Punch in the Mouth by the Wisdom of Ages (or how manly quotes helped my mental health)

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I’ve been feeling pretty down in the dumps lately. Really badly, actually. In fact, so bad, I’ve had some terrible thoughts running through my head that I can’t shake. I went and had a chat to the GP, and it turns out I have pretty crazy depression and anxiety. Who would of thought!

I’ve been doing a few ‘self-care’ things – trying to exercise, eating better, sleeping better, listening to more positive things. It probably is making a difference to my overall mental and physical health.

One of my fav websites is the Art of Manliness. If you haven’t checked it out, do yourself a favour. They’ve put up a recent post, ‘What Does It Mean to Be a Man? 80+ Quotes on Men & Manhood’.

Man.

Whoa.

Man.

Whoa.

If you’ve ever spent time at the beach, especially if you’ve surfed (or done something similar), you’ll know that the formation of a wave starts way out in the ocean. Winds blow over the water, creating cycles of water that start rolling across the ocean. These form waves, and when the water gets shallow, these rolling cycles topple over – these are the waves you see breaking on the shore. The strength of the wave usually depends on the force of the wind blowing across the ocean and the bulk of water behind each wave. It’s why, sometimes a wave can seem small, yet carry the weight of the ocean behind you and crash into you with great, great force.

This post, ‘What Does It Mean to Be a Man? 80+ Quotes on Men & Manhood’ for me is like a wave that has generated many miles out to see, blown across the ocean by winds and forces immeasurable. Even after reading a few quotes on masculinity and manhood, I was bowled over by the commanding words, encouragement and grit these heros of old had to offer.

You’ve probably heard the term ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’ before. I’ve never really thought of that term, until recently. Until reading those quotes. Are they inspirational? Not entirely. So why have these great quotes inspired me? It’s because they carried me. They carried me, like the ocean’s surge propels a surfer through the water. I was carried by something that started many eons ago, propelling me to something way bigger then I could ever imagine.

For a while now, I’ve been struggling against an outgoing tide in my mind. I’ve felt like the contributions I make to my family, my employer and society have all been for nothing. I’ve felt like letting go and allowing the outgoing tide to sweet me out to sea. To forget about all that’s important to me and live a life that’s swept around by the whims of nature. Reading these quotes, however, it’s like being propelled towards a goal I never thought obtainable before. Reading the wisdom of men, passed down from generation to generation – it’s like a surging ocean pushing me out of the tide of despair, and forward towards all that I hold true.

I want to leave you with a few quotes from the abovementioned website, ones that have resonated with me, encouraged me and made me feel like I was truly riding the surge set in place many generations ago

“The greatest thing a man can possibly do in this world is to make the most possible out of the stuff that has been given him. This is success, and there is no other. It is not a question of what someone else can do or become which every youth should ask himself, but what can I do? How can I develop the best possible manhood?”     Orison Swett Marden

“Masculinity is not something given to you, but something you gain. And you gain it by winning small battles with honor” Norman Mailer

“One cannot always be a hero, but one can always be a man” Johann Wolfgang van Goethe

“Opposition is what we want and must have, to be good at anything. Hardship is the native soil of manhood and self-reliance” John Neal

There’s a stack of ways, good ways and healthy ways to help manage depression and anxiety. For me, it’s been standing on the shoulders of giants, and feeling the surge of generations past lifting me up and pushing me to be the best man I can be.

Image from http://vivekkatti6i.loveitsomuch.com/stores/surfing-photo-surfers-riding-wave-summer-orange-1402045588,726717.html/133513

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