Back in 1983, when I was 5 years old and still living in Connecticut, my grandfather who loved to smoke cigarettes, took me in my father’s old beat-up blue Volvo to a Perkins restaurant one rainy, cold autumn day. My dad would keep this Volvo parked in the driveway sitting there for months on end for those few times for when my grandparents would visit from Las Vegas. He was a mechanic and always had cars available for everyone. As my grandmother would say, it was an old “jalopy” — but we loved the car.

I remember driving in this car with my grandfather and going to the toy store where he bought me something I really wanted and then us going out to the Perkins restaurant. I can still see my grandfather sitting across from me in that restaurant — almost feeling scorn or anger coming off him that I didn’t quite understand at the time. Maybe he was frustrated about not knowing how to impart a deeper lesson to me that he blatantly saw I needed. So this post is my response to him in hopes that I truly saw what he wanted me to see.

At the restaurant, I ordered a grilled cheese sandwich. And when the waitress came out with the food she gave me a hot dog. Not at all what I ordered. I shrugged my shoulders and afraid to say anything and thinking well maybe she brought out the hotdog for a reason and I should just eat that — she’s probably upset or something and I don’t want to make her more upset.

In reality, I compromised myself and settled for something I didn’t want. As I started eating the hot dog, my grandfather had a flash of awareness and angrily asked me, “Didn’t you order a grilled cheese — why are you eating the eating the hot dog if that’s not what you ordered?” He immediately called over the waitress. This brought up a lot of shame in me because now felt like I was making a big deal of it and I wanted to brush it under the rug. He told her that’s not what I ordered. She apologized and took the partially eaten hot dog away and eventually brought me the grilled cheese sandwich. I was terrified by all this which made it difficult to eat anything.

I’ve looked back on this one memory quite a bit in attempting to feel what was really here for me as I felt a lot of resistance towards what my grandfather did. Maybe 10 years ago or so, I would look back at this memory and think well he’s just making this woman feel bad and I don’t want to cause that — that’s unhealthy masculinity. My father does this all the time with my mom and my mom is always pulling her hair out and walking on egg-shells. There was a lot of unclarity here for me without healthy role-models.

Now seeing things — my shame originally at the restaurant and then my resistance later on all pointed to my fear of speaking my truth, fear of exposing my level of compromising in my life, and my fear of anger.

My grandfather saw all of this on some level, and immediately was showing me how to be uncompromising and how to direct anger in a healthy way; but, I was afraid to receive it because I thought it would “hurt” people.

Ironically, looking back on all the ways I’ve compromised myself, when I did make a compromise, I just ended up hurting myself and others. In every instance, I would blow up in uncontrolled anger which wasn’t safe for myself or others.

One of the foundational tenants of masculinity is to never compromise. That is what develops our firmness as men, without which we are useless to the feminine.

Not compromising also means having compassion and receptivity about how what you do impacts people. As long as your uncompromisingness is not coming from a place of harm, is congruent as a felt sense in your body, and is delivered with compassion, then people need to adjust. And, YOU can learn to stay present with the people you are affecting until whatever comes up for them by you being uncompromising clears for them as long as they invite your assistance. That’s the process.

The challenge of staying present with being uncompromising opens Life to orgasm around us — similar to when we are inside a woman. No difference. More energy shows up.

I mistook my grandfather’s firmness for out-of-control anger. His anger was the prompt that something was amiss and so he corrected the situation. Out-of-control anger would have looked much different. Discern this difference for yourself.

Anger is raw power that can either destroy or correct and open things so energy can circulate. For men, it can be harnessed in a healthy way if its anchored consciously to your genitals and your purpose — a purpose that ultimately serves something Bigger than you.

Expose all the ways you’ve compromised yourself now so it doesn’t blow up unexpectedly. Then learn to speak your truth and correct what you need to correct in your Life.

One thing I ask men to explore is “do you feel your genitals in every moment?” If you are being pulled out of them, what’s pulling you out? Where does your energy go? In your head? Chest? Solar Plexus? Most likely your energy is going up. Notice that. That’s where you compromise yourself and that place where you are pulled up is where you will never find stability in yourself. Someone at some point taught you to do that and detoured the natural flow of energy in your body. Correct this for yourself by spending time with your genitals each day — not jacking off — but being present with them, holding them, massaging them.

Inhabit your genitals in every moment and don’t let anything pull you out.

That’s the deeper level of not compromising and learning how to be with your power as man.

By doing this, your capacity to serve your Woman’s Heart and the Larger Heart of Life grows.

And as with all my posts, there are always exceptions and subtleties that need to be acknowledged that go beyond the themes I share. One such nuance of compromise is that doing something out of Love and Unconditionality that you might normally consider a compromise isn’t a compromise. For example, if you hate doing the dishes but are willing to do them because your lover just cooked for you and you feel called to give back and you know she will be really nourished by it — then its not a compromise — its an act of Love.

All Blessings,

Neil


My Grandfather in Burma during WWII