Pain is a thorn in my side. Nothing makes me want to run away from life more than being in emotional pain. Yet, I have and continue to learn that being present in life is the essence of healthy masculinity. As a man in my late twenties, I have been inundated with options that will pull me away or distract me from being present and aware in the life I have been blessed with living.
I rarely with accuracy anticipate what life chooses to throw at me, happiness seems to be no shorter than an ejaculation, and pain seems to want to be my best friend. Yet, I choose to press on. I may have subjected myself to the discomfort I am experiencing, yet, it tells me I am alive. It gives me feedback communicating that all the hard work I have done not to shut my heart down is working. Even though I do not enjoy the feeling of pain being present, allowing myself to feel the ups and downs of life transmits to my intellect that my heart is alive. The sadness, tenderness, and anger tell me my emotional heart is beating that the glorious emotional water is flowing through the pipe of my heart. This knowledge empowers me to embrace the reality I am in the present. It is a reminder for me to enjoy the moment I am in rather than being wrapped up in my inner world calculating when my imminent financial, professional, or relational struggles may occur.
I would be lying if I said I enjoy pain, but being the youngest of four and having hours of childish torture inflicted upon me by older brothers taught me this simple lesson; pain ends. It may last a long time but there will be moments to catch your breath and or it might fully subside. As I reflect upon that small lesson, it translates quickly to the topic of being present. Even though I may be in pain currently I know something will change therefore I can convince myself to be in the now. I have been around many men who are not present in life, myself included. Work, family, government, conspiracies, and a myriad of other emotional and physical things pull men from their momentary reality.
A couple of other things that have helped me be present is embracing not knowing all the answers and the challenge of figuring life out. That is what being present means, not shutting down, letting life challenge you and pressing forward.
My hope and desire is this. For men to be present. To enjoy playing Legos with their child, drinking a beer with a friend over some deep conversation, or kissing your significant other. I long for a day and age where men choose not to numb their heart out of fear and allow the emotions positive and negative to flow through one's heart in order to know and realize the moment one is living in. So will you join me in searching for ways to be present in life?