Fred Boyles Guest Writer
After 27 years of being on a men’s team, having done most of the jobs, what have I learned?
For one, teams can be both heaven and hell.
Eighty to ninety percent of who am is hardwired. When I get upset with another man’s action, it always means there is some part of me that I have not accepted. Every man on my team has something to offer me by being in a relationship with him.
- My greatest gift to another man is to pay attention. Every man has his own bullshit meter. Giving a man attention by listening allows him to hear his “mind” talk and run it through his own bullshit meter. When men are given enough time to tell their story, they invariable say these words, “Everything I said was bullshit; here’s the truth.” When a man calls bullshit on himself he has distance between the voice speaking to him and his truer self as a listener. This can only happen when I am willing to pay attention long enough for him to discover the truth for himself. He will have to rediscover this truth multiple times on his timeline. I cannot force him to use that epiphany to permanently change.
- Every man hungers for a best friend. In today’s world we live complicated lives. We no longer are born and die within 50 miles, with the same friends doing the same few and simple things together. Today I have many friends who have a quality of a best friend. There is no one man with all the qualities of my best friend. To have friends I have to be one first. Being a good friend takes work. Time paying attention to his needs. I have to enjoy being with other men, and the only way I can do that is by working on accepting myself. “No matter what I’ve done or not done I am worthy to love myself.”
- Being on a team is a gathering of dangerous men, especially if they are committed to mirroring back to you the truth about you as they see you. As men tell me what they don’t trust about me, I must sit with that. Then what they do trust about me, and sit with that. My mind will judge what they say and the feelings and thoughts that pop into my consciousness. If I can be with those thoughts and feelings and not be upset, I am moving in a good direction of a full-feeling man. I’ve noticed that if I express anger and the hurt behind it, there is love for the man/men who helped me feel. And love for myself having the courage to go through those feelings. I notice that my team is my congregation and every once in awhile I am part of the ONE. When that happens I feel right with the universe. I am part of everything and everyone.
Literally my team has taken me to heaven. Of course I have to be willing to experience hell to get there.