One of the exercises in the 31DTM program centers around stoicism’s concept of negative visualizations. As I fly home, it’s time to embrace the worst.
Today is the day I am to imagine my wife and kids all gone. Dead and I have to bury them. I have to walk back into my empty castle. I have to listen to the sounds of silence that envelopes me. I have to pick up the pieces of my broken life.
As I imagined the awful moments of their deaths, I shed a tear. I felt a pain in my heart that I hope to not feel again in this life.
Then I bring them all back to life. One at a time. Slowly. I hear their laughter. I feel their embrace. I know their love.
Ten years ago, I was in a dark place. I was surrounded by those that loved me but I did not love myself. I did not feel worthy of receiving love. I imagined myself dead. I deadened myself to the world in any manner accessible.
I would never take my own life but I certainly wondered how the world and those I loved would be without me.
I don’t tell you this to solicite pity. I know there are many out there that feel this way now. Useless. Hopeless. I’m reaching out to you.
I want to share this Negative Visualization today in hopes that as you bring them all back to life you will come to appreciate all you truly have. Life can be tough at times. The Christmas holiday season can serve as a magnifying lens and make it all seem so much more difficult.
You are not alone. Reach out and talk to someone. Anyone. See someone that looks to need help? Reach out to them.
A man told me a day ago about seeing another man in a parking lot with his head on the steering wheel and not moving. Instead of silently wishing him well and driving off, the first man approached the second to see if he was okay. A short conversation took place.
No one will know if the first man saved the second man that day. However, the effort was made. The second man likely realized that it’s never as bad as we make it out in our own echo chamber of self-destruction.
We are tribal creatures. We do not do well on islands of our own making. Take a minute and reconnect to your own humanity today. Imagine it all stripped away forcefully and then regaining your paradise lost. I know my appreciation of all that I have in this life grows daily.
Merry Christmas to you all.
— Tex @ 33,000 feet
P.S. There is a link in my book section to the 31 Days to Masculinity program if you want to take the journey that is helping so many men. I make no money off any link you click.