December 28, 2012
Recently, I attended my weekly men’s stag meeting (an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting exclusively for men). I am being purposely cryptic about the time and day of the week to maintain anonymity.
Generally, I look forward to attending the meeting as it has for the most part enriched my sobriety.
Notwithstanding the fact that I identify as a homosexual male I realize that it is just one characteristic of who I am that defines me no more than my race or height.
Consequently, I started attending the men’s stag meeting so that I can become more comfortable with being a guy among other guys irrespective of sexual orientation, without any other agenda than to embrace being a self-actualized male.
With that said, it appears that, at times, particular within the confines of a room full of other guys, guys will be guys, i.e., vulgar, seemingly uncivilized, barbaric, pretentious, hyper-aggressive and so forth. In no way am I saying all men are vulgar or barbaric, etc.
Nevertheless, I have had first-hand experience with men that have such characteristics, and although I now realize that these type of men, nor how they once treated me did not cause me to drink alcohol or consume prescription pills, I now understand that these types of men trigger something within me.
Feelings of anger, frustration, and sadness often come up when I am around these men, as they make derogatory jokes, behave and say things insensitively, ostentatiously and unnecessarily brag, among other things.
On the other side of the coin, these same men are also wise, sensitive, courageous, open, honest, sincere and generous. I have witnessed that as well.
My part was that, particularly when I was younger, I looked at one aspect of a man, and I judged according to it, exclusively. I never saw pass the anger, yelling, or abuse that I experienced from men.
Today, I am learning to cultivate the good ground, to focus on the positive aspects of a particular guy.
For many men, it is hard to be a man….it’s challenging. With the title of “man” comes a lot of responsibility not to mention expectation to behave a certain way, and all the hyperbole passed down through history.
I am not saying that I condone negative behavior. However, I am saying that I am taking the focus off the negative, while extending more compassion, understanding, tolerance, empathy and forgiveness.
Therefore, God divorce me from recrimination, judgment, intolerance and blame. Instill me with love, tolerance, compassion, and empathy for my fellow man.
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Remember, life is difficult enough without adding active addiction, so live it clean and sober.