In keeping with this month’s theme of honoring the men in our world who have had a positive influence in our lives, I see an opportunity for me to speak on the importance of acknowledgment as one of our essential tasks. Honoring a man has very little to do with fanning his ego or just trying to make him feel good. To “ honor” is to hold one in high esteem and respect and it is our privilege to bestow honor and acknowledgment on one who is worthy. In the men’s work that we do in MDI, there is a long-standing tradition of honoring men who have earned our praise and our respect, but it may have nothing to do with an accomplishment or a great achievement.
We honor men for more personal accomplishments. We might honor a man for the deep personal work he has demonstrated in his marriage or for stretching in a commitment he successfully committed. We acknowledge a man for his courage to speak up and assert himself with another man in the circle and for not “selling him out” or letting him off the hook for a commitment he may have failed to complete! We find ways to speak personally from our hearts whenever there is an opportunity to let another man know that we see him. We acknowledge him for asking us the tough questions and we thank him when he deeply touches us with his example of deep care.
I believe that acknowledgment is a tool to open the heart. It’s an opportunity to create intimacy and connection between men and to push through the myriad ways in which some men deflect our love and care. It seems as if there is a growing epidemic of men and women who are generous, loving and compassionate, but tend to struggle to receive all that same care, love and praise for themselves! The skill of acknowledging another builds all the muscles activated in opening our heart while softening any tightening resistance to intimacy and closeness. It’s an opportunity to speak from our heart and find the tender, quiet moments of humility within us so we may freely give away our love and respect to each other, with no agenda other than to care, deeply.
So, I want to take this opportunity to honor all the men of MDI who show up week after week, year after year, as well as the 14 men on my own Men’s Team for your dedication and commitment to living with excellence as mature masculine leaders, and thereby creating successful families, careers and communities. For all of you men who I have had the privilege of knowing so deeply for the past twenty years, I thank you and salute you for your work, your care and your often thankless dedication to mentoring other men how to continue our legacy.
You are all truly unconditionally committed to men winning.
Jamie Greene has been a psychotherapist and teacher for over 26 years and currently has a thriving business as a life coach in Los Angeles. In 2005, he was cast as a real-life marriage therapist in the FOX show “Marriage 911″ and helped to save a marriage on the rocks in just one week. Jamie was most recently featured as Therapist and Life Coach to Brad Womack on Season 15 of “The Bachelor” on ABC. Jamie has just launched his new “Off The Couch Program.” His website: www.jamiegreene.com.