Recently I finished reading a phenomenal book, written by Jason Wilson, and it’s titled Cry Like a Man. The book focuses on men and the ways that we are negatively influenced when it comes to our emotions and the way we share them.
In order to fully address this book, I have to give some background on the author who wrote it. Jason Wilson is the founder of The Yuinon, a non-profit organization that serves youth and families in Detroit Michigan through education, mentoring and counseling, as well as other forms of media and program. He is also the creator of the Cave of Adullam Transformational Academy, and I’ll quote from the website what the mission of this academy is:
Cave of Adullam is a Transformational Training Academy (CATTA) based in Detroit Michigan where boys who are emotionally distressed, mentally discontented and spiritually in debt, gather here to be trained and transformed into comprehensive men of the Most High. We are able to accomplish this mission through our Emotional Stability Training® (EST).– About page from TheCATTA.org
It is with this background, combined with the personal account of Jason’s transformation, that you get the truths and values expressed in this book. As I read the book, I learned of Jason’s life experiences, and many of them were moments where his emotions didn’t receive the proper environment and encouragement for release.
One moment that sticks out in my mind was when he recounted the moment his family found out he was still a virgin, and the shame that he felt when they responded by laughing at him. Anything about virginity, men, and abstinence is dear to my heart, since I am one, and it really pains me to see the disdain that abstinence receives from society.
Another reason that moment stuck out to me was because it was a moment that created emotional trauma in Jason’s life. The shame and embarrassment that he experienced when his own family laughed and joked about his virginity left a scar and brought him to a place where he treated sex casually. When a man’s sexual activity or lack thereof is linked to his manhood, it creates the toxic habit of objectification, of himself and the women that he sleeps with.
Throughout the book Jason highlights the impact of emotional incarceration, or an inability to express one’s emotions. He not only shows how this happened within him, but also gives accounts of what happened with his father, other men in his family, as well as his friends. He shows through these accounts how much affects us as men, and how often we operate in ways that aren’t healthy or realistic.
I want to quote a part in his book that really speaks to the importance of crying and expressing the grief and emotions we experience. This is after he recounts the loss of his closest friend:
Ungrieved losses are unhealed wounds that eventually get infected with depression, anxiety, and fear, just to name a few harmful side effects. Christ let Himself, as well as those around Him, mourn as a soul should. Yah knows that in order for our souls to recover from earthly pain, we have to express it. It’s the human thing to do.-Jason Wilson “Cry Like A Man” Chapter: It’s Okay to Cry
I’ve spoken on emotional intelligence and how God cares about the way we feel, and Jason sums it up beautifully when he refers to the way Christ displayed how He was feeling, because expressing ourselves is what we were made to do. I love how Jason was able to refute the idea that crying is a display of weakness, while also communicating how invested God is in securing our emotional freedom!
If there is anything else I would say, it’s that God has given us the wisdom and principles in His word that help us to be emotionally free, and I am grateful that Jason has written this book as a vehicle for men to know this. I love the title he chose for this book as well, because men who work on understanding their emotions are not “getting in touch with their feminine side,” they’re understanding complete masculinity.
So I encourage you to purchase his book through all physical and digital outlets, and gift it to men in your life you care for, as we all press towards freedom from emotional incarceration!
Categories: Books, mental health, reflection
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