The Heart of a Man or Dear Women . . .

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Now I must speak to the heart of a woman. The heart that loves, gives and longs to be cradled. The heart that would gladly beat for another if it would save them. The very heart that needs while focusing on the needs of others. The heart that beats, the heart that breaks. The heart filled with love for the man she’s promised her lifelong devotion to.

Women carry many burdens often too heavy for them to bear. We must be strong when we feel weak. We must sacrifice and we must never give in to the desperation sometimes filling us with doubt. We look to the men we love to pick us up when we fall, we cannot understand why they sometimes don’t seem to see our plight, they don’t seem to see our need.

Men often carry their burdens alone, never reaching out for assistance. They live with the pressures of providing food and shelter and clothing to the family they’ve promised to care for. They think of the future while their todays become yesterdays. They forge ahead to maintain the life they’ve made for the ones they love.

We can sometimes take their efforts for granted, they need to know we value them, we appreciate all they provide. Just as we long to be recognized when we put all we are into caring for our family, they too need to know we notice just how much of themselves they give to do the same.

Men sometimes seem to live on a different plane of existence than we do, their feet touch the ground when they walk. Their vision doesn’t always exceed past what their eyes alone can see. They were brought up to be strong, analytical and grounded. Society told them they shouldn’t give in to emotions or exhibit too much tenderness.

As women, we see with so much more than sight, we envision things with emotion and can be easily frustrated when the men we love do not. Where we are feeling, they are often thinking. They express themselves in their own way, just as we do, the differences need to be recognized. Sometimes when we don’t see an emotional reaction we feel slighted, just look into their eyes and you will find what you’re looking for.

Compassion doesn’t always come easy to some, the world has deemed too much compassion in a man a weakness and men are not supposed to be weak. They’re the breadwinners, the kings of the castle. Young boys are too often given the message tears are for girls and sissies, fear is unacceptable and expression of deep feelings are best restrained.

Societal roles for men are ingrained in the culture in which they are raised, the roots of these expected roles run deep and are difficult to escape. The antiquated ideals of what a man should be and how he should behave are inherited from one generation to the next.

Mothers and fathers of sons can contribute to these notions or try to combat them, but sometimes the world at large has a louder voice. Girls are encouraged to use their imagination, they’re called creative while a young boy is called a dreamer. Girls are taught to talk about what is in their hearts, it’s a sign of maturity. Boys are told to grow up and be a man.

Little girls are encouraged to cry when they’re sad, outwardly express joy and happiness. Little boys are told to suck it up when the world causes them pain, they’re expected to maintain restraint when they feel joy.

As young children, girls are given praise and accolades for a job well done while so many boys are simply given a pat on the back. They grow to be men who don’t know how to react to sincere praise and consequently have a difficult time giving it. As parents, we need to model what we want our children to become.

It’s no wonder so many men and women can look upon the same thing and each see something the other cannot. Not all men are ignoring our tender hearts, they may have never been taught how to care for them. They may not have been told a woman needs to be wrapped in the warmth of their love. They didn’t learn communication is the key to a life of fulfillment.

As women we must try to look past the man and see the little boy inside who thinks and feels and dreams. The little boy who longs to release the long bottled up emotions he carries within, the carefree spirit that wants to laugh and create, but is afraid.

We tend to take it personally when the man we love comes home and doesn’t seem interested in our day, when his brow is furrowed we take offense when it may simply be he had a difficult day and needs to decompress. He needs to be given that opportunity, we need to remember it isn’t always about us.

There may very well always be this distance between a man and a woman, we need to nurture the little boy within, understand his fear and his need to stay hidden. We need to know even though he may not always show his love in the ways we wish, he would not be by our side if he didn’t feel all the things he may be yet unable to show.

There are men in this world who are not bound by these manmade chains restraining their inner selves. These men are examples to which other men should aspire. To the women who have been blessed with these precious few, thank God for them and be certain they know just how thankful you truly are to have them in your life.

One of the most fragile and precious things a woman may ever hold is the heart of a man . . .

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