I’ve been struggling lately. First I had a physical setback, a broken ankle, and I thought that dealing with the physical side of my healing would be the major thing to overcome. Then came the realization that the mental part of my game was actually a more difficult piece to overcome, and I completely underestimated it, thinking it would pass by itself.
And I just spiraled downward from there, even though I was trying to keep up appearances and continuing to try to work as if nothing happened. That was a mistake.
I never gave myself the space to really do the work on myself that needed to be done. I just went along with my cultural programming: Keep your chin up. Cowboy up. Muscle through it. All of which can be complete bullshit if you aren’t doing the work – they’re simply overused clichés which lead us astray.
I’m probably a stereotypical man in many areas, in that I don’t acknowledge my own manhood, my own journey, often enough, and that leads to personal stagnation. I’ve felt that way too often over the last several months, and have been stating this internally: “I am so far off my game. I’ve got to get my mojo back.”
But I’m fortunate to have a man like Jayson Gaddis in my circle of friends. We’ve never met in person, because I left Colorado before we could actually hang out, but we’ve spoken on the phone, I follow his blog, Revolutionary Man, and I have a high regard for his work with men and men’s issues. Specifically, his work in helping men to up their game and to take responsibility for their lives, their own manhood.
I’ve watched this video from Jayson quite a few times now, and I have it bookmarked for whenever I need a kick in the ass. I think that every man needs to see this, to hear this feedback and to act on it. I also strongly believe that women need to watch it and share it with their partners and their sons. It’s powerful.
The men’s movement has taken some hits from people who either don’t get it, or who somehow believe that just because you’re born with testicles, your life is golden and you have no right to feel held back.
And maybe there’s some justification for that – a lot of self-help charlatans are selling some sort of ‘magic pill’, or convincing people that all they need to do is read a book or sit in on a drum circle or get led on a ‘vision quest’ to change their life. (Imagine some pseudo-hippie Kumbaya gathering in the woods with lots of touchy-feely ‘sharing’ that mimics the women’s movement.)
But what Jayson offers is something more than that – mentoring, connecting with other men, learning to lean on your bros instead of your wife or girlfriend. It’s not the women’s movement for men. It’s a man’s movement.
Because we’re not women. We’re men. We’re fathers and sons and husbands, and yes, we do think and feel differently than women. And it’s time for us to rise up and feel fully in our power.
Being fully in our power doesn’t mean being dominant over anyone else. It doesn’t mean being powerful in the sense of physical strength. It doesn’t mean putting on that mask that we picked up from hearing the locker room macho BS.
Being fully in our power means trusting our hearts, trusting our intuition, being brutally honest with ourselves and with others. It means accepting our emotions and our fears, and not letting others ‘make’ us feel a certain way. It means not being eaten alive by rage.
Being fully in our power means we’ve found the fire within us and can draw from that every single day in order to be fully alive – not living someone else’s dreams or living our lives as a reaction to others.
So thank you, Jayson, for helping me to get my mojo back.
Image: Daquella manera at Flickr