Why Men Always Let You Down


Monday, November 21st, 2016

You’ve either heard or even said one of these statements before:

Men don’t understand me

Why can’t men keep their word?

I can’t trust men, they always disappoint me

There are no good men in this city, or all the good ones are already taken

Men can’t handle me, I’m too much for them

Men are liars and cheaters

Here’s the hard truth, none of the above is true.

Seriously, not one bit of it.

If you’re in the thick of your wounding with men, that truth is going to be a hard pill to swallow, so let me explain.

Every single man you have issues with is a reflection of an unhealed part of yourself.

When, and only when, you are able to completely love and accept yourself will the men in your life be able to do the same.

I know it sounds trite, “people can only love you as much as you love yourself.”

However, it’s entirely true, and here’s how I know.

heather pennell

For a good chunk of my adult life I’ve dated men that were unable to embrace my truth.

My truth is not always soft, digestible, easy.  It comes with edge, fire, passion and sometimes can ‘cut like a knife.’

I dated these men because unconsciously I was magnetically attracted to what would further embed my wounding into my psyche. Men that would prove I was right in my belief that I was ‘too much for them.’  

My truth is a fierce kind of love that calls my partners forward to the highest versions of themselves, and that process comes with all kinds of discomfort. Most people don’t want you to see what about them isn’t ‘working’ in their lives or their relationships. My truth demands growth, and growth is something the ego more often than not rejects. So, you can probably imagine how this has not always gone well.

I’ve had men tell me I’m intimidating or that my interests intimidate them.

I’ve had men become self-deprecating in the presence of my successes.

I’ve had men turn away from me as soon as I showed them my beautifully chaotic feminine energy.

However, this has come to an end.

The men in my life are head over heels for my truth.

They yearn for my chaos, they move toward me when I embody the feminine.

They call my truth forth in me, express gratitude when I bring it to the table, and love me all the more for it.

Let me tell you, it’s not always easy.

Sometimes it’s damn scary.

I face the old story, the rejection, the abandonment, the feelings of never really being met.

But every time I face that fear and look it right in the eyes, and move towards the thing that scares me the most, the most magical thing occurs – the opposite of what I was afraid of.

You’re probably wondering, “well how the heck do I do this?”

How do I attract men that can actually handle me, love me, and be a stand for mutual growth in our relationship?

Here’s what you need to know:

You can’t heal your wounds surrounding men without men.

A lot of women turn to their girlfriends in times of struggle in their relationship and sometimes they cut men out of the equation entirely.

While I’m all for female support, and I personally co-lead a women’s circle for this reason, just doing healing with women and women alone is not going to solve the problem.

Cutting men down, cutting them out, and generally labeling them as the problem – IS THE PROBLEM.

Remember this, your relationships are a mirror of what is going on within YOU.

If a man says or ‘does’ something to you outside of abusive behavior, and you are triggered, this is one of the greatest opportunities for growth.

Imagine this, you want to learn how to figure skate, so you hire a coach to tell you how to do it.

After much conversation about what it’s going to feel like to be on the ice, to glide, to move, to jump, you feel ready to put on those skates and get out there.

But as soon as you hit the ice you fall flat on your face.

There’s no way to truly teach a person to skate without having them put on skates, get out on that ice and fall.

You’ve got to fall, get back up, and hold yourself up against the wall or have a friend hold your hands as you slowly become comfortable with what the ice feels like under your blades.

The same goes for building healthy relationships.

There’s no way to really ‘know’ how to ‘do it’ without actually trying it on.

Removing men from the equation of healing your relationships with them is never going to work.

You have to take the risk of showing them your heart without expectation.

Let me repeat that, without expectation.

In order to rewire the story in your brain that men can’t meet you, a new and different experience needs to occur. One that creates a ‘prediction error’ allowing a re-mapping of the beliefs you’re currently holding.

To create this re-mapping experience it’s necessary that you get a bit ‘messy.’

Seek out the men you trust, practice sharing your truth, tell them how you really feel, what you’re afraid of, what you wish for, and take ownership for where your life is currently at.

But in that process don’t forget to ask for what you want.

If you go into a conversation with a man and start sharing your heart with him, let him know what kind of support you’re looking for. Do you want him to just hold space and listen, or are you looking for feedback? Help him to help you by communicating clearly what you need and want as support.

At the end of the day, it’s necessary to go into those conversations without expectations, that way if the man you’re sharing with doesn’t respond the way you had hoped for, it won’t get you down.

This is because you’ve done what you’ve truly intended to do which is show up in your truth even when it scares the shit out of you.

Vulnerability breeds vulnerability, and vulnerability leads towards deeper connection.

The more you show up in this way, the more men and the universe at large will respond.

Your courage will be rewarded and the type of men that are designed for your healing will come into your life.

When you’ve reached a point in your growth where you are finally able to accept all that you are, the good, the bad, the wounded, the exalted, you will feel a sense of freedom like no other. When your love for yourself is so expansive that another’s love is just an addition, and you don’t need another’s love or approval, you free yourself from a self created bind that has kept love away from you for far too long.

Not every single person you are attracted to is right for you, or is meant to be in your life in a significant way.

Most of the time ‘the other’ is primarily there to be a teacher, to show us the parts of ourselves we have rejected and abandoned.  That’s why rejection and abandonment sting so much, because some part of you believes you deserve it, and thus it will forever be the story of your life until you see it for what it really is – an outdated story.

Amazing, heart-centered, powerhouse men are out there.

I’ve met them, only because I too have stepped into my own power, and thus powerful men are reflected back to me.  

Truth be told many of these men were already in my life, I just couldn’t ‘see’ them due to my own inability to show up fully and call forth the same kind of energy from them.

So, when you’re ready to dive off the deep end and get messy with men prepared to be surprised, delighted, and loved like never before.

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Heather Pennell

Heather Pennell is a Creative Director, Photographer and Brand Strategist residing in Vancouver, Canada.

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