DadPod-Episode 3: Are You D.A.D. Dad?
Here’s an outline/summary of the third episode of the DadPOD.
On Today’s program we’re going to take a little reflective look at an issue that I’m currently dealing with and thought that maybe as a man you might face this issue as well.
D. A. D. Dscouraged and Disappointed. Have you ever been discouraged and/or disappointed? I find myself drifting in and out of this condition a lot recently and will share a little bit about where it’s coming from and some things that I have done in the past and what I’m currently doing about it to make sure it doesn’t drive me to the worst “D” word…despair.
I’m also going to have our first DadPODpourri section of the program. Here will be some random things that are more current in nature, maybe dad/man issues in the news, topics of interest, random thoughts from a MadDad (mad as in goofy not as in “angry” like we discussed last week). By the way, you can listen to all of the DadPOD episodes on iTunes (all three of them–chuckle) as well as on Stitcher and the Blackberry podcast network. Additionally you will find all of the podcasts on my DadPad website as well, including the notes from Today’s program. Well, let’s get rolling.
What causes discouragement and or disappointment?
Sometime life just kind of stinks. You can feel the stress of life. Bottom line…you feel the weight of something heavier than you feel the power to do something about and all the positive quotes on Facebook or the internet don’t seem to have the power to shake you from it either. They can be anything. Here are a few that have triggered some form of D. A. D. in my life over the years.
- Loss of job
- Dreams died
- Family situations; marriage, kids, etc.
It’s usually outside circumstances – some that you can control and a majority of them you can’t
What do we usually do to try and handle these?
- Ignore it
- Rationalize it
- Suppress it
What is the usual result of these efforts?
- Anger taken out on those around us.
- More of the same driving us deeper into the problems
- Start feeling inadequate-questioning our abilities–eventually turns into mild forms of depression which can ultimately lead to despair.
So, what’s the Answer?
- First, don’t ignore it. Embrace it.
- It’s a part of life. we live in a performance based world and sometimes when we haven’t done the things we hoped would have ended more positively for us, we begin to internalize the situation and get discouraged.
- Ask yourself this question? How much of what I’m going through could I control? If it’s out of my control, I can stop worrying about it because I can’t control it.
“If there is something you can do about it, don’t worry about because you can’t do anything about it. If you can do something about it, don’t worry about it. Just do something about it.”
But, if I can control it, examine what went wrong? Take a weekend alone and start journaling what caused the situation to grow to where it is today.
Then Get Up
Oswald Chambers is a preacher/teacher from the late 1800’s early 1900’s. His devotional book My Utmost for His Highest has been a staple in the world of devotionals for years. One of the principles that caught my attention every year I read it was this…how you should handle being discouraged. Just do this one thing…get up. Sounds simple, right. It’s not when you are smack dab in the middle of feeling the weight of your situation. But, it has helped me time and time again. When I want to curl up in a ball and not face the day, I remember, GET UP. Most of the battle is just putting one step in front of another.
Find a man or a group of men that will give you good counsel, who care about you and who won’t take your pity.
The worst thing you can do in this state is to pretend it doesn’t exist and to simply try to tough it out. Now, there are things that don’t warrant a big, drastic change on your part. Sometimes life throws you a curveball and you have to identify it, change your stance and wait back in the box a bit next time (like the Baseball analogy?). Seriously, not every setback needs to be a knockdown. But, I’m really referring to those times when those who aren’t dealing with mental health related problems (I’m not minimizing those but if you need a doctor or someone to help you get out of a long standing funk, or you have had thoughts of more than just being down, you need to see a professional), just can seem to shake some of the weariness of your current situation.
Having men in your life, especially older men who have likely gone through the issues that you are currently enveloped with is a source of great encouragement. Where do you find men like that?
Well, as I’ve stated boldly, I come at life through the lens of biblical Christianity. I will flesh that out periodically but I start with the premise that I was created by God, in His image and that through the life, death and resurrection of His son, Jesus Christ, I have new life. That’s what we celebrate this weekend on Good Friday and Easter. I believe that this foundation has helped me significantly in this area. I am able to spend time in prayer and in the bible gleaning truth that I allow to pour over my mind that helps to mitigate the other things I might be telling myself during these D A D times. So, I look for men who have that same perspective on life to help me through these times. And, these aren’t just men who help me when I’m down and vice-versa, these are men who will celebrate with me, ask me tough questions about life, my conduct, my spiritual walk, etc. Call them accountability partners, peer mentors or what have you. Bottom line is I don’t try to tough it out alone. Having your posse is so important. You have guys to watch the game, hunt, fish, camp, hike, etc., with. But, if you don’t have anyone you can call when you are D. A. D. you will be spend much more of your life just getting by and not growing up. They will give you the support you need when you feel the stress.
So what’s all this got to do with being a man/dad? When you are D.A. D. it’s very tough to be DAD. Get it? You’re wife and family need you as a man to be healthy mentally. When you are checked out, they miss out. Being a man is a noble thing. It carries with it a weight that we would prefer to avoid if possible. It’s hard enough for us to take care of ourselves much less carry the burden of a family. It’s why I can’t imagine doing it without being a follower of Christ. He’s been my strength. I don’t do everything right because I’m human. But, having put my family through a lot of things, having grown up in a divorced home and then being with an marriage and family ministry for more than 6 years, I’ve seen the destruction that absent fathers/men in families has. We aren’t called to be perfect, dad. Just called to love and lead well. And, that can only happen, in my mind, understanding first how God loves and leads well.
I hope you are in a healthy place and this podcast might be useful as a future reference when you are feeling stress in your life. But, if there was something helpful in this episode, please let me know. There are a couple of ways to communicate your thoughts with me. FIrst, simply go to dadpad.org and click the DadPOD podcast menu item and leave your comment on the post of this episode. Or, go to dadpad.org and click the read box on the right side where you can leave me your voice message, right from your computer or phone. Pretty cool, eh?
- Top 10 Things Men Fear the Most (from fearofstuff.com)
10.Going to the Doctor
9. Being Wrong
8. Public Speaking
6. Being an inadequate lover
5. Poor Health
4. The risk of financial loss
3. Not being a good husband or father
2. Appearing to need help
“David H. Autor, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says that the difference between men and women, at least in part, may have roots in childhood. Only 63 percent of children lived in a household with two parents in 2010, down from 82 percent in 1970. The single parents raising the rest of those children are predominantly female. And there is growing evidence that sons raised by single mothers “appear to fare particularly poorly,” Professor Autor wrote in an analysis for Third Way, a center-left policy research organization.”
Some family movies coming out to the theaters in April:
- Home Run – theaters on April 19
- Not Today: A film about the human trafficking industry and hoping to expose it for what it is. It’s getting a lot of attention but needs more.
Next week: Hope to have the producer of Home Run, Carol Spann Matthews, on the program. The movie is coming to theaters April 19. If not, we will have a guest for the first time. I’ve contacted a number of people who are willing to be “guinea pigs” for a newly launched podcast. I’m looking forward to that as well.
Well, it’s Easter. Time to celebrate the most important event in history. I hope you have a great time with your family and loved ones and that you are mindful of the importance of this day in history and our ultimate future. I will be traveling up to celebrate my son’s birthday which falls on Easter so really looking forward to that.
Have a great week and we’ll catch you next week on the next episode of The DadPOD. Thanks for joining me.