Guys are generally happy. Almost always full of life and good vibes. These are things we see and say, and these statements indeed hold water.
Laughter, drinks, fun, banter, drugs, pleasure; the surfaces on which most men float. And floating is attractive, floating is exhilarating. But that’s not all there is to floating.
Floating isn’t bad, really. As a matter of fact, I think we all need to unwind at some point, of course within the boundaries of our moral standards and belief systems. We can use lighthearted banter, a vacation, every now and again. But when one has to perpetually live horizontal, when one is always floating, I think that’s something worrisome and here’s where we find most guys; in this state of a compulsive need of frequent tickles. This state where pleasure is a drug that must be used religiously. This place where the surface is home.
Many guys live on the surface and I’m wont to think that in some cases, this propensity is due to a fear of what lies in the deep. Men don’t want to reach into the depth of their feelings, trauma or failures. These are sections they have cordoned off and kept down at the ocean floor while they stay on the surface, floating on drinks and priding in sexual conquests.
Back to what I mentioned earlier, floating is attractive, floating is exhilarating, but floating also leaves you weightless and leaves you suspended. No matter how long you stay suspended, you’ll always return to meet the ground where you left it.
I used to float in sleep. When I was in a bad phase and I was flailing, I’d sleep and sleep because in my sleep, I was momentarily suspended from my baggage. But no matter how long I slept, I’d get up from my bed and plant my feet on the ground where my problems were waiting, unmoved. Floating proffers no real solution; at best it gives a temporary illusion and in the long run these escapes make a slave out of one.
If floating is not the way to handle baggage, what then is?
- Revisit those places in you that you’ve sealed off.
Like I said before, what keeps us floating most times is something we are running from. No problem gets solved by running from it. Acknowledge your pain. It might hurt, it might be uncomfortable, but bro, allow yourself feel what you feel.
You were harassed sexually when you were young, but you’ve never even allowed yourself think of it as harassment because you believe it’s against masculinity to claim you were assaulted. You’ve refused to admit the injustice of it, the pain in the recess of your mind. So you float. Bro, acknowledge it. Some wounds won’t heal until they’re first cut open. Acknowledge it. And if you can, speak to someone you trust about it, if you can’t, write it out in a journal. Pouring it out has a way of solidifying and validating what you feel.
You have trauma from absentee parents or too strict parents, or nonchalant parents. Acknowledge it, please. You’re not being childish or weak or any of those things floating culture (I don’t want to say toxic masculinity) has taught us.
You were verbally abused by peers while growing, you were at the butt of every jibe, the easy prey for banter and this wounded you, but you were expected not to feel it. You were expected to shake it off and ‘be fine’ but you’re not, yet to play the part. You wear a smile and shrug. It’s okay to feel what you feel. Allow yourself room.
After acknowledging your baggage, what’s next?
Don’t keep these things locked in your heart, pour them out. And this is where I get preachy, unapologetically so.
Uncorking barrels of stowed feelings is relieving. A lot of us can’t afford therapy, but you can get a trusted, listening friend to open up to; a spiritual leader, if you may. And if you have none of those, write them out. There was a period when I was in the woods, boy! I wrote journals 😂fulsome entries that filled big books in about six months. But once I got out of that phase, I totally dumped the beautiful discipline of journaling. I’m struggling to get that back.
I’ve saved the best for the last. The gospel of Christ is absolutely liberating! There is healing, even for your heart, in the gospel!
Dear bro, Jesus loves you! He died for you sins and rose for your justification and if you’ll believe in him, if you’ll accept him as your Lord and savior, you become a child of God, sealed with his spirit and given eternal life.
Talking to Jesus about stuff I can’t tell anyone else is priceless. I kid you not. I remember a particular night when I wanted to pray and my heart was being weighed by different things, I just sat in my chair, steepled my fingers under my chin and told the Lord I was going to rave it all out to him. You should try this.
Talk to Jesus. He listens, he understands, he cares. Dearest floating bro, you’re not alone. Jesus loves you and he wants to walk you through your process, he wants to walk you through healing. Stop floating, allow Jesus.