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Written by MenLiving Community Member, Dan Silberberg

Dear Son:

As I sit down to write this letter, I find myself reflecting on a journey that has shaped the person and leader I am today. It’s a journey I wish to share with you, not just as your father but as someone whose immersed himself in the turbulent waters of Self-discovery and emerged with insights that I hope will guide you on your own path.

My journey began in a place not unlike where you might find yourself now, filled with trauma, wounds, resistance, and limiting beliefs. Disappointments, expectations unfulfilled, and weighed down by the expectations of others. Becoming who you truly are requires and unyielding belief in yourself, your truth, and what will be a meaningful life regardless of the opinion of others.

These were not just hurdles in my path. They were walls I had unknowingly built around myself. Walls that confined me to a world much smaller than I was meant for. Behaviors and ways of protection that isolated me, kept me from connection with others, and a fortress that I thought would keep me safe. It was not the outside that intruded that was the enemy; rather, it was a fear of accepting who I was, all of me, even the parts I don’t like or admire

The traumas of my past, both big and small, were like shadows that followed me everywhere. They showed up in my decisions, my relationships, and my leadership. I had to confront these shadows, acknowledge them, and learn from them. It was a painful process. But in facing them, I found a strength I didn’t know I had. I want you to know it’s okay to face your past, to accept it, and to grow from it. Resistance, avoidance, defensiveness, obfuscation, and blame need not be a constant companion for self-validation.

Every step towards change was met with an internal pushback. It was if a part of me wanted to remain in the comfort of the known, no matter how limiting that was. Breaking through this resistance required a deep dive into self-awareness. I had to understand why I resisted and what I feared. I had to reclaim the parts of myself I buried to fit in, to be accepted by myself and others, and always the fear of abandonment and being alone and on my own front an center.

I urge you to embrace change, even when it feels uncomfortable, for it’s in the discomfort that we often find our greatest growth. My limiting beliefs were the most insidious of all. They were silent whispers telling me I was unworthy – _I didn’t deserve the accolades, and gifts that illuded my brothers. I was too much. They were the silent whispers telling me I wasn’t good enough. I couldn’t achieve my dreams, that I was destined to be less. Overcoming these beliefs was a journey into the darkest parts of myself.

It required me to challenge every negative thought to replace doubt with faith in myself. I want you to believe in yourself, in your incredible potential, and never let limiting beliefs dictate your life’s course.

In this journey, I also had to confront the fear of being judged. It held me back from expressing my true self, from taking risks, and from stepping into my full potential. Overcoming this fear meant learning to value my own opinion above others and understanding that judgment often says more about the judge than the judged. With wisdom, don’t care what others think of you, that’s not your concern.  Follow your path, your truth, and  your vision. Nothing else matters. So for you, my son, live your life true to yourself and not the expectation of others.

Now I stand on the other side of these challenges. I see a path that is clearer, richer, and more fulfilling. It’s a path I wish for you too. I urge you to embark on your own journey of self-discovery. Confront your fears, question your beliefs, and embrace the full spectrum of who you are. It won’t always be easy.

There will be moments of doubt and times when you might feel lost. But remember, every step you take on the journey is a step toward understanding yourself better and unlocking the immense potential that lies within. You are gifted. You have genius and artistry within you. It is our journey to bring it into the world.

I want you to know this journey is not about overcoming challenges. It’s about discovering the joy of being truly aligned with who you are. It’s about finding your purpose, your passion, and your unique path in this world. And as you embark on this journey, remember you are not alone. I am here for you to guide you. to support you and to share in the joys of your discovery. The journey inward is the most important journey you will ever take. It will shape you as a person, as a leader, and a meaningful contributor to this world.

It will challenge you, but it will also reward you with the life of authenticity, purpose, and fulfillment. I’m so proud of the person you are and excited for the person you are becoming. Take this journey, answer the call, do not shrink when it becomes difficult; rather, embrace it, and watch as it transform you into the fullest expression of yourself.



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