Thank you for listening to my story last week. I was moved by your compassion. I have shared it many times. But always in more intimate settings.

When I was dating, I would be sure to share my story before approaching intimacy. I would also make it a point to share it with women who became close friends.

This was the first time I shared my story in a public forum. And I’m still learning how to do that. It was so good to be held by you.

I realize I did not use the word power when I told my story. And that’s a big miss. Because patriarchy is about power. It is about a toxic relationship with power. The culture defines masculinity in terms of dominant power. And we are conditioned to measure ourselves in those terms.

In my experience and observation, masculine aggression often stems from a hidden sense of powerlessness. It is a harmful acting out. a frustration with our incapacity to meet the standards of patriarchy.

When we measure our manhood by the rules of patriarchy we are left with two choices. Either win at the game of domination or accept subordination. This tension, the fear of losing at this game, this concern with not being man enough, is at the root of toxic behavior.

To feel hurt. To feel vulnerable. Feel like too much to risk when we are playing the game of domination. And so we act out instead. We turn to aggression instead of to what we are sensing. This is how we cause harm in our most intimate settings. And it is how we cause harm at the global level. It is directly connected to our economy of extraction.

We are taught to pursue an empty power. We are taught to dominate and to take.

Conscious masculinity must redefine our relationship with power. Power here is about self-possession. It is about a level of personal sovereignty that allows us to connect and interact with the world. And to do so from a place of grounded wholeness.

Let’s explore this together.