Saturday, December 19, 2009

MEN And Their Daddy-Issues

Many people think that success in life is measured by the business you build, the money you bank, the family you create... I think it is the peace and joy you feel inside when all of that is stripped away and you are alone with yourself. Not that those other aspects aren't wonderful to include in a full life, but I know people (and so do you) who seem to have everything and yet are miserable.

Life use to be about survival: don't get eaten by a lion, and find something to eat and woohoo you are the man! But as we evolved, we wanted to be happy and fulfilled too. When I watch Mad Men I always end the experience asking myself: why do I continue to watch this show when it is so depressing. Not one character seems to enjoy anything in their lives but cocktail hour-- which even though I am all for, does not make a complete life.

We laugh thinking how far we have come from those sexist, racist, homophobic days; and how ridiculous the following hippy, free-love, druggie era was too. We are so enlightened, we think to ourselves. And yet, our last president took us into a trillion dollar war because he had to finish the business his daddy didn't and revenge:
After-all, this the guy that tried to kill my dad at one time.
                                                    ~ President G.W. Bush
Tiger is another example of how someone who seemed to have everything, willingly participated in behavior that lead to his life imploding. The cheating is only the most sensationalist aspect of this sordid affair, what I find more interesting is how it might all lead back to his unresolved daddy-isses (rumor has it that Earl also had affairs and Tiger was devastated by his father's philandering). 

I am no therapist, nor do I have the training to diagnose what is the root of Tiger's distructive behavior, but I do think it points out that we need to invest as much time, money, and energy figuring ourselves out as we do on education, business consultants, and trainers. Or in the case of Michael Jackson, who spent a fortune to avoid looking like his father and recreating his childhood, therapy instead of plastic surgery and Neverland.

If daddy-issues can start a trillion dollar war, take down a billion dollar sport star, and a legendary entertainer- this is not just a warm-fuzzy topic. What people ignore in their personal lives ends up in all other aspects of their lives... eventually. Women have Oprah, girlfriends, an entire self-help industry catering to them, not to mention less stigma going into therapy when they are ready to heal their own issues. Men really need to find something that works for them or at least start stealing some of ours.

Finding joy in life is about knowing ourselves and when we don't invest in the time, a good therapist, books, seminars, studies, etc. to figure ourselves out... life is a little rough.

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