Black Men and Mental Health

In light of Mental Health Awareness week, I would like to share a featured post, more for the brothers and for the sisters who wish to understand.

Check it out here!

 

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Something Men (And Women) Should Know

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Hello, my brothers and sisters.

In the month of September, I had attended my first #Pentalk Event for the first time and I was utterly amazed at what I heard. It was an extremely refreshing discussion and of course, I took a lot of notes!

I shared my notes on my Instagram story and thought I’d share them here for all, especially for my brothers out there!

I want to share something with my brothers in Christ and my brothers of mankind.
Despite what you think, the women are WELL aware of some of the issues of masculinity and with the difficulty of us men sharing our emotions.
Our inability to share our emotions can cause stress on the ladies. They worry and are concerned about whether you are emotionally available or not.
Now, guys, I get it. We do process emotions differently but don’t overgeneralise it. Some men are not quite emotional, some men are.

The issues why we don’t wanna share is because of:

The “man-up” stereotype;

 You are worried about how unmanly or soft she may perceive you to be if you did share;

A lack of trust.

One gentleman at the event shared that emotions are meant to be expressed, more for yourself than for your relationship. You must feel comfortable with expressing them to the woman you are with. If you cannot do this, then why are you with her?

Flipside: IF you are with someone who considers you unmanly and soft for expressing your emotions and is generally uninterested about your own issues and you find yourself playing an act or restricting yourself for the purposes of your relationship, then that’s not the lady you should be with.

Flipflipside: It is not your place to determine what your special lady can or can’t handle. This cannot be a reason why you cannot express yourself. Let her know and let her deal with it. She’s not a baby.

Both parties need to come together with a heart of understanding, not expectation.

It is very refreshing to see that women are aware and expressing their concerns regarding male emotions. All they want to see is a physical manifestation of how you are dealing with any difficult circumstances, EXCLUDING VIOLENCE. Simply stating how you feel gives her an idea of how you are.

She is not a mind reader and you are not a Stone Cold Rock (WWE fans will understand). You are a human being and entitled to express yourself without unjust judgment, fear or having your masculinity questioned. Beware of those looking for the benefits of a relationship without having to deal with the difficult aspects of it. Relationships will ALWAYS require work.

Finally and most importantly, a message from myself: Jesus died for you gents. That means you have value, but it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to manifest and increase in value (challenge yourself, set goals and work to achieve them, read, take courses, take a new degree, masters or different line of work, develop yourself, build a network, go elsewhere; do something!) because the truth is, no one else will do it for you. 

And you can do it, when you believe you can.

Tunde T. Amao

The Path of Man

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Many speakers have said it, pastors have preached it, the women are fed up with it and you’ve probably seen it, heard it and probably experiencing it right now.

There is a crisis in masculinity.

The young guys today are struggling to become who they are meant to become; Men.

Perhaps it’s the lengthy time spent in boyhood. You’re doing what you can, in a panic, to compensate for lost time. Maybe you’ve found yourself in situations where real life hit you hard and now you’ve woken up and have seen the world in a brand new light. You’ve probably seen other guys, maybe younger than yourselves, getting into places and now you feel like you’ve been left behind.

Or you’ve had your masculinity challenged by the women in your life or they left due to the lack of leadership, direction and maybe the self-confidence to be able to hold a relationship together. You notice a recurring pattern and you don’t know why. They always leave for someone you perceived as “better”.

Or maybe you’ve fallen into the hole of the world’s misconception of men. “Men are supposed to have this, men are supposed to be that, men are supposed to have achieved this by now” is the rhetoric that is spinning in the minds of males. You are now frustrated at the process of “getting to where you need to get to” because of how slow it is.

Or maybe you have that burning question that remains unanswered because you had a poor example of what a real Man looks like.

My brothers, you will never find it in material things, you will never find it in the wrong crowd and trust me, you will never ever find manhood within womanhood.

In the precious name of Jesus Christ, who created you for His pleasure and His glorious purpose, and because He loves you so dearly if you are still looking or you’re not too sure what your purpose in life is, please take this fundamental truth away:

If you are born male, it is your destiny, purpose and life-long goal to become a  strong, confident and capable Man. You did not choose to be born male, God did. That’s His way of showing you that He wants you to become a Man.

And the Ultimate Man, the Perfect Man to follow is Jesus Christ. Your masculinity is rooted in Him.

There are many examples of how you can develop your masculinity in Jesus. Here are a few of many scriptures about what God says about Men and the path He has called them to take:

Genesis 2: 7 (NIV): Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Micah 6: 8 (NKJV): He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?

Psalm 1: 1 – 3 (NKJV): Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth it’s fruit in its season, who’s leaf also shall not wither; and whatver he does shall prosper.

1 Corinthians 13: 11 (NIV): When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.

I also commissioned a short pole on my Twitter page. The results are below:

Speaking from the male perspective, men are aware that they have to be focused on something, but often find themselves easily distracted on things that are not necessarily bad but not conducive to their personal progression as wholesome Men or are just simply focused on the wrong things.

The ladies acknowledge that manhood (or the lack of) is an issue and after fruitful discussions, I believe the common conclusion is that women would like the special men in their life to band together and seek guidance from other godly Men.

The knowledge gained from such networks would help them become wholesome Men themselves and in turn, will enable them to be effective in their relationships.

Guys, you are not focused because you don’t have guidance. Once you receive guidance, you’ll become focused.

So, to answer the question, how does one walk the Path of Man?

1. Believe in and follow the Greatest Man who lived, died and rose again; Jesus Christ.

2. Read the Word of God to discover, learn and apply God’s manhood principles in every area of your lives.

3. Seek guidance from (older) godly men.

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Guys, becoming a Man is a lifelong pursuit, and it is not to be rushed. Our physique bares the image of Christ and when we walk in His ways we will surely become Men. It is equally important to walk with others on the same path towards manhood. Why? Scripture gives the answer:

Proverbs 3: 6 (NIV): In all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 11: 14 (NLT): Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisors.

Genesis 2: 18 (NIV): The Lord God said, “it is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.

Proverbs 13: 20 (NKJV): He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.

We cannot become Men by ourselves.

Peace and love my brothers.

Tunde T. Amao