Brett LaBranche Contributing Writer
For several months between the 2015 and 2016 my son Steve invited me to join him at one of his men’s meetings. I have always tried to be supportive of my son and keep an open mind when he has asked me to do things with him. My first introduction was during a meeting where the men had a workshop. After attending that meeting with the workshop I wasn’t sure if being on a men’s team was for me or not. My son never gave up though, and he kept on inviting me to the meetings.
I proceeded to attend a couple more of the meetings, one was in my son’s basement, and then again around a campfire. After that I didn’t really get involved. Then the day came that my son asked me if the men could have their meetings at my home in the backyard. I have a fire pit back there, and it would be a great place for the men to meet. Supporting my Son, I said why not, and quite honestly I was seeing changes in him that I wanted to see in myself.
Well that’s when I really started taking a look at the men’s teams here in New Hampshire. The first couple of meetings held at my home I would bump into the men, and they would invite me to join them. Since I didn’t have to travel far, and I didn’t have anything else to do at the time, I said, “Why not?” I started attending the meetings each week, and I started seeing that this men’s team was much more than just a bunch of men sitting around a campfire.
It was men who generally care about each other, who support each other, who hold each other accountable when they have to, and who teach each other what true masculinity is all about.
“Masculine.” What does that mean?
I never understood what it really meant. Now I do! Another word I heard a lot during the meetings was “trust.” These men were asking me to trust them, and I really didn’t even know them. That’s not something that comes easy to a guy driven by his EGO, selfishness, self-centeredness, and fear.
The thing is, the more meetings I attended, the more I started to let my barriers go, and the more I started to trust the men in our circle. One day my son, asked me to join him at one of the MDI trainings for a weekend, the “Essential Skills” training. A little time later our Division Coordinator (DC) asked me to trust him, and sign up for another training called the “Legacy Discovery.”
My son signed up with me. That’s when it all changed for me.
During that training I was able to let go of the hurtful pain that I carried for 50 years … pain that was very, very deep in my soul. That training helped me get rid of it, come to terms with it, and to be free of it.
“Free.” What an amazing feeling!
Lastly, I attended the Sterling Men’s Weekend, which my DC sponsored me for. I am truly grateful that he cared enough to ask me to attend the Legacy Discovery and the Sterling Men’s Weekend. If he hadn’t I would still be sitting here living with that pain, and probably not on a men’s team.
Now I am involved, enrolled and excited about being a member in MDI, an organization that really helps men shape their lives into the men they always wanted to be, or the men they always should have been.