Fred Boyles Guest Contributor
I take a stand in my life with this statement: “Keeping masculinity alive, pure and intact, the dark and the light so that we can give our best to women and children and leave this planet better than we found it.”
It seems simple enough, but it is loaded with wounds and a little boy’s passion for being a hero.
A. I grew up on Guam, and played in the jungle filled with the remains of World War II. My toys were real Japanese tanks, machine guns, grenades, mortars, rockets, bullets, and 50-cal brass casings everywhere. I would sit in a fox hole and fantasize about shooting a 50-cal machine gun and dropping mortars on Japanese soldiers.
B. At around age eight, I was molested by a pedophile in the jungle. I broke away from him and ran.
C. I came back to the US at 12 years and was expelled from elementary school for attacking the bullies. I never knew I was a bully. I thought I was a hero.
D. My Parents sent me to a military school, and I discovered how homesick I could be.
E. At 19, my wife had an affair … one in which I wanted her to have so that I could get out of the marriage. I had no idea that I would be so hurt. That launched me into therapy to discover what happened. I spent three years in group therapy, 10 years in EST, and I’ve been on a men’s teams for 30 years. All that time, I was healing that little boy whose only solution for feelings was being a hero. I met Dr. Bob Irwin about 20 years ago, mentored him as Division Coordinator, and later trained him to take my place as the Team Leader Trainer for the Southwest Region of MDI.
At Irwin’s “Train Your Brain” course, he asked me a question. “Are you worthy?” I looked into my subconscious. The answer was NO. At this time, Irwin had cancer and was in the process of learning to love his cancer. He suggested I learn to love the pedophile who had molested me.
I realized that I had been struggling with that part of my past for many years, and Irwin had nailed the obvious by using his cancer as an example of loving the very thing that was killing him. By me not accepting whatever unknown gift the pedophile had for my life, I continued to execute what I thought was my aliveness.
However, I was using an 8-year-old’s strategy of a hero to protect a scared little boy. I kept myself locked in time and not able to experience love. I started saying a mantra every day. “I love me” and rubbed my belly. I’ve always hated my pot belly. I sent positive vibes into the world.
A month before Irwin died, he took my hand and walked me around our Big Stick Division men’s circle and acknowledged me for my contribution to his life. I was in shock. Two days later, I allowed love in, and I did not doubt that he loved me. Since then, I’ve felt more joy than ever before, and I’ve searched for ways to make other people right.
I feel a debt of honor to pay forward, after receiving Irwin’s gift to me.
It’s a gift – without ego, without a need to be a hero – from one of the first true loves of my life.