Our hearts are not made of bone, they’re made of muscle. The muscle can be ripped or torn, but not broken. Over time our hearts take a beating, and some bruises last longer than others. Hearts cannot be broken, only egos can.
Our hearts don’t need a cast to heal, how it heals is letting go of ego. Look at all the times in your life when you may say, “My heart was broken,” or “She or he broke my heart.” What does that mean?
The deeper meaning is that when we connect those dots, we created these experiences, the old self. The birth of the True Self, is what one may call “transformation” or “born again.” It’s when we know that love surrounds us always. Our egos needed to be broken, so we could comprehend compassion, forgiveness, and kindness.
We needed to learn to be gentle with ourselves as we heal, and patient as we heal. The healing process turns into caring for one’s soul which ultimately turns into loving oneself unconditionally.
When the true self emerges it understands when the ego comes into play. The ego doesn’t go away, it loses its grip on us. Here and there the ego will come into play, ah, but we are aware, alert, present, we are warriors and we know when it does and when it does we let go.
When we go through a process of healing we learn vulnerability. One may think vulnerability is displaying weakness or being soft but in truth it is way more. Vulnerability is about sharing one’s feelings but more importantly feeling those feelings. As men we tend to push those feelings down not wanting to show whatever emotion may arise. I did that for most of my life.
What I found was when I took that chance to start sharing I was not alone. It took a long time, starting with my writing, putting those feelings on paper. Then yoga broke me down, teaching me vulnerability and then brought me back up. Our generation of men were never taught by the men that came before us, our fathers or grandfathers, as they didn’t have the tools nor the information we have today.
The 21st century male has challenges ahead of him. Who is the role male model for the millennial and younger generation? The reality is that WE are, and we as a unit of awake and aware men need to come together. We need to show that vulnerability is true strength and a way of life. We need to show how we overcome obstacles. Over time, the male ego has made us men look weak. Look at the United States presidential race–the bickering of men, letting their egos get the best of them. Is this the role model we want our sons and young men to follow?
How can we make this shift? The first shift (change) is with us individually. You have all the tools you need, the power is within you. Please change on a dime, and don’t let it take 20 years like me; we need you now.
Write your story. When you are ready, share it. Share it with your son, share it with other men, share it with your partner, and the boys who look up to you. It will help other men do the same. A great resource to read other’s men’s stories and share yours is www.goodmenproject.com. This website was designed for men to share their stories and help other men. 3.5 million people visit this site per month.
The male ego is ok as long as it’s not taking advantage of another brother or putting one of us down. You see, my brothers, we are all connected. If I sleep with a man’s wife, I hurt my brother, I hurt our tribe, and I hurt our race of men. If I talk against my brother in business in order to climb the ladder, I hurt our tribe. If I judge any man for their belief systems, the color of their skin, the job they occupy, etc., I hurt our tribe. Most of all I hurt my soul, spirit, heart and my purpose.
I may still be a man, but truly then my actions speak louder than my gender placement. As a man against men, I’m not good enough as a human or as a brother. I say NO MORE to that type of living here. As a man amongst men, I AM GOOD ENOUGH AND SO ARE YOU, my brother! The war we fight is the good fight. We fight the war within in hearts and souls only to emerge as the new male leaders in the world bringing a band of brothers one by one.
We are Warriors that lead by action more than our words. We lead by taking care of our body, mind, and spirit and walking the walk. Men of the true self know that living a life of purpose is all within the essence of who we are and why we are created. The younger men of this world need us.
I see too many suicides of good young men in my own backyard. These men were raised right, but there comes a time in every man’s life when they may ask the question—Who Am I?
What I supposed to do with my life?
Who can I follow and learn from?
Now the “who am I” question could take all of us a lifetime to explore, but it’s the second question and third questions that are the answers the young men need. This is where we, as courageous leaders and mentors, step in. Thank God that I was saved when I was ready to leave this world. I’m ready to pay that back now.
When I was young and suicidal, Jesus became my mentor out of desperation. Many young men are confused more than our generation. Many men in our generation (age 40s-60s) feel that their religion let them down, so they went seeking elsewhere. I’m one of those men. I’m not religious, though I do find the church for me is a place of tranquility from time to time. This is a spiritual message, not a religious one.
What about grades? There is more pressure than ever for our kids to get the best grades. For the ones who take this to heart as a measure of their worth or value, they pound themselves with learning mostly senseless stuff that will not serve them in the game of life. This is where we come in. We as men need to get back our metaphorical bikes, feel the freedom of the ride, and start sharing that playfulness with our young men. Living with freedom and service is a life of purpose.
We as men need to heal ourselves, overcome our obstacles and use this as the fuel to live out our life purpose of freedom, self-awareness, and service. God gave each one of us our unique set of challenges so we can persevere and come out the other side of finding our true self and then bring that light out to share with the world.
God/Universe is always with us. Our relationship continues to grow. I’m living proof. The days of fear, worry, stress and anxiety are greatly diminished almost gone. My new life is all about Love, Trust, Surrender. It’s about following and listening to my heart.
I want to thank you the reader for sharing this with me. We are all connected.
Many blessings on your journey to living a purposeful life!
Live Brave, Follow Your Heart.
This article originally appeared on Chris Forte’s Blog
Photo credit: Getty Images