The Seven Steps to Manhood
from Manhood by Stephen Biddulph
1. Fixing it with your father – your father is your emotional line of contact to your masculinity. You have to work toward a clear and resolved relationship between you and him. You cannot cope with your life successfully until you have understood him, forgiven him and in some way come to respect him. Unless you do this work, his corpse will trip you up every time you make a move.
2. Finding sacredness in your sexuality – you have to find out how to not just be comfortable, but transformed and fulfilled in your sexuality. Sex will either be a sleazy obsessive part of your life or a sacred and powerful source of your wellbeing. There isn’t any in between. First you must relocate your sexual energy in yourself instead of giving it away to women. Then you must learn the specific role your masculine energy plays in the dance between male and female.
3. Meeting your partner on equal terms – anyone can get a partner, the trick is to keep them. To do this you must learn to meet your partner –and in fact all women - as a different but equal being. This means respecting your partner but respecting yourself also. In order to have a successful marriage and one that lasts, you will sometimes need to be able to debate fiercely and to do so in a safe and focused way so that problems get solved. In a modern marriage, soft men get left and bullies drive self-respecting women away. Today’s man has to learn to communicate.
4. Engaging actively with your kids – you can’t parent from behind a newspaper and you can’t leave it to your wife because a woman doesn’t have all the ingredients that it takes to role model a man to a child.
5. Learn to have real male friends – you will have to get emotional support from other men and find out how to complete your own initiation into manhood. All men need the help of other men to complete certain transitions, as well as just having a warm, relaxed life.
6. Find your heart in your work – You need to find work you believe in so that the time and energy you spend working is spent in a direction where your heart lies. It isn’t enough to just make a living. The real work of men is to support and protect life and build toward a better world. If you don’t love it, eventually it could slowly kill you.
7. Free your wild spirit – You need to find a spiritual basis for you inner life that is specifically masculine and based in nature, something that connects you with the earth.
Please note that these steps are not sequential, you can start with anyone of them depending on where you are in your life at this moment.
My suggestion is that step one is crucial step and it is one that you can begin working on as you address the other’s. For some ideas about how to begin this process you can go to the resources page.
Suggested reading: Emotional Signs of Father Hunger
Suggested reading: How the Masculine Grows by David Deida