REAL StrengthMay 28, 2021 09:31AM ● By Brian Dean
Every culture has its own standards, perceptions. They decide a person’s worth based on how they adhere to those standards. For the past forever, these standards have been strict and solid… and stereotypical. Women had their role to play, to take care of the man and family, to cook, to clean. And it was okay for them to be emotional, as that was what was expected. Men had to be strong, to not show weakness, to be the breadwinner. Emotion was supposed to be foreign to them, as they had to be that tower of strength.
But in the past half century, things have changed, or at least started to. And while change has been going on for centuries, it has made the biggest impact recently. Women are being recognized as equals and not subservient (at least by most people), and as those being brought up with this education see that, things will change more.
Men, for the most part, are stuck in that same box they have always been in. They have to be strong. They can’t show emotion. But being this way is not being strong. In fact, it is the coward’s approach to stay within the guidelines, to put on that stolid face and act like nothing is wrong.
But strength, real strength, does not come from acting strong, it comes from being strong. And being strong is showing that you can let go, can let others see that you are not perfect, can feel those emotions that are coming to you. And what you do with those shows your true strength.
It is known scientifically that when men reach their 40s or 50s, they can feel the effects of male menopause. With this comes mood swings, as all the emotions they have been taught to hide build up and let themselves out.
The thing to know is that this is okay. It is all right to feel and act on emotions, to feel sadness, to be depressed, to feel joy. It is okay to cry. And that release in crying is letting out things that could have been bottled up for a long, long time. Better to seep out periodically than explode. And if you think of it, crying is like experiencing a cleansing spring rain, seeing everything after unneeded things have been washed away, fresh and new, with new perspectives.
Don’t be afraid to go against the stereotype. Be strong, but make it true strength.
Brian Dean is a nationally certified Florida licensed massage therapist, reiki master/instructor, and member of the Florida State Massage Therapy Association. He is a graduate of the Coastal School of Massage Therapy, in Jacksonville. He is also the owner of Caring Palms Healing Arts,LLC, located at 476 Osceola Ave., in Jacksonville Beach.