Men love freedom.
If you’re a man on the personal growth path, it is so important to understand the mascuilne imperative of freedom. It’s a foundational concept and practice in men’s wisdom work. Freedom is one of the essential qualities of the masculine that we practice with in our trainings and programs.
- Why are so many men obsessed with this idea of being free?
- Why do so many men flee from relationships?
- Why do so many men fear being trapped?
- Why do so many men sabotage or abandon their intimate and parental commitments?
- Why do men have chronic short-term relationships?
- Why do so many men cheat on their partners?
In my years of men’s work, I can’t count the times that men have talked about feeling trapped. Hearing how they want and need their freedom; how they don’t want to be tied down.
Through understanding why you long for freedom and why you feel trapped, you become more aware of your negative thoughts and behaviors that are running the show.
And… for you men that flee relationships and commitment because you long for freedom, you have to understand that it’s the illusion about what freedom really is that keeps you suffering and acting out.
Men have this idea that freedom is something they can achieve through setting up their life in a certain way. They think that freedom will be achieved through some externalized ideal, like non-monogamy, non-committed relationships, or being free from responsibilities that tie them down or trap them.
How many of you men, when you have felt trapped, have gone into neurotic, anxious states of panic that drove you to make some really crappy and fucked up choices that have hurt yourself and others?
Maybe in your work life, your relational life, or your sex life? How many of you have sabotaged good relationships and fruitful opportunities from a place of fear and resistance to being trapped?
How many of you know a man who has cheated on his partner because he was under the illusion that he was trapped, roped in, and unable to feel free in his relationship?
Red Flags Everywhere
When you are in this unhealthy relationship to freedom, it’s so easy to get into a place where you’re constantly looking for red flags everywhere telling you, “be careful, you may get tied down here.”
The thing about red flags is by constantly looking for the thing you fear most, you keep attracting more of it.
So what the hell is Freedom?
To start off, fuck this idea that a man has to feel free at all!
Understanding freedom begins with releasing your resistance to feeling trapped. It’s that resistance that keeps you suffering and making bad choices.
It’s by deeply embracing your sense of being tied down and constrained that you can liberate yourself from it and move into an internal sense of resilience, openness, and spacious relationship to life.
Freedom through challenge
As David Deida articulates:
“The masculine is always seeking release from constraint into freedom.”
One of the healthy ways men experience freedom is through challenge.
When we have a difficult task to overcome, we feel a heightened state of excitement in the process and that feeling of freedom in the conquest.
This is the classic Warrior archetype, overcoming obstacles and conquering against all the odds. Whether that something is building a successful business, fixing a broken engine, or a more significant life mission or project, our inner Warrior gets to emerge from his cage and be let loose on a noble mission!
It’s not unlike the feeling of a great orgasm, deeply relaxing, a feeling of “Ahhhh… Freedom.”
Freedom In Stillness
Another way we experience freedom is in the experience of total stillness. We can experience this in meditation – though it takes practice to get there as we have to train the mind, so it’s not engaged with every thought that emerges.
Stillness isn’t just found in meditation practice, though. This space is accessible to us at any moment when we choose to put the distractions down and completely embrace the experience of being present in our bodies.
Getting out in Nature away from our devices and distractions is an ideal place to experience this stillness and the freedom that comes with it. And with practice and discipline, we can learn to drop into this space wherever we are.
When we start feeling trapped, stuck, caged….we can take this as a nudge to take some action. No matter what your circumstances are right now, there are practices available to you that can create an immediate sense of inner freedom we all long for.
Especially if you’re a man who identifies strongly with his masculine nature, the drive for stillness, freedom, and quiet is a normal and essential part of who you are. There’s nothing wrong with your desire for freedom, but it’s time to put an end to the unhealthy choices you’re making because of your fear of losing it.
It is your consistent practice and contact with your internal freedom that allows you to surrender through any constraint.
If you are experiencing some kind of constraint in your life right now, the first step is to stop blaming outer circumstances (including your partner) for why you feel trapped in your life.
- Stop putting all of your focus on how and why and how you’re NOT free.
- Don’t ignore or avoid your sense of being trapped – that never works.
- Take the enlightened approach – enter into men’s practice to cultivate the internal freedom you long for.
Your freedom is closer than you think.
Freedom begins when you accept radical responsibility for all the challenges and places in your life where you feel contracted.
Freedom emerges from releasing resistance to what is currently showing up in your life. Which is another way of saying “surrender” to your life as it is now!
Freedom can be immediately accessed by entering into states of stillness and consciousness while still feeling your emotions.
Any place in your life right now where you’re suffering because you feel trapped, take it as an invitation and challenge to slow down, get support, open more deeply to life, and contact that freedom that is always there living within you.