Sunday, April 25, 2021

 

That Masked Man

As my mentee group of young men finished up the other night and after they had all left, I sat alone on the patio just contemplating the evening’s discussions and singular topics of conversation. As I thought about the laughter and playful jokes cast upon each other, I realized something. There are times when the guys speak a lot and then there are times when even though they don’t speak a lot, what they do say is full of information. Many camouflaged hints, and innuendos that if I didn’t believe and practice in listening to what wasn’t said, I feel I would have missed so much insight into their emotional and spiritual wellbeing.



Words matter and it is critically important when speaking with men to listen to and read between the lines. As personal stories go, without someone listening to them, their story would just move on without anyone giving it a second thought to hear the words which may indicate the “why” they were said to begin with. It would have been my missed opportunity to speak life into them during my time together or the one on one coffees with them.  

Life can be so crazy for all of us but for these young inexperienced men, everyday life can become overwhelming and could be tempted to just not bother with it because there may be hurt or pain, which are contributors to a feeling of hopelessness and worse, loneliness. This is never healthy for anyone. 

Going back to the evening of my guys group, we spoke to a lot of things and there were a few things that we discussed that shall remain “secret” due to it’s very personal nature, but what I can say is that men need to talk…about many things, all things. Most days guys wear a mask that they hide behind to cover many things and in order for them to step out from behind the mask, there's a few things that have to line up. They need a place where there is safety, where there is no criticism or judgement. A place where they can just be themselves, messed up, quirky, but always safe. A place where they know there is no one better or worse than them. Where they are equal and close enough to speak out loud about anything and everything. These are the moments when the windows of heaven open and we imagine Jesus saying, “YES!!! This is why I called you here, and here you will learn about an intimate relationship with Me first, and then an intimate relationship with others just like you. Men that do life and share life together to support each other, to hold up each others arms, and to point each other back to Me your source for life.” This impacts me to the core as I was, and am, so proud of these guys for their vulnerable sharing, for their trust, and the very evidence of love in action for each other. 

I’ve been a part of other men’s groups before and I have to brag about this group always, that they embody an intimate relationship with another man, AND, they hold nothing back between them. I have been working with these guys for over two years, starting with one who then invited a second, who invited a third, and the third invited a fourth. It took some time and I can’t say it has been an easy journey but man is it worth it. I can’t believe I am witness to what God can do with anyone that is willing to learn. Anyone who is willing to say enough is enough and take the hard steps to move into a higher level of emotional and spiritual health. These young men do not have an easy life but right now they have an abundant life. The one that God promised to those who want it.

For the men that are in fellowship with other men or just one, enjoy, enrich it to it’s maximum capacity. Envision more than just having fun together and chatting. Create within an intentionality to  pull each other up and encourage one another knowing that at any time life will hit you square in the face and you’ll fall flat. Friends are good to have, but an intimate friend, one that sees you honestly and truthfully, are rare and more valuable than any amount of money or gold. All our backs are exposed at any time and knowing someone has guard over you, is like Jesus with skin on as they say "having your six." Nothing better in this world, no one better to do life with. Get here and I promise…you will love every moment of every day knowing you have this kind of friend, and even more when you have a few.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

 

Our Life In Pieces

 

I’ve spoken to this topic before but I came across something that made me want to remind you of who you are. I came across an article this morning and it caught my attention because it is about an area of life that I have deep interest in. So, I would like to start with this quote from the book by Jack Myers, The Future of Men. He states, “Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are tapping into what I’m calling a “Lean Out” generation of young, discouraged and angry men—men who are feeling abandoned by the thousands of years of history that defined what it meant to be a real man: to be strong; to be a provider; to be in authority; to be the ultimate decision maker; and to be economically, educationally, physically and politically dominant…”. In my efforts of working with men, it dawned on me some years ago that this is relatively true. Within the young men I speak to that come for advice or ask about meeting for coffee, the one trending facet of a conversation is that “their world isn’t defined very well.” There’s a lack of something solid, something clear and not always so opaque. Although it’s different faces, the question still seems the same, “why is it that so many things make no sense to me? Considering that there isn’t one template God uses to make men, it isn’t an easy question to tackle, much less try to define it all the while hoping it makes sense to my audience of one. This is the make up of today’s young adults, yet another uptick into their ever-fluctuating internal bubble that needs balancing and steadiness in order to correctly identify what is level. Do you see this too, or, perhaps you are one of the men I’m speaking about? How do you, personally, feel about this quote as it pertains to you? Does it reflect how you feel? Even a little bit or perhaps a lot of bit?


Let me ask you this, “what do YOU see when you look in a mirror”? Honestly…do you see a person that you like, admire, or maybe are even proud of? Are you confident in you and your abilities? If someone asked you, “what do you do” would you be excited to share what you do or would you be hesitant about your career or where you work? These are all questions that millions of men face daily. The truth is that aside from what you believe about yourself, none of these questions really matter because what matters is foundationally determined by you and your Designer. Your likes, dislikes, and quirkiness creep into all of life’s smallest and biggest decisions. Things such as foods, drinks, social friends, or even no friends at all. You are the only one that from a very young age began, to develop all of your acquired traits. All of your behaviors, the way you speak, the words you use…all of this was learned by you. All these things are learned specific to you and you alone. The good Lord designed you uniquely gifted, to just be you, only you, and no one else. So why try to be someone you were never meant to be?  

Just be you, only you, and no one else


You may feel like you didn’t get the proper instruction that all males need so that you can develop a healthy mindset and a more robust character. I will not diminish the fact that you may not have had someone since a young age to teach you but I can say this, “you may have made some terrible choices in life. You may have had an unimaginable childhood, but in many ways, most every other guy you see on the street, in church, or just at any public gathering, each has a story.” Fact of the matter is that their story is a personal song that means much to them. Each song may be sad, it may be happy, and it may even be a mix of both. I’m here to tell you…it doesn’t matter as much as you matter! You matter! Yes, your story is yours to tell or not, but as I listen to the ones that are shared with me, I see more there than just a story of someone’s life history. I have the benefit of an outsider looking in with no bias, knowledge, or heartstrings to these brothers’ past and I proudly can say that what I see are men that have the potential and the possibility of a warrior man, a man that did not let the negative in life destroy him. A giant of a man whose heart is as big as the Goliath he has slain over and over in life. I speak to these men day in and day out, and although they lacked something in their formidable years, today they reach out for help, for advice, sometimes just to ask if you wanna hang out for coffee or a movie. A bad upbringing didn’t put shackles on these boys. They don’t do life alone and isolated because if they’ve learned one thing it’s that when one isolates, he opens the door to the ghosts of his past to come in and that is the last thing he desires to revisit.

 

Look, in life you will face many moods and emotions. You will have good days and bad days and maybe some days that you really don’t want to get out of bed, but this is where you made the decision long ago that your day was not going to be identified by the sum total of all your good and bad. This decision can dictate the rest of your day. These are the decisions you make every day, but today you make them from a different mindset than from the mindset of years ago. God didn’t make you to be a wimp in life, to fear what’s around the next corner, but instead He gifted you with His best for just you and because of this, you can face any day, any issue, any person, anywhere, because even though your life may seem like it’s in pieces some days, the biggest and best piece is YOU and guess what? YOU MATTER!!!


Saturday, March 20, 2021

 

The Hiccuperuptions

 

Guys, have you heard of or has someone ever asked you if you’ve had the “hiccuperuptions” lately??  If so, what or how do you normally respond? Is it the old stand there motionless with question marks appearing in your cornea? Or do you actually say something? Regardless of your reaction, eventually you ask that question that sums everything up, ”the what?? What the heck is that??” Here’s where you receive the answer but almost immediately you think, “seriously? You disturbed my valuable time only to give me this silly answer? What a waste of my time”. But afterwhile, and although you thought the answer was silly, there was something about the explanation that later got you to thinking about it and maybe even got you to realize a little more about yourself. Something you really hadn’t noticed or ever thought about since it’s never been on your radar. Maybe it even made you curious enough to wonder if its’s only something you do, or do other guys do the same thing? I can tell you this…everyone does it. Not just you, but everyone else. So moving forward let’s share what the “hiccuperuptions” are and provide some new found wisdom and knowledge of them and how to avoid them.

What the heck is that???      


Hiccups are those little semi-burps, unwanted and never timely body functions that interrupt you usually when it’s not convenient. For example, while making a presentation at work, while enjoying a cool drink and BBQ in your back yard while entertaining guests, and yes, even when you try to sneak in a smooch to your wife or girlfriend and they stop you dead in your tracks. Annoying little buggers aren’t they? A bright side is that they usually don’t last very long but are none the less, an interruption of an enjoyable moment.

And speaking about interruptions…

 

Let me drop this right here that is due appropriate consideration and sometimes is misplaced in your day. What if you were to take the perspective that is certainly a more meaningful experience during those “inconvenient interruptions” we all experience in life. But first, understand that most guys such as yourself have a one-track male mind. Many simply focus on one thing at a time, one errand or task at a time, and, often focus on the wrong thing! Here’s the deal, while you are very good at anything you truly focus on, the issue is that when you do focus or zero in on something, you unintentionally turn off the rest of the world. Why do I mention this? Well to be honest, so you understand that sometimes it is exactly at this point when we exclude the most important, most important people in our lives. Although unintentional, when they interrupt us, would you honestly say it really is an interruption? Are they sometimes so unimportant that our actions provide evidence to make them believe that what you are doing is more important and you cannot, absolutely cannot be interrupted? That being said, perhaps they walk away feeling less important than the task you have at hand? I don’t know about you, but I’ve been made to feel that way by someone so important in my life, and it didn’t feel good at all. That can be really messed up and if not addressed and corrected, can cause some deep wounds. So as best as you can, don’t go there with your spouse, your children, and all those other people you love.

Now you may ask, “how does all this help me understand the “hiccuperruptions”?” Well the way I like to explain it is that when family members or friends interrupt us, it can be very similar to hiccups. They come upon us at the most inopportune times, no notice no preparation, and then we are internally bothered because the hiccups have now caused agitation and an interruption, we were not ready for. And like kids, sometimes they are not easily dismissed or disregarded. They press the do not disturb button when you least expect it and all they wanted was a little attention and perhaps, if you’re blessed, a really tight hug that assures them everything is fine. I personally have missed many of those times because I felt I couldn’t be disturbed and probably shooed them away. Boy I so wish I hadn’t missed those moments because now it seems like I want more but have to settle for those infrequent ones. However, I do take advantage of my grandkid’s attention and hugs often because I am sure to stop when I can, and give them my complete focus. I realize that there will always be some times when you really can’t stop what you’re doing, but during those times express lovingly that you will get to them as soon as you can and avoid dismissing them. Attempt to make them feel loved.

 

There’s a Biblical story that I love to relate to when it comes to being interrupted and perhaps you’ve heard it on occasion. It’s the story of when Jesus was walking down the town streets and many were following Him, bumping, brushing onto Him and perhaps even being pushed into Him. All of a sudden Jesus stops and asks a question, “who touched me” He asked?? Keep in mind what I previously mentioned that He was amongst throngs of people with no way of someone not touching Him. There were people all around, they were all yelling at Him trying to get His attention, even His disciples answered Him saying, “why do you ask who touched me? Did You notice all the people and know that there is no way You can walk close to them without being touched?” There was definitely so much noise and distractions vying for Jesus’ attention, but He was so focused on the importance of each of them. In the midst of the world’s noise, He noticed one particular touch. Jesus sensed this one small touch, this one seemingly insignificant gesture, and He knew that this touch was made in true faith…it was the woman that needed healing from a disease she had for a while but she knew that if she could just touch the hem of His garment she would be healed. Jesus calls her effort true faith.

Jesus said, “Daughter, your faith has healed you.”

 

I love that story but what I really would like to impress on you isn’t so much the story as it is the point that Jesus stopped to pay attention to this woman. With all the voices and noise calling for His attention, He actually stopped to pay attention to the needs of this lady. This just strengthens my thoughts that when our loved ones call for us we should stop to listen to them and their needs when we can. There are no more important people in your life than your family and friends and of course they all have need of your wisdom and guidance in varying degrees. There is no more value than the one you place on someone when you stop what you are in the middle of, turn, listen, and provide your undivided attention. Reminds me of a saying I read somewhere that stated, “people may not remember all you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” Poignant huh?  Yea, got me to reconsider how I respond when someone interrupts me. As mentioned, there will be times when you just can’t stop what you are doing, but try to make that the exception not the norm. So if you have chronic “hiccuperruptions” from normal hiccups and also the people around you, I would encourage you, and ask that if you are not doing it, to stop for a moment and consider the scenario of this hiccup…who is it, how important are they, and what may be the result if I do not pay attention? I can guarantee that if you are and have been doing it, you will make a lot of people feel special and it will go a long way in making you feel special yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Tuesday, March 2, 2021

In My Backyard

 


The other day as I was waiting for the release of classes, I observed several young boys playing together on the playground. Sitting there, my mind was teleported back to a place in time that I remember the neighborhood kids playing together in my back yard.

 photo by Joao Rafael
I was raised in a certain part of the city, closest to the river and therefore our back yard was not exactly flat, grassy, and without thorns. Regardless of what small obstacles we faced, we always found a way to make things fun and enjoyable. We would pretend my back yard was a fortress and castle we had to defend against the bad guys. It was an army war zone where children would find the perfect shaped stick to become our Luger pistol or machine gun with which to annihilate the enemy. There were about 12 kids playing and so we had a come up with two teams to portray the bad guys and the good guys, then after a while, we would switch sides. It was no big deal to disagree as to which side one would play or who died with the make-believe bullets because when someone told you, “bang you’re dead”, you knew you were down until the next match started. All fun with no seriousness but a lot of laughter, and no one ever verbalized that it was a silly game that was not real. It was real as could be for a moment in time, as we transformed into a certain well-liked character.

Moms knew when it was time to come home!

Then like most parents did back then, we would hear someone’s mom call out loud that it was time to come wash up as it was getting close to dinner time and the oh so dreaded bath time. Well maybe it just applied to me because my bath would be to do a quick one under the outdoor water hose with a bar of soap that was perpetually there to use, and when finished I would let my mom know to bring me some dry clothes. She was very close by as the kitchen was right inside the door I would enter through.  Immediately, I would smell the aroma of fresh corn bread, beans, and tortillas.  All fresh and all from scratch. We didn’t have enough money to buy food in cans or packages, but it was all delicious.  Since all of us were poor, no one knew much about alternative choices. We didn’t know any difference, so we didn’t feel like we lost anything.

In today’s world, kids playing has changed from mostly outdoors to mostly indoors. From learning about bugs and spiders, to learning about apps and online entertainment. From active soldiers to inactive “couch potatoes” in a world that seems to have lost a sense of life and all that the outdoors has to offer. Not saying that learning electronics is bad, it just seems to me that the rough and tough has been taken out of games for boys and the damsel in distress is now actually not in distress any longer but is more so uncharacterized.  Gender identity has been lost and a neutral perspective of one other gained. Talking, laughing out loud, and tackling the enemy has been replaced by inanimate keystrokes. This isn’t teaching, engaging and enjoying the company of others. This is replacing people with machines. Things that cannot love back, will never prepare us or touch us, or cry with us or around us. They don’t step on prickly burrs and ask for help to take the stickers out; there is no gratitude nor the sharing of a rarely acquired candy bar. Only a button push to turn it on or turn it off. 

This isn’t kids living out their imaginations, nor is it emotionally healthy. In fact, maybe it’s no life at all. Our young men seem to have shelved their honor, their word, and all the things that forge character so that now they have no idea what being a man is supposed to be like. In all fairness though, it’s not like one day they knew these things and woke up one morning and decided “I am going to shed my honor and what my word means.” In fact, in my time, boys spoke truth, not as compared to a lie, but to verbalize something they liked or not, what came out of our mouths was pretty black and white. I mean we weren’t like angels or demons, and I’m not saying we didn’t ever lie but when  put in a child’s world, it was a little white fib. The point being that this generation of young men are only living out what they know and were taught No more and no less. Keep in mind that this is the world they operate out of.

Like I said, electronics are good and helpful when needed and we all should learn how to take advantage of them. What I would encourage in addition to, is the use of a back yard, the local empty lot, or even a local playground. Let kids play in their own version of their heroes, their knights, and yes if they want to be clowns, then let them. I miss my back yard; I mean really miss it. Not for the rough and shoddy ground it was but for the things I learned instinctively: there were no black kids, no white kids, and certainly no Hispanic kids because I learned we all laughed the same, liked the same things, and we did not see any difference in our skin color.  When we split up into teams, we were only separated by the shirts from the skins. No color, no preferences, no exclusions…just kids playing together in my back yard.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

The BIG Chill

 


Brrrr…Texans in my area have never experience cold weather like this before and it seems that we are all in a panic!! The forecast for Monday is 5 degrees and personally, in all my years I’ve never experienced this kind of cold before even when we vacationed in Colorado. Yes, I know I sound like I’m complaining and whining…well I suppose that I am, so sad too bad.

The thought hit me though as I look around and speak to a few friends, the public in general, does not know what to do or how to prepare for these abnormal temperatures. The media is providing some advice on preparations for ourselves, our homes, our pets and pipes which is all very important. However, the real question I have is why do we wait for right before the freeze blankets us to actually act on a plan of how we are going to combat and avoid being one of its victims? 

As I engage my devotion this morning, I got a mental picture of how I personally, and others I know, somehow wait until we are right dead set, right at the onset of a storm before we look up and say, “oh wow, I need to make sure I do everything needed to protect those I love”. It seems to me that when it comes to this, we are a people who procrastinate!  

        We put off many of the “what ifs” in life, for example: 

        We don’t add gasoline until it feels like we’re running on fumes

        We certainly don’t display or verbalize our deepest appreciation for the special people in our lives             until it’s almost too late or worse 

        We don’t consider the cons as much as we do the pros of life in many areas.  

        Face it, we procrastinate! 

Now, to get back to my mental picture…as believers in Christ, don’t we do the same thing in our spiritual life when it comes to attacks from all sides?  Don’t we roll right along with life, enjoying the conveniences and comforts it provides, all the while knowing, but not acting on or preparing for the times when we do have those attacks? When it feels like this winter freeze is more than we can bear or withstand the different levels of cold. When it seems like our soul is so cold and frozen to the urgings of the Spirit to look out and we become insensitive to many things around us. This is us! The Word tells us in many places to not only prepare for battle, but also to expect it. If we expect the hard times to come then we have an opportunity to gird up with the necessary resources, tools, and armor to defend against what comes upon us. Here’s the deal, we are told to expect, we are admonished to prepare, we have all the warnings that need to be given to recognize a battle is coming. Some will be large and seemingly overpowering, some will be just enough to annoy and distract us, but there is no reason we should be unprepared for it because we have been told and we should always be ready.

Is it any wonder our spiritual lives are so shaky and unsteady? Any wonder why our emotional state seems to be on a roller coaster most days? Up one day and down the next. Then, to make it all worse, we look to blame someone else for our ineptitudes. We want to justify our shortcomings by believing it was someone else or something else that caused me to be unsuspecting. We really do have a built-in shortcut to the garden don’t we (the blame game)? Look, it’s not a matter of what we haven’t done or haven’t said, and it’s not even a matter of being coerced, but it is our decision and our decision alone. No one can make us prepare.  Just like no one can force anything upon us if we don’t want what they have to offer. This can only happen if we provide the opportunity and allow it. Yup, agree with me or not, the condition we are in internally is made up of all the choices we have made or are making. Obviously, there are a few exceptions where we did not have a choice and praise God maybe we are healing from those, but for the most part, today we have the choice to prepare ourselves and our loved ones for the battles to come. Maybe some of us have made really bad choices in life, but know this, God loves us at this very moment just the way we are, exactly where we are, and in the condition that we are. No ifs, ands, or buts…how about this.  

Why don’t we all decide that today will be the first day that will change our lives for the better. That this day going forward we will prepare according to how God wants us to prepare and be ready for whatever comes our way. 

Not the easiest thing to do.

        Not the prettiest thing to do. 

                And certainly not the popular thing to do. 

                        But after all, this IS our own LIFE so make it mean something!


Monday, February 1, 2021

In search of Bigfoot

 

I caught the tail end of a documentary about Sasquatch, or more commonly known as Bigfoot and how so many people have seen it, but to this day remains elusive and unfounded. 

I do not know if you believe or even have an opinion about the big guy but, what comes to mind when you hear anything about the myth of Bigfoot? Do you envision a hairy creature, 10 ft tall, and bigger than any creature that walks on two legs, or perhaps a vision of mystique and something wild? What if we could be like Bigfoot, in that we could hide out in the wild, in a place so hard to track down that we would be alone for a bit? Sound intriguing? I know that sometimes we want to get so disconnected from life, and we don’t want anyone to talk to us or locate us. A wish so powerful that we just want to be left alone to do whatever we want to do, need to do, to put together some strategy to sort life out.

That place truly is a desire for many men, and I believe most men desire to have the ability to become hidden, wild, and retreat to a very private place. Would it surprise you to know that that place does exist? In every man this mental but very secluded place does exist. We have a very distinct, but very real man cave within where we can go hang out. For a moment we too can be like Sasquatch, even if it means withdrawing within ourselves, we can choose to be lost in the wild, being alone and where no other human voice can be heard. All we hear is freedom to be alone, to be wild and to be free, and even if it’s just for a little while.

Sadly, we know we do not have the ability to just hop on a flight to this locale anytime we want. The ticket to this place has to be purchased by circumstance. Generally a circumstance so overwhelming it sets off a pressure cooker inside. An incident in life that goes sideways at any given moment, with any given person, and anywhere in the world. It is such that we don’t know how to handle it so we’d rather just escape to our castle within, and even though we may be alone, hurt, mad, or angry, at this very moment, our insides tell us this is where we can unload our mind, this is our Eden garden. A place that provides our fill of happiness and ecstasy. And even here, there is no cry out for the need to have someone around. Where alone is the ticket, then we think we’re happy.

To follow back around guys, this often sought after temporary freedom isn’t what you may think it is. Its obscure setting, wearing a cloak of invisibility, and the wild at heart energy we may feel is nothing more than the Bigfoot…nothing more than a fable that can be dangerous if we drift too far into the jungle. I concede that one can “feel” so exhilarated, engulfed in mindset where nothing that can drain our energy exists, a thick blanket of feel good fuzzy material. At this point is where we need to be wary because here is when we are most vulnerable to any attacks. Why? For the simple reason that we have totally allowed ourselves to drop all defenses for the purpose of selfishly soaking in that soothing hot tub in our never-never land. 

The kicker is this…as relaxing as we may feel while we are here, this could turn out to be a positive step forward that if we choose to, can actually provide a healthy place to kick the issue around that brought us here. Yes, this paradise island we tend to run towards, can actually be helpful to us. Remember I said that it can be dangerous to wander too deep into this jungle? I mean that if we decide to stay here too long, it may be difficult to rationalize what is real and what isn’t. People have been known to leave family, friends, and jobs to pursue this dream. But…once we get here, let’s take advantage of this ambiguous opportunity to move forward and out, just by changing focus and also think about the issue that got us here. It now becomes not only a place where we can restore and re-energize, but it’s a great place to logically work out a solution to our problems. Even here is this place that only we can venture to, and even though we may be alone in the wild, we can choose to become a better person by taking the issue that someone or something meant to harm us and turning it to make it work for us. Now we are back, in control, and more experienced…until the next time.

Monday, January 11, 2021

ONE Is the Loneliest Number

 I am lonely at times...there, I said it. It wasn't so hard to say, and for the life of me I am just now beginning to understand why it is that so many men seem to have so much trouble admitting it. In the many conversations I've had with multiple guys the one thing that is constant is that there is a lack of authentic expressions and especially to sharing internal feelings up front. It takes time to develop into something really close and really intimate but why is that? I think I have an idea and I'd like to throw it out for your consideration and thoughts if you would like to share.

There seems to be this internal notion for most men that sharing your feelings is a "female" thing so when there's any thought of sharing something intimate with a male friend men seem to hit a brick wall and absolutely will not go beyond. Can I paint a picture for you? They feel like the Israelites when they arrived at the Red Sea and could not go beyond that point. They looked behind and saw the Egyptian chariots racing towards them to bring them back to Egypt. If they looked towards the sea, they saw drowning and sure death. They were at a place where there seems to be no solution. It is at this exact place where men find themselves when they have this mentality, and, it has created generations of men who have had their emotional growth stunted by ideas, perceptions, and opinions of others. The idea that if I become vulnerable and share internal feelings, it shows that I am weak or cowardly. This in turn perpetuates a guy's inability to forge strong and caring relationships with other men. Then what we have left are men that won't speak, won't share, won't cry, and maybe even won't hug. This breaks my heart and causes hurt to the very core of who we have been made to be. Makes sense??

So without an intimate (come on guys, don't assume that means sexual) and close relationship with another man, what occurs is that men slowly begin to push that "closeness" off to their wives or girlfriends. Are you getting an idea of what is going to happen over time? Yes, men begin to believe that their mate is responsible for their emotional well being and let me just insert here, it can only lead to failure. Slowly that expectation is whittled away (probably because it was never expressed) due to the fact that a wife or girlfriend is not wired to meet that need, much less truly understand what it means. Guys! Ladies do not understand your need as a man and the simple reason is what? She's not a man!

Men place so little effort in solidifying their relationships with other men because they don't know how and for the most part, were probably instructed as a youth to not expose themselves as weak or hurt to other men. This stigma carried a sickle with it that the moment any man felt close and wanted to speak authentically to a friend, the picture of slicing and dicing takes over and the poor guy just exits stage left.  Let me throw this in here, I've heard admissions that it is easier for men to fess up to feelings like anxiety and disappointment so much easier than to admit being lonely. This is a dragon of a different color. Why?  Well it's because the first two can be placed towards others, but loneliness is personal and internal realization that it's on me and me alone. This means and presents a worth or a value of who I am or how I see myself. This is BIG when it comes to a personal perspective of "me".

So how do we slay this giant in our midst? By simply facing it...meaning make positive steps with a small circle of your friends you know well. Begin to share some of your sacred "feelings". Express how at times you feel like you need a friend to listen, to support, to simply to provide audience. Not only will this help you reach another level of friendship and intimacy, but may also very well open the door to another man that all this time needs exactly what you are needing and work to help him to realize it too.

No man can be an island, you may think so but somewhere sometime, you too will feel alone and it will hit you like nothing else you have faced. Be courageous and take a few steps forward to find your friend(s) but also know that those steps you have taken will payoff immensely.