October, 1999. Heathrow to Los Angeles. My heart was practically leaping out of my chest. Not because I feared flying; I feared what lay ahead of me when I landed: the unexpected.
For all my 36 years, as a man, I was taught to “Handle The Truth!” Not to fear. Never let them see you sweat. Man up.
But how do you do that when you fear the unexpected? You can’t handle the truth if you don’t know if the truth is going to show up in the future. It’s impossible to not fear when you know damn well that nothing is certain.
As far as that sweat thing, well I sweat like a pig on a normal day, so when I don’t know what to expect, I feel like a colander with my glow eking out of every pore of my body.
Oh, and I might as well forget about manning up because my domineering, testosterone, narcissistic Dad, never let me forget I wasn’t “man enough,” so I don’t even know what that means.
Sound familiar guys? If it doesn’t, you might want to connect your own wounded potholes of life to why you fear the unexpected, because we’ve all got them.
However, one word seems to sum it up for most of us guys…
If you can’t handle the unexpected, you’re a W-I-M-P with a capital “I” and you might as well go crawl in a circle of Sex in The City fans and let them pick you apart for being less of a man than you already feel.
For every sneering, snide, self-degrading remark you embrace; the middle finger that gets thrown in your face that you shame away from, and the spittle of verbal abuse others lob at you that penetrates your self-esteem, you give power to the fear of the unexpected, and stay in curled in the fetal position in your closet of WIMPDOM.
I know. I lived there.
Fraught in the beliefs that I had been tried, convicted, and branded for life as a WIMP, capable only of bearing the weight of fear of the unexpected rather than facing it head on.
I—possibly like you—beat myself into oblivion with shoulda, coulda, never learning from the abuse of those words.
At the ripe age of 36, I trembled at the taunts of high school mates, my father, and even some women that took up residence in the recesses of my memories, reminding me, “You call yourself a man! LOL! Please!” Constantly reminded that real men, don’t let the unexpected knock them down. They fight back, unlike me who wasn’t a fighter.
The barometer of success continued to haunt me that I more often than I’d like to admit, didn’t plan accordingly for what was just around the corner, even though none of us can see around the blind corners of life.
Unexpected does this to our masculine heart, mind, and soul. It puts us at war with ourselves, because that’s what men are supposed to be, fighters!
Unexpected tells us real men:
- Be prepared
- Fight back
- Have the answers
- Don’t sweat it
- Never let them see you cry
- Don’t be a pussy
- Act like a man
- Quit being such a little girl
- You’re not a WIMP
- Suck it up
Yeah. That’s what I thought, until one night in London. I didn’t know what to expect, but I followed my heart. I went out. Scared. Excited. Step into the unexpected. See where it led me. I didn’t know I was going to go live my truth and discover how to be a man how embraces the unexpected.
That night I let go of the voices that haunted me about being a “man’s man!” I let myself have no answers, no expectations, cut loose in the unprepared. Sure I sweat, but only because I danced my ass off and laughed. Laughed for the first time in years with abandon. I even cried. Cried the next morning. Yes, because I had once again committed an act of infidelity, but also because I had discovered the unexpected truth of being intimate with someone without an erection or orgasm in site.
That night I did man up, wasn’t a pussy, told my WIMP to take a hike, I sucked it up. This time, I embraced the unexpected when it called me to:
- release my shame;
- to trust myself;
- to take a stand;
- to quit faking it;
- to embrace the unknown;
- to be honest with myself and others;
- to realize I was man enough;
- to handle my truth;
- to accept that the unexpected is my friend;
- to make a bold move and live life on my terms.
The unexpected is calling you to do the same. Your outcome may be different. It may be calling you to:
- leave that job that is sucking the life out of you;
- to stop abusing yourself with food, alcohol, drugs;
- to be honest and admit, this relationship isn’t right for either of you;
- to abandon security so you can learn to trust the unknown;
- to trust yourself so you can trust others more.
Whatever the call, it’s much, much easier when you make the unexpected your friend, and buckle up for adventure of the unknown.
If I had known that in 1999, at 36,000 feet, jetting across the Atlantic from London to Los Angeles, that in less than 24 hours, that an unexpected encounter in London, would lead me finally live my truth as a gay man, I would have cuddled up to the unexpected much sooner, but then that would have taken the joy out of discovering that a majority of the time, the unexpected has your best interest in mind!
What’s your take on what you just read? Comment below or write a response and submit to us your own point of view or reaction here at the red box, below, which links to our submissions portal.
Photo credit: Shutterstock