A New Kind of Hero…the Solution

Let’s start here.  i am a man who has sucked up the messages society has handed me.  I do not like that our seminar leader, Jonathan Zinck ruined how i look at superheroes and told women our “man secrets”.  Just getting it off my chest, Jonathan.

People try to tell me that perspective matters.  All that matters is that you look at the world the right way and then everything is better.  i get what you are saying.  i understand where you are coming from.  But it is not always true.

I’m sure the cartoon makes some sense to you now.  When you looked at it, you maybe thought it was cute and funny.  It is.  Who doesn’t like turtles?  It is cute and funny because it is a cartoon.

In real life, that kind of screwed up perspective will cost you big time.  In real life, if you lay on your back and think you are flying, people look at you funny.  At least the security guard at the mall does.

Remember, now.  i’m bipolar.  Perspective makes a big difference.  i have a whole different perspective, sometimes, because i am ill.  I can be manic (positive, the whole world loves me, i can do anythingseriously!).  Or sometimes i can run to the other end of the scale into depression (negative, the whole world hates me, i can do nothing).

When i am locked into one of those extremes, i act very differently than if i am looking after myself properly and feeling normal (giggle).  Even though i am in the very same situation, my perspective is skewed and it am in big trouble if i lay there thinking i am flying when, in fact, my situation is precarious.  i am flat on my back.

Ok.  Enough about me being nuts.  i am basically normal (repeats this 10 times).  Onward.

i am a man.  No apologies for that…it was assigned to me.  And i thought i was a great father and husband and brother and whatever other role i have chosen or been assigned.  But i was laying on my back.  i was deceived and believed.

funny-picture-playing-catch-with-dog-but-but-i-saw-you-throw-the-ball-540x519

All my life i have counted myself fortunate to be a man.  There were plenty of benefits to being a man in those days.  Sure.  Women worked, but they did not get equal pay for equal work.  Sure women worked outside the home.  But they were still expected to come home, put on a nice outfit, get the kids settled down, and do the housework.

And let’s not forget all those amazing bedroom moves you’ve been reading about in Woman’s Weekly.  I saw the article.

Oh…you minx!  Kid’s crying.  Goodnight.

Guys.  We’ve been on our backs long enough.  It is time to “human up”.  Not to “man up”, as i am not even sure what that means anymore.  It is about being human.

As we saw yesterday, the feeling (it is a powerful feeling) that energizes me to be a dick to others is Entitlement.  If you don’t remember how the tree grows, read the article before this one.  I’ll wait here.

Back?  Good.  So Entitlement is the problem.  Objectifying any other human being is wrong.  Think most intelligent humans would agree with that.  Thinking your wife OWES you these things for any reason is wrong.  i don’t know if i would have verbalized it that way before, but it is a work in progress.

Can we use the word partner now?  Is that ok, men?  Or does it still make you feel less of a man to say it?   It is a different word…trying using it men.  It is a kind word and doesn’t carry the societal tag of ownership.  It’s  modern.  It’s hip.  It’s sexy.  Use it.  Partner.

What is the difference?  Partner?  Wife?  Who cares?  Your partner cares, you idiot!  Jeez.

Here is the solution to that pervasive sense of entitlement.  Gratitude.  When is the last time, man, you showed gratitude?  Do you know even know what it feels like be grateful?

This is not easy stuff.  Being grateful will be hard work at first.  If you have been working under the assumption your partner “owes” you, it will be even tougher.  But we need to change.  We can’t allow the toxic substance of Entitlement to remain.  Think of it as radical, life saving surgery.

i had turned into the person i feared becoming most.  i had become the abuser.  i was unkind and ungrateful.  i was angry, moody and horrible to be around.  Just like someone else.  And that man will die alone and unloved and people will not miss the anger…the plant was strong with this one.

But i have had other male examples in my life.  Men who were compassionate and loving and….grateful.  So weird.  Their wives seemed to enjoy being with them.  Did not pick up on that as well.

i have to change.  I am out of time.  So how do i become a healthier person?  Is there a way for me to change my perspective?

I told you…gratitude.

Is that quote sexist?  It says a lot to me.  And i believe it is true.  Finding myself is all about developing a different mindset.  i need to plant healthy seed.

i am not going to suggest the exercise Jonathan suggested.  That was “way out there” and too much for me, but other people were writing, so i may stick in the tools section i need to work on.

i’v been doing a lot of writing lately along those lines, anyhow…trying to practice gratefulness.

Saying thank you to someone is a good start.  Surely the people around us deserve that much.

And saying sorry is cool, but not if i am going to continue doing the things i say i’m sorry about, then i am not sorry and i am not changing.  Good intentions are not enough here.

So i begin my day, every single day, with gratitude.  It helps me to write things down, so i go to Tricia’s gratitude site, every single day, and write down something for which i am grateful.  Because i am serious about this.  It is about being a better human, not just about being a man.

So i practice gratitude in society.  i give people thanks, and mean it.  i stop in to a business and say thanks for how they serve our community.  You should see the look on the postal worker’s face.  Or the garbage truck guy when i gave him a jar of homemade wild blueberry jam.

Know what gratitude costs me?  Not a damn thing.  Gratefulness can be grown within with a little practice.  Here is Tricia’s gratitud site, if that is helpful to you.   https://www.facebook.com/groups/GYGwithTB/

Here is a helpful tool to get you started.  

Guys.  This is not an option.  If i don’t work to become grateful and deal with my sense of entitlement, i will die.  Inside and outside.  And alone.  And angry and afraid.  Seems like a no-brainer to me.  Course…i’m a nut.

Grateful John

Sarah posted this morning…nice…thank you, my partner, my friend

 

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