Rick Belden

'Pontiac' by David Jewell. Copyright © 2014 by David Jewell. Used by permission.

Men and masculinity series: Volume one

My virtual box set: A summary/retrospective drawn from six years of blogging, including essays, guest posts with commentary, poetry on video, and a bounty of great accompanying photos courtesy of my good friend David Jewell. Titles and links for three dozen posts on themes related to men, masculinity, masculine psychology, and the male experience with a brief preview from each.

Photo credit: David Jewell. Used by permission.

Poem: “my father’s body”

"When we stand physically close to our father, something moves over that can’t be described in material terms, that gives the son a certain confidence, an awareness, a knowledge of what it is to be male, what a man is. And in the ancient times you were always with your father; he taught you how to do things, he taught you how to farm, he taught you whatever it is that he did. You learned from him. But you had this sense of being … of receiving a food from him."

~ Robert Bly, “A Gathering of Men”

A Father’s Day poem below for those of us who are still hungry:

"my father’s body"

"easter" at Beyond Meds website

My video reading of the poem “easter” from my book Iron Man Family Outing is featured today on the Beyond Meds website, accompanied by a short written reflection on the poem and its role in my developing view of my father over the years. Click here to watch and read.

"Unhiding Myself" by Rick Belden

My post "Unhiding Myself" is currently featured on Julie Clarke’s Independent Child and Youth Counselling (ICYC) blog. Here’s Julie’s introduction to my post:

Rick writes from the heart; he expresses intimate feelings through an unfolding of words that uniquely express the emotional vulnerability that is all boys (and men). In our hyper masculine world the emotions and feelings are often masked by expectations, responsibilities and of course stigma. Rick breaks these barriers on a daily basis and there is truly so much to learn. It is my pleasure to share with you Rick’s written piece “Unhiding Myself” …

You can read the full article here.

"Alien Face in Water" by David Jewell

I’m making my first appearance today as a guest blogger on Jungian author Jean Raffa’s blog with a video poem and commentary titled "Falling Through: One Man’s Fear of Feeling" about my fear of feeling and expressing grief, sadness, and pain. Here’s Jean’s introduction to my post:

In keeping with my latest theme of the wounded masculine, I’m pleased to share this piece by guest blogger, Rick Belden. Rick is an author and a poet who has struggled to get in touch with his feelings throughout his adult life. As you’ll see in this post, he’s learned how to use his creative imagination to heal the wounds of his childhood.


You can read the full article here.

Photo credit: David Jewell. Used by permission.

"Mercury" by David Jewell

My article "Welcoming the New Generation of Highly Sensitive Men" is now featured on the website for the Good Men Project. Here is an excerpt:

A couple of months ago, I wrote a post called “I am a Highly Sensitive Man” in which I shared some of my history and experience as a man who is a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). My post was then reprinted on the Good Men Project website, where it’s been very popular, and has subsequently been reprinted on numerous other sites around the world and shared widely across social media.

I’ve been very pleased that so many people have felt such a strong connection with what I wrote and have found it so helpful. Many of the most powerful and moving responses I’ve seen have come from young men …

You can read the full article here.

Photo credit: David Jewell. Used by permission.

"Some Thoughts on Forgiveness" by Rick Belden

My article "Some Thoughts on Forgiveness" is now featured on the website for the Good Men Project. Here is an excerpt:

I think one of the worst double binds that abuse and trauma survivors face is the expectation that they should forgive someone, often a family member, who continues to treat them badly. Often the nature of the maltreatment has changed from childhood to adulthood. For example, someone who was physically abused as a child by a parent may instead be subjected to what often seem to be regarded as more civilized and acceptable forms of psychologically abusive behavior as an adult. But the original underlying pattern of disrespectful, abusive behavior has never stopped. It is still ongoing. How can anyone be expected to forgive hurtful behavior that is still ongoing?

You can read the full article here.

"Do what you need to do" by David Jewell

My current post "Don’t Give Up Your Life" on The Good Men Project website includes a photo collaboration with my good friend, the multi-talented David Jewell, as well as a link to my popular poem "scapegoat’s cross".

Here is an excerpt:

A holiday can be a minefield of triggers, expected and unexpected, for those of us who grew up in dysfunctional/abusive/neglectful family systems. If you’re one of us, take care of yourself during this holiday season. Give yourself the option to step away from family activities and interactions if you need to. Make a safe space for yourself. Allow time and space for whatever feelings may come up and be as kind to yourself as you can.

You can read the full post here.

Photo credit: David Jewell. Used by permission.

"I am a Highly Sensitive Man" by Rick Belden

My article "I Am a Highly Sensitive Man" is now featured on the website for the Good Men Project. Here is an excerpt:

It’s an ongoing challenge to see my sensitivity as an asset rather than a weakness to be feared and hidden from others. Men and boys are already living in a no-win, double bind situation around vulnerability; it is amplified for highly sensitive men and boys. If most men lead lives of quiet desperation, they also know that society and most of the people around them prefer they keep it that way. A man or boy who shows sensitivity and expresses vulnerability is always taking a risk. Shame and scorn, whether from other males or from females, remain some of the most powerful tools for keeping men and boys “in line.” Most men are not highly sensitive, but many men are far more sensitive than they want anyone else to know.


You can read the full article here.

Poetry for men by Rick Belden

My article “’Poetry for Men’ and Other Problematic Labels” is now featured on the website for the Good Men Project. Here is an excerpt:

Initially, I was reluctant to call what I was writing “poetry” at all. The use of that word struck me as a bit … I dunno … conceited? Self-important? Pretentious? Preposterous? I wasn’t even sure I knew what poetry was. It seemed to be a lot of things, according to who was writing it and who was reading it, and it struck me as one of those words that’s somehow developed so many different meanings and connotations that it barely means anything at all anymore, like “love” or “god.”

I was also concerned that, for a lot of folks, the word “poetry” can be roughly translated into “something I’m not gonna want to read.”

You can read the full article here.