A couple of weeks ago, my daughter and I had to use a ratchet and a drill bit to finish her science project. Somehow my drill charger got smashed, so we had to improvise. Even though we finished the project, it made the point. The right tool for the right job makes all the difference.
ManAlive has taught me a whole new set of tools. Things like how to assertively communicate what I need. I learned new tools to help me navigate my feelings so I can be known and build real relationships. The last few years have been very good. So, it was a shock for me to catch myself slipping into an pattern and basically picking up an old rusty tool.
In a time of high stress, I noticed myself withdrawing from loved ones. I felt the familiar pattern of isolation. It was the old passive pout and sulk and hope for some sympathy tool. You know, I’ll sit here quietly and if you really loved me you’ll ask me what’s wrong. Passivity 101.
But this time, it no longer felt right or beneficial to isolate. I was able to stop and make an assertive action toward connection. With a few words, I was able meet a vital need in a time of stress and change the course of my day. And not just for me, but the whole family. That felt good.
There is something very satisfying about mastering a skill with the right tool. It feels really good to have put in the time with my small group practicing the very things that bring life. Confidence swelled up inside when I switched tools and avoided a life long pattern of isolation.
I encourage you to join a ManAlive small group and quit messing with the wrong tools.