Whether through one-on-one sessions or in groups, I’ve learned that men don’t shy away from getting work done, fighting for what they believe in, and protecting what they love. Yet when we engage in warrior mode exclusively and forget to cultivate a greater vision or purpose for our existence, things become stressful. We become moody, angry, and even violent.
Based on my work and experience, lack of purpose and/or a toxic belief system are two main sources of men’s moodiness, depression, violence, and anger. Not having a clear sense of purpose that goes beyond the practicalities of everyday life often leads down the path of mid-life crisis and an over-prized Porsche in the driveway. The toxic belief that somehow the world owes us anything (sometimes everything) can also trigger negative emotions in men. The idea that we as men should be rewarded simply for our existence and the notion that everything should come easily leads down the path of the man-child who won’t grow up. He refuses to step up and face the responsibilities for his own thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Men are driven by purposeful actions and wired to protect what they love. Something subtle, yet powerful happens the moment a man shifts from feeling like a rudderless ship at stormy seas to being the captain of his life with a clear destination. The internal battles and pressure a man must overcome to forge his own destiny and experience freedom are all too often waged in a vacuum void of community and brotherhood. So what’s a man to do? Start by taking some deep, intentional breaths and realize it’s not about getting it right overnight. It is more important to be present in the moment and realize that you have a choice in forging your own destiny.