Friday, November 12, 2010

Open Practice - Owning Our Parts with Integrity

Yesterday, I posted an Onion "article" here that made fun of how easily distracted men are by naked women, and how stupid the political polling process appears very often. The article was funny and it was good satire.

However, I felt the need to somehow justify and rationalize my choice to post it, rather than simply honor the adolescent part of me that enjoyed the humor and picture of an attractive naked woman. One of my Facebook friends called me on that disconnect. As soon as she made her comment, which resulted in a variety of responses from others, I knew she was right.

Here is my response to the conversation, where I try to own my parts and the disconnect I revealed - and do it with as much integrity as I can:
this is what happens when my inner adolescent gets a little free reign

seriously: when I first read Liz's comments, my felt sense was *shit, I hate when I act without consciousness* - and then my response was, *thank [fill in the deity of yo...ur choice] I have friends who will give me a gentle slap upside the head when I am not being conscious*

I see a lot of pieces of the truth in the various responses - yes, the NSFW should have been disclaimer enough - and yes, my extra words reveal some need to make myself seem "better than" the silly adolescent who found the article (and the image) amusing - better I should just honor the impulse and not do what Liz correctly observed in rationalizing it to myself or my readers

I appreciate the conversation and the growth opportunity (for me) that this errant post provided

it's good to have good friends :)
In a personal communication to Liz, the friend who saw my disconnect and did what good friends do, called me on it, I said this:
Mostly, I'm thankful that you risked the ensuing [conversation] to call me out when I acted in a manner that is less than who I am capable of being - your perspective on my need to rationalize the post was spot on and very useful to me - I was NOT in alignment, and I was not conscious of what my motivations were, so you pointing that out helps me grow

I really do make an effort to own and honor the various parts of myself - and when I don't, I hope my friends feel safe enough with me to call me on it, so BIG LOVE to you for being one of those friends
This last paragraph is the important part - owning our parts and our actions. Try as we might, we will all make mistakes, so this is where friends - real friends who are willing to risk denial to serve our growth - are so important.

For many men, the only place they can find this is in men's groups - where men work to develop both the fearlessness to be vulnerable in their "shadow" stuff, and the courage to stand in truth when someone is not in alignment.

I am fortunate to have friends, both in meatspace and the virtual space, who will do this for me. It's a huge gift, and I am so very grateful.

Most importantly, I wanted to share this with my readers as a form of Open Practice, a way to be transparent in my own personal growth. To me, it's important that men model these things for each other as a support for doing this kind of work.

So, my apologies to you, the reader, for not being in full awareness and alignment with my desire to have this blog be an honest place of mature masculinity. I can still express and honor my adolescent parts (they are welcome in the conversation), but I want to do so without trying to rationalize them, which only serves to deny their unique truth.

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