coming homeEarlier this month I spent four days at an  aFIRMing event in Co. Wicklow, Ireland, organised by the Male Spirituality movement.  It was another powerful series of rituals and processes designed to deepen the experience of initiated men, affirm their soul identity, and support the journey into both authentic son-ship and the true meaning of elderhood.  This event is available to those initiated men who have completed the male rites-of-passage.

The dominant theme of the rituals is ‘coming home’: coming home into the deepest sense of who-we-are; coming home into our true authority and integrity; coming home to our soul’s desire; coming home into the eternal love and affirmation which is always available to us, if only we are still enough to hear that voice.

This return home does not depend on what we have done previously in our lives. It does not require us to be ‘right’ or ‘moral’ or ‘just’ or ‘good’.  Indeed, the very opposite is true: it is in our imperfection, our mistakes, our flaws, our woundedness that we are accepted and validated.  We are called to be vulnerable (not defensive or justifying), open and receptive (not closed and pre-judging), heart centred (not rational and analytical), humble (not righteous).

The human condition is one of being lost. In Biblical terms, we are ‘lost’ from the Garden of Eden; we are ‘lost’ in our suffering, hurt and dissatisfaction; we are lost in our isolation and disconnection from one another; we are lost from the deep meaning and purpose at the centre of our lives.  And most people have no awareness of their own lost condition.  The journey back home into our true connected nature is one of being found.  Being Found is not something that we do to ourselves. There is no activity or path that leads to being self-found.  Our meaning, our connection, our belonging finds us – when we are ready to recognise our own hurt and our own humility.  Being Found is done to us, not by us.  This is the journey home – and the significance of the events and rituals of the male aFIRMing.