I have an enormous amount to be thankful about in my life. Considering the route I once traveled, it’s pretty amazing that I am where I am. I liken it to playing CANDYLAND as a kid; I feel like when nobody was looking, I moved my piece closer to the end. Actually, the analogy kind of sucks, because I really gotten closer to some kind of END, but the analogy works from the standpoint of “holy crap look how far I’ve come in a short period of time” and it makes for a great blog picture. What I’m saying is, I’m keeping the analogy whether you like it or not.
So, what’s happened that would cause me to quibble over the use of analogies focused inspired by cavity centric children’s games? The amount of openness I have in relationships with my guy friends. I count myself extremely fortunate that I can count on two hands the number of relationships I have with guys that will open up and talk to me about real stuff. In a world where we (men) are often stuck talking about sports, movies, cars, guns, sports, alcohol and sex (if we’ve had alcohol, covered all the other topics and we’re talking in generalities, not about current events), I feel fortunate that I have guys that will drop me an email and say “I’m concerned about this.” It’s humbling to know that someone trusts you that much, and frankly, for a guy to give you authority to discuss his life with him is just remarkable.
My view on what makes a man has changed considerably in 2010. Guys that impress me are the guys who are willing to be vulnerable. When a guy can say to me, “I suck at this, can you help?”, it immediately alerts me that this guy is strong in other areas of his life. It also shows me that he’s humble and that he wants to change. He wants to be a better man, better husband, better father, better friend. Guys that want to improve their relationships impress me; the ones that think they can do it all on their own make me sad — and I’m an introvert!
I received an email yesterday from each of three men that I care about. All three are in different places in their lives, their faith, and the accuracy of their self-identity. Each email, in its own way, brought me enormous joy and hope for them. By forcing their pride to submit to their desire to grow and be more fulfilled in their lives, they’ve already opened the door to meaningful, lasting change. I’m excited for all three of them because I know the growth that’s headed their way based on the conditions of their hearts — even the growth they’ve already seen will be dwarfed by what lies ahead of them.
Who am I that they’d share this time with me? I don’t know, but I’m glad I moved up the trail while nobody was looking!