I became acquainted with Dr. James Hollis because a friend introduced me to his books and audio lectures during a challenging and difficult stage of my life, a swampland as Jim would call it, and his thoughts helped my healing process immensely. A few years later, I had the good fortune to meet Jim, and during a conversation I inquired which topic, of the many he had written about, felt most important to bring to a larger audience. Reflexively he replied, the wounding and healing of men. Having already written a book on the topic (“Under Saturn’s Shadow”), which I had read, Jim gave me his blessing to use it in order to create a film on the topic. Thus began “Soulheal".
As I researched the topic, I realized how pervasive this brutalized psyche of man was. How for centuries wounded men, operating out of fear, cloaking themselves with power, have continuously moved humanity toward war, needless death and disease, to the precipice of extinction.
All our fathers and their fathers and their fathers have been wounded by cultural fabrication and circumscription of the male identity. Most men have stepped into bigger shoes boldly, doing the best they know and can, but many have abandoned their responsibility to be present and act and somehow, someway, to engage with their sons; instead opting for a cowardly attrition which leaves them disconnected and ashamed.
In my own life, at an early age, I was faced with deciding whether to accept the responsibility of being a parent. After answering the call, the choice proved obvious, but I needed to bottom out before committing. I was scared of the responsibility of being a single parent, of growing up, of living through challenges, of embracing triumph and defeat. Wallowing in self-pity, I was a wounded man.
Decades later, “Soulheal” is my way of saying to boys and men that there is no shame in living your truth. In fact, a man must live his truth to find meaning in his life, to feel fulfilled. To achieve wholeness, man must self-examine what he says and does and hold himself accountable for his words and actions.
If “Soulheal” serves as a mirror for men, a pause which causes them to stop and reflect, it will have served its purpose. And because we recognize that there are many great organizations knee-deep in confronting the societal wreckage wounded men leave behind, “Soulheal” will be donating all of its net proceeds to them.
Dr. James Hollis