A Note from the Man Cave

by Joel L, Western Australia

In spite of the focus recently given to the number of women who are students of Universal Medicine, there are also men. As one of those, I felt to explore some recent discoveries about expressing as a man.

Warning:  this might be a bit like someone is explaining the landscape in a foreign land that they have not yet seen for themselves. The words may be familiar, but it is hard to grasp just how beautiful it is.

As I have mentioned in previous articles, the most profound shift in my expression as a man has been the recognition that there has always been a desire to recognise the sensitivity and tenderness that lives (not too deeply) behind all the bravado, drinking and standard mateship rituals.

I am coming to realise that my tendency to ‘close down’ (create a Man cave) was not because I was unfeeling but because of how much I was feeling. Feeling so much, but not having practised expressing these feelings, meant that the words usually came out in a clumsy or generally unproductive way.

The battle to try to explain what I meant/felt reinforced my view that life in the ‘man cave’ is not so bad (certainly easier). If my communication caused a reaction in another person, it was easier to blame myself and go back into the man cave rather than honour the fact that what I was feeling might be true. As such, the man cave was a safe haven and an easy retreat.

More recently, I have been popping my head out of the cave. I am finding a whole world of feelings that I have never really had to put into words.

I am learning the difference between not reacting to someone’s reaction to what I say, and to closing down… turns out there’s a difference. I am learning that someone reacting to what I say is not always a sign I said something wrong… and that sometimes it is. I am learning that the less time I spend getting my portfolio of achievements together and the more time I allow myself to be ‘real’, the more real life and other people become.

Finally, I am learning that other guys feel similar things and have the similar desire for tenderness to be their benchmark for life. What a world it would be once this becomes the norm, rather than the exception.

444 thoughts on “A Note from the Man Cave

  1. There is so much unexpressed tenderness that lives in the heart of every man. We live in a society where that is the norm, where men and women don’t know who they truly are and live in a way that only confirms them in all that they are not.

  2. So True Joel, we all have our own version of our man-cave with an aversion to stepping out-side its safety-net, but once we let go and step outside, we find like minded brothers and sisters acting normally with-out the imposition that these deep societal cave dwelling beliefs, and what they have held us under do to our way of living!

  3. Joel, how you describe your man cave is so real, and the understanding that you feel so much more than you want to acknowledge rather than not feeling something. It feels like we can also have a woman cave…I know I have hidden and retreated away many times rather than express what I felt to say. We can all play the game of hiding our sensitivity.

  4. When I grew up there were so many images of men being hard, tough, physically unbreakable, and their strength coming from being impervious to feeling. I can see easily now the lie in this and the pressure such images and stereotypes place on men, as we are all deeply sensitive, fragile, aware and tender. This is how we are born and our natural way of being.

  5. When we communicate we do get it wrong sometimes because when we don’t express for so long we start getting our words mixed up, or what we want to say comes out all wrong, but I am learning that it is far better to express than it is to hold back our expression.

  6. I agree when we retreat back into our caves it is because we are super sensitive, and we feel a great deal, the more we realise that it is never personal, and live life accepting our sensitivity and tenderness the more able we become to embrace it without retreating.

  7. “I am learning that other guys feel similar things and have the similar desire for tenderness to be their benchmark for life.” that is spot on Joel, nearly every guy I speak to feels the same, the desire for tenderness, the depth of love we naturally feel but often have to cover up.

  8. You write with such simplicity and yet what you deliver has great ripples! Feelings may be unfamiliar but that does not mean they are not felt because we can be so used to burying them that we finally deny their existence,

  9. Having lived in a house of suppressed expression for the best part of 30 years as a couple we have had to allow the other to express and have the understanding that things will come out wrong from time to time.

  10. It so great to get a man’s perspective Joel, with your understanding, knowing the feelings of how it can be too scary to express, and then running back into the cave, licking wounds. It shows how sensitive men truly are and how we all need to support each other to express in a safe way without judgement and criticism.

  11. Freeing ourselves from the pattern of giving up or seeking to escape from life is very liberating and empowering, as we deepen our awareness and accept our sensitivity and tenderness we realise how much it truly supports us to read and respond to life rather than emotionally react and always be effected by everything around us.

  12. Yes, what a world it would become Joel. I am practicing this being tender in the corporate world, and it turns out that there are many men that are open to being met with more tenderness, and have discussions how they really feel.

  13. In fact there is no real hiding for no matter where we go our level of love or lovelessness is felt. We can deeply go into contraction, yet there is our essence awaiting to be lived any way. So it is our level of honesty that sets us free from the bounds we have created that hold us small and limited to the grand love we are from.

  14. Yes Joel what a world it would be! This could also relate to woman in some ways, learning to express how we truly do feel and that we are just as tender as the men and super precious too. A far cry from where humanity is at. But it starts somewhere and the Students of The Way of The Livingness is certainly surrendering to the natural essence and way of being.

  15. ‘I am learning that the less time I spend getting my portfolio of achievements together and the more time I allow myself to be ‘real’, the more real life and other people become.’ Love this Joel this is so true, we put so much emphasis on getting it right showing the world our achievements that we forget that life is actually about people and nothing to do with achievements at all. It is a lesson I am still learning for it is so ingrained in us to make life about what we have done, to seek recognition and make life about ourselves that we no longer see the reality and truth of what is going on in the world. Leaving the man or woman cave can be quite a reality check, as we unravel all the life times of protection we held onto staying inside the cave.

  16. “I am coming to realise that my tendency to ‘close down’ (create a Man cave) was not because I was unfeeling but because of how much I was feeling.” – Great realisation, I think our feelings can seem overwhelming when we bottle them up and hence then want to get away from that intensity by withdrawing, but the more we can allow ourselves to observe all that we feel, without judgement, the more we can tune in with what is being shown to us and how to truly respond to that, like if something needs to be expressed and how or if it’s just showing us something for our awareness and learning…

  17. Closing down because we feel too much was a new concept for me, but makes so much sense, be we men or women. Learning that withdrawing and protection serves no one, least of all myself was only one of the many amazing things I have learned since coming to a Universal Medicine presentations. Living with an open heart and learning to respond, not react is still a work in progress, but is a more loving way to live in the world.

  18. Popping your head out of the man cave…testing the waters in which we all swim… I see a tiny turtle that is slowly learning it is not the hardness of his shell that protects him but the delicateness of his inner most self.

    1. Gorgeous analogy Liane, we are all super delicate and tender within, just need to let go of the outer shells of protection we have layered upon ourselves, and essentially go back to being as open as we were when we were children before we started to form the shell.

  19. Yes it is common to say that men have no feelings and are insensitive and rough, but I love how you share that actually the bravado is because men are feeling so much and it is a reaction to not knowing what to do with that. Makes so much sense.

  20. The man cave is an illusionary safe prison that actually disables and disempowers us from standing strong in who we truly are. Whilst we might feel safe it is just an escape from the intensity we are sensitive to in life.

    1. The man cave is simply man ‘caving in’ on himself and not living and thus sharing the warmth and tenderness of his inner most self.

  21. “Finally, I am learning that other guys feel similar things and have the similar desire for tenderness to be their benchmark for life. What a world it would be once this becomes the norm, rather than the exception.” This is a landscape of a foreign land to the one I was raised in, however, as I live longer and gain greater experience of it so it grows in familiarity and it is now the landscape of my home. It is the landscape that is everyone’s natural state – tenderness.

    1. Yes, it happens as we get older, we start to see different things as we reflect on life. We have an opportunity to reflect on situations that we were convinced were someone else’s fault and consider that we may have contributed by the withdrawal or unwillingness to feel what was being shared at the time.

      1. Very true Lucy. However, imagine a world where tenderness is the accepted norm and then I wonder what growing old would be like?

      2. Or live longer so that so that we gain greater wisdom and understanding in order to be more prepared for our next incarnation.

  22. I love your blogs Joel, so light-hearted yet so very supporting for anyone to read. Great you are coming out of, have come out of the man cave. I am doing the same as well, letting go of the notion or thought that retreating away from life is the answer as it definitely does not work.

  23. This blog will be a huge support to the many who have chosen to retreat from life because of their sensitivity.

    1. We are so deeply sensitive we think the only way to deal with life is to shy away, yet thanks to Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon we have been shown the true way we can live, one which we all know deep within, just have been too scarred to give it a go in full.

  24. Thank you Joel for dispelling the myth that men are not as sensitive as women. The whole world has played into that myth and it is time to set the record straight.

  25. ‘I am learning that someone reacting to what I say is not always a sign I said something wrong… and that sometimes it is.’ It always comes down to honour our sensitivity and our willingness to open up and make mistakes.

  26. “The difference between not reacting to someone’s reaction to what I say, and to closing down” – thank you for reminding us that they are different. And “the more time I allow myself to be ‘real’, the more real life and other people become” – this is super important to remember, that the world won’t change until I do.

  27. It’s a beautiful blog Joel as it opens the reader up to understanding the process men experience as they return to their true expression of themselves, and how much sensitivity they have as they rediscover the way to be themselves again despite the world sometimes reacting.

  28. My man cave was not so much a cave in the physical sense but a cave within me in which I would eagerly retreat when the going got tough and I reacted to the world around me.

  29. Is it not surprising that we came home from the hospital dressed in something blue the transformation of what the world felt we should be, had begun. When could we practice and explore our tenderness? The more men that pop their heads out of the cave and express the traits we are all born with, we are showing others the strength of tenderness.

  30. It’s quite amazing to read this now, a few years on from when it was written and feel the development in yourself Joel and so many more men who have committed to opening up and being honest about what gets in the way of them showing how sensitive and tender they truly are. Reading this now, I felt how amazing that reflection is to have in my life – men that are tender, caring and sensitive, that look you in the eye and that respect and honour the women before them. This is the way of the future, lived by us for the future of everyone, right here and now.

  31. This is beautiful to observe in men, as when you look closely I see a tenderness in all men’s heart. Just they may have closed themselves off from feeling and living that, but when we allow each other to be, simply be, we are so tender and all the bravado will have no place to go.

  32. I agree Joel – the normal we are expected to mold ourselves to does not support us to live who we really are. In fact, it misguides us to think we are not enough in simply being ourselves, and even worse that being who we are is deemed ‘odd’. To live our true potential is to live from our tenderness as this is what our true normal is. And the more we openly talk with each other about this the more we realise that we are not so different, and how natural it feels.

  33. ‘I allow myself to be ‘real’, the more real life and other people become.’ I can so relate to this and often find myself wondering where was I when life seemed dull.

  34. I spent many a year in the man cave and whenever I poked my head out and tried to express my head would get stamped on, so I learned that expressing didn’t work and only caused a reaction in others which led to a reaction in me, so silence become the preferred option. What a waste of a life but thankfully I have learned to break this patterns that in-truth not only harms myself but everyone else but robbing the world of my expression. Thank God for Serge Benhayon and the teachings of the Ageless Wisdom, which have helped me to turn my life around in so many amazing ways.

  35. The true ‘man cave’ we live in is not made out of mortar and bricks but reactions, judgements and dismissiveness. To truly step out of this as you show Joel, means embracing our tenderness, understanding and sweetness every day.

    1. That is a brilliant distinction because I often withdraw physically, however the true withdrawal has already happened which was to move away from my essence.

  36. ” Finally, I am learning that other guys feel similar things and have the similar desire for tenderness to be their benchmark for life. ” As a man I can say this is true, as for me growing up, the only true way to express my tenderness was when caring for the animals on the farm. People were not able to accept my full tenderness, it was too hurtful for them, as it brought up undealt with issues for them.

    1. I see this a lot in young boys that I meet. There is all that bravado but then you’ll catch moments where they feel safe enough to express this tenderness, usually when they don’t think people are taking any notice of them. It’s such a shame. Knowing you as a beautifully tender man brings this home as I can feel what a loss that many men are this tender too but think it’s not acceptable. If we don’t accept ourselves for who we truly are it’s no wonder we have all the various horrible behaviours that go on between us.

    2. No wonder we have such a harsh, aggressive and at times violent world – we crush tenderness out of boys and men and we then live in a world devoid of this quality.

  37. Gorgeous Joel, if we all come out of our caves and corners with the insights you share here, we will be all the brighter and lighter.

  38. How often have we found ourselves in situations where we want to express something that we feel and yet the words just don’t come or we say something completely different to what we had intended. Being tender with ourselves can actually support our ability to express as we become more open and honest and willing to share ourselves with another.

  39. As men we have found so much comfort wearing the many hats of what is expected of us from the world, totally distracting us from getting to know our true nature of tenderness, as it is only through our acceptance of it that we can connect to the immense love of God.

  40. “I am learning the difference between not reacting to someone’s reaction to what I say, and to closing down… turns out there’s a difference.” That is for me really a good thing to find out this difference as it made life much more easier and less dramatic and painful.

  41. Thank you Joel for sharing what it means to be in the man cave,
    “I am coming to realise that my tendency to ‘close down’ (create a Man cave) was not because I was unfeeling but because of how much I was feeling. ” it is interesting that when a man withdraws or shuts down we can think he is hard and uncaring when in fact he is very sensitive and feeling so very much if we as women realised this we would give space at this time and relate in a much more loving way.

    1. I agree Jill, understanding can replace expectation or judgement when we realise a man withdrawing is simply feeling so very much.

  42. I love how you describe your ‘man cave’. Not a physical place that you have gone to, which is often what we think. But it is where you have gone to hide from who you are, the beautiful and tender you. However in connecting to this there is a realisation that there is no need to hide from this and in fact it will support other men to realise the same thing.

    1. It shows me that we hide from ourselves and others because we are so sensitive in a world that doesn’t allow for sensitivity. We are constantly bombarded by energies surrounding us that do not want any of us to reconnect to our sensitivity and in doing so remember who we truly are.

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