A Drop of the Ocean is a blog series from ∞actualinfinity of short posts that desire to inquire deeply into topics of business and life through the lens of love. The title of this series comes from a Sufi concept that conceives of the Divine as the Ocean of Love. They say that us humans, as individuated expressions of the Divine, are not only a drop of the ocean, but the whole ocean in one drop.
A Man’s Falling Apart
Ever feel like you’re “falling apart?”
I’ve certainly felt that way before – multiple times in my life.
It’s so painful and desperate, in my experience.
I was listening to a podcast from a man whom I deeply respect. He was talking about the topic of “falling apart.” He mentioned that as a husband and father, it would be unhealthy or unwise for him to “fall apart” in front of his family. Why? Because it would scare them. To help protect against this, he has a strong group of trusted men with whom he can “fall apart” with if needed. I feel so grateful that he has this circle of brothers with whom he can be fully transparent, and get the support he needs.
What are your thoughts about a father and husband “falling apart” in view of his family – whatever that family looks like?
Part of me really gets this. Most especially out of empathy, I understand how this could be a really scary for the whole family! And I think it’s super healthy for men to have support where emotions and vulnerability are safe and held with strength and gentleness.
And… I also wonder if not feeling free to “fall apart” with our family is an unfortunate symptom of dysfunctional societal conditioning? I don’t have children, so I’m not judging here, just exploring.
Exploring the What Ifs
What if we all truly understood that “falling apart” is a part of being a healthy whole human? Then, there would be no reason to be scared. “Falling apart” in one moment does not mean that we can’t be trusted. In fact, being able to “fall apart” and then come back together into your whole self might be a powerful demonstrations of safety, security, and strength.
Another thing I think about is: what happens to children when they fall apart? If they’ve never seen daddy fall apart, perhaps they’ll feel like something is wrong with them, and they’ll experience shame. Or would there be some kind of dissonance if mom and dad normalize that falling apart is okay, but then never lead by example? What happens when the kids get older and have their own family, and they’re struggling, and never remember seeing dad hitting his limits?
What if, instead, as fathers or mentors or leaders, we lived and taught our families and those we lead that it’s okay to “fall apart,” and that we know how to “fall apart” and then gather ourself back together – stronger, better, even more whole – with zero shame?
What if “falling apart” was a part of healthy masculinity (and femininity)?
What if we could teach each other to simply hold the heart of the one who is “falling apart” with radical support while they were in pieces?
What if we could stop telling stories about what “falling apart” meant about who we are, and just be with it?
What if we could cease believing that “falling apart” was somehow weak, wrong, or shameful?
What if we could view “falling apart” as a healthy part of the cycle of becoming more whole?
That’s the world I want to live in.
And I’m not so naive to believe that’s the world we live in right now, but it’s the world I want to help build.
No one wants to feel like they’re falling apart, of course. But, as long as we and those we love continue to sometimes feel like we are, let’s normalize “falling apart” so that it becomes a sacred moment of transformation and healing and relentless love for and between us and all those we care about.
Anyone else on board for building this world together?
more love, not less – all ways.℠ 💜