It’s not just the women in my life who amaze me. The men in my life are some of the most inspiring people imaginable.
The men in my life are strong. Not in the “I have to be stronger than anything the universe throws at me” kind of way. These men are strong enough to grow and change. They’re strong enough to feel their emotions without fear of being overwhelmed. They’re strong enough to take care of themselves and the people in their lives. Some of them are strong like the sound of a trumpet on a quiet morning. Others are strong like a tree bowing to the storm. And their strength helps me step into my own power because they remind me what it really means to be strong.
The men in my life, no matter what their sexual orientation, honor and value amazing women. They celebrate their achievements and respect their worth. They offer their support when they can, and they do their best to not fall into the common trap of trying to rescue them. These men know how to appreciate women and feel no need to put them down or neg them in order to manipulate them, to boost their own egos, or to try to get laid.
The men in my life have learned how to be honest with each other. They can look each other in the eye when they talk, and they can share how they’re really doing without worrying about being mocked or shamed for not being a “real man.” These are men who can hug each other, who can support each other, who can inspire each other. These are men who can be relentlessly themselves with each other.
The men in my life know how to play. Some of them go out dancing in glitter and stretchy pants, or in drag, or in leather. Some of them create music or art or stories. Some of them play with their children without self-consciousness. They know that play and celebration are part of what makes us fully human and they know how to rock it.
The men in my life work hard. Whether it’s at their careers, caring for their families and communities, at their art, or at personal growth and development (and usually, several of these at the same time), they put their hearts and bodies into what they do. When we talk about our lives, they’re always up to something amazing. It might be on a grand scale or something much smaller, but no matter what, they’re making things happen.
If you’ve never surrounded yourself with vibrant, shining, smart, caring, strong, dedicated men, you are missing out. If you can challenge the men in your life to be the best that they can be instead of coddling them, if you refuse to settle for less than you deserve, you can inspire them in ways that neither you nor they can imagine and your lives will be immeasurably richer for it.
When I was younger, I couldn’t imagine having such wonderful men in my life. In some ways, they’re harder to find than strong, confident, shining women and it has definitely been worth the effort. We’ve helped each other become better than we even thought possible, and the more we do, the easier the work becomes.
I am truly fortunate to have had these men in my life. The more I have grown and learned to appreciate them, the more they have inspired me to become the best person I can. My world shines in the light of these incredible men. And that’s how I like it.