I can’t put together a bookshelf if my life depended on it, even if they’re ones from IKEA. From what would seem like an easy 20 minute job, can take hours for me. Oh, and a whole shitload of F-bombs that follow.
I’ve never been a “handyman” and it still puzzles me especially in this day and age, we still call it a handy “man”. Let’s just say, I’m not very good when it comes to fixing or building things at home.
I’ve never really quite fit the bill when it comes to the stereotype that all guys are into fixing things, drooling over muscle cars, drinking beer on a Friday night watching sports while trash talking their buddies. Ok, I admit, I do watch basketball but it’s well documented why Basketball has become my sport of choice.
When it comes to being a Man, what’s more important to me has been listening, sharing thoughts, being compassionate, encouraging others to share their feelings and challenging others to think deeply for themselves. That’s been my scene ever since I could remember as a kid, but I’ve only finally come to embrace in the last 5 years.
Finding purpose has often been my drive in recent years. As a publisher, author, dad, colleague and peer, I’ve very seldomly taken things as face value. Do I over analyze? Sometimes. Do I want more meaning behind things that happen, other than surrendering to the notion that “it is what it is?” Most definitely. This is maybe why I tend to overthink things.
Recently, I’ve been teetering with ideas for my next project (simply because I feel lacklustred sitting at home EVERY night flipping channels on a TV set). As most of my readers know, one of my main goals is to help motivate men to talk about their feelings and thoughts more; to embrace their emotions instead of running away from them. This is directly connected to bringing awareness to our mental health and finding healthier ways to cope with it. Digging deeper, I want to help men realize that the core of their past is what drives their belief system; and to be at peace with that foundation is what essentially brings us closer to the state of bliss in our relationship with others. Healing inner wounds takes courage that many men (including myself before) can not hear, see or comprehend. To many, that’s just New Age fluff dreampt up by self-proclaimed gurus who need their head’s examined.
But I’m here to change that image for guys.
So, I’ve toyed with the idea of starting a men’s group. What would that look like? What’s my objectives? What are my core pillars for this group going to look like? I had so many questions and started to get really excited with the idea of being a leading voice of change. With so many ideas, my head also started to spin with doubt, questioning how, where and when I would start such a thing.
Men’s groups have evolved greatly over the years. Back in the 19th century, men’s groups were essentially a bunch of guys in fraternities initiating each other, getting together, dressing up and boasting each other’s masculinity. But gradually over time, thanks to things like social justice, and the feminist movement, men’s groups started to evolve. Initiations into some of these groups began to mean something greater than belonging to an exclusive club of men. I read somewhere (and I’m paraphrasing) that intiation is a ritual bringing people across a state of transformation, whereby demanding change in the conscious and subconscious mind. That’s powerful if used in the right context of a specific men’s group. Unfortunatley, there’s radical groups out there who use this definition for the lesser good of humankind.
Then it struck me. Since I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around starting a men’s group, why not join one? The idea of joining one used to evade me because I always imagined myself in control of a group, facilitating them and leading a group of like-minded men. Hmm, why must I lead? Why must I be in control? Then I realized, that was my ego talking.
I peeled off all the layers of my goals and ultimately it came down to this in its most simplistic form: I want to help men share their stories so they can feel safer and become more aware of their mental health. P-E-R-I-O-D.
No where in that objective states anything about leading a marching band, right? Again, that’s my ego thinking that things have be done MY way, therefore I need to lead.
I’ve come to realize there’s others way to lead and help. If I stay true to my objective, all I need to do is find a men’s group out there that shares the same values as me, and join them! There’s so many out there that I can contribute to. Being a part of something IS being of service to others. I do not have to lead a group necessarily to help others. To do something great, or to be someone great, can be about being a part of something that matters to me.
Having this realization makes things simpler for me.
Lesson of the day for me: Helping others can come in different forms, and paying attention too much to the ego can cloud what my true intentions are.
Thank you, Self-Awareness. I Love you!