You’ve finally looked in the mirror and said to yourself, “I’m a horrible so and so. I hurt people I love, turned myself into an awful person, and feel worthless.”. Yep, I’ve been there. I’ve been that nasty, mean, hurtful and yes, even abusive husband who wanted out of marriage by any means necessary. I pushed friends and family away, been unfaithful, untruthful and just about every other “un” you can add. In short, I went from being the “sweet, nice guy” to a stereotypical jerk of a man.
So what has changed about me? Not too much really, except for one tiny little detail…
I looked at myself, admitted that deep down inside, part of my nature is that of a jerk, and that I’ve got a downright ugly side to me. Then, I was faced with a stark choice. I could either like this person I had become, go back to being who I was, or a third option which was far more difficult; become who I actually want to be.
Look guys, I know it’s easy to blame your partner or others for who you are. Lord knows the modern American male had become something of a punching bag, but it doesn’t excuse bad behavior. When we see the memes and quotes about men behaving badly,we brought it on ourselves, and the dirty secret we simply don’t want anyone knowing is this…yes, we can change, but we usually don’t want to.
There are too many reasons to list why we don’t want to change, but there is a single reason why we should want to change. Because we know, deep down, we are better than what we tolerate of ourselves.
I am not judging anyone’s lifestyle choices, mainly because to do so would be the height of hypocrisy. What I’m getting at is that I chose to begin working towards being who I want to be, knowing it is a lifetime process with no definitive end. But all journeys of this nature have some basic common elements to them. This is subjective, of course, so take from it what you may.
Structure is a MUST. A decision to change must be accompanied by discipline. It doesn’t have to be military or religious, but some sort of structured approach is essential to long term health, healing and, ultimately, growth. Something as simple as a schedule of meditative study can be immensely beneficial.
Know thyself. Feel free to slap me for this one, but it is true. When we know who we are, warts and all, we know what we allow ourselves to be and what we want to be. Many call it a platitude because it’s been overused on so many levels for the wrong reasons. This requires more than just fluffy kitten talk…to know yourself this way, you will have to perform a deep dive into your being, drilling down to the core, and that can, and often does, get ugly to the point people would rather give up. Don’t. It’s worth it in the end.
Be prepared to lose friends. Not everyone will like what you are doing. Some will think you’re kooky, while others will think you are violating the so-called “Bro Code.” Those who choose to turn their backs are not the ones you need to surround yourself with. As you change yourself into who you want to be, you’ll lose friends, even family, but some folks you’ve missed will likely return to your life, with a stronger bond than ever.
Intimacy will become a dirty word for a while. Don’t plain on having a deep meaningful relationship anytime soon if you’re single. This sort of work takes a LOT out of a person and, unless you are in relationship that’s already well established, there will be little space in the mental and spiritual bandwidth for any additional activity. When the time is right, the right relationship will come into your life, and you will know that person is there for the right reason.
You will fail more than once. Failure is part of change. You fail,then learn. That’s the theory, anyway. Not everyone figures that out, and nobody ever figures it out completely. Love, fail, learn, repeat. Eventually you learn to accept failure not as who you are, but merely as a part of what life is.
It never really ends. Being who you want to be is a lifelong process. Get used to reminding yourself of where you want to go every day.
Eventually, you will give up on life and changing yourself completely. Ironically, it is right at, or almost immediately after, that very moment when it all starts to come together.
Hope this helps. If you want to talk privately about your own personal journey, contact me.