The last couple of days, it’s been more difficult for me to press on and continue moving forward. I feel like shutting down and just not doing anything except lie on the couch and watch Netflix all day. I don’t want to keep reaching and do the things I have to do to keep moving forward.
I’ve developed a routine that seems to be working for me. I wake-up and practice the Wim Hof Breathing Method. Then I meditate immediately afterward. Then, if there’s time, I write – I either blog or I journal or I write fiction. Then I workout both days of the weekend and a couple times during the week. And I try to read, listen to a Podcast, and or watch a video that has something to do with self improvement.
Yesterday it was a chore to workout and I never did the breathing or meditating. I didn’t write at all either. And today I woke-up and I really don’t want to workout a little later. But I forced myself to breathe and meditate and now here I am writing the blog. But I feel major resistance inside of me.
What I did do yesterday was watch the Tony Robbins documentary called “I Am Not Your Guru”. And I did take a walk and think a lot. My thinking was focused on one specific part of the documentary.
It was the part that focuses on relationships. A woman stood up and read about her vision of a relationship. It was all about her wanting to have power but also wanting her man to make her feel comfortable and protected. After she finished, Tony had her husband stand-up and asked for his vision. And his vision was a mess and Tony called him out on it.
Tony came down from the stage and asked the guy to come out of the row. Then Tony asked the guy about his father and it was discovered that the mother dominated this man’s father and the father dominated this man. So, he saw his mother dominating the major male figure in his life and then he was dominated by his father.Tony told the man he was not a weak man but he was a man who had learned to be weak.
As soon as I heard this, my body was filled with a flash of warmth. Every fiber of my being suddenly stood at attention and it was like Tony was talking to me.
Tony then told this story:
“A long time ago there was a baby. And one day an attack slaughtered the baby’s mother. So, the father grabbed the baby lion and threw him into the bushes. And then the father was slaughtered too. The baby lion woke-up later and his entire family was gone. Not even a trace was left. He was left alone and confused with no memory of what had happened or who he was.
After a short time, a flock of sheep came along saying ‘baa baa baa’. The baby climbed out of the bushes and one of the sheep started rubbing up against him and allowed the lion to nurse. So, the baby stayed with the sheep.
Then one day, a pride of lions came along and slaughtered all the sheep. The baby was mortified and terrified. He was crying “baa baa baa’.
After all the sheep were killed, the leader of the pride came-up to the lion who was crying out like a sheep, and asked him what the f- he was doing? He grabbed the sheep/lion, who was now a full grown huge lion, and showed him his reflection in a puddle. But that wasn’t enough. So, the leader of the pride took some of meat from the sheep and shoved it into his mouth. And when he tasted the meat and swallowed it, something extraordinary happened. The sheep/lion felt something that had always been inside of him. Something that could never be taken away. And he let out a great and mighty roar.”
Then Tony told this guy to roar and he let out the loudest, most primitive roar. The guy kept roaring. This primitive, massive roar.
And then Tony said something like: “Heal the boy and the man will appear.”
The larger lesson in that lesson – the universal lesson – was that men need to heal the boy in order to become a good man. This includes any man who was wounded in childhood and as a result of that hurt is not the best version of the man he can be So, it applies to the man who is emotionally absent. It applies to the man who is overbearing. It applies to the man who can’t his express his love. And it applies to the man who abuses others.
That’s the larger meaning.
But there’s also the specific meaning for that man in the video.
And the point of all of the story for that man was to show that he had never truly felt like a man. He’d learned to not be a man but now he was on the path to becoming the man he was meant to be.
That really struck me hard.
And I thought I knew why it struck me hard.
And then I woke-up really struggling today.
Thinking about it makes me want to stop writing this right now.
I thought the truth was that I’m not fully the man that I am destined to be. And I need to heal the boy in order to fully become that man.
There’s definitely something there. Something big and yucky. Something that I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s a truth that’s just beyond my grasp and I’m afraid to keep reaching for it.
I am not a good enough man. I am not enough.
And I :
“I need to roar like a lion. I need to stop being passive and step-up and be a man.”
But something’s there. Something ‘spushing back. And it makes me feel so afraid.
This is a reappearing theme with me. My ex went after my manhood. And she did a shitload of damage. I also remember her brother telling me to step-up and be a man and to leave the house (but there was no way I was leaving without my kids). And even Wildflower brought up how she didn’t feel like I had her back. And she wished that I would be more assertive and more real.She would tell me I was the greatest man (or one of the greatest – she would say both) she ever knew. But I internalized it as: I am not enough of a man.
So, I met-up with V in the middle of writing this. And I told her about the video and how I was feeling. And how I wanted to be more of a man. I wanted to roar like a lion. And she pointed out to me that I already was roaring like a lion. What about when I went into court and advocated for my child? What about when I stand-up for my children? What about when I stood-up for Wildflower in the hospital and took care of her medical decisions? What about when I protected her from a “friend” who tried to get very private information? What about stepping-up and being a single dad 7 days a week? What about putting my ass on the line every single day?
And I had a holy shit moment.
I see all those things as me being caring. I do them without even thinking. But what if I chose to see them as roaring? Would they then be roaring? And would that make me a lion?
And is the reason why that video made me feel uncomfortable and yucky because I’m trying to change something that doesn’t need to be changed?Am I already a lion?
But there is a common theme here, right? My ex pointed it out. Wildflower eluded to it.
I remember my ex saying to me that she wanted more of a man. A real man. And a real man just comes home from work and sits in the recliner and makes his wife bring him a beer and cook him dinner. I wasn’t a man because I made dinner and I didn’t just sit around drinking beer.
And I remember thinking:
“Yeah, if I was that kind of man then we all would’ve starved.
And I see what she was doing. She was blaming her drinking and her inability to be a good wife and mother on me. I cooked dinner because we needed to eat. I took care of our kids because they needed to be cared for. Would I have liked for her to cook dinner once in a while? Of course! And would I have liked her to be more involved with our kids? Absolutely!
(And by the way, even if she had been more involved, I still would never have been that guy to let her do everything while I sit around drinking a beer. That’s just not me.)
I stepped up for myself and for my kids. And I continue to step up every single day… as so many other single parents do too.
And I do wish I could have been stronger for Wildflower. And I wish I was able to give her whatever it was she needed.
But I also have to acknowledge that I don’t even think she knew exactly what she wanted. I know I didn’t know what she wanted. Hell, I didn’t even know what I wanted. Not then. And I needed more too.
Does that make me not a man? Does it make me weak? Does it make me inadequate?
After watching that part of the video, I thought it did.
Tony said something like this to the man:
“You are not a weak man. But you are weak because you learned you get rewarded for weakness.”
And I thought Tony was speaking directly to me. And I told myself:
“There is the proof. See! You are weak. You are that man. And you learned to be weak in childhood and now you have to fix that.”
But I’m not weak.
I do want to be stronger. And I do want to be able to be there even more for those I love. But that doesn’t mean I’m weak. And it certainly doesn’t mean I am the same as that man.
I do want to grow and become more. I feel that inside. But there aren’t any wholesale changes that need to take place. And I am enough. Right now. Sitting right here. I am enough.
So, I need to be very careful. I think everyone does.
We need to be careful not to beat ourselves up too much. Really, we shouldn’t beat ourselves up at all. We are good. We are worthy. We are enough. Right now. Right this moment.
And we also have to be careful about not judging areas that need improvement. It doesn’t mean we’re bad. And it doesn’t mean that what needs improving was bad.
And maybe what we think needs improving is just a lie we’re telling ourselves. Maybe we just need to shift how we see things and that will allow us to see the truth. For example, see the things I do as roaring and I am a lion.
But yes, I want to be more assertive in some situations. I do. I know I shrunk when the shit hit the fan and kept hitting the fan while I was dating Wildflower. I wish I didn’t hide. And I want to be stronger next time. I want to be able to recognize what I’m doing and to rise up as much as possible. But the fact that I shrunk and hid doesn’t define me. It doesn’t mean that I was weak or that I am weakk. And it doesn’t mean I’m not enough of a man.
It doesn’t mean I’m horrible or that I’m lousy at that particular aspect of my life either.
In fact, I feel like I’ve proven that I have the back of those I care about. And I’ve proven that I can and will step-up. But I can still improve. And I want to improve. But when I do improve it won’t mean the me from months ago was bad.
It comes back to being compassionate with myself. And understanding. And not judging. Not judging myself and not judging my actions as bad or good. I know I did the best I could. And I did what I did because that’s who I was and where I was. Then. And I will not be there again. I will be somewhere similar and when I am, I’m hopeful that I’ll be fuller with love – love for myself and love for others.
So, I guess that’s what made me feel stuck. It also makes me so tired. Sometimes all of this – the working out, the breathing, the meditating, the cold showers, the reading and watching, the self analysis – wears me out. And I feel pretty worn out right now. But I think a lot of those feelings were coming-up because I was about to go down the wrong road. And my spirit knew it. And I’m thankful for that.
And now I’m going to just let myself feel a little stuck and feel worn out, and I’m going to go to bed earlier and wake-up tomorrow bright and early and start all over again.