I’m a Superior Man. I’m not an Infallible Man.

“May I reach my destination in peace and fulfill my mission.” ~ The Traveler’s Prayer

As I drive north from Ashland to Seattle, I think about her.

First, I pass the turnoff to the Umpqua River and Crater Lake where we adventured together. Later, I set up camp beneath big mossy trees on the bank of the wild Santium River – the kind of campsite that drives both of us wild.

I don’t know what to do with these memories. These feelings. I suppose they just have to be. I don’t have the answers to this riddle. I guess all those people are wrong about me.

You really have your head on straight.

You really know how to live.

You really have it all figured out.

I hear lines like that all the time, especially when I’m living the Meander lifestyle. No girl. No gig. Just the road.

Wow. They must be right. I must really have my shit together.

Bull shit.

I may be better off now than seven years ago, but I have a long way to go. Otherwise, I may not be sitting next to this river by myself. I’d be here with the partner that I think and say that I want. The partner that I think and say I’m willing to “do it the right way” to find and keep.Travelers Prayer

And, yet, something is amiss. I’ve played a role in not finding the one and in not keeping the ones I’ve had.

I’m a Superior Man. I’m not an Infallible Man.

The Way of the Superior Man.

I was introduced to David Deida and his book The Way of the Superior Man last summer in Jaymin Patel’s masculinity workshop at Firefly Gathering. The book covers a lot of ground and it was pretty darn impactful.

To summarize from Deida’s website, a Superior Man is one who strives to live a masculine life of integrity, authenticity, and freedom in all areas – from career and family to women and intimacy to love and spirituality.

Or, in Jaymin’s words, “Masculinity isn’t about paternalism or machoism. We’re not here to talk about our cocks.”

I strive to be a Superior Man. Not superior to other men, but superior to the man I was yesterday.

A few key points from the book stand out to me still (from memory because I didn’t bring the book with me) …

  • The masculine seeks to compete and provide. The feminine seeks to commune and nurture. Men can have feminine energy. Women can have masculine energy. It’s all good.
  • A man must live in alignment with his values – with integrity – in order to access his masculine power, reach his full potential, and provide for himself and those around him.
  • The lack of coming-of-age rituals today creates a culture of taking man-boys who move from mom’s bosom to girlfriends’ bosoms to wife’s bosom without learning to provide as men.

I could write a whole post on each of these points. Maybe someday … when I have the book.

May I reach my destination in peace and fulfill my mission.

In the meantime, I want to focus on integrity. I strive to live with integrity in all my affairs, including my romantic relationships. That said, I’m not infallible. I get confused. I bottle up my feelings until they boil over. I make mistakes.

And one of the primary drivers of my fallibility is alcohol.

The second line of the Traveler’s Prayer is: May I reach my destination in peace and fulfill my mission.

I’ve identified my mission on this third Meander. I’ve made a 90-day commitment to myself and a few trusted friends that I will not be drunk. That means no more than two beers or two glasses of wine in a night. No exceptions.

Alcohol and I have an unhealthy relationship. It too often leads me out of alignment with my values. It leads me away from clarity and toward confusion, emotion stuffing, and mistakes. I seriously doubt I’m an alcoholic, but I’ll find out in the next 90 days.

I don’t seek answers. I simply seek clarity and awareness – of my self and my surroundings – so that I can live in tighter alignment with my values and take yet another step in what will be a lifelong journey toward having my shit together.

I’m 17 days into 90. May I reach my destination in peace and fulfill my mission.


Way of the Superior Man