In Part 1 of The Hidden Secret For Becoming a Sexually Successful Male, I described the lessons I had learned in my life between the ages of 8 and 80 about becoming a sexually successful male. I said the secret was what I called Quiet Confidence or QC. In Part 2, I described the three interrelated reasons this secret has been hidden from us. In this article, I will help us understand the specific ways we can learn to develop Quiet Confidence.
Developing a practice to develop Quiet Confidence in our lives allows us to interact with the world in ways that bring about success in all areas of our lives, including the important part that involves sex, love, and forming and keeping healthy intimate relationships.
The key to developing Quiet Confidence (QC) begins with knowing who we are, accepting who we are, making decisions based on who we are, and taking actions in support of our highest, deepest, and best selves. Many would like a simple formula for achieving Quiet Confidence. But the truth is that this is a hero’s journey of a lifetime. No one would really want a quick and easy journey through life—born today, gone tomorrow—so we might as well buckle up and get ready for the ride of a lifetime. Fortunately, like all hero’s journeys there are guides along the way. Here are a few that I have found helpful in the eighty years I have been on my own journey.
1. Tuning Into Our Soul’s Calling
James Hillman, who died at age 85 in 2011, was a scholar, international lecturer, author of many books, and an expert in Jungian and archetypal psychology. He became well known in the “men’s movement” for his work with poet Robert Bly and mythologist, Michael Meade. They co-hosted many men’s gatherings which I attended over the years.
Among his many books, I particularly resonated with We’ve Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy and the World’s Getting Worse with Michael Ventura and The Soul’s Code: In Search of Character and Calling. Hillman begins The Soul’s Code with a number of “Epigraphs in Lieu of A Preface,” including these three that, for me, capture the essence of the book:
“When all the souls had chosen their lives, they went before Lachesis. And she sent with each as a guardian of his life and the fulfiller of his choice, the daimon that he had chosen, and this divinity led the soul first to Clotho, under her hand and her turning of the spindle to ratify the destiny of his lot and choice, and after contact with her, the daimon again led the soul to the spinning of Atropos to make the web of its destiny irreversible, and then without a backward look it passed beneath the throne of Necessity.”—Plato, Republic.
“The so-called traumatic experience is not an accident, but the opportunity for which the child has been patiently waiting…in order to find a necessity and direction for its existence, in order that its life may become a serious matter.” –W.H. Auden.
“In the final analysis, we count for something only because of the essential we embody, and if we do not embody that, life is wasted.”—C.G. Jung.
When I first read The Soul’s Code, it was a revelation. I felt like my own guardian, my unique daimon, had been awakened and all the pieces of my life began to fall into place. The trauma I experienced when my father took an overdose of sleeping pills and was committed to the state mental hospital began to make sense, as well as my calling to become a healer. I was able to write about the process in my book, My Distant Dad: Healing the Family Father Wound.
The two most important days of our lives are (1) The day we were born, and (2) The day we found out why. Embracing our soul’s calling helps us understand our birth and the early years of our lives as well as who we are what our true calling is meant to be.
2. Healing Our Family Father Wound
I had already done a lot of healing and embracing my own hero’s journey when I read Hillman’s book, but I realized I needed to address my own father wound as well as the father wound that both my father and mother experienced in their own families. In My Distant Dad, I followed Hillman’s lead and began with three quotes that helped summarize the essence of the book.
“A father may be physically present but absent in spirit. His absence may be literal through death, divorce, or dysfunction, but more often it is a symbolic absence through silence and the inability to transmit what he also may not have acquired.” –James Hollis
“Kids have a hole in their soul in the shape of their dad. And if a father is unwilling or unable to fill that role, it can leave a wound that is not easily healed.” –Roland Warren
“You will begin to forgive the world when you forgive your father.” –Tennessee Williams’ psychiatrist
The father wound is so pervasive most of us don’t even know it is there. We fail to recognize that our addictions, obsessive strivings for success, sexual conquests, and deeply felt insecurities are related to our unhealed father wound. In order to have Quiet Confidence we must confront, process, and heal the wound of our lost fathers and how it impacts our lives, often through many generations.
3. Embracing Our Male Generational Lineage
For many of us who know we grew up in a home with an absent father, we find it difficult to feel Quiet Confidence in ourselves as men. There were times that no matter how much I accomplished or how successful I became, deep inside I felt that there was something missing in me. It seemed that when I lost my father and later my stepfather, it meant there was some quality that only men can give and I didn’t get mine. As a result, I was forever cut off, lost, and would never feel like a real man.
What changed for me was getting in touch with my male lineage. I never had a strong connection with my grandparents or great grandparents, but I realized that they existed and I could reach out and feel their presence guiding me, just as I began to feel the presence of my daimon or guardian spirit. Further, not only could I feel the many generations of fathers, but I learned the maleness itself goes back through our evolutionary history 1 billion years through all the creatures that have lived.
I could receive strength, wisdom, and guidance as I pictured this group of male ancestors going back through time. Even when I could acknowledge and accept my own father wound, I could also draw on strength from my male ancestors to help me gain the Quiet Confidence I wasn’t able to get directly from my father.
4. Accepting Our Animal Maleness
Another source of confidence we can draw on comes from the recognition that we are part of the male animal kingdom. As I spent more time in nature and read more about what we can learn from animals, I could tune into the confidence and courage that all animals exhibit. I can’t imagine a bull elk, a wolf, or stallion, having insecurities about being a male or wondering if they are “man enough.” There is a poem by Carl Sandburg, called “Wilderness” that captures the power of our male animal nature which I enjoy reading and feeling my confidence grow as I feel the presence of those animal spirits in me:
by Carl Sandburg
There is a wolf in me . . . fangs pointed for tearing gashes . . . a red tongue for raw meat . . . and the hot lapping of blood—I keep this wolf because the wilderness gave it to me and the wilderness will not let it go.
There is a fox in me . . . a silver-gray fox . . . I sniff and guess . . . I pick things out of the wind and air . . . I nose in the dark night and take sleepers and eat them and hide the feathers . . . I circle and loop and double-cross.
There is a hog in me . . . a snout and a belly . . . a machinery for eating and grunting . . . a machinery for sleeping satisfied in the sun—I got this too from the wilderness and the wilderness will not let it go.
There is a fish in me . . . I know I came from salt-blue water-gates . . . I scurried with shoals of herring . . . I blew waterspouts with porpoises . . . before land was . . . before the water went down . . . before Noah . . . before the first chapter of Genesis.
There is a baboon in me . . . clambering-clawed . . . dog-faced . . . yawping a galoot’s hunger . . . hairy under the armpits . . . here are the hawk-eyed hankering men . . . here are the blonde and blue-eyed women . . . here they hide curled asleep waiting . . . ready to snarl and kill . . . ready to sing and give milk . . . waiting—I keep the baboon because the wilderness says so.
There is an eagle in me and a mockingbird . . . and the eagle flies among the Rocky Mountains of my dreams and fights among the Sierra crags of what I want . . . and the mockingbird warbles in the early forenoon before the dew is gone, warbles in the underbrush of my Chattanoogas of hope, gushes over the blue Ozark foothills of my wishes—And I got the eagle and the mockingbird from the wilderness.
O, I got a zoo, I got a menagerie, inside my ribs, under my bony head, under my red-valve heart—and I got something else: it is a man-child heart, a woman-child heart: it is a father and mother and lover: it came from God-Knows-Where: it is going to God-Knows-Where—For I am the keeper of the zoo: I say yes and no: I sing and kill and work: I am a pal of the world: I came from the wilderness.
We all can spend more time in nature and feel our connection to the wild.
In Part 4, I will tell you more about the secrets of sexual success I have learned between 8 and 80. If you found this article helpful, please share it with others. If you’d like to read more articles like these, please consider subscribing to my free newsletter
I am considering offering an on-line workshop for those who would like to learn more about “The Hidden Secret of Becoming a Sexually Successful Man.” If you are interested, please drop me an email to Jed@MenAlive.com and put “Sexual Success” in the subject line and I will send you more details (It will be open to both men and women).
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