From Nice Guy to Integrated Man: Embracing the Good, the Bad, and the Rooftop Bar

I found myself at a rooftop bar, surrounded by a sea of seemingly perfect people – cool, sexy, and accomplished. As I looked around, a familiar sinking feeling crept into my stomach.

The voice of my Ego Fracture whispered, “You’re not enough.” I felt out of place, like I didn’t belong.

My brain, always ready to protect me, launched into its programming of survival and comparison. Within minutes, it had scanned the crowd and found proof that I simply wasn’t good enough, triggering my deep-seated fears of powerlessness.

​My eyes landed on a group of guys and girls, relaxed and laughing together. A part of me longed to belong, to be part of their tribe. They looked so cool, so effortlessly at ease. My Emotional Fracture ached, desperately craving connection and acceptance.

​And then I saw him. The Alpha. Impeccably dressed, with a body that screamed dedication to the gym. He was the sun, and everyone else orbited around him.

The pretty girl next to him seemed completely under his spell, ready to do his bidding without hesitation. My Sexual Fracture flared up, leaving me feeling undesirable and ashamed.

​Seeing them, I felt even more worthless. My emotions hijacked me completely, and my brain began to validate that his life had always been better than mine. The Nerve Fracture took over, filling me with anxiety and a sense of not being safe.

​But then, something shifted. My brain went into defense mode, searching for their flaws, desperate to level the playing field. It became hyper-critical and judgmental, trying to regain a sense of power. The Ego Fracture fought back, attempting to protect my fragile sense of self.

​Enough, I said to myself, frustrated. I knew I had to put the brakes on before my ruminating mind sent me down a deep rabbit hole. I took a deep breath, composing myself and settling into my breathing.

I relaxed my tense, judgmental body, all while maintaining a neutral face. After all, I couldn’t let anyone know what I was really feeling and thinking. That would be too embarrassing for a men’s life coach who was supposed to have it all together.

​Slowly, I reached a state of neutrality. Not amazing, but not worthless either. I smiled, stepping back and laughing at my brain’s journey.

I was learning to observe its flaws, to watch as my higher self found entertainment in the chaos, without letting it ruin my entire evening.

​Feeling relaxed, I focused on enjoying myself. I took it all in, feeling blessed for the incredible friends by my side, the countless opportunities that kept coming my way, and the simple joys of being able to see, hear, and feel my surroundings.

My Spiritual Fracture began to heal, as I reconnected with a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

​As my friends chatted with the girls next to us, I felt content in my disengagement. I didn’t need to be the center of attention or put on a performance to be liked. I was comfortable in my own skin, no longer desperately seeking approval.

​It was in combining both the good and the not-so-good that I found integration. Embracing both experiences as part of who I am – that’s what it means to be an integrated man. And with that realization, peace and contentment settled into my life.

The fractures that once controlled me began to mend, as I learned to accept and love myself wholly.

In the end, chaos and peace coexist. Facing our deepest fears and insecurities allows us to heal our ‘5 Masculine Fractures’ and become the best version of ourselves.