I’m privileged to have lived in a community where warriors or morans as they are referred to, are considered to be a very important asset to the community. These people are taught to be tough and strong at the same time from a very young age. It all starts from the point they get circumcised. To the members of their community, they are considered to be very powerful people, and actually they are feared, not only by their siblings but also by others more especially the opposite gender regardless of their age in most cases.
From the day they get circumcised, they undergo a life-changing process that is meant to help them bridge from “boys to men.”
From history, most of them ended up being reliable assets to the Republic of Kenya during the colonial period. Actually some of them are still serving at Kenya navy. What a wonderful thing it was, not only to their community but also to the country at large.
Their growth and toughness were due to the standards put in place by society. Well, it all worked in favor of their communities. They would be involved in cattle rustling and if anyone dies in the process they were considered as warriors – of course, they were, what do you expect!
The Present Age
Over the years a lot has changed but some things still hold. One of them being the standards that have been set by society as far as men are concerned. The question is, ‘Are these standards worth it?’ Well, that is for you to ponder on.
In the present age, a lot is happening around that never used to exist before. With such happenings, many have admitted that it is hard being a man. In one way or there other, a man may find himself in some kind of pain. Pain that causes bleeding, sadness, and sorrow.
Soldiers have been trained to keep walking and keep fighting in spite of their wounds. Society has conditioned us to tough it out! In fact, for most men, it is manly to ignore the pain and fight until you drop. We seem to have this assumption in the ‘man world’ that whatever we do not give attention to will not harm us.
Signs Of A Wound In A Soldier
Generally, our society does not encourage men to express their feelings. Some times the behavior of someone could be an indication that something somewhere ain’t all good. Never be too quick to judge someone. You could be adding pepper to an existing wound.
There are some emotions that show up when a man has a wound that has not been fixed yet.
1. Easily Irritated. When a man is hurt he is likely to get upset by almost anything that tries to ‘interfere’ with their space. Even a dog that comes around wanting to play with them. Nothing seems to interest them at all. A slight provocation makes them burst out.
2. Withdrawal. When a man is hurt especially emotionally, they withdraw to be with themselves. Men opt to withdraw because society has taught them not to express their feelings but instead deal with them on their own.
3. Anger. Many men who have been hurt are angry at themselves, angry with life, angry at their employers, angry at their fathers or even family members, angry at work itself, angry at their friends, angry at their wives, and so on. Like, anger becomes part of their life.
4. Walls of Defense. Men with wounds set up walls of defense around themselves and roadblocks. This makes them unreachable to those around them. They will act fine even if they are not. They get philosophical and will wear the face of someone who is fine yet in the real sense they are not.
5. They stop communicating. Some men may shut down when their wounds refresh and this could lead to a subtle disconnection in communication. Well, they may not necessarily give the silent treatment, but instead, simply participate only in a necessary dialog. They will answer a question. They will say good morning. They just won’t start a conversation or elaborate. They will use one or two-word answers and often flat tones.
Other men may show the emotions of anxiety, depression, negative attitudes, impatience, insecurity, fear, and so on and so forth.
Not every identifying male will react the same way when wounded, but these are just some examples of the signs you will note.
How Men Cover Up Their Wounds
In an attempt to be seen strong and that nothing is wrong with their life, some men might do some stuff just to cover up the wounds in them.
1. They Become Passive. When a man adopts the passive way he simply acknowledges the wound within him but chooses to do nothing in order to fix it. Like a bird in a trap, they resign to reality and retreat to a passive life. They would rather keep the peace than ‘stir up the beehive.’ The energy to stand up and face the issue is long lost.
2. Live In Denial. A hurt man can live in a pretense of what happened to him. Like, they will live in denial of the painful thing that happened and is still burning in them. Yes, a man can take so much with them and still live as nothing happened but if not dealt with, they may end up falling off like the tower of Babel. A man of denial prefers to blame himself than to acknowledge that others hurt him.
3. They Become Aggressive. Some men will channel their frustrations, hurt, or wounds to some kind of behavior. It actually starts small and ends up being an addiction which may take much longer to heal.
It is so unfortunate that some of these hurting behaviors are not known to the men involved until they leave havoc to their loved ones.
If you happen to have such men in your cycle of life, be honest to them, and help them step up from that space of pain.
Stages Of Wound Healing
The task of rebuilding or reinventing yourself and your life feels overwhelming. It’s natural to have doubts – to wonder if emotional healing is really possible. Believe it or not, it is possible to heal from your wound.
Step 1: Acknowledgement.
The first thing is to admit to yourself that you were hurt. Well, it is not an easier thing but it is worth it.
However long the pain has lasted, acknowledging the factual existing of a pain depicts an act of courage. Yes, it feels uncomfortable remembering the details of your pain because it makes you feel sad, vengeful, and so on. But that is a good step in your journey to healing.
Tell the story to someone and allow the emotion flow from within. Of course, this will hear but a strong man you need to heal. Do it so that you get to heal. If possible let the person who hurt you know how you feeling. Do not keep the hurt withing yourself.
Step 2: Letting Go.
Once you acknowledge the existence of the pain and confessed your feelings, you need to let it go. To achieve this you need to forgive. C.S. Lewis once said. ‘Everybody says forgiveness is a lovely idea until we have someone to forgive.’ You need freedom from the past hurt hence the need for forgiveness.
Forgiveness does not imply that your weak neither does it imply that you are wrong. It simply means that you are ready to move on and let go of the difference between you are the other party. Forgiveness is a gift to yourself as far as peace is concerned.
You will still remember what happened but you will not be having negative emotions anymore. That is what healing brings about.
Step 3: Reconciliation.
Having forgiven the offender could be your dad, mom, spouse, ex-girlfriend, boss, friend, co-worker, or even a fellow believer in Church, there is a necessity for reconciliation. Some relationships are worth reviving while some are not. But all in all, Christ encourages us to allow Love to endure among us.
Do not allow your pride to overtake you, swallow it, take courage, and go for reconciliation. Things may not go well at first but keep on trying and finally, it shall be well.
To bury a hatchet and start afresh is a gift. The divine in humanity is seen in forgiveness and reconciliation.
Step 4: Let God.
It is super difficult to handle matters wounds without the dimension of faith. God gives us the power and courage to forgive and wisdom to seek reconciliation.
God Himself sent His only begotten son so we may be reconciled back to Him. Christ was the bridge to invite us back to a relationship full of Love and forgiveness.
He is a God that heals our wounds and comfort us. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalms 147:3)
Healing comes as we acknowledge our hurts, let them go through forgiveness, work for reconciliation where possible and let God do the work of healing in us.
Let go and let God!