About 3 or 4 years ago, I attended my first MenLiving meeting. Today, I am MenLiving’s Board President and a very involved day to day volunteer. But, honestly, I’m still not particularly comfortable with the concepts of traditional “men’s work,” and topics like male archetypes and exploring what happened to me when I was 5. So, here is why I keep coming back and why I am so devoted to the cause: MenLiving is a space where I develop honorable human relationships.
The poet, Adrienne Rich, wrote:
“An honorable human relationship — that is, one in which two people have the right to use the word “love” — is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved, a process of refining the truths they can tell each other. It is important to do this because it breaks down human self-delusion and isolation. It is important to do this because in doing so we do justice to our own complexity. It is important to do this because we can count on so few people to go that hard way with us”.
I really connected with the above when I first read it because it calls us to use love in describing all relationships between humans. As men, we traditionally have a hard time referring to our relationships as loving. Probably because we equate love with sex. No pun intended, but fuck that! I would suggest that nothing is more freeing than choosing to love…everyone. Can I love another man like Dan Silberberg and Tim Peters as much as I love my wife? Damn, right (though she might freak out at the idea!).
Honorable relationships depend on our ability to explore the things we believe we can’t talk about. MenLiving brings men together in a circle to do this exploration, to talk that talk, to “break down the human self-delusion and isolation.”
No doubt, I sometimes struggle with the how of the exploration and the structure of the talk. You might too. But, I invite you to keep coming. To remain curious. Because, I believe you will find MenLiving is a place for honorable human relationships.
How does this idea resonate with you? Are you living with these relationships? Have you found an honorable human relationship within MenLiving?