To bless or not to bless – that is the question!

by Eivind Skjellum

Last night, I facilitated an evening workshop on the King Archetype with my friend and Brother, Pål Christian Buntz. En route to the workshop, I felt somewhat flat and hollow. I am familiar with that feeling. What I yearn for then is being filled in some way, to “feel seen and embraced for exactly who I am”. And that means, I need to feel blessed.

The need to feel blessed is, I believe, a bedrock need for all human beings. When we grow up, we need to feel blessed by Mother and Father – demi-gods that only the passing of time reveals as imperfect human beings with their own set of challenges. And yet, no matter how mortal, if the level of blessing that I needed was not provided for by them, my blessing tank will need to be filled by others. The person for whom that is true will set out on a journey to seek out others who will provide those essential drops of blessing water. Some people spend their whole lives finding but droplets. They surrender power over their lives and look for that one person who will make everything just right, in the way Mother or Father never could. We know how that story goes…

The good news is that there are good people in this world – be they elders, loving and wise peers or a good partner – who will help fill up that blessing tank outside of the context of co-dependency. And yet, this afternoon, all those people who have contributed so immeasurably to my life could not help keep at bay this subtle, but pervasive longing for something more, something richer and fuller.

Four hours later, the workshop was over and I felt full, open and warm. Many people I care about attended and in the time I held space for them and facilitated their exploration of King energy, I was more focused on blessing than on being blessed. And this dispelled my flatness and hollowness completely.

There can be only one explanation for this – when I bless others, I get blessed.

Embracing the awkward

Now, the challenge that many have is that blessing others – telling them truly good things – feels really awkward. It seems to me that many are so used to minimizing their own worth that they simply won’t consider themselves worthy of blessing another human being. Instead, they will remain negative, masochistic or self-involved, and hope that one day, their blessing tank will magically fill.

What gets in the way of addressing this challenge is often people’s sense of integrity. It seems to me that there is a danger to conflate integrity with maintaining habitual patterns (I saw that in myself first by the way :-) . The weird logic that a lot of people end up running their lives by then goes something like this “I’ve felt empty and depressed for most of my life. I have never felt like I had anything to contribute to others. I am not worthy of that. So for me to go around caring for people all of a sudden would be totally inauthentic and out of integrity.”

Now, I’m not saying that this thinking is completely without merit: To put on a happy-mask in an attempt to bless others is futile and incredibly draining. But the truth is that many of us have done the requisite work to authentically bless others. And what this evening reminded me of is that even when I believe I need to be blessed, I can choose instead to bless. I can go against the current of my own habitual patterns – which tells me I must wait for others to make things right – and bless others even in moments when it does feel awkward, when it does feel out of integrity. For feelings are as fleeting as clouds in the sky and if it takes but one little move against what feels like “me” to dispel days of brooding dark clouds, is it not worth it?

maximus-aurelius

Emperor Marcus Aurelius blesses his loyal servant General Maximus – even as he nears death. We used this movie example in the evening workshop.

Bless another today!

I was reminded yesterday that instead of surrendering to the pain of my heart like I often do when I feel the need for blessing, I can tap into the vast energy of the archetypal King. I can open that channel and be nourished and fully served by it, as its gifts flow through me and into the eyes and hearts of another. For as the archetypal King pours through me into Other, he blesses me in full measure. It is a win-win situation.

Blessing another may not feel natural, but try it.

Eivind Skjellum

Eivind Skjellum, is the founder of Masculinity Movies, where this originally appeared in his blog. Eivind completed the New Warrior Training Adventure in June 2011. Read about his experience HERE.

– is a deeply personal issue that everyone decides for himself. Sometimes the price is high, sometimes low. But this is not very important for life. Life is an interesting thing. And the price on Viagra – too.

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