I’m Sorry Men
Damn, I’m sorry men.
I wrote this post called I Love Women less than two weeks ago. Since then it’s gotten over 34,000 views. Almost 2,000 people have Liked it on Facebook.
Which means a hell of lot more people are reading my writing than when I started this blog two and a half years ago. Which is totally surreal to me.
I wrote “I Love Women” after I wrote this post on Facebook.
Correction. By “wrote this post on Facebook,” I mean I completely lost my fucking shit and blew up all over the internet.
Since then that post has been shared on Facebook almost 200 times and stirred up some fiery conversations in the comments. I’ve since then had to start blocking people from my Facebook page because I can only handle so much negativity.
A week after these posts went live, my good friend Sean Aiken jumped onto my Facebook wall and left this comment for me.
And for the first time in a while I took a look in the mirror and thought deep and hard about my writing. And I realized that Sean was right.
I was speaking to women more than I was speaking to men. And worse, I was shaming men in the process.
So where did I go wrong two weeks ago?
My chest was on fire. Anger was coursing through my veins. So I lost my shit.
And here’s what I’ve learned (and re-learned) from this process.
1. I Want Women To Like Me
This is my shadow and I accept it fully.
I’ve done a ton of work around my relationship with women and letting go of attachment and neediness, but it still rears its ugly head sometimes. Complete non-attachment isn’t even a reality for most of us. Unless you’re a monk.
At the heart of every man is a desire to be appreciated, loved, and supported by women.
But I think I lost it a little lately. I lost my balance and out came what you read in the links above.
2. I Lost Sight Of Compassion
I let the stress of The Conference For Men overwhelm me so much that I lost sight of one of our most important tools for creating transformation: Compassion.
Compassion is a lens that when looked through, turns pain into gold. Compassionate friends, coaches, and mentors have helped me rewrite my life, changing it from a story of pain and regret to one of love and gratitude.
Many of my coaching exercises are designed to help men look at their former selves with love and compassion, transmuting shame into appreciation.
But just like any other man, I’m imperfect. But let’s all put back on our Compassion hats.
Women, can you look at the men in your life with compassion instead of believing the lie of “men just don’t get it?”
Men, can you look at the women in your life with compassion instead of believing the lie of “all women are crazy?”
And can I look at the men around the world with compassion instead of feeling frustrated that more of them aren’t on board yet and that they should “stop fucking around?”
Yes, I can. And I will.
Can you? Will you?
3. Younger Mike Would Have Thought I’m A Big Asshole
I thought about what my former self would have thought if I saw one of my female friends share some random dude’s Facebook rant about underfucked women.
I would have shut down a little.
I would have felt like less of a man.
I would have felt even more stuck.
And I would have felt even more lost with this “alien species” that we call women.
Because when I WAS in my twenties, I was shut down, I didn’t feel like much of a man, I felt stuck, and women seemed like aliens to me. And if I read that post I would have thought that that The Men’s Coach is a big asshole. Or even a little of a bully.
Because I know that if I read that a decade ago, all I would have felt is a lot of pain and discouragement.
4. I Really, Really, Really Care
As much as you love someone, you’ll sometimes hate them just as much.
Think about your father. There are things that he might do that drive you insane.
Maybe he embarrasses you in public. Maybe he doesn’t eat as healthy as he should. Maybe he’s a little bigoted or racist even.
If that was someone else’s father you wouldn’t care. You might even laugh and be amused by your friend’s father if he had some of those characteristics. We all have that friend’s father who is a little too drunk or a little too obscene sometimes. And we enjoy his antics.
But if it’s your father or mother, you lose your shit with them and turn into a rage monster when they “act up.”
Do you know why?
It’s because you love them so much that you want what’s best for them. And they love you so much that they want the best for you.
But often our beliefs are different, which causes the disconnect. And that disconnect causes all the fighting and the screaming and the drama.
But at the root of it all it’s because you love your father so much that it breaks your heart to see him live his life that way.
And that’s how I felt in that moment.
5. It’s All A Practice
Everything is a practice.
Becoming a good cook is a practice.
Becoming a skilled artist is a practice.
Becoming a skilled lover is a practice.
Learning to share authentically and with compassion is a practice.
Learning how to build a business that touches into some of the deepest areas of our lives is a practice.
Learning how to write in a way that opens both men and women up is a practice.
Learning to share what I’ve learned transparently without intimidating or shaming is a practice.
I’m practicing. And I’m still learning.
6. I’m Sorry I Hurt Your Feelings
“I’m sorry I hurt your feelings.”
It’s an almost magical phrase that I got from my good friend Charmaine that takes the charge out of almost every argument when said directly and truthfully.
Use it any time you’ve wronged someone, even if you “think you’re right.” In their eyes, you did something wrong. So apologize. And with that said…
I’m sorry I hurt your feelings.
PS – If you shared one of the links above, please share this as a followup for the men in your life who you love the most.