As always, it’s good to hear from the men on the topic at hand. On any topic, it’s good to go to the collective wisdom of the men and see what is to be shared and revealed. This month we hear from the men posting on social media, in answer to this question: “How have your men helped you?”
I am a man on a team of superstars if you would. However sometimes the pain is too deep and destructive. I had to go to another team for help and open to the process of getting rid of the junk and the pain that held me back. When I visited the second team once again a team of superstars I got the masculine care that my spirit needed at that moment in my life. Thank you MDI – a collection of many powerful teams ready to help.
My wife and I were going to refinish all the hardwood floors in our house. So we needed to take everything out of the house. My men’s team came over one Saturday. And we put everything in the garage. That would’ve taken me days and nights to get that finished without the men’s help.
And then another time, men from throughout the San Diego Men’s Division helped a man empty out his house. He needed to rent it out. He was getting hit hard during the financial crisis of 2007-9. It took a
huge burden off this man. He was able to save his family and his business and his house. He was able to move back in later, and he’s living in that house today.
One time we had a man on our team that fell and broke both his arms. We would come over and change his bed and do different things around his house for him. The men cooked food and brought it over so he would have pre-cooked food to eat.
And the most important story of how a man got help. My father paid for me to go to alcohol rehab. I’m six months away from 30 years sober. He saved my life.
There are times when asking for or receiving help makes grates against me like the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard. I try to not show how deeply difficult it is for me. It helps (sometimes) to remember that my receiving help allows the other to also benefit from the spiritual exchange which is found in the desire and act of giving.
At one team meeting, we were to leave the site and meet at a restaurant–an arrangement already set for us by a man who was on the other half of the world, so we would have his presence in his absence.
For me, the restaurant was in unfamiliar terrain, and, having an ability to get lost that is unsurpassed by most, I felt uneasy at the likelihood of riding my scooter into orbit instead of anywhere near the destination. And, it was logistically unappealing to catch a ride and be returned to the site later.
One of the men with a pickup resolved to haul my scooter to the site, and another man helped him get my 280 lbs of machine situated and secured (and returned to asphalt safely). I have limitations making it a bad choice for me to maneuver it, and letting other men do the lifting on this was another internal pounding on my ego.
Seeing their effort on my behalf felt more uncomfortable than wearing a wool sweater embedded with burrs and thistles, but, it also filled me with a kind of amazement to be literally supported this way. I still
haven’t entirely let go of the discomfort, if I think too much about it, but what really lives on from that night is a warm feeling of gratitude and a willingness believe that there are men out there to have my back if I am willing to ask.
I joined MDI back in 2002. My ex was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. My daughter was seven at the time, and I fought with my ex in front of her. Through the wisdom of the men I learned to disengage and not fight with my ex. The men taught me it’s about the way I respond and react. I stopped battling with my ex no matter what she said or did. My relationship with my daughter is fantastic – she is now a college graduate working in Washington DC – and I’m so happy I got the help I need so I could show her a positive role model in relationship.
Just the other night I realized I was going through a very challenging time with an issue that was really important to me. After a prayer, it came to me that I should write a CPR (a tool identifying desired context, purpose and results of an activity or life situation). But I could not even begin to own a context to use in my situation. I knew I had a call with the team leaders later on in the week. And owing to sheer luck, the master of context and CPR, Bill Oakes was on the call. After I asked for some help with a context Oakes simply said, “Tough shit.” That was it. That was my context to hold when facing my situation. That was exactly what I needed because that statement says it all. Thanks men. Thanks Oakes.
I recall having this incredibly overgrown side yard. So many weeds, most of which stood 5 to 6 feet tall. I did the math in my head and realized it would probably take me 1/2 a day on a Saturday to clear out that side yard. So I did NOT want to do it. I didn’t want to even think of how much time and effort it would take. So I let it slide … and the weeds got taller. At one team meeting, that happened to take place at my home, I mentioned the side yard, how help would so … help me. Sheepishly I asked if some man could help me on some Saturday. One man asked, “Why don’t we just clear it out now?” Oh geez, I dunno. Really? The time was actually 9:45 pm, and I had no clue how much we could tackle in the time before the meeting ended at 10 p.m. Was it even worth it? Someone said “where is the green bin for the weeds?” I got the bin out, and someone said “On your mark, get set …” There is something about the collective will that can collapse time frames and limitations. That entire side yard was not only cleared to the dirt, the green bin had been filled completely. Someone looked at the clock. It was 9:53 p.m. That only took 9 minutes with the help of a team. I guess there was time leftover. I mentioned the back yard. HO!
My wife sank into a quick depression. She basically climbed into bed and didn’t leave. For 6 months. After the first month, I stepped out in front of my Division and asked for help. Two men stepped forward who had had similar experiences and their counsel was simple: treat her like she has the flu. If she had the flu, you wouldn’t be angry with her, right? You’d take care of her any way you could. You’d do all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. problem, no problem. And they were a phone call away if I needed anything. And it paid off. That was 10 years ago. We are still happily married.