Most people I know are busy, have more than one thing they’re juggling, and are simultaneously carrying some form of pain, regret, trauma, or sadness. We are complicated people living in a world that’s like a busy restaurant line during rush hour—hurry and keep moving forward.
Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to slow down, to not strong-arm our way through the mess, to process what’s happening inside of us. Too often we think moving to the next thing will make the hard thing go away—and it doesn’t. So today I want to offer a few simple statements I hope serve as the permission you need but won’t give yourself.
We live in the wake of a society shaped by patriarchy and capitalism, where power and prosperity have been core principles. With that comes an expectation, particularly for men—don’t show weakness in the pursuit of success. Achieve the American Dream, at any given cost, and then you’ll be happy and fulfilled.
I propose this is a lie, and this lie is yielding tragic consequences.
Did you know 7 out of 10 suicides in the United States every year are white males, the majority of which are middle-aged? In general, men die by suicide 3.5 times more often than women.* I don’t believe the stereotypes men are given are coincidental to this statistic.
We all live under these unspoken rules, these bogus terms of agreement, that might grow our GDP a little but deteriorate our hearts and families. So to both men and women, give yourself permission to break the contract none of us knew we were signing, and admit it when you’re not okay. It’s the only way to find healing.