Ups, Downs, and All Arounds — How do we get through this?

  • Dealing with Stress
  • External Control
  • Loving yourself

Dealing with Stress

Life is stressful. I’ve had me ups, and I’ve had my downs. The scary part is the downs. It’s so incredibly easy to disappear ironically in this hyper connected world we live in today. Once you go deeper down that path it gets sometimes harder and harder to see the light. Questions about what purpose our existence has, the burden on others, the feeling of inadequacy, and the world crumbling around us. Can’t even be bothered to drag yourself out of bed? For what? Compound this with for many people traumatic events like sexual assault, abuse, poverty, violence, etc. the weight becomes unbearable. I touched on this before post but there was a really rough period in Norway where I though “Man if this train hits me…” — we create our own realities of despair.

  • I am not OUTSIDE in Nature
  • Anti Social aka too busy to go for dinner (but really not).
  • Stop exercising

External Control

Yes it’s great to have positive ways to “Deal with Stress” (High/Numb), but going surfing is not going to solve my problem Brian! This spiral into darkness, this overwhelming stress, weight, burden what is it? I don’t know the best way to tackle this topic and what it means for you but I’ll try with some quotes picked up along the way and some stories for what it means to me.

  • Personalization: The belief that we are at fault.
  • Pervasiveness: The belief that an event will affect all areas of our life.
  • Permanence: The belief that the aftershocks of the event will last forever.

Love Yourself

“in the United States, nearly 88 percent of all homicides are committed by men. Men in the United States are six times more likely to commit suicide than women.”

  • The Stoic Mask. The Stoic mask will tell a man to prove himself by being invulnerable and tough. All his emotions should be carefully managed and suppressed. There is no room for crying, pain, feelings or emotions.
  • Growing up when my mom left my dad, I felt I needed to take care of her, my sister, and my grandmother. That meant being the “man”. I never cried, I never complained, I tried to take it all on myself and never talked about it with anyone, all the while feeling I was never enough. I can’t be more thankful for the amazing man that came into my life, Tony Bertram, my step-dad who loved me and my sister like his own. Remember him telling me I was the most stressed 12-year old he ever met. Even today I am only slowly peeling off this mask, learning to be open about my struggles and sharing my inadequacies, learning to Love Myself as it’s held me back in relationships in the past.
  • The Athlete Mask. The Athlete mask tells a man to prove himself by being good at sports.
  • The Material Mask. The material mask will tell a man to prove his worth by the amount of money in his bank account.
  • The Sexual Mask. The sexual mask will tell a man that his worth is proven by his sexual conquests and the number of women he has slept with. This mask tells men that relationships are for settlers and quitters. A real man loves briefly and then leaves.
  • Hooking up with lots of girls, getting country flags, being a puma, for a long time would look at these guys and be jealous. What a man! Only now you start to understand when you peel away the mask, there’s an emptiness to hiding this inadequacy. What is more fulfilling is when you love yourself and find a partner that accepts all of that.
  • The Aggressive Mask. The aggressive mask will tell a man to prove himself by being aggressive. When he sees something that he wants, he must go after it regardless the feelings of other people.
  • I think what I’ve struggled her is that it’s always the idea that the “Nice-guy” loses. You put on this mask because it’s what apparently gets results. Learning though that you can be assertive, determined, focused, without running over other people, instead getting there by lifting others up.
  • The Joker Mask. The Joker mask will tell a man to prove himself that he is funny and always able to laugh away all his problems.
  • The Invincible Mask. This mask will tell a man to not feel fear, ever. A man behind the invincible mask takes risk and doesn’t take into consideration the consequences of his actions.
  • The ‘Know-It-All’ Mask. This mask will tell a man to prove himself by his knowledge. A real man is supposed to have all the answers and to know exactly what to do in every situation.
  • God this is a tough one for me. This idea if you don’t know things people will think less of you. Learning to “Listen” has been a big thing I am working on. You can have discussions, you can get to places with great questions, and admit you don’t know everything. It’s been said you have 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason and I am trying…
  • The Alpha Mask. The Alpha mask will tell a man to prove himself as an alpha man, meaning: someone who is a true winner. A true man must dominate, and win everything he can.

If you made it this far. Thank you.

I love you.



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