I figured since I directed my last blog to the girls in my life (though it is mostly applicable to both sexes), I needed to direct the next to my guys. As with the girls, applicable to my guys of all ages.
Someone asked me one day how I was able to remain single all of my life, and though I gave the flippant answer that I hadn’t found any other viable options, truth is that I have had a certain freedom to wait for the right man due to the guys in my life. I have guys who care for me well, who save me from myself and my complete ineptitude with most things that require mechanical ability, hand/eye coordination, balance, or power tools, and who have yet appreciated who I am and what I have to offer in return. They tell me I am beautiful, smart, capable, and respect me as a human being.
I’ve never once been of the frame of mind that all men are bad, even when I have run across those who let me down, proven themselves to be of poor character, or have just been jerks. Most of the men in my life are pretty amazing….and starting with my dad and brothers, have cared for me well all of my life. (I hope they say the same about me.)
We put a lot of pressure on men. In the old movies, books, and fairy tales we all grew up with, they were always expected to save the day. Regardless of what happened, they were supposed to be in the right place at the right time with all of the right equipment. Oh, and be amazingly handsome and rich besides.
I think perhaps a lot of us still have that expectation. We want Prince Charming to save us. Again and again and again.
So often they do. So often that it remains our expectation. So often that sometimes we don’t see the enormous pressure we put them under. We don’t listen for the signs that they may just be spent and need a helping hand, acknowledgment, and encouragement.
So guys, know that most of us do care. Know that since part of our brain may be wired with unrealistic expectations, sometimes you need to tell us the truth. Sometimes you have to admit it is hard and a bit overwhelming. Sometimes you need to remind us that we can be your true companions and work alongside you. Often we will all find there is more joy in that than in you doing it all by yourself.
We were created to be much tougher than we appear. Often we abdicate our power, or don’t work to exercise it. Adding that load to us is not a burden, when you are willing to share. Sharing the load is often one of the most fulfilling activities of our existence.
Sharing is important. Words are important. Acknowledging and respecting the abilities of others is important. Encouraging us to become more and be more is important, and it is important that you be willing to do the same.
Turn the fairy tales on their head. Don’t cater to a lot of princesses. Instead look for the real deal who will hold your hand and encounter what life throws at you as a partner. Look for the one who makes you love life more. Who is perfectly capable of surviving on their own, of being happy on their own, but chooses to spend life with you. And as time goes on, would choose you over and over and over again.
They say that nobody’s perfect and that is true enough. But still….you were created as a masterpiece. Whatever your size and shape, whatever your gifts and talents, whatever your occupation or family status, you have enough to change the world. You have power you have never accessed, strength that you haven’t begun to tap. And you have purpose. Look for it. Often that purpose is simply living your life with intention and not allowing it to pass by while you lay on the couch watching SportsCenter, with a bag of chips. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that on occasion.)
So, my guys, don’t feel like you have to carry the world on your shoulders. God will do that for you, so hand it off to him. There are others around you who will help you in this world. You were not put among us to go it alone. Be strong, and courageous, but realize there is not just one way to pull that off. There can be strength through the tears, there is great power in compassion. Learn that you don’t have to curl up and fit in a box, but instead there are a lot of ways to stand tall and be a strong man. Be a man you are proud of, whether anyone is watching or not. But know often people will be watching, and they will be following your lead. Take them down a great path and show them the time of their lives. And leave this world, and its hearts, much better than you found them. You, my guys, are my heroes. That doesn’t require perfection. And if your story has taken you in the wrong direction, you can either turn around or change your path. You can even ask for directions.