6 years ago yesterday, I started a blog called The Better Man Project because I was a lost young man swimming in broken dreams and had no idea which way to go.
I began with these simple words, “The world needs better men. This blog is about my journey to become the person I’ve always wanted to be.”
Over the past 6 years, I’ve grown in ways that I could have never imagined, faced failures and challenges that have broken me down and yet encouraged me to come back to try again and again, faced the darkest moments of my life and stepped into achieving dreams, opened up my eyes to what’s possible when you bring yourself into touch with your pain, and have seen a community of people around the world find my work and start their own journeys as well.
It’s hard for me to accurately describe to you what this moment means to me.
As I’m heading back into the beginning of everything and breathing life back into each post, I’m learning again. I’m revisiting things that have happened in the past with a completely new perspective. I’m seeing things in new ways. But most importantly, I’m seeing how much I’ve grown since I began 6 years ago.
I think parts of me really didn’t want to do this because I remember how packed some of these periods of my life were with emotional pain.
But what I understand now is that I am in such a different place than I was then. I handle things differently. I’ve grown spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally. I’m showing up in a completely different way of being than before. So while it can be difficult at times going back, it’s also a point of pride for me in knowing that this path has yielded me a great deal of growth and turned me, in many ways, into the man that I had dreamed of becoming when I started.
What makes my heart sing more than anything else, and I think this has been the biggest growth of all, is that I can treat myself with love and kindness. I beat myself up for a long long time for reasons that are far too many to list here. There was a lot of guilt. There was a lot of shame.
But as time went on, I learned how to start healing those wounds.
I started looking at my entire life as a tree.
If my roots weren’t being nourished and taken care of, everything else in my life would suffer. And that’s exactly what I was ignoring – everything underground.
I think in many ways we don’t view what’s in sight as important. Instead, we put up the mask that everyone can see and neglect taking care of everything that’s hiding under the surface. Problem with that is when you start neglecting the things that need to be taken care of, while they aren’t being seen by others directly, you start to yield fruit that is toxic for many different reasons.
But when you heal those places inside, everything begins to change.
Your attitude towards life changes. Your relationships, thoughts, emotions, body…it all shifts and morphs.
That’s what happened for me.
So as I step into these next chapters of my life, I’m also learning from the previous ones as well. I’m going back to discover deeper levels and layers of what I had started to learn before. I think that’s a worthy journey in of itself.
If I had to leave you with one thing, it’s to hold onto love and to let go of hate.
In learning to love yourself and love others deeply, your world will change.
So here’s to a lifetime left of a journey in finding the courage to go out with all engines burning.
-Evan Sanders, The Better Man Project