balloongirl

Before I start this, I want to make something clear. This post is not coming from a man who has had an easy time his whole life with women. In fact, I have had my heart broken more times than I care to admit. I have shed tears, been betrayed in the worst of ways and have been made to feel unimportant, almost to the point where I thought I didn’t exist. And even through all of this, I can still put my heart on the line for women because I believe in one fundamental reality.

Women are beautiful.

Last night, one of my best friends sent me an article and asked for my thoughts. So I opened it up and read the first line. “I’m just gonna come out and say it: I love insecure women.” I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and continued reading on for the next 10 minutes. After I finished, I shut my computer screen  and sat there with my hands over my ears and closed my eyes. In those moments I sat there thinking, I took a brief trip to my past to attempt to give this man who had written one of the most hate filled articles I have ever read the benefit of the doubt, and to try to understand if there was any truth in his obvious anger.

Aristotle once said, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” So I entertained his assertions for a few minutes and began to feel this emptiness inside of me. Everything was cold. And of course when you read hate, you feel that inside. His following conclusions are what made me feel sick to my stomach.

Most girls have done nothing to deserve self-esteem

Insecurity is integral to femininity

Women don’t want to have high self-esteem

When I was a very young boy, my grandfather sat me down, one of the handful of times we talked one on one, and said, “Evan, you make sure you treat the women in your life well. And if someone hurts your loved ones, you make sure they never do that again.” I can hear his words echoing in my ears right now. Maybe that is why I am writing this piece, not because a woman in my life was attacked. No, because I feel like every woman in the world was attacked by generalizations, unfair judgements, and shallow absolutes. So here I am, a young man who wears plenty of scars from the opposite sex, writing down what I truly  believe. And I will say it again.

Women are beautiful.

Some of the most meaningful, trustworthy, passionate, vulnerable, loving friendships and relationships I have had and still have are with women. In fact, I know for certain that if it wasn’t for a few select women in my life, I probably wouldn’t be around. My relationships with women have taught me how to dive into the emotional side of my heart, how to be gentle in a world that is incredibly rough, how to take care of another, and most of all how to deeply and passionately love others. These relationships have helped me grow into a man that I am proud of. It doesn’t matter if many have come and gone, or if the relationships ended poorly for one reason or another. The important thing is that I learned – from some of the best people I know or have ever known – how to be an authentic and caring human being.

Are there women in the world who are insecure and have self-esteem issues? Absolutely. Are there men who have the exact same issues? Of course. Because at the end of the day it doesn’t matter if you are male or female when you are looking in the mirror and the negative side of your mind is out of control telling you that you’re too fat, you’re not pretty enough, your eyes are too far apart, or that you don’t have glowing skin. Your gender doesn’t truly have a say when the negativity spreads throughout your life like a virus and you become filled with anxiety, depression, and fear. Every person on this planet battles with the same issues. Are there some issues that happen specifically to a woman more than a man and visa versa? Once again, absolutely. But every human being has felt insecure, worthless and pathetic. That is a part of life. These emotions are at the opposite end of the spectrum where happiness and joy spend their time. And to experience one you must experience the other. Life is incredibly balanced. It gives you a taste of feeling horrible about yourself so you can truly experience the warmth in your heart when you are living in the present and enjoying the path you are on.

Our greatest joy comes from deeply loving others, male or female, gay or straight, short or tall, fat or skinny. It’s about seeing someone as exactly who they are and who they aren’t, and learning to love an imperfect person perfectly. Light comes from being vulnerable with people, by trusting in the goodness of their hearts, and by giving yourself to your family, your friends, and to your significant other. Life is not a male vs. female issue. It is in fact a person to person collaboration. I think we have lost sight of that. We have lost sight of the fact that our material world is special because it is filled with unique individuals who all have the capacity to love one another deeply and to shine light in places of darkness.

I’m no fool, I know that there are people in the world that do terrible things to others and hurt people deeply. However, we can’t make generalizations about an entire gender or  anyone else for that matter because we happened to have certain events occur throughout our lifetime. Our life is not the life of others. If we continue to focus on what makes us different we will never be able to relate to each other. The exact same event will never happen in the exact same way to two people…ever. However, if we decide that it is more important to feel empathetic towards others and to connect with them on an emotional level, that is where the true magic happens. That is how relationships are built, walls are broken down, and love infectiously spreads into the deepest darkest cracks of this earth.

The choice is yours: to love or to hate. The most crucial question you can ask yourself is what type of world do you live in?

I choose love.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project