Every man will come across events and situations that seem too hard to handle. With awareness, though, that can change.
Getting blown to and fro by life’s storms can either leave a man wondering what the hell just happened or seeing it as a sign to change his course.
Storms provide great tests of strength and courage. It’s not like getting out of bed every day and facing life isn’t tough enough.
When I think of storms, I reflect back on moments that have knocked me off of my feet. Relationships ending, family members being ill or dying, losing jobs and going through insecure periods of time … there are examples from your own life as well.
The big question is how am I responding to them instead of reacting? It is quite easy to toss out snap judgments about these situations. “It’s her fault.” “If she only had done what the doctors had told her to do, then she wouldn’t be sick again and again.” “I never should have gone back into that field.” “No one really gives a damn about me or my life.”
Learning whatever a man needs to learn from these storms can be interesting and painful.
As a native Texan who grew up near the Texas Gulf Coast, having tropical storms or hurricanes roll through during the summertime was not unusual. Going outside while the eye of a storm passes over an area is kind of creepy because there is the storm’s initial hit, then a section of time where all is quiet, followed by the other side of the hurricane that barrels through the area.
These storms bring heavy rain, lots of wind, knock out power and cause serious damage. Personal storms have a way of leaving wreckage in their paths, too.
You have seen television footage of reporters outside getting those “Jim, the storm’s really slamming us now” type of shots. They cannot stay on their feet and the rain is hitting them from different angles, not just straight down from the skies. Look at your life today and ask yourself where the stormy parts might be knocking you off of your feet.
It is easy to “check out” emotionally when personal problems become too overwhelming. Probably all of us have used coping mechanisms in order to not face whatever is going on inside. This might be temporary for some; longer for others. I don’t know. The more that I stay disconnected to what is going on emotionally when those events occur, the less likely it is that I can stand firm and face whatever comes in the midst of the mighty wind and rain.
I’m choosing today to be more awake and aware. It is not always pretty and sexy, that’s for sure. Lots of repair work has been done, and there still is wreckage to fix. Yet I would rather put on my raincoat, get outside and face the storms head-on. Why? Because there seems to be some lesson to learn … and it may be the same lesson popping up over and over again.
The mighty emotional storms that can seem so hard to shake become less powerful as men find an inner peace. Yeah, that sounds a little spiritual and “woo-woo” to some of you. I guess what I am saying is that the more peaceful and serene that a man can become, the more a man will be able to let those stinking storms pass by without having them knock him down so much.
One thing that has helped me move through the rocky paths is to reflect upon how I reacted in different moments and consciously offer a new response. It might be as simple as setting a boundary with a person. It also might involve choosing to not continue some sort of obsessive thought or behavior that does not serve my life well.
Avoiding the storms and being scared of them never works. That’s when going unconscious and living unhealthily causes more pain and anguish.
Don’t you and I deserve more than that in our lives? I believe so.
I might not see the lesson in the middle of the storm, but I know it will appear in time.
The storm might last weeks, months and years.
Yes, that stinking long.
I don’t like those types of storms … and probably most of them can be nipped in the bud. It takes some guts and awareness to make that happen. Doing so takes some intentional action on a man’s part. Life without a lot of stormy weather certainly becomes blissful and less problematic, too.
It’s kind of sad that I’m just really learning about this as I turn into the second half of life. Thankfully, I know that I’m not alone on this journey.
Photo: Getty Images