One of the reasons we men don't feel very easily is that we don't listen to ourselves. Often we are too busy. Too busy working, to busy listening to sport, to busy commuting, to busy planning or dreaming...
Why are we so busy? There are times when there is no alternative. A police mate who was in a siege commented that it never occurred to him at the time to pray about what he was doing. I reckon that praying right then was a good way to get shot! When the crap's flying, keep your head down and do the job! Prayer, reflection and soul searching are not meant for times like that.
But very few of us need to be always busy- none of us, really. So why are we? And why do some of the busiest men compound the problem by being flat out in a sports club or a community organisation in what little spare time they have? Is it that we are scared to stop and listen to what is inside us. Scared to feel emotional pain... or scared that there will be nothing left to feel at all! (I've felt that... what if there is nothing there when I stop? It just might be better to keep busy!)
There are times when I get a night off and prowl around the house unable to relax. I get so wound up it seems like there is nothing left in life to do but more work. Everything else is anaesthetised and numb. I usually need to sleep it off, or bury myself in a book for hours. Then I get depressed at how little I am achieving in life, and the hours I wasted. Then angry.... why am I working so hard for a family who doesn't deserve it and who take me for granted? I pick fights with them.
But slowly I begin to feel again. Like getting out of a noisy truck cab into the deafened silence and gradually hearing the quiet noises of the world around me again.
I have also learned a lesson I keep forgetting. If I go more slowly and if I listen to the feelings within me, I feel a lot better. I'm less tired. I'm less depressed and less angry. I find delicate flavours and colours to the world that seem non-existent when I am too busy. There is even a measure of joy! I find again that I truly do love my partner... I can listen to her... even help her! Her feelings and moods don't drag me down half so much. I feel her nurture me! But I must be hearing and feeling what is happening in me, or none of the joy is there, and she drives me to rage...
or is it more truly, in the end....
that I become so out of touch with myself that I drive myself to rage?
July 1 2001
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