I’ve spent a lifetime trying to bury parts of myself that I believed made me a bad person due to my religious trauma,
Jehovah’s Witness cult for the record.
This trauma had me believe that parts of me were worthy of death and at the age of 11 or 12 that literally put the fear of god in me.
When I stopped subscribing to that religion as a young teenage boy, I didn’t realise just how much these abusive teachings had imprinted on me, and as a result I have gone through my life feeling like i’m 2 separate people,
‘Dan the good guy’
‘Dan the bad guy’
I have found myself fighting so hard to be ‘Dan the good guy’ but at times ‘Dan the bad guy’ has just been too strong, and in those moments all that’s been left is a path of devastation and destruction in it’s wake.
Now if that wasn’t bad enough already, it’s not even close to the damage it ensues on ‘Dan the good guy’
Does ‘Dan the good guy’ even exist? I ask myself, or is he just a character i’ve created to help me live a ‘normal life’
At times i’ve found myself staring in the mirror contemplating whether I am just being used by Satan as a way for him to stick 2 fingers up at god.
Fortunately I now believe in duality, and that god and satan are faces of the same being,
God = higher self
Satan = lower self
But what i’m learning is that intellect means nothing if you haven’t first filtered it through your heart.
That is exactly why my healing journey has brought me to therapy, so I can learn to remove the padlock from the cage where my heart lies, and usher it out into the space where we experience true love, but first that requires safety and a lot of courage to sit in the feelings of ‘Dan the bad guy’ and look through the bars of that cage to see Dan, just Dan, an innocent scared little boy, that feels unworthy of love and who is so desperately crying out for a protector.
I am still struggling to look him in the eyes and just see pure innocence and give him what he needs, because I still blame him for a lot of the heartache and pain I’VE caused, and have experienced in my life so far, and because I still feel like this scared little boy ‘Dan the bad guy’ is constantly trying to goad me.
My journey is now about looking past his outbursts, and trying to understand that he is just a child, and underneath the tantrums is a boy just asking to be loved, and until I learn to love him he will always feel separate to me.
I am learning to invite him back in and promise him that I will never abandon him ever again.
I love you Dan,
I am always here for you even if at times it feels like I have abandoned you again,
I will always love you,
Forever your protector,
P.s. My best friend inviting me in to paradise with her.
Now obviously this depends on whose asking the question, and whose answering the question…
If you use the law as your moral compass then I’d just remind you that slavery was legal less than 150 years ago.
And under British law rape can only be committed by a man,
Yep, you read that right, a woman can NOT rape a man as the definition of rape involves a penis penetrating a vagina mouth or anus.
So I’d say if the law is your moral compass then this blog WILL trigger the fuck out of you, but hey, if you have a growth mindset you already know that our triggers are a gift, that shine a light on the areas we still have a lot of work to do,
Now I really don’t like using the good or bad narrative, which is ironic because it’s consumed my whole life, since being conditioned at a young age to believe that me playing with my cock was worthy of death and a form of self abuse,
Yeah FUCK YOU Jehovahs Witnesses and your cult,
Triggered much Dan 😉,
My poor counsellor haha!!
The reason I don’t like viewing things that way is because nothing is ever as black and white as we might find ourselves judging it to be;
You can enjoy a takeaway every now and then but every day would definitely not be ideal
You can enjoy a bottle of wine or 2 every now and then but every evening would not be ideal
You can have a day off training to relax and do nothing but every day would not be ideal
You can watch tv or play video games but spending multiple hours on the sofa every day is not ideal
I like to try and feel what the driving force behind doing the thing/s is, and then we can make a conscious decision as to whether this is what we really want to do, or if I’m doing this to try and avoid doing something else;
For instance you might find yourself using tv as a way to distract you from your negative thoughts and your lack of self love,
You might be using relationships as a way to validate you, because deep down you are so scared that others will judge you the same way you are judging yourself, which is almost always you telling yourself you’re unworthy,
You might be using drink, drugs or food to mask the emotions that you don’t want to feel, because you are so deeply unhappy and disappointed with where you currently are in your life,
The other side of the coin could be you struggle to relax and get out of ‘doing mode’ so you sitting infront of the tv doing nothing is potentially what would benefit you,
You might be avoiding a relationship because deep down you don’t feel worthy of someone loving you, and therefore a relationship could be where the next step is,
You’ve been using work and productivity for validation, and judge anyone and everyone that go outs and lets loose, therefore that’s exactly where your trigger is, and maybe going out and letting your hair down might help you take some of that pressure of yourself.
Now as humans we have a tendency to shame and judge those behaviours that we have engaged in that we are either trying to work through, or have stopped engaging in, a great example of this is someone who used to smoke quite heavily, and now hates the smell of smoke on others, because it reminds them of themselves, and they have not yet managed to work through their feelings of judgement towards themselves.
I found myself doing this a couple of years ago when I was trying to get out of the habit or the feeling of ‘I want to go and get fucked up’ and if I wrote this blog 18 months ago it would of read completely differently.
Now I hope I’ve managed to help you at the very least, be more open minded when it comes to cocaine in which case I think this brings me nicely to,
Reasons people might use cocaine;
Now obviously I’m not going to list hundreds, but I will try and list the ones that have been a big part in my coke use throughout the years, and some others that I know will resonate with some of you reading this.
Human beings have a need to fit in, and whenever we feel like were being outcast we will ‘fight’ to get back in. You could be out with your mates and everyone is doing coke and this night you don’t want to, but as the night goes on you feel like you are more and more ‘on the outside’ and finally decide that ‘i’ll just have a line’ which of course we all know is NEVER ‘just a line.’
People say that alcohol is a great drug to improve confidence ‘abit of the old dutch courage’ but cocaine absolutely destroys alcohol in a confidence cock fight, combine the 2 and now you’re fucking invincible!
Remove sexual inhibitions, if you’ve ever had sex on cocaine you’ll know exactly what I mean but basically all those ‘don’t do that, don’t say that, don’t request that, don’t don’t don’t… yeah they disappear, shame gets a royal kick in the balls (maybe that’s your thing and if it is coke is a great way to enjoy it shame free).
If you’re anything like me then you have a rebellious teenager doing whatever he can to be seen and heard inside of you (not in that way you disturbed human being). For me this has been a huge part of my life what with growing up in a such a controlling cult, anything that makes me feel even slightly constricted will have me fighting that teenager and trying to calm him down.
Now this may sound really out there… but cocaine can be used purely for enjoyment, no trying to avoid or run away or feed into some sort of psychological reprogramming, people may take coke because they enjoy it the same as someone may watch porn when they masturbate (and there is plenty of judgements aimed at porn watching, remember… triggers and all that 😉)
Now there are so many arguments that you may have right now but again I would invite you to just question every single thought you have and find the origin of said thought.
I’m definitely not saying that coke is good nor am I saying that it is bad,
Am I saying that I will never do coke again, absolutely not…
Am I saying that I want to do coke every weekend again, absolutely not…
But what I am saying is that we have full ownership over what we choose to do and instead of demonising anything try to look at what the driving force is behind it, and if you find yourself so emotionally charged about someone using cocaine remember…
that is where YOUR work is.
We cannot tell someone what they should or shouldn’t do based on an emotional bias, because we are then only acting out of a trigger and projecting that onto someone else, as a way to avoid doing the work ourselves to release attachment around that thing.
Now I’ve not really told you my opinion on cocaine but even though this is unsolicited I’ll treat you to it anyway 😉 …
I personally have a love hate relationship with it,
On one hand I absolutely love how it has enabled me to experience things that I didn’t have the confidence to experience at the time, and also it really has helped me build close friendships with a small handful of people. It also helped me through a really tough time a few years ago (sometimes we use substances/things etc because we feel like we don’t have anything else at our disposal and therefore at the time it actually serves us)
On the other hand it has caused me to act in ways that I’m definitely not proud of and I have caused a lot of hurt in the past due to me being intoxicated on cocaine.
My personal opinion on it right now as I sit here this very second is, it can be a great addition to a social setting as long as the user is in control and NOT the substance in control of the user, but I would say it takes a fair bit of work to get to that point and definitely a great deal of awareness to be able to use it so consciously.
I think if I was trying to help someone understand why someone they love is using it I would first of all advise them to open up a space of compassion and understanding and communicate in a way that is NON judgemental and critical, but purely as a way to break down any walls in your communication with the intention of learning more about your partner, because as soon as you come at it as I WANT YOU/MY PARTNER TO STOP DOING COKE BECAUSE IT MAKES ME FEEL X,Y,Z and as a way for you to take a self righteous stance then I promise you, you will lose in all senses.
If you got with your partner doing something then do NOT try to mould them into what you think is the best version of them, by telling them that you want them to stop, that is NOT loving them for who they are that is loving them for who you think they have the potential of being.
We often dress this form of love up as ‘i’m doing it for their best interests’ but I would challenge that and say that you are doing it because you are not able to set and hold boundaries, and the fear of being alone is actually far greater which means that it’s easier for you to try and control who your partner is, while having zero consequences for the things that you actually don’t want in a relationship, which as we all know is where resentment rears it’s ugly head.
ALWAYS try and use your partner as a mirror for your own ‘stuff’ before you go straight into ‘I need to defend myself’ and as fucking hard as it is, this is the ultimate form of self love, because whatever that trigger is in the moment, it’s asking you to see it and love it NOT project it (avoid it).
I hope if anything this has triggered you, and you are now questioning that trigger, and allowing yourself to sit with it instead of being overpowered by your ego, that is telling you ‘your beliefs are fact, and this is a direct attack to them’ resulting in fight or flight.
Gift yourself the time, the energy, the compassion to see the ways in which you have reacted towards things in the past as you doing your best and as soon as you know better you do better 😊.
I do know how to get you out of that dark place of pain and loneliness so you can begin to open up your heart and no longer live in fear.
I have always struggled with the idea of someone telling me what I should or shouldn’t do and spent my late teens and early 20’s hopping from job to job because I thought that’s what I should do.
I needed to earn money and I didn’t really pay any attention to what the vehicle was to earn that money.
This didn’t work out for me, and as soon as I felt like I wasn’t being treated as a human being, I either walked out, squared up to the boss (yes I was a young man who lacked communication skills) or got the sack.
Something had to change!
I began dreaming about the life I could have if I wasn’t afraid of going after it…
It took me a while to recognise that we’re all afraid but the ones that create the life and relationships they truly desire are the ones that don’t let the fear consume and control them.
“When the student is ready the teacher/lesson/sign will appear…”
One day I was called to pick up the local paper…Flicking through it my eyes were drawn to our local council advertising an apprenticeship for a fitness instructor.
Now at 22 the thought of leaving a job that was paying me £1100 a month (plenty of beer tokens while I was living at home) for an apprenticeship where I’d be earning £400 a month was something that wasn’t really enticing me in.
I realised that this was just my fear and if I wanted that life I dream of I’d have to face it head on,
Sometimes you have to go back a few steps to really be able to make huge strides forward.
I applied, as did over 100 others.
2 of us were offered the apprenticeship!
This was a huge confidence boost for me and was the beginning of ‘I feel the fear but i’m going to do it anyway’ mindset that I have created.
Fast forward to my late 20’s when I found myself at rock bottom, sleeping on a little leather sofa in my personal training studio fully clothed because of the -8 degrees temperature outside, and in £7k worth of debt again I had that wake up call…
Something has to change!
Once I began taking responsibility, feeling the fear and moving forward anyway, I began taking back control.
I focused on self ownership and really began looking into where am I holding myself back.
Why am I in this situation and what can I do to move forward?
I had to start slow because I was struggling to get from one day to the next, so instead of bottling everything up I started to speak,
I started this blog,
I was having conversations with people close to me and I fell in love with the ‘world’ of self love.
I recognised my whole life has been a result of the fact that I haven’t truly loved myself, now the caveat to this is I don’t believe we will ever love ourselves unconditionally, it’s not a destination but a practice.
This led me to one of the most profound realisations that I have ever had…
‘I can choose to love myself in every single moment!’
I started looking at my life objectively,
How I was choosing to fill my days,
The interactions I was having,
The behaviours I was engaging in,
I began having so many lightbulb moments as to why relationships broke down, I got into debt and felt so unfulfilled, and was suffering with this deep sense of loneliness.
Self love is like your bank account,
Each time you choose to do something that is in alignment with you loving yourself, you deposit a token,
Each time you do something that is out of alignment with you loving yourself, you spend a token.
Once you get low on tokens, you have to start focusing on depositing more than you’re withdrawing because unfortunately this bank account doesn’t come with an overdraft,
You can NOT go into minus!
If your bank account is in a healthy place every day, you can invest in those closest to you, if it’s getting close to 0 you have very little to be able help others.
I began depositing tokens,
I began focusing on exercise,
I began filling my mind with positivity,
I began reading again,
I began investing in time on my own,
I stopped spending as many tokens and this enabled me to focus on what I wanted for my life instead of what I didn’t want (my current reality).
I learned to feel the fear, forgive myself, and make self love a daily practice.
6 months ago I began rebranding my business, feeling the fear but trusting myself anyway.
I knew the passion, the insights, the work I’ve done on myself is so powerful that I would be not only doing myself a disservice by not stepping into my purpose, but I would also be turning my back on all of those men that need the support that I needed a few years ago!
If right now you are feeling like no one sees you, Like no one ever asks you how you really are and if they do, you don’t truly believe you can open up to them fully without judgement,
Then my 28 Day Mens Initiation is a great place to start.
This is where we prioritise you feeling confident in your body so you can begin to like who you see in the mirror.
If you’d like to find out more info just drop a comment below and i’ll get back to you with more details.
A lesson that I’ve learnt the hard way and is something that me and Charis speak about a lot, is the importance of sexual intimacy in our relationship.
It’s so easy to get caught up in life and forget to invest daily into our relationship, and that very reason is exactly why in the past, a relationship I was in, ended up being more so as a best friend and not a girlfriend and sexual partner.
It’s only upon reflection we can really see where we went wrong.
You know that honeymoon period that everyone says goes…
I truly believe it doesn’t have to, and can transcend into something far greater where you become lovers, best friends and life partners,
But there is an IF…
Initially my main reasons for investing in my relationship were through fear that I would lose that ‘I JUST WANT TO FUCK YOU’ feeling, especially after I’d been there before and had really hurt someone I loved, because I didn’t have the awareness or the tools to cultivate the type of relationship I wanted, and coupled with the lack of courage to communicate my deepest desires, this led me to take the ‘easy’ otherwise known as the cowards way out…
Now my reasons for investing in my relationship are different, I know what type of relationship I want, and I have a duty to Charis to always try my best to communicate and stick to my commitment that we both made when deciding we wanted to create a relationship together.
I’ve learnt that 2 people (speaking about monogamous relationships as I haven’t experienced polyamory or open) that like eachother and choose to be in a relationship, just isn’t enough for a relationship to flourish, It takes constant communication, challenges, fear, love and everything in between to build the relationship you truly want.
As soon as I stop investing in my relationship and become lazy and complacent, my relationship will suffer (I know shock horror), so in order for me to have the type of relationship where I look at Charis and want to have passionate sex (or a quickie, or anything else sexually) with her, I HAVE to put the work in!
I want someone I can share my fears with (this starts with me owning them first),
I want someone I can break down infront of (this is what i’m currently working on through counselling as I struggle to connect with my own emotions and express them),
I want someone I can do nothing with (everyone loves a ‘snacks and film’ night),
BUT…I also want someone I can enjoy sexually,
And THAT comes down to how willing I am to invest in myself and my own healing (we’ve all got layers we need to peel back and learn to love).
A question I would ask yourself if you crave more intimacy with your partner is…
‘where am I not showing up for myself, where am I not showing up in my relationship, where am I NOT putting effort in and what can I do right NOW to start reinvesting?
As a man we have an immense amount of pressure to have our shit together 24/7 and this has led us to believe that any time we are struggling with something we have to do whatever we can to look like everything is fine.
We don’t talk to our mates about our struggles, fears and insecurities,
We don’t talk to our partners about our struggles, fears and insecurities,
And we definitely don’t talk to our parents about our struggles, fears and insecurities.
We hold all of this in because we don’t want anyone to see that we are actually human, and being human means that at times we struggle, and at times we need help, but that goes against everything we’ve been indoctrinated to believe that men just get on with it.
In other words, if we stop being a robot, and start being real, then people will see us as a weak unsuccessful man.
I’ve spent 33 years struggling to be human, and any time that I’ve felt like I could do with some help, i either dig my heels in even more and get defensive when people offer me help,
or tell myself I’m a failure and spiral down into a pit of drink and drugs to escape that story I’m telling myself.
What I’m actually learning is that being a man is not based on being an emotionless robot 🤖, in fact it’s the complete opposite!
Being a man is having the courage to be real and own your struggles, put your hand up and ask for help and support others on your way up.
I used to tell myself that ‘real men’ don’t need help,
‘Real men’ don’t struggle with their emotions (Thankyou to the amazing term ‘man up’),
‘Real men’ have loads of money and fuck like pornstars (Thankyou to the over sexualised music world),
‘Real men’ swoop in and save women (Thankyou Disney),
I think at every single point in my life I’ve held a belief about what it is to be a man and that ideology is always outside of myself, instead of really connecting to my own masculinity.
I am a kind, caring man who does what he can to help others.
I am also a man that struggles at times and has fucked up and hurt people he loves.
Each year that goes by I know myself a little more, and instead of judge myself for my past shortcomings I am learning to love all of me,
I am learning to love,
32 year old Dan that so wanted to be seen by his girlfriend in a moment of real vulnerability the he ended up hurting her deeply.
28/29 year old Dan that got accused of attempted rape and spiralled down into drink and drugs and as a result left him homeless.
Mid 20 year old Dan that cheated on his fiancée and broke her heart because he was so scared of real intimacy and harboured a lot of shame around sexuality.
Teenage Dan that spent so much of his time trying to be more ‘you’ and less ‘me’ because he just wanted to be liked.
10/11 year old Dan that was told that what he done was wrong and displeasing to God and he needs to be sorry (otherwise God wouldn’t love him).
When I sit back and reflect right now, I just see a boy/man that was trying to be what he thought everyone wanted him to be, or a version of him that he thought would be more worthy of love.
I’ve done a lot of questionable things in my time and they have all been as a result of parts of myself that I’m struggling to love and have been trying to hide.
I just want you to know that you can keep running and using;
Being a doting father
To avoid those feelings of unworthiness, but I guarantee you, until you stop and actually start looking at it all, and learning to love it all, you will always feel lonely and unfulfilled, because it’s ALL YOU, and you are begging and pleading with YOU to love YOU.
Loneliness isn’t you not having someone externally who understands you and loves you,
Loneliness is YOU not understanding you and REFUSING to love you.
Maybe now is not your time and you’re not quite ready yet but when the time comes and you really feel the pull, use your strength to just surrender and give up running and get the help and support you need and deserve 🙏🏼❤️.
Men I see you and I’m here for you,
Much love 🙏🏼❤️
P.s. ego = ‘what judgements will I get as a result of this photo, it’s not safe to post this, you’re naked on the beach’
My higher self = Dan you’ve just wrote about vulnerability and judgements why are you now projecting you own self judgement?!
So ironic that for the last minute or 2 I’ve been trying to hit the question mark at the end of the title of this and it appears that key is technically speaking FUCKED! Maybe that is trying to show me just how little unconditional love I actually have access to 😉!
So growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness and trying to live in a system that tells you time and time again, that in order for Jehovah to want you in the paradise and to survive Armageddon, you need to be this and do that and think these thoughts and look this way and and and and, conditions conditions conditions.
Now as a young boy the thought of being murdered by god if I didn’t follow these rules was not exactly a fate that I wanted to imagine for my life.
So this led me down the path of ‘I’m a good little boy’ and even at the ripe old age of 12 gave me this sense of righteousness where I felt better than others because I knew the TRUTH, that’s actually what that cult call their religion ‘the truth’.
Now you can obviously tell that I still have some ‘stuff’ to heal around my time as a Jehovah Witness but I wanted to use that religion as an initial reference point for my confusion around love.
I actually recently asked a Jehovah’s Witness why if Jehovah was such a loving god, does he demand that we worship him unconditionally, but yet he only loves us conditionally.
His response was ‘well of course love is conditional’ and that was where that topic abruptly ended.
Now I’m going to leave that religion there for now and move on to every day life as a human being.
I want to start off by inviting you to turn that phrase around…
Human being = being human.
As we are just being (or playing) as a human we are NOT human WE (or I) is something playing a role of a human, meaning that we are NOT our physical body but the awareness or consciousness behind, or at play, just having a human experience.
Now this is what I really want to get into.
All the ways in which we identify as a human, and every role we embody, and how this closes us off to unconditional love.
This is something that Ram Dass goes into a lot and has really enabled me to question and really build an awareness around my intentions.
To simplify it I want you to think about every interaction you have recently had, and how you have either put them on a different level to yourself, or you have held a subtle (or not so subtle) feeling of superiority over them.
Now this can materialise in various ways but again to simplify think about how you have tried to influence them in some way to think that you are different or better than them,
You’re right and they are wrong.
Now I have to be very aware of these thoughts and identifying with my ego, especially around my feelings regarding that religion, because what I am creating in my head (the stories and beliefs about that religion) are also another way that my ego is able to give me a sense of superiority, and anything that ‘others’ us from eachother is another way that we are proving that we do NOT love them (effectively you, I, us) unconditionally.
This is an elite level practise (be careful because that statement is also a trap 😉) that Jesus, buddha, Mohammed etc were here to teach us,
“Love your neighbour as yourself”
But in practise it’s not so easy.
Could you love someone that cheated on you…
Could you love someone that killed your pet…
Could you love someone that spoke a lot of shit about you…
Could you love someone that really hurt you but wasn’t sorry…
Those are hard right!
Now wait until you think about this level…
Could you love someone who physically hurt your mum…
Could you love someone who murdered your dad…
Could you love someone who sexually abused you…
We can go even further…
Could you love someone who tortured you…
Could you love hitler…
Could you love Bill Gates (fun)…
Now think about every single feeling, thought, and story you use to justify why they don’t deserve your love…
Now what spirituality effectively is, is a practise of BEING unconditional love, and just loving everyone because you see the soul (your soul) inside them, regardless of whatever role they are physically playing right now in this human experience.
Now that does NOT mean that you love their behaviour or actions!
But instead you love them because you ARE love, and every single time you turn your love on and off, and only choose to love this trait, or that trait, you are immediately identifying with your ego or your humanness and therefore are trapped in this perpetual cycle of ‘woe is me’ ‘if only they were more like me’ etc etc.
I think (ego) we (I) have to be very careful with our intentions behind everything we say, do and are because as soon as we create disconnection between you and them (us) you then fall into a very self-centred journey, which will NEVER allow you to experience unconditional love and really that’s what life is, LOVE.
Now of course the humanness in us has a lot of ‘imperfections’ and in my opinion the greatest one is the fear of death, because when you fear death, you ARE your ego, and you fully identify with all your aches, pains, struggles, medical conditions etc and as soon as you limit yourself, you have also trapped everyone else in the prison of your mind because your fear will also try to control the lives of those around you.
Death really is a dropping of the physical form, you may of heard people refer to it as the body as our meat suit.
Our body dies but WE do not.
Now again this does not mean you can’t or shouldn’t grieve other humans passing in your life, because as a human being, grief is part of the human experience and just something that we get to love as well, you can’t have life without death, think of the food we eat, whether it’s a plant or an animal the death of that gives us life.
Now I am by no means saying that this is easy or that I have achieved any of it, and I am really trying to write this without any thoughts of ‘I hope someone likes this’ because my intention behind writing this is that I miss writing, and writing is something that I have always loved, but recently I have viewed it as something I need to do with a specific intention behind it outside of just pure enjoyment.
Over the last few years I have really began looking at things very philosophically and I always come back to my own struggles with unconditional love and identifying with my ego.
Now this can also be a trap because if I begin identifying as someone that tries not to identify with my ego then that’s still me potentially using that as a way to other myself again.
My practise right now is around my intention and if what I’m doing is purely for love or to make me feel MORE than or BETTER THAN instead of just being of service and helping.
Ram Dass calls this ‘being the help and NOT identifying as the helper’ and I think about whenever I see videos of a homeless person having a camera shoved in their face when someone buys them a sandwich.
These are just some thoughts for today with no real structure, no expectation or needs for it to be or do anything other than sit ‘there’ this is really just me emptying my mind and doing something I enjoy.
In my opinion the question (that wasn’t a question because that key on my keyboard is broke) Can you accept unconditional love is really defined by how much can you love unconditionally and each time you think you love unconditionally just ask yourself how much you love your ‘enemy’
This is not going to be a shaming of men, lord knows I’ve shamed myself enough nor is this going to be a pity party for all us men to get our rocks off but instead this is going to be a letter of acknowledgement and recognition of our weaknesses and our reasonings behind them while making a commitment to rewrite the bullshit narrative that we have embodied of toxic masculinity.
As little boys growing up many of us were not taught how to express our emotions this could be due to our fathers not being taught by their fathers, but also due to men being told that being a man means that we are strong (NEVER weak) we provide (ALWAYS) and we just get shit done (IRREGARDLESS of how were feeling) this has only been confounded by the term ‘man up’
A recent example of this I witnessed was on dinner date (a ‘reality’ tv show) where a young female said to her date (a man in his early 20’s) “are you a real man and take your steak rare?” it was obvious to see that he didn’t know how to respond and all I could think of was how would the response differ if he said to her ‘if you were a real woman…’
Now like I said this is not a pity party I just want to share my views and personal experiences when it comes to the struggles that us men encounter and try to offer a solution for us all to celebrate eachothers differences.
Going through our teenage years we are only shown more proof that the ‘bad boys’ are the ones that ‘get the girl’ which only makes us question ourselves even more and wish that we could be more like them.
We judge ourselves for feeling, we judge ourselves because we don’t have the body, we judge ourselves because we don’t have the sexual experience, we judge ourselves because we aren’t popular and we do anything and everything we can to try and mould ourselves into more of what we see you want and less of what we actually are.
This comes with a whole host of problems as we enter our late teens and right through our early to mid 20’s as we fall into the socially acceptable trap of binge drinking and recreational drug taking. This again is just another attempt to fit in and effectively escape who we really are.
This has been coined boy psychology which really just means a male that hasn’t transitioned into manhood.
So really what is the difference between a boy and a man?
This is something that so many people have opposing views on and it really just comes down to how we choose to view our own ‘inner boy/child’ and can look at this objectively enough to differentiate the two.
This is what I believe a man is v what a boy is;
A boy is very egocentric and is predominantly about being of service to self,
A man is of service to self but for the betterment of others.
To simplify and put it into Layman’s terms here are my personal experiences and opinions of how a boy acts,
A boy objectifies females and views them as sexual gratification ‘toys’
A boy is scared of real intimacy and chooses to live life looking round every corner for danger.
A boy will use porn because it’s easier than being truly vulnerable with his partner.
A boy uses alcohol/drugs to numb himself from his actually reality.
A boy uses females as a way to gain validation and feel worthy.
A boy is deceitful and doesn’t honour his word.
A boy buys things to gain approval from others.
A boy is needy.
A boy is a victim of life.
A boy wants things handed to him.
A boy sees other males as competition.
A boy wants to be saved.
A boy doesn’t have a purpose.
A boy is emotionally immature.
A boy needs constant praise and approval.
A boy doesn’t really know who he is and crumbles any time he receives criticism.
A man is independent.
A man takes full responsibility.
A man creates from a place of love and service.
A man doesn’t use things such as alcohol/drugs/sex/masturbation to escape life.
A man can compliment another man.
A man serves humanity.
A man views females as the most powerful creators.
A man is purpose driven.
A man is emotionally stable.
A man is fully in his power and doesn’t crumble under ‘attack’
A man only needs his own permission.
A man knows who he is and what he stands for.
A man doesn’t judge others instead seeks to understand others.
A man leads by example.
A man accepts his mistakes and focuses on becoming better every day.
A man protects.
You may or not agree with some or even any of these and that’s ok but what I would invite you to consider is what internal agreements are you living by and are they in alignment with the type of man you want to be?
The journey to manhood is a treacherous one and we will take a lot of arrows along the way but we have to dust ourselves off and continue on because the world, OUR world relies on us!
I want to finish this by apologising;
We are sorry, we are sorry for using you (females) for our own selfish gain, we are sorry for using you as emotional sounding boards instead of committing to the daily actions and commitments to heal our childhood wounds, we are sorry for running away from your love and NOT doing the work to feel worthy of it, we are sorry for the pain and the heartaches we have caused due to our lack of vulnerability, we are sorry for the nights you lay there wondering why you were never enough, we are sorry for the things we said and done because we weren’t willing to look inside ourselves first, we are sorry for the fatherless children you’ve had to raise, we are sorry for the broken promises and the times we didn’t honour our word,
We are sorry to the world for playing into your bullshit narrative or ‘toxic masculinity’ and we take full responsibility for everything in the past…
Now we step into manhood,
Now we show you everything we are capable of and wrap you up in our loving protection and offer you the safety to fully embody and share your amazing gifts with the world.
We need your nurture and we need your love, and NOW we commit to be of service to you and for you instead of looking for ways to manipulate you for our own personal gain.
We will be the safety for girls to transition into women and we will be the new reference point for what it means to be a man so that you never accept any less than in your life.
The feminine and it’s divine hypnotic essence is what makes you so irresistible, that innate power that we know can just end us draws us in, the closer we get the hotter the fire burns.
As we enter your palace you are sat around a big fiery cauldron, your hips are swaying in the most enchanting way and as I lean forward to look into the fire, the realisation hits… the seductive glow of passion is in fact you, you are not separate from the fire, you ARE the fire and that rush of sheer danger, lust and excitement is the true divine nature of you’re transformational, rejuvenating life force that pours into everything you come in contact with, and NOW I get it…
I know my role as the masculine here on this earth!
This could either be an invitation for you to drink 3 bottles of prosecco with the girls and slag off men, or run yourself a nice bubble bath while enjoying a glass of wine.
^^^ these seem to be the kaleidoscope of self love.
Sure you can go for a spa day, or follow an insta models booty workout, but none of these are going to help you really learn to love yourself…
Well because self love is something that our society absolutely DOES NOT want you to have!
And guess what, neither do many of the people closest to you, because when you are really choosing to love yourself you will NOT accept shitty behaviour from shitty people, or eventually shitty behaviour from good people.
Now look, I don’t really believe people are shitty or good rather just people, the reason I say that is because it’s so much easier to not tolerate shitty behaviour from people we don’t really care about, than it is to not tolerate shitty behaviour from people we really do care about, but those that really do love you and want to see you thrive, will be rooting for you along your self love journey.
Ok so enough with the self love dramatics and down to what self love actually is…
I believe that self love is the art of choosing YOU in every moment, if that made you crease up and squirm around, then that is proof you don’t believe that you should put yourself first.
You may believe that putting yourself first is selfish and I would 110% agree with you but here’s the thing with selfishness, the negative conatation that selfishness has is again proof that the powers that be do NOT want you to love yourself. Ever heard the analogy “you cannot serve from an empty vessel”
I use the self love as tokens analogy,
Think about a bank account you open as your self love starting point, each time you do something that is in alignment with you loving yourself, you deposit a self love token into your account, every time you do something that is out of alignment with you loving yourself, you withdraw a self love token from your bank account. This bank account doesn’t allow you to go into an arranged overdraft, so if you go into minus you start getting penalised. If your account is in a healthy state then you are able to invest in others, if your account is in an unhealthy state, then you have NO resources to help others.
So we have to make sure that we are always in a positive instead of a minus, and the more you deposit the more you will be able to invest in others.
Now at times you will of course withdraw some tokens, these can be in the form of a night out with friends, drinking too much and indulging in calorific foods, or skipping the gym for a Wednesday night spontaneous date night, and again I believe that is all part of loving yourself, being able to allow yourself to adopt the 80/20 rule of healthy v unhealthy, or as I prefer to see it, supportive to your growth v supportive to your play.
All work and no play, and all that!
But your intention behind everything should come from a place of complete consciousness, instead of ‘I am completely oblivious to anything that is going on in my life’ because when the latter is true, you will find yourself drifting further and further into the realms of the victim, never truly believing you have the power or responsibility to create the life you want, therefore only looking to blame.
Now reading this far might have had you hit the little X in the corner and continue sipping on your G and T with the thought ‘who the fuck does he think he is’ and if that is true, then I can call you an egotistical princess that thinks the world revolves around you, and in which case you need to grow the fuck up HUN!
But if you are still reading then please don’t let that ^^^ girl know what I just said 😉.
Anyway lets continue shall we!
So what areas of your life are direct indicators that you don’t love yourself based on my definition of self love?
You don’t address any of your partners behaviour face to face because you believe that if you choose YOU then no one will love you.
You have subscribed to the belief that you have to do that shitty job you hate getting up for every morning, because you have nothing else to offer the world.
You go out drinking every weekend and beat yourself up every Sunday, telling yourself you’re going to get your shit together on Monday.
You date arseholes that are jealous, narcissists that initially lavish you with gifts, when really you want their love and time, because you don’t give love and time to yourself.
You exercise regularly, but sabotage any efforts in the gym with consistent shit choices of food, because ‘you don’t have the motivation to cook healthy’
You don’t challenge anyone that says something that hurts you, because you are scared that you will come across ‘too sensitive’
This is just the tip of the iceberg, but remember that it wasn’t the tip that sunk the titanic… *really want to insert some perverted humour here regarding the ‘tip’ but I’ll trust you can take that wherever you want it to go 😉!
Now admittedly this can all be quite triggering when reading, or hearing this stuff, but what I’ve learnt and come to understand deeply, is that a trigger is an invitation to curiously lean into and learn something about yourself, and potentially see part of you that is just crying out for some love, and proverbial spooning if you will.
One of the most simple yet effective tools I’ve got in my box (innuendo central there, please don’t let me down!) is a question I use multiple times a day…
Whenever I’m faced with the thoughts or feelings of ‘I can’t be bothered’ or ‘I don’t want to rock the boat’ I ask myself,
IF I LOVED MYSELF WHAT WOULD I DO?
This question enables you to consciously navigate any situation so you can choose to live in alignment with your deepest values and morals I call this your self love compass.
If there is anything you are really struggling with right now and can’t seem to break free from PLEASE reach out, maybe I can help you or maybe I know someone that can, but either way from my experience when it leaves your mouth you will feel instantly lighter.
This self love ‘stuff’ is fucking hard and is NOT the medias portrayal of bubble baths but that does not mean you can’t handle it because the truth is NOT starting your journey will hurt more in the longrun.
First of all I want you to take 3 deeps breaths, you’re going to breath in through your nose for a count of 4, hold for a count of 3-4 and then breathe out for a count of 4.
You should now be feeling centred, relaxed and present which is something you have been struggling with since the breakup,
Am I right?
I know this because I too have been in your position a few years back, the constant noise in your head and unable to shake the feelings of unworthiness while clinging on to the hope that everything will be ok.
You probably stumbled across this blog with the intention of learning how to get over your ex all while secretly knowing you don’t want to,
YOU can’t hide from YOU.
But MY intention behind putting this out in to the big wide web and infront of your eyes is to help you question what it is you’re doing, and really start bridging the gap between what you say you want and what you are doing, so you can become the Queen B of your life, all the single ladies dah dah daaahhhh.
Ok right let’s get to it!
Breakups are possibly (depending how invested you were) one of the most painful things you will ever go through, they shake you to your core and leave you questioning everything,
What did I do wrong?
What could I of done better?
Why was I not good enough?
Will I ever be loved like that again?
But once you start consciously choosing to work through the breakup, and being far more intentional about where you are investing time and energy, you will begin noticing just how transformational this chapter of your life is.
Now obviously there are exceptions to these and of course you can tell me I’m wrong or even quote some Game Of Thrones “You know nothing, Jon Snow” and that is entirely your prerogative but I invite you to firstly look inside, and see if you can find any truth in what you are reading.
So without further ado I bring to you my top 3 don’ts when struggling with a breakup.
Indirectly trying to get your exes attention. This could be going to places you know your ex will be in the hope of bumping into them, writing a post on social media explaining how you’re now know longer going to do x,y or z (you know that thing your ex didn’t like you doing) or posting endless pictures of you partying with the intention of trying to make your ex jealous. Now these are a few subtle cries but the biggest one here that deserves a lot of love directed inward is the messages or kind gestures towards your ex to show them that you still love and care about them. This for me was a pattern I have found myself in a couple of times, but since working through a lot of ‘stuff’ I realised that was my way of trying to prove that I had something amazing to offer them, the harsh truth is that if you are feeling the need to make grand gestures then you are subconsciously telling yourself you are not worthy as you are.
Jumping straight into another relationship. Now reading this one might be very triggering and cause you to energetically send profanities my way but bear with me here. A longterm relationship can impact your identity in a way that you might not of considered but I have a couple of things here for you to ponder on. Is the fact I’m single bringing up feelings of ‘I don’t know who I am’ due to the identity you’ve built around you being in a relationship? Or has your new found single life created fear around you being on your own because you are someone that always needs to be around someone? Both of these are going to be very challenging to work through but jumping straight into another relationship from a place of fear will create far more problems, and will prevent you from connecting with someone who really lights up your soul.
Exchange sex for validation of worthiness. This is probably the most common and was definitely a big part of my healing process, but as soon as you start trading things for something that feels like the thing you really want, then you are again subconsciously telling yourself that you don’t deserve what it is you truly want. Now I am by no means saying DO NOT go out and have sex but what I am saying is be very intentional about your reasons for having sex. So if what you’re actually wanting is physical touch, a cuddle, some company then ask yourself, how can I begin matching my behaviours to my desires and when you can really become aware of the choices you’re making, you can begin taking back control, instead of leaving you feeling used while harbouring feelings of unworthiness.
Now I want you to think for a few seconds, what one of those three while reading them created a bigger response (an anxious feeling in your stomach, a sudden rush of heat, a feeling of defensiveness) in my body?
This is where you are most out of alignment and are really being called to love that part of yourself.
So my suggestion is to take things slow…
What can you do right now that will improve your life today?
It might be cancelling that night out and instead spend the evening taking care of yourself so you can wake up feeling energised and refreshed (a clue here is when was the last time you stayed in on your own at the weekend and prioritised self care)
It might be asking yourself, is this person I’m spending a lot of time with someone that I would spend a lot of time with if I truly loved myself? and then getting really clear on the truth instead of overthinking the stories you are attaching to that question.
It might be making a commitment to yourself to stop sharing your body with anyone for *insert a timeframe that feels aligned and right for you.
As I mentioned at the start of this, it is absolutely your prerogative to disregard any or all of this, but if any of this has resonated, or made you question your current thoughts or behaviours then I’d love to hear what insights you have had.
But most of all I want you to know that although right now you are struggling, and things feel like they are too much for you, you are loved unconditionally just by being here now, and when you lose sight of that, just reach out to someone that is a permanent in your life, nothing comes close to a cuddle or an I love you from your mum 😊.