No. 4 – February 12, 2018
My name is Chad Mast. Welcome to The Masculine Fire.
Disclaimer: Adult language. Once again, if you are offended by the use of adult language, please stop reading.
If you read my last blog post, you heard me ranting about how I was sick of myself and my lack of discipline around my managing my finances.
Since my last post, I am still without a vehicle but there has been forward progress. I took the car to a mechanic and he confirmed what I thought was wrong with my car. I need a new power steering pump and wheel bearing hub assembly. The good news is that I ordered the wheel bearing hub assembly on Friday. I should receive it Wednesday and the overall cost of these repairs isn’t nearly as much as I anticipated. Still working on the rest of the financial part but yay!
The day after my last entry posted, I received an email from my cousin Laura ‘lovingly’ chewing my butt. Laura and I are very close and she is one of my trusted Tribe members. Our growth journeys have been eerily parallel and she will often bounce ideas off of me looking for feedback and advice. I love her and trust her. (Side note: Laura runs her own blog where she talks openly about her struggles with food and acceptance of her body image. Check it out here.)
Back to Laura’s butt-chewing. In this email she says, “I read your blog post like 2 times and it stuck with me all night. The pain you are feeling, the frustration etc., it all resonates with me and I can totally relate. But the same question sticks in my mind, cousin. Why do you have to forgive yourself for anything? I mean yeah you got off track financially like millions and millions of people. You used buying shit as a coping mechanism, like millions and millions of people. But OK. It sucks but you have the power to fix it. Money is very emotional, especially for those of us who grew up with none but it’s a normal coping mechanism of humans. Nothing to forgive yourself for. Why be so hard on yourself? Okay, so your finances could be better. You recognize that and you figure out what is the best way for you to handle your money. Stop being so hard on yourself. You and I are so good at beating ourselves up in the absence of a parent doing it for us.
Think about it, you have a client coming in to your life coaching biz, Chadwick, and Chadwick fell off the financial responsibility band wagon a bit. He bought shit he didn’t need to cope with whatever was going on at the moment, holidays, etc. He’s done this before. He’s middle-aged, he says he should know better, he knows how to budget, etc. He’s self-flagellating. Would you jump on his band wagon and beat him up more or would you stop him and say, “Hey, Chadwick, stop this. You need to show yourself kindness and love.” You wouldn’t be railing at him that he’s a dipshit, he should know better and didn’t he learn the last time. Well I’m guessing here, so if I’m wrong so be it but I don’t see you that way.” (She’s right. I wouldn’t do that.)
“If you are at work, you’re surrounded by people who use money and buying things to make themselves feel better sometimes. It’s a completely normal thing to do. Sometimes it gets out of hand. We’re human, shit happens. You didn’t run over someone’s kid with your car. Your finances could use some work, end of story. Instead of maybe forgiving yourself for doing the best you can sometimes, maybe you should give yourself a hug and show kindness to yourself. Stop and say, well fuck, I did it again. No judgment and only kindness. We will show the world, even people who don’t even deserve our kindness, love, but we are the last people sometimes we give our love to. I know it’s frustrating. “
Thank you, Laura. Thank you for loving me enough to hold me accountable to my own bullshit.
This was a beautiful reminder for me though. How is it that I’m so good at reminding other people that they need to be gentle with themselves in their own journey but fall short for myself? Why can’t I extend the same grace to myself that I can to them? My former counselor and good friend Toni Rahman has often told me, “Be gentle with yourself, Chad. You’re exactly where you’re supposed to be.”
I have a plan now instead of sitting back, feeling sorry for myself and railing on myself for making poor choices. If the plan doesn’t pan out then I’ll try something different, but I’m not going to sit back and beat myself up.
I challenge you to issue yourself the same grace and I also challenge you to surround yourself with people who will meet you at a place of truth and authenticity and hold you accountable with love and grace.
Thank you, Laura, for loving me and being a necessary mirror when I can’t reflect what I need back at myself. Thank you, Toni, for being the catalyst on this journey and for reminding myself so many times to love myself exactly where I am.
To you, stop beating the shit out of yourself. Yeah, okay, so maybe you fucked up and made some (or a lot of) bad choices. Maybe you’ve hurt yourself and other people with those choices. That doesn’t make you a bad person. It doesn’t mean you’re beyond help. It simply means that you just need someone to help guide you from a place of hurting to the light. Let’s talk if that’s where you’re at. Drop me an email on my contact page.
As always, thank you so much for reading. Until next time, remember, be gentle with yourself and be patient with your journey. You’re exactly where you’re supposed to be.