If you want to change old patterns of thought and behavior—like choosing more consciously how The Man Rules fit into your life—you’re going to need to broaden your perspective and gain some personal insight. There’s no better way to do that than reading. I know, I know… No one has time for that these days. Not in a world of smart phones and Netflix. But, if you’re serious about developing a practice that will lead you toward a more conscious masculinity, I strongly encourage to add reading to your repertoire–even if it’s only a page or two a day.
Each month I’ll be sharing three books that have helped me along the way…
It took me a long time, but when I finally started to acknowledge and come to terms with the emotional trauma I experienced growing up, I started on a path to better relationships and a more fulfilling life. Dr. Claudia Black’s work has served as a guidepost for me throughout that process. Her latest book is a wonderful exploration of systemic impact trauma has on families and how it is unwittingly passed down from generation to generation.
If you’re a man who wants to better understand why you struggle in your own life and relationships and begin the process of real and lasting change, this book may be the roadmap you need.
It’s rare to find a book for men who act out aggressively and violently that offers a degree of compassion without abdicating personal responsibility. This is one of those rare books. The book helps men process and overcome their shame, understand the reasons for their behavior and own their responsibility in stopping the behavior. In particular, Randy Flood and his co-authors emphasize the need for men to develop their own core practice of empathy because you can’t continue abusive behavior and practice empathy at the same time.
This short cartoon by James Thurber, famed author, and contributor to The New Yorker, is a powerful parable about humankind’s inability to learn from its past mistakes. On the macro level, it’s about war; it was published in 1939, two months before WWII began. But, on a micro level, it’s about every person who’s at war with themselves. It reminds us to learn the necessary lessons to end the cycle of our own unnecessary suffering and self-destruction.
Do you have some favorite books that have changed the way you think about men and relationships? Email your recommendations to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet it @authordgriffin or reach out on Facebook.