Earlier this week, while reading “Fathered by God” by John Eldredge, I was moved to ask the question, “what is it that I believed for the longest time that hindered my growth of being the best man I could be?” Then, it hit me, and it was something that echoed in my heart and mind for the longest time.
“I’m not like the other guys!”
When I was a kid, I could remember sitting in the back in class, drawing and creating things on paper from imagination. I listened to music that was totally different from my classmates. They listened to a lot of rap and hip-hop while I kept secret my love for movie instrumentals, news themes, rock, Gospel and so forth. As a kid, my passion grew for writing, cartooning and even youth ministry.
During Elementary and Middle School I struggled to relate with other kids, especially with other boys. Up until High School, bullying and rejection was the norm.
I talked differently…dressed differently…acted differently…and that made me a target for ridicule and shame.
The more I continued to investigate this, I found out something fascinating about this thought…this very thing that I believed about myself for the longest time.
While it was true that I was different from other guys (because we all are individually unique) I also was being robbed of the idea that I was not able to ever connect with other guys in a healthy, holy and brotherly way. Truth is, there are men that we can connect with that have our best interests as well as men who can relate to some part of our story that we are living.
And, I can still dare to be different as I go forward in my masculine journey. The world needs different men…men who are strong…men who will stand up when it is inconvenient…men who will be warriors for a cause greater than themselves…for there families, for there jobs, for there community and for all.
The idea of “not being like the guys” was a well crafted lie wrapped in what sounded (and felt) like a horrible truth.
Truth is…I am like other guys. I like adventure. I like a good challenge. I have strength (I may not be buff, but I have strength that surpasses anything on the outside). I have courage.
I also found out that there are other young men much like myself…the geeky…the nerdy…critical thinkers…creatives…men of Faith…followers of Christ…my people! It took some time, but, I was able to connect and bond with other guys and build up a brotherhood unlike anything I ever experienced in boyhood.
My hope is that you do the same in your own journey.