Honoring the men who made us

Courage, Expression, Love

I love men. Their difference makes them a curious specimen worthy of intense observation. I enjoy ferreting out the inner workings and idiosyncrasies that are so unlike me and the women I know.

It’s not a common refrain, this adoration of men. I don’t know about you, but I don’t hear too many women running around singing their praises for simply being made the way they are.

Usually the statement You know men, is accompanied with an exasperated eye-roll instead of a love bound smile. The same could be said for the way women are referenced, but today’s not about that.

I realize there’s good evidence against the case for loving men. Some of them have done some shitty things—what with the warring, killing, power struggling, and abuse. I can understand the fear, distrust and general misunderstanding of men.

But this isn’t about that either. There are plenty of places to read about the injustices. This is not one of them.

This article is about honoring them because of who they are and how they’re made.

They’re simple but not simplistic. They’re deeply feeling (just observe a man with his baby) and honor bound. I love how they focus and pursue—like bird dogs on point.

Their physical strength is exciting; we’re not built that way. Their desire to serve and please is endearing. Their instinct to protect is undeniable.

The way they illuminate under the glow of appreciation swells my heart. It’s very much like how we women surge at the expression of love.

Men are, I think, undervalued, over criticized and without the love and understanding they need to feel free enough to be who they are—who they really are—which is spectacular.

Today is Father’s Day in the United States and the inspiration for this missive. My own father is a wonderful man. He has a big heart, a kind spirit and he loves to serve and support his family in innumerable ways that make sense to him (and often to us as well).

My life as a partner is significantly impacted by my experience as a daughter, and I’ve spent a good many hours unraveling that. My father is extraordinary, but he’s not perfect—none of us is.

The gift of it, however is through that imperfection I get to see the whole of him. I’ve witnessed his journey and I am blessed by that seeing because it allows me to comprehend and build upon lessons of my own.

Our parents give us so many opportunities to evolve; which isn’t always the most pleasant experience, but it’s a curious gift worth exploring.

Without any hesitation I can say that I love and admire my dad, fissures and all.

See, I’ve always felt deep admiration and compassion for men which comes so naturally I wonder that other’s don’t have it as well. I’ve had conversations with women, expressing my love of men, and their incredulous looks shoot back at me: Really? Why? They’re so [insert any number of complaints].

The word you’re looking for is, different and marvelous.

If you’ve experienced abuse or harm from men, my love, I am so sorry. And men reading this, I’m talking to you as well. Sometimes fathers are much harder on their boys; I am sorry for that too.

Not all men are kind, but there are kind men everywhere.

Men are often so confused at what they think they need to be—the warped image of masculinity that’s been pushed on them—they don’t see how wonderful their true nature is, and I believe that’s why they misdirect their power.

But, as with everything, love, compassion and appreciation go a long way. They’re the salve that heals (don’t forget to spread some on yourself).

Today, whether you’re a man reading this or a woman, see if you can think of one man in your life, father to you or not, whom you admire, who fills you with trust, security and warmth, and praise him.

I’m sure his heart would swell to hear it, even if his reception may be a garbled grunt—you can love him for that too.

Love and appreciation,