My article on depression and men got a lot of traction this week. What was great was all the comments I got to read from men who really identified with the struggles I hit on in that piece, and the various ways we should be approaching our lives in order to better ourselves, so that it transcends into something better for not only us, but the people who want to be a part of it, our journey, and give us the feeling that we’re not alone in that walk. It can be painful to look inwards and approach who we are with brutal honesty and accountability. The journey inwards often breaks open wounds and removes all the scar tissue that we’ve built over the years in covering up where we feel the most vulnerable. Our mind doesn’t really want to venture into those places. The truth is, we develop emotional survival mechanisms over the years in order to cope, and continue functioning at a level that from the outside world, looks normal. But inside we know we’re not where we want to be. We tell ourself a story about our life that is intimately attached to all of our hardships and find a negative identity based in that. It’s imperative for us to tell ourselves a new story about who we are. And that story can be told in a way that empowers us into who we really want to be, how we want to live, and the depth we can embrace and give love. Until we retell our own story we will continue to work from a place of feeling less than, a place of self loathing, criticism, cynicism, ridicule, regret, anger, and fear. Ask yourself this - are you working from these places on the daily? And if so, how do you expect to honor who you really to be, and honor the people you love? It’s our responsibility to peel away the layers of scar tissue we’ve been protecting ourselves with, and learn how to heal our own past, so that our present can be lived from a place of love, grace, empathy, consideration, patience, and understanding. But we must first give ourselves grace and learn how to love who we are, in order to give those things to others. Have a great day, fam.