WHO am I?
I recognize that I am a woman writing about men.
I wouldn’t have thought so… But the need is just so huge to accompany men who become fathers. There are many offerings for women: Women’s circles, birth preparation, pregnancy gymnastic, hypnobirthing, breastfeeding groups, postnatal groups, Rebozo groups and `women-appropriate courses’. Which offers are available for men?
From boy to man
“Herbert Grönemeyer sang: “When is a man a man?” Yes, when did it become clear to you that you are not a boy anymore but transitioned into a man? Did you have a particular experience, event or occurrence that made you realize: Now I am a man?
Was there, perhaps on the part of your family of origin, a ritual for you when you realized your manhood, your virility, as in other countries? There it is customary for the young man to spend a few days and nights alone in the jungle, to jump into the depths using a rope or something similar.
Phase of transition
In sociology, this is called the “phase of transition”, an individual initiation. According to the Duden, this is the admission (regulated by certain customs) of a newcomer into a community of status or age, a secret society or the like. In particular, the initiation of young people into the circle of adults among primitive peoples is referred to as initiation (translated from:https://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/Initiation).
Are you connected with your manhood? ? If not, that’s normal, really; women sometimes feel like that too, that they don’t feel feminine at all. But start looking for where and how you can draw physical and psychological strength that will do you lasting good. Women who give birth to babies through the creative power of their uterus also go through an initiation, namely that of becoming a mother.
Maybe you are married and had a bachelor’s evening with your friends before the wedding? Is this the European or Western version of initiation? Do you notice that you did not celebrate anything like that on your way to become a father and do you feel the desire to catch up?
It is never too late for a ritual, for a special, individual action event. “Rituals are first and foremost actions, i.e. a form of conscious and purposeful action by humans on their environment” (translated from: Brosius, C., Ritual and Ritual Dynamics, 2013, p. 13).
Rituals are able to help over crises; they offer a stabilization of order for and in groups as well as for the individual person. They create community and promote a sense of community. Ritual practices promote the formation and shaping of individual identities.
A ritual that suits you, with or without guidance, can stimulate psychological, cognitive, emotional and sensual processes in you. Even with passive ritual participants, it is quite possible that deep psychological layers are activated (adapted from: Brosius, C., Ritual und Ritualdynamik, 2013, p. 13).
Among other things, the good thing about a ritual is that you think about what it means for you to be a man. In later times, perhaps as an old man, you can – with the life experience you have then – look back at what kind of ritual you chose then (i.e. NOW) and what you may have written down then (i.e. NOW).
Suggestion: Maybe you write a letter to the little boy you were and to the (young?) adult man you are now?
I would like to encourage you to do so. Have fun with it.