The importance of surrender: An intimate story

posted by Eivind on January 18, 2014, at 6:08 pm

I’ve wanted to “be a man” for many years now. It was David Deida’s work that got me on this path. I was in a 10-day meditation retreat by myself in the woods when I first read The Way of the Superior Man and I had so many aha moments. That was many years ago.

And while I had breakthroughs from studying his work, I got pretty consistent feedback that I appeared rigid and contrived in my masculinity.

Just before Christmas, a lover told me in bed that she wanted to feel more of my warmth. I was taken by that, because I consider myself very warm. Why was it that she wanted more of it?

I realize now she wanted more of me, who I am deep down, beyond concepts and ideas. And for many years, being me was not my path. I would reject anything inside of me that could be interpreted as feminine or young. Vulnerability, strong feeling, a desire to be held; they were off the menu. I contracted in the face of needs and feelings like that.

As I sit here now, that seems to have dissolved more or less entirely. It’s been a journey and I’m glad I went on it. And while I currently have embraced more of what I would consider “feminine” inside of me, women feel closer to me than ever. They also perceive me as more masculine. Who would’ve thought? What’s that, Deida? Did I get you wrong back then?

In my experience, many Deida students become robotic, trying to effort their way to an idea of “3rd stage practice”. They approach it from a conceptual level and become contrived. But true masculinity is not something we do, it’s something we are. And it’s a product of having a relaxed relationship to our biology, not shaming any part of ourselves, and then just letting nature take care of the rest. A man who has embraced himself will be effortlessly masculine. There’s nothing to do. He just is.

Doing vs being masculinity

I experienced the truth of this in a visceral way recently. I met a beautiful woman early in 2013 and we developed a relationship over Facebook. I felt met by her in a way that I normally don’t by women and was eager to spend more time with her. For privacy reasons, I won’t at this point give any details or write about it in great length, but a day we spent together recently was a threshold experience for me.

She’d just given me an amazing round of body work and I felt open and surrendered. I said I wanted to be inside of her, but that I didn’t want to lift a muscle. She happily accepted the invitation, straddled me and started enjoying herself. I felt an enormous amount of sensation, my whole body was alive with her and I felt a total surrender to her and the bliss of the moment. “Doing masculinity” was far away.

But conditioning has a tendency to rear its head when we least expect it to, and all of a sudden a thought entered my mind that it was time for me to be more assertive. I was starting to “do masculinity”. I placed my hands on her hips and started contributing to the movement. And immediately my whole body started tensing up.

I was in such an open and surrendered space that I could pick up on subtleties. And from that level of awareness, I felt in a powerful way how much work it is to “try to be a man”. I let go of her, surrendered back to the moment. Some tension and a huge piece of learning remained.

In retrospect, I’ve thought much about this. It makes so much sense to me that my body is full of tension. I think I need to do things, create things, force things. I’m supposed to be a man, right? But in reality, there are better ways. It’s possible to be empowered and surrendered at the same time.

And that is my next evolving edge. It’s counter-intuitive to say the least. And it’s a theme that I will be focusing much of my writing on in 2014.

What are your experiences with surrender in the context of masculinity? I’d love to hear your experiences below.