This past week, I found myself sitting in the Trauma Unit of the Las Vegas Medical Center at the foot of my Dad’s Brother’s Bed who was being kept alive on life support. Sitting next to me to my right was my father. It was 1:00am and we both had journeyed all day in order to be at my Uncle’s side before they stopped life support.

 

We were instructed by the male nurse that my Uncle could still hear us and we could speak to him (a true thing — since the auditory sense is the last sense to go before we die).

 

As I was sitting next to my father in that silence, I started crying and my Dad consoled me and then once that wave of grief had passed, I sat back and waited to see what my father would do. He didn’t cry and didn’t say anything. I could feel all the emotions stuck though in his body wanting to come out as I felt things get bigger and bigger and not know what was happening. Men of that generation from the 50s weren’t given the tools during their upbringing to learn how to express emotion — it was usually either silence or rage.

 

I eventually said, “Would you like to say anything to your brother?” After a long pause, he got up and did the most courageous thing I’ve ever seen him do. He stood by his brother’s bedside and said his goodbye in a very beautiful and simple way that brought me to tears. He expressed his grief in the best way he could and that was beautiful and I felt that.

 

What I realized later on was that when I was sitting next to my father before he got up to speak, he was penetrating out with “choked-up-ness.” Meaning he was literally penetrating out with the energy of repressed emotion and stuck expression.

 

It’s really a big responsibility to be a man because we really are penetrating out energetically in every moment with whatever we are conscious or unconscious of and we as men are essentially seeding the environment we are in. That either creates health and vitality or adds to the trauma and dysfunction.

 

Having that direct felt experience in my body with my father then led me to realize that all the hesitation and fear I had about expressing myself as a kid and worried that if I say something it would be the “wrong thing” or I wasn’t “supposed to talk” — this all originated from wherever he learned to clamp down on his emotional energy inside himself and I was just feeling that and didn’t know what was happening as a kid. I got to see it though really clearly at the Trauma Center.

 

When a man penetrates out with repression its crazy-making. Because I wasn’t sure if it was me or him, or what was going on and why we couldn’t express anything. It made no sense. But I broke the pattern in that moment at the trauma center and he spoke.

 

This past week, I’ve reflected back several years ago (before I had deeply explored my internal landscape) with my partner when we were together one day with us “arguing” and sitting on a couch that she “could feel all this anger (stuck feeling) in the room and wasn’t sure where it was coming from.” She was getting more and more stressed out and upset. That was me unconsciously penetrating out and not owning my “large emotions.” When she asked me actually to name what was happening inside myself and I SPOKE IT OUTLOUD, then the energy was owned and I had accountability and she felt safe with me. She was reflecting back what I couldn’t feel I was penetrating out with. Women are amazing in that way to assist men growing.

 

The pattern that I’ve seen in my family is that when my father is feeling something uncomfortable that he doesn’t know how to express or take accountability for; then, the tacit agreement is that my mother is there to process it for him. This creates a tremendous amount of tension in her because she’s essentially attempting to own his feelings out of her love for him — which ultimately is impossible. So, she attempts to do everything possible i.e. become a Dancing Monkey (being animated by his repressed feelings) to release the tension. This is co-dependency.

 

When I first heard in one of my men’s groups long ago, that men are always penetrating out with what they’ve cultivated inside themselves — it didn’t really land. It’s taken me a bit to really feel it. I’ve felt it more and more over the years but it wasn’t really until having this experience in the Trauma Unit and receiving my father penetrating me — almost as a woman receive him — allowed me to have a deeper felt sense of the dysfunction that exists in unconscious masculinity, existed in myself, and in my family.

 

It takes time and experiences to really embody these principles from a felt sense — so be patient with yourself.

 

What does all this have to do with receiving love?

 

Everything of course 🙂

 

I’ve come to realize that when I compromise myself, I’m compromising myself because I’m doing so in an attempt to receive love. In other words, I’m not feeling my own love for myself — there’s a lack — literally a place in my body that I’m not occupying and expecting someone else to take care of and nourish.

 

A flavor of compromise for me in the past has looked like the Dancing Monkey — where I’m attempting to do a bunch of shit for other people or even myself and that once I finally do it; then, I can relax and “receive” i.e. “receive Love back.”

 

In my marriage, I realized I did this. I was penetrating out with a unconscious directionality that kept attempting to “get love” and would essentially cause me to exhaust myself in trying to keep up with the new project or gigantic move that would “solve everything.” And I felt, once I “got there” then I could finally receive.

 

What I didn’t realize was that my ex-wife was loving me the whole time — I just couldn’t receive the love and I made it more and more difficult for myself and sabotaged receiving by making my Life so complicated, busied, distracted, hurried, and full of attempting “to get” — that I turned myself into a Dancing Monkey.

 

When it comes down to it, receiving the love is about really believing that we deserve love and respect and everyone else deserves love and respect. We don’t have to compromise ourselves i.e. bend our energy in a way that is out of alignment with our true nature to receive love. Really we don’t.

 

Stop being the Dancing Monkey for people or yourself, set your boundaries, detox the poison in your body (i.e. where poison = anything that is unlike Love inside you).

 

Learn to really receive your own Love.

 

What does that mean?

 

Find where Love is inside you and let that grow so it gets so big that it naturally spills over to everywhere in your life.

 

For me as a man, that means feeling the energy in my genitals on a moment-to-moment basis and surrendering to this energy loving on me — surrendering to something bigger than myself moving through me.

 

Maybe this sounds crazy to you, but give it a try and see how your life change.

 

Love,

 

Neil