(Photo by Selma Komisky)
By Daniel Daugherty
Modern media today gives us all a very preconceived idea of what us guys should look and act like. You have to be strong and silent, have huge muscles, always at the gym, hold back your tears, keep your emotions to yourself, etc. We grow up seeing these statements everywhere and eventually we start to believe it. And in the moments when you cannot live up to them, we feel like we must not be good enough or that we’re doing something wrong. We pull back until we can make ourselves what society wants us to become.
As a guy who’s felt this way before many, many times, I can tell you with 100% confidence that having that mindset is extremely damaging to your mental health. It makes us feel awful about ourselves and we begin to compare us to others who seem to be doing it all right. I’ll let you all in on a secret…. no one is ‘doing it right.’
Everybody is different. We all go through our days in completely different ways. We’re all unique. The thing we all do have in common, however, is that we’re all made in God’s image. He looked at humans as He created us and said that it was good. And to this day, He still does say that. He made everyone different, unique, and distinct.
And I get it. Even after reading that, you still might feel like you need to live up to unreachable standards. You feel like you gotta have the best muscles, emotions in the rear view, and everything else society tells guys to have. Guess what. What society says about you doesn’t matter. Not one bit. We aren’t meant to live for what the world says about us, we need to live for what God says. We need to live “sold out” for God. What works for me is having a list in the back of my mind of how to ground myself and remember to be sold out for God. Hopefully this will help you as well.
- What the billboards around you say don’t matter
Just because the model on the billboard looks like he has everything, doesn’t mean you should strive to become them. You are amazing the way you are. You’re God’s kid, He made you to be you.
- Emotions are a good thing
Cry if you want to. Bawl. Scream at the top of your lungs. Don’t hold back the emotions you are having. Pushing down those feelings has an
awful effect on your mental health, and will only build up until it blows over. You don’t have to be strong and silent to be a man.
- God’s opinion is the only one that truly matters
God loves you for you. He created you in his image. You were given a purpose for life. He made us to be sold out for Him, not for the world. What everyone else says will not matter in the end. Only God’s opinion will stand true, and He loves you.
I’m not trying to say that you’ll never have these feelings again if you use the list, I just want to give you some help to fight back against what the world says. Remember what Veggietales says at the end of the show. “God made you special, and He loves you very much!” If we could go through our day thinking that, we’d all feel better about ourselves. Although we may end up with alot of Veggietales songs stuck in our heads.