Sitting in my study, I was hugely aware that there is an epidemic of codependency radically sweeping much of the world. When writing about such things in The Virgin Monologues, many readers had contacted me regarding a new awareness of not having to settle, not having to cope with that which we should not take on as our own. And much of this codependency, so my discernment tells me, can be down to hopelessness.
‘What do you look for in a healthy man?’ is a question that is often asked in my daily adventures.
‘Stillness’ is always my answer. A comfort in himself, a contentment that can not be explained, just felt when in their presence.
The opposite of stillness is manifested in so many ways. The chaos within the soul is found within performance, a desire to make the audience laugh or cry – either way, they need an emotional response from the participant.
Stillness is echoed in not only how they interact with their friends, family, and work place, but how they love who they are. You’ll no doubt see him comfortable with his down time, he takes care of his home, his appearance, we’re not talking GQ nor a daily groom by Tommy Guns in Soho. I’m talking, a restfulness that will take his time and be content with his own company. He isn’t out every single night at social clubs, home groups, small groups, the gym, the members club, having to be with people, having to be approved by society itself.
When in a quandary, you will find them spending more time in the secret place, he will not go to just wise men in their life – but fathers – and yes, there is a difference. Fathers are in his world most weeks, when wise men are perhaps only contacted every month – accountability doesn’t work so well this way. Wise men rarely get the chance to see the blind spots, and they’re always fed one of two versions of a story – they don’t get to see the bits that we need to be pulled up on, when we’re not even looking. Those without stillness are too uncomfortable in themselves to show someone else their mess. They are so focused on being impressive to others that they cannot admit their faults.
It is this reason why they feel the need to justify themselves, why they didn’t work out in a relationship, or why they cling onto friends that they only met through you. This contentment within is so vital for a strong man that it has become imperative for me to find.
They need not control you or circumstances. They need not create worlds for you to be enticed. They hear well from God, and when they don’t, they have an awareness to go and work out why they can’t.
The still man doesn’t need continual life coaches, for their discernment, their history with God has proved enough evidence to know what is his fear and what is God’s voice.
The still man holds himself well, he can laugh at himself as well as laugh in the face of fear. He pushes through. In relationships – intimacy does not frighten him, but excites him, knowing that the women they’ve had their eye on hasn’t seen the best of him yet. He fears not the mess that she may see, for he trusts himself in the management of his own mistakes.
And oh boy, the still man will make mistakes, he will drop many balls, but will have the self awareness to catch them, or replace them if he has.
He is calm in the face of adversity, he is compliant when faced with constructive criticism.
Oh my, how his calmness woos me. For when you break as a woman, when you wobble, getting all emotional on him, when snot is falling down your face because of your own frustration, he’ll fold into you, perhaps wipe your face and let you cry it out, he’ll let you express your heart with loving arms, not hostile retaliation.
They don’t have to communicate everything, for him honesty is not always the best policy. He’ll know when to share and when to shut up. But he does have a value for his own feelings, so he’ll speak up and when he does, you know it matters. He will continue to make this an art form throughout his life. Getting his heart to be known is not the priority, he isn’t looking to you as a witness for everything he is doing in his life, because his identity isn’t about your approval, he’s just here to enjoy your company for company’s sake.
They are safe. Valiant in trusting themselves, you feel therefore that you can trust them. For they are powerful enough to know they are responsible for their actions and respect other people’s boundaries, even when they have a different wish.
As I begin this Mighty Men series, I’ve never felt so much work go on within that brings contentment, hope and confidence. When I was in make up yesterday for a talk show, I was asked ‘Do you ever regret not having made it work with someone through to marriage?’
It was a good question and a question that reminded me that I’m pleased that I didn’t marry any of the men I dated. Sometimes circumstances made it hard for some of us to not work out, and with others it was just too hard to work through them – many of the actions carried out, be it boundaries with other women, fabrications over the truth, manipulation or control was all venting itself into a lack of stillness in him, and hurting me. I wanted powerful men, mighty men, and for this reason alone, I’m pleased at the place I’m at, knowing that so many marriages happen for all the wrong reasons.
The only reason why I would ever want to marry, is because the guy was someone I could do amazing team work with, as strong, solid individuals in our own right.
Until then, I’ll keep thinking about the mighty men, for the sake of those women out there who might have begun to lose hope, or question if they are enough.
And how they handle women, how they work within the pursuit, is probably one of the most endearing parts of them.
Until next time…