Last time I started telling a story about a rain delay in Cincinnati. I told a teammate that I had watched some porn the night before. He had just spoken forcefully and with wisdom about the dangers and damages of leaving magazines like Maxim around. So I felt like I could trust him. And I really needed to be able to trust someone. I needed to get it off my chest.
I had recently been learning a lot of concepts about what it means to hide in shame and be afraid to reveal myself to people. We get afraid because we think we are going to be judged. That’s why I was afraid to trust anyone with my shameful secret.
I was afraid to tell my wife. I had told her before, and she had handled it really well, but I was still afraid. What if the day came when she didn’t handle it well? I was worried about that so I was afraid to tell her again. I was nervous, and I didn’t want to hide anymore.
One of the things I was learning is that you need to find somebody you can trust. You need to be able to reveal who you really are, and you need people in your life for that. A man needs to be known by a few men. We don’t need to be known by everybody, but we’ve got to be known by a few.
Maybe you’ve heard about men’s retreats. These men’s groups are all about understanding what it means to be known by a few. I felt like I wanted that. I needed it.
So after what he said about the magazine, I took the risk. I told him, “Frankly, I don’t know you. You just seem like you understand. I think you get it. I’m going to take a chance on trusting you. I’m going to throw it out there and see what happens.”
So I just came out and told him that I’d watched porn the night before.
He sat there, and at first, he looked like he honestly didn’t know what to do. But he did. He knew exactly what to do. He talked to me. He helped me. He let me trust him, and I learned how good it feels to have someone you can trust.
Basically, I trusted someone with a personal failure, and he didn’t judge me for it. He helped me. He made me feel protected.
I found out how it feels to reveal who I truly am, and to be truly known. This is so important. All men need a few men like this. All people do. We have to be able to protect each other.
I’ll continue this story next time.