Author: Advisor to Men

IT WAS JUST PHYSICS (poem)

IT WAS JUST PHYSICS
I don’t know if I could have made my old relationship
work, even with what I know now. If I think I could,
it might be just simple hubris. And, another reason
to beat myself up, giving into shame, 
paralysing me with fear and loathing.

The other thing is accumulated pain,
over many years of troubled marriage
can put trust out of each other’s reach
for good. And, without trust,
you got nothing. Nothing.

I was so powerless, I could see it disappearing
before me, like sand through an hourglass.
Despite this, and my frequent protestations,
I was unable to reverse things, to turn the glass
sideways and stop the flow. It takes two.

While it is not for me to demand someone grows
at a pace I approve, on trust there’s no compromise.
That’s the litmus test. My two cents. More likely,
we were like two asteroids hurtling through space
on similar but slightly different trajectories.

It meant for a time we traveled side by side,
our energies cutting a double swath of light
through the dark of space and time, like
starship headlights perfectly aligned,
streaking across a darkened sky.

But, eventually, those differences in mass,
velocity and trajectory began to increase
the distance between us, try as we might
to maintain our intended cosmic track.
And, just as two orbiting bodies in space

each have their own path and destiny,
separation was inevitable, becoming
greater as time went by. Until
an irrefutable truth was revealed:
we are drifting further and further apart.

Following a universal plan we don’t need
to understand. In the end, we accept
the universe doesn’t make mistakes.
We always make the best decisions
for ourselves at any given time.

It wasn’t me or her at all.
It was just physics.

©CKWallace, 2019
advisortomen.com

JUST ONE THING

JUST ONE THING: re-establishing devotion
Sometimes, it gets to the point between a man and a woman where she feels she can no longer rely upon him, and this is a problem. The pact she makes with the universe to choose the right guy is put into doubt.

This is especially true when a woman has children. This is her Hero’s Journey. For a woman to go through childbirth and create life is a situation that can only be called heroic. How many men can even fathom this?

A century ago, her risks of dying during childbirth were great. My great-grandmother died at age 40 giving birth to twins. For three days the women of Truro, Nova Scotia took turns sopping up blood with towels in shifts until she died. It affected generations of Wallace men. Women still die giving birth today.

We should never take for granted their struggle. And, once the kids are born, there are countless sleepless nights and diapers and suckling and it just goes on for years! My boy was born with some challenges and I can say he would not be alive today at almost six years old without my woman. She says he’s her little bear, and for now, he’s all hers and she is his. There will be time to make him King later.

Outside of war, it can be argued her challenge is as great as any man’s, maybe far more. How many men cry when the baby comes out after witnessing the birth of a son or daughter like the modern practice calls for? I didn’t, but I would not look down on any man who did. Fact is, mothers are heroes.

And her journey, like all Hero’s Journey’s involves subjugating her own existence for the sake of another’s. It’s a sacrifice in service of a greater good. Sound familiar? All the heroes do this down through time. A man who uses his power in service of himself and others finds meaning and freedom. You and I need to seek ways to do this. She only must have a baby.

Women are way ahead of us gentleman, in the nurturance and giving departments, by far. While it’s true they are also sexual human beings, if there is a man-child in the house, expect the resentment to build over time. She needs a powerful man, not a boy as a partner. Nice guys are boys. |

I was one, admittedly, and I wish I knew then what I know now. It may not have changed anything, but it might also have made ALL the difference in the world. I regret I’ll never find out because we let trust go too far, irretrievably far.

I can tell you this go around I am all man and she is happy… and shows it. I have earned her loyalty.

How to recover? Assuming there has been no cheating, where trust is fundamentally broken on both sides, is there a way back? Maybe. All she wants is a powerful man. She takes a HUGE risk on whichever man she chooses because she has twenty good years of fertility, and she spends most of those years caring for little ones so can’t prepare for old age like a man can.

Think there is nothing to the feminist rant about these things? Think again.

I’ve had guys see success using this simple strategy I’m about to share with you to regain their wife’s trust. It doesn’t always work but it’s a wonderful exercise, nonetheless. Get this, I use this at home every so often to mid things up and everything is going great. And don’t tell me you don’t want my life because I assure you that you do (your version of it).

Here’s what I think is worth a shot:

Guys start and first ask their wives, “what’s one thing I can do for you today?” and then do it. Doesn’t matter how small a thing, just get it done. Fix a drawer that gets stuck, repair a light, tile that needs cementing, a bike tire that is flat, drop off a parcel or pick up dry cleaning, whatever it is just do it. Doesn’t matter if it takes until five minutes to midnight, get it done. Then say nothing. NOTHING. ZERO. FUCK ALL. NOT A WORD.

Next day, one more thing. ONE THING and NO expectations, NO looking for points, NO pat on the head, NO sniffing for pussy or angling for compliments. NOTHING. If she says thanks, it’s “your welcome” and NO smile, NO lingering eye contact, just GO about your business.

You ask: “what’s one thing I can do for you?” and add it into your schedule. Don’t bat an eye.

Next day, one more thing. Just one. And it’s not, “is there anything I can do for you today?” because that’s a trap. It’s always, “what’s one thing I can do for you today?” Said just like that. Matter of fact, no emotion. Like you are asking her to pass the salt. Write it in your book, phone or schedule and be on your way.

SO now, you do it. You take care of your job, your gym time, your children, and your whatever else responsibilities, AND this one thing for her. Just one thing. That’s it, that’s all—no more, no less.

DO this for as long as it takes. JUST DO IT. Stop trying to predict the future. Stop trying to weight the pros and cons. Stop trying to balance fairness and make it transactional. STOP ALL THAT.

Just do the one mother fucking thing every day and forget about it. FUHGETABOUTIT…

Do it for a month. Do it for two months. Do it for three months. If she hasn’t kicked your sorry ass out of the house and you are still there in month four, do it all that month too.

I’m not saying this will work for you. I’m saying I’ve seen it work for dozens of men in my time. Not all, but some of them probably bullshitted as to if they did it perfectly or consistently… or at all.

A man who uses his power in service of himself and others finds meaning and freedom.

What part of that don’t you understand? It’s about service. Living is giving.

And the guys who do this find that their women respond. Not right away, she’s too smart for that. She’s been gamed before by the universe, most notably when she chose you. She needs a track record of service like she has a track record of service to her children. You are not one of her children, and that was the problem.

No woman can love a man unconditionally, and it’s best to disabuse yourself of this expectation for good. Oh, maybe she can muster it for a short time, but don’t get sucked in by this, not one bit. Your mother didn’t (bless her heart) love you unconditionally and neither can your woman.

We band together as man and woman for mutual need, to shore up each others’ weaknesses while benefiting from each other’s strengths. It’s about surviving against a harsh world. No one has time for white flags.

One of your strengths is supposed to be your power.  Her archetype for love is the powerful father. It’s a gal’s first love and she will never lose this need for the masculine’s powerful love. You were gamed by your mother’s love and it left you searching for her in your partner. My missus has some of my mother’s qualities, but can she love me like my mother could? Ha! Not my missus. Can’t happen. In fact, she loves me just as my mother did, conditionally disguised as unconditional but clearly conditional.

Don’t be fool.  The boy must leave his mother to become a man.

In time, the men who have consistently applied this strategy have reported good results. Some guys save their marriages. It’s because as they get lost in the daily habit of doing just that one thing for their partner, the joy of service to each other returns to the pair bond. That’s where the sacrifice lies. Would I die to save my woman from harm? Of course, I would, I’d easily defend her to the death!

Then, why wouldn’t I do one thing for her? Each day.

Sometimes a few days or weeks or months go by before she starts to respond. “Here, I sewed that shirt you ripped last year,” she says as she hands you a bundle of material and turns and walks away. That’s a test, a shit test if you like. Or maybe it’s something else, but her nature, her very nature is to nurture, for God’s sake. You think if you give her an opportunity to do what she is best at it won’t surface? Chances are it will.

Don’t count on it. If her one thing is “sign these divorce papers giving me the house,” see a lawyer. Don’t be stupid. Don’t jump off a bridge because someone told you to. You may have heard your mother tell you that.

But if you can re-establish service, you often can re-establish why you got together in the first place.

Almost 70% of things in a marriage are not resolvable. My wife hides shit. Changes where she puts stuff. Opens something and leaves everything right where she opened it. Used to drive me nuts. She couldn’t take a picture of me and the kids worth saving. And, the house was not up to my standards. It’s not that I’m Felix from the Odd Couple, but I like stuff to go where it’s supposed to go, so I can find it again.

So, I bought her an expensive camera for Christmas one year. She’s frugal. What does she do? She opens a photography business and learns to take pictures. We live on two hundred acres and soon she has people over posing in front of our artisan well, the apple blossoms in spring, the old rail fences, etc. Her goal was to pay for the camera. She’s been at it for three years now and has added to her income every season. Camera has paid for itself twenty times over, and it was a gift! She takes great pictures of me and the kids now. She’s a whiz at photoshop.

Once the kids were in school, she searched for something she could do, yet still be able to cancel at any time. She tried having daycare kids over last summer but didn’t like it. One kid was a handful and despite my help at times when he acted up, she lost her taste for it.

She starts cleaning houses for $25-30 bucks an hour. I shut up, remembering what happened with the camera. Holy shit, wouldn’t you know it, not only was her calendar full of happy customers, it shows at home where she elevated her game and lowered her tolerance by several degrees. I just stay out of her way and never complain about her approach.

She still hides my shit though. “You can’t always get what you want,” goes the Rolling Stone’s song, “but if you try sometimes, you will find, you get what you need.” Indeed.

We train each other. And the magic is in having a little more awe for our partners. Awe, that sense of being small in front of the stars, or the majesty of a mountain, the distance of the sea. A man with a loyal woman by his side has the wind at his back… but must stay out in front of her to feel it. Holding space in your heart for awe when it comes to your partner is part of what makes it all worthwhile.

Just do one thing, selflessly. Women command, men lead. Do it because you can. Not because you have to, not for any reason other than you are a man and you can do this one thing every day for this woman.

It’s what men do.

Stay powerful, never give up
cw

CHRIS WALLACE
Advisor to Men

©CKWallace July, 2019 all rights reserved
Book time with the Advisor to Men here

ASSHOLE: accepting criticism


  1. So, I once knew a guy, we’ll call him Bill, and as he’s growing up, all kinds of shit goes on leaving him living with shame. Dad hits him often, told him how “disappointed”  he was with him almost every day. Seems like the only time he got attention from his mom was when things went wrong.  Only, he doesn’t know this lousy feeling inside of him is shame because he has internalized things so deeply, he thinks it must be the same for everyone.

It’s funny how that works, but how could it not? “I’m a human, you’re a human, we must be the same,” is a fair conclusion to make. “If I feel this then you must feel this and so this is how we all feel,”  is how a kid might think under the circumstances.

He doesn’t pay much attention to life and how it seems kind of shitty. There always seems to be someone telling him no, or some good reason he can’t get what he wants, usually because he comes up short somehow. It’s him, he knows it, and he gets the message loud and clear, over and over. You are not enough, it says.

This pisses him off. He sees others who do seem to get the things he wants and wonders if there is something  to gaming the system. He starts to compare more and more, and he concludes there is no justice between men. It`s all who you know in life, what your connections are, luck of your family.

In fact, his sense of injustice is so great, as time goes by and he develops into a teenager, he begins to fight back. Only now, his body and mind are greater allies. He has muscles and his brain can spot the bullshit faster than ever. When the inevitable criticisms come his way, he doesn’t take it anymore.


The first time was when someone called him an asshole. It was high school by the smoking pit with no teachers around. Boom ba-ding bing bang! He punched the shit out of that person and felt great about it.

Soon, he got a reputation. No one talked to him that way and got away with it. He had no real friends and the interactions he had with others were mostly utilitarian. He could sense people were a bit afraid of him, but he thought that respect was better than being mistreated. His isolation was worth it.

Soon enough, Bill was out in the workforce and he had to negotiate a new set of circumstances. He often found himself drinking with others on Friday after payday and felt great laughing and joking with people while having a few. He managed to find a girlfriend this way. That relationship was difficult and his anger a problem between them. But they loved to drink and lose it at the bar.

Until, inevitably, someone there would call him an asshole. Boom ba-ding bing bang! Off he’d go and punch someone out. Soon, the cops would come, he’d be charged with assault, taken away in cuffs.

At work, he’d be criticized for his performance and argue with his foreman about every little thing he was supposedly doing wrong. He thought they demanded way too much and just didn’t like him. The foreman was the asshole, he thought. Until, one day they gave him his pay and told him not to come back.

At the bar that night, a repeat of what happened months before at a different bar. A fight broke out, it was the asshole thing again. Boom ba-ding bing bam! The cops come, he’s charged again, and this time, his girlfriend breaks up with him. He thinks it’s unbelievable at how she is taking the other person’s side!

He lives like this through most of his twenties and now he’s thirty. He moves cities and jobs often. He’s single, drives an old car, has had a succession of lousy jobs, and a series of girlfriends but none who will stick around. He hangs around low-quality people who are not great company but who don’t give him a hard time.

One day, his father dies. He was never in good with the old man, who he thought was a prick. His grandfather was an angry man and so his father ruled the house with an iron fist the same way. His ma was his one refuge the odd time but even she wouldn’t stand up for him when the old man was in a rage. It was just how it was done.

He was ambivalent about his father’s death. A part of him didn’t give a shit, and why should he? He did notice his dad never amounted to much. Worked at the same garage his whole life, had few friends, and drank every weekend. In fact, it was his liver which took him in the end.

Maybe there was more to life, he thought for the first time ever. He saw that he wasn’t going anywhere with his own life either. He didn’t own a house, had no family, had loved and lost some decent women, and would only work at a job so long before the nitpicking by management became too much.

My father was an asshole and I’ve grown up to be just like him, he thought to himself, never admitting it to anyone else. It was his worse fear confirmed. He sat with that reality and felt the weight of its burden.

At the bar after the funeral, he stayed long into the night. He had a lot on his mind and was tired. He didn’t drink that much but hung around talking to Marty, the bartender. They had a good relationship. Marty seem to get him and as he sat barely sipping his beers, Marty listened in between serving others.

Sure enough, a couple of guys down at the other end of the bar got a little rowdy. One of them knocked over glass and it shattered on the floor. Startled, Bill could feel his blood begin to boil but checked himself. Marty will handle it, he thought.

A while later, he noticed one of them eyeing him a bit. He’d seen this look before and knew that it was the beginnings of a challenge. He was being tested, and there might be trouble. He saw the routine play out in his mind: the fight, the cops, the screaming people, the weekend in prison, the appearance before a judge, to maybe losing his job for not showing up on Monday. His car would be impounded, and shit, he might even get barred from his favourite watering hole. Marty sensed it too.

But no, the two rowdies weren’t going to take his problems into account and emboldened by it being two of them and one of him, they played their dangerous game. One of the two of them tries to start a conversation, a half-ass effort he wanted no part of.

Our man tells him he’s not interested in talking and they should go about their fun. “Too good for us,” one of them says. Marty intervenes, and out of the side of his mouth, he quietly explains the funeral, cautioning them to leave things alone. Marty is good like that.

“Oh, sorry about your father dude,” says one of them loudly, insincerely. “No reason to be an asshole.”

And, Bill feels his blood pressure rise. He can sense that this is beyond the pale. What an outrage it is someone would say something like that on the day a guy buries his father! This is just too much.

He takes a deep breath. And, from out of nowhere, the pressure releases and he answered, “Sure buddy, there are times where I probably am an asshole.”

What? How the heck did that come out? Did I just say that? he thought to himself. He was tired and drained and really didn’t want to have to take on the two of them and piss Marty off, so he let it stand.

He hadn’t agreed that he was an asshole in that moment, only with the possibility. There’s a big difference. Surely, everyone’s an asshole at some point whether they realize it or not. He’d lived long enough to know that for sure. Like these two fucks over there sitting at the end of the bar, for example.

There was no doubt in his mind, looking back over his history, that he had indeed been an asshole at other times. These flashed before him in an instant—old bosses and girlfriends, times at school—so that when he said it, he meant it. It was convincing because it was true. He rarely intended to be an asshole but had to admit, it happens.

It was as if at that very moment he finally allowed himself to be human. His walls came down suddenly, and he was no longer a guy who had to keep up an image as a hard ass. He was just a faulted human being like everyone else. He could, indeed, be an asshole, just as the other fella could too.

And in his confusion, Bill could feel relief. As soon as he said it, he lost some of his anger.

The tension which had been building seemed to dissipate into thin air. He no longer had the usual imagined scenario playing his mind, the one where a brawl ensues and mayhem rules. The foregone conclusion carried by the power of the asshole word, was gone. Asshole as an insult held no power over him. The trigger was neutralized. These two assholes would have to find some other asshole to be assholes with.

Sure enough, that seemed to satisfy Rowdy Boy at the end of the bar too. In fact, he answered, “that’s true, we can all be assholes at times, sorry again for your loss,” as he went back to his friend and his laughter, moving to a table over by the dart boards.

Marty looked at our man incredulously and smiled. “What the heck man, way to go. I didn’t think you had it in you, but you handled that like a pro. Next beer is on me, Bill.” But, he didn’t want to drink anymore, so declined the beer and left soon after.

In the weeks and months to come, he tried his strategy over and over with everyone he could. When the boss at work gave him feedback, he took it and agreed that sometimes he came up short. “Well, I suppose that’s possible,” he’d say, realizing the criticism was over THE WORK  and NOT him personally. Boy, that was a revelation, one that allowed him to sidestep the painful parts of learning while getting better at his job.

The new girl he’d begun dating sometimes complained to him about something or rather and his new tact was to agree with the possibility she was right, without agreeing completely. “You know darlin’,” he’d say, “you might have a point, that’s possible.” Slowly but surely, she felt heard and they managed to argue less and less.

Best of all, he’d been in at least three other situations where someone had directly insulted him, once using the actual asshole word, and he practiced agreeing with the possibility. It was the greatest thing ever, because it gave him time. He used that time to get out of the situation and consider it more carefully later.

And, the truth was he got a bit of a chuckle out of how it affected others, at how it deflated their attack. He felt like it was a perfect defense, like the boxer who leans on the ropes, gloves by his ears and elbows pointed out, jaw completely protected from any attempt at a knockout. When you sort of agree with someone, they’ve got nothing.

If someone told him he drove like an asshole, he could say, “Yes, it’s true, sometimes I’ve been known to drive a little fast,” and come back to the scene in his mind later.  Maybe I was driving too fast, maybe my passenger was scared, he’d think.  It was about the driving more than it was about me, he’d say to himself, differentiating between genuine criticism and beating himself up as a lifelong habit. That was important.

He no longer accepted someone’s disapproval as if it confirmed his low worth, instead searching for the truth in their words. Suddenly, just agreeing with the possibility allowed Bill to review and contemplate and become aware. And this, introduced the possibility of change. Bill began to see most his problems were his own, just repetitions of the messages of his youth.

Over time, he realized he’d been fighting his father all this time. It was his father’s criticism which hurt him the most and which made him feel so ashamed, so ashamed to disappoint him. When people criticized him, he was that little boy again, and he felt their disapproval each time like he was losing his father’s love once more.

And, he knew his father was unfair and he was just a kid and now, he was an adult and his father was gone. He saw his father in a whole new light and realized his grandfather had acted harshly with his father and so his father had acted that way with him. “It was all he knew,” Bill told his girlfriend; he could see it so clearly.

One day, a few years later, once he’d married his gal and she gave him a beautiful baby boy who played and laughed and called him “papa” and followed him everywhere when he was home, he got mad at the kid.

In that moment, he saw his grandfather and his father and him and his son as a continuous line of faulted men who were handing down their pain to the next generation. It dawned on him with all weight of the ages bearing down upon his soul, and he screamed inside against this injustice squashing his spirit.

He sat sheepishly on his front step. The sun was shining, kids were playing down the street, a slight breeze rustled in the trees as the end of summer neared. It was the house he’d grown up in. Bill and his wife had moved in with ma to look after her in her final years. Here he was, on the same steps he played on as a kid, looking over the same driveway where his father often yelled at him.

Behind him lay the rooms of the house where he’d hidden when his dad was mad. These streets, these trees and fences, and beyond, these fields, were a road map of his existence. He could see the generations now, the longer history of his family line down through the men who had preceded him.

As he sat there, an epiphany came to him all in a rush and he stood up and declared, “The pain stops here,” vowing to do everything he could to end this line of harsh denunciation. He vowed to encourage his son, and to learn to handle his own pain without transferring it forward to an innocent. No matter how bad he felt, he couldn’t get past that it’s not the kid, it’s him. And, if that were true, it was probably true for most other situations too. If I’m pissed off, Bill said to himself, it’s MY problem.

Thereafter, he would sense these feelings and give them their due. He’d allow himself the space to acknowledge the shame he carried. Now that he had it identified and labeled, he was set on getting good at recognizing this shame, and letting it go. He understood his reactions were a way to compensate for feeling lousy inside. It was all held in him, in his belly, and it was up to him to let it out.

When he felt triggered by these old shameful feelings, he began to take a deep breath into his stomach, so it swelled up like a balloon and then, let that shame he carried there empty completely as he slowly exhaled fully. This gave him just a moment to compose himself and seemed to reset him, allowing his best side to surface.

And, the more he did this, the easier it got. It was as if he was parenting himself, while parenting his son. Instead of denying his pain, he sometimes had to say he was sorry when he let it get the best of him. They’d all learn together he figured, and he could see why it was so necessary to lead his family away from his father’s legacy and into one of his own choosing. If all he did was break the chain of pain by not transferring it to this little boy, that would already be enough.

He wanted love for himself, his wife and ma, and especially his son. By having more compassion for himself, he had more tolerance and understanding for others.  That’s where it all started, with him. With possibilities.

That little boy in the house deserved better. The little boy inside of him did too

Stay powerful, never give up
cw

Chris Wallace
Advisor to Men
©July, 2019 all rights reserved.

CLOTHES MAKE THE MAN

My totem animal is the rooster. The Celtic and Norse apparently considered the animal a creature of the underworld, serving as a messenger of the hereafter, screeching out warnings of danger and calling out to the fallen souls on the battlefield the following morning after a fight. Its attributes are many and among them are pride, honesty, courage, vigilance, arrogance, strength, watchfulness and flamboyance.

It’s that last one that piques my interest in this story. I chose the rooster as my totem when it came time to set the differences accorded me by the Chief Herald of Canada when my father was awarded his coat of arms. The shield center of his arms is gold, and each of his nine kids have a symbol in its place, as differences.

It was not until my fifties that I made this choice, but it came to me immediately. My father had kicked me out of the home when I was fifteen as he descended into madness, saying, “there is room for only one rooster under a roof and since this is my house, you’ll have to go.”

But I’d also learned over the years to be a pretty snappy dresser. My dad was too, and in later years called me “the dude,” when I visited wearing something cool. His closet was like my own, shirts lined up from end to end. I’ve counted a hundred shirts alone hanging up in mine, his was the same. I got rid of some lately, to make room for missus who cannot share a closet with me. I tell her it’s because I’ve been around longer. I hoard, she sheds.

Dad and I often talked about the simple pleasure of looking good. I gave him a fleece vest with a Wallace badge on it and it can be found folded over his chair in his room of the locked ward at the old age home he was forced into because of dementia. Even with his mind wandering, clothes are still important to him.

In the 1970s, I was doing time for one thing or another. Oh yeah, I’d shot a guy, in a strip joint of all places. Then, there was a prison strike and the army had to come in to man the correctional posts. Anyone with an application to get out on day parole saw it granted to help clear the place out.

A Sally Ann house on Slater Street in Ottawa took me in as long as I had work. My girlfriend had finagled her boss at a men’s clothing store on Rideau Street to give me a job. Mr Moustache was the name of the place and there, thanks to her, I learned how to dress. And, soon after, sold heroin out of the upstairs back room every day in between serving customers. Eventually, I gave up the heroin but never lost the touch when it came to dressing well.

Many years later, when I was about 40, I learned to service my own cars. Bought a mechanic’s tool set which I still have, the top one from Sears Craftsman. It was 2500 pieces or something, plus the cabinet. Or maybe it’s 670 pieces and cost 2500 hundred, I can’t remember.

Me and two other guys rented a shop in Surrey BC and fixed our cars and vans and boats, and I learned to weld. We were all growing pot at the time, and as a builder, I soon had five houses and a warehouse on the go. It meant I was a glorified maintenance man, carrying tools wherever I went from one job to another.

I noticed when I stopped for gas and engaged in my usual banter with the gal at the cash, I didn’t get much attention in return. When I went into the Home Depot or a restaurant, same thing. People stopped smiling as much, didn’t laugh at my jokes, and generally engaged with me as little as possible. The usual friendliness and easy-going nature of my interactions with people disappeared. It was all business, no contact.

My old shame feelings rose to the surface. I had this idea I was a piece of shit since my early days out  on the street and had carried it forward into my middle age. The shame I’d internalized as a little boy under my parents’ roof, with its abandonment threats and isolation and violence, was still there lurking, influencing my life beneath awareness.

Over the years, I couldn’t work for anyone else lest the criticism necessary to learn crush me. I remember that defensiveness clearly in my early years. And, the pain I felt inside stayed hot just beneath the surface of my emotions and could boil over if I was not careful. As a younger man, it did, and I earned a rep as a hothead. Later that reputation was focused further as a bad ass gangster type. Unbeknownst to me, I was using fear as a shield.

Later I went to college and university and worked on my issues, seeking to understand the psychology behind my past. I’d done a pile of work on myself since I’d decided to stand up and be a father to my little boy, but the rejection I felt when I dressed down and went about my day on the west coast in the 1990s signaled I had more to do.

I experimented and would see how people treated me when I dressed well versus when I dressed in work clothes. It was all too predictable. My sensitivity, driven by my internal shame, meant I could feel the ostracism and it hurt.

At one point, I read about how researchers had conducted a study by having a confederate stand on a busy street during the morning rush hour and stare across the street at the opposite building, as if spotting something of interest. The insider would croon his neck and shield his eyes from the morning light all the while staring at some unknown thing a few floors up and opposite his sidewalk.

Others would soon gather around and look to see what the confederate was seeing, curiously following and mimicking his lead. Some proclaimed they could see what the researcher could see, pointing out a spot at a window, a certain number of floors up and at just a point.

The game was to see if what the confederate wore attracted more lookers. Sure enough, the better dressed the more lookers stopped and stared along. The best dress of them all was a man in a three-piece suit and tie.

You can imagine what authority is bestowed on someone by their dress. Think of a judge’s robes, or the white lab coat worn by your doctor. Clothing make the man because it’s part of the package of social proofs we use to meet our expectations. Imagine how off it would be to go do Friday confession to a priest without his white collar. A man in a suit and tie is presumed to be of some authority, especially in context where authority can influence.

Whenever you meet someone, you are being judged. We live emotionally and rationalize things afterwards. Our feelings about something happen a split second, faster than we can think, and for good reason. That first emotional impression sets and seeds what follows. Once someone sees you, their impression is instantaneously formed, and you are then either overcoming a prejudice or confirming a bias. Which would you rather be doing? What’s to your advantage?

The clothes we wear, and our personal sense of style is something a man ought to spend a little time thinking about. It’s worthwhile knowing what the essentials of a gentleman’s wardrobe ought to be, given his station in life and activities, and the enjoyment he derives from how he presents in public.

In Canada, where we have four seasons, closets can become unruly. I once had counted 150 t-shirts I’d accumulated when I kept places in two or three cities.

Three suits will do the trick for most people. One black or dark charcoal, one navy blue, and one gray. One thinly patterned light summer sport jacket and one navy sport jacket you can wear with jeans is a good mix. You can’t beat a white shirt with a tie. Be careful of too much patterning in your shirts, those are better worn casually with jeans. Remember what is in style now might be long gone in a few years so unless you plan on replacing your clothing regularly (most guys don’t), opt for classics.  A pair each of brown and black brogues. Match your belts to your shoes.

Sandals for summer, and a lighter shoe optionally. A couple or three good sweaters, the kind you can wear under a suit instead of a vest, and one at least of heavier materials for colder weather. Some shorts and summer golf shirts are an important part of your wardrobe, as is a spring and fall jacket, one dressier and one more casual. You probably don’t need 30 pair of running shoes. Most people dispense with cuff links and tie clips these days.

If you dress well regularly, allow room for personal style. I used to have forty pairs of leather shoes but now use about five. One is a pair of caramel coloured Giorgio Armani shoes I got on sale in Vegas for about $450. I save those babies for special dates with missus or when I want to look my best. Also, nothing looks worse on a man than to try to dress like he’s M&M or Fiddy or some other mutha like Tupac in a god damned rap video. Smarten up (said with affection),lest you look like a boy.

Certain designers have become reliable standards for me, like the Armani shoes, but Hugo Boss is also one I like too. Robert Graham shirts were a favourite at one point. I used to reward myself with a shirt if I hit a certain goal. At a couple of hundred each, I have a few so I switched to something else. I shop from Harry Rosen’s Men’s stores to Mark’s Work Warehouse, looking for classic designs and superior workmanship. I got a couple of pair of winter socks for Christmas from missus last year that came from a mill in the US, and they are the best winter socks I’ve ever worn. Same with underwear, the good stuff lasts.

Quality counts a lot more than anything to me. For example, I still have my Italian leather roper cowboy boots bought in 1995 when I headed west. Any Texan will appreciate that, just as they do a good hat. Style is regional.

Lastly, I still dress down on occasion, heck I live on acreage in the country so rubber boots are at my back door waiting for me at any moment. But, I’m not put off by people’s reactions anymore. The internalized shame of my youth, and even those years not so long ago, hasn’t left me but I’ve reconciled with its forces on my life. I know my worth, more so now, and confidently for the first time in my life.

Can you imagine? I’m 61 years old and it took me until I was in my fifties to really get this (don’t do that).

Now, I dress in my style because I’m used to it, honouring the flamboyance of the rooster without hiding shame under it all. My clothing is functional but also an expression of my overall well-being, not a cover up for internal strife and feelings of inadequacy. Through that painful journey, I learned how to dress, probably better than most.

Rather than a shield against judgment, dressing well is now part of my power.

Think about that as you assemble a wardrobe which meets your sense of style.

Stay powerful, never give up
cw

Chris Wallace
Advisor to Men

©CKWallace 2019, all rights reserved

reach me at advisortomen@gmail.com

At my offices in an
RW & Co button dress shirt
Robert Graham jeans with braided belt
Hugo Boss leather shoes

INFIDELITY RECOVERY


The problem with humans is this damn memory of ours. There is no new-age or old-aged techniques that`ll make us forget what we have already experienced. We`re kind of at the mercy of our memories, for good or for bad.

What makes things worst is our feelings are based on experiences too. No matter what we do, our past follows us. And, our feelings about stuff remains prominent, at least until we can put a little time between us and a past event. This interlude allows new experiences to supersede old emotional states when we create new feelings. It gives us, the brain that is, a wider experience to draw upon.

The brain operates predictively in any situation using the body and that databank of prior emotional states to determine how you will feel in the present moment, correcting afterwards given the social reality before you. Helluva sentence to follow, I know. Well, the brain has been at this gig a while.

With classical conditioning working its power beneath the surface, we can be triggered as the brain seeks to safeguard us from danger by best-guessing emotional states in response to the environment and messages from the body. It’s good to know this so we are not totally blindsided to past fears. Knowing how it all works can take the sting out of things when circumstances catch you unawares.

As for infidelity, the subject of this essay, I’m not sure we forgive it at all. Cheating is so personal. Within the pair bond, at first glance it’s such a clear rejection of you and a preference for another. It seems to confirm every person’s worst fear: I’m not good enough and because of this, I am unlovable.

It screams at me: UNLOVABLE.

There is more… for this is our Achilles heel. It is the human condition, conjoined with a need for others and knowledge that we will one day leave this world. We have only each other as present-day salve against the inevitable wounds of time. That’s a lot to ask in the name of love.

Like most things, it is both our weakness and our strength. Find it early, find it late, but we must all find love. Giving to others is the greatest expression of your humanity. I don`t know if that`s how we start, but I`m convinced it`s where we should end up.

But what if you saw that person who cheated as just as fallible as you, suffering from the same questioning of their worth as we tend to do our own? Could it be they secretly believe they are inadequate and unlovable? Did something inside them scream UNLOVABLE as well? What if we could separate the act so it is less about me, and more about them?

What if they didn’t even think of you or me? What if you didn’t even come to mind? What if the other person was able to compartmentalize their existence and put me on a shelf, fully intending to take me down and resume life with me afterwards? It happens all the time. In part, that’s how its done. I know it`s the same for men cheating on their women as women cheating on men. Cheating is betrayal pretty much universally, no matter the gender.

What if you were not as big a factor as you believe? Attachments weaken and strengthen over time, and we hope the good times see us through the bad.

What if it’s not so much a repudiation of you but a signal the other person cannot find love even if it is staring them in the face? What if it was their blind spot, and not yours or mine, which made it so?

Everyone makes the best decisions for themselves at the time, they say. If they knew better, in that very moment of whatever they decide, if they had the wherewithal to do something differently, emotionally, physically, spiritually, they would have. For them, it was their best decision. The act is proof. This is hardly a satisfying answer. We don’t have to like it. We don’t even have to respect it. But it is what it is. Often sadly.

Gabor Mate likes to say two people in a relationship find each other at the same level of trauma resolution, quipping smartly, “only 100% of the time.”  It’s what attracts us to another, under it all, a sharing of pain rarely understood and usually unmentioned. We all carry pain; it’s just the way nature builds resilience. It is by overcoming pain that we assert much of our wisdom. My pain won’t be the same as your pain. How could it be? We each travel this internal journey alone.

Empathy? Mostly projection. We guess at what each other feel and can only use our own experiences to gauge the other’s emotional state. Don`t get too excited about mirror neurons. The saying goes, “monkey see, monkey do,” not “feel,” and that finding was based on macaques, not people.

In any case, the disconnect between us is our challenge but can be our reward as we move through pain in the normal course of living. We re-find love and compassion for each other over and over

However, it takes two to do this. Or does it? Most of us marry what we can tolerate at that moment we get together. Gottman, famed relationship scientist I’ve read since the 1980s, says 70% of issues between a couple are not resolvable. That annoying habit of hers or his? Nope, not going anywhere. We put up with them and learn to appreciate them or we don’t. Missus hides stuff, has an uneven system for putting stuff away. Used to annoy me, now I think it’s cute. Choice is ours, the agency to decide how to live.

Getting naked in front of someone requires a fair bit of trust. It encompasses safety and danger all at once. We usually reserve this for those with whom we trust the most. It’s also why infidelity is so hard to reconcile as the aggrieved and non-involved party. Because without trust, you’ve got nothing.

I don’t think forgiveness is the right word for getting over infidelity.

But can you let it go?

Perhaps by realizing you were not the right man for her. Or she the right woman for you. That your maturity and needs and experiences didn’t match up. Your trauma resolutions played out on different tracks. You would know for sure if you were playing out your own drama and living a second life, a secret one. Women know these things, more so than men I think.

We know an atom looks a lot like a solar system with its revolving planets, the billions of stars out there like the billions of neurons in here. When we look at the way a tree grows into the sky and then look at map of a river approaching the sea, or the way our veins spread out on our hand, we may notice the same mathematical fractals occur. There is a great inter-connectedness in the universe, much of it we don’t understand.

The philosopher Douglas Hofstadter says we must leave more than a little room for mystery as we move through our years, implying we might resist the need to come up with an answer for everything. I think that’s a good idea. Shit happens by surprise too often to think we’ll sail through our time unaffected by calamity. And my father had a quote by Robert Louis Stevenson handwritten in black marker upon his bookshelf, the one directly behind his reading chair where he spent most of his days: “None of us can ever know the all of anything,” it said, reminding the reader to remain humble in the face of knowing so much.

Can we view this unraveling of relationships metaphorically as two similar but different stars revolving around a sun who are in the same orbit for a while, but subtle shifts in the composition of their mass and magnetism means over time they are doomed to slowly begin to separate and edge away, eventually flying off into a different part of space?

Then, it’s not me, nor is it you, it’s just physics. It’s a form of inevitable physics beyond our control. When I imagine floating above my existence, perhaps as I move out into the space above me, high up, maybe to the clouds and beyond, I see things differently. If you could sit on the moon for a while and look at the general spot on earth where you live out your life, what would you see?

Would you notice the others all around, some dealing with the same problems? The numbers of people teeming all over the planet going to and fro, living, dying, being born, eating, running, playing, working and loving, might give us both perspective.

And, can we use this pain we feel over infidelity to grow ourselves? Was I perhaps just as unfaithful, perhaps in actual deed but if not, then of heart and mind? From this resentment, can I accept I was not meeting my partner’s needs, my weakness so entrenched only the catastrophic bomb of adultery could wake me from my stupor? The falseness blasting away my complacent attitudes about my masculinity, her femininity, our relationship expectations, and of power, loyalty, lust and love?

And, could I work hard to shore up those parts of which left me bare, exposing me to this kind of turmoil? Could I use this pain, not to be crushed by it forevermore, but rather, to be rebuilt better than before? Is this one of my hero’s journeys? Is this your challenge?

And, would I one day realize that time and new experiences, especially the work I did making myself into a more powerful man, allowed different and better feelings to prevail when I consider my ex? Can I reserve my sympathies for what could have been, knowing I disappointed her just as she disappointed me? Could I be honest enough, powerful enough, wise enough to see this?

And, might I even thank her, though through the tragic lenses of both our lives, through the anger and confusion, and instead, salvage something of great worth from our mutual suffering? When I think of how beautiful and talented and in so many ways how amazing my ex-wife was, I can only feel sadness. She failed me, I failed her; and ultimately, we failed each other.

It was Robert Brault who said, “Life becomes easier if you learn to accept an apology you never get.” Absent that small act of reconciliation, you have only you to both apologize for your shortcomings but also to accept an apology from time for the failings of others. Accept the apology you will never get. Accept it.

So, I didn’t bother with the cumbersome idea of forgiveness. It carries too great a burden, too many unanswered questions philosophical and emotional, of principals and values and beliefs. I’d constructed a world where I could live, such are the entanglements of love, and all of that was too great a chore to dismantle.

No. I reminded myself, if happiness is a decision, then so is love. And if happiness and love can be decided, so can forgiveness. What I did was I let it go. You might do the same. See it off in your mind’s eye, perhaps like a child might watch a helium balloon drift away to the clouds after an inadvertent release of the hand, knowing it was pretty while it lasted, but also that it was never ever coming back.

The experience will help you to be stronger, and a far better person than before.

But then, all of life is like that isn’t it?

Stay powerful, never give up.

CHRIS WALLACE
Advisor to Men

©CKWallace, July, 2019, all rights reserved

reach me at advisortomen@gmail.com

RED PILL: Not Quite Manly

No doubt you’ve heard or read about the Red Pill movement. It’s a phenomenon on YouTube, Facebook, Reddit and elsewhere.  Red Pill gurus are rushing to get their message out in books, its de facto leader Rollo Tomassi, on his fourth.

Red Pill itself comes from a scene in the science fiction movie The Matrix, where rebel leader Morpheus played by Laurence Fishburne, offers Neo, played by Keanu Reeves, the choice of swallowing a blue pill which allows one to believe what they want to believe, or the red pill which offers truth. Neo takes red.

This truth is what the red pill leaders say is what is required to navigate the relationships between men and women. Tomassi uses the term “hypergamy” to describe a woman’s prerogative to choose a partner of higher status.

I like Tomassi and I like Donovan and the rest of the guys who appear on YouTube’s 21 Studio each week to discuss Red Pill practicalities. These guys have sliced and diced the subject to deep levels… with no end in sight.

And, that’s also why I listen or read Red Pill sparingly. This is just my personal view, but I think our Red Pill brothers leave the masculine and visit the feminine too frequently for my tastes. Solipsism, the view that the self is all that can be known to exist, and which I agree is very much a feminine energy trait, is often a overriding feature in Red Pill discussions.

It says, “I think it therefore it is.” It’s the incredible ability of the overthinking woman to believe her own bullshit. Men need watch for that in themselves occasionally, especially if they are gathered around having coffee discussing the opposite sex—which is typically something women do, not something men do at this level.

That’s not to say there isn’t some truth to Red Pill. And, to many guys it’s a Godsend of information. In the context, Blue Pill is real, and every man needs that wake-up call. It’s easy for a man to go into relationships with blinders on, with family of origin programming and unmet needs dictating his expectations.

When I left a marriage just shy of 25 years in the early 2000s, honestly, I was devastated. Nothing I’d tried worked and I was facing complete failure. My parents were married sixty-two years before my mother died some time ago. Like many men, marriage was forever for me, and I couldn’t broker it any other way.

In the end, I knew if I stayed it would kill me, and leaving made me feel like dying.

Some days I’d have flashes of crashing my van at top speed in a train overpass or just letting it fly off a bridge as my thoughts turned to self-harm in frustration and despair. Oft I’d have to take a knee and just recover for a moment from the pain I was carrying.

That’s when one of our managers mentioned he listened to Tom Leykis’ radio show every day. I began to do the same. It exposed a whole other side of women my blinders prevented me from seeing. I don’t need to thank Tom for his show, I’m sure he was paid well. Blow Me Up Tom made a difference in my life.

Once, a female caller announced on his show she had gotten drunk when out with the girls and fucked some black guy in a car in the parking lot of a club. She was Hispanic, and so was her husband. She was about to give birth and she suspected the baby was conceived that night. Tom implored her to tell him, and to spare the man the indignity of having his relatives see his shame in the hospital as a little black baby arrived instead of his own.

She refused, and Tom immediately asked his listeners to help. “She said he works at a casino in the Pacific North-West, if you know a guy in the gambling business expecting a baby, LET HIM KNOW IT MAY NOT BE HIS.”

As shocking as this was, I knew it was reality. I know women cheat, just as I know men cheat in the right circumstances. People do horrible and underhanded things to each other sometimes. I am not naïve. I lived as a gangster. I know what power imbalances, intimidation, cruelty and retribution are all about.

That period of my life launched me into a search for greater truths about men and women. My mind was opened by Tom and his alternate views. I got interested in sex differences, taking an about turn intellectually at the height of social constructionism influence, and eventually turned my back on feminism.

The “women are wonderful effect” was coined in 1994 by sociological researchers Alice Eagly and Antonio Mladinic, who found that both men and women tend to assign more positive traits to women, with women showing a far greater propensity to do it than do men. The sisterhood is real, we should be aware of this.

I don’t listen to Tom anymore, and never did again since those days. And, while I drop in on Rollo and his cohorts on YouTube every once in a while, I don’t listen or read them as a matter of course either. The truth is I have found my own balance of truths between the genders and it works for me. It also works for the men I am privileged to share my message with.

I have a new family with two wonderful kids and a gal I’ve been with for 13 years. She won’t marry me: says if we never get married, we’ll never get divorced. I can’t argue with her, and it’s a moot point because I know what makes her tick. I know what my role is and I take to it eyes open and full enthusiasm.

If I had to criticize the Red Pill movement or Tom Leykis’s approach, I’d say it is far too negative of women in general. Some of it is deserved and all based on inklings of truth (that’s the way things like this go, there’s always some truth to it), it’s just that listening to too much of it fails to impart balance, for women have some pretty darn good aspects to them too (as do men). I heard Rollo say he can’t advise for marriage now because of the disadvantages it represents. Fair enough, but a little sad too.

The disconnect for me is complaining about The American Psychological Association’s recent guidelines, or the subject of rape culture, or discussions around “toxic masculinity,” or the Gillette commercial, but yet, allowing for a full dive into Red Pill philosophy. Doesn’t anyone else see the problem with that?

Men sometimes do terrible things to women, and women sometimes do terrible things to men. Men tend to compete overtly, while women tend to maneuver covertly. Men smash you in the face, women get everyone around you turned against you so that eventually someone smashes you in the face.

Simplistic? Sure. Of course, it is. It’s always an oversimplification. The problem with generalities is they all fail on the backs of exceptions. Talk anyways, tease out the possibilities and potentials just the same.

The reasons I’m no longer a feminist, aligned with those well-intentioned but misguided idealists, is that I’ve lived out the course of its resurgence these past fifty years. I did that as a man who has depended on good women as allies, coming as I do from a family where I had a mother and four good sisters (as well as four brothers, and a troubled father). Feminism is a weak agenda, offering as it does a one-sided dissection of problems but little in the way of realistic solutions or an accounting of the existing healthy symbiosis of masculine and feminine energies.

It’s my view equality of opportunity is fine to an extent, but that equality in general between the sexes is a wrong-headed metric because we are generally too different to be equal. I also think a full accounting of strengths and weaknesses from each side of gender would go a long way to reconciling each with the other.

If men and women have always banded together to meet the challenges of time, the environment and each other’s natures as they go about creating a life, don’t you think it’s worth knowing the plus and minus factors of each?

To use a sports analogy, wouldn’t you want to know who can run with the ball? Who can catch the ball with two defenders on them? Who can kick a field goal? Who is better left on the line to block and tackle? Who possesses the skill to orchestrate play under duress? Or who can pinch-hit or run in what situations? Who is a starter and who can come off the bench and bat clean up? I ask that we have those discussions because that’s what men and women do when they are left to their own devices and find ways to live and work and raise kids and love each other.

It’s not enough to throw dirt at an entire gender and then complain your dates don’t go as planned. Or, that your life isn’t unfolding as you desire with your partner.  I think that’s weak-ass bullshit and I’ll tell you why. We need compassion for each other and the greater compassion we have for others the greater compassion we have for ourselves.

All of us have an inner self, that Divine Child within us we’ve perhaps stuffed over the years as we sought to conform with the adults around us, to their rules and expectations. How can we ever hear our own essential voice if we don’t listen for the voices of others? Our eyes see out, and the easiest way to train yourself to hear the good in you is to attune yourself to the good in others. Not blindly, not as a nice guy sacrificing your needs for others while holding secret anger, but compassionately, with a sense of being part of humanity’s meaningful whole.

Find it early, find it late, we must all find love.

Where’s the love in finding the extreme faults in an entire gender? Where is the love in calling women bitches and sluts and cunts as a matter of course? Where is the love in finding fault with half the world’s population, and enacting rules to safeguard yourself from their worst aspects without an appreciation for the incredible good in their capacity to love and share a life?

From what I can tell, Red Pill is a lot like feminism in that it focuses almost exclusively on delineating the excesses of women’s pragmatic side and encourages a defensive and almost paranoid stance in men who are still interested in women.

If you need a good term to reference the young gals, call them wenches. It means young lady in old English my father told me. It raising eyebrows but no one gets mad at you.

Fact is, most men will marry and most of them will have children. Isn’t it better to help men and women negotiate that dynamic with an appreciation for each other’s needs and desires without falling into weakness?

Should a man face that his woman is not his mother? Yes! And, that to expect unconditional love from his partner is a leftover trait from his family of origin? Yes, he should.

Should he realize his wish for unconditional love is projected upon his partner and is a burden she likely can never, ever meet? You’re damn straight he should do all these things… or remain a boy forever.

A man should also realize his gal’s archetype for love is her father, or the masculine energy around her, and that this means she requires a powerful man in her life.

It also means she knows the difference between a man and a boy.

Women are pragmatic souls, bent on survival. The female is far more precious in nature, you have only to look a window at bird feeder. Most of the colourful birds are males, while the females are camouflaged and discreet. If a Sparrow Hawk arrives on the scene, it’s the male Grosbeak or Cardinal who dies first.

It’s not so different in humans, where she carries the eggs which permit life. Her best fertility lasts two decades whereas yours is triple that or more.

She is attracted to a man for his power. Hypergamy is a negative term and saddles a man in self-pity and an idealized over-estimation of his worth.

You are attracted to looks, that certain hip to waist ratio, and you stay for loyalty. A man with a loyal woman by his side has the wind at his back, but you better God-damned well stay out in front of her to feel it.

That’s not blue pill for fuck’s sake, it’s how nature put us together to survive. Men lead, women command. Men build cultures, women stress-test them.

Rather than focusing on the divisions inherent in feminism on one side, and Red Pill, MGTOW and Incels on the men’s side, my advice is to focus on the essential truths: Power and Loyalty.

Women can’t stand weak men. Men can’t stand disloyal women. It’s that simple. Hence, women do well with a powerful man; men do well with a loyal woman.

How can you make yourself powerful to earn her loyalty? How can she show you more loyalty, so you’ll want to be her powerful man? This where all the fun is.

Red Pill has been around for a dozen years. Feminism for a hundred. Humans are smart at coming up with answers even when we don’t fully understand something. It’s our rational brain, living emotionally and then explaining things after the fact.

What we need to do is see the much bigger picture. Men and women were made to live and work together to create life. Don’t let all the talk detract from this essential truth about our existence together.

Stay powerful, never give up

Christopher K Wallace
©June, 2019, all rights reserved

Advisor to Men
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MYTH-MAKERS


MYTH MAKERS

How does one find their purpose? I think in many cases it’s an accidental calling, a serendipitous landing somewhere in what my old psych teacher used to call “finding your place in the sun.” Some folks seem to know early on what they were destined for, others stumble upon it. And, regrettably, some never find it at all.

But what if this was your duty? Would it make a difference?

Could you see it as part of your pact with the universe? What if you were to live according to Horace Mann’s entreaty: “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for mankind?” Would that help finding your purpose with reverence and resolve? No pressure.

Here are three approaches which helped me as I explored what to do with my life, and how to best use the time I have left. Though, while mindful of purpose, I think we always leave room for change, for a sudden veering from one direction to another as life summons our attention. What fun.

DREAM JOURNAL
The mythologist Joseph Campbell tells the story of Carl Jung having a crisis of meaning at a point early in his career, and deciding finding his personal myth was critically important.

Jung remembered as a child he like to build little play cities out of stones. So now, as an adult, he realized he could play with big stones. He purchased a property on the shores of a lake across from Zurich. There, he built a place at Ascona. A visiting Campbell said it was a house built out of the ground, an organic edifice, reflecting Jung’s local roots.

Jung recorded his dreams for inspiration, keeping a dream journal. This gave him ideas and even more meaning in the way he built his place and lived his life. Campbell’s advice is to ignore dreams about your daily life and look for big themes to emerge, paying special attention to doorways, entrances and pathways.

Remembering dreams takes practice, but not much. Just telling yourself before you sleep that you will recall and write down your dreams when you wake up works well enough. I cursed just how effective this is when I had PTSD dreams for a decade after leaving the street. I’ve since settled down and it’s a habit I’ve taken up again.

If you have a partner, sharing your dreams upon awakening is a delightful way to discharge disturbing images that linger, but also to share erotic shadow sides to each other. Show me a couple who talk openly about their dreams and I’ll show you two people who have a good sex life.

 

BOOK OF ME
In my opinion, if the question of finding your bliss has eluded you thus far, it’s worth assembling a book of self-evaluations. At least you’ll be doing something in the meantime.

None of these is likely to reveal your path, but what it does is answer long-held questions about how you operate in the world. It may also trigger helpful memories and long-dormant preferences. It’s an introspective set of exercises which trains you to listen to your inner self. Our eyes see out and life’s demands often leave little room for this kind of examination.

Start by doing the Gallup Strengthfinders test to rank your talents. Nothing reveals more about your capabilities than an objective scale like this one. Not only can it tell you what you might be good at, more importantly, it might explain why you don’t show much interest in other things. It’s both a confirm and encourage exercise, and an eliminator.

Take the Big 5 Personality test. It’s been soundly tested and is probably one of the most replicable psychometric tests.

While you’re at it, take one of the Locus of Control tests available online.

If you have the time, you could delve into your history by doing Peterson’s Self-Authoring Suite to record something of your past, present and future. The Peterson Suites have good science: students who complete them are more successful at school.

Do a Values Elicitation and rank your current top values 1 to 10. Most coaches do them as part of their practice. A shorter version is the Hartman Value Profile. Besides that, values conflicts are often at the root of much of our indecision, so having a clear picture of what matters to you helps.

Do Stephen Reiss’s Desire Profile: you can get a PDF version online which includes the full scale. This desire profile is a much more reliable measure than assessing needs. It’s about desire, thus passions.

You can skip the Briggs-Meyer’s test. Based on Jungian archetypes, just realize it doesn’t replicate well. Your letters may change as your life does so I don’t bother with this one despite its popularity.

Some people tell me the DISC profile helped them see themselves more clearly. Taking an aptitude test is sometimes worthwhile. Just don’t try to game the obvious questions. I skip IQ tests. Beyond just above average, discipline is a greater predictor of success anyway. We all know plenty of intelligent losers and this is about finding bliss, not who is smartest.

If you have access to family history, put up your genealogy on Ancestry to see who came before you. Examine your medical records and those of your forebears if possible. Where are you from? What kind of work did those who came before you do? Even if you only know one of your parents, sometimes this information helps to bolster identify. Ideas about life and living can come from the oddest places.

NEW EXPERIENCE
Camping trips, meditative retreats and spiritual practices can help find purpose for the way in which they allow us to slow down, listen and observe our inner selves. Long walks engage both hemispheres of the brain as you alternate right and left sides of the body. Twenty minutes per day in nature can do the spirit wonders, thereby freeing up the mind.

Travel can shake a person’s world up. How often does one hear of someone returning from somewhere with a grand plan of some sort hatched while far away? You can see the light on their faces and the fire in their eyes as they report their new-found direction.

Geographical changes have this effect because travel puts us into a heightened state of awareness and readiness while exposing us to new environments and people. Environments matter.

It is the epigenetically derived methyl groups of your ancestors influencing your present genetics, coupled with the databank of your emotional states since birth, contrasted against the collective unconscious (common instincts and archetypes present in any species) which comprises your soul in my take. It’s worth looking at it all to discover more about you.

Closer to home, what if you decided to say yes instead of no when you were invited along somewhere? Say no too often and soon, the invitations stop coming. If that’s you, what can you do to get out into the world and try something different? You may find your purpose with alone time or while your memories are triggered by others. Leave no stone unturned, I say.

If you are a drinker or a cannabis addict, you live in a partial state of fear as your homeostasis is continually off-kilter. This costs you because of the sensory input/confidence continuum. Instead, you may like to replace regular substance use with dance lessons, a martial art, or by joining your local Toastmasters to learn public speaking. Confidence is the stuff which takes thoughts and turns them into actions. How important is that then?

The point is by doing new things, the old creaky mind we’ve come to rely upon, with its predictable thoughts and feelings and behaviours, can always use a remodel. “Change or die,” someone once said. How’s that for motivation? Here’s a secret: feelings are based on experiences; therefore, the only way to create new feelings is to experience new things.

AWE AND MYSTERY
Campbell observed Maslow’s hierarchy gave five values: survival, security, personal relationships, prestige and self-development. These seemed strange to him until he realized these are the exact values the mythologically inspired person does not live for.

“Mythology begins where madness starts,” he says, “Maslow’s five values are the values for which people live when they have nothing to live for.”

So often what is required to find a pathway to your bliss is an awakening of awe. That’s when something becomes greater than you, reminding of your smallness. It’s what makes and keeps us humble. You are hoping to be seized and pulled along by something, the same way you may remember feeling obsessed with play as a child.

Often I like to talk about flow states. That’s when we engage our strengths, passions and supreme concentration in an endeavor of increasing complexity. It’s the only thing I know which seems to stop time while we do it. It’s also when we feel most powerful as human beings.

What we are talking about here is quest which has as its heart a mystery. There will be something which entrains your mind and being, inexplicably occupying your thoughts and feelings. What it does is it captures you, and it’s this awakening of awareness and transcendence of needs which points your way forward.

THREE PARTS OF YOU
For a moment, clear your mind of everything. Give yourself a blank slate.

If a husband and father, these are normal parts of a man’s life. Your adaptability is great enough to handle that role anywhere under any circumstances excepting perhaps war. They are a consideration but less a determining factor.

Now, think of your being in three parts.

First is your true self, represented by Jungians as The Divine Child within you. It reflects all your potentials and possibilities, the very gifts you were born with and which were still intact for a while as a child. This is the repressed part of you usually compromised for the sake of conformity.

Then, secondly, your ego, that part of you with the shoulds and musts you have accumulated from a lifetime of listening to others. It’s all those rules you live by, passed along to you from your teachers and parents, friends and culture. Morality is ego-based.

Lastly, your personae, the masks you wear as student, husband, worker, academic, friend, etc. Each of these will be different from the other, some markedly so, their contrasts a clue to their worth as truths.

Now, imagine 20 years, or even 30 years have gone by. Looking back, which of those three would you want to make sure has been served?

Which of those three is your priority? Which one needs honouring? Which one answers the calling when the universe decided, in its infinite wisdom, to choose you for life? Let me explain:

There was something like 40 to 200 million sperm in the ejaculate from which you came, yet, it was you who got to the egg. You could have been a girl or had all kinds of challenges beyond your own.

But no. The same force behind a trillion stars in the Andromeda Galaxy chose you. A trillion stars, it’s worth repeating. And, from that fantastic force underlying everything known and unknown, it was upon you that life was bestowed. How could this be? How could it be it was you who was chosen?

The universe doesn’t make mistakes. So, how could it not be you?

The question is: what will you do with your prize? What will you do with this life you were awarded by the infinite forces which created the stars?

What shall be your myth?

Stay powerful, never give up,

Chris Wallace
© May, 2019 all rights reserved
Advisor to Men

“A man who can harness his power in service of himself and those around him finds meaning. This is what sets him free.” CKWALLACE, advisor to men

DISTANCE = SEX

DISTANCE = SEX

Young fella in a group is getting married in the spring. Posts his intentions and asks for advice. I give him the quick version to which he and others respond gratefully. I’m struck by how important these things are to couples, to men, to children.

I told him this:

“She’s marrying you for your power and will then spend the next twenty years wondering if she chose correctly. Don’t disappoint her, stay powerful. Women can’t abide weak men, not easily.

Oh, and she’s not your mother. Don’t expect unconditional love. If you are powerful and kind, chances are she’ll be loyal—sexually and in spirit.

If not, if she senses you are weak, expect her to rub salt in the wounds of your weakness and/or, hold you in silent contempt.

She’ll stop fucking you then too. Women are pragmatic souls. Men are the poets and romantics.

Good luck. Let me know if you need help.”

But what else could I have told him? To be sure: plenty.

Because, if he’s like most men, he will knock that woman up and become a father. We often think women become our partners because of some endearing quality of ours which makes us irresistible. She dovetails with my life because she can’t live without me. Ahem. No. Not quite.

Perhaps it is more she is interested in a man as a partner, because two people fighting for existence against the chaos of life is better than one? True.

And, just as a man marries what he can tolerate, so does a woman but with key differences. He tolerates her and expects her to stay more or less the same, especially sexually. She, on the other hand, see his potential, her vision for the future more acute in same-aged couples.

At sixteen, most gals know already what kind of man they want as a husband, what kind of house they’d like to live in, and how many children they would like to have. That last one is key. Guys, not much vision at all at sixteen.

Women mostly marry to have children. That has not changed, though there are plenty of exceptions. I know couples who decided not to have children and live a rewarding life of fulfillment derived otherwise though activities, community, work and friends.

But most of us will become fathers. I could write a book about facets men should consider and one day I will. But for a young guy getting married now, the beginning of this post is the short version.

And sex. That’s the subject most guys can’t see clearly. They go from getting it regularly at the start of a marriage to much less over time.

We are told this is normal. I think that’s bullshit. I think it’s just that we don’t understand our women as well as we could.

Women are sexual human beings first. Not mothers. Not friends. Not workers. Not wives. And, forgive me if I mention: not firstly, “soulmates,” though in time they can become indispensable intimates. There’s danger in that too.

It was her body, her sexual power, her surrender to you which gained your devotion. Why should that change?

Truth is, sexual intimacy wanes with better communication. It is distance which creates want.

The more familiar you and your missus are with each other, the more comfortable, the less sex.

Comfort kills lust. That’s the facts.

It does so because there is no danger to it. There’s little unknown. When we first start sleeping with someone, we never really know what their reaction is to seeing us naked, to exploring each other’s bodies, to living out our sexual sides. There is this huge risk in trust disrobing in front of someone.

You take that away and you may only have obligation, not the stuff of exciting sexual distance. This is why I seize upon power in a relationship, not as a way to manipulate or dominate. No. Not at all.

It’s just that women need a man’s power to live out the part of her which needs to surrender to an entity greater than herself. It grounds her by permitting loss of control in her otherwise and usually conscientious existence.

The rest of her life she can have her shit together. But with her man, she must lose it. For, it’s only by providing an outlet for her darker side that she can flourish as the goodly wife.

Men would do well to remember this. We all have a shadow side we need to integrate. Sexual intimacy with a partner can be thought of an integration of each other’s shadow lives. At least, temporarily.

It’s an acceptance of shame and abandonment and control and agency and many more, all in the name of intimacy.

Distance is what creates polarity in a couple. Not a life of no secrets and shared emotions. As her man, you must remain dangerous lest she lose faith in your ability to protect her, but also to thrill her.

You put lust first, love will take care of itself.

Stay powerful, never give up.
Wally

© CKWallace, 2019, all rights reserved

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DO I LOOK FAT?

DO I LOOK FAT?

This is a question which comes up often, dreaded by western men everywhere. How do you answer this interrogation? And, is this even fair to ask of a man?

Despite all the hoopla about objectifying women, while imploring men to focus purely on their partner’s “inner-worth,” everywhere you find men and women this question is asked. Someone, somewhere, is posing the question today, perhaps before heading off to church with the family.

Women’s concern on this issue is often laid at the feet of the supposed patriarchy. This would be where men objectifying women’s bodies has ostensibly put enormous pressure on women to be the perfect avatar for male lust. Of course, well-intentioned but mistaken idealists cling to this narrative, often desperately. “It’s your fault I have to even ask this question,” it says.

If you ask men about this dreaded quiz (and it is not always dreaded), their answers generally fall into two camps. Denial and acceptance on one side (includes bullshit), and naked truth on the other. Both approaches have consequences.

If a man answers his gal with, “Yeah, I noticed you lost weight,” even if she hasn’t, he’s set off her bullshit detector. You’ve heard the expression, “Never lie to a woman.” Now he’s fucked, because she knows full well she’s ten pounds heavier than a month ago—probably the last time she asked this damn question!

Or, maybe he senses the trap. No fool our man, he tells her she looks perfect to him—just the way she is—and he can’t see anything but her inner beauty. He thinks this gets him off the hook, and he basks in his virtue, feeling impregnable to criticism.

And, truthfully, this may seem like the romantic’s answer, an exemplar for all men, salve for the female neuroticism at the core of the question. But, mostly likely, he’s dead-wrong.

Hearing this, she tells herself, “You asshole,” and contemptuously, “so, you think I’m fat, thanks,” said declaratively, as surely as if he’d uttered the words himself.  His avoidance tipped his hand and she wasn’t fooled, not one bit.

Aye, it’s a litmus test this one.

Some men seize upon this scenario to introduce a little self-improvement into the marriage. One man was asked by his beloved if there was anything wrong with her. To which he nobly answered he loved her no matter what, but that she has a hunchback, probably from poor posture, and wondered if she’d like to improve how she sits at the computer to alleviate her condition.

There’s discord in that household, still ongoing.

Another fella took the high road (as he saw it), and in answer to the question “Do I look fat?” responded using the infamous turnaround, the rebound, the redirect, the mirror, by asking a question in return.

“I don’t know, do YOU think you look fat?” To which she answered, “Yes.”

His response? “Okay, you got your answer, but it’s not about what I think, it’s about what you think. To me, you’re normal but what you see is what matters to you. My love has no vision.”

He reports, bewildered, she insists he called her fat. Poor sap.

So, what women are looking for when they ask this question is anyone’s guess. The risks involved are real, as you can see. Perhaps she’s looking to confirm the diet and workout plan she’s been on the past week is paying off. Or, maybe she’s looking for reassurance she’s loved in all her glorious imperfection. Those two possibilities are pretty much the limits of most men’s perceptions.

But, it could also be a setup, a way to punish a man for something he did this morning, yesterday, last week, or last year—real or imagined. The question could be her version of Firestarter, like the flint, birchbark and moss you have tucked in your combat pants when you hit the back country.

There are layers to these kinds of trick questions, and trying to discern the true motivations behind them is to descend into areas of subterfuge and feminine energy. This disadvantages most men.

If you are the sun, the stars, the fire and the light, she is the deep of space, the vastness of the oceans, the power of the wind. That about sums up what you’re up against, my brothers.

There’s another context we need to keep in mind when considering this question. We think we are involved as a principal player: a reasonable conclusion since we are being asked and we are usually present during the asking.  Not at all.

Fact is, she’s probably not even considering you in her question. It’s far more likely she’s asking you what OTHERS are seeing and could care less what you think. She’s already fucking you, and knows she has your loyalty.

Women tend to compete firstly with their peers, just as men compete with other men. Do you primarily compete with your wife or girlfriend? Pretty rare.

Men tend to compete above board, either heads on, “best man wins” style, or by putting someone down. One is prosocial, the other antisocial, but both approaches light up the same competitive reward areas of the brain.

Women tend to compete differently, sometimes by maneuvering covertly using mean remarks, social exclusion and by winning over each other’s friends and allies.

Women can do pretty much anything a man can do but have general preferences. Whereas men tend to know many men in a diverse number of groups, and operate easily between them, not so for most women.

Our gals tend to have a small group of sisters, friends they guard jealously, usually less than five and often just one or two, and with whom they rely upon for emotional regulation. You could argue their standing among their close peers carries more risk because it also comes with more reward.

Like I said, women are deep. Men are shallow, thankfully (not said at all derogatorily).

So, the question, “Do you think I’m fat?” could just as likely mean, “Do you think OTHERS think I’m fat?” Duh. Uh-oh.

It means she’s asked you how she presents to the outside world, to those she competes with on a daily basis. At his point, mentioning her hunchback means you are telling her others see her as a hunchback. How’s that going to go over?

Now, to be fair, some couples can manage literal honesty between them. This kind of union exists and thrives on pain and suffering as a stepping stone to lust and bliss. If she asks a question, she’s getting the truth. It goes both ways.

To these types, there is a power and trust which develops as a result of their brutal honesty. But, there is also hurt feelings. And, in every case I’ve witnessed, over time the man learns to soften the blow of his forthrightness as his emotional IQ blossoms under her influence. She is the power of the wind.

Now, just how does a man safely negotiate this age-old question?

You could try the finesses answer. She asks, “Do I look fat?” and you answer, “Did you get your hair trimmed, it looks great!” standing fast with smiling admiration.

It’s a signal you’re not answering such an asinine question, suggests you didn’t even notice her body, and can only see and appreciate her overall radiance, refreshed somehow in this instance. Add in a, “you must have done that just for me,” followed up by a rush to hug her powerfully. If timed right, it might get you off the hook completely.

You could also try saying, “Yes, you look fat and I hope you put on another ten pounds so I can watch that jiggle bouncing around all over upstairs when we’re alone. You must have put that on for me, nasty girl,” and see what happens.

But a better option when dealing with the “Am I fat” question is to say “No.”

That’s a powerful stance for a man to take. He sees through her classic overthink—loaded in the question like high caliber weaponry—and simply sidesteps her neediness by refusing to play by her rules.

It is him recognizing she sometimes needs to be rescued from the brink of her own insanity. As her powerful man, that’s your job and you handle it with grace.

A simple, “No” and moving on to something else puts you back in control. I’ve been asked this question; I usually try to grab her ass as I answer.

You own your thoughts, feelings and behaviours; she owns hers. And, never the twain shall meet. Boundaries here are critical. Maintain them now and set the pattern for later.

But perhaps first ask yourself if perhaps she’s asking the question because she does not feel suficiently worshipped. Check that opportunity box first. Otherwise, in the moment, the simpler the answer the better. No reason to complicate this more than needed.

Seems simple enough: Just say no

Stay powerful, never give up.

Wally

© Christopher K Wallace
Advisor to Men
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FOR MEN: ON MEN AND WOMEN

ON MEN AND WOMEN

Something to think about is this: women choose men for power (in whatever form that might be) and they come by it honestly. (I ignore red-pill hypergamy as whining).

It’s how nature made them, and for good reasons. She needs a powerful man who can eschew his tribe or peer group and come start a new one with her. Mostly, she does the choosing. Right or wrong, that’s how it is.

Men, on the other hand, are attracted to women for looks (+ a certain hip to waist ratio) and stay with them for loyalty. LOYALTY

POWER+LOOKS/LOYALTY

Her looks fade but this matters little to a man with a loyal woman. Because in time, she becomes his standard. When he thinks woman, it is she he sees in his mind’s eye. Naked to him means her.

A man with a loyal woman by his side has the wind at his back… even, the wind beneath his wings.

But, a man cannot abide disloyalty, amongst his friends, family and those he works with. To tolerate disloyalty in his own home, in his castle, is an attempt to overthrow the King.

This happens usually because the King is weak. If allowed to continue, his hold on his realm is in doubt. He will be deposed eventually, for the kingdom requires a powerful leader who can bring order, fertility and blessings to the land and its people.

Men are adaptable. we can learn to love just about anyone. If happiness is a decision, for the most part then, so is love.

ADVANTAGE MALE

What a man loses in the mating game in his early years, he gains back ten-fold as he ages. TEN-FOLD.

She has maybe, MAYBE, 20 good years of fertility, also her best years for attracting a mate. Between the ages of 15 and 35 or so. That’s it.

Men often just begin to amass personal power and get started by the time they are 35. COME ON.

I know a man who is over 60, still does 75 pushups, with a 7 year old daughter and a 5 year old boy. NO WOMAN CAN DO THAT.

It’s not the same. Women are far more precious. BY FAR.

And, they should be acknowledged for this. Help them.

This light shining briefly in a woman’s life makes the pressure on her ENORMOUS. For most women, she has an EXISTENTIAL PACT with the universe: to choose the right partner.

Get this: she thinks with both hemispheres; and runs information through her emotional centers first. She has greater empathy (and will abuse it if pushed).

— She often has greater verbal ability (why she can talk circles around you) and can read emotions on a man’s face more readily (pay a man to read emotions on people’s faces he can do as well but she is “always on”).

— Her enteric intuitions are finely honed, likely because she has a uterus and menstruates. She knows people and sees and feels things you cannot even fathom. It can be spooky (in a wonderful way).

She is pragmatic and resolved. She doesn’t have time to fuck around. Though she will invest in a promising mate, her gamble is way higher than yours.

You can start over, it’s rare she can.

COMPLIMENTARY

She can spot her man’s weakness a mile away. From way OVER THERE! When she does, she might tell you. I call that kind of gal a UNICORN.

Don’t expect to be so lucky.

More likely, she will RUB SALT in the wounds of your weakness… or hold you in silent contempt. Remember, abuse of empathy is her birthright. Either way, she stops fucking you. She has to… because you are failing her.

Often/sometimes, her powers lead her to overthink. The anima (feminine energy) holds her in its grip. That’s where you step in and bring her back from the brink of her very own insanity with your animus (masculine energy). That’s your job.

So, you must step up and lead your woman. It’s the yin and yang of men and women. She is wonderful chaos, you are powerful order. Women command: Men lead. This is nature’s magnetism.

You must be her powerful man, so she may rely on you to temper her gifts just as you rely on her for her depth. If you are the sun, the stars, the fire and the light, she is the deep of space, the vastness of the oceans, the power of the wind.

Her primary male influence is her father, often the only person she knows who could stand up to her all-powerful mother. Your archetype of influence is your mom, who enticed you with promises of unconditional love.

That’s why more men are romantics. While you can become a powerful man to match and go beyond her father’s male energy, she can never love you unconditionally the way you might have wished your mother would.

That’s an unrealistic expectation all men must abandon. In this case, the boy must die so the man can live.

Like the fable Iron John, the boy’s quest is to leave his mother’s castle and find his own way in the world. The key to his freedom lies under her pillow. He must steal it and make his escape, in the middle of the night if needed.

If you have a woman, be her powerful man. Don’t let that woman down; don’t put her in that position; don’t make her question herself under the chaos of her overthinking. That would be cruel.

Most of all, make yourselves powerful gentleman. Women will come and find you. It’s nature’s way.

Stay powerful, never give up,

©Christopher K Wallace
Advisor to Men

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