The slides from today are here –> manschool excavating 2
What lies beneath the surface? What are you covering up? What do you fear? What is it that makes you believe you truly don’t have what it takes? How are you posing? Why?
Two Questions every man faces…
- Who am I ?
- Do I have what it takes ?
Our persona – our pose – is designed to help us avoid pain. Then, it is there to answer the deep questions of our heart, our identity and our validation – the questions at our core… “Who am I?” –> goes to my identity – and — “Do I have what it takes?” –> is my validation.
Through brothers, school, the neighborhood, sports, fathers, coaches, bosses, ex-girlfriends, broken relationships, etc. – life teaches us.
Brene Brown tells the story of a man she spoke with. When he was a freshman in high school, he tried out and made the football team. On the first day of practice, his coach told the boys to line up on the line of scrimmage. This was his first experience in full pads across the line from boys who wanted to flatten him. He said, “I was suddenly afraid. I was thinking about how much it was going to hurt, and I guess that fear showed up on my face.” His coach saw his fear, yelled his last name and said, “Don’t be a pansy, get on the line.” He said he immediately felt shame coursing through his body. “In that very moment, it became very clear how the world works and what it means to be a man:
“I’m not allowed to be afraid.”
“I’m not allowed to show fear.”
“I am not allowed to be vulnerable.”
“Shame is being afraid, showing fear, or being vulnerable.”
When I asked him what he did next, he looked me in the eye and said, “I turned my fear into rage and steamrolled over the guy in front of me. It worked so well that I spent the next twenty years turning my fear and vulnerability into rage and steamrolling anyone who was across from me. My wife. My children. My employees. There was no other way out from underneath the fear and shame.”
Thus … the birth of a posing man. “Behind every posing man is a wounded boy.” Back to the iceberg. What lies beneath a man?
Over time, this false self becomes less and less efficient at answering these questions. Those questions should never be answered by self in the first place – they are intended to be answered by God and that’s where man got off track after the fall. We will search anywhere to get those two questions answered. We must come to grips with who we’ve become in our elaborate fig leafs. It becomes very mature and sophisticated in order to work for you. Thank God some disruptions come and some gaskets start to pop when life doesn’t work. That exposes the poser and gives you a chance to break it.
For all of us, the poser is rooted in shame and fear “naked, so I hid”. Shame tells me I am not. Fear tells me I can’t. These are the results of the fall. Behind every posing man is a wounded little boy.
The picture of your True self comes through the new name – the name God calls you, what God sees in you. The basis of this new name is Sonship – it is knowing I am God’s son. It is the unique expression of who God meant you to be.
Morgan is a high intensity person. It used to lead to exhaustion in him. He finally learned his intensity is the image of God in him. The problem was, he’d let his intensity become completely in service of his false self. If intensity, always coming through, laser-focus, being called “driven” – it worked for him, stroked his ego, then that became his “persona”. He used his intensity to answer his question of “do I have what it takes?” Of course he did – his false self “always” came through. But in reality, it is never enough. You can never “come through” enough for the world. There are always more things you can do. It wore him out. Complete exhaustion. The result? He begin to resent his gifting. God wanted to restore his intensity but He had to teach him the rhythms of life – there is a time to be intense, God has a use for that, but we also need to know how to play and to rest. There is a rhythm of life – you can’t always be intense.
He has a high level of spiritual awareness – he didn’t chose that, it is part of God in him. He walks into a room and he feels the warfare. He senses who is struggling. In his false self, it led to exhaustion because he found himself being overwhelmed by people, warfare, needs, etc. The false self gets fed by that – “Morgan, this man needs you. He’s under attack. You must come through and rescue him”. He got his validation from this … for a while. It fed his “you have what it takes” until it wore him out. Morgan, as he has matured, has learned to say “no” or to discern, “Maybe I’m not the one who has to jump in here and fix this”.
The greatest enemy you face isn’t Satan – it is self. God wants to crucify this false self in you. Remember the false self is rooted in our shame and fear. It develops from shame and fear to answer the question, “Do I have what it takes?” Fearing the answer to that, we hide.
“You’re only as sick as your secrets”
There is a pioneering study from University of Texas on what happened when trauma survivors – specifically rape and incest survivors – kept their experiences secret. They concluded that the act of not discussing or confiding it could actually be more damaging than the actual event itself. When they told their story, their physical health improved. The number of doctor’s visits dropped and they had a significant decrease in stress hormones.
Remember Hank Fortener in the shame talk said, “I’ve done stupid things in my life, things I’d give anything to erase from my past but … I’ve never done anything that was as damaging to my soul as the shame I’ve carried for it.”
Brene said, “Shame is tough to talk about – but the conversation isn’t nearly as dangerous as what we’re creating with our silence! We all experience shame. We’re all afraid to talk about it. The less we talk about it, the more we have it.”
Lastly, remember, what you leave in the dark will eat you up. Satan thrives in the darkness. Take the courageous step and bring these things into the light. By dropping the pose and coming clean, you are brining shame out of darkness into the light. It cannot thrive in the light. Once in the light, it holds no power over you.
There may be some dreadful things in your shame. Bring it. It may be the abuse of a father. A girlfriend who crushed your heart. A betrayal and now you cannot trust. It may also be just healthy fear – like, “I have teenage kids and I am scared to death.”
The poser cannot admit these and face them. The authentic man can. This takes great courage but it brings great freedom!