We don’t cry here.
Crying is taboo.
Because if we cry, we’re weak. And if we’re weak, then we’re likely to die. And if we’re likely to die then no one will ever want to be associated with us because even being in proximity to us will threaten their survival too.
And so if we cry we will be ostracized, isolated, and left for dead.
And so we don’t cry.
Instead we repress, we anesthetize, we push down the emotions like an ostrich with its head in the sand hoping that because we ignore the pain and grief and sadness within us it will never have any effect over us. Like an oncoming train we magically assume that ignoring it will prevent it from ever hurting us.
Do not be fooled. Your unprocessed emotions do not disappear when you ignore them. On the contrary they will continue to act out in spite of you in an on-going attempt to heal the part of you that has been wounded. Ignore your emotions and you will only have two options. Either to continue repressing them in increasingly damaging ways with alcohol, drugs, food, work, sex, or any other emotionally distracting activity, or to simply allow them to be triggered like a volcano erupting over and over again when you least expect it. Either way make no mistake, your emotions are stronger than you. While they can be occasionally stifled, they can never be silenced.
This article was first published in Common Ground Magazine in February 2015, and speaks to a challenge that I myself faced head on in my mid 20s. It took me until my mid 30s, almost ten years later, to gain enough distance from that journey, and the healing that it required, for me to feel that I could write about it with the appropriate clarity, humor, and care necessary for a topic that many men struggle with to this day, through no fault of their own.
For anyone who is not a man (or has never been a man) I invite you to read on with an open, compassionate mind.
There’s a new kind of story that film makers are telling in greater numbers than ever before. It’s a more explicit version of the hero’s journey upgraded for the complexity of a 21st century psyche. Batman Versus Superman (BVS) is one of those movies. It shouldn’t simply be judged by the fact that there are too many opening scenes, or that the film ends three or four times, or that Aqua-Man looks like a Food Cart Vendor stepping out of the shower with a fork in his hand ready to flip another burger. None of that really matters.
Because while our collective Neo Cortex might struggles to make sense of the plot holes our unconscious minds are being fed with a bounty of incredibly potent archetypal coding that most other stories say almost nothing about.
This is why BVS is a powerful movie. Not because of what it does, but for what it represents as part of a entirely new tradition of films that speak more explicitly than ever about our journey of healing as humans.
Inhale, bring your palms together, and begin by dedicating this practice to all the great yogis and yoginis who are turning in their graves or laughing into their loin-cloths because of the Diet-Pepsi-maxification that Western culture has unleashed all over their sacred path of transcendence.
Take a moment to honor the great Patanjali who an entirely new wave of young mat-slingers often confuse with a sweet dessert that follows your dhal and rice course. Give reverence to the Rig Veda that is absolutely not the great-grandfather of the Lord Vader. Exhale and release any judgment around the effectiveness of hip-hop yoga, wine and yoga, or products like Water Mat Yoga to accelerate your union with “the god head.” If Western yoga culture is going through its adolescence, then it needs our support, wisdom, and compassion as it navigates through the madness of the modern-day mass media marketplace.
Sun salutation, raise your arms to the sky, and primal scream for every time that a teenybopper’s cellphone with a Taylor Swift ring tone has started playing “Shake It Off ” during your Corpse Pose, causing your subtle body to crash into your physical like the meteor that ended the dinosaurs.
There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.