It's me, Nik.
I've been writing for over two years now and I have seen so many of your faces on my social media posts.
You write heartfelt messages to me about your lives.
You are looking for connection, for healing, for honesty, and for an open place to be yourself.
I have a little boy.
I don't want to only teach him to be a warrior.
Yes, I want him to grow up and be able to take care of himself.
I want him to be strong, and brave, and honest to the core.
And I also want him to be sensitive, loving, kind, and generous.
It's a balance.
Warrior and Heart-Led Man......all in one.
Sensitive and Strong.
Honest and Brave.
Kind but don't take shit from haters.
Smart but open to always learning new things.
I want him to know that his emotions are the map to his spirituality.
I want him to know that he doesn't have to believe every single thought that crosses his mind.
Guys? You don't have to be a warrior all the time.
Did you get told as a little boy to "Man up?"
Did you fall down and get hurt and your parents told you, "Shake it off. You're tough." and they didn't hug and comfort you?
Did you never get taught how to follow your gut?
Did your parents not teach you about life, death, and how to grieve?
Maybe this is why so many men grow up and don't share their emotions when they are in a dark place.
Guys, We need you.
You are worthy.
What you have in your heart? The world needs that. The world needs your ideas, your love, and your talents.
Men and women may be different in how their human brains work but our souls? Our souls are genderless.
We need your authenticity.
We need your laughter.
We need your friendship.
We need your light.
I fancy myself quite the warrior after all I've been through. But it's not the only thing I think of myself as. Yes, I'm a warrior but also yes, I'm loving and kind and authentic and full of hope and laughter.
Sometimes we need you to be a warrior.
And sometimes we also want you to know that it's ok to put down your shield and tell us what's on your mind and heart.
No one is brave all of the time.
No one is strong every day.
True authenticy comes from being yourself. All of yourself.
And those in your life that truly love you?
If you set down that shield and tell them that you feel like you're in the dark?
They aren't going to think you're any less manly, any less strong or brave because you opened up.
They are going to think you are human.
They are going to love you back to your light.