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The Weaker Sex

By Robert Puryear

For most of my life, I grew up with the standard model for men. I was told that it was a man's job to be the provider and the center of the family unit. Along with that, came the "code of behavior." That code included always being in control, always having the answer and never being wrong (or at least, never admitting it if you were wrong). It all boiled down to "don't be weak. And above all else, if you do have weaknesses, never, NEVER, show them.

So, like most men, I got very good at pretending to be strong. In fact, I was so good, that I even convinced myself that I was strong. But as I grew up, I discovered that I did, in fact, have weaknesses (otherwise, known as faults). And, I came up against other men who were much better than I at pretending to be strong. They didn,t play by the unspoken rules. They weren't willing to help maintain this cooperative pretense. In fact, they actually exploited my "weaknesses to their advantage. I really felt doomed at that point.

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Then, I made a startling discovery! I discovered that women had an inner strength that I only dreamed of. In fact, they were so confident that they didn't think twice as they asked for help, asked for directions or simply let it be known that they didn't have all the answers. WOW! Here was a group of people who acted as if it were perfectly normal to have fear, to have doubts or simply not "have it together all the time. They were so strong that they actually believed that it was okay to show their weaknesses, their uncertainty and their fear. I wish I'd made this discovery sooner! For this reason, I have chosen role models who are women.

While most men are pretending to be pillars of strength, the facade is beginning to crumble. It seems that it takes a lot of energy to maintain that illusion. That is probably why men have shorter life-spans than women. And, maybe, that is why men lose their hair more often than women. So,I say to the men, "it is time to take back your power. Give up the tough-guy act and get in touch with your true strength. Because, you see, strength comes from the inside, the place where we are all vulnerable. It is only by revealing our vulnerabilities, our fears, that we can get in touch with our true strength. Courage is not absence of fear. Courage is recognizing the fear, taking it by the hand and then going forward into the unknown.

Feel the fear, and do it anyway!

©Robert Puryear. Robert is a massage therapist, Reiki Master and computer consultant living in Scottsdale Arizona. Send any questions you may have for Robert to betweenus@marriagetools.com.

 

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