Recently, Elizabeth Peru posed a question to her FaceBook followers about why more men aren’t openly sharing their spiritual experiences online. She sifted through the many responses received and broke them down into 11 key areas. Thanks to Lyn for the send.
by Elizabeth Peru, April 23, 2021, elizabethperu.com
How Do Men Express Their Spirituality?
- Spirituality at a Younger Age – From responses received, those men who were exposed to a ‘spiritual lifestyle and concepts’ at a younger age, perhaps being encouraged by their family or living environment, seemed to have fewer problems with being open and even ‘outspoken’ in championing the spiritual way of life. They had fewer issues with others knowing that they openly embraced spirituality. This is encouraging for all of those mothers and fathers who are living conscious lives today and are doing their part to educate and raise their children as awake and aware humans for the future benefit of us all.
- Coming From a Religious Upbringing – Many of our respondents (now on a spiritual path) had been brought up with a religious slant, where the male was seen as the ‘leader’ and women took on a secondary role. This past conditioning has made them hesitant about sharing their spiritual experiences more widely with our female community for not wanting to come across as sounding too aggressive or overbearing. In this instance, men were showing their sensitivity and respect for females and also their uncertainty at how to express their spirituality so that it wouldn’t be taken ‘the wrong way.’ Many women responded deeply to this, encouraging our male respondents and feeling uplifted that so much care was being shown. It was a new way of seeing one another.
- Men Being Privately Spiritual – There were many men who openly embraced their spirituality (this wasn’t an issue with them). But, they did say that the reason they didn’t share more openly about who they are and what they love online (or in person) is because they saw their spiritual path as a private path. All that mattered was that they knew what they felt and experienced, and it wasn’t for others to consume. I found this very interesting, as it could be a reason for why so many men stay quiet about their spiritual leanings.
- Men Not Wanting to Be Seen as Egotistical – A common theme amongst our male respondents was that they were cautious of being seen as having a ‘big ego’ if they shared their spiritual experiences online. This was particularly evident between men. Many men said that they inherently saw women as having greater natural access to their intuition and spirituality than many men do. Therefore, if they were to share their experiences, it could seem that they were coming across as ‘knowing it all’ and possibly feel intimidating to women. Again, it was clear that men respected the feminine energy and were being cautious about not overstepping their mark and upsetting women. Not that they would, but this was the perception from the male standpoint. I feel that this shows that women can be more understanding, and that men may be holding back in expressing their truth in order to give us room to rightly shine with our own light.
- Men Pressuring Men – Many of our male respondents said that the pressure men felt from other men was huge, when, and if, they were to come out and admit that they were openly spiritual. It’s one of the key reasons many men kept their spirituality quiet and close to their chest. Many said that there’s an innate competitiveness between males that shamed them into feeling ‘less than’, and defensive for not sharing the mainstream ideal of what it is to be ‘masculine.’ And yet, many women (as well as myself) said that we find it extremely masculine when a man can openly share his feelings and express his spirituality. Men said that they have difficulty opening up when other men are around, as they tend to feel that they’ll be judged or put down. Whereas, they felt safer opening up in front of women who would be more accepting of them. Although there were some men who said women were judgemental, too, and had ideas that spiritual men can be ‘too soft.’ Of particular note amongst our male respondents is that it was common for men to assume that another man is ‘effeminate’ when he shows or shares his spiritual side: seeing spirituality as being ‘feminine’ rather than ‘masculine.’
- Spirituality Seen as ‘Not Masculine’ – Many of our male respondents agreed that men (and women) saw spirituality as a feminine quality and one that diminished their masculinity in some way. This applied added weight to the reason why men were reluctant to openly share their views and experiences in spiritual discussions, as they feared their gender would come into question. Indeed, it’s so important that we understand that being open to your spiritual truth has nothing to do with gender (that polarizes it way too much). Spirituality is our common source and isn’t gender based. Yes, we can express our spirituality through the lens of femininity and/or masculinity. Each of us has access to both of these energy flows. One is not better than the other. One is not more spiritual. Both combine to create the whole. Indeed, the more that we can see men openly sharing their spirituality while maintaining who they are, in their integrity and authenticity, the greater permission it gives for all men to do the same and for women to also follow suit.
- Blending Science and Spirituality – Another great point from our respondents was that some men view spirituality through the lens of science. They see science as the essential corridor through which the spiritual dimension can be quantified and touched, thereby making spirituality more accessible and acceptable to all. And thus, these men don’t tend to share their views from a spiritual ‘subjective and personal’ standpoint, but more from a structured, results and evidence based perspective.
- Male Spiritual Leaders Dominating – Many of the respondents (men and women alike) had a similar experience where men they had come across in spiritual groups or forums would try and take over or take on a leadership role not long after joining. In particular, this would happen with men who may have been ‘new’ to the spiritual path, but felt that they ‘knew everything’ after only a short time of being exposed to spiritual concepts and perspectives. This was off-putting to many men who’ve been genuinely on the path for many years and who’ve attended spiritual groups, classes and workshops in order to contribute, grow and learn. They were actually ‘embarrassed’ by some men trying to take over and dominate discussions and teachings so soon after joining a group. They said this is what put them off from sharing too much about their spiritual path publicly, as they didn’t want to be judged as one of ‘those domineering males’ who try to take over, particularly when there’s a predominantly female audience in attendance.
- Men Feeling Safer to Express in Groups – Many of the men who responded also said that they felt safer opening up in group situations that they were familiar with rather then doing so (perhaps in a more random way) online. Whereas, women found a common bond by sharing even with those they don’t even know. Men seemed to be much more cautious, preferring to keep quiet until they felt they were safe from judgment or recrimination.
- Spiritual Men and Ulterior Motives – A popular response was in the number of instances that men (and women) experienced men who were openly ‘spiritual’, or perhaps even ‘spiritual teachers’, abusing their positions of trust. Many said that men that they’ve come across in spiritual classes or retreats were only there to meet women who they found to be easy targets – ones looking for their soul mates, or spiritual men who understand them. Indeed, I’ve seen this happen with some men that I’ve met in spiritual groups, and I’ve heard of it happening (quite a lot) with women I’ve worked with in personal sessions. Many women begin a confusing relationship with their male spiritual teacher. I’ve always thought that men in particular need to have great integrity if they are to be a spiritual teacher, because with so many women in this field who are open, trusting and looking for men to relate to on a soulful basis, one must always be above reproach.
- Losing Touch with Friends When Coming Out as Spiritual – And finally, the other common theme amongst many male respondents was that they found the spiritual path a lonely one once their friends or colleagues knew about their spiritual path. Many felt sad or disappointed that when their friends and/or family knew more about who they are, that they no longer wanted to be around them. They slowly saw people from their past move away and lose touch. And on the flip side of this, some men said that they were actually grateful that they had been open and honest about who they are and what they follow, as it meant they no longer had to play a charade and associate with people they no longer resonated with. So, it can go both ways.