When we can’t feel, we have no surface area to be found by life. Meaning, fulfillment, purpose, and belonging are all worthy achievements that come from a healthy and capable relationship with our emotions. As men, every outlet we consume is about finding meaning, power, and purpose.
Feelings equal purpose.
I’ve done a lot of research on emotions and how they work within us. When we’re upset, how can we shift our relationship with that anger? What I’m constantly reminded of is that our emotions are almost like a dendritic neural synapse connector between our emotional body and the emotional body of the world. To find our purpose, meaning, and fulfillment, we pursue clues and avenues by following the emotion.
Behind negative emotion contains our ability to be with those feelings and master them—so that we can access the intelligence that’s wrapped inside. When we’re moving throughout the world, there’s a way in which we all sense that there’s a correct path for us—yet, we’re scared to go after it. We don’t want to experience this emotion because they seem to tell us that there’s something wrong—but that feeling is actually a doorway.
There are ways to get lost, but when done skillfully, the feelings themselves become sensate pads as we navigate through our life. The more we push feelings away or ignore them—the more we remove our own capacity for navigating life. What we leave on the table is a life that will bring us genuine purpose, meaning, fulfillment, and belonging. When our emotions expose themselves in unfamiliar ways, we lose sight of the path and begin to spiral.
The way out is through.
When we as men try to navigate our feelings, the first things we begin to contemplate are masculinity, purpose, and emotion. All three of these can be wrapped up when we understand that life is a path of belonging.
Belonging means being comfortable in our skin, environment, and among our peers. Emotions are like the oxygen in the jungle of our belonging. When we don’t know how to breathe in those emotions and just push them away, we don’t fit in our own ecosystem.
To find your purpose, learn to be with uncomfortable emotions.
It’s not about making a list of all the things you’re good at and figuring out what you offer the world—it’s about learning how to deal with the uncomfortable emotions.
Doing this will increase your surface area to feel—and be felt by life in a way that will have you more at home in your embodiment.