Happy Wednesday my Fledglings!!

 

It’s been a while since I’ve shared something on Wednesday. Almost four months to be exact. You know when you get behind on something and eventually it feels like you’ll never catch up? So, instead of even making a dent out of what you’re behind on, be it dishes, homework, cleaning the house, etc, you tend to ignore it hoping it will take care of itself?

 

That’s kind of how I’ve felt with my blog lately. I spent two months training for a new job where I didn’t have time to do much other than study and this past month trying to catch up on everything that got dropped before I spent 59 days in a hotel. I’d like to go back and work on my Grateful Sunday’s and yet, I find, that instead of doing them, I have been resisting everything else as well.

 

Well, today it’s time to break that habit! I was in the gym listening to a Ted Talk and came across this. It resonated with me so strongly that I said to myself, “Phoenix. It’s time to get out there and post again.”

 

The ironic part of listening to this talk while lifting weights was that I was trying to “ooze machismo, charisma and power”, the very roles that Justin Baldoni plays as an actor. His definition of the man he pretended to be, “…strong when I felt weak, confident when I felt insecure and tough when really I was hurting,” resounded deep within my being.

 

Here I am at the gym, pumping iron, while I had to continuously stop, brush away and hide tears that were streaming down my face. This parallels my blog about judgement I wrote the other day. I always felt judged because I was not the man society expected me to be.

 

Why I’m Done Trying to Be “Man Enough”

Justin Baldoni

 

“Growing up, we tend to challenge each other. We’ve got to be the toughest, the strongest, the bravest men that we can be. And for many of us, myself included, our identities are wrapped up in whether or not at the end of the day we feel like we’re man enough. But I’ve got a challenge for all the guys, because men love challenges.”

 

I challenge you to see if you can use the same qualities that you feel make you a man to go deeper into yourself. Your strength, your bravery, your toughness:

 

Can we redefine what those mean and use them to explore our hearts?

 

Are you brave enough to be vulnerable?

 

To reach out to another man when you need help?

 

To dive headfirst into your shame?

 

Are you strong enough to be sensitive, to cry whether you are hurting or you’re happy, even if it makes you look weak?

 

Are you confident enough to listen to the women in your life?

 

To hear their ideas and their solutions?

 

To hold their anguish and actually believe them, even if what they’re saying is against you?

 

And will you be man enough to stand up to other men when you hear “locker room talk,” when you hear stories of sexual harassment?

 

When you hear your boys talking about grabbing ass or getting her drunk, will you actually stand up and do something so that one day we don’t have to live in a world where a woman has to risk everything and come forward to say the words “me too?”

 

“So women, on behalf of men all over the world who feel similar to me, please forgive us for all the ways that we have not relied on your strength. And now I would like to ask you to formally help us, because we cannot do this alone. We are men. We’re going to mess up. We’re going to say the wrong thing. We’re going to be tone-deaf. We’re more than likely, probably, going to offend you. But don’t lose hope. We’re only here because of you, and like you, as men, we need to stand up and become your allies as you fight against pretty much everything. We need your help in celebrating our vulnerability and being patient with us as we make this very, very long journey from our heads to our hearts. And finally to parents: instead of teaching our children to be brave boys or pretty girls, can we maybe just teach them how to be good humans?”

 

Gratitude

Today I am grateful for my men in program and my close male friends that I’ve known for years.

 

I’m grateful that through my addiction, I not only have a support network that surpasses my wildest imaginations, we’re also extremely open and vulnerable with one another.

 

We laugh together. We cry together. We hold one another up when we just want to give up on the world. And yet, we also challenge each other when our thinking is off. We aren’t alone. We are on the journey of life together, stumbling and making mistakes along the way.

 

And yet, no matter how far we stumble, no matter how many mistakes we keep making, the impact of those falls is less and less. We are growing and becoming the men we were destined to be.

 

Thank you by brothers!

 

Other resources for my male Fledglings:

I haven’t had a chance to read Lewis Howes book The Mask of Masculinity. This is another great resource for men to learn what their masks are and how to take them off so they can see their authentic selves. My book list also continues to grow!

 

In The Mask of Masculinity, Howes exposes the ultimate emptiness of the Material Mask, the man who chases wealth above all things; the cowering vulnerability that hides behind the Joker and Stoic Masks of men who never show real emotion; and the destructiveness of the Invincible and Aggressive Masks worn by men who take insane risks or can never back down from a fight.

 

He teaches men how to break through the walls that hold them back and shows women how they can better understand the men in their lives. It’s not easy, but if you want to love, be loved, and live a great life, then it’s an odyssey of self-discovery that all modern men must make.

 

 

A good website for men is Man Therapy. Dr. Richard Mahogany is a fictional therapist who “mans up” to reach men who are at risk of suicide; men who are least likely to ask for help when needed. It uses humor to connect to help men address mental health issues they don’t feel comfortable talking about.

 

Working aged men (25-54 years old) account for the largest number of suicide deaths in the U.S. These men are also the least likely to receive any kind of support. They don’t talk about it with their friends. They don’t share with their family. And they sure as heck don’t seek professional treatment. They are the victims of problematic thinking that says mental health disorders are unmanly signs of weakness.

 

 

 

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