The Power of Feelings

There is a widespread sense in men in our culture of what it is to be powerful.This is often portrayed as ‘big boys don’t cry”.Hence men can often feel it is a weakness to express feelings or emotions to the detriment of their marriages or relationships.It is very uncommon for men in their male friendships to share their struggles and their internal landscape.Even if they wanted to do this,the skill and awareness can lag.Hence,the recent phenomenon of mens groups,sweat lodges and ‘wild man’ retreats.There is a telling metaphor which exemplifies feminine power succeeding where masculine power does not.Imagine a landscape with two trees side by side.One is ‘female’ and one is ‘male’.The snow comes and the male tree valiently holds its branches stiffly to resist the pressure.Eventually the weight becomes too great and the branches snap off.In contrast,the female tree allows its branches to yield and they sway down with the weight of snow.Eventually,the snow slides off with its own weight and the branches bounce back to their natural state.It is important to bear in mind that every person has masculine and feminine potential and, hence,the ability to choose which strategy is relevant to each situation.Yielding to emotional expression may be very powerful in the right proportion and context.

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