This is a remix I did of a song by an electronic artist by the name of Daysdeaf. My brother introduced me to his music and I really liked it so I decided to do what I do. I made a LuckyLogan Remix. Check out the original song here.
This is a commercial idea my brother came up with to pitch to Champion. Look how seamlessly the music fits with the visuals. It actually makes you feel like a champion. Check out the song here.
This is an ad for a friend of mine’s clothing line called KingNYC. It’s a brand based on personal transformation through mental alchemy. The images and designs serve to remind the wearer of the power he/she has in creating their own reality. Check out King NYC here.
Who taught you how to be a man?
If I could add just one thing to this world it would be good dads. Everyone has a father. Only the lucky ones got to have a dad. Too many of us raised ourselves. Too many of us know the love of a strong single mother who raised us herself. Too many of us live with a hole in our hearts because somebody walked away from us.
I hated men for a long time. Older authority figures were the worst because every one of them symbolically represented my father. I could only relate to them at the extremes. I could shut them out or I could kill myself trying to earn their approval. One robbed me of guidance and the other got me exploited.
When you don’t know how to be, your options are limited. Try to fake it. Don’t let anyone see how scared you are. All you know is you feel like you gotta prove yourself to the world.
“You end up like a dog that’s been beat too much ’til you spend half your life just coverin’ up” – Bruce Springsteen “Born in the USA”
I became a dad at 21 and again at 22. Every day I prayed, “Please don’t let me be the father that my father was.” I tried being the opposite of my father. That’s not freedom. If you’re trying to be something or accomplish something, it’s easy to tell how well you’re doing. If you’re trying to be the opposite of someone you’ll never get far enough away from it to feel like it’s ok.
I needed a dad but I kept reaching out to my father. It always played out the same. I call and we just talk about him. I sat on the phone with tears running down and lying that, “Yeah, no, everything’s good with me.” I knew that’s what he wanted to hear and I wanted him to be proud so that’s what I did.
Deep in my heart was this lie that someday he was gonna change and come through for me. I held on to every bit of pain because I wanted to believe that it was all gonna be worth it once he understood that he’d failed me. He wasn’t trying to understand. I was 38 when I told him and by then my kids were practically grown.
Everything about the way I was raised taught me to hide my real feelings. When you’re hiding, you’re conflicted and when you’re conflicted, you’re gonna fight with you. My kids were 8 and 9 when I went into counseling as a client. I was on my way to becoming a counselor and I was afraid I would end up fucking people up emotionally if I didn’t get right. That’s how far fear can reach.
My therapist told me that I needed to forgive and it made my guts churn. I thought forgiveness was something nice I was supposed to do for the man who hurt me and I was hell bent against it. It took me a long time to accept that holding onto that pain wasn’t hurting him. It was hurting me. There’s nothing good about bottled up hurt and anger. That shit is toxic and it eats away at you from the inside. “The best thing I ever did was let go.” – Eyedeas and Abilities
Letting go of pain hurts and anyone who says otherwise is a liar. I cried, sobbed, and wailed. My pain was believing that I didn’t matter. After a while, all I knew was that I couldn’t live with it anymore and the false hope I held had to go. I got free one day at a time and I felt lighter every time I let go.
I believe in God and I know He puts people in my path to give me what I need and a lot of what I want. It’s not His fault that none of the good men he put in front of me are related to me. Once I stopped waiting for my father I was free to learn from good men, be respected by good men and be loved by good men.
Today one of my greatest joys in life is that the young men and women I work with see me as the dad they always wanted. For an hour a week I’m a lousy substitute for a dad but I do what I can. I tell them the Truth. I’m not the man they wanna hear it from but I’m a guy that God put in front of them to help them get right.
Ultimately, I became my own dad. I took Michael Jackson’s advice and started with the “Man in the mirror.” I had a lot of long talks with him. I told him I was gonna stop fighting and start helping him. I told him he was gonna be ok and that he is good enough. Being my own worst enemy cost me a lot. Being my own dad means I take good care of me. Life is good.
Forgiveness can be something we do for ourselves. Healing isn’t selfish and neither is taking care of yourself. It’s too easy to get stuck in how unfair it is that we have to come through for ourselves. Deep down there’s this image of the man you want to be. Ask God to help you become that and receive the good men He puts in your life as teachers. Ripple effects are powerful. You get to pay it forward and together we give the world what it really needs – good dads.
Jim LaPierre LCSW