What does it mean to be a nice guy and consistently find fucked up women as partners? Seems every day I hear it from a man of how he always seems to find the gal who has HUGE issues.
I was online with someone recently and he told me he can pick them out of a crowd on social media without even speaking to them. Mentioned he saw a cute chick on Instagram last week and noticed she followed some of his friends, so he followed her. He rated her a possible… in the way we men quickly assess a woman for her looks and as a possible bedmate.
Sure enough, the next day she’s posting about BPD and Depression awareness! He laughed and remarked how uncanny it was that he could spot the broken doll just from her looks.

Now… that may or may not have been coincidence, but I have heard enough variations of this one to know that there is merit in it.

But why is it that we do this?

I was lucky in that I had a big pool of women around me most of my life and could afford to run at the first sign of crazy. One I stayed with for almost 25 years when I could have made better choices.

Yet I suspect there was something else to my loyalty.

Not-so-Nice trait #13.”Nice guys frequently have problems in intimate relationships and issues with sexuality. Nice guys tend to form relationships only with partners whom they believe to be “projects” or “Diamonds in the rough.” So, in a way, they think they are better than their partners and are entitled to repair or polish them.”

Maybe, maybe not. I don’t buy it to this the degree that is implied here. I think that there is some of that and I also know better.

Let me add that I choose to see you men as much more noble fuckers than you probably will give yourselves credit for.

Let me explain: it’s the eyes, you see. (Forgive that, I couldn’t help myself) It’s the eyes… the windows to the soul…
It was Carl Jung who alerted me to the way this works. It’s like in Commando Krav Maga when we say wherever the nose goes, the head goes too. You might get this now: Our eyes see out. Not only that, wherever the eyes go the brain follows. Our eyes see out.
Jung said we wanted to work on ourselves and our problems and make them better but our gaze is external and so we project our pain and our dysfunction “out there.” We go find it in our environment. We often use the people in our lives as a tableau in which to paint our internal pain…
When you find a broken doll to fix you are trying to mend yourself.
Sit with that for a minute.
Most of us arrive here with a TON of guilt. Before you continue to slap yourself around indefinitely, let me step in and see if I can help.
Hear me know: We ALWAYS make the best decisions for ourselves at the time. Sure, we could do better in hindsight but that’s cheating because the truth is if we did not decide and choose better at the time, it probably had to be.
My favourite psychology professor taught me that. God, I loved her for a lot of things but for that especially.
What if we have TOO MUCH guilt? Our self-blaming then becomes all-consuming masochism.
Healthy Guilt arises from an act that can be remedied or amended. The guilt is limited to the screw-up and usually teaches something about living.
Unhealthy Guilt is hard to pin on a specific instance, and because of this there is usually no way to make things right. It is wider in scope than any specific act and since there is no redress, it’s ripe for repetition. Most of you will fall into this category if you are not careful.
Personality disordered folks have problems with daily affairs and relating to others and will insist the reasons for their problems are outside of themselves (external locus of control). In contrast, neurotic individuals assign too much blame to themselves for anything that goes wrong. Which are you?
People with personality disorders are rigid and inflexible in the way they live, do not learn from their experience, and fail to change and adapt. Repeated experiences clearly showing they contribute to their own struggles teach them nothing.
Instead, when a pattern repeats, they see it as proof that others are to blame for their hassles. This is the very meaning of maladaptive.
So be careful of where you land on the feeling guilty continuum. You don’t want to be at the extremes.
If you have had a failed relationship, it is likely that you had good intentions the whole time, especially at first.
Shit just went south. You will figure that out in time.

And if you are still in a relationship and know that it is heading south, what will knowing what I am telling you do? Will it make a difference? Could it if you wanted it to?

Could you use her “issues” as a signal to forgive yourself and thereby, forgive her? Could you find that kind of love & power?

Who would you have to be to make that happen in your life if that is what you want?
The whole time you were trying to please her you were trying to nourish your own soul.
Now you can direct your gaze where it needs to be. Not so that you can take a year off, relaxing from all the dead ends you went down while pursuing a vague and intangible wholeness missing from your daily existence.

“Putting myself first” doesn’t necessarily mean having more of the external trappings of life and more fun and friends and adventure, though it might be some of that.

No. it’s more. It also means you work on you.

You can finally fix yourself my brother.
It is what you were trying to do all along…
Power & Love,


People get frustrated and call each other names. Argue with a woman and unless you have very clear rules of engagement, expect the invectives to fly. Why? All you need to know is that abuse of empathy is a woman’s birthright.

She’s a survivor, smaller, thinks with both hemispheres and runs things through her limbic (emotional system) while taking in more information than she probably needs. That’s her advantage in some situations, and a disadvantage too. We all have the faults of our qualities.


Think I’m exaggerating? OK. How fast would you tell our SO she was fat during a disagreement? Never? How quickly would she use that against you if she saw an opening? There you go.


Even more reason to stay in shape. A man with a loyal woman at his side has the wind at his back and he better stay out in front of her to feel it. You better believe that’s true.

So if she calls you names, here’s what you do:

1. Immediately put up one hand 🙋‍♂️ like this ✋️ towards her, and say “I don’t let people talk to me that way, wrong guy,” and walk away.


2. If she requires more, it’s ✋️ “I get you’re frustrated with me but when you call me names you lose me.”


3. And ✋️ “I will hang in there with you to solve things, but I won’t stand around being disrespected.”


4. And ✋️ “wrong guy, I am not the type you can talk to that way, I am the type who will problem solve like an adult.”


5. And ✋️ “stop now, let’s take a break and come back to this when you can do it without the name-calling.” Etc. etc…

You would rightfully think right now “how the fuck am I going to pull this off?” and so, you are going to do what you have done to learn anything: practice.


When no one is looking, stand in front of a mirror and practice some of these lines over and over until you stay them with confidence and determination.


I used to practice in the rear view mirror while driving. It works.


Practice the progression all the way to the timeout suggestion. That way you are offering a temporary solution using Anticipation, which is setting a goal for all concerned.


That’s leading. She probably has a side of her that hates that she is the way she is but doubles down in justification and uses old options out of survival.


You must claim an identity here (wrong guy) or see yourself being a bitch for the world around you. You don’t want that.


Make clear who you are by using, “I’m not the type _______ and I am the type ______” statements to establish boundaries around your character.


To claim who you are say it out loud. I am not… I am…


Either build your identity or it will be built for you. Once you hit about age twenty-five or so, you are 100% responsible for your education. That means you must teach yourself, by using your awareness to choose your learning.


Have a good look at the House Rules for Effective Communication. Have your woman initial a copy with you and agree together to abide by them in the name of love.


Don’t pull that during an argument. Pick your moment and lead your relationship. You are going to show her another way. A way to bypass her family of origin programming perhaps, a way to skip simple protection and instead opt for connection.


Only men can insist that love prevail in a home.


Women might be able to do it but have a self-interested relational brain and a need to belong that gets in the way.


She has a deep secret fear: she serves her people while harbouring doubts about whether she is appreciated, afraid she is being taken advantage of, being gamed, and perhaps even laughed at behind her back.


Her tendency to overthink means she will therefore become a martyr and martyrdom to some women is slavery.


That’s her cross to bear under the caregiver spirit. That would piss anyone off.


So, it is her cross, don’t let it become yours.


Never forget that this secret fear is running in her background and accept that it is you who must establish love as the guiding principle in the home. You don’t fix her, you provide environment.


Reassure her, tell her she’s appreciated, and show her the light as per the above limits while establishing that love is the cultural norm in your castle.


She is safe there under your protection, surrounded by your power and love finding meaning and freedom.


You appreciate feedback and work towards a mutually cooperative relationship. And you don’t have to take abuse or name calling or anything else from anyone.



Wrong Guy.


Let that suffering die on a cross forevermore on this Good Friday…



Questions? Comments?

Power & Love,
True and Free!
©CHRIS WALLACE all rights reserved, 2022,



No photo description available.


A critical way to look at this idea of how to carry your relationship is that you live your life and you make room for her in it. Not you live your life with her and make room in it for your life.

If you do that… stop it, stop it right now. Shift this imbalance immediately.

A man’s relationships should always come from his power as a man and not be his power. If not her, someone else.

Now, that doesn’t mean you’re ready to drop your love at the “drop of a hat.” It’s just that she needs a powerful man in her life.

With few exceptions, that holds true.

It’s not that you’re being a dipshit egotist, and it’s more that this is what she needs. In fact, it’s what you need too.

She hitches her wagon to your horse cowboy, and it rarely works well the other way around.

Why? Because wherever you go in the world, women are the caregivers. That takes a lot out of a self-interested brain.

So nature set things up so men would hold reserves of power and love for them both, and shore her up when she’s depleted.

He makes sure she doesn’t lose herself to the caregiving spirit present in almost every woman.

When you are weak, you know it, and you feel it… inside… all the way to your testicles.

Hear me here: To her, if you are needy, she has failed in her pact with the universe. She must face the reality that she has chosen wrong. This is a tragedy for her.

For most men will one day be fathers and it was left to her to find herself a powerful man to sire her brood and face life with .

Sorry man, you don’t get to lean on her much: men are the expendable sex.

She is more precious because she carries the egg and the babe for a year. She may nurse for another half dozen years hence. She may do that several times. Ma did it 10 times in 12 years. Then cooked 33 meals a day until all the kids were out of the house decades later.

So, who should lead in that instance?

Who should “man the fucking wheel” brother?

If you are needy there’s a good chance you are looking for your mom in your relationships. The boy must leave the mother to become a man.

That’s the facts as I know them…

Chasing tail one after another? Addicted Lover shadow archetype… looking for mom.

Want to abstain from sex entirely for a religious reason? Saving yourself… for mom.

Are you still living at home at age thirty? You may be your mom’s subconscious husband.

One of the reasons men build cultures (women stress-test them) is because we are more social. We can easily have relationships with many different individuals from a variety of groups. We can travel among gatherings of people far more easily than can women. We are more superficial you could say.

Why? Because there is less risk to the tribe.

Why? Because we are less valuable.

Is that fair? It’s just the way it is, so… get over it.

Women seem to require one or two, to maybe as many as five,  much deeper female relationships—girlfriends, besties, sisters, gal pals, BFFs, etc.—whom she uses for emotional regulation. She guards these relationships jealously.

Why? Because they help her survive.

Without them, she is cast adrift emotionally. Men don’t tend to have this need… at all.

And, that men stay faithful to one woman is more in part a function of his adaptable nature (we can get used to anything). More importantly, his faithfulness is sustained by her loyalty and his sense of honour (defined as the esteem of those we care about).

That’s by far not a page from the narcissist’s playbook. No, not at all.

Superficial in his case is functional, not selfish. This is nature, not ideology or psychiatry.

It is also understanding that men need to have their own mission and purpose in life to even begin to be attractive. Remember her model for love is dad, probably the only one who could say no to mom.

I also don’t think you can extrapolate down from entire cultures to individual families so easily (but we do it anyways). A family unit is almost always a man and woman banding together against life’s hardships to benefit from each other’s strengths and shore up each other’s weaknesses.


It is in this vein, while conceding and celebrating women can pretty much do anything a man can do and will step into leadership when it is absent, we notice they tend to have preferences. Enduring preferences… based on being feminine.

In the most egalitarian societies where equality of opportunity is most advanced, women have been found to choose professions like nursing, administration, teaching and care giving of some kind, etc., at an even higher rate than less equal countries… despite it all the “progress.” The Scandinavian Paradox they call it. Doesn’t surprise me.

Is this all just “conditioning?” Perhaps some, but don’t think patriarchy is responsible.

For one thing, women do the choosing and we evolved through sexual selection. This means that men do the things they do because women have rewarded them over the eons with their fertility. So much for the patriarchy argument…

Run girls against boys in grade school and the girls will post best times. Run boys against boys and the boys will run best times. Run girls against girls and their times drop. No one wants to stand out.Tall poppy syndrome you’d call it down under.  The risk of social exclusion from the other girls is too great.

A woman can and will lead a family but will feel as if she is playing two roles.

Both masculine and feminine energies exist in us all. But if one is at her core feminine, playing wearing the pants is emotionally and physically taxing.

It is this imbalance which often creates sexless marriages as the man fails to meet his own masculine destiny.

She might stay with him, but she might also see him as a weak, even failed at maturation, or worse, she may see him as a boy.

She may grow to accept this, depending on her upbringing, how many mouths he’s feeding, or perhaps even religious affiliations.

More so if he’s been diagnosed with an illness or psychological disorder… and has a good pension.

Every woman has some of the warrior archetype capacity like the one found in any man.
Archetypes are a kind of mankind’s memory.A person who unconsciously sacrifices for family may live in the masochist shadow (self-pitying). Whereas as one who does so consciously because it needs to be done is living his/her warrior in full. See the difference?

And, in fact, when a woman buckles down and plays both roles in the family because of circumstances she lives as the Queen in her full by creating order.

That doesn’t mean she’s happy. No, not by a long shot.

Absent these mitigating circumstances she might resent her predicament. She may rub salt in the wounds of his weakness to create some kind of motivating pain (and his reaction tells her he is vested in the relationship). She may (likely) develop contempt for her partner.

Sex is out at that point.

Women neither fuck boys nor their girlfriends.

Good women all try to get their men to be better. Once a man understands this, he can see her in a different light. He might see her pushing is part of her nature.

That’s one reason I often say a man with a loyal woman by his side has the wind at his back… but he’d better stay out in front of her to feel it move him.

Not say, “How high” whenever she says “jump” but rather, he’s ahead of her, leading and taking care of business.

If a man fails to see this and act accordingly, he can expect a sexless marriage.

Men lead; women command is from a song by Leonard Cohen. The monk-poet who gave us many songs, from Suzanne to Hallelujah. He was an introspective Canadian treasure.

Something I learned in the corporate world training with Gallup is that even in this era of supposedly unprecedented equality, most women prefer a male boss.

Go figure. Lead gentleman. It’s what we do best.

What part of leading don’t you get? If you don’t lead, she’ll command. Is that what you want?

There are few women leaders who can galvanize people the way men can. Indira Gandhi maybe—until she was whacked. Golda Meir maybe though I was young when she was around. Thatcher was a tough broad and I remember her having balls.

But you can see the tendency in the way women prefer a male boss. Why is that?

I suggest it’s because it meets the natural order of things, in that a woman’s archetype for power is the father, less so the mother.

In families, men tend to lead, women tend to bark. Until dad puts his foot down and takes control if he’s not being listened to.

One of the jobs for men in a relationship is to rescue an overthinking woman from her insanity.

If you fail to man the fuck up and do this, you wind up in a Will Smith conundrum…

If a man is barking he is living the tyrant or expressing the frustrated feminine. He’s perverting his anima.

Only men can establish that love shall prevail in a home. It falls to you.

Every generality breaks down in the face of exceptions and no one “rule” applies to all.

Yet, these preferences among men and women seem to hold up well.

An exception doesn’t disprove the rule.

Lead muthas… or be commanded.

Questions? Comments?

Power & Love.
True and Free!

©CHRIS WALLACE, 2020, all rights reserved

FEELINGS FOR MEN: attachment version

“We are never so vulnerable as when we love” said Sigmund Freud

If we don’t accept the deep emotion involved in loving, then love will always be something to fear, not to embrace.
I wonder if therefore love is so elusive for many of us.

I suspect men tend to shy away from love as too messy and use stand-in feelings instead.

In the last decades, there is a great push for men to express their emotions more.

Perhaps it’s the way men kill themselves at alarming rates.
And this has finally called attention to the expendable male’s over-reliance on repression…

… disguised as stoicism to carry him through his challenges.

To be sure there is plenty of utility in being able to defer feelings to get through a mess.
Yet, there are differences between suppression and repression.
We suppress emotion when we act in service of circumstances whose immediate demands make emotions a liability…

… while still acknowledging that those feelings are there, put on a shelf for the time being.

If there is an accident, danger at the scene tells the body to run to safety.

The 86 billion neurons of our integrated central nervous system scream for self-preservation

… and yet, a man can stuff it.

Often men are called upon to act in the best interests of all concerned,
… temporarily leaving their personal survival needs behind until later when the emergency passes.
He can feel then when there is time for it, he tells himself.

And feel it he should for suppression is a higher order ego defence.

Repression, on the other hand, is lower down the defense ladder, and is when he denies even feeling as he does.
“What me scared? Nah, I didn’t even think of it, didn’t cross my mind,” he says later.
The toll over time is anxiety, depression, addictions, obsessive-compulsiveness.

Somehow, we men have come to believe emotion is an inconvenience which needs to be tolerated.
Sometimes we think it is, “acting like a woman.”
There is some truth to that last one maybe.

It’s just that without emotion nothing has any meaning.

Life is already difficult enough; knowing that at some point we die… is no gift most days.
That within a four and a half billion-year-old planetary system to realize that we exist in but a single century can be discouraging.
A speck of time is all we have.

It is emotion which gives meaning to everything we do: our deeds, our relationships, the obstacles we overcome.
Emotion permits a man to use his power and love in service of himself and others to find meaning and freedom.
Freedom from what? From the very tyranny of our existence.

We have a self-interested brain and a need to belong, forces pulling us apart and towards each other at the same time.
What could go wrong?

The trick to realize is that we are designed for love.
Damn, there’s that word again.

It might be better said as we are not made to go it alone, but to deal with emotion in tandem with another person.

Our relationships—to wit for 99% of the world’s population—require finding one special person and to keep them nearby, and with whom we rebalance our negative emotions.

It’s called “contact comfort.” They are our safe refuge. The need never goes away.

When there is stress in a relationship, it is this mechanism that is activated, the amygdala views this as a loss and sounds alarms in the psyche.

When the one person you rely upon for adult emotional succorance is suddenly unavailable, it is like facing the precipice.

You are alone, and without an emotional lifeline to make your way back to restoration.

We weren’t made for alone.

And we ought to talk about these things with our partner.
The pact can’t be left to chance, to “I thought it was understood,” …
… or hidden under the oft-obscure poetry of marital vows said in front of those not privy or party to being the one singular person central to your sense of safety.
Typically, when we disagree, when we take each for granted, …
… when we act out our childhood deviances upon each other, we become indignant, we rail at injustice, we parse right and wrong moral mechanics and blame or shame.We will try to influence each other, using buried terms of anger and frustration
… so that our partner’s self-interested brain circles the wagons,
… unsure from which direction will come the next attack.

Men could use getting better at this.

Recognizing it, in ourselves and others.
Could we?
For all our masculine talent at suppressing emotion in service of a cause,
… it’s the French maxim that comes to mind, “Ont as tous les défauts de nos qualités.”
Allow me to translate for you: We all have the faults of our qualities.

This is what bites us in the ass.

For example, women and men can do most things the other does but have preferences.
She is usually has more verbal ability than him.

Put a gal and guy in a room at age twenty-five and let them argue and he usually comes out confused, having never realized he was so faulted.
Do it at forty-five, same thing, sixty-five…

Abuse of empathy is a women’s birthright, you have heard me say.

Men tend to focus on one thing to the detriment of all other distractions.

Not so women who typically take in a wider scope of information at once.

She thinks more readily with both hemispheres and if there is a true multitasker in the room, it is inclined to be her.

If she has a fault, it’s that she tends to overthink.

If men have a fault it is that we tend to under-emote.

That’s our cross to bear, though it serves in times of war
… and to operate in big groups to build cultures…
… for her and our children.

It often disconnects us from our one person of safe refuge. It also can be what kills us.

We could get better at this one aspect of talking about feelings,

… when speaking with our significant other to maintain that bond, becoming “effectively dependent’ on each other.

That’s allowed. It’s how nature made us…

When it comes to our special person, in times of stress we could surpass the nuts and bolts

… and get to the real nuts and bolts: to reassure and be reassured.
Just speak to that.
Say, “I could use your reassurance,” and see what happens.Get in the habit of asking for and receiving reassurance.”Ouch! That hurt. Did you really mean that?” said calmly, expectantly, hopefully.If you really need to… you might stand in front of her, firm of voice and countenance,
… powerful of posture and with certainty in your words, looking her directly, unwaveringly,

… into the eyes and say, “Well, I don’t want to lose you,” and wait and see what she says.

Because no matter what the niceties or challenges of living with someone are…

…or having someone very close to you in your life,
… that’s the part that really counts.
“Where are we at?” You need to know for both your sakes.… you ask to reset the balance, to restore, to set priorities.The rest usually takes care of itself.
Restored, maybe you can get back to lust and let love take care of itself…

With your one special person… That’s a fun way to live.

I think men could get better at this.

It means acknowledging to yourself, by implication or otherwise,

… that with disconnection what you feel is fear, and that fear is normal.

If we accepted this about ourselves, we’d bridge a big gap.
Stated or unstated, your partner feels the same way.

It falls to men to insist love prevails in a home.

Maybe she can do that, but I have never seen it…

It’s up to you…

Men lead, women command.

Questions? Comments?

Power & Love,
True and Free!


©CHRIS WALLACE 2022 all rights reserved

House Rules

HOUSE RULES: 12 ideas to communicate effectively

  1. No personal attacks. No good discussion happens if we call each other mean names. Instead, we’ll use a compliment when we feel like attacking. Think of how you can do that and what a difference it will make. If you can, imagine how you will do this and practice it now so you’re ready.
  1. No using absolutes. Ex: all, everybody, each time, always, no one, nobody, never, none, every, everyone, etc. As in, “you always do that, you take forever, you never apologize, etc.” We use absolutes to exaggerate and paint us as victims. It forces a search for exceptions, expanding scope & killing discussion.
  1. One person talks about one issue, while the other person listens. We resist the urge to rebuttal. Instead, we’ll take turns, play fair, and set an example. You won’t drone on and hog the floor and I won’t cut you off. The idea is to air our positions safely and equally.
  1. No raising voices. If things get heated, we’ll say, “Let me take a break and come back to this, OK?” and move away. That’s a boundary. We’ll do our best later. Raising voices engages people’s fight or flight system and kills discussion. We realize a raised voice is mostly about us, not about the other person.
  1. No using “I feel that…” By using “feel that”, I’m describing a thought, not a feeling, implying feelings must be accepted at face value. Instead, we’ll say, “I feel ______” and insert a feeling word. We don’t expect feelings to be validated; we’ll just state them and let them go. We take responsibility for our feelings.
  1. No being defensive. Defensiveness is rooted in childhood shame, the little boy or girl inside fighting to survive. It also puts a halt to learning and one of the 4 traits that kills a relationship (with stonewalling, criticism and contempt the others). By being thankful for criticism, we keep a growth mindset.
  1. No jumping on you. I will restate what you said so I understand, and mostly use your words so I don’t manipulate by reframing incorrectly. Reflecting feeling is a variation. I will let you know “I get it” and give you a chance to correct my impression because I know we tend to “think out loud” using trial and error.
  1. No forgetting the end-goal. Let’s find a way forward that is mutually workable by being curious and doing our best to learn from each other. We focus first on connection, and less on outcome, while not giving up personal boundaries in the process. Our goal: conversation & agreement.
  1. No rushing things. The world does not operate on my schedule. We may have to devote more energy to working things out. We’ll be patient, improving as we go, knowing sleep is nature’s idea incubator.
  1. Use more “I” and less “You” statements. I can’t control others; I control me. Too much you and it becomes blaming. It’s better to tell you what I see, think, feel, and want… so you can do the same with me.
  1. Lower our expectations. All our disappointments are driven by expectations. When I temper self-interest, I see other viewpoints more easily. This leaves more room for compassion and compromise.
  1. We are each responsible for our happiness and for making this work. All I really own in life are my thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, all under my control. No one can make me feel anything as I`m no one`s puppet. When I make a mistake, I apologize because you matter to me.


©CKWallace, 2017, all rights reserved

I do free calls to help men and sometimes agree to work with them.
Here’s my scheduler


There was a time I was puzzled by the bible and the idea of heaven and hell. I found it difficult to reconcile the external teachings of the church… and having a faith with the internal journey of discovering how to live a moral life and contribute as a human being in a way that was good for me, others, and humankind. I’ll give you the broad strokes and start at the beginning of my experience with faith, almost sixty years ago. Maybe something you read here will help your own spiritual quest.

I once went to Catholic mass with my father as a very young boy to sing with him in the choir. I’m not sure how it was that I ended up at the St Thomas D’Aquin church on Kilborn Avenue in Ottawa singing in Latin or French with my dad, but I was up there once or twice overlooking the congregation from the choir balcony at the back of the church.

It is a rare and good early memory of my pops. He was still kind and gentle back then, and when I’d lose my place in the hymnal, I’d look up at him and he’d lean over while singing and patiently place an index finger on the right spot of the page for me. I was so impressed he could keep up, even more so at his tolerance.

This is a picture I inherited from my father, it may have been given to me while he was still alive, or maybe not. In any case, I have it and I’m glad I do. It was around somewhere on a wall of his home as far back as I can remember. I treasure it because it came from his life with my religiously devoted mother, and so, when I see it, well, I think a little bit of them both. We exist in each other.

This picture is often called the Sallman Head or The Head of Christ. It was done first as a charcoal sketch in the 1920s entitled “Son of Man” and later painted in oil in 1940 as you see it. It has since been reproduced an astounding half-billion times worldwide… and is also associated with miracles.

According to David Morgan in The Art of Warner Sallman (1966), a white businessman was released by vicious head-hunters in a remote jungle when they came upon a picture of the Sallman Head in the man’s wallet. Apologizing, they vanished “into the jungle without inflicting further harm.”

Another is a story of a thief who changes his mind when spying the Head of Christ on a living room wall. There is even a tale about a purported conversion of a Jewish woman shown Sallman’s picture on her deathbed by a chaplain. Another miracle tells of a child’s remission from Leukemia after seeing the picture.

Sallman himself said the idea for the sketch and eventual painting came from a “miraculous vision” one night at 2 am while despairing over what he might present to a class the following day.

This tiny version I have is yellowed with age and framed in such a way that it has brown paper covering the backside of it the way old pictures from a different era once did. While my father may have attended mass with me the odd time when I was a kid, I don’t remember him going after our choir visit, even though my brothers and I all became altar boys at that very church where I first sang with dad.

I had occasion to ask him about church attendance later when he was in his 80s. After all ma, his wife of more than six decades, had faithfully attended Holy Cross Catholic church at Riverside and Walkley since the church was built. She counted coins for them and had close friends there.

Dad said he had made Alcoholic’s Anonymous his church but that if he had to do it all over again he would have attended with his wife. He said it was because he realized too late that he was likely missing out on community. He said it not wistfully but matter-of-factly, wide-eyed and leaning in a bit while punctuating his words with finality. He did that when he admitted things during our private conversations, as if an interminable impatience with himself lingered beneath the surface of his speech.

My journey around faith took a different route. After my altar boy years (unmolested), I was out of the house early once my father burned out and broke down and unsurprisingly, I turned away from the church to eventually live a thug’s life in the streets. Beaten children often become deviant, no surprises there. In my mid-thirties I was welcomed into the Anglican faith, its inclusion of female priests more suited to my emergent feminism. I realized later I valued justice after all.

The Anglicans caught me off-guard during the conversion ceremony when, during the rites, the bishop appeared to lightly slap the Catholic out of me in while I knelt in front of the congregation. I remember looking him in the eye quickly and thinking, OK I’ll let that slide this once, as if my internal incongruities were being tested.

Around that period of accelerated renewal in my life, I reasoned that since I’d confirmed I could make hell on earth, I suspected the idea of heaven was to try to make heaven right here in this world around us each day.

I shared this “heaven on earth” minor epiphany with my Anglican sponsor, the Reverend Doctor Pellegrin, who was kind enough to confirm my suspicions with muted encouragement. It’s funny how the world conspires to put just the right person in a man’s life if he allows it. To become a psychologist, Bruce Pellegrin had done his doctoral dissertation on how the priesthood was for many a search for a father. He helped me bridge the gap between faith and logic.

Later, I moved away, leaving organized religion (and feminism) behind while taking up a more deterministic view of humankind under the influence of my behavioural science training and eventually the likes of Spinoza’s pantheism. This is how I refer to myself now and I don’t see nor feel conflicted about it. God as a metaphor for the universe seems grand enough. Nevertheless, the idea of God stands to me as a reasonable quest in people’s lives so atheism would never do in my case.

I credit my father for blessing me with one of the best practicalities about religiosity and the idea of God The occasion was when my young son (ten or so at the time) was on a cub scout weekend. He was invited to take a pledge, “I promise to do my best, to love and serve God, to do my duty to the Queen, to keep the law of the Wolf Pack, and to do a good turn for somebody every day.”

The boy refused, stating he didn’t believe in God.

What should have been a slam-dunk formality became a back-room haranguing from the cub leaders who told him point-blank, no pledge, no cub scouts. When he got home, I heard all about it. I had the local cub leader over to point out psychological development of abstract concepts were a little early for most ten-year-old kids. I received an apology; he’d waive the pledge.

My son rejected this entreaty. I had attended cubs, then scouts, and later was privileged to be allowed in as a pioneer in the movement and I wanted this for my son. I consulted my father. He suggested we use G.O.D. as in Good Orderly Direction. BINGO, I thought to myself, what a perfect compromise.

The boy was having none of it. He saw this as a ruse to get him to believe in God and wasn’t about to let the adults who ganged up on him during the cubbing weekend off the hook. He quit, refusing every attempt at compromise, never attending cubs again. I had to respect the kid’s guts while saddened for him too..

Perhaps I had inadvertently… but I don’t remember ever trying to convince him there was no God, so his mother and I were surprised at the whole of it. I’m guessing it was probably the same year he found out there was no Santa Claus. Poor kid, I imagine he had his model of the world shifted and there was no going back.

I can’t say that I have struggled with faith, that would be too strong. I have considered it, though I know having a faith seemingly and miraculously comforts many others, probably as many as half of us. I conclude humans are undoubtedly hardwired for faith.

I think there is something inoculative about believing and people often drift in and out of faith with the ebb and flow of life. I myself have hung onto the simplicity of G.O.D. since learning of it and have shared dad’s tip with countless others. It seems enough as is… but there is more.

My father read a book or more per week most of his life and when he was slowly dying of dementia and moved to a care-home, I inherited his books. There I found Freud, Jung, the Greeks, many philosophers, all books he’d read decades ago, many yellowed but with brittle pages intact. I imagined him again and saw how these must have contributed to his religious reluctance just a bit. And Nietzsche, that “God is dead and we have killed him” fucking Nietzsche.

One of the great finds among dad’s remnant collection was a copy of The Hero with a Thousand Faces, by Joseph Campbell, someone I’ve followed for years. It’s a 1970 thirteenth printing by Meridian Books of the original 1949 version and the copy my father had cost $2.75 Canadian.

In The Power of Myth, a book written based on interviews with Bill Moyers almost forty years after his Hero book, Campbell answers Moyer’s question about metaphor:

MOYERS: What is the metaphor?

CAMPBELL: A metaphor is an image that suggests something else. For instance, if I say to a person, “You are a nut,” I’m not suggesting that I think the person is literally a nut. “Nut” is a metaphor. The reference of the metaphor in religious traditions is to something transcendent that is not literally any thing. If you think that the metaphor is itself the reference, it would be like going to a restaurant, asking for the menu, seeing beefsteak written there, and starting to eat the menu.

For example, Jesus ascended to heaven. The denotation would seem to be that somebody ascended to the sky. That’s literally what is being said. But if that were really the meaning of the message, then we have to throw it away, because there would have been no such place for Jesus literally to go. We know that Jesus could not have ascended to heaven because there is no physical heaven anywhere in the universe. Even ascending at the speed of light, Jesus would still be in the galaxy. Astronomy and physics have simply eliminated that as a literal, physical possibility.

But if you read “Jesus ascended to heaven” in terms of its metaphoric connotation, you see that he has gone inward—not into outer space but into inward space, to the place from which all being comes, into the consciousness that is the source of all things, the kingdom of heaven within. The images are outward, but their reflection is inward.

The point is that we should ascend with him by going inward. It is a metaphor of returning to the source, alpha and omega, of leaving the fixation on the body behind and going to the body’s dynamic source.
(The Power of Myth (pp. 67-68). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

Mythology helped me understand God. Once I did, I never had a problem with it again.

The real fun is in mystery, in miracles even. Everyone loves redemption, sublimation, and we can’t help but root for an underdog.

When my mother was a few days away from death, I visited her. We spoke of faith, especially mystery and miracles. At one point she looked up at me in pain and with unwavering conviction obvious in her eyes, voice, and expression, patted my hand and said, “You’ve got to have a bit of faith, Christopher.” It was her final advice.

Though I would have said anything if it meant she would not die, I remember promising that I would indeed, leave room in my life for mystery, for miracles, for a bit of faith. My perfectly imperfect mother died that Friday after a two-day vigil at home, surrounded by her nine adult children and husband of sixty-two years, all wishing her well while sending her off.

The family dog keened mournfully at the exact moment of her passing.

Desire is always accompanied by fear, even if we don’t recognize it. In a similar way the wonder and excitement of awe is coupled with the threat of chaos. It is this which makes us a little afraid and drives the creativity needed to consider things outside our normal perceptions.

You can imagine that “someone like me” has lived at times what may have seemed like an exalted life if only for the many times I have eluded the Grim Reaper’s scrolls. I have also visited dungeons of despairing, mostly of my own creation, while carrying hopelessness and shame for a half century.

I suspect most of us have at least a version of some of this (if not a lot).

When I first read the following quote, I thought it could have been written for me. Of course, Carl Jung is writing it for himself on behalf of us all. It’s my favourite of anything I’ve read by him and another reason why the Sallman Head occupies a place on the wall of my house. In his Collected Works 11, p, 550, Jung wrote:

“That I feed the beggar, that I forgive an insult, that I love my enemy in the name of Christ—all these are undoubtedly great virtues. What I do unto the least of my brethren, that I do unto Christ. But what if I should discover that the least amongst them all, the poorest of all beggars, the most impudent of all offenders, yea the very fiend himself—that these are within me, and that I myself stand in need of the alms of my own kindness, that I myself am the enemy who must be loved—what then?”

I have come to believe a faith in God is about fostering a faith in yourself. Its representation can be both internal and/or external, of seeing the interconnectivity of all things, the known and the unknown, the sacred and the profane, the miracles and the mysteries, the compassion and the belonging. Mike Spencer Brown (The World’s Most Traveled Man) reminds us of some of this when he writes, “At the end of the day, we are all of us staring at the same heavens.”

It doesn’t make sense to decry another man’s search for meaning as he arrives at his understanding of God.

It could be faith is about accepting one’s divinity and the divinity of others with each of us finding a way home to the God within.

Power & Love,
True and Free,

©CHRIS WALLACE, 2022, all rights reserved,

CONQUERING COPULINS: 10 lustful tips for men

What happens when a couple who love each other get into the routine of a comfortable life and stop being physical? What are the differences between us in that case?

In the spirit of the day, my two cents in 10 points.

1. She is a sexual human being. Defining her by roles outside of being a sexual human being means you are rewarding these other personas and not the one you fell for in the first place. This is a mistake. Why? Because it means the sexual experience is displaced.
Be careful about this because it happens all the time. If you think back, you can probably sense the day it changed. Where you went from lovers… to coparents or friends or coworkers or… roommates.
It happens when you both get down to the business of family life and before you know it, you hardly recognize each other. With awareness, you can avoid this. She will lose herself in service to her family and community and so, do not let her forget who she really is. Be the guardian of her spirit, wild and free.
2. With charm and wit and service, I hunt my woman from dawn to dusk. And sometimes in the middle of the night. She always knows I seek to possess her. She is MY woman.
Of all the women I could be banging in the world, she is the one I gave into (because women do the choosing and we chase them until they catch us). It’s not that the choice has been made and so is never revisited. It’s that the choice NEEDS to be made again and again and again… forevermore.
Because she took a HUGE risk in choosing me. Most women do this and then spend the next twenty years wondering if they chose correctly. Why? Because her depth and breadth are big advantages and like all of us, sometimes our qualities are faults. She tends to overthink.
“What if I chose wrong?” her inner demons demand. In which case she will need a powerful man whose presence can reassure her. It might piss her off momentarily when he rescues her from the brink of her insanity with powerful confidence, but she will remember… and be reassured.
What ritual do you have in place to reconfirm your commitment to each other regularly? Might be worth thinking about. It could be just telling her after she’s done something you appreciate, you might say, “yeah, I think I’ll keep you,” with a smile. Then shut up and date that woman.
I don’t care who you are in this world, everyone wants to feel like someone’s chosen.
Our whole emotional system is based on belonging. How about making that choice, her choice and your acquiescence, front and center each day so that it’s never relegated to ‘taken for granted’ status. Every day. You choose each other again and again. You re-confirm.
3. Flirt with her regularly. Let her know you find her attractive and appreciate her loyalty. Note I frame things as such so she is by my side, as a “loyal co-traveler,” and not as a wife, mother, worker, or some other role. No.
A man with a loyal woman at his side has the wind at his back. But he must stay a little out in front of her to feel it. Not only must you resist putting her on a pedestal, but you must deal with the ‘women are wonderful’ effect. It’s real, look it up.
When a man has a loyal woman, she becomes his standard. When you say the word “woman” he sees only her. He sees her naked in his mind, even when she’s wearing a skidoo suit. This never changes.
4. Lust must not become one-sided wanting. Wanting in life is generally suffering. As soon as you want, you must contend with not getting. I try to avoid wanting, or I’m careful about it. This is part of my power as a man. I want her but don’t need her. While she contributes immensely to my life, she does not hold the keys to my happiness. She needs a powerful man, not a dependent one.
5. It is understood between us, with no room for doubt, that we must get naked. That orgasms between a couple are what bond us together. That when two people are naked there are no secrets. It’s full trust, no sword, no shield, no armour, no hiding, no lies, just passion.
We are emotional beings first. We must both know and accept this truth. We realize this is how nature and God keeps us together.
6. Build a house of power and love. We have children so we understand the best thing we can do for them is stay together and model our love. We love chez nous because I set that tone. I must, she is too busy caregiving to take that lead. A house of power and love first requires a man’s cooperation.
7. Negotiate different sex drives. And what is that anyway? Did I expect she’d ebb, and flow sexually like me? Did I expect she’d entertain my fantasies and not realize she has her own?
Men have less orgasms as they age, women have more. Well beyond their reproductive years, she can orgasm at any time pretty much 24/7 and multiple times barring illness. Keep that in mind.
Most men are lousy at interpersonal negotiating. You bargain based on positions and so tend to aim high, hoping you can split the difference and land in the middle. This is weak human agreement.
It is risking dealing from the active and passive shadows of the King archetype. The passive side is the Weakling Abdicator, in which you gave in, or failed to bargain at all. Or from the active shadow Tyrant, in which case it’s a “My way or the highway” dictate.
Instead, you want to bargain from interests. What are her interests? Keeping her marriage, relationship, and family intact? Hanging on to her man? And secret interests? Make it so safe she can tell you.
8. You are each other’s shadow outlet. These are those parts of you unacceptable to the ego, which itself is your integrated central nervous system. The ego denies, distorts, and represses inner and/or outer reality to avoid anxiety and depression. When we deny the shadow, we also deny our talent.
Is it with you she must feel safe enough to visit her darkness… and this may be what allows her to remain conscientious and good the rest of the time.
Are you her secret confessional? The one with whom she visits aspects of herself she would never show to others? Do you share your nightly dreams?
If not you, then who has she? Be that man. Think she doesn’t have that? If so, that’d be your problem, seeing her as an object of maternal love. You can do that, but it will signal you as a boy, not as a man.
Hence, in which case don’t expect to get naked with her very often because subconsciously (or not) to her your immaturity means she would be having sex with a child. Most women won’t do that.
9. Women are egalitarian to a fault. Mothers make sure everyone eats. She will also always want to look good in front of others. She lives this at an existential level¬—for her and her children may depend on her good standing in the tribe to survive one day. As nature’s delegated caregivers, women make sure everyone eats.
Do you encourage this need of hers… or upset her apple cart?
Missus once said to me, “I wants others to look at the two of us and wish they were me; NOT look at us and feel sorry for me that I am with you.”
She’s an old soul she is and this was the best advice I’ve ever received from a woman.
Can you have it all with her? Can you earn her respect and, if necessary, when needed take her frustration by gently imposing limits? Do your honourable acts earn her loyalty? Her heart and mind?
To a man respect is love and love is respect, earned by deed or taken with limits. He acts honourably to win hearts and minds realizing we are loyal only to those whom we respect.
10. I want to help her get what she wants out of life, she wants to help me get what I want out of life. That is our overt (not covert) contract. Because she is egalitarian by nature, this is easy-peasy.
Encourage vulnerable conversations and you will find many of your interests overlap. Usually most of them do, and just a few of them are individual to each other, and are nevertheless supported by both.
There you go, a little Valentine’s Week inspiration. 😉
Put lust first, let love take care of itself.
Questions? Comments?
Power & Love
This is the day…
©2022 CKWallace, all rights reserved


Let me start this by laying down some basics about your woman that your father didn’t or couldn’t tell you. She is irresistibly attracted to power in a man. She chose you because she saw your power potential. She brings life into the world and nature has endowed her with a drive to find a good partner. She bets her most precious assets, her youthful beauty and fertility, on finding the best partner she can.

Most men in relationships who are chosen by a gal become comfortable, because her attention reminds him of the positive regard he felt under the warm gaze of the maternal attention of his youth. This might be you directly or not, but for most men my guess is you are needy.

You don’t think you are, but trust me, she can sense it a mile away…

How does this happen? You come by it honestly.

Listen up:

Typically, men learn this at their mother’s knee buying into mom’s promise of love to mitigate a threat of abandonment or withdrawal. Mom had two jobs: keep you alive and raise you so you won’t embarrass her. She used fear and the promise of love to achieve her aims. Carrot and stick.

Is it any wonder that males later seek their mother’s mythical unconditional love in their adult partners? It’s been wired into your very survival. Brought up with this need embodied in your neurons, you seek the carrot for winning mommy’s approval. Think men don’t want to please their wives? Ha! Happy wife, happy life…

Only, your gal chose you for your power (or at least, power potential as mentioned) and doesn’t at all get why you would need unconditional love from her. She’s puzzled in fact and can only view this need as a weakness which threatens her deal with nature itself. It’s such a turn off, it dries her pussy as surely as pouring sand in it.

Speaking of which: when she senses your weakness, she will sometimes tell you, rarely directly. When does let you know, I call that kind of woman a unicorn.

Rare indeed, I’ve been around long enough to know it does happen.

More likely, she rubs salt in the wounds of your weakness (makes up for the sand you metaphorically dumped in her pussy), or she holds you in silent contempt (again, for pouring sand in her pussy). If you had a pussy and someone dumped sand in it, what would you do? (warning: I’m not done with the sand in pussy theme).

Either way, she must stop fucking you… right away or eventually. Why? Because what she sees is a boy in a man’s body. It’s confusing to her. Psychically painful for her at a deep, instinctual, existential level.

How many grown women sleep with boys? I know, I know, the odd one (usually married to a weak man) loses it and tosses in with the neighbourhood kids or a student while one’s going through puberty. These desperate women exist as clear outliers. But most women won’t fuck a child.

It’s taboo. Like incest. Like marrying your sister. The exception doesn’t disprove the rule.

Her pact with the universe is to find a powerful man and to do that she chooses using all her talent and guile, often enlisting the sisterhood in her cause. It’s one of her grandest quests outside motherhood itself. This fact of women choosing has spawned romance and poetry and more in the name of love throughout the ages.

If she finds a boy disguised as a man, she has failed. She can be fooled, blinded by her own instinctual drives.

The proof is in the pudding and if so, it’s the biggest disappointment of her life.

She has twenty good years of fertility, and that she wastes any of it on a boy instead of a man is a crime against herself committed in plain view of the heavens.

Scarcity is one the most important measures of value. Her short fertility window compared to your long one (at triple or more hers) makes her more valuable by far. She is the valued creator; you are the expendable male.

Not to say anything of the fact she carries life into the next generation, taking two years to physically recover after hosting the child in her body for almost a year. She goes through all that and for her troubles… she thinks she has chosen a man and, a boy shows up. Only, infuriatingly, he doesn’t know he is a boy. She does.

She knows just as soon as the novelty of having found “Mr. Right” fades and the truth sets in. She may cross her fingers and to her credit as a caregiver who uses her compassion and empathy to help grow others, she believes you will become more. When she confirms that you are unlikely to mature, she knows she can’t hide you away from others in her shame and despair…as we exist interdependently… in groups.

Sooner or later, she will be found out. Spiritually, socially, it’s a disaster. It puts her whole existence in doubt.

Sex is no longer on her mind, at least not with you. Her very identity as a woman is at stake. What is wrong with her that she should attract a boy, she asks? To her, she was expecting, she was due power and love… and she was robbed.

She might as well sit disgraced naked on a beach in the surf with her legs spread and let the ocean fill her vagina with salt and sand…

Meanwhile, all you can think of is sex, asking why she won’t initiate more or at least… cuddle.

“I’m grown up now mommy! Prove to me you love me!” your unconscious screams out like a high-chair tyrant.

“I’ve waited so long, so… very… long…” says your conforming ego.

Only… she’s not answering…


What will you do?

Who will you be?


Love & Power,
True and Free!

©2022 Chris Wallace



I often tell men they were born to belong and bred for break up.

Our natural state is to love others as decreed by nature herself.

It is to move towards people who resemble us and assume belonging, looking to the eyes for reassurance, ensuring the reciprocity underpinning our interdependence is intact.


I say the only person in life upon whom you may reliably count on for unconditional love with any confidence is you. If you were not loved adequately as a child and now find yourself as an adult still yearning for love, you’ve got a problem.

Don’t worry, it’s a common issue, you are not alone in feeling this way or being in this situation. The danger is that you allow yourself to be bred for breakup.

You could also say you were born to love and be loved.

Notice I didn’t say born to be loved and love. There’s a difference. If you say the words “born to be loved and love” that way out loud, you might notice how weird it sounds.

The order, to love and be loved, is a clear demarcation, a line between boyhood and masculine maturity

Yet, the way forward for your life is not backwards. It’s into the future as a powerful man. It’s to fulfill your masculine destiny, not to revel in what could have been.


In any case, men do not carry the same burden as women. You will often see me write men don’t need love at all. I think is true. The key word is need. We needed love as boys undoubtedly.

Every child needs to bask in the glory of his mother’s love for as long as possible. As men we cannot need love, or we revert to being boys. That’s how I see it.

Like it or not women are nature’s caregiving delegates. They have wombs and out of nature’s chaos they create life itself. Men, on the other hand, are nature’s expendable hunter warriors.

One man can impregnate a thousand women (think Genghis Khan and a few others); one woman maxes out at producing around a dozen kids… if it doesn’t kill her.

Despite having a self-interested brain like anyone else, women use their empathy, compassion, smarts and bodies to nurture and grow those around them. You think that doesn’t take a toll on them, especially as selfish human beings like the rest of us?

It does in ways you can’t comprehend.

Her secret fear is that she will be taken advantage of… or worse, taken for granted, especially by the adults around her… despite her sacrifice. Martyrdom to her equals slavery.

Nature realizes this is an impossible situation so it provides her with a powerful male hunter warrior who can stand by her as she creates life for the benefit of mankind. Part of his role is to defend, deliver, discern, discuss and/or delay, and decide while she is preoccupied.

Part of these Ds of masculine decorum of action include that he rescues her from her insanity to protect them both when she overthinks. Lest you think anything untoward of that last sentence let me clarify that this is just another form of reassurance.

He does this because caregiving takes her so far away from her own self-preservation that she may lose her way. Men take pride in producing more than they consume and so he delivers on behalf of them both, their children, and tribe.

He acts to preserve her essence lest she lose who she really is. He never forgets she can carry a sword and bow or run all night and howl at the moon alongside him.

Carl Jung wrote about the process of individuation. This is how we come to unify our past with our present, where the individual self develops from an undifferentiated unconscious.

For our purposes we could compare it to integration, the quest to reconcile various parts into a meaningful whole.

It’s where it all comes together and part of your journey is finding and accepting what Jung called your anima, the feminine side of your psyche. Jung did not see this aspect of your psyche as an aggregate of mother and father, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, or educators though they remain influences.

Jung considered the anima (and the masculine animus for women) part of the collective unconscious.

Typically, the male’s sensitivity is lower or repressed, he said, so he regarded the anima an important independent aspect of the self.

We often mention the masculine as characterized by order and feminine energy as chaos. Jung said the anima is a man’s source of creativity.

To that end a man realizes that he must reverse the flow. He doesn’t require love as he has the anima in him already. If only, he realizes and accepts it.

He no longer needs or expects love but rather, absent the caregiver’s burden, he realizes he possesses all the love he needs. While the women around him expend their love on people, he holds his in reserve for everyone’s benefit.

He dials out his love and power to those next to him, first making a difference there and allowing this energy to ripple out from his center and beyond as a path to meaning and freedom.

He earns respect by deeds or takes it with limits. He earns loyalty by winning hearts and minds, realizing that people are loyal only to those whom they respect.


Thereby, in doing this and fulfilling his mandate the expendable hunter warrior male makes himself indispensable.

He’s often truly loved for this… though he is unconcerned.

Questions? Comments?


Love & Power, True & Free,

©CHRIS WALLACE 2022 all rights reserved



When I was a little boy, I visited a farm with my family a few times. I’m pretty sure my father was the owner’s AA sponsor though I would not have known it at the time. Our brood, nine kids, were invited to come out and spend the day on occasion. I learned from a client that farm has been sold in the last few years. I have no idea where it would situate today though it was near where I presently live.

I just remember being enchanted by the place. There was an old farmhouse, a shed out the back door big enough to hold farm tractors and equipment, and beyond the farmyard a good-sized barn. Chickens and turkeys and geese wandered about purposefully. I think there was a pond. There were cattle in the field and the barn upstairs was full of hay. They had guinea pigs living under their front stoop.

It was my kind of place and so, I decided I wanted to become a farmer and declared my intentions forthwith.

That didn’t’ pass muster with the adults. They said I’d go broke, that farming was a cruel life, and that nobody does it seriously anymore. I gave up on the idea and eventually we didn’t visit the farm anymore. I would have to find other paths to nature, and I did. There was Sawmill Creek near home but also cubs, scouts, and pioneers, all which allowed me to spend time in the woods and the great outdoors.

My family had moved us from Halifax to Ottawa so dad could work at the National Defence headquarters and so I missed kindergarten and started school in grade one. I’d worked hard with my mother to learn how to read at age five so I could be like my elder siblings. What a cruel trick it was to arrive at school and find that it was for naught as no one spoke English. In fact, it was forbidden.

Nevertheless, I learned French, mostly by osmosis because it was all gibberish to me at first. I spent time in the back vestibules with my head up against the wall for making everyone laugh with my nonsensical imitations.

The first year and a half were not so much fun. I was an Anglo in a French Catholic school during the rise of Quebec nationalism. All my teachers were either nuns or French natives with deep ties to the adjoining French province of Quebec. I felt their discrimination deeply.

Yet one day in grade two, I arrived in the morning not understanding French as usual and as the day progressed, at some point I did. I suddenly realized, “Hey, I get this!” and wondered at how that happened. Thereafter I could understand French and have ever since.

I fought my way up the grade school social hierarchy to where in grade six, I was voted class president. I loved the role, getting to hold meetings to solve classroom problems, standing at the front of the class and thanking other grades when they came by to give a performance or presentation. I also had a kindly teacher by the name of Mrs. Stewart who spoke the odd English. I felt appreciated in that grade.

I decided to become a teacher.

In middle school the following year, a well-intentioned teacher put the kibosh on that quickly. I can still picture her face and demeanour at the front of the class telling me that the job sucked: long hours, marking on weekends, a room full of unruly kids, parents, and school officials to deal with. Besides, I think she said you made 18K per year and so it was a dead end financially.

Convincingly, she talked me right out of it.

After being tossed out of the house at fifteen as my father burned out and broke down, his violence having left an indelible scar on my psyche, I dropped out and drifted into drugs and crime. I’ve been shot, stabbed, hit with baseball bats, and did time for shooting others. I guess you could say I gave as good as I got. I was officially pardoned by the govt about twenty years ago

I’ve been a street sweeper, a carny barker and a door to door salesman; I’ve dug trenches with a jackhammer putting in natgas pipelines and operated a forklift in a warehouse and welded sewer pipe inner cages on a twelve hour overnight shift; I have cleaned govt offices after hours and later worked as a retail men’s clothing store salesman; I hustled one of Canada’s first loyalty cards, and for a time worked as a real estate agent while also operating as a flower wholesaler and owning a florist shop; and I was an addictions residential counsellor, saw clients privately, and also taught the reality of alcohol use to men who had lost their licence to drunk driving; I later built the largest newspaper paid circulation salesforce in Canada with 150 reps and 18 managers in seven cities; and a few years ago, I sold energy to farms and businesses and then worked at a tech startup.

Very few of us go through childhood with a clear idea of what we want to spend our lives doing, or at least, with a definite sense or clear interest that draws us in. Sometimes I will run into someone who tells me, “I’ve always been attracted to this” and so that’s what he did. It happens, but usually they have taken a round-about way there.

We become adults and look around at the many paths we can take to try and make sense of life and our place in it and are often or usually stopped in our tracks with indecision.

Yet, I can tell you for me, looking back, there were signs of my destiny all along. I was born smack dab in the middle of a family of eleven and I think this made me a good manager. I had to negotiate adults and younger siblings. I’ve also worked since I was about ten. That was when I left the house one day and went business to business on nearby Bank Street looking for work. That’s me on my father’s right with the first four of my siblings.

I mowed lawns and shoveled snow and washed cars and planted gardens for my neighbours. I was helped along first by older friend Rod with whom I collected discarded bottles to claim their two-cent bounty, and later by my super-hustler buddy partner Graydon who taught me how to cross Ts when it comes to snow shoveling and grass cutting. I think about that OCD bastard with great fondness every time I shovel snow or cut grass, ensuring I have my banks even and tidy and my lines straight.

I see him and another childhood friend now and again these past few years since I moved back near my hometown. He’s still washing and waxing cars, meticulously.

Now I live on 200 acres of bush and grow a big organic garden in summer to feed myself and my family. There is nothing like walking outside and harvesting vegetables and salad stuffs, tomatoes and kale and spinaches and the like, from your own soil and labour. Nothing. This gives me a powerful buzz.

I also forage plants from the surrounding fields and use folk medicines. My evening tea is often a combination of dried plants I have stored in containers. Each year I expand my knowledge a little bit and my harvests and concoctions.

I walk in the area at least once but often up to four times per day with my wife’s Cocker Spaniel, Remington Cabela. She’s named after a gun and sporting goods store. I accept that.

And I teach everyday worldwide to appreciative men whose lives are positively affected by the hard-earned lessons and depths of learning I have accumulated. I write and teach… and sort of farm.

Perhaps that is the lesson I’m trying to share with you. That you cannot escape your destiny and if you do it will be a painful journey. That you were chosen for life by heavens of infinite wisdom and arrived here fully loaded and ready to go with your potentials and possibilities intact.

And that nothing about how things “should” be or how you “ought” to act or what you “must” do with your life applies in the final analysis. The only thing that counts is that you are true to yourself, to your gifts.

Here’s some advice:

It is every man’s purpose to listen carefully to his yearnings; to identify what comes easily to him, watching with vigilance for things that enthrall and capture his attention; to discover what he is good at and which he finds satisfying; and to then sharpen these talents as he might take a stone to the edge of a blade, taking rough steel and making it supremely useful.

He expands these heavens bestowed talents into strengths and manifests these into the world to make a positive difference, allowing his unique energy, his power and love, to ripple out for the benefit of all.

It may be useful for you to return to your earliest memories and look for the seeds of your destiny there before the after-build installation of a conforming ego by your caregivers obscured your desires.

What did you yearn for?
What came easily?
What captured your attention?
What were you good at?
What satisfied you?

Who would you need to be to live up to your potential?

What would it mean to look to the sky each day with satisfaction knowing you are fulfilling your promise?

How could you be that person?

Accept this challenge, follow your sacred destiny…

Questions? Comments?

Love & Power,

True and Free

©CKWALLACE, 2022 all rights reserved

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