, guys have some role in the process, but You are the Moms---and even the most skillful Man can’t do that. You are the one that nurtures & nourishes that little baby person in your very unique way.
We saw a film about the loss of a freighter during a huge storm along the Virginia coast. As the ship lent assistance to another vessel, the freezing waves were about to capsize & sink this 600 ft ship full of coal...and man I’ll called Bill said that as he fell into that boiling sea, he screamed out one word, “MA!”...and he was one of only three survivors from the crew of 34.
There’s something about Mom’s...and there’s something about wives...and daughters. So in this little book, we’re calling on both your gentleness and your strength. And if you’re willing, we’re hoping to activate your Magic to bring up not only the kids...but also to “bring up” this Man in your life...to help him mature & balance in some new ways…
This may take some time...and you may surely want to give up at times...but your willingness to start again & again & again will send deep ripples of Healing & Hope to your Family, to your Kids and maybe even across a troubled world.
Some people say that most of the bad done in the world has been done by men. And depending on how you look at it, past history may certainly be proof of that.
But to write a new chapter into the future, it’s a group effort. And we hope you agree that it is worth the journey.
As we approach the end of this writing, I again voice my huge appreciation for my wife Sandra. For her incredible skill at seeing the beauty in the world around us and how that reveals beauty to me...She sees a raindrop in a flower or when she picks up a bee on her little finger and walks it outside...or as she keeps track of how many hummingbirds we see outside of the dining room window. Sandra notices the first flowers sprouting up through the snow...and then suddenly,
I get to see them too.
As we do in the Men’s Work, I’ll repeat her name aloud: Sandra! Sandra! Sandra!
Finally, one last idea…
Help him find the perfect dog...and I mean for real.
One of our dogs is named Shiloh and he is absolutely the LoveBeing of the world!
You may have heard of a wonderful book called “Dogs Never Lie About Love” (it was a New York times bestseller). Author Jeffery Masson makes the case that Dogs are the real teachers of love in this world…. Whether you have closed the gate and drove away for 3 minutes or for 3 months, they are jumping in the air to see you come back.
And, of course there's the old joke (and it’s only a joke!) If you toss your dog and your wife in the trunk of the car and drive around for a couple hours...when you open the trunk, who's happy to see you?
So these are a few thoughts on how you can help add happier & healthier years to your Man's life...and we hope, to find joy in offering that kind of support.
Now, are these great suggestions for how we raise our boys? Yes!
Is this medicine for the sad fact that most violent acts involve fatherless boys who turn into fatherless men...as young men might turn to gangs to feel some sense of belonging or tribe?
Please take what’ve valuable here and leave the rest. We’d love to hear from you on the Women.How To Save Your Man FaceBook page. I personally hope this whole conversation lines up with your values and sense of purpose and that you will offer your own style of magic and support.
Please watch for some of our follow on work...We would love to blend in your best ideas & insights….and if you’d be willing to offer your thoughts and a review of this little book--- we’d be very grateful.
Thank you for your willingness to see His journey through Kind Eyes and for the good results you help bloom in the aliveness and vitality of that Man in your life.
Aloha for now…. Forrest Arnold email@example.com