Owning Your ShitMar 01, 2021
As men we are taught to be tough, stoic, strong and not show any weaknesses or our feelings. In Australia, at least, if you show any emotions or weakness you are told pretty quickly to toughen up, or harden the F*#K up. But does this work.
In todays world we are on the go, flat out, from the moment we wake up to the time we go to bed. We have deadlines to meet, meeting to go to, demand at work has increased. Our children have to get to dance class, footy training, flute lessons, tutoring, homework and play time…and that’s just up until Wednesday.
Society is putting so much on us to do more, be more, buy more, be better, do better, earn more, fit in more, and the list goes on.
But what if we already have a bunch of baggage (or issues) we are carrying around with us. This will just weigh us down. So how are we meant to deal with all the other outside pressure, when we haven’t dealt with our own internal pressures & issues.
We keep compressing all the “issues”, pushing them deep down so no one will see them. And more importantly, you wont have to feel or deal with them. But when more stresses are piled onto you, the more you keep pressing it all down, the more the pressure builds up. And sooner or later some thing has to give.
It can manifest itself in numerous ways such as physical pain, depression and anxiety. In Australia 1 in 8 men will suffer from depression and 1 in 5 anxiety, at some points in our lives. And what makes it worse, nearly 2200 men take their own lives each year in Australia. That’s 6 per day. And the numbers are rising.
Because the emotional pain can be so great at times, we have a tendency to try and numb it down. That can be done by comfort eating, be in chaos, use sex or porn, flit from relationship to relationship, have affairs, become a work-a-holic, gamble, smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol or take drugs.
The problem is, when you numb down the pain, you numb everything else as well. The time and events in your life that fill you with joy, happiness, elation, are all numbed down as well. And when you numb down these positive feelings, your life will never truly be fulfilled and you can feel like there is no meaning to life.
And it is not just these habits that numb you. It is the constant pushing down and compression of the negative emotions and issues. If you are holding these back, how can you let other emotions out and be free. If you do, then there is always a concern, or chance, that the unwanted stuff might flow to the surface and pop like a champagne cork where you can no longer control it.
There is one emotion I did not mention, which is love. How are you meant to truly love someone when you are numbing or suppressing your emotions. You can’t. And after a while a wedge can start to grow between you. The problem is you really don’t know why this is happening.
The simple answer is, you cant be 100% connected and committed if you are in a state of survival. And that us exactly what you can be in…survival mode. You are just trying to survive from day to day – emotionally.
So hiding our issues, our fears and being afraid of showing emotion and being vulnerable is literally killing us. It is destroying lives, families and communities.
And why, because we are brainwashed from a young age that as a man you have to be tough. You cant show weakness. It is wrong, and we have to change that, starting now. Not only for ourselves, but for our children.
It is not strong if you don’t ask for help.
It is not tough if you try to deal with issues yourself.
True courage is asking for help, opening up and sharing your issues.
Being vulnerable is being tough. This will show you how much character you truly have.
I had been down that path for many, many years. I suffered from depression for over 25 years, in fact (from my early 20’s). But all that time I thought I could deal with it. It was killing me inside and I was never my true self because I was hiding in shame and embarrassment. I felt like a fraud.
My issues were all due to being abused by a neighbor when I was 6 yrs old. I didn’t tell anyone until I was 22 or 23, and then the rollercoaster of depression set in.
And I never truly faced my demons and or ever really asked for help until I was 50. I was in a dark tunnel with no light for a long time. So what saved me?
“Owning my SHIT!”
Facing up, toughing out the emotional stuff, being vulnerable and asking for help.
Was that hard? Probably the hardest thing I ever did was really facing my demons from my past.
Has it been perfect since? No! Initially it was fantastic, for the first 2 months anyway. But once you go down this path of healing and growing, it is another roller coaster. But this one is different. As a result of my abuse, and my resulting survival tactics the next 44 years, I found that that incident (s) affected me in more ways that I could ever have imagined.
I developed behaviours and triggers that I wasn’t really aware of. I had survival techniques to help me cope and switch off. My “numbing” technique was dumbing down with TV and totally switching off, or being totally consumed by sport or staying so busy my mind couldn’t think about anything else.
And it was exhausting. It could have destroyed me. It could have destroyed my relationship.
But once you get through the hard work…and it is hard work, the rewards are amazing. You can be you. There is no hiding, no pain, no barriers in your way. My life has totally turned around since I stood up and fought for me.
So, if we don’t do own our shit, we can’t heal. We can grow. We can’t move forward.
It is time to man up, “Own YOUR shit!”, get vulnerable and ask for help.
Doing this could save your family, your health, or even your life.
If I could do it, I know you can.
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