Tag Archives: growing up

How To Heal Your Mother Issues

Many men have mother issues that undermine our self-confidence by stopping us from really growing up and fulfilling our true potential. Unresolved mother issues cause us to remain emotionally and developmentally immature; a boy in a man's body. If we had a critical or controlling mother we're particularly prone to having mother issues. Add in a passive father and a lack of tribal structure with initiation rituals in modern society to force us from the cozy comfort of our mother's breast, and it's easy to slip from childhood into adulthood without ever actually growing up.

Unresolved mother issues can leave you stuck in a permanent state of adolescence.

Unresolved mother issues can leave you stuck in a permanent state of adolescence.

This leaves us forever unconsciously seeking comfort and reassurance from our mother, and our neediness ends up projected onto any woman we come across; which is a disaster for our relationships with women.

In normal human development, we individuate from our mothers during adolescence as we grow into being our own man with our own set of values different from hers. This is a time of rapid brain rewiring and emotional upheaval as we alternate between feeling emotionally connected with our mother, and separating from her to explore the world and our place in it.… Continue reading…

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The Hero's Journey From Frightened Boy To Confident Man

I've been fascinated lately to discover the work of Joseph Campbell and his book The Hero With A Thousand Faces. Campbell's life work involved analysing the myths, legends and stories of every nation, culture and religion to identify common themes and patterns between them. He found a striking commonality between the stories of different cultures and identified a pattern which seems etched in the human psyche that he called The Hero's Journey. Think of any major blockbuster movie or movie franchise like Lord Of The Rings or Star Wars, and you'll see elements of The Hero's Journey. I also see a remarkable parallel with the adventure that every man is called to in growing from a frightened boy into a confident man.

The hero of every man's story is ourselves. Not necessarily who we are now, or who we think we are; but our real self that only emerges as the journey progresses. It's the journey from boy to man, but also the journey of self-knowledge, stepping into our own power, being more authentic and ultimately being free. So here's how I see men growing up fitting into the framework that Campbell identifies for the every man hero:

The Hero's Journey is also a metaphor for growing from a boy into a man

The Hero's Journey

Initially, we live in the protected world of childhood.… Continue reading…

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How to Cut Emotional Ties with Controlling Parents

I recently got a question about how to cut emotional ties with a controlling parent in response to my article on How to Recover from a Controlling Mother. I know a lot of guys struggle with the conflict that happens when we begin to break free from our parents during adolescence, and this can keep us emasculated for years while we continue to seek a controlling parent's approval. It helps to know that the conflict that arises when we individuate is a perfectly normal process; albeit one that controlling parents often over-react to.

Mike writes:

I'm a 20 year old man.  I was adopted, my sister wasn't.  Yes, I've grown up with a controlling mother.  I have always been musically inclined and have had a passion for music.  After high school, I wanted to take a year or two off to pursue this and generally dick around with my friends while I was young, and maybe figure out what I wanted to do with my life.  I had left high school with scholarships and an 88 average.  3 years later, I'm a third year University student in History (I had to take something in University, forced into choosing a major, she's paying for it) I'm struggling to maintain a 75 in my University courses, I've been experimenting with drugs, and I have no clue with what I want to do. … Continue reading…

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