One of you asked me the other day, ‘Matt, I haven’t seen a blog post from you in awhile regarding your strength training and exercise. I assume you’re still training, right?’
The reason I haven’t written about that as much recently is because I am diving deeper into emotional, mental, and even spiritual strength.
I won’t flat out say that that those are ‘across the board’ more important than physical strength. But, as Paul Chek often asks: ‘what good is it if you can squat 400 LBS, but you can’t get along with your wife?’
Yes, I am still training rigorously, and very often the first thing I do before anything else is train my body, but that’s largely so that my mind is ready for the rest of the day.
Yes, the 2nd thing I address with Dads I coach are the physical aspects of movement, flexibility, and strength. (The 1st being food, and how to eat.)
But the 3rd & 4th things, once we have those on track, are how to be stronger at the mental, emotional, and spiritual levels. And yes, I just used the word ‘spiritual’ twice.
Just as physical ‘strength’ requires much more than the ability to bench press, ‘strength’ at all of these level demands to be defined more clearly before we can continue to have a intelligent conversation.
As this is a Friday Facebook post, and not a dissertation, I’ll leave you to consider ‘how best you might define being mentally strong’, for you.
For me, it’s certainly not ‘just being able to handle anything that comes my way’. That’s a part of it. It’s how I handle life that matters more to me.
Can I do it with grace? With love? Without condition? Can I say ‘yes’ to everything while at the same time still say ‘no’ to what’s needed? (Paradoxical, I know, but possible.) Can I respond thoughtfully instead of reacting emotionally? Can I experience emotions deeply while at the same time not being controlled by them, and allowing them to pass naturally? Can I be open to what the universe brings me, no matter what? Can I transform every negative threat or challenge into an opportunity for growth?
As Fathers we must to master all elements in order to be truly strong.
We need Fire, Water, Air, and Earth.
We need Iron and Oxygen.
We need Love.