Thursday, August 27, 2009

Why Men Need Art in their Lives

It seems all too often that I hear of yet another man who succumbs to the fatal attraction of adultery. Not that women don’t have a part in it or are sometimes the instigators. Yet, it’s apparent and statistically supported that men more often are the ones who slide down this slippery slope that leads to the destruction of their lives and marriages. Why?

I asked that question of someone recently whose marriage of many years ended because of her husband’s infidelity. She shared her best guess. In his case as in many, it seems that men feel a unique pressure to perform their way through life. With all the titles of breadwinner and head of home, as well as vocational titles like CEO, CFO, or pastor, men often crumble under the weight of responsibility. And in their dissolution, something happens called the “great divide.”

In order to survive the pressure and succeed, men split: split from their hearts and begin to live out of their egos. In order to be all they need to be, in order to accomplish all they need to accomplish, men separate from their hearts, the center of their true selves, and become performers, fabricating a self that has more potential to succeed at all they feel pressured to do and be. (Women do this, too, by the way.)

It would be ridiculous to suggest that I have the remedy for this tragic dilemma. However, I have greater confidence than ever that one of the ways men and women recover their hearts is through exposure to beautiful art. Art has a way of awakening the heart because it speaks through colorful, provocative, metaphoric images—something the heart “gets”. Art can help a person rediscover their heart, listen to it and notice what it feels. When we rediscover our heart, we can begin to nourish it in loving, healthy, wholesome ways instead of desperate and damaging ways.

Why do men need art in their lives? Because they need to feel their hearts. They need help reconnecting with their hearts so that they can become more whole and live out of the fullness of who they were created to be, instead of a false, fabricated, performer.

I truly ache to help men and women live from a deeper place of being—from their truest self in Christ. On October 3, Brent Bill and I will be facilitating a workshop called The Art of Faith. Not surprising, we have a number of people already registered and the vast majority is women. If you are reading this post and know a man who needs art in his life, encourage him to attend this workshop. I think it could be a step in a new direction for those who want to live with more heart—or shall we say “hart”. To register

1 comment:

Brent Bill said...

"Why do men need art in their lives? Because they need to feel their hearts." Indeed. Great post.