In the Tony award winning play Fences, by August Wilson, Rose says to Troy, “When your daddy walked through the house, he was so big he filled it up.” We need men in our community – our brothers, fathers, sons, nephews – to walk through life so big we fill it up. As we walk through our sojourn on earth, we are more than conquerors. We rise. We level up. We handle up.
This is not to discount the effects of mental illness. We should seek the help of professionals when necessary and when life appears to tax us of our mental stores.
We need mentally strong men. Mental strength is the harnessing of our non-physical powers to move through our physical environment with grace and a sense of calm and ease.
Mental strength is an inside job. It requires work daily. It begins with reciting affirmations and verses from Holy Scripture.
In this season of unparalleled change and challenge, it is important that we as men maintain our mental toughness and guard our spiritual tower. We are the watchmen of our community.
The following such mantras (among many) form a solid basis for deepening and maintaining our mental stamina as men.
1. Know who and whose you are
I cannot think of a more important mental trait than to know who and whose we are. It is mental strength and yet spiritual might. We are not who America says we are, we are who God says we are. In that sense, we write our own stories and we determine our own destinies.
God said to Moses, “I am who I am”.
2. Be grateful
To be grateful is to foster a relationship with the eternal. Each day we arise is an opportunity to get it right, to exercise our divine mandate for greatness. Making the wake-up list is cause for many thanks. ‘Thank you’ makes room for more.
Rooted and built up in him…and overflowing with thankfulness.
3. Pray always
Prayer is our lifeline. Prayer keeps the embers of hope burning. Prayer is God’s resuscitation of our spirit, His breath in our body. Prayer can calm our blood pressure and renew our strength. It is the believer’s mandate to pray and be not anxious.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer…present your requests to God.
4. Spend time alone
A man who can spend time alone is a man who will conquer walled cities. Why? Because he has scaled his own internal walls to eternal peace. Jesus awoke early and found a solitary place and prayed. Find your space. Seek God’s presence.
Come close to God and God will come close to you.
5. Cancel the pity party
Mentally strong men do not host nor do they attend pity parties. This is not to say we do not empathize with the less fortunate or that we do not share in the burdens of those whom we love. We do not, though, become wearied by the oppression of others. Rather, we solve problems; we rise to challenges and we overcome. We make those whom we love better.
Count it all joy when you meet trials of various kind…for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
James 1: 2
In this season of swift transition, it is important that we as men maintain our mental toughness and guard our spiritual tower. We are the watchmen of our community.
I am strong.