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MB #014: Deconstruction & Construction

discipleship exercise faith Mar 12, 2023

Read time: ~4 Minutes

Hey friends,

In today's issue, we're going to unpack one of the most critical aspects of mental and spiritual health for men. This is a journey every man should be on, one that I've been on, and honestly, one that I don't think should ever really stop.

Let's call it deconstruction and construction.

God gave humans this unique ability to use their brains, to change their own brains. Think about that for a minute. We're the only species created that can actually use our mental faculties to build systems and put forth effort in a way that can actually change our own brain's wiring. It's amazing, really.

The unfortunate thing is many of us don't step in and engage in this way.

As we journey through life, there are all sorts of experiences we have, good, bad, and otherwise. We have victories, micro-traumas (or big traumas), words spoken to us in haste by our parents, things we witness, the way a coach used to challenge us, and more, all of which created some form of reinforcement or breakdown of certain connections in our brain.

The result is there may be experiences we've had that have “shaped us” that we're completely unaware of, can't remember, yet have significant implications on how we now operate at a subconscious level. It's created a form of operating system that runs our brain.

There's this mind-spirit-soul wiring we have as humans. Where these 3 domains play into one another and can either support each other or work against the other.

In order to really transform and change for good, this has to be addressed. Otherwise, all of our efforts will likely at some point be sabotaged by reverting back to default settings.

This is where deconstruction comes into play. There are many ways to approach deconstruction but the best way to conceptualize this idea is to think about excavation with a tractor. Morgan Snyder in his book Becoming A King describes a picture of a cityscape with huge buildings built up everywhere and smack dab in the middle is a deep pit being dug out by excavators, preparing the ground for the deep, deep, foundation that will be laid in order to support the new skyscraper being built. It started with breaking up the sidewalks and previous foundations laid, so that they could dig deeper and even more ground cleared out below.

Without the deep and laborious excavation work, the foundation can't be laid properly, and if you were to go ahead and build anyways, the entire skyscraper is now at risk.

In order to build better in our lives, we must do the deep and laborious work to excavate. To figure out what really lies beneath the surface and then prepare that space properly for construction.

The good news is Jesus is faithful to help lead us into and through this process if we invite him to do so.

Personally, I've struggled a lot in the past with frustrations, anger, irritability, and the like. For years I've intentionally sought out, and gradually been shown how the root to a lot of this struggle is a desire to have control, which emerged from some experiences growing up that I didn't really have much memory of.

I've been engaging in excavation work. Deconstructing the things that were once laid, so that I hopefully can prepare the ground for building something better in it's place.

Now maybe anger or frustration isn't your thing. Maybe you struggle with an all-or-nothing mentality. Perhaps you make lots of headway in your health, only to find yourself reverting back to old ways a few months into the process. Or you struggle with negative emotions and mental blocks when it comes to how you view exercise and it prevents you from really finding joy in pursuing health. Maybe it's unhealthy habits, emotions, and wirings around food or drink intake that always seem to stop you up. Victim mentality? Entitlement? Blame shifting?

Whatever it is, it's time to engage in the hard work of deconstruction, excavation, etc that helps rewire us (or renew us) in how we think, feel and act.

This is a process that you can make a ton of headway in quickly with the right approach but is also likely something you'll be continually unearthing and exploring for most of your life. But I can tell you, this is important work, and likely the key to you finally having the kind of breakthrough you're looking for in your health - whether that be spiritual, mental, emotional, relational, or physical.

That’s all for today. See you next Sunday.

-Chris