Luke, funny enough author John Eldredge wrote about the importance of ceremonies with young boys in one of his books too. I think he gave his son a sword replica from Lord of the Rings(which is badass).

For me, the one-on-one conversations that impacted me most were with two men who mentored me after I blew up my life in my mid-twenties. It began with them being vulnerable first as I had so many walls up. One of them was battling some pretty severe depression after losing both his parents within 3 months. He began sharing about his struggles, fears, and doubts and that he was in counseling for the long haul. But he was also really masculine guy in addition to being a poet (like a real poet and writer, not the figurative sense I use in the piece). I began to watch both my friends lives and listened to their advice. We would talk about dating and the problems within today’s society and I envied their relationships with their wives, so I took it to heart. We talked about everything from guns to porn to philosophy to self-hate to wisdom at work and with friends.

But I guess that’s also the paradox. Vulnerability is the last thing we want to reveal to others, but it’s the first thing we look for. Until someone opens up first (like the father) then other men won’t. So I think that’s really the first step in the conversation.

Storyteller | Combat wounded veteran | Metalhead | Designer | Bleeding on a page just makes it more authentic: https://benjaminsledge.com

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