The (Not So) Evil Stepmother

Today has been a long day, ending a challenging time for my family. As someone who often speaks of authenticity and founded Real Men Feel, this is one of those videos I knew I had to make.

For Marilyn


FU: I Love You

The first time I ever did a “fuck you, I love you” post it was how I signed off on a video after a friend seemed to die by suicide. It was unplanned wording that perfectly reflected how I was feeling. I used it again in a video after Robin William’s suicide (wow, two years ago for both). In each case, I was saying that I loved them, the person, but I was pissed at how they went out. The “fuck you” was to suicide.

I find myself thinking those same seemingly opposed thoughts, fuck you and I love you, in regards to my father. I wrote a post earlier today for called Strong Enough to Be Sad (read it now if you want to be fully up to speed before proceeding. It’s short and I’ll wait.).

I often tell my coaching clients that they can love someone and still be angry, annoyed, bitter, resentful or frustrated with them. Unconditional love doesn’t mean you don’t also have other emotions, it means beneath all the other emotions, even the so-called ‘negative’ ones, there is love. Unconditional love for yourself means loving you even when you can’t stand you.

Today I brought my dad to see his oncologist for an appointment that we both knew meant cancer was back. He’s already had surgery to remove cancer from his colon and kidneys. While sitting in the waiting room today, he noticed writing on my wrist. He said, “I know I’ve asked before, but what does that say?”

On my left wrist is my first tattoo, which I got six years ago this month. Getting it was a pretty big deal. The incidents that inspired it had me interviewed on CNN and ABC’s Nightline. My dad knew all of this because he lived through it all too.

He was now asking me again what it says on my wrist. No big deal I thought. “It says GRATEFUL,” I told him. His response was a new one. He said, “Jesus Christ, what a faker!’ and stared at me with a slight smirk like he was waiting for me to laugh or react, I’m not really sure.Grateful

I wanted to reply with a hearty, “I hope you die alone on the streets,” and walk out. Instead I turned away, took a slow deep breath, reminded myself that in his dementia-ravaged and scared mind, that was the best he could do for a nervous joke to pass the time. I muttered, “Fuck you, I love you.”

During the appointment we discovered he has multiple growing cancers in his lungs, liver and stomach. Fuck you, I love you.



It was my birthday yesterday. I don’t really celebrate birthdays in any big way. Haven’t since i was a kid. I’ve even missed my own birthday on a few occasions, being so busy that I forgot I had had another birthday until a week after the fact. I’ve been losing track of how old I am since my early 20’s. Each year seems to go by faster and faster.

I’ve always thought some of this perspective might be due to my depressed and suicidal times, which go all the way back to elementary school. For many years growing up I never thought I’d live past 18. I remember when I was about 12 years old, friends were talking about the year 2001 and figuring out how old they’d be then. I didn’t bother because I had no interest in still being alive then. Outside of being able to get my driver’s license, there’s never been an age I’ve looked forward to turning. I’ve certainly never come across any man saying, “I can’t wait to be fifty!”

Also, so many people have told me over the years about all the horrors of growing older. As a child, my dad often told me high school was the best years of his life. Older men I’ve met complained about life turning downhill at 30, 35, 40, 45…. So it seemed to me there was nothing to look forward to. My body was going to fall apart suddenly, I was going to cynical, divorced, miserable and alone — at least that was my impression based on the unsolicited advice that was often shared with me.

All I know for sure is my experience. That has been that my 30’s were better than my 20’s, and my 40’s were even better than my 30’s. Now I’m 50. A number I never expected, never looked forward to, yet here I am. Nothing has me feeling “over the hill” or even past my prime. I feel I am in fantastic shape; emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically. Especially compared to my own prior experience. I think my 50’s are going to totally rock!

So if you’ve had anyone telling you getting older sucks, ignore them. If you yourself think your own aging has sucked, focus on something else, and for God’s sake don’t dare come tell me any of shitty stories. I hear 70 is the new 25.

Be well and enjoy!



PS – I did have a lot of fun making this Ode to Myself

 UPDATE: I saw my dad today (July 3, 2016) and told him I wrote a post about turning 50. He said, “It’s all down hill from there.” I pointed out to him that he’s said that about almost every age since 18. He looked at me in silence for a moment, then said, “Yup, getting old sucks.”
I love him, but I don’t like talking to him.

Accepting What Is

Accepting What IsEach morning I pull a couple of Oracle Cards and post one to Instagram and Facebook. This morning it was, Accepting What Is, and it connected with me even more than usual. My family is dealing with a number of health issues and I’ve been witnessing acceptance in others and in myself on a daily basis.

My father has been on a slow mental and physical decline for a decade or so. His dementia and physical degradation have picked up speed in the past couple weeks which coincides with his wife going in and out of the hospital twice this month dealing with her own health and pain issues. They have both had to accept needing help, something they’ve resisted for a long time. Fortunately, they have support via insurance, their own finances, and nearby friends and family as well.

Two days ago my wife and I accompanied my dad to visit his wife in the hospital. He needs a wheelchair to get around the hospital these days and he nearly fell every time he tried to get in or out of it as well as in or out of the car. I had to help him go to the bathroom, a first for us both, and it was all I could do to be present and truly helpful and not just mentally checkout and disappear.

Yesterday he decided to find out if he could still drive or not. At our urging it had been a couple weeks since he’d been behind the wheel. The short drive he took scared the shit out of him as he came close to multiple accidents, he later reported. For the first time he’s accepted his driving days are over. Of course the challenge will be, does he remember that tomorrow? When he got back home to an empty house following his wild ride yesterday afternoon, he fell. It took him 90 minutes to get himself back up. That has ended his arguments of not needing someone there all the time. He no longer can track the day or time. He can no longer be trusted to take his medication on his own, and we’ve had to call in help to be with him at night and soon now expand it to 24×7.

Even knowing his mental state, it is still very difficult for me to not listen to him, to not believe him, to not trust him. That is what I must accept. I can no longer be the good son who does what his father asks. He no longer knows what is in his, or anyone else’s’, best interest. He can no longer be trusted or believed. That has been the most difficult, and unexpected, part for me.

I’m sure some men are very good care takers and comfort providers, but I am not. I want to run, and ignore this all. I thank God on an hourly basis for my wife, Lori, who has been going to his house every day for the last few weeks. Being a care taker is something that comes naturally to her, plus she doesn’t have the baggage of growing up with this man weighing on things too.

This is the message on the Accepting What Is card.
It is an act of both power and faith to love, honor, and accept what is. At times it can be challenging to truly accept what’s occurring in your life. When you do so, however, you affirm that there’s a plan for your life and that everything is working for your highest good. Accepting “what is” doesn’t mean that you can’t work to change it, because you can. It does mean that there is gentle, yet profound, awareness that every experience can support your highest good and spiritual evolution.
If there is something you just can’t accept, start by gently acknowledging the fact that you can’t accept it. As you increase your own acceptance in life, this will help others be at peace in their own lives.”
Acceptance. It can be a real bitch.

Blabbing about Real Men Feel with Shawna Pelton

Last week I was the guest of metaphysical healer and coach, Shawna Pelton, on her weekly Blab show. We had a fun discussion and talked about my Real Men Feel movement and To Be A Man workshops.

Check Shawna out at and join the Real Men Feel Facebook group.

Be sure and catch my weekly Real Men Feel shows too.

If you problems watching here, try this link