How Having Something To Live For Helps Men Heal

When we truly connect to others, meaning and purpose just flow.

The world continues to twist and turn, sending us individually and collectively reeling. As it does so, it can be more and more difficult to get our bearings.

When everything seems to be changing around us, we may feel a sense of confusion about how we fit in or why we’re even here.

This lack of clarity around our purpose may give us a sense of uncertainty, feelings of helplessness, or even a creeping suspicion that we’re worthless.

While this couldn’t be further from the truth, sometimes we need our environment to reflect back to us that we matter.

The good news is when life doesn’t offer us a clear purpose, we can create one.

Sometimes we need support to get started, and that’s OK. Simply by reaching out and connecting to others, we can likely see our purpose start to unfold right in front of our eyes.

One way to do this is by joining a men’s group.

Signs of a new beginning

There’s a common and elegant pattern that happens when a man wakes up from his suffering and chooses to take action by joining a group.

When men start to get it together (which often simply means asking for help), they naturally begin to orient toward showing up for others, bringing them connection, meaning, and a reason to get out of bed every day.

I’ve seen a clear pattern emerge in the half-dozen long-term men’s groups that I’ve been a part of.

It goes something like this:

A man gets a wake-up call

Some area in life is breaking down: a marriage, a career, his body, or his friendships.

He realizes his coping mechanisms, habits, mindset, and state of consciousness are just not doing the trick anymore.

He shows up

He stumbles into a men’s group, often encouraged by a loved one.

Getting help and opening up are generally very uncomfortable, but the relief and results are often fast and noticeable. He starts to settle down.

He does his work

Over time, he gets his sh*t together.

Mental, emotional, and often physical health improve and normalize. Maybe a professional move is made that’s a better fit.

Relationships improve, and there’s more stability in life all around. This can take months or years.

He recognizes he’s OK

This is a great moment in a man’s life.

A sense of agency and belonging starts to emerge. He naturally starts to wonder what’s next. Being a part of the group might start to feel less impactful.

He realizes how much he has to offer others

He gets feedback that he’s able to truly be there for the other men in his group, and that extends into his life at home and at work.

The impact and meaning of this realization are often massive, and they begin a new paradigm for why he shows up to his men’s group and how he lives his life.

He aligns his life in a new way

This doesn’t mean he quits his job and donates all of his stuff to charity. It means there’s a new fuel source at the center of his decisions and actions.

A fire has been lit, and a sense of being part of something larger permeates his life.

What this pattern highlights is something that I believe in with my whole being: When men are OK, or even just close to OK, our natural tendency is to support and serve others. This sense of service seems to bring with it a deeper sense of meaning.

This is a very good thing.

Culled from

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