It was an interesting decade - Thank God its over! Some things have been amazing and some things in my life have purely sucked. Not sure how else to describe some events. I guess what I can reflect on and find much comfort; is the fact that I am not the same naive individual that I once was a decade ago. After figuratively being punched in the face by life - you can become more resilient. As a man; this may be the best thing that has ever happened to my heart.
From the platform of being a guy who has coped with a fair amount of trauma, shame, ridicule and grief - I do have a message. In this essay, it is a brief message for men to be men. Not an exhaustive dissertation by any means. Just some thoughts from a guy that has low toleration for games (which is unfortunate because my best friends, nieces and nephew LOVE playing board games and something about my wiring makes me totally inept at playing even Hungry Hippo!).
If you're addicted - get help.
Here's the deal - if you use porn to masturbate and get yourself off then you DO have a problem. Is that blunt enough for you? Since this blog and my personal opinions aren't underpinned by any organisation or corporate body I'm going to take the liberty to say kinda whatever the hell I want to on this topic. Porn is about the most debilitating thing you could integrate into your life. Contrary to some I don't think it makes sex better - it makes it worse. From my interaction with thousands of men over the last 10 years - I give no computer literate man, the benefit of the doubt in this area UNLESS they are awake enough to admit it is a real issue and that they have taken steps to keep the wolves at bay in their life. Read an upcoming post regarding porn and please do something about it. Your brain is literally becoming dumber and dumber every time you put yourself in a dark corner. Stop kidding yourself - you aren't more intelligent than everyone else or more under control or more anything - You're an idiot. Get it sorted because right now you're out of your freaking mind.
2. Love the woman you vowed to.
You're married - stay married.
Don't think she is attractive anymore? She doesn't do it for you anymore? She doesn't look like anyone you stalk on instgram? Well, for a starters - ever heard of make up and photoshop, dumbass? Thats why those women look so good. But, MAYBE...just MAYBE ... if you put half the attention you are placing on yourself and your own gratification onto your own wife, then perhaps she may feel, LOVED, which would have a drastic improvement on her overall sense of well-being. That in turn would help her be all she can be. NOT a supermodel, because they aren't real anyway. Rather, just a human that doesn't feel like she has to earn respect and validation from the man who PROMISED to love her all her days. Listen guy, I can guarantee you that the grass is not greener. Think you'd be hooking up with models all day on Tinder if you weren't married? Nope. Not going to happen. Think you will have a lot more sex like Joey from Friends? Nope. It will be you at home by yourself and your porn, until you get into another relationship where you will eventually end up in the same level of dissatisfaction. So acknowledge this - you are a man - you are a leader - if the marriage sucks... YOU DO WHATEVER it takes to try and fix it. Call the counsellors. Talk to friends. Open up to advice. Fight for your marriage because it is the best thing about you. Without it, SHE will be fine. YOU however, will not be.
You don't need a lot - live peacefully.
Right now I probably have less than I've ever had. Its fantastic! A friend of mine recently told me he'd never be happy until he owned his own home. Not sure what that really means, because, with a mortgage; the bank actually owns your house. So with that logic, he will be 64 when he is happy. He smokes heavily so it's likely he may have about three to five good years of life on this earth in total, post-home ownership. The biggest mistakes of my life involve debt. From my first credit card to borrowing money for a church building project. Wish I could go back in time and punch myself in the face. Learn to live within your means. If you need a new car to feel better about yourself, maybe there is a deeper issue you need to deal with. With the mainstream trying to live large - perhaps it would be wiser to live simpler and smaller in order to be stronger.
Own it when its yours.
We've all done stupid things. Could you imagine if every idiotic thing we have individually done was public record? So, all I need to do is google you and bam!... All the dumb stuff you've ever done is right there...
Well, for some of us - that's the case and for the rest it may not be. But the bottom-line is we have all got things in our lives that we regret, or at least wish no one would remember or find out about. Some things slide away and disappear. Some things don't. Cutting in someones lane without indicating on the freeway may be a non-event. Cutting in and causing an accident isn't. I know a man who drove road-train trucks for a living. One night during a week of long shifts, he fell asleep at the wheel and killed the passengers of the on-coming car. This kind of mistake does not disappear. The impact is forever. Can you wish it away? Can you deny the affair? Can you sleep off the bankruptcy? Can you medicate the broken relationship? Or drink away the depression?
Take responsibility for what is yours. Your mistakes. Own it. Every month I visit men in prisons in Australia. I meet men who are paying the price for mistakes made. Some own it and some don't. Maybe the net result of ownership is the same - nothing will bring back loved ones killed in a moment of negligence.
But perhaps a man can better contribute to his community if he were honest. That he
a. made a mistake,
b. he vows to not repeat and
c. will do his best to educate his fellow man.
In contrast and as a final thought;
. You only need to acknowledge reality. You do not need to own shameDo not take responsibility for what is NOT yours. The world will try to place on you blame for what is not yours. Do not live in fear of your past. If you do struggle with porn, if your marriage and family is in tatters AND/OR you are broke and depressed.... We live in a digital age where shame is the best weapon utilised to assert self-righteousness. If anything I can attest to is that after much internal wrestling, the past is over. You do not need to make excuses or explain the past. You can only live today and be the best man you can be. Don't worry about others - just deal with your own world.
Be a man; For your son. For your daughter. For your wife. For your community. For you.