Part 1: The Crash
I was 8 ½ years old still living in Rwanda where I’d lived since I was 6 weeks old.
That is when the seed was planted for me to learn this lesson.
A lesson all men who make freedom a priority need to learn…
It’s wisdom that allows for a man to live a life where he FEELS truly free.
And without it, it’s likely to run his relationships with women into the ground.
But first know that this isn’t about some life hack for accomplishing your goals or setting you on some path to generating passive income.
That’s not the freedom I’m talking about.
This is about finding an unshakeable freedom that transcends your circumstances.
In this series, I’m going to use my own life experience to articulate these rarely understood dynamics.
Here’s how it all began…
I was an 8 ½ year old with two younger brothers.
My parents were missionaries in Rwanda and the five of us were on our way back from vacation with another family of friends.
That morning I did not know that the next time my head hit the pillow my life would be forever changed.
As my family was driving back, suddenly their car crashed head on into an oncoming truck rounding a corner. It was dusk and the truck didn’t have its headlights on.
My mom was severely injured.
Both of my brothers traumatized.
My father died instantly.
There wasn’t a scratch on me.
No bruise. No cuts. No broken bones.
As fate would have it, just a few minutes before, I got into the other family’s car at a gas station.
I wasn’t in the car when it crashed.
I didn’t arrive at the crash until 10 minutes later with the other family.
This put me in a unique position. I was fine, at least physically.
Of course I had to navigate the psychological impact of witnessing severe trauma inflicted on the 4 people I loved most.
They were my whole world.
Naturally I felt like it was my responsibility to take care of my family.
Especially with my father gone and me being the oldest.
Life went on but was never the same.
We moved back to the States to a small town in Michigan.
My mom built a beautiful life for her 3 boys, getting remarried when I was 14 to the man I now consider my father.
But these were challenging years.
The step kids were prominent in the community. I was put under a lot of pressure to not upset them.
But I was struggling.
My mom found her way out of the trauma through schooling and earned her PhD in Psychology.
I wanted my mom to help me get out of the hole she climbed out of through her education but it felt like so much of her attention went to the step kids.
And at times I felt like I was being left behind.
I was being absorbed into this new family unit, all the while trying to measure up to my mother’s standard.
She’s a woman who has never gotten less than an A since she was in 7th grade.
Every penny she has she earned on her own.
How could I measure up?
Eventually this created a tremendous amount of pressure on me. I felt trapped living with my own family and eventually I reached a breaking point at the age of 18.
I decided if I couldn’t feel free at home, I had to create a new home.
And so I set out to find my freedom by leaving my imprisonment behind.
I wouldn’t learn until much later that when I packed my bag, the chains came with it.
And I left the key behind.
3 years go by and I find myself screaming at the top of my lungs at a new prison guard.
But this time the jail cell I stand in is the house I bought.
And it’s not my mom who has me held captive.
It’s my wife.
Part 2: The KeyClick To Read Now