Many moons ago, as a very young husband and new father, I found myself kicked out of an education program my wife and I had been in and suddenly thrust into circumstances that required rapid adaptation and transition to more maturity and responsibility than I had at that moment.
I had my first ever “real” adult job (since I had been a student prior), apartment, and a massive amount of uncertainty, insecurity, fear, and anxiety.
I also had a lot of ambition, because those negative aspects of life, similar to hunger, can really compel, or rather propel a fella onward.
On Saturdays my wife and I developed a habit of watching HGTV shows and appreciating with lustful awe how people creatively transformed their space, improving their experience of their homes, gardens, yards, and more.
I was inspired!
…and to be honest, I was also feeling deflated, discouraged, angry, resentful, and many more unsavory things.
You see, my wife and I didn’t own our home or any other. We rented the humble apartment we lived in. We had so many creative ideas for making our home better. We had the will and desire to do the work to transform it! Unfortunately, we lacked the most crucial ingredient of all – ownership.
Merriam Webster defines Ownership like this:
the state, relation, or fact of being an owner
It then goes on to define Owner as:
a person who owns something : one who has the legal or rightful title to something : one to whom property belongs
and finally, to define Owns as:
belonging to oneself or itself —usually used following a possessive case or possessive adjective
to have or hold as property
to have power or mastery over
to acknowledge something to be true, valid, or as claimed —used with to or up
one or ones belonging to oneself —used after a possessive and without a following noun
for or by oneself : independently of assistance or control
left to rely entirely on one’s own resources
I tend to be rather reductionistic in my thinking (that means I try to reduces complex data and phenomena to simple terms) and give a lot of mental energy to distilling my experience of life into truths I’ve discovered within them.
When it comes to my experience as a man and my experience with men, one truth I’ve distilled is this..
The single greatest transformative concept I’ve experienced as a man and by observing other men, is ownership.
Ownership is not about blame.
Ownership is not about who’s fault it is.
Ownership is about presence, responsibility, agency, possibility, authority, mastery and most of all – power over what is mine.
The best experience of the human journey as a man is when I own absolutely everything about my self.
We’ve always struggled with this
I know not everyone appreciates stories from the Torah or Bible, (I own before you that I do!) but regardless, I hope you can at least find it interesting that despite what you believe about six thousand plus year old text, the stories within have some interesting dynamics when it comes to the kinda stuff we walk about.
If you were to read the story of The Garden of Eden from the book of Genesis, you’d see the idillic and peaceful state of man interrupted by Satan deceiving Eve and by her proxy, Adam into disobeying the Creator thus ruining what was to be the Creator’s masterpiece.
But that’s not the interesting part here… it’s that the Creator shows up, asks what happened, and is met by what I’d suggest is Adam’s very first and most gut-wrenching deviation from the Creator’s intent.
And He (the Creator) said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom You gave [to be] with me, she gave me some of [the fruit of] the tree, and I ate.” – Genesis 3:11-12
If you’ve read my article The Non-Anxious, Securely-Masculine Male, you might recall that I mentioned there be much greater things in store for man… filling, subduing, multiplying, and having dominion.
Hmmmm… those sure sound like Ownership!
But instead, what do we have here in the story? Blame. Abdication. Feebleness. Hiding. Shame. Adam shirked his very nature to own the experience of his life. He blamed the Creator and he blamed Eve.
And brothers, I’m going to suggest something here today, hence my manifesto.
We’re still doing the same shit Adam did – all of it – and we must stop doing so.
We must re-claim the intention of the divine and our rightful place to own everything.
What does that look like? Well brother… buckle up!
Own your broken relationships. Own your divorce or separation. Own your failed, failing or sexless marriage.
Own your anger, frustration, resentment, disappointment, and discouragement. Own your daydreaming about being a widow or starting over. Own your lusting for your brother’s wife.
Own your pornography addiction, your drinking too much, and your compulsive or obsessive masturbation. Own your vice. Own your staying up too late or sleeping in too much. Own your ED. Own your PE.
Own you overeating, overthinking, overanalyzing, and overreaching.
Own your disappointment in your parents and siblings, own the things you do that disappoint them.
Own your failure to follow through, your procrastination and your going back on your word. Own your unfinished business, unreturned phone calls and texts, your unpaid taxes and debts and those honey-do tasks that are still undone after all this time.
Own your pride, and arrogance, your judgement of self and others. Own your harshness. Own your raised voice, pissy attitude and nasty, spiteful, and childish responses.
Own that feeling like a little boy when your wife or girlfriend berates you. Own your rage. Own your sorrow that life isn’t more and your desire for better days. Own your hatred at times of her and self. Own that feeling you’re getting in your chest, gut, or face as you read this. Own your desire to go crawl in a hole.
Own that you don’t feel like enough, that you rarely have and that you’re tired of feeling that way. Own your fear and anxiety, your shame, insecurity, and uncertainty. Own your stink. Own your guilt.
Own that feeling that you still haven’t gotten it. Own your embarrassment. Own your need of a coach or mentor. Own your weakness.
Own the guy that greets you in the mirror every day – what you like and what you don’t like about him. Own him anyway, every hair and freckle.
Own everything about you and your experience – not the blame of the fault for how, why and when you got where you sit. Just own that you are where you are.
Own the now. Own what’s next.
Don’t just own the garbage!
Own your greatness, nobility, and your generosity. Own that deep love, desire, and passion in your chest.
Own your humility, compassion, tenderness, and big and soft heartedness.
Own you endless love for your children and your unwavering willingness to show them love. Own your getting up in the night with them, your care for them and the effort you give.
Own your providing and protecting. Own your creativity, your skills, and your talents. Own your accomplishments and achievements. Own your faithfulness. Own your hard work, integrity, honesty, and good-naturedness.
Own your grit, your determination, and your wherewithal. Own your trust. Own your vulnerability.
Own your physical, mental, and emotional strength.
Own all that you’ve secured and built, even if it’s from a place of insecurity and overachievement.
Own your innocence. Own your story. Own that you wanted it to go much different than it has. Own that it hasn’t. Own your mourning over what was and what could have been. Own that it still can turn out great and that it’s not finished.
Own your tears thinking about that. Own your hope.
Own your smile (even if you don’t like it). Own your goofiness. Own your laughter.
Own that you came into the world. Own that you are here!
Own that you exist by the benevolent and willful intent of something much larger than yourself. Own that you therefore have purpose and meaning.
Own that you are valuable, worthy and significant. Own that you are imperfect and that’s okay. Own that you’re not finished.
Brother – own everything. Leave nothing behind. Own it all!
What you don’t own, you cannot change or use
You are designed for ownership – to rule, reign, fill, multiply, and subdue. However, you cannot do a single one of those if you don’t own anything, most of all yourself.
Stop being a renter, leaser, or borrower of your own life, happiness, and wellbeing. Stop being a victim. Stop having everything happen to you.
We only have power over what we own and herein is the problem – we run like hell from ownership and in doing so, we leave our power behind. We’re scared to own because we are scared of the responsibility. We’re worried we don’t have what it takes (but we do!). It’s much easier to blame and abdicate. Only, life goes quite horribly when we do!
We’ve given away the one thing that is ours – the greatest human tragedy of all – our self.
It belongs to no one else and until we take it back, we will be powerless to change a single thing in our life.
We. Must. Own. Everything.
Wanna change all those awful things in your life you hate? Totally and utterly own them! When we do, we acknowledge that they’re ours and as such, within our power to change.
And change them we can and will!
What you’ll get
Ownership leads to forgiveness, apologies, sobriety, turning around, letting go of the need of others to change. It leads to clarity, contentment, action, intention, mission, and purpose.
Ownership puts and end to waiting, limbo, and victimization.
Ownership leads to transformation.
Want transformation? Own everything!
If the world of coaching or mentoring of men could be encapsulated into one single word, in my opinion, it would be ownership.
Let that permeate your existence and watch your experience of life change in every way.
What are you owning well? What do you need to re-claim ownership over?
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