I’m a bored eater. When there is nothing to do or I don’t feel like doing anything, eating always comes up as an option. One of my favorite snacks is chips and queso and I could sit and consume a ton of it. The danger of bored eating is eating too much and gaining weight. Right now during the shut down many people are staying home and binge watching which leads to binge eating! I wonder how many people are going to the store for "snacking essentials.” This kind of eating has nothing to do with real hunger because it is a want.
As men, we can have incredible appetites for many things, not just food. We can live with a hunger for success, money, sex, competition, etc…. These are natural passions for us as men, but if they get out of hand, they can hurt us. Men must understand what is a perceived hunger and what is a natural hunger. Learning the difference between the two, can set up a man to be successful.
Perceived hungers live within us when we use outside things to bring a sense of completeness to our lives. Our motivation moves beyond a natural motivation and pushes us into the abnormal because we are trying to meet a perceived need instead of a natural need. A perceived hunger is one that lives in our minds and can never be satisfied. No matter how hard we try, the perceived needs will own us unless we fix them.
When a man has the perceived need of low self-worth, he will always drive himself to compete and try to win because he is seeking validation. Men who seek multiple sexual relationships are not seeking relational intimacy, they are seeking a way to “prove” that they are legitimate men. These needs are perceived in their minds and won’t stop until the need is healed. Perceived hungers can only be fixed when each man changes his mental playback and learns to think differently.
There are natural hungers that live in men and are legitimate. We have a natural desire for things like success, food, sex, competition, etc.... These should not be suppressed, but should be celebrated. Every man has a sense of adventure but too many men feel like society has told them to sit down, be quiet and stop these natural desires. This is wrong and leads many men to seek a sense of adventure in a virtual world or to just shut down and live emotionless lives.
Instead of demonizing natural hungers, we should use them for our own benefit and the benefit of society. For example, competition helps teach young men what to do in the face of adversity and how to bounce back. When we take winning and losing away from young men, we are robbing them of valuable lessons about what it means to be a man. This suppresses their own hungers and takes away part of their natural development as men. This explains why so many men are struggling as husbands and dads because so much of their development was lost. No one ever showed them a positive way to live as men.
If you are struggling with perceived hungers that are hurting you and those you love, take some time to think through the reasons why.
Maybe you need to find someone to talk with and get some help with it.
This doesn’t mean you have failed or are weak. It actually means you are recognizing how to be a real man.
What perceived hungers do you think are hurting men today?
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