The One Decision Every Man Must Make to Live a Happy Life


By Kimanzi Constable | The Good Men Project

It may still be painful, but you have to let go to heal and live.

I can distinctly remember the sound the lamp cord made when it hit my back. It felt like the entire world was quite and all I could hear was the whoosh and smack when the cord hit my back. I was 16 years old and still taking frequent beatings from my parents for things a teenage normally does.

Related Article: So Happy It Hurts: Why The Greatest Growth Is Often So Painful

I grew up with a lot of rules and very little love. When I turned 17, I had enough.

We had a fairly normal childhood until I was 15 years old. At that point, my parents forced us to go to an intensely legalistic church. We started following all of this church’s teachings, which meant getting rid of a lot of things in our lives.

We didn’t watch TV anymore, boys had to wear long pants, women always wore dresses. We weren’t allowed to date or have interaction with the opposite sex. The last thing to go was music. I remember listening to some cassette while we were on a family trip. When it was heard what I was listening to, I got smacked, and my Walkman was thrown out of the window.

I grew up with a lot of rules and very little love. When I turned 17, I had enough and chose to live on the streets instead of continuing to be abused mentally and physically (serve spankings). I was messed up and scared people away. At 17, I got three jobs to survive. It was at one of those jobs that I met the love of my life.

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I tried to be “normal” and love her, but I was battling demons from the past. The beatings, the lack of love, and the craziness of the church were still working up angry and depressed emotions inside of me. It took a lot of time and counseling to realize I had a decision to make. This is a decision every man must make at some point. I had to make the decision to let go of the past.

Letting Go of the Past

Life is hard and messed up. It doesn’t work out as planned and it never works out like the movies. There are so many circumstances that are out of our control. Every man has baggage. It may be one thing or several things that have a grip on us and keep us from moving forward in our lives. The path to healing goes through forgiveness and letting go. You don’t have let that person know you’ve forgiven them—it can a decision you make in your mind and for yourself. But, the healing process starts with forgiving yourself and forgetting about them. Letting go helps you turn your focus to what’s ahead.

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13 Reader Comments

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  1.' Dinah Briggs says:

    Let the past go

  2.' Sam Wattam says:

    Forget your freedom and realize your mrs will control every aspect of your life ? also don’t smile or enjoy yourself as this makes women angry

  3.' Eric Lopez says:

    I know what you mean!

  4.' Arne Kvinge says:

    Only men?

  5.' Christopher Witehira says:

    Holy Moses!!

  6.' Robert Caputi says:

    If I haven’t let go this sure will help me finish letting go . Thanks

  7.' David Copping says:

    This is utterly not mind blowing. It is pop psychology and quasi science packaged into a familiar warm glove of apparent wisdom.

  8.' Sharon Forbes says:

    Joel Breewel

  9.' Jim Chambers says:

    Good for those that have been cheated on … or not.

  10.' Algonquin J Calhoun says:

    Sometimes you gotta walk down that long lonely road to get a new life.

  11.' Algonquin J Calhoun says:

    Despotic religions are just ways of despoiling others.

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