List Of Tools
The Unbound Men’s Healing Group
We schedule time for play, refusing to let ourselves to engage in recovery and healing work non-stop.
Allowing and embracing humor amid our healing journey predicament can help free us from constant anxiety and worry.
We do not yield to pressure from others or attempt to pressure others. We remain alert to the people and situations that trigger feelings of pressure in us. We become aware of our own actions, words, body sensations, and feelings that tell us we are responding with pressure. When we feel energy building up, we stop; we reconnect with that which grounds us.
We accept the outcomes of our endeavors, whatever the results, whatever the timing. We know that impatience, rushing and insisting on perfect results only slow down our healing. We are gentle with our efforts, knowing that our new way of living requires practice.
We admit and embrace our weaknesses and mistakes. We realize we don’t have to do everything ourselves, and we ask for help.
We know that it is not true that men don’t feel. We just haven’t been given the encouragement and affirmation societally to learn, understand, and express our full range of emotions. By using “The Feeling Wheel” and other tools, we work daily to identify, fully feel, and express our emotions. We also know that feeling is a necessary part of healing.
We begin to learn and practice with safe people in our lives that vulnerability is one of the strongest and most courageous things we can do. Showing vulnerability is allowing others to see a deeper place within us and allows others to connect with us in a closer, more authentic way.
We attend Unbound Men’s Healing Group to learn how the fellowship works and to share our experience, strength, and hope with each other.
We use the telephone to stay in contact with members of the fellowship between meetings. We communicate with our Unbound Men’s group friends as we journey through the up’s and downs of life.
We balance our involvement in healing work with our efforts to develop personal relationships, spiritual growth, creativity, and playful attitudes.
We readily extend help to other men bound by their invisible wounds, knowing that assistance to others adds to the quality of our own healing.
Sponsors are other members of Unbound Men’s Healing Groups who themselves are healing from their invisible wounds. They offer guidance through the healing process on all three levels: physical, emotional, and spiritual. Specifically, they can help us with tools. A member may work with more than one sponsor and may change sponsors at will. Sometimes it is more practical to enter a co-sponsoring arrangement. We ask to be sponsored or co-sponsored so we can benefit from the experience of someone who has achieved what we want. Ours is a program of attraction, so we find a sponsor who has what we want and ask how they achieved it.
Writing clarifies our thoughts and helps us get to the root of the feelings that lie behind our invisible wounds. It is an action that fosters self-reliance because we can write even when no one is available to talk with us. Writing for ourselves may give us clarity over talking. This is partly because when we talk with other people, we may find our choice of words and subjects are affected by our interaction with our audience. Writing records our expressions in a way that helps us understand what we are trying to say. Writings can be shared with others if we want to use them as a form of communication.
We nurture our bodies with healthy eating, exercise, and rest. We go to the doctor regularly for checkups based on our phase of life, age in life, and family medical histories. Caring for your body is a “manly thing to do.” Acting like we’re fine when we’re not is detrimental to us and those that care about and depend on us. We nurture our minds by looking for positive aspects in every encounter. We nurture our spirits by surrounding ourselves with beauty, harmony, and tranquility. We recognize we are neither what we do nor what we feel. We foster our sense of self-worth and self-respect.
Working through our grief from the trauma, loss, hurt, and pain we’ve experienced is a part of healing. We work through The Five Stages of Grief are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance rather and dismiss or avoid our grief.
Knowing that childhood trauma impacted our lives, we utilize the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) test and other tools as ways to understand the trauma we’ve experienced and its impacts on our lives. ACEs is a short questionnaire and one tool that helps us better understand the level of childhood trauma we have experienced.
Anonymity means that whatever we share with another member is held in respect and confidence. It helps us place principles before personalities. It offers us freedom of expression and protection against gossip.
12-step groups, Celebrate Recovery groups, and other addiction recovery programs are important to help us stop our damaging behavior and find strengthening communities with the same healing focus. Many of us find ourselves shackled to self-soothing ways of coping as a way to manage our past or present trauma, abuse, and other invisible wounds have become destructive to ourselves and others and limits our ability to heal.
Many of us struggle to attach to others in healthy ways due to hurtful or neglectful early childhood experiences. There are four distinct styles of attachment that impact our ability to have close, healthy relationships: Secure, Avoidant, Anxious, Fearful. Understanding what your attachment style is, and how it can be strengthened is a critical part of the healing process.
Fight, Flight, Freeze, or Appease Response
We are programmed to respond automatically in a variety of ways to threat, including through responses of Fight, Flight, Freeze or Appease. These automatic responses can cause traumatized individuals’ considerable distress and self-criticism. Understanding these as a normal response is important in our healing journey.
For many of us, being still and sitting quietly are difficult and painful at first. The practice of letting go of the constant chatter in our heads can lead to a gradually evolving peace of mind. This serenity is a soothing, healing contrast to the excitement, rush, and pleasurable intensity we have sought through our over-work, compulsive activity, and constant worry. Meditation lets us experience ourselves insulated from fears, insecurities, and resentments that drive avoidance to engage the healing process. Renewed, we can move back into our daily lives in a balanced way.
We realize that being present, living in the here and now, can be challenging for anyone, but is particularly challenging for those of us that have experienced invisible wounding in our lives. We strive and use many different processes and practices to help us stay the here and now. We try to live each moment with serenity, joy, and gratitude.