I wake up each morning with my heart heavy and my mind racing; not triumphant. The dreams haunt me as I shake the sleepiness of the night. I have a big day ahead. No, it is not much different than the day before, but that day almost did me in. I put my still aching feet on the floor and take a deep breath. I will do better today and be a better husband and father and not lose my temper or get frustrated with my co-workers. Sigh, if only it were that easy.
There is a heavy amount of weight on men’s shoulders from society, religion, and yes, even our loved ones. Sadly, we often find ourselves alone in a world of men with the same struggle. We don’t know how to talk about these struggles with each other, and when we finally get in groups to open, our ego trashes our efforts and won’t allow us to speak the truth. Phrases like, “boys will be boys,” and “real men don’t cry” haunt our fathers and their fathers. Developing the idea in our minds that we are not allowed to be real with each other.
Fashion and sports industries continuously create an environment of shame and disparity among us men that we have unachievable goals to look towards as our Dad-Bod takes form. No wonder we walk by the scale in our bedroom with anger and refuse to look at ourselves in a full-body mirror. These expectations from society to be a perfect husband, father, and have a six-pack throw us into a state of frustration and desperation. To compound our frustration, we wallow in our despair through video games, fantasy sports, and other hobbies that prevent us from being better men.
So, what are we supposed to do about it?
The fact is, if you are reading this then you are at a point of frustration in your life that you want to make positive changes to your manhood, but most places you turn to only create more frustration and anger and drive you to want to give up. I want to first applaud you. It is my prayer that we can go through this journey together and become better men of God not just for ourselves, but for those we love. As you will learn, no greater joy or satisfaction comes from being a great man for those you love.
To aid us in this journey, meet a young man named Jason. Let him tell us about his typical day.
Do you want to know about my day?
Let me tell you about my day.
My youngest cannot seem to stay asleep all night unless she is sleeping with us. She is almost a year old and we can’t seem to get her to sleep through the night. Not only does that make me extra tired in the morning, but it does nothing for our sex life. I can’t remember the last time we had a good time together. Oh, wait, yes I can, it was when we created our little terror. Don’t get me wrong, we love her, but can I get a break already?
Our oldest just turned 4 and my wife insisted we dip into our savings for his birthday. I hated the idea because he will never remember the party anyway, but as always, I lost that argument.
And that’s another thing. My wife and I seem to be always fighting. Not that we hate each other or anything, but we always seem at odds. We can’t even seem to agree on what Netflix shows to binge on. We have the typical shows we watch together, but when it comes to mindless binging, she watches a bunch of reality crap – just a bunch of stupid people flaunting their stupid drama.
Seriously, my days are so mundane, and one bleeds into the next. I wake up tired each day and after three cups of coffee I zombie off to work where I put forth only what I need to put forth. After all, there is no hope of promotion. The best I can hope for is a 3% increase each year to keep up with inflation. My wife wants me to quit and find a better job, but that would mean starting all over again and learning a new job. I am not down for that. I have a nice groove here and my work puts food on the table. Sure, we can’t afford a vacation, but where would we go with these kids anyway.
We can’t even get a break from them at home, so imagine what it would be like dealing with them in a strange environment.
Do you know what I really want? I want five minutes a day to myself where I can do something that I enjoy. The biggest break is when I pretend to be on the toilet a little too long to get some quality scrolling in.
I know I sound like I am complaining, but I am tired of my work, of not getting enough sleep, and of not having sex with my wife. Seriously, almost two years now.
How rude of me, I didn’t even introduce myself, I just started complaining.
My name is Jason.
I don’t want to be the guy who complains all the time, but I want to be the strong man of God that I know I can be, I just don’t have the strength to be him.
Somewhere inside of me lies the ability to be this man, I know it. Maybe if I would read one of those books I bought on Amazon while on the toilet I could be him.
One day, but not today.
Does his day resonate with you on any level?
If so, I am glad you are here. This journey is not designed as a sit-down read about how to change, but a journey of action and understanding. We will walk through this journey each day with Jason, and take part in searching the mind and soul to get us on track. It may take you a couple of weeks to get through or a couple of years. The point is not to stress about the journey, but to stay the course.
Lastly, you are not alone. Not only is this a journey that I, the author, continuously revisit, but we are going to watch Jason as he develops through his own journey. He will have struggles, fears, questions, and realizations. Most importantly, he does not give up, and as a result, he begins to love the man that he is and doesn’t wake up with anxiety any longer. It is my prayer that you get at least one piece of encouragement out of this journey and as a society, we can change the narrative of what it means to be a real man of God.
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