Tag Archives: meaningful relationships

Help Me Find My Tears Before They Find Me

We’re surrounded by the mirrors of our past.

A few months ago I gazed diligently at the mirror that resembled a time before (hyper) masculinity. As I reluctantly brought my car to a stop allowing an illuminated train of school children to cross, I replaced my feeling of frustration with a mindful gaze. Within seconds I noticed 2 young boys holding hands, engrossed in conversation as they crossed. My brain twitched. It was as if a lost memory had returned to me, and in that precise moment I thought to myself,

“I remember holding my male friend’s hand like that.”

As I continued to be enthralled by their innocence it dawned on me – I was missing pieces of my emotions.

I am a 28 year old man and besides the traditional African beatings I experienced whilst growing up, I can count the number of times I have cried in my life which come down to the following life experiences:

  • When I left primary school
  • When I lost my first close friend to Leukaemia
  • When I opened up to my partner about my masturbation issues
  • In my dreams

Now in light of the above, there have been so many situations where I’ve wanted to EXPRESS what I was FEELING, but it was no easy task or better yet, it felt impossible to do so. The image below is the best way I can describe what it felt like:

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Translation: Your expression can’t start because OpennessVulnerbility.dll is missing from your emotion. Try relearning these emotions to fix this problem. 

I hope that example suffices because if not, you’ve probably had your emotional motherboard wiped clean!

I’m a Wellbeing Management Consultant. I work with many people to find their own missing pieces. If there’s something I’ve realised about my journey is that I’m not emotionally unstable but rather emotionally trapped!

Mothers raise boys into gentlemen but society emasculates the gentleman into a man thus, weakening his ability to form healthy and lasting attachments, but strengthening his desire for money, lust and the pursuit of all things in quantity.

Despite the overtly hyper-masculine appearance, no man is exempt from the feeling of loss. Whether that be the loss of a friend, family member or the loss of a well-kept secret.

Why must our tears find us before we find them?

Crying is like art – an epitome of expression. We cry during times of happiness as well as sadness. I believe one of the biggest lies men tell themselves is that they are not emotional while at the same time negatively impressing what they lack upon their female-counterpart.

“You’re too emotional”

When you wait for your tears to find you, it often happens when no one is around to support you or help you understand what you haven’t experienced for so long. Need I remind you of the suicide rate of males (UK)?

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The problem isn’t that we are struggling. The problem is that we haven’t been taught to express in a open and healthy way – we’re emotionally trapped.

I vaguely remember a time before my teens whereby I was experiencing an scathing internal pain (which I believe was more emotional than anything) which prevented me from sleeping or thinking straight. I recall desiring to feel something other than this pain, even if it meant taking a kitchen knife from downstairs and attempting to press it against different parts of my arm. Now I didn’t self-harm but my point is, I wanted to escape the pain or better yet, dis-ease, by any means necessary.

Go deeper…

Okay, so I recently expressed to my partner that I’ve had multiple dreams where I find myself crying. At times, I am consciously awake when I realise I’m making noises and immediately open my eyes to put an end to it. It’s weird but lately I’ve interpreted it as a desire to express what lies deep within me. My battles. My Secrets. My other half of ‘entirety’.

I’m blessed to be with such a strong-willed and supportive partner to whom I expressed my first secret with – Masturbation – but that’s an entirely different article.

A numb man will never understand
an emotional woman.
In turn, he’ll never understand the pain he inflicts upon her.

This is a journey about reclaiming my emotional self in it’s entirety. I want to find my tears before they find me.

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Her Beauty Not Her Looks

From the transitory stages of physical appearance to abstract modern art, beauty has become one of the most versatile nouns bestowed upon the human tongue. All become acquiescent in it’s presence, and that in itself is why the word takes precedence over all the dictionary has to offer.

It’s as though beauty exists an entity that illuminates the life force that resides in all things. But what happens when the beauty that exist within does not appear on the surface? Is it right brand someone ‘without beauty’ simply because we fail to see it?

My perception on beauty has evolved over the years on purpose. And through my journey on developing a deeper and more meaningful connection with beauty, I’ve learned that beauty is a rarity that is only witnessed by those who endeavour to find it. The learned ‘beauty’ associated with TV ads that plague most social media platforms is a social construct, hence why it has to be constructed in a sense, but our innate sense of beauty merely involves understanding (ourselves) and building meaningful attachments.

Upon reaching this realisation I decided to share my expression of beauty through my partner. The following series titled, #HerBeautyNotHerLooks is spread across 20 images that I captured of her – each one specifying 1 thing I find beautiful about her without referring to her physical appearance. This was not a matter of listing words but instead forming a deeper connection with what I appreciate about her and what resonates within myself. There’s a caption that follows each picture:

Day 1

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A little personal campaign I’m doing for the next 20 days just because I want to.

 

Day 2

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We all experience undesirable emotions that can often mould our personalities in undesirable ways. Honestly, letting go isn’t as straightforward as it sounds but once you acquire this power, every struggle will see an end.

 

Day 3

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She was about to give me a mouthful without realising that she’s actually feeding my soul.

 

Day 4

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Reflection is imperative. In doing so you can identify your growth. That allows you to trace your growth back to it’s roots. You see the lady in the image, I constantly find her at the root of many areas of my life. That alone is more than beauty.

 

Day 5

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This time last year. This time next year. And her capacity to love has only strengthened, no, it has only become more visible. It has always been there. Such a force exists in us all.

 

Day 6

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They say that if you can’t accept someone at their worst, you don’t deserve them at their best. Relationships are one of the best places to exercise that theory.
If all emotion makes us who we are, it would be unfair to favour one over the others. Therefore, no matter what the emotion, all I see beauty…

 

Day 7

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Day 7 already!? I find solace in silence.

 

Day 8

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Day 8 and this journey of reflection only grows more beautiful. Your strength and resilience can only be measured in times of struggle. To watch someone manoeuvre so diligently through the challenges life orchestrates, can only be described as a spectacle! This viewing never finished on a low.

 

Day 9

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If you can’t accept what they’ve been through, you can never appreciate who they are.
Love runs deep. And what you see before you is only the front cover of the rest of your life.
Will you find yourself disengaging as the story thickens, or will your journey into their past help form a more deeper attachment? My experience of course is the latter.

 

Day 10

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I could do this for well over 20 days but you see, beauty is far from one measurement based on one’s appearance. A few years back I began to question whether who I was calling beautiful was actually…beautiful. I was basically conditioning myself to see more in beauty than appearance. It was a worthwhile endeavour because the things most beautiful about my mother isn’t simply the way she looks. That’s the same mindset the allows me to see the hidden beauty in my partner.

 

Day 11

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I mean…you know that myth – the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, right? That is no Myth at all! The cooking is a metaphor and a literally statement (is there a name when it’s both?) Her cooking delicious but what she feeds my soul is divine!

 

Day 12

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We all know relationships aren’t all hearts and smiles but seldom do people want to talk and share these facets of their relationships. Perhaps they suffer from a fear of being judged so they choose to be judged on what they deem acceptable, such as photos of happy times, anniversary poses and gifts from their significant other…
So of course, it’s impossible to see beauty in what we do not familiarise oursleves with. This has either been you, will be you or maybe this is you right now. It’s okay. The strength to express is an art many of us are yet to master. Vulnerability remains a blank canvas. Your art set untouched.
Not us. We use tears and anger to paint a path of progress, with each stroke strengthing our right to love.

 

Day 13

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Just a week left and today we’re celebrating. This goes out to her sense of achievement. What’s great about her success in today’s exam is that I’ve had backdoor access. I’ve observed the struggle, strength and strategy that led to this moment. While others might acknowledge the success as an isolated outcome, I observed the way in which she manoeuvred her way into this position. And that in itself is beauty. Well deserved babe.

 

Day 14

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We already know nothing is this world is perfect. Especially us! We live life knowing it could be the last day and yet we still manage to carry on living. TRUMP WON THE ELECTION! But guess what? We will carry on living. We’ll carry on growing and if necessary, we will heal. And it’s that last part that is crucial in each of us. Healing is a special type of growth whereby the same area is reinforced – made to be stronger. When you truly heal, you’ll become immune to what broke you in the first place. Stronger forces deem you worthy. And by that I mean, more strength awaits you.
She is so beautiful when I hear stories of how she healed.

 

Day 15

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My skin and hair haven’t every been in a better state. We often look upon natural beauty with envious eyes believing that how are some people more blessed than others in said department. But I’ve observed what happens behind closed doors. Adopting her lifestyle was a choice I won’t regret hence why the beauty I see is really in the what she’s shown me.

 

Day 16

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I think one of the most underrated qualities in a relationship is presence. Think of everything else you’d consider fundamental in a relationship and then try to see if it could exist healthily without presence …exactly.

 

Day 17

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There’s something deeply intimate about watching someone without them knowing. And then some captures a picture of the moment. That’s a look that reminds me that love is always present.

 

Day 18

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You can’t see it, but this girl has a quality I think most girlfriends possess – the ability to become annoying at any given moment. But I can’t lie, it’s the cute type – still annoying, but what’s more annoying is that you can’t knock them for it. They’re like cats, and we have to feed their desire of attention otherwise we become the bad guys 😂  all she wanted was a hug…or to grab my… WHO KNOWS 😄

 

Day 19

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I think the picture speaks for itself. My love helping my love get ready for her graduation.

 

Day 20

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When all your hard work for @subjectivityuk‘s 3rd Year Anniversary is going better than expected and she’s the support nobody sees… 😉

If you would like to view the journey on istagram, it’s #HerBeautyNotHerLooks.

Everyone has a beauty worth searching for. It’s not longer enough to simply say everyone is beautiful in a bid to impress yours upon others. If you can’t find the beauty in someone else, then it is you who’s relationship without beauty is failing.