There’s an old Patty Loveless song with lyrics I relate to:
If you don’t count my reckless youth, I came straight to you.
And also: I saw a tender heart, and I came straight to you.
I was in my mid-twenties when I had the pleasure of working with a man called Graham. He was a Minister of Metaphysics. I taught workshops such as “Why is this happening to me again?” and “The Quest”. Together, we made a great team. I loved going to work. Graham was fun, he was passionate, and he was smart. He was also deeply empathetic.
One day Graham said to me “Veronika, you have to stop believing all men are bastards”.
His words hit me hard, but they were just the wake-up call I needed. I did have a strong belief system in place which meant that the guys who turned up in my life were not the sort of men who were good for me. Graham was one of the first men in my life I respected, and my working relationship with him was a turning point in how I saw men.
My experiences with men had me believing that they were generally unavailable in some form, or were just out for one thing.
Graham’s words had me doing some serious soul searching, and whatever it was that I excavated from deep within my murky subconscious clearly did the trick. Just a few weeks later, the man who would become my husband, walked into my life. And, thank the Goddesses, he’s still here.
In my youth, I was a magnet for ‘bad boys’. What was I looking for? Adventure? Fun? From my current vantage point, I simply didn’t know what I was looking for back then. I had a dad who worked overseas for the majority of my childhood, so I didn’t have him around as a role model (for better or worse). What I did have pervading my childhood were men who took advantage of me sexually. When your boundaries (physical and spiritual) are penetrated in such a way you lose any sense of self. Today I’m a different person. Abuse, of course, comes in different forms ~ it’s not just sexual. All those years of having men take advantage of me destroyed something within me. But I didn’t stay a victim. I empowered myself and grew into the woman I am today. The one my husband describes as ‘she doesn’t take sh** from anyone’. I think he means it as a compliment!
Spending the past twenty years with a man who respects me has been deeply healing. In the process, I have also found my feet and my inner power source. No man walks over me. And although I may not be physically strong like a man, I have a strength within that could make a grown man cry.
I have had the good fortune to meet some amazing, caring, talented, loving, kind and wonderful men over the years. To be honest, such men are in the minority. But who is to blame for this lack of decent men? Their mothers? Probably. The culture? Definitely. Women? I’m afraid so.
As long as women allow men to treat them appallingly (on any level), the longer those men have what they consider their god-given right to be disrespectful, thoughtless, uncaring, rude… and you can stick an assortment of other words here.
When I write my novels, I create men that I’d want to have in my life. And, here’s a secret: a lot of their characteristics are based on what I find admirable in my husband. I’m not prepared to share him with anyone, but I would love for women the world over to experience the joy, liberation, well-being and happiness that come from living with a good man. When we are in such a relationship, the depth of emotional intimacy is life-changing. Remember, intimacy = in to me see.
I dated about fifty guys before I met my husband. My daughters are horrified by this. Yeah, I’d like to erase them all from my history, too, but… what I did learn from those experiences is what I don’t want in a man. When Paul walked into my life, I recognised him immediately as someone who was kind, tender and had a good sense of humour. He was unlike any man I’d been out with before. No wonder we moved in together the next day after our first date. Sheesh, I wasn’t letting him go. I often joke that I didn’t marry him; I took him hostage!
So, when my single friends ask me ‘where are all the good men?’ I probably need to enlighten them and break through the myth that they’re already married.
Want a good man to turn up in your life? Then you need to honour yourself enough not to say ‘yes’ to the men who aren’t good for you. Ladies, you’re worth more than crumbs. Don’t accept them! Go for the best, most luscious, delicious cake you can find! If there isn’t one in sight, then bide your time and grow yourself into the most beautiful and amazing version of you. You are what you eat. Don’t eat the crumbs!