Getting Down to Business
ENROLLING IN BREAKUP REHAB
Not everyone gets Breakup Rehab
Breakup Rehab was born of the need to support individuals recovery from addiction to their last failing relationship. The mission is to uplift the person working with me. You can waste time in life and that’s not what life is for–it is to be lived and lived well!
Who Benefits from Breakup Rehab?
Having done this work for 5 years, people who are deciding to breakup/divorce and who are in transition points in their relationship get the most out of Breakup Rehab. More specifically, a newly divorced wife who depends on wine and yoga classes to “keep it together” has a stellar chance of thriving when adding Breakup Rehab to her life (BTW she won big in the alimony round).
Also, people working in the medical field, family law, tech, and stressful corporate jobs also find immediate relief after enrolling in Breakup Rehab.Market research is out as if this program helps hippies or not—I’m competing with rose quarts and tarot cards after all. And this isn’t some bull-shit glossy program. We go deep.
The Power is in the Process:
Breakup Rehab is a 1:1 counseling program that happens over six months with one 90 minute call every other week. In that time we work on healing the hurt, remembering our power, and connecting with God as we understand her/him. The benefit of the program is simply–FREEDOM.
Who do you know that could benefit from this healing program?
Tuition is discussed in the initial consultation.
If you or a loved one is suffering from heartbreak, resentment, regret, fear, loathing, and has come to believe love isn’t possible for them—Breakup Rehab will change all of that.
“The only thing that truly costs us our lives is hesitation” ~CM King
“We are as sick as our secrets”. –AA
It’s in every yoga studio, in every eyelash extension salon, 6:30pm at the liquor store, and tucked away in the phrase, “Let’s have a girls night.” Cities like Los Angeles, Austin, Dallas, Denver, and New York all house these beautiful women who are holding onto a secret. Some of these women have some things in common and proudly belong to the division known as “Boss-ass Babes”. A group of them are top executives and a few are artists turned savvy business women who, on the surface, seem to “have it all”.
She has an Instagram account full of pictures of tropical vacations, afternoon rose wine, curated meals that some hipster dreamed up, and fashion. There’s a lot of networking and late nights that show up on her Instagram stories. And, it’s just that, it’s a story.
The door closes on the yoga studio and the heat is turned up to 109 degrees. “Andrea” has on her lululemon hot yoga shorts and a bondage inspired sports bra. Her 5’4 frame looks elongated as she stands tall in tree pose. She convinced her friend “Vanessa” to join her for this early morning class, “To burn off last night and because the teacher–Keegan–is so hot.” “It will be great and then we can get a green detox drink after!” she promises her sluggish friend.
Vanessa doesn’t make nearly as much money as Andrea does and she has had to fall back on her parents several times since her breakup had such an impact on her online clothing business. Andrea came up from the middle, got a scholarship to an Ivy-league school, and landed a top tech firm job that flies her all across the world. These two women met through mutual friends who were into fashion and they became “besties”.
As sweat runs down Vanessa’s back, she is quietly questioning her life choices while simultaneously trying to keep her focus on when to transition from one pose to another. Half way through the class, she gives up and walks out. “Fuck this!” Andrea feels embarrassed but finishes the class, and then after she puts herself together for work, texts “Megan”: Vanessa is such a train-wreck! I can’t believe she bailed on yoga this morning!
Megan is in the middle of a meeting and shoots back a poop emoji and a LOL face. If there were a pack leader, Megan would be it. She was engaged, running a seven-figure fitness business, lives in Los Angeles but has a condo in New York that had been in the family for generations, and she defers big decisions to her spiritual guru shaman. She is sleek with perfect hair (extensions), a designer wardrobe, and a beautiful Mercedes.
These women and those like them drive commerce in the Western World. Their hearts are in a pretty good place, and despite knowing about the Law of Attraction, their minds are in turmoil. What Andrea doesn’t know about Vanessa is that Vanessa is on antidepressants she washes down with a bottle of Malbec, most nights of the week. On the nights she’s not chasing her pills with booze, she is on a date with another “rando”. And she’s chasing her booze with cheep sex. But, this isn’t the big secret because when all the girls are together–the tigers and the ringleader–they laugh and joke about dating, sex, butt-plugs, and do their best to one-up each other’s ability to be salacious.
Megan feels like she has dirt on both Andrea and Vanessa since they both complain to her about the other one. She also feels better than them because she is engaged. For Megan, life is going “according to plan”. But, she didn’t plan on her sex-life being so dry and flat. She didn’t plan on feeling envious of Vanessa’s ability to hook up and move on.
Both Megan and Vanessa think Andrea is totally put together. But, what Andrea doesn’t share is that she spends way to much money on Amazon.com around 3am in the morning because she can’t sleep; her anxiety keeps her up.
Hints of these secrets show up when they get together and “get four bottles deep”. It’s not that they are bad. It’s not that therapy hasn’t worked. It’s that in yoga class, in the eyelash salon, in the liquor store, and after “girls night”; the ache of living with broken hearts, guilt, shame and emptiness is there.
Love is packaged and sold as a drug in these circles. We binge watch shows like The Bachelor and Say Yes to the Dress. No one is keeping up with the Kardashians; although some of us are still trying to emulate them. None of us feel really great about our bodies. We all have had a version of childhood that left holes in our psychology. A handful of us drifted into the “plant medicine” world. And using catch phrases like, “I’m enough” is just enough to get us to the next day.
But, the medicine isn’t in the stack of self-help books we buy but don’t actually read. It’s circulating through podcasts but only as information. The medicine isn’t in a “mindset” coaching formula, singular church service, or twelve-step gatherings. Broken hearts and empty spaces are healed through the conversations that happen in Breakup Rehab.
It doesn’t matter what her name is–she is lost. I’ve been her. I am her. And what I know to be true is that rehabilitation brings us back home again.
Allen Ginsberg elucidates this by saying, “And while I’m here, I’ll do the work. And what is the work? To ease the pain of living–everything else is a drunken dumbshow.”
We are fallible humans that pass down the lineage of guilt to one another like it was an explanation for existence. It’s not. Life cannot be explained nor can it be lived fully with misunderstanding. Access to unconditional love and the peace that coincides with it requires a commitment few can integrate but in retrospect. Love is nothing and everything.
And it’s there, in the quiet moments, in our prayers, at all hours of the day, in our asking and in Breakup Rehab.
I’m a liar, thief, cheat, bully, and manipulator. I admit it. And as I reveal that side of me, I’ve upset a lot of people. It takes a true warrior with heart to bring shadows to light, and transform them.
In the last week I have had two people respond to my social media posts by telling me, “You should not be giving relationship advice.” The first person argued that only people with PhD’s are qualified to make money as relationship counselors. The second person responded to my Facebook Live about the instinct to murder by saying in essence, “Those who need help themselves should not be relationship counselors.”
I agitate people because I say things “you are not supposed to say.” I realize that being a Breakup Specialist and charging people for counseling might seem exploitative. “You are taking advantage of people in a vulnerable position.” People who are in pain because of loss are vulnerable. People who struggle with low self worth are vulnerable. People who are hungry are vulnerable. And a primary focus of marketing, that I didn’t invent, is “put pressure on their pain point.” However, there is strength in our vulnerability and paying for help is a very vulnerable act. Investing in help changes people let alone the conversations we have that provide non-judgmental perspective.
I also recognize that I am still healing.
I have killed off my meaningful relationships time and time again.Sometimes, destroying things makes me feel alive. Does it make me less qualified as for my position as a “healer”? Maybe. But, more than this, it challenges my commitment to be transparent, stay congruent, and speak the truth.
I share all of this to say, that the first sign we are on a right path or path with heart is resistance.
We learn disapproval of our behavior early in life through parental conditioning. This then forms into survival strategies such as suppression, compartmentalization, and projection. As we grow up alongside care-givers, abusers, and teachers we practice different versions of these strategies until they turn into our identities.
It’s important to note that when you come to a crossroads in your life where you commit to a new way of being–more open, transparent, more focused, and go against what you have known; it registers as a risk. What I’ve found to be true is deep commitment to personal growth is met with both internal and external opposition. It’s as if the laws of nature are asking, “Are you sure you want this?”
As a caveat, in the western world we are programmed to think that people who have wealth are also people of virtue. In fact, they just have access to large-scale creative expression as well as massive destruction. An example of this is the oil and gas industry. As the saying goes:
“For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required,” Luke 12:48 (King James Version.)
In my life it sounds like, “You should not be doing what you are doing.” “You are dangerous.” “You are causing harm in people’s lives.” I’ve let this stop me before. I quit trusting in my own authority. And people do get hurt when we finally stop being who they have known us to be or something that doesn’t fit into the “safe” version of what we should be.
The true test isn’t in overcoming resistance, but in being persistent. Resistance only represent the end of one thing–a minor death. The true sacrifice comes when we are deliberate in our motion forward. The “can’t”, “won’t”, “shouldn’t” messages that arise both internally and externally must be met with focus and determination. It is not determination of the mind, but of the heart.
Life-force-energy congregates in this middle place. It takes energy to have your shadows exposed. Often we fail to change in the middle place and run back to what was familiar. But, if we lean into the heart, we will find the bravery to be with the transformation, and the courage to persist.
Then, there is a moment, where critical mass is reached and there is no going back. The message of the heart has found its way into the world. It may be presented as a whisper at first, but over time, with practice it becomes more consistent.
New authority is established. The journey of rebirth from a child crippled by an outgrown system gets purified through overcoming resistance, gaining life force energy by being persistent, and the heart’s full expression anchors in through consistency.
The phrase that sums this up the most is, “We are all walking each other home.” And, in my experience, it’s the ones who provide resistance that are really showing us the way to walk our path with heart. Bless the test and walk on!
Comprehending Mental Health
Is mental health a luxury?
What is mental health?
Life-coaching isn’t mental health.
Mental health is both an noun and a verb. It is also how we describe someone’s internal operating system (E-IOS). Ironically, much of mental health has to do with emotions, which are housed in the body. The field of psychology–the cross section of philosophy & biology–is where we learn how to study and treat mental health issues.
An advanced degree in the field of psychology equips an practitioner to better support individuals who have experienced rape, drug addiction, trauma, and those who suffer from mood or personality disorders. I am not a clinical mental health practitioner.
I hold a Masters in Counseling but I am not a clinical counselor not a marriage and family therapist. I am registered as a minister of the Universal Life Church . The purpose of services rendered may prove to be therapeutic but are not intended as therapy; rather as coaching, mentorship or facilitation of personal goals.
A vision-board session with a life-coach doesn’t treat mental illness. Having a better grip on how to schedule your day can be useful to a lot of people but does not help to manage OCD behavior. I can’t say this enough–LIFE COACHING IS NOT THERAPY!
Therapists are held to a code of ethics. The most prominent being that therapists have duty to keep what is shared as confidential unless the client plans on harming themselves or someone else, which then means psychotherapists have a duty to report. We cannot have dual relationships. For instance I couldn’t have my landlord as a client. There’s a long list of ethical guidelines psychotherapists must adhere to including getting supervision. Client privileges rely on the bedrock of ethical practices.
My Bias Towards Untrained Life-Coaches
The billion dollar wellness industry has a virus inside of it. There is a fine line between providing support and reinforcing disease. “Well that’s just your story.” “Do you work.” “Go inside.” Bla bla bla. Defining your goals is a mental act and the primary focus of life coaching. But, when aspects of the field of psychology are co-opted and diluted it opens the door to exacerbate anxiety & depression through subtle layers of comparison.
Humans seek completion. We like homeostasis and when we are not in that state it is due to stress. I can’t speak for everyone but when I see “have a six-figure” coaching program—it makes me feel like shit. Specifics aside, a lot of us are nervous wrecks because of the cycle of coaching programs and self-help garble that has flooded the “wellness” space. The seeking of healing can injure seeker.
Without being too philosophical about it, it comes down to everyone staying in their lane so for the sake of validity. What needs to be treated is actually being treated.
Comparison is the thief of all joy.
Clinical issues: Addiction, Abuse, Anxiety & Depression
Public figure Simon Sinek talks about millennial’s addiction to their phones and has predicted a rise in suicides & depression which we are now seeing. The suicide rate is skyrocketing with a strong correlation to social media as the catalyst.
The issue I have with untrained life coaches is that a sparkly media campaign that talks about Law of Attraction often attracts people who are in crisis. Life coaches are not trained to help people in crisis. The code of ethics specifies that psychotherapists do not practice outside of their scope or field of expertise. Yet, life-coaches, psychics, and healers often violate this ethical code and don’t refer out to a better suited practitioner.
Granted one of the skills the we learn as psychotherapists is the power of actively listening to or clients without an agenda. Is a life-coach able to do that? Yes. But what if that client talks about raping someone, or having been raped, or the intent to harm themselves? Is a “discovery call” where coaches are trained to “focus on the pain point” going to point the client in the right direction? It’s possible. But what often happens is that the life-coach has only a few tools to address a huge systemic issue and are in over their head.
It’s not that every person with a psychology degree is equipped to work with mental health clients. We can only take our clients as far as we have been ourselves. This means that the practitioner must be invested in their own help and healing. We must continue to educate ourselves so that we can know what clients we can and cannot work with.
Mental health is dynamic and cannot be managed by the tools that life-coaches use. This being said, many mental health practitioners choose to refrain from taking a licencing exam and therefore practice counseling under the umbrella of life-coaching.
What does all of this have to do with Mental Health?
The DSM is the primary resource that catalogs mental health disorders and courses of treatment. To paraphrase, a disorder is a set of behaviors that are maladaptive. There are two types of mental health disorders—personality and mood.
Anxiety and depression are the most common mood disorders. Narcissism has gotten a lot of airtime and is the most popularized personality disorder.
Disorders like schizophrenia, where people hear voices, can sometimes result in individuals killing or harming someone else because a “voice” told them to. Individuals who get an advanced degree in psychology such as a PsyD are equipped to treat people with mood and personality disorders. Life-coaches aren’t.
As a person trained as a clinician but who also incorporates psychic information into my sessions, my consent to treat form clearly states:
I understand that the purpose of services rendered may prove to be therapeutic but are not intended as therapy; rather as coaching, mentorship or facilitation of personal goals. I understand that Rebekah holds a Masters from Naropa University but is not a Licenced Psychotherapist but rather a Breakup Specialist who focuses on relationship & addiction issues.
*I am registered as an addiction counselor in the state of California.
What I offer can be labeled counseling or consulting. However, I am not a licenced psychotherapist and operate under the title of Breakup Specialist. Many people with masters have chosen to practice like this for various reasons. People seek spiritual counsel from me and I can consult on addiction issues.
As a client seeking help it is best to distinguish between if he or she needs emotional guidance or if they only need facilitation to achieve a specific goal. If anxiety, depression, addiction or abuse are a factor then working with a person with a Masters or PhD or PsyD in Counseling is the best choice. For a simple pep-talk, life-coaches are better suited.
A Note on the Origins of Life Coaching:
Thomas Leonard, an American financial planner, is generally acknowledged as the first person to develop coaching as a profession in the 1980s and the history of life coaching today really starts with him.
Leonard observed that his clients, though emotionally stable and hardly needing therapy, wanted more from him than just the usual tips on how to invest and safeguard their incomes.
They wanted help in their lives better and planning and achieving their goals.
( Retreaved September 22, 2018: https://www.lifecoachingprofessionally.com/history-of-life-coaching.html)
The Bottom Line of Mental Health
If people cannot afford my services I still offer a free session to make sure a person in need is resourced. I often charge students and past clients a fraction of my listed prices because it is important to me they are properly supported. It is ethically and morally important to me that I direct individuals towards the people that will best support them. What I have to offer isn’t always the best fit.
I also wrote the book Breakup Rehab (available on Amazon.com) to make the tools I share in my spiritually focused private practice accessible to everyone who reads (English). It is not on audio because reading this information is an important part of the therapeutic process.
The point is that therapy is good for what therapy is good for and life-coaching is good for what life-coaching is good for. Ethical practices keep clients safe. It is best to refer people to Psychology Today to find a therapist that takes insurance or best fits their needs. At the end of the day our well-being hinges on who we learn from and making sure we have the correct mentors for our life circumstances.
Thank you & Be Set Free!
Don’t be sold a river of lies. Healing is truth.
Healing has taken on a new identity in early 21st century. We have known doctors as healers. We have known tribal medicine men as healers. We have even known nature as the great healer. But, now their are individuals who are none of these things calling themselves “healers”. In fact, there was a time that I described myself in this way because it seemed to articulate a skill set I had accumulated.
But, after years of being a counselor, I’ve learned something very important about what healing is, where it comes from, and what identifying as a healer does.
What is Healing?
The best way to understand what healing is is to understand what it is not. Much of what we learn comes through contrast. Further there are various aspects of healing just like there are different genres of music. The one thing healing has in common, no matter the genera, is that it is something that is facilitated. But, we often mistake those who facilitate healing as the source of healing. This leads us to the first thing healing is not.
- Healing is not unique to one person or place. Rather the belief, singular or collective, in that person or place connects a person to Source. Restoration of life-energy heals.
- Healing is not a method. The body can be supported in healing itself. I can be influenced. But the orchestration of healing resides at the edge of scientific understanding as much of healing remains a mystery.
- Healing is not a reference to being broken. Healers are people who remind us we are whole. Yet, much of what gets sold in the “healing game” perpetuates the story of being broken and incomplete coupled with the promise of perfection.
- Healing is not a place we arrive. Healing is dynamic in that multiple systems are working in concert that results in a vessel that can house and display maximum potential. In simple terms, chi flows through the body with ease.
In regards to the types of healers that exist in this world there are nutritionists, life-coaches, business strategists, counselors, medical doctors, spiritual mentors, medicine-men, herbalists, witches, and dulas to name a few. The continuity between the various healers is they all bring perspective to a part of our humanity that requires renewal of life-force energy.
Where does Healing Come From?
Among many titles, life-force energy has been called chi, prana, psychic energy, spirit, and love. What both Western and Eastern medicine has taught us is that LFE (Life Force Energy) can be diminished through stress or stagnate and manifest as disease. Many of us live with degrees of death our bodies. Some of us quicken our death process through the use of drugs or by reinforcing the imbalance of addiction through our maladaptive behaviors.
In my line of work as a Breakup Specialist, I see the hope of being brought back to life through relationship result in relationship death. The common advice given to a person going through a breakup up is to “Love yourself.” But, in a culture that directs us towards narcissism as a survival strategy, there can be a defining quality that turns loving oneself into denial.
This is best demonstrated in the phrase, “Everything happens for a reason.” A veneer of positivity can be placed over that which is rotting and decaying. It’s true that ashes are created from burning wood. Energy requires consumption. But, consumption without renewal results in isolation and even annihilation.
Ironically, life-force energy is renewed when we sleep, when we are still, when we observe our thoughts and feelings and come into connection with presence. We often view life-force energy as a body in motion or as taking action that results in creation. Creation comes from innovation and innovation comes from having the space to assimilate our internal and external ecosystems.
They say extroverts are renewed through being social and introverts are renewed through being alone. Life-force energy dies off in the extreme. A pulse consists of contraction and expansion. One without the other results in death. This is true of the creative process, of getting into and out of relationships, and of navigating the survival realities of existing as a human.
What is a healer?
Those of us who help optimize survival are called healers. Each healer will define himself/herself differently. Some healers treat surface issues and can manipulate the aesthetic of a circumstance. Other healers attempt to get to the root of the issue. Either way, many of us mistake healers as authorities who have dominion over our bodies, emotions, and minds. Healers can be thought of as perfect, flawless, or blameless. But, this is not the case.
Speaking only for myself, I can say, I am far from perfect or the like. I’m constantly playing with boundaries, amending values, and shifting my priorities because, like my clients, I am learning how to survive as a human.
One of the areas I see healers centering their work on is that of “Purpose.” It seems that when a mind organizes around a purpose there is a greater feeling of satisfaction. But, this can work like placebo as well in that believing having a purpose will equate in being happier.
Many healers capitalize on this notion. We focus LFE to transmute thought into form. A healer can be a teacher in that they impart a skills set to someone, which in retrospect is labeled “purpose.” We do what we believe we are capable of or even “have” to do to survive.
In actuality, a human who is fully alive and truly resorced is limitless.
It’s been said the most potent force on the planet is a human in action. We can conceptualize limitlessness as someone who is a billionaire. They are highly resourced.
But, even billionaires require healing because there is an irony in being limitless. Healthy humans do better by being able to depend on a consistent source of support. Attachment theory calls this the “Dependency Paradox.” The more we can rely on another person the more innovative and independent we will be in our lives. The more we can trust in life.
So, a healer, is someone that provides consistent and reliable support in a way that facilitates interactions which augment the flow of LFE. We bring people back to life.
Who Needs Healing?
There is a paradox the is central to the person seeking healing–it’s already inside of them. No story better represents our journey of healing than that of the Wizard of Oz. We need to walk our yellow brick road. Since we are all doing this, there is nothing special about it. But, instinctually we all want to fit in and stand out at the same time to different degrees. The times we want to stand out but are ignored creates a riff that can make us feel like the cowardly lion. The times we want to fit in but are rejected can shut us down so we feel like the tin-man. And when we neither fit in or stand out we can feel like the mindless scarecrow.
Yet, somehow, those parts of us band together undergo a life-journey filled with various characters. The responsibility of those seeking healing is to allow it. It’s not just important to be loved but to also let love in. Healers remind us how to do this. Those being healed remember. Simply, there are those who remind and those who remember.
Those needing healing can be struggling with addiction, disease, mental disorders, or spiritual possessions. The inability to create, maintain, and have healthy relationships is at the heart of everyone’s need for healing. I’m no exception. Hurt people hurt people. But, hurt people stop hurting others and start healing when they are connected to truth.
How do we Heal?
People can main-line Self-Help like crack cocaine. Self-help is largely fractured but just as there are many roads to Mecca, so to area there many avenues to truth. Truth is offensive to many of us. It’s not very sexy in that it’s unadulterated . Truth does have a freeing quality to it because it restores life.
We heal when we realize we are not alone. It only takes one positive person in our lives to make us feel healthy and effective. We heal when we feel like we have something to contribute. And the truth is we all do. A hug is a contribution. A breath. A smile. An idea. A life lived as art changes us all. The most impactful art is raw and true. It is channeled in someway through the body that turned thought into form.
Healing comes from getting out of our own way; our justifications, explanations and expectations. We revisit truth time and time again through our interactions. We find what truth is not and then discover what it is. We visit strategies for survival that bring us closer to truth. We dance between the boundaries of being limitless and creating boundaries in order to be the most expressed version of ourselves.
Truth gives life.
We all have a trauma story as part of our human experience. It’s odd that we think we will go unscathed in life and just how shocked we all are when injury–emotional or otherwise–occurs. Healers have been directed to treat the “wound”. I invite us all to ask, “What is the wound?” “Why must we treat it?”
The man who rapes, maims, kills, or is the source of destruction still breathes the same air that the most pious man breathes. Both men have can be caged by their minds. So, what makes one man act like an animal and another behave as a saint? Is it the wound? Or is it that one man has been renewed through the transformation of his mind?
We all have been assigned an animal that exists below our necks–our body. That body is animated with LFE and directed through impulse. Impulse can come from either instinct or inspiration. The delineating factor between the two is the individuals associated with the wound.
A healer draws truth out of the shadows, which, then gives the person receiving the healing the chance to evolve instinct into inspiration.
Each of us will require healing at the dawn of transitions in our lives such as divorce, breakup, disease, career change, becoming parents, as well as being forgiven for our sins. Bow to the guru within. Allow the healing in. Be human.
For assistance on your journey book your free introduction session now:
Being married doesn’t make you more legit than being single anywhere else in the world besides government.
The ceremony of a white dress,exchanging vows, and family gathered around will endure as a capstone in the evolution of our lives. However, some of us who have not yet had the experience of getting and being married feel like we are failing at life.
I’m going to out myself on this one and say that having made it to 38 years old without children, student loan debt, or a husband feels like both an accomplishment and like a failure. I’m like a virgin in the dating market, but I’ve been touched many, many times. Yet, no one has ever stuck around long enough to take the long walk down the aisle.
And I know I’m not alone. In fact, I’m guessing that there are a few other relationship therapists out there giving advice to couples about how to have a healthy relationship who have also never been married. We teach what we need to learn; each with our unique perspective.
So, to the point of married people getting tax breaks and access in hospitals, legislation is slow moving and oftentimes antiquated. Thanks to “The Gays” some structures have changed when it comes to permissions partners are given. But, I’m not a lawmaker and I don’t know much about that world. But, what I do know is the often devastating impact mental isolation can have on individuals who buy into the notion that they are less-than because they are single.
Don’t get me wrong, being single is isolating. The lone-wolves of this world have found a way to diminish feelings of discomfort by being hyper-independent. And as a recovering lone-wolf I will say, the hurt is still there.
Sleeping alone is great when it’s a rare occasion. But, when a whole decade goes by of sporadically sharing a bed with quasi-boyfriends and poor excuses for a lay, you just want to lay down and die. Eating out because it’s easier than cooking for yourself can be parlayed into the whimsical hobbie of being a “Foodie”. But, when you can’t work of the extra pounds or pay off the credit card bill from always going out as not just a source of sustenance but to curb loneliness, it can feel like living in an abyss. Interacting with artificial intelligence on dating sights to try to match you with someone with actual intelligence can make masturbation seem like the only smart thing to do.
There a lot of things we can do to distract ourselves from the terror “Dying alone.” Some people even beat death to the punch and become nihilists, goths, or republicans. Even democrats band together to try and make meaning of this life. But, government and political parties aside, what is it about being single that feel like shit?
Let’s just take a moment and have a collective sigh around the fact that even though there are good things about being single, it still feels like shit. I don’t want to be single. I want to have a partner that helps me grow our dreams. I want to give up the hunt for sex and just have sex with the person I like a lot. I want to go do things with someone who I trust and who makes me laugh. And while all directions point to self-love and being the person you want to be with, I have spent years cultivating better versions with me only to end up with me. It feels like shit.
You know why? Because every day we wake up to a rejecting world that delivers the message, you are special but not that special. Just think about the name of the industry that has supplanted organized religion as the bastion of salvation–self-help. It is organized around entropy. We are trained to reject ourselves and save ourselves at the same time.
We need relationships and we need to know, in a world of 8-billion people, how to have a successful and sustainable life-long relationship with a partner. In my years on this earth, I have learned a simple truth: When you ask for an outcome you get a process first. For the majority of inhabitants on this earth participating in a peaceful and healthy relationship is possible. But, it won’t happen for everyone in the same decade, at the same stage of life, contingent on the same socioeconomic status or geographic placement.
Some people will find the love of their life at 50 after three divorces and recovering from a drug addiction. Other people will get married out of high-school and die together never knowing what sex with another human felt like. A lot of us will have two or three significant relationships but spend most of our life being single. Those of us with pets may find that relationship more gratifying than with humans. Then there are the deviants whose function on this earth is to murder, rape, and terrorize. There are all different dimensions of relationship ranging from the emotionally sound to the pathologically mentally ill.
The mechanics of relationship most often displayed on in our culture are a mix of mental disorders and sensationalized drama. “Cut a bitch” is an actual phrase people use to express themselves when they feel their needs are going unmet.
There will be a level of life we settle in at and occupy for the majority of our lives. We can continue to change and grow if doing so is a priority. The only advice I can give to anyone is to take care of what is in front of you. If you reach a point in your life where you feel unsatisfied or even just disgusted by how things have been, then invest your time into making thing how you wish them to be. But, don’t compare yourself to anyone else. It won’t get you anywhere but upset, angry, and depressed.
Being single and being married both have their moments of bliss. But, if you compare one to the other both can feel like shit. So, as the saying goes, “Comparison is the thief of all joy.” Assess where you are, examine the choices that got you there, and if you want something different then find the person or system that can help create that for you by education on how. Learning soothes the ache of comparison and that’s legit!
These and other labels are often used as descriptors for relationships we engage in where one person is more attached than the other, one person is fixated on fixing the other, and one person feels a deep sense of remorse when the relationship ends while the other person remains unmoved. In fact, these type of relationships seem like they are a dime a dozen–easy to come by but difficult to let go of.
Why is this the case?
It’s because many of us equate intensity with love. In our stupor we choose people who are projects and not partners. What is the difference between the two? The process.
So, what is a partner?
No matter how spectacular they were or how horrible they seem, our parents are not our partners. They were our initial care givers. And here is where all of us mess up. We think that a partner is someone who will take care of us. Nope. A partner is someone who can fully support themselves, be emotionally articulate, and in addition to running their life can also include you in it as well.
A partner is someone you can depend upon who communicates clearly. They work with you in a way that improves both of your lives. In fact, partnership is an active state that both parties in the relationship contribute to. Each person has a vested interest in the other person’s well being. This often means non-interference in one another’s lives as a deep trust has been fostered between the two. Each person is an invitation to the other into expanded awareness.
While it’s true that a partner can demonstrate caring by performing remedial tasks such as laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, and generating a steady income, that is not where his or her worth lies. When basic needs are attended to it does promote stability. But, the real treasure of having a partner is in the growth it inspires.
When we get married or join our lives with someone who is a partner, we often trade how we were raised for who we want to be in this lifetime. We are able to be reborn inside the relationship time and time again because we can trust that growth promotes the well-being of the couple. This brings us to the second huge mistake we all make when trying to “find” our partner.
We think, “I can’t be needy.”
The denial of our needs is the very thing that turns companionship into a competition. Denial of needs fosters anxiety that shows up as urgency.
When you find a partner it will feel peaceful. The urgency of “figuring it out” or “locking it down” will be replaced with a time of discovery. However, in the mad dash for resources and to come out ahead, we often approach relationships like a race. The less “needy” we pretend to be is supposed to promote efficiency. But it does the opposite. It actually complicates things.
When urgency is applied to partnership it becomes a project. In fact, most people default to their childhood upbringing as a measure of their potential mate. Project relationships begin with empty promises. A lot of them begin in the online dating market & we package ourselves as something we are not.
We price ourselves like items at a grocery store. Isle one–whores. Isle two–playboys. Isle three–intellectuals. Isle four–romantics. Isle five–pragmatists. Isle six–spiritually evolved. It’s a marketplace predicated on lies.
The primary lie is that “If I get a partner, it will make my life better.” And by “better” we mean more certain. In fact, studies have shown that only 15% of of the population is truly invested in personal growth. So, that means, for the other 85% relationships are where they go to die and fight about it on the way to their grave.
Women are often faulted with wanting to change their men. However, it could be said that men wanting women to be simple is also a gross amendment. People who get into project relationships come with a list of fixed needs and a fanciful idea of what a relationship is supposed to supply. It has plenty of sex to satisfy at least one person in the party. It has enough joy and happiness to last a lifetime. It takes little effort and should “just feel easy.” And above all else, each person will “just know they found the one.”
These and other rhetorical fallacies lead to a battle for power. The toilet seat being left up isn’t about the toilet seat–it is about “disrespect”. Dinner not being cooked is not about dinner–it is about not being seen. Lack of sex isn’t about lack of sex–it’s that pleasure has become a burden. Coming home from work on time isn’t about coming home from on work on time–it is about trusting in the fidelity of the relationship. Getting tested for STI’s isn’t just about the health of the body—it is about loyalty. But, in a relationship that is a project, people don’t talk about the underlying issues.
Women become bitches and men become distant. Or men become possessive assholes and women become manipulative seducers. Each person just picks away at surface issues. “Why are you wearing that?” “You are getting fat.” “How much money do you make?” Since what is being felt isn’t being spoken both people in the relationship are totally unsatisfied. Some people deal with this by jumping from one short term fling to the next. Others grit it out over twenty years until “the kids are grown” and then get divorced. Both parties become jaded with no escape from their insatiable lust. It’s hell on earth.
So how do you pick a partner and not a project?
In a word–Aliveness.
Anyone or anything that sucks your energy is a fucking waste of time. I can’t be any more clear than this. If you are spending more than five minutes wondering “Why didn’t he text?” If you are on the phone with your girlfriends saying things like, “If he would just do this one thing, then things would be great.” If your mind is on overdrive on “how to fix this” then you are not with a partner. The marker of partnership is clear and open communication from day-fucking-one!
You say what you mean and mean what you say. You are responsive to one another. You check in and fill each other in on your day. You give each other space to be individuals. You grow together through your diversity. And you actively let go of the past.
A project relationship is like dating the walking dead. We all have fetishes and dating emotional zombies might be one of yours. But, if you want to knock that shit off and actually inhabit your life, you must be invested in your personal growth. You must be willing to give all you are to your relationships: your calling, your career, your passions, your sex life, your love life, your spiritual practice, and to your partnership. This requires expanding beyond the edges of “how life should be.”
So, if you feel more alive, expansive, supported, and awake in a relationship chances are it is a partnership. But, if you feel drained, confused, angry, or frustrated chances are you picked a project. The choice is yours.
There is a secret men are keeping from women.
In fact, this privileged information often lingers at the edge of awareness and can only be truly understood once actions devolve into consequences.
It’s not that men are keeping something from us women as we so often think they are when we prompt them to “Tell us what you are thinking.” The answer is binary. It’s either “nothing” or some mitigated overwhelm of racing thoughts jumbled up with ubiquitous emotions.
Simply, at his core, a man is not as complicated as women make them out to be. However, add heartbreak to the mix and even the most conscious evolved man becomes lost.
In fact, I think it is fair to say, there is one energy that can change a man–and it is that of a woman who knows her worth. Hear me. When a man loves a woman he has a purpose. As the lyric says, “He would trade the world for the good thing he found.” In the Bible–the book of books–Proverbs 18:22 says that, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and receives favor from the LORD.”
The journey begins here–between the love of a man and a woman. Of course there are different configurations and for the sake of brevity, we will peer into this man’s journey.
The Search is Over:
Each person wakes to promises made and promises kept. The day unfolds and vows are renewed with each chore completed. He might even call this “family life.” Sure, he longs for the great adventure that lives inside of us all–the whale and the Captan. But, in some strange way, remaining content is the adventure. He feels steady and certain of his choices. It mostly goes unspoken, yet he feels respected. There is a cadence to the disagreements that happen. But, he does not feel alarmed. It’s smooth sailing. Sex is good. Work is paying the bills. Friends meet at the gym. Everything is okay, until it’s not.
Everything is Okay:
Sure, there were some arguments that didn’t get finished. Yes, there were those few days where he didn’t feel physically good but didn’t think anything of it. Yes, work was taking more and more of his time. But, he didn’t notice. He just showed up and did what he needed to do. Of course, he complained to his drinking buddies and by daylight, all was forgotten. Then, sex didn’t feel quite the same. It’s not that there was less of it, but there was something missing. She noticed more than he did. She didn’t say anything. Then she did say something. Then she wouldn’t stop saying things. Then she suggested therapy. He felt defensive. He felt insufficient. He felt like therapy was making things worse, like he was being ganged up on by the therapist. A indescribable but visceral dissatisfaction set in. He pushed through it by remembering the days when everything was calm and steady. Sure, drinking and jerking off had increased but it seemed justified given the pressure he was under. His watching porn was easy and it wasn’t hurting anyone anyway.
Little did he know, that the most excruciating pain of his life was about to surface. The relationship, the partnership, the companionship, the challenge of being a better man with a purpose came to an end. She left.
She is going to be okay. It’s going to hurt like hell for her with an immediacy he won’t experience. She will talk to friends, join a gym, and find herself again. On the surface, he will show signs of stress, he may even cry, he may look unaffected, but the truth is, he is falling into an abyss.
It’s not that she was everything, it’s just that all the things he had to do to get her, all the rejection he had to go through, and all the insecurities he tempered to be in that relationship are back with a vengeance. Emotions feel like a sarcophagus because a death has happened and his only chance at resurrection is another woman.
The instinct that was tamed by purpose now runs wild. It is ruthless and will even turn on him in the darkest hours of the day. Work is still work. Food, sex, porn, hobbies, and the trappings of life serve as distractions to the devastation. But, what this man doesn’t know is that he has left his body on autopilot. The lights are on but nobody’s home.
Return to the Hunt:
So, he loads an app on his phone and begins to hunt. Not quite sure what he is searching for but leaning on the believe he will know when he finds it, minutes of the day slip by one swipe at a time. He could buy sex if he needed to, but it hasn’t come to that. In this space, he is not quite sure if he is predator or prey.
The phone screen lights up. A match is made and a texting conversation begins. He doesn’t want to come off as a creep because that will hurt his odds. By some miracle, she agrees to a date. He knows he just wants to get laid. But, he is surprised by how charming and sweet she is. A familiar attraction stirs, followed by fear.
Much of this goes unacknowledged as he is focusing his energy on trying to be interesting. Then a few hours pass, and nothing happens. He feels deflated, goes home, jerks off, and goes to sleep convinced, it was her and not him.
Weeks go by with scattered matches, no real results and increasing frustration. He can’t forget about his ex but has too much pride to contact her. Even when they do talk, a numbness like London fog fills his body. Months pass, a few short relationships come and go having reached their crechendo with the phrase, “I’m just not ready for a relationship.”
The scars of being ghosted one to many times don’t even register because he is guilty of the same cowardly behavior. Motivational videos seem to have a temporary effect just as watching sports does. It feels good to have money, but worthless at the same time.
Dating becomes an exchange of lies. He pretends to be ready and she pretends to be unassuming and easy to be with. He feels afraid to let her in and she starts losing interest. He feels restless and thinks about changing his job, reads adventure magazines, and to the outside world looks well adjusted.
The secret that he is blissfully unaware of is that everything he is doing to keep it light and easy, to have a no drama relationship, and to stay detached is killing him.
Die To Yourself:
And from this women to that man, go ahead a die. You sir, are a decrepit waste of time. You are a lesson we women have learned over and over like rape at a college party. It’s not consensual. It is something we workout after the fact. The secret is that until you can reconnect to the feminine essence, the war between us will kill us all. No one will remember your journey beyond the hidden scars passed down from one generation to the next. But, legends are made from brave hearts and the lifeblood that flows in them comes from her.
Look into a woman’s eyes and realize that you won’t know who you are without her; that your very existence is meaningless without her essence. Battle the terror of being rejected until you are unaffected to the point that the treasure you gained from that fight becomes the kingdom you gift women with.
Women love men who love us. We love you for loving us. But, the liars, the infantilized fools who chace vagina for redemption can go to hell. Your disembodied corps can take your death elsewhere because it is no secret that you require a woman to come back to life.
Reverence for Life:
Show a little respect. Rather than just take from us, take your time with us. Trade the world for the good thing you have. She can be your friend. She can be your lover. She can and has been your mother.
But, if you cannot wake up to the good thing in front of you, she will be your undoing and your journey will end with nothing to show for it but wreckage.
Sometimes we cannot see what is right in front of us.
Sometimes we cannot hear the truth being spoken. Sometimes we cannot receive the message transmitted in still moments. Why? It’s because we are distracted by the motives of greed and arrogance which then makes objects of everything and results in us being jaded. So, if you feel an adverse reaction to the word manifestation, it may be because of how it has become subversed through commerce to lust.
This article will not make sense to those who lust for things because the Mechanics of Manifestation (MOM) cannot be relegated to only objects. Rather, it is the process and not the outcome that yields the most fruit. So, let us explore the mechanisms of manifestation one by one until we can then order them into a mechanical process that organizes our desires into form.
Have you ever wondered why one person draws such delight from slaving away in a Kitchen to create gourmet food and another person can take that meal and translate it into a stunning review? Yet, each participant would balk at investing in the other’s task.
There is a uniqueness to our desires, which are curated over a lifetime. Like genius and species there are clusters of individuals with similar desires and distinct classifications of those desires. There are millions of bakers in the world. Some of them are professionals while others are novices. There are millions of food critics in the world. Some of them are featured in high profile magazines while others have a few dozen people who follow their blog.
Desires are scalable in that some are fleeting while others remain consistent through a lifetime. Artists are good examples of this. There are some that dabble in various media while there are others who commit to a craft come famine or feast. Neither is better than the other as each individual entertained the desire to be an artist concurrent with their capacity to house the discomfort, uncertainty, and pain that came with it.
Many of us know the concept that “Desire leads to suffering.” I would like to amend this and say denial of desire leads to pain and the denial of that pain results in suffering. In word–capacity. There is innate capacity and earned capacity. By virtue of the cultures we are born into as well as the bodies we grow into, there is a set baseline of capacity. A 6’4 nordic viking type will move through the world differently than a 5’4 fat Italian woman. Life and people will respond to them differently as well but through their life experiences they could develop a similar internal ecosystems of grit, suspicion, and humor. But, here is the distinction between the two, one will be able to metabolize pain and grow from it while the other will slowly shut down until they become a dead inside. The deciding factor is who has the capacity to recognize a desire as a beacon of something that wants to come into manifested form and then respond to that flicker of imagination by undertaking the journey through pain, uncertainty, and growth in order to live in the realization of their unique desire. A lot of people are too chicken-shit to even try.
In the Bible, the book of James chapter two verse twenty-six really sums up an important mechanism of manifestation:
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Face your fears. Grow or die. Get off your ass and do something. Don’t just talk about it, be about it. Simply, take action in the direction of your destiny. The body that has been gifted to you is a temple. Your mouth is the alter. It is to be adorned with offerings. But, we curse it through comparison. We diminish it with judgement. We become paralyzed in our ignorance. Light the incense and watch the smoke turn to vapor. This is your dream expanding out to the edges of the universe and inviting all who are in sync with it to participate. The fire that ignites the sweet smoke can burn you if not focused. Please understand this metaphor as, “Be willing to learn what you don’t know and unlearn what you do know.” The way to do this is by engaging with life, being responsible, and staying embodied.
The only reason we require anything is because we have a body. Spirit does not need money. Spirit does not need food. Spirit does not need resources because it is source. But, the body, in it’s aliveness, requires a symphony of molecular interactions to occur simultaneously, if for nothing more than to perpetuate itself. The notion of wanting an outcome has an ionizing force to it. It is charged. It sets the body in motion. So, for us to truly bring a thought into being there must be emotions behind it. We must feel deeply connected to the time-space-continuum required by the body-mind to organize itself around the desire. An army of one with no weapons will lose against an trained fleet. That is to say, the isolating nature of arrogance and greed will kill us. It is only in being a servant that we can be set free to have the fullness of our experiences which are also an expression of who we truly are.
Alignment with Self
The final mechanism of manifestation remains a mystery because we don’t have the language to fully assimilate “Self.” It is both ubiquitous and unique. Yet, the simple truth remains that when we are fully ourselves we then have boundless energy to create. In fact, money is just the symbol we use for our capacity to create our reality. Our bodies are evidence of our habits. The lives we live are evidence of our beliefs. Alignment with our Self will prove as an expression of unabashed art.
When we have a desire visit us, it is meant for us. It is a love letter from the great mystery of existence requesting form and structure from our being. Each desire is mercurial. It inhabits its host as a guest but can become volatile if not attended to with care. The care given to it is contingent upon the host’s capacity to be aware that a desire is a directive. If the host’s primary motive is lust, it will be evident by a disgraceful and empty life. However, if the host has acquired the ability to invite pain in and let it clear out stagnant beliefs, then the host of desire will be animated by aliveness. That is to say desires met with the unwelcome overture of “What can I get from this?” will murder it’s host and rob them of life. But, for those who say, “What can I give to this?” life will be renewed through the blessings of pleasure and pain.
This soiree of transmutation of thought to form happens through the body. So, if you desire an outcome be willing to give your body as tribute. Stand firmly in gratitude for the perfection of where you are just as much as standing in the affirmation of what is coming into realization. Be a willing vessel that invites abundance into it through declaring what is yours.
For Example, I had a conversation with a lover who became a enemy that planted a seed for me to own my own lodge in Montana. I was wholly unaware of this concept until it was delivered to me through someone who I’ve come to despise.
But, there is such a purity to this dream that the vehicle in which it came does not matter. I know by virtue of this coming into awareness all the events required to realize it are also being organized through my willingness to undergo the journey of learning that will then result in me owning my lodge in Montana. Part of this journey was being purified through the pain of becoming attached to someone who was only a project and not a partner. It yielded blessings I could not have predicted.
So, the path to our manifestations isn’t always a direct one but I know through faith and works I will be living in Montana as soon as I am ready to be responsible for that life. When life has taken me through the lessons to the point I am ready to be a good steward of the blessings given, then I will be able to own my home–The Freedom Lodge.
I’ll not only have a place I can root, I will also have all the money required to effectively operate retreats, host Freedom Ministries, and administer the medicine of wild & free aliveness.
So, I say to you, have your desires but know they are directives for you to be of service. Have faith but don’t only have faith–take action. Keep a journal of your progress. Ask questions. Learn the technologies needed to strengthen your capacity to expand into your most creative and generative expression of who you be.
The mechanics of manifestation are delivered by processing through the mechanisms of desire, pain, trying, the body, and alignment with self. Declare it, and it will be so.
How many of us have tried online dating only to feel disappointment with the process? It’s not that it doesn’t work. It does. And each online relationship begins by having to sort through who wants to hookup, who doesn’t, and the basic getting to know you interview that mostly peters out after a few texts. Yet, apps are always there. Not everyone tries online dating. But, for those that do, we know how it can be used with benevolent and nefarious intent.
This is the first of a series of letters I’m sharing because I know the emotions that are coupled with not being in a couple. I know the desire to find my life partner only to come up short one swipe at at time. And I want you to know, you are not alone.
What if you could choose something different that reactive relationships? What if you could have healthy love? Would you know how to choose it?
Listen, most of us take time to arrive at a point in our lives where we feel truly free–limitless even. We have to fight through layers of old beliefs and opinions. Yet something inside of all of us knows that we are meant to have what belongs to us. We are meant to create, to love, to have friends, to travel, to have money, to have lots of money and to live free. We need more than an app for that.
We need true connection and that is what Breakup Rehab and Freedom Elite Counseling provide. If you’ve not signed up for your free consultation do so now.
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Yoga and Breakup
“Down dog! Sit! Stay! That’s how most of us feel about our thoughts and feelings after a breakup. We’d much rather lay on the sofa and look at yoga poses much less do them. But, here’s the thing, in order to be able to eat, sleep, and function like a sane human you have to “get on the mat”.
Before we talk about exactly what poses you need to do in order to get immediate relief from you breakup, I want to talk to you about yoga.
The west got it’s grips on yoga back in the 1920’s when Paramahansa Yogananda came to the US and founded the Self-realization Center, in Encinitas, California. Yoga wasn’t about “cute butts” and lululemon pants back then. And the type of yoga you will be doing to heal isn’t about that now either. It’s a spiritual path.
Yoga means to “yoke together” mind, body, and soul. The moment that yoga stops being just exercise and starts being the sum of your parts is when you have to bring dedicated attention to the details of the practice such as how you splay your fingers, the quality of your breath, the nuance of each movement from one pose to the next.
One focused sun salutation can take up to twenty-minutes if all the parts of the movement are slowed down and connected to fully. It removes us from the hurried pace of taking the magnificent animal that is our body for granted. Just ten seconds of uninterrupted attention shifts the chemistry of our body from reactive to receptive.
And for you to get through the fucking torment of your breakup you are going to need to be receptive. In fact, if you aren’t you will make false judgments and conclusions that result in dysfunctional behavior. I know the goddamn articles online talking to you about “loving yourself” or “using your breakup to become better.”
Listen, we all suck and we all are gods. You don’t need to “become better.” What is required now is awareness. That awareness will be curated and incorporated in your life though yoga. It doesn’t matter how much or how little you know about yoga because every time you practice that is a new experience that demands your full awareness.
So, the first thing I’m going to have you do is to breathe deep. This is the foundation of yoga—the breath.
Pranayama is the formal practice of controlling the breath, which is the source of our prana, or vital life force.
Begin with three-part breath.
- Sit up with an erect spine (I also laugh when I read the word erect).
- Roll your shoulders down and back opening up your chest a bit.
- Now inhale feeling your belly push out (The beer belly look on purpose).
- Then feel your ribs expand while your chest rises.
- This breath will drag along the back of your throat and through your sinus passages, which makes it sound a bit like waves.
- If you are confused watch this video I googled to do it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwFy62iU5uE
Okay, if you did this for even 3 minutes you can be done for the day and go back to your self-loathing. Or you can dive a little deeper and practice Maitri.
Maitri is a type of loving-kindness meditation. In fact you don’t even have to practice it right away. You can just take five minutes to watch Pema Chödrön explaining it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiLH6es4_d8
That can be enough for today as long as you commit to do this every day. You commit to practice attention to your breath and Maitri. I taught yoga for 3 years. So, if you want deeper guidance into the practice one pose at a time, one principal at a time, and one moment at a time please reach out to me to set up a consultation.
Also, I’ve requested various yoga studios and teachers leave their comments below so that you can choose a studio near you and use yoga to navigate your breakup.
I love you so much dear soul. You belong here. Your continued breath is proof of that. Tend to it and it will give you gifts you never thought were possible.
I also encourage you to join my email list so that you can get tips on how to use yoga to heal your breakup and many other amazing tools that provide you with immediate relief as well as the ability to turn your pain into power.
What is simple in the spiritual realms often translates as challenge in the physical plane.
As a psychic, medium, and channel I often receive messages like this when working with clients. The beauty is as I’m “reading” for someone else I’m also being informed.
I’ve heard it echoed in conversations that 2017 was a bitch of a year; one that many of us do not want to replicate in 2018. Of course no one year defines a life but rather casts light on the direction it is going.
My life has two different shades to it depending on the perspective. At first blush it’s been a life of freedoms and synchronicities. I’ve had the ability to travel the United States several times over. In fact, I’m on the precipice of moving my things into storage and living out of a van for the next three months while I go on tour to promote my book. Although, when it comes to being successful by conventional standards, I’ve continued to fall short. I currently am living off my credit card and have a very small nest egg. I’m not married. I don’t have children. I’m not part of a religious institution. I am not politically active.
Just today, after a night of tossing and turning from overdosing on caffeine, I woke and returned to the substance again. You see, transition often stirs emotions that require tending to. But, I’ve already spend a majority of 2017 in emotional paralysis; mostly because I didn’t slow down enough to become intimate with it. Rather I took the convenient route of eating my feelings, loathing my body, anesthetizing my torment with coffee and distracting my mind with social media.
I suffered through yet another breakup this year because rather than take the time to get to know the chap it took one hour to decide to say yes to “tea”, which turned out to mean sex. This resulted in bonding with someone who was ill equipped for a stable relationship that would grow into a lifetime of memories. Rather, it was built on the foundation of civility giving way to entropy. Simply, we bonded through sex but fell apart in every other form of communication. Therefore, true intimacy became impossible and, as such, the relationship transformed into a vapid hole of unfulfilled desire.
Then ache set in. This is the kind of pain one can only identify as abandonment. It extends beyond feeling separate or banished or even outcast. But, rather than address it or even be present enough for it to come into awareness I chose convenience over intimacy. The continued suppression that comes with distraction has its consequences.
As winter set in, even in sunny California, my life began to freeze. Money trickled in as past expenditures piled up. My bed was occupied by only my body but often times my soul would remain absent. I became an emotional contortionist and a bit of a character in the process. Further, in the darkness I was also tasked with being a beacon of light to my clients.
It was pure torture. My days and nights were full of torment. And if faith were a meal meant to satiate torment, that meal would be communion. The bread as the body of Christ. The wine as the blood. Not enough to fill one’s stomach but enough to cleanse one’s soul. A soul that had been suppressed by an obsession with comfort, stability, and convenience.
Often times a new choice is made available only after the suffering from redundancy becomes unbearable. My continued seeking for a husband, a perfect body, a full bank account, and a life of luxury removed me from the sacred space called intimacy; for everything I was seeking after was also coupled with a judgement that I was less than enough because I didn’t have that which I had judged as salvation.
There is nothing inherently wrong with beauty or an aesthetic predicated on luxury. There is nothing right about it either. Yet we often offer worship to transient idols that in return for our devotion curse us with the compulsion to rob ourselves of joy through comparison. In doing so, we diminish our capacity to receive grace and enter into an intimate space.
It would be natural to assume that choosing convenience corrupts the soul and that the alternative answer is to choose intimacy. What is inherent in this logic is the very notion that corrupts each of us, which is believing that life has an answer at all. Rather it is a string of experiences that turn into lessons that becomes stories and at times teachings.
That is to say, what is simple in the spiritual realm is complicated in the human experience because in the process of distillation of thought into form the ego seeks for convenience and efficiency over preparation and intimacy. So, the lesson here lies in how we choose.
Like DNA, 2017 will replicate in 2018 unless it is coded differently. Intimacy requires one to be of healthy mind, body, and spirit. In order to do this we must take the time to learn how to have intimate relationships not only with others but also with food, money, our bodies, and our spiritual practices. For example, an intimate relationship with money requires us to communicate clearly with it by keeping a ledger, choosing wise investments, cleaning up past expenditures, and engaging in ethical transactions. Just paying the bills is a relationship of convenience. Intimacy requires investment.
No matter the arena—finance, sex, health, wealth, abundance or spirituality that investment is that of time. And so, as we close out the chapters of our past and look towards the future once more we all have a choice to make—convenience or intimacy.
I’ve walked through fire and I know how to guide you back home. To truly change your life book a consultation now.
DISCERNMENT IN RELATIONSHIPS AND CONSCIOUS RELATING
If you feel like you are going to fall in love with someone, hold yourself back, keep your eyes open. This is a very important learning and very necessary for you to become mature and wise. To be swept along by impressions and infatuations, to allow yourself to be seduced by others, to be overtaken by beauty, wealth or charm is such a form of self-betrayal. It is such a dangerous involvement. It has such profoundly difficult and unfortunate consequences.
You have to be very careful here. Who you associate with and how you associate with them has all the bearing for your life and the kind of life you have and the opportunities you have. Likewise, do not become sexually engaged with anyone unless it represents a real partnership for you, for sexuality is a commitment by its very nature. You may think of it as a casual involvement, but emotionally it is never casual. Your relationship will never be the same. And if it cannot fulfill itself at a greater level, it will be disappointing, and that will generate resentment and failed expectations, disappointment.
You can not always just be a friend with someone who was once a lover, for you have crossed a threshold where you are pretending to be in a real relationship even though perhaps you never were. Sexuality is wonderful with the right person and damaging with the wrong person. Never treat this lightly. Never think of this as a casual, recreational kind of involvement. To your body it is the real thing. To your emotions it is serious because it is consequential.
Here you may have to hold yourself back and learn to restrain yourself, or you will give yourself away recklessly, hopelessly and cause great damage. And as a result, you will never know what is really true within yourself.
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How many heart wrecks have you been in?
We often crash vehicles do to carelessness or accidents. But, how often do we crash our heart and cause our minds whip-lash? It takes time and dedicated healers to restore injuries from car-wrecks and heart-wrecks. Today we are going to focus on heart-wrecks.
A heart wreck is when you allow something or someone other than God to possess you—to be the central focus of your life. You see, God has a plan and path for our lives but often times through hubris we take detours and attempt short-cuts.
Assume that we allow someone or something to drive us around. We give up control to another flawed, broken, afraid human being and hand him or her the keys. Where do you think that will takes us? Down the road of being flawed, broken, and afraid. But, what if your heart—your engine—was fueled by more than connection with another human? What life could you live then?
Our hearts are like the engine of the vehicle that is our bodies and our brains are the transmission. We need both to work before there is movement. God is what fuels the heart. The relationship to our Higher-power or creator is the healing connection called salvation. People will come and go out of your life and you have no control over it. Physical death and the death of relationships have broken us all. We are all hurt, in pain, and hoping for salvation.
I’ve made the mistake of wishing that a man would rescue me. I have wished that I could go back to being a child whose parents managed the responsibilities of life. My heart has shut off and therefore cut off fuel to my body. Without fuel the transmission/mind cannot shift gears. It remains frozen.
Pain, sorrow, regret, fear, anger, jealousy, malice, revenge, and the lot cut us off from our source of fuel. We are crippled like an abandon car on the side of the road. All the other cars pass it by and eventually it gets towed and demolished. But, there is hope of restoration.
The 12 steps of CoDA and of Breakup Rehab restore our connection with our higher-power and put us back in the driver seat. We understand our well-being is the top priority and swiftly exit relationships that do not support us in our goals. The top priority in restoration is surrendering our lives to God or our Higher-Power.
Without this relationship all roads lead to a dead end. We can feel temporary happiness but joy everlasting comes from our relationship with God and surrendering to his guidance for our lives. We drive the path that has been paved just for us.
So, on this day, no matter what you are struggling with or where you are at in your breakup journey, know that there is a force bigger than you that cares for you and our well-being. God will bring you joy that you can never achieve when someone else is in the driver seat.
Join the Breakup Rehab prayer group, the book club, and the support group to develop your relationship with your higher-power and experience coming home.
The number one reason we breakup is because of a breakdown in communication. This is a big one and while there are little things we can do to improve our communication, that doesn’t always mean there is a quick fix.
The second major reason for a breakup is financial issues. If someone earns more money and hasn’t agreed to be as sugar daddy or sugar mama, then resentment can build up causing a split.
The third reason a breakup happens is because someone was unfaithful. FOMO and YOLO (fear of missing out & you only live once) can extubate a person’s drive to cheat. And the number one reason for the third reason we breakup is because under the motivation to cheat is the fear of not being enough.
The forth variable that a causes a breakup is someone has unrealistic expectations. A lot of us are taught to create lists of our ideal mates. A sense of humor tends to be on top of both men and women’s lists because we both need it to deal with a real relationship and not an ideal one. But, when someone has unrealistic expectations, they want their partner to be attune to them at all times and predict their needs like a mother would, then it often exhausts both people in the relationship, which is no laughing matter.
The fifth reason for a breakup is that there just isn’t enough chemistry to keep it interesting. Connection cannot be fabricated. It can be faked for a while because there are other redeeming qualities in one’s mate. But, “not feel’n it” is enough to end it.
In a word—education.
“Talk to me not at me.”
I’m a counselor and even with all the information I gained in graduate school, I still have a difficult time communicating my boundaries, wants, and needs to my partner. That being said, everything I have learned makes the fights shorter, more manageable, and turn conflict into an opportunity to grow.
So, if you withdraw during conflict, avoid discomfort, get angry quickly, or do any of the dumb behaviors us humans do when we perceive a real or imagined threat then there is a tool you can learn to fix communication issues. It is called Non-violent communication.
The essence of NVC is the phrase, “When you do this it makes me feel this.”
Once we learn to express our thoughts and feelings in a healthy way, we can then graduate to learning how to speak the language of money.
“Talk dollars and sense.”
If we are unwilling to keep a budget, do accounting, track our spending, and invest wisely, then we cannot speak the language of money well. Instead we will only talk about it in the terms of having it or spending it.
Financial issues are based in emotional issues. So, in order to fix a break down in the bank account, it is best to work with a financial and clinical professional that can help teach the skills needed and to address the underlying emotions.
Infidelity can also be solved with education in that we make agreements in relationship—some of them implicit and some overt. The simplest rule of thumb in a closed relationship or an open one is just don’t cheat. Don’t do it. Don’t violate the agreement.
But, humans are stupid sometimes and ruled by basic instincts. So, knowing how to transition a relationship from monogamous partnership to polyamorous relating is also a skill that can be learned. Further, managing the emotions of envy and jealousy in a relationship can also be learned by reading books such as the Ethical Slut or Dear Lover.
“I don’t ever want to grow up.”
Many of us carry the programing of, “If you loved me then you would just know how to make me happy.” The spoiled child inside of us, the neglected child, or something in-between carries with in it the fantasy of the perfect care-giver.
And we need to learn how to parent ourselves unlike our parents did. We need to be able to identify what patterns are functional in our lives and which ones perpetuate dysfunction. Learning how to tend to our inner-child is a life-long journey that requires a spiritual practice to master.
“Like peas and carrots again.”
Lastly, there is the issue of unbalanced chemistry in a relationship. Traditional Chinese Medicine treats the imbalance of life-force energy. That being said, chemistry is something we can’t learn. We either have it or we don’t. But, we can learn to not place a complete emphasis on our feelings as guides to whether to stay with someone or leave them.
Instead, we need to find a balance between our logic and our emotions. Working with a TCM practitioner is a good way to bring harmony to the body and soul. And a TCM practitioner can be a good mentor guiding their patient to choose foods, movements, and meditations that are unique to their disposition.
So, to review the tools needed to help us navigate the narrow shores of staying in a relationship or getting out of it are: Non-violent communication, a financial and emotional counselor, researching books on the topic of closed and open relationships, making a spiritual practice a habit, and working with a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner.
A relationship is like a recipe. It needs the right ingredients to come out well. The key ingredient in creating a healthy relationship is making sure each person is invested in educating themselves about the issues.
After five years working with couples and individuals who are going through breakups, the best advice I can give is don’t wait on the other person to teach you what you need to know. Be proactive. Be compassionate. And the breakdowns that lead to breakups can then transform into breakthroughs.
Oh, and having the right instructor helps as well!
When we are single it is common to be provoked by loneliness as it whispers in your year, “You are unlovable”.
Of course the solution seems to be, “Just get in a relationship and it will all work out.” But, then there is the issue of finding, entering, and maintaining the “right” relationship for us.
To be clear, insecurities not only screw up romantic relationships but also screw up the one relationship we are guaranteed to have our whole life—the one with our Self. We get bored of being “in something” too long. So, when single for lengthy periods of time—certain insecurities find a way into our psyches in the form of questions that are laced with a certain urgency.
When will I meet “my person”?
How do I lose weight?
How do a I gain muscle?
How do I make more money (so I will be more attractive)
How can I be sexually desirable?
I wonder what my ex is up to?
What am I doing with my life?
And the daunting question that grips us all from time to time is, “Who am I?” Insecurities would have you believe you are too much, not enough, not lovable, ugly, lame, stupid, small, insignificant, and basically worthless.
The insecurities that give rise to these questions mess up your relationship with your Self because built into every insecurity is a prompting to seek external validation. Insecurities are all the areas we are cut off from feeling whole. We can’t access our Self. So, when we can’t stand to be with our Self we often choose events, objects, and relationships that perpetuate our disembodiment.
Nowhere is the impact of insecurities more noticeable than when in romantic partnership. When dating, a whole other set of questions arise from our insecurities.
Can I be with someone better?
Do the really like me?
Are they cheating on me?
Are they going to leave?
What can I do to make my partner stay?
How to I be more attractive to my partner (so they won’t leave me)?
Is my partner a narcissist or has some mental disorder (because they don’t get me)?
I’ve heard it said that perfection doesn’t have company. This means that when in relationship it is easy to think that if your partner could change in some way that would make him or her closer to your ideal then life would just be peachy. This will screw you up because no partner is perfect. Therefore, those who seek for perfection can expect to be lonely. And most of us run after perfection to cope with our insecurities.
It has also been said that intelligent people have the most sophisticated coping mechanisms and therefore blind spots. We simply can’t see how our insecurities are screwing up our relationship. We want to be loved for all of who we are but we can’t love who we all are. We are selective and divisive and afraid. We’d like to that we know what we are dong—but we don’t. And insecurities seek for answers when in reality life is just one long question.
So, how do you know if insecurities are messing up your relationship?
The simple measure that can be used to answer if insecurities are screwing up your relationships—single or dating or married or some fluid thing—is to ask yourself, “Am I at peace?” “Does this thought bring me peace?’ “If I look back on today from the vantage point of a year from now, will this action that seems so important to take bring me peace?”
It is so easy to be motivated by money, lust, greed, gluttony, pride, entitlement, and to forget that the greatest riches we can experience come to us through relationships. Insecurities have us focus on what is wrong, bad, or rotten in our lives. We become reactive.
So, the next time you feel urgent to stop being single, ask, “Will this bring me peace?” The next time you want to criticize your partner or you begin to judge them as wrong ask, “Does this bring me peace?” The peace that passes understanding allows insecurities the space to expand until they dissolve.
So, if you find that insecurities are screwing up your relationships, take a breath, take inventory, give yourself some space and time, and make a choice to be at peace. Podcast
I imagine a situation where the blue light of the computer is filling a dimly lit room, there has been a somewhat frantic internet search happening for the last hour, and nothing particular has shifted, yet a sense of groundlessness has taken hold.
We do this. We feel lonely. And much like some physical anomaly we would look up on WebMD; we turn to the web to try and help us untangle our mixed emotions.
If the search for answers has been fueled by the question, “How do I find my person?” there are normally some significant variables involved. For instance, we can date pretty good people, average people, and sometimes just use people as substitutes like we use sweets for “nutritional” purposes. And in the instant we realize that there could be someone better “out there” we go searching for, “How to find a better person than the person who I am with; who is actually just filling a gap in my life because I’m lost and afraid to admit it or I just don’t have it in me to face my insecurities.”
There is a formula for that.
Sometimes our search for another person who will become your person has less to do with wanting a better relationship and more to do with just not wanting to be single any more. Once almost every show on Netflix has been watched, once the dating app world becomes redundant, and it’s too soon to be a crazy cat lady or lone wolf in the woods, it is next to impossible not to wonder, “Where is my person?”
There is a formula for that too.
I’m also aware of the people who had their person and are not wondering how to find them, but rather asking how the lost them. In this case, we can wonder, “How could my person find something new?
There is a formula for that as well.
We get hit hard when we are with not quite the right fit, lonely for too long, or had a good thing going only to watch it leave. No matter where we find ourselves on the dating spectrum the crux of the formula is to find ourselves.
- Be in the moment:
We want things we seemingly can’t have. Anticipation creates more pleasure in the body than satiation. So, the initial component of the three step formula for finding your person is to learn how to let the moment fill us—how to become ripe with pleasure and embolden by pain.
We want life to be reliable but not too predictable. So, we keep busy. If we are to let the moment fill us we cannot “Wear busyness as a badge” as Brene Brown says.
A full breath must be reveled in. We are still breathing. About half the portion of food that we ingest can fill us if we pause for two seconds with each bite and taste the bounty of flavor in something as simple as a ripe strawberry. Our muscles have a chance to sing out in celebration from a simple cat-like stretch as an acknowledgement for the unending work required of them.
Yes, each moment is full of miracles if only we can pause for two seconds—just enough time to notice them. Then another two seconds—just enough time to recognize the simple miracles unfolding. Then another two seconds—just enough time to appreciate the fullness of the moment. Then another two seconds—just enough time to mourn the moments passing and be filled up by the cycle of birth and death in a matter of seconds.
Simply, when searching for our person, be mindful of all the moments on the journey to the destination.
2. Take the Journey
This initial part of the three step formula can take a life-time to master. So, the concurrent initiative is to enjoy the journey. The formula isn’t one that goes in order. It runs parallel. It intersects with conflicting desires. It is in the foreground and background. And we forget all about it when we buy into the belief that finding our person will mean something. It doesn’t. It is just a part of the journey. We come across all sorts of people in our lives; each of them offers a unique contribution.
So, when we start to make our person significant we make them a destination and even an object. An object is something we can own—temporarily. Therefore, in addition to being drunk with the miracles that happen in the moment we also need to set each moment free by enjoying the journey.
3. Remember what matters.
Lastly, the third part of the formula echoes the first two parts in that, “Everything matters. Nothing matters.” Enjoy the moment or don’t. Sink into it or speed past it. Focus on the now or something else.
The truth is that in our search for a formula, a person, an object, or an experience is really the search for how we can become more of who we are. We long to be at home in our bodies while simultaneously defending against our bodies decay. And we often search to reconcile this disparity through “finding our person”.
Give up on finding your person.
We can still want to find them.
We get to feel our feelings and have our desires.
And the real formula is to be the person you want to be with in each moment, on the journey, and though the profound and trivial unfolding that is our lives.
“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”
― Sylvester Stallone, Rocky Balboa
The fields of our lovemaking have yet to be harvested. I planted plenty of seeds, and seeds have been planted in me.
But none have borne fruit that ripened; rather, they have rotted inside a chasm called desire.
This has shown up in my every attempt at a relationship because, I suspect, my heart knew it was not you. You would never ask me to live in a moldy basement, to be shackled by debt because you lack vision, and you would never ask me to surrender the parts of me that make me whole.
I am and have always been whole. I am built this way.
But the men I’ve been with picked me apart like crows feasting on a carcass. I was a threat. We briefly weaved our lives together like a revolutionary flag to be burned by the very revolution it represented.
Some compare the feeling of loss after a shoddy lover leaves to a heart breaking. My heart has never broken fully. It just opened a little more to create room for you. But, the scars are there—burn marks from lovers who lied, for whom I overcompensated.
And I’ve often wondered why you haven’t done what was needed to find me sooner.
Where are you? Are you on a grand adventure? What preparations must be met for our meeting to coalesce? Don’t you want to have sex every day?
I’ve been told not to beg for you. I’ve been told prayers of beseechment are futile. And I must confess, I’m not doing a very good job of holding space for you. My mind gets cluttered with expectations of others and is in constant atonement when the man I meet isn’t you.
I’ve seen myself in the women who are past the time allotted to have a child. I’ve seen the question marks of failure on women’s faces that point to having to wait too long for a wish to be granted. Today, I feel like those women. The only distinction is my beliefs.
I believe if I ask for what I truly want, then I will experience it. So, I’m asking.
Lover of mine, find me. Don’t wait a moment longer. Come create with me. Let’s elevate our minds and our lives together. I’m exhausted from dumbing myself down so other men can catch up. Let’s hit the ground running. More than this, let’s wake up every day and choose each other.
I have created my life to be an invitation to those who want to peer into existence and see that they are the great and mighty Oz. I wish I could hear you calling to me, because I can’t stand all that is getting lost in translation.
I’m tired of being misunderstood. I’m tired of love being confused as a lesson. I’m tired of sex being an afterthought. I’m noticing a trend. I’m not sleeping beauty, though.
So my prayer is this: “Let’s wake up together.”
Come get me.
In America, we are raised on romance—the notion that there is a perfect “forever” for us.
Of course, this is a template that has been handed down through generations of traditions, stipulations, and dictations. A lot of us think that being in a relationship will elevate our status. If we date someone with money, who is hot, who has connections, who can support our dreams, or who, at the very least, will sooth loneliness, then we can feel good about our lives.
But, what happens when we get into a relationship that breaks us down instead of builds us up?
An event called cognitive dissonance, which is when our external reality does not match the internal imagery of who we think we are, can lead to us confusing love with abusive or demeaning behaviors from our partners. Furthermore, our internal world acts as a filter to external input. So, we often cannot see the subtle degradations that chip away at our well-being.
We will often choose oppression and suppression over separation from our investment. And, that’s what a relationship is—an investment of time, energy, and resources.
Things are even more complicated when we are married to dysfunction—that is to say, that the contribution of both parties involved in creating the relationship are infusing it with distorted communication. This results in a toxic, yet often addictive, environment.
It can feel like a cage. It can undermine self-esteem. We can be aware of the discomfort, but at a total loss on how to shift it. In fact, we can keep making choices that reinforce our perception of being trapped.
Some of us attempt leaving the situation only to be pulled back in. Some of us wall off and withdraw from our significant other as a form of punishment. Some of us try to change who we are so we can manipulate our partner. At times we are aware of how we are contributing to the chaos. But, most of the time we are reactionary, which is born from our survival instincts.
When life is constructed from the energy of survival our choices become limited to fight, flight, freeze, or using sex as a means of control. Relationships are formed by two people contributing to a third entity. It becomes the vehicle that both sets the trajectory for each person, and helps to map out how each person is to behave in order to keep the wheels from falling off.
In an almost automatic fashion, when troubles arise, one person may want to veer off the road, while the other one wants to push harder on the accelerator. Each person has a choice to approach or avoid the conflict that shows up by virtue of habits, belief systems, and systemic issues. Suffice to say, we often cling the tightest to the thing we need to let go of the most.
Ironically, the action we need to take may be the last thing we perceive as accessible.
If you want to experience freedom then the right thing to do is break up. Actually, it isn’t even the right thing to do, it will inevitably be the next thing that happens because the soul is not meant to be confined.
Our birthright is to live an expressed life. We are the keepers of our fate and the arbiters of our destiny. Relationships have many functions. They can be a classroom and teach us. They can be a museum and help us archive memories. They can be a theme park and thrill us. They can be a spiritual journey and elevate our consciousness. But, rarely, are they meant to be a prescription to quell the persecution inflicted by life’s challenges.
Furthermore, although it is touted as such, self-love is also not a prescription to living a happy life. So often we search for reconciliation of our discomfort through intellectual means. We seek to explain away pain and to justify our folly. But, none of this is necessary. Freedom is immediately accessible if you are willing to let go.
The mistake we make when approaching breakup from frenetic emotions or analysis is to believe we have failed in some way. This is simply not true. Freedom comes when you remember you have, and always have had, a choice in the matter.
Living life as if it should have a defined outcome will ruin it. Don’t plan on forever with someone. Plan on spending your life having experiences that enrich your awareness of who you are and how you can use that to live your purpose.
Loving yourself simply means coming to full acceptance that you will be in a relationship with yourself for as long as your body lingers on this earth.
So, don’t think too hard on whether you can save your relationship or not. If you are asking that question, the answer is “No.”
Release it. Let go. Experience freedom and breakup.
The grand continent of North America is filled with lone wolves.
Life delegates the business of creation to them, and they diligently leverage their surroundings for survival. The full moon represents the richness of emotion that the wolf pack of one feels.
Where the “lions” of the world feel pride, the lone wolf can only release the tenderness of loneliness through a howl—a long drawn out moan that often comes as no more than a sigh once the dawn breaks.
I understand this all too well, because I am a lone wolf who often wakes up lonely. It’s as if dawn’s break has stopped being a promise for a new day and has become more of a reminder that I bear the responsibilities of life in seclusion.
As a lone wolf, I will share this sentiment with others, but someone who isn’t a wolf will often offer the “solution” of “enjoy being alone.”
Being a wolf holds a special kind of meaning in Native American culture. According to my Spirit Animal Totem Tarot card deck, wolf means intelligence and keen instinct, and wolf is challenged by distrust in self and others. The companion book to my Spirit Animal deck goes on to say, “The wolf is the pathfinder, the forerunner of new ideas who returns to the clan to teach and share medicine.”
So, the first way to cope with being lonely is to view ourself as a wolf. In those moments of solitude, we’re collecting wisdom and medicine to share with the tribe. It has been said that, “Many hands make light work.” And that work gets initiated by the wolves of the world. The ones who learn to clear the clutter so that they can listen to Spirit and trust their guidance. Some call this instinct.
And if we are a lone wolf, the second way to cope is to trust that our instinct has kept us safe thus far—and that it will lead us home. We spend a lot of time making ourselves wrong for who we are. A wolf knows he is not a bear, a bunny or a hawk. Each animal plays its role in the world.
We are lonely. We can cope with it by owning who we are, where we are.
We can always create something different. Wolf packs are known to roam hundreds of miles. If we don’t like where we live, the job we have, the people we associate with, then we can pick somewhere else to be. “Wherever you go, there you are,” so the first place we need to choose to be is in a new belief system.
Loneliness is a judgement against the circumstances we chose long ago. It’s like buying something on credit and then having to pay it off later. So, like a wolf would do, we hunt and gather resources and pay what we can now. We eat what we hunted and if we have no food we hunt for more.
Loneliness is often coupled with entitled feelings like, “I shouldn’t have to hunt; I should just get what I want because I want it.”
All animals have to hunt.
So why are some animals at the top of the food chain while others have to scavenge?
Ask. Prayer and asking questions are the two most effective ways to cope with waking up lonely. Howl your anguish. Ask “Why?” Ask “How?” Ask “What will it take for me to fulfill my destiny?” Then pray prayers of thanks. Our giving of gratitude opens the doors of receiving in our hearts.
As you pray, set time aside to light candles and hold ceremony in your home or find a place in nature that you can be held by Father Sky and Mother Earth. All the creepy crawly things are your friends. Know that you are a vestal for Creator to be expressed. Your loneliness is signaling the need for a conversation. And prayer is that conversation.
If you don’t know how to pray, then simply journal your thoughts or take a moment to meditate.
Then stand at the precipice of the edge of your creations, gaze over the expanse with your keen eyesight, and envision that which you seek is seeking you. When you howl, you send a signal to your great love, to the experiences you are longing for, and to your great fortune to know where you are in the world. So lift your head, puff your chest, and howl.
Release loneliness and send the signal, “I’m here.”
Then trust your pack is coming for you!
What if each day of life only required one thing of us—to love it more than the last?
Worries would dissolve with the dawn. The hours of fretting would pass into a time that only children could recall in stories—tales of heroes, villains and well-worn aphorisms.
The taste of victory would linger, for on this day the exuberant acceptance of all that is bevels the edges of ambition just enough to allow for just a little more expansion.
How many of us live with such passion?
Without this kind of loving our days create vapid chasms. We supplant the invocation of our real selves with stuff, things and substances. The layers of addiction range from subtle to grotesque. In the absence of this kind of love, this kindness and graceful disposition, life becomes something to carve out. It scrapes our insides into caverns where no light shines besides the dimly lit intellect—the intersection of folly and hubris.
How many of us live lives of quiet desperation?
Some will try to build a bridge between their vapid existence and unrealized passion using bricks of comparison. This is hardly a bridge, but more of a disheveled pile—a weight. You see, passion is like the blue sky frosted with wispy clouds. It is like a bird who pecks away at a dead carcass in a busy intersection—a movement just before a car speeds by, the gesture of flapping its wings miraculously lifting it from earth to sky. Calamity is evaded.
Passion can wait until the last second to signal to its host, “It is time for action.” It can lay dormant for years under the weight of trying to fit in.
At times, passion has to be coaxed out by unfettered inspirations. Nature teaches us the exercise of faith by bringing us to the edge of death every night, dimming the light to shear nothingness before the promise of a new day dawns. She is illuminating that the path to excellence includes sleeping with our shadows.
“It’s hard.” “I can’t do this.” “I’ve had enough.”
These are the declarations of the darkness—a place void of vision. Most of us sleep right through this. Most of us is really all of us if we regard humanity like the ocean. Some of us are waves that crash on the shore and some are just waves that fold back into themselves.
How many of us feel lost at sea?
How many of us are stretching our arms out and pressing against the resistance in a way that results in a buoyancy—the gesture of swimming. Here now, it’s okay. Most of us sink the first time we get into the murky seas of life. Most of us, much like all of us, can hardly decipher what kind of fish we are because we are all fish in water, beholden to our nature.
Then something happens. It does not matter how old or young you are. It is as if the primordial sludge you began as cannot help but evolve forward. Questions arise. Curiosity peaks. Obsession with creation demands focus. A dizzy feeling of orgasm with no source of defined stimuli begins to sweep through your body.
There it is! Passion.
It has been in you this whole time. Just beyond the edges of your questioning, “Why?” it was there. It was waiting for you to stop worrying about how. It was wondering if you would stop trying to define it. It was yelling at you that this day is not promised, but as long as you wake it will wake with you as if you were the sunrise itself. Because you are. You are the dawn. You are the morning light.
We work so hard in this life to “have” enough and to “be” enough. We break our hearts, our backs and our bodies for it.
How many of us are looking to you to be the one to lead the way?
Go boldly in the direction of your dreams. They have been gifted to you. Each moment is a choice to pay a price for your freedoms. What are you willing to trade?
Passion will never let you down if you are willing to be a worthy partner. It will run with you. It will guide you. It will stir your senses and scare you sh*tless. And at the end of this day’s loving it will tuck you in with this sweet reminder:
You did not come here to be fixed, but to remember that you have never been broken.
Nothing feels more pejorative than being told to forgive yourself when you don’t even know who the hell you are anymore because a lifetime of energy has been invested in defending yourself. You have been strong enough to survive. You have fought the good fight. You have thwarted disappointment and championed justice. You have made the money, paid the bills, and woke up for 5am palates.
Let’s not even mention the narcissists you have had to put up with, your fucked up childhood, the trauma that happened in college, or the years it took and is still taking to realize your dream. Actually, let’s mention that last one. Is there any other point to living than to hold fast to a vision of who you are becoming in every moment?
We all have a purpose and a path to that purpose. It looks and feels different for everyone.
And the common truth for every human is that we all are figuring it out one moment at a time.
We build bridges to our futures by getting married, getting higher education, traveling the world, having children, innovating, and expressing ourselves through the many mediums of art. Conversely, we burn bridges by divorcing, giving up on our dreams, staying in one place for a long time, having and abandoning our children, being ridged, and judging everything that is different as wrong.
Sometimes that path to the bridge is long and winding. Let’s just say it is always long and winding with intermittent moments of magic. That’s life. And the most important bridge we can build is forgiveness.
It is obvious to look outside of ourselves at other humans we can forgive, circumstances we can forgive, or even forgiving our higher power. But, the most profound forgiveness happens between our shadow and our light.
That which you don’t own up to will own your ass. Think of all the things you judge out of your reality. Are you judging men harshly for hurting you? Are you blaming women for the losses in your life? What hurts have turned into judgements? What disappointments have transformed into walls? What is blocking you from really living your destiny?
The obstacle is the path. Sometimes we have to release years of pent up rage and frustration through the cathartic act of burning old love letters, screaming “Fuck you” at the top of our lungs, or finding some safe container—like a therapist’s office or boxing gym—to access our body in a way that hits the reset button.
One of the greatest tools to access forgiveness and to start building the bridge to more possibility is to ask yourself, “What’s not wrong?” There are some lessons that are more difficult to integrate than others like divorce, chronic illness, or rejection. And if you stop to ask, “What’s not wrong?” then the lesson will reveal itself in its purest form. Often times the strength to emerge as more of who you really are takes being broken open.
Forgiveness is an inside job. It takes resources such as faith, community, willingness, and acceptance to take what was broken, and rather than glue it back together, expand the space by bridging the broken pieces.
Every place there is resistance is an invitation for forgiveness. Every person you dislike is provoking you to forgive. Every stress that arises from the feeling of not having or being enough is stressing the importance of forgiveness. Every time you want to shut down and hide is the time to begin to build your bridge.
Now is always the best time to forgive.
I could actually title this, “Dear former twenty-year-old self, ‘Keep a dime between your knees unless he pays one-hundred (I mean one-hundred-million)’.” At some point I would venture to say that most women think, “Fuck it, this is the year I am going to be a stripper” or “I should start being paid for sex.” “There is no reason for me to give this away for free.” But, then there are the sluts.
Sluts give it all away for free. They are the sexual version of a drive-through that is giving out samples.
Sluts have cornered the market on low self-esteem. Being a slut is like Ford Motors in 1919—an assembly line cranking out the same product. The perpetual search for validation through giving up the pussy is how the whole vicious cycle of chronic low self-esteem continues. It’s like the little train that couldn’t get her shit together.
I get it. I did it.
And traditionally, men are lazy. Blame it on the idiot molecule—testosterone. I’ve heard it said that testosterone blocks short-term memory. So, the small brain—or penis—is backup. It has only one mission—hot pocket.
And I get that without a shit-ton of alcohol, peer-pressure, and drugs most women wouldn’t choose to slut-out as her first option. But, affection has become a commodity synonymous with penetration. The lazy-dick-male whose brain is being washed in the idiot molecule acts on instinct. One instinct begets another and poof—two sluts are formed.
Being a slut is not owning your sexuality by the way. It’s being an emotionally irresponsible retard.
Women, you are born with the gate to heaven between your legs. And not everyone gets into heaven. In fact, if you let everyone knock or knock-up heaven’s door, there will be hell to pay.
We literally have to train the penis to ignite the big brain into action. The first step is to make sure the man is buying his stairway to heaven—with time, not money.
Men are not dumb. They know how to take action. It is the primary characteristic of masculine energy—charge ahead and think about it later. So, the price of admission includes the initiation of a sequence I like to call “Have some balls.”
Somewhere on the internet exists a gentleman’s code. One of the dictates reads, “A gentleman can wait for a lady.” Sluts don’t wait and this is ruining romance. Plus, now everyone has some form of an STD but sluts don’t talk about it. This is also fucking things up.
So, dear slut—please wait. I know that our bodies freak out when we are young and that some slutting will have to be done. But, once you are done with slutting around—your late twenties—lock up the goods. Hopefully, your first divorce will be behind you if you got married “way too early.” Your string of bad decisions will be the Instagram account you delete and then start a new one.
And you get to start over. It’s called evolution. At some point, you will feel like a bad-ass because you got an education, landed a great job or started your own company, traveled, struggled and overcame, and upped your self-esteem to “unfuckable with.”
Of course, you are totally still fuckable. Duh.
So, everyone, stop the train-wreck that is hooking-up. Let’s be the generation that ushers romance back in. We can all champion seduction, which is a slow and deliberate process.
Sip cocktails rather than guzzle Miller High-Life. Be picked up for a date—because we have already done a background check via some light Facebook recon. We can call more and text less. We can find time to invest in learning to play with each other instead of dumping the worn out script of holding the other person responsible for our happiness onto one another.
In fact, we can invent our version of romance.
I know this for sure, it does not involve being a slut. So, stop already.
This reformed slut.
You are going to want to take notes because this is about to be a dissertation on the fundamentals of romantic relationships from the perspective of me—a psychic relationship specialist.
First, I feel like such an asshole throwing out that title because being a relationship specialist does not mean being perfect. So, now that we got that straight, let’s get to the dirty little secret.
This is a two-part deal (AKA two-fur). The first part of the secret is that if you get into a relationship you will get an STD—spiritually transmitted disease. It is next to impossible, let’s just say impossible, to be in a relationship and remain unadulterated. The universe is one giant vibrator. Everything is made of frequency. The miracle of the human body is that it is an instrument that can tune to a variety of frequencies.
Peace is the highest vibration with love as a close second. When two people fall in love they fall out of peace because there harmonic is predicated on the common but hardly acknowledged point of view that you have to give up your choices in order to “have” a relationship.
How often have you heard it said, “Relationship is a sacrifice?” There is a psychological rule book that consists of cultural norms. It sounds like, “Don’t worry you will find a good man.” “So who are you dating?” “Now that you are engaged, when is the wedding?” “Now that you are married, are you going to have kids?” “Now that you have your first kid, are you going to have more?” “Now that you have a job are you planning for retirement, buying a home, getting a hybrid, or planning for the future?”
These questions are the vehicles that transmit STD’s because rather than truly relate to the essence of your partner and rather than be patient with the pace of their evolution, we try to make it into something else. We decide ahead of time that our happiness is predicated on an outcome. This thought pattern is how the disease spreads.
The relationship then becomes a vehicle that traverses the course of unconscious compulsions. It is only after two people have hurt each other beyond repair that the light breaks through. A broken heart is the result of light pushing through the shadow. Most of us need to be broken open. It is a place of grace where the blind begin to see.
The second part of the secret is that we have all settled for this kind of relationship and in doing so have come to HATE relationships. But, we lie to ourselves about that. We make the best of a bad thing. In fact, many of us go beyond that and start coveting the status of “in a couple” just like an addict who fiends for his next fix. The STD then becomes fixated through the common syncopated energy of, “If they would only change then I could be happy.” This can also sound like, “I’m not good enough and I need to change my external reality to be worthy of love.” Hence, plastic surgery, lip augmentation, fake boobs, Viagra, and chronic cleanses.
So, in case you don’t quite get it, the secret is that we are perpetuating pain through lying to ourselves about how to get what we think we want.
You are not here on earth to be fulfilled but rather to fulfill a purpose. In other words, life is not just about being blissed out. As far as I can tell, the treatment for relational and emotional STD’s is waking up.
Let there be no pretention or pretending in this process. I hear the voices of thought leaders telling everyone what to do, hosting courses on how to be happy, and essentially selling people back to themselves.
You are sovereign. It brings me to tears to say that so clearly. Your worth and authority are as fragile as what you think about them. The invitation stands to do relationship differently and heal the collective STD’s of anxiety, depression, co-dependence, self-flagellation, and the evisceration of personal power in service of creating something that is degrading instead of inspiring.
We all have to learn what not to do first. So, be merciful with yourself. It takes years of practice to master life.
Simply, relationships are an alchemical process where two people come together and create something new. If the thing that is created continues to support the long and arduous process of self-realization, then it is worth engaging in. But, if you feel like shit about yourself because of your relationship, then, chances are you are riddled with STD’s and the only cure, in this moment, is to choose something different—break your heart open.
In closing, true love is our birthright. Well-being is a journey. And owning our choices cures our collective STD’s.
“I can’t even.” This phrase is often uttered after being the recipient of bad behavior or witnessing someone do something so stupid that it merits this kind of disgusted aphorism. Bad behavior and the elaborate dismissal of it has become a dominate force in current culture.
How often have you thought to yourself, “How hard is it to send a text?” Or how often have you been guilty of vomiting emotions, that were better expressed in a one on one format, into a lengthy text? Or have you let the subtle yet unintelligible emotion of embarrassment turn into a limp justification for ghosting someone? These and other behaviors like them are adolescent at best, indications of major character defects and reflect the lack of the ability to be emotionally responsible.
This being said, setting healthy boundaries is an art form. Anyone can throw shade or wall off their emotions to create the illusion of being powerful or unaffected by the opinions of others. The majority of bad and disrespectful behaviors are rooted in perpetuating the need to feel or appear as special. The exterior does not match the interior in that people play games to prove something that doesn’t need proving if they just knew this one thing—we are all in this together.
I might be different than you but that doesn’t mean I have to be separate from you. Culturally speaking, American is a Guilt based culture while Japanese culture or collectivist cultures are shame based. This simply translates as the difference between being motivated by internal pressures verses external pressures.
As an American, achievement and individualism reigns supreme, which results in engaging in competition over collaboration. Collectivist cultures emphasize not bringing shame to the family and maintaining honor.
The point is the old generation is supposed to teach the new generation how to be decent human beings.
I’m going on record as one of the old people who talk about the younger generation as if they were retarded amoebas who have no respect for tradition and who are ruining the world one snapchat at a time. Seriously though, how did a social media app that was meant for dick-pics and kid-porn become so popular?
And on a more personal level, I was just reminded by one of these emotional retards that I was amazing and that “He wanted a romantic relationship but just not with me”, which was fine to state as a fact the first time. But, then was followed up with an insulting PSA, “We are not dating”, after seeing one of my Instagram posts talking about what I wanted in a man. What an arrogant dick!
So, by sharing this, I am demonstrating one of the first, yet tried and true, disrespectful behaviors—passive aggressiveness.
So, since there is not a definitive list of what is douche-bag/out-of-bounds/disrespectful behavior and in-bounds/respectful behavior, let this stand as the list.
Passive aggressive “Did you notice that I blocked you on Facebook?”
Passive aggressive behavior is the opposite of being able to own your shit. When you are passive aggressive you come from an ego place that tries to make sure everyone one knows how special you are for being offended but no one gets to know why. The world of social media has become the platform for passive aggressive communication with blocks, likes, dislikes, side-comments, friending an ex’s friends, Facebook stalking, and going as far as cyber-bullying.
Radical Honesty: Is it true, necessary, and kind.
The opposite of this behavior is simple in that it involves telling the truth to a person over the phone or one on one. It is about being able to recognize an emotion but not esteem that emotion as better or worse than any other feeling—especially someone else’s feelings or experience. The delineating line between disrespect and respect is having the skill to clearly and courageously communicate your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in a way that creates genuine connection. This is a skill that is acquired over a lifetime in that it needs time to mature. Being the recipient of passive aggressive behavior is one of the greatest ways to learn how to be radically honest because although the ego wants to inflict the same pain and pride wants to win; the heart knows better and seeks the connection that comes from passing thoughts and words through the three gates—is it true, necessary, and kind?
Manipulation: “Babe you are the reason I am happy.”
There are three types of people that show up in our lives: the mirrors, the mentors and the magicians. Manipulators can seem like all three. Manipulation is a form of seduction in that it plays to people’s desires, insecurities and beguiles people into trading their power for a false promise. Manipulators are powerful in that they can make you feel that their issues are your problem to fix therefore representing themselves as mirrors. Most people who manipulate do so because it creates a false sense of power and it can position them as mentors or experts that require adoration for nothing more than their presence. Conversely, there are plenty of people who believe themselves to be victims and these are the true magicians of the crowd in that they exert their deception through the subtle acquisition of sympathy. We, who have allowed ourselves to be manipulated, know these types as players, gamers, playboys, gold-diggers and giant pains in the heart! Of course, there is a remedy.
Integrity: Words and actions align.
We say things we don’t mean. It is called flirtation. But, when the rubber hits the road, things move forward and they don’t stall out. If someone is a person of integrity they will wait to get into bed with you. They will remember that you are not perfect and not shame you for it. They will stand by you and for you. They will make an effort but make it feel effortless. And the reason this person can do all of this is because they know themselves. They have done the hard work of wrestling with their ego. They have faced their shadow time and time again. They are courageous, mindful, and brave. Moreover, you will like who you are around them because they will not only make you want to be another person, they will require it for the sustainability of the relationship.
Flake and Bail: “How hard is it to send a text? Honestly?!”
There a like one-thousand ways to get ahold of a person and only one way to actually connect with them. So, why is it so hard to make a connection? It is because there is like one-thousand or more options at any time, which creates FOMO or a YOLO that results in flaking out. Plus since everyone works from home, no one plans anything until the last minute. That’s not true…or is it? I don’t know. “Let’s just talk later and see how I am feeling.” Flake.
Show up: “I’m here. I love you. I’m here”.
Things happen. But nothing just happens. Decisions predicate outcomes. I decide who and how I want to be. I decide how I want to be treated. I set the standards of which I live my life by. I keep my eye on the prize. I champion my inner child so she knows she will never be abandon. I keep the Will of God as my rod and staff. I know my supply comes from being still and knowing I am God. I stand in the gap of the unknown. I surrender all. I show up for my life. And the fact is, no one else is going to do it for you. Get that. No one will treat you with respect until you grow into a place where you can command respect rather than demand it. No one—not your mama, your papa, your family, your friends, your boss, your lover, your husband, your wife, your dog, your cat, or the god in which you give your life to—is going to give you more respect than you give yourself.
The lesson is simple and constant—love yourself. All disrespectful behavior comes from the journey we all take to grow into our worth. We cannot know the mountain top when our mind is in the valley. We cannot allow light in our lives if we remain comfortable in darkness. We cannot realize our unique life purpose if getting ahead means not leaving the past behind.
You may not get the last word in but you can have the next word. There is no thought or deed more enlightened than letting go and moving forward. Forgive what has offended you. Let go. Forgive the unjust and the unfair for we are all these things. Let go. And come back into this moment. Arrive into the here and now. This is where your power lies. This is the seat of creation.
Know the list. Act right. And then let it all go.
Heard Not Seed Audio
There is a place where hope can no longer summon the dawn. It is dark and bleak—the ending of love. The mystery of imagination, a place that could never be touched, if only for a moment in time—your moment—was brought into being through kisses, intimacy, and lust. It was true and real. It meant something. But, in its departure nothing makes sense especially the things we used to believe in.
And, somehow, life goes on. It hurdles ahead and stands still. Its pace—inconsiderate. The molds of what it was to love hold true to their shape and the search begins to fill them with someone new—someone who will fit.
The irony of these molds is that they are cast-iron cages that require their owners to contort into distorted beings. Faint glimmers of new love or even deep pangs of desire for what was electrify the cycle of survival.
Life doesn’t end here. It just muddles through.
Then time does what was promised. It starts to heal old wounds. It allows enough space for new experiences to germinate new awareness. Then wisdom is born out of what once were shadowy corners and dim-lit caverns.
Life goes on and we start going with it.
The love that used to be the singular reason for hope, joy, and a sense of purpose gets replaced.
New lovers touch you. New meals grace your pallet. New weather patterns drift in and out of your life.
Then, quite by accident, nostalgia consumes the landscape of your mind. You hear a song. You smell his smell. You see the stockings she used to wear. You are transported and compelled to reach out.
It is innocent enough. It is just a “Hello.”
The word itself is innocuous. But, everything that fills the space between the syllables is potent. The bond is once again being acknowledged. The moments that have long since passed are now resurrected.
What’s more is when this gentle nudge opens the flood gates.
When you look back, it seemed clear that it was “over”. A death had occurred, you had mourned, and the remanence were neatly locked in a vault.
But now, a new breath of life is being breathed.
Never in a million years was the decree. And today is the day.
The long-lost has returned.
No amount of manufactured substance could elicit this type of high. The air is thin at the top of the mountain and senses dull.
Yet, the wisdom gained is never too far away.
The true prize of this reunion is not in the living what was again. No, it is a time to open to new clarity and brutal honesty.
Now is your time to distinguish between want and need.
Let life talk to you.
What have you learned in the time apart?
Who are you now that you weren’t back then?
How can you see things differently with the past so vividly manifest in this present moment?
If love was there upon the conception of your origination, then it will be there still. And this does not mean the same contract needs to be drawn.
Let the invitation be open. Savor all you have accomplished. Do not be hasty in your familiarity. You are a new person and the long-lost may be the same as they were. No one can predict the rate of evolution.
This is water passing through your life. At different times it has taken different forms—vapor, ice, ocean, rain, and clouds. Once again, let it take shape.
Don’t strain or rush to lay down borders yet be defined in your approach.
Simply, when the one you loved with all you had comes back into your life, be curious. You could have tried to reach out a thousand times before and failed. But, something about this moment catalyzed the opportunity for a reinvention.
When the long-lost return, it is just another opening to find yourself.
Listen. Your time is precious.
I can’t emphasize this enough. One of the biggest regrets I hear from my clients is, “I wasted time with a person who didn’t really love me.” Time is money, it is energy; it is the place where worry, joy, fear, and existence resides.
I want to save you time. And, in some ways, save your life.
It takes perspective. So, if I may, I am going to divulge what I know from three years of being a relationship counselor and human being. Here goes:
First, you evolve through experience. That is just how life works. So, some thought leaders would purport that “You can’t waste time.” Bull-shit.
There are definitely choices that zig your zag onto the fast-track while others derail you for years at a time. And some people need a lot of time doing the opposite of what is intrinsic to their being. It takes knowing what you don’t want to understand what you do.
The path is always unfolding.
Basically, if you want to get married and have a family, there is no reason to get on Tinder and hookup with someone who, most likely, does not want anything to do with a structured relationship.
Stay on the “hold-out” track rather than the “put-out” track.
And let me be clear, while marriage is no walk in the park, having a partner makes life better.
I’m sure you know this.
Maybe you don’t know that having a partner means being a partner. So, in this respect the only mistakes in life are the ones you don’t learn from. It takes time to become the person you want to be with.
In other words, you can always make a different choice or a series of different choices.
That being said, breakups can often feel like something that happens to you and not from you.
The second thing I know from the conversations I’ve had with countless clients and friends is that it is a son-of-a-bitch accepting that while you may hold the dream of forever in your heart and all that goes with it, the person who was supposed to be “the person” in that long-haul scenario just isn’t.
The experiences you had with “that one” can’t be duplicated or replaced. And, it is also a son-of-a-bitch when you want to keep choosing to be with “that one” and they don’t choose you. The point is, you have a choice.
Keep the dream alive of coming home, building a life, and reciprocal love. Don’t let that dream die because you or the person you were with didn’t have the capacity to hold it and to rock you steady.
Sometimes the most mature thing we can do is admit, “I’m growing in a direction that is contrary to my capacity to negotiate all the sacrifices needed to stay in relationship.”
It is up to you to prioritize the cascade of desires that accompany being alive.
Most often, and especially in this fast-speed western culture, survival gets priority most of the time. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve heard having the conversation about “needing more money”.
Actually, we need more connection.
Abusive relationships both romantically and in the work-place flourish when the focus is on survival. This energy produces less than enough all the time.
Specific to your breakup, which led you to this article because you are searching the internet for the answer to why you could be so severely rejected, disregarded, and your dreams were just shit upon, there are answers.
If you live, you learn. Some lessons will kick your ass—hardcore. When this happens, you have a choice.
The third thing I know from my human experience is that if something feels “off”, it is.
The biggest gains come right after you cut your losses. It can be difficult to know when to do what. At what point do you go from thinking about something to taking action?
Right now is the time to make different choices. Even more than this, decide.
Decide to give yourself the grace to feel your feelings but don’t let them dictate your behaviors.
Don’t stalk him or her on social media.
Don’t get into another relationship to distract you.
Don’t fuck around with your time.
Do slow down—like, really slow down.
Pour all that pain into being creative. Write, dance, meditate, sleep, eat green, and breathe.
Know this: We are all trying to survive. You are not the only person suffering from confusion. Further, you are not the only person suffering. You are not special in that respect. You can be one of the many people that shines a light into the world therefore illuminating others because you were brave enough to decide to let your light be bigger than your suffering.
So, the break down is this: choose something else. Ask for help instead of using your suffering to make you feel special. Worry is the absence of faith; turn inward. And slow down. Ask questions like, “What else is possible?” “What would it take for me to receive?” “What can I be right now to experience what I am wanting?” Then pause.
Your time is precious. It is up to you to decide how you want to spend it. That’s it.
And I wish you well-being.
They sit across from me—couples desperate for answers on how to stay together, singles panicked that their last love was in fact their “last love”, and partners at odds which each other who see breaking up as the only path to freedom or at least relief.
I would say that my life path has had a unique yet common trajectory. A friend pointed out to me that I exposed myself to every weird emotion possible and was meant to be a relationship counselor. She made this comment after I told her that my teen years were spent lusting after this nineteen year old air force guy who used to sneak me on base, into his dorm room, and there we would lay side by side. While he slept I would just stare at him and then go home, listen to Garth Brooks, lament and write really bad poetry.
In some ways, my life has been poetic. It has replicated the soliloquies, prose, and sonnets I poured onto paper as a youth.
In my life, love has mostly been tragic.
Of course I couldn’t accept that tragedy was the hallmark of love, so I set out to research it. I spend ten effen years in school, in and out of bad relationships, in love, falling out of love, single and happy, single and lonely, and just plain single. I traced the trail of love a thousand times over until I could look at it from a bird’s eye view and scrutinize it with the eyes of a lynx.
What can I say? Relationships are hard. It’s not just a well worn saying. It is so factual it could be a law.
In my life, in the lives of my clients, and in the lives of dear friends I’ve witnessed the elations that come with being in a couple and the sickening defenses that are employed when feeling misunderstood. Much of the time and energy that gets expended in relationship has to do with each party explaining themselves and making sure that the internal picture he or she holds for himself or herself is validated by his or her partner.
Validating someone else’s existence while maintaining your own is hard work. This is especially true when the person who is seeking validation has no fucking clue who they are. And who we are is a moving target.
It gets even trickier when both people are discovering who they are through the vehicle that is the relationship.
But wait, there’s more!
When in the relationship people often discover who they are by uncovering what they don’t want. And then there is even more. Once what is not wanted is discovered, plans begin being made for what to do about it and expectations get projected onto the other party about how they should act so that at least one person in the relationship can get what they want.
Game. Set. Match.
We haven’t even begun to complicate things. First there is a desire to get what you want. That desire gets projected onto a lover. Then that lover fakes like he or she hasn’t an insecurity and can be the thing you need or you just assume they will be. Next, you realize, “Holy shit! They are not living up to my ideal.” This process can happen in five minutes or five years. When it happens sooner than later it just looks like rejection but when it happens later than sooner it looks like a string of justifications.
It sounds like, “He was just so good in bed I couldn’t leave.” “She was pretty good company most of the time.” I haven’t forgotten about sex. No one ever forgets about sex.
Sex is the great multiplier (pun intended).
Even one night stands create history between two people who would otherwise remain as close as strangers who sit next to each other on the same flight. There are those rare and beautiful moments where this orchestra of ego, desire, lust, fantasy, mommy issues and daddy issues coalesce into a cohesive relationship. Hollywood has built an industry off of these moments.
And relationship counselors have built an industry on all the other moments—the crises and the awakenings.
So how can you tell if your breakup is a crises or an awakening? The simple answer is that it is a crisis if you jump into another relationship or use some form of distraction to numb out rather than take the time needed to be introspective. If you skip learning from what you’ve experienced—live the unexamined life—it’s a crisis.
And in crisis blame, codependence, and addiction often get confused for true love. There is no force more powerful than true love.
Having a long-term, lasting and sustainable relationship is a humbling experience. It takes time to arrive at a place where you can be genuinely curious about how your partner views the world. They are more than just a sounding board, a validation machine, or an approval meter. They are so fucking beautiful in their uniqueness that you can’t help but want to drink in all parts of them thereby being transformed.
Waking up requires listening. Listening, like wisdom, doesn’t happen overnight. It happens over the course of many nights, days, events, emotions, and celebrations.
If your breakup teaches you these things it is an awakening:
1. Be humble and listen.
2. You do not have the answers for someone else’s life.
3. You are your own person and must remain your own person.
4. Communication is king.
5. You are ten times more clear on what fits in your life and what doesn’t.
6. Timing matters. Right person. Wrong time. Wrong person.
7. Sex isn’t the point.
8. You are a better version of yourself for having loved, continuing to love, and for getting the fuck out when you did.
9. He’s not wrong. She’s not wrong. It just didn’t fit.
10. Love never dies. It just expands through the cracks of a broken heart.
It will take time to feel the pangs of crisis melt away and the insight of awakening dominate your awareness. It will take more time than you want it to. And in the mean time, you may numb out, hook up, get down, force the issue, play with fire, try again, isolate, burn time on social media, and so on.
Sometimes before we come more of who we are we are less of who we are. We people please. We flirt with delusions of grandeur. We sell out, put out, and numb out. On the way to awakening we pass through the gateway of fear and the terror of crisis.
You can’t really get it wrong.
Just keep going. Just keep growing.
The Truth About “Meant to Be”
Every single person has a soul mate and is a soul mate. There are several other fancy terms that encapsulate all the romantic notions humans perpetuate about love. Some are searching for “The One.” Others are holding out for their Twin Flame. And some people do meet their counterpart while others don’t.
So how do you know if what is occurring in your life is actually what is meant to be?
Simple answer, because it is. But, nothing about relationships is simple.
In fact, it takes a lifetime to get to know someone; that someone being yourself. It is the most steady and constant, albeit frustrating, relationship you will have. I know it is trite to say that and healthy relationships are predicated on high self-esteem—getting to know yourself.
Self-esteem is like Texas Tea; oil that is. It fuels a whole bunch of things, keeps things flowing and well, well oiled. Self-esteem is the voice that says to a lover who is not on the same page as you, “I understand we want different things and I am not going to give up my values to be with you.” Self-esteem can carry you through the valley of the shadow of death. Evil will fear you! And self-esteem is at the core of meant to be.
When self-esteem is in low supply a whole slew of dysfunctional behaviors act as understudies. They barely know the role and fake their way through the really important parts. The plot line comes right out of codependency and addiction.
Self-esteem says, “I am valuable and worth loving in a way that feels good and is honoring to everyone involved.” Its understudies say, “People and the world need to change to make me feel better and if they don’t there is something wrong that I will devote all my time trying to fix even if that means lying to myself and others.”
It is convenient to lie because it dispels the discomfort of not knowing. In other words, there are no certainties in life. Self-esteem gets this. Nothing lasts forever; even telling the truth. What was true for you at twenty, “I’m not ready to have children” may be a total lie at thirty.
Lies go on about forever. “It will always be this way.” That is the great illusion of romance, “Happily ever after and so on.”
Essentially, when you love someone and they don’t love you back; they could be your soul mate. Soul mates don’t always take the form of partners. Sometimes they are teachers—the most ruthless and brutal kinds. True soul mates sharpen our edges and dull our senses.
They can make us better people or lull us into a stupor that takes true loves kiss to wake from.
If a soul mate has drifted into your life, they are meant to be there and when they arrive will shape the role they play. If a soul mate shows up at a time when you are receptive to being in a committed relationship they may not feel the same. It is not because they are malice or cruel. It is because they are acting as a strong force in your life for self-examination.
Next to our parents our soul mates contribute the most to our lives. They can even help us repair all the damage parents do (there is no escaping it.)
And when things are charged up and alive between two people, it is natural to get attached. It is natural to fantasize about forever. It is natural to set goals and expect certain outcomes.
And things don’t always go according to plan. In fact, having the bottom drop out and then picking yourself back up again is what builds self-esteem. Being coddled creates the Peter Pans and Pinocchios of the dating world. Self-esteem transforms us into real boys and girls who know that you cannot change others.
You must simply let them be who they are. If this is done then who they are freely and willingly will choose to be with you or to not. There is no coercion or manipulation involved. Meant to be is the result of allowing things to be as they are.
It is the continued application of compassion and acceptance. It is the giving and receiving of freedom.
I’ve been in love with someone who has yet to develop the life skills needed to sustain a committed relationship and while his company was soothing in the moment it did little to provide me true security. In fact, for a while I tried to show him how amazing I was by giving and giving. This didn’t work because he, of course, could feel my desire for commitment under my giving. There were strings attached. So, rather than be false in my giving, I made a request for what I needed and set him free.
In this way, if he returns to my life it will be meant to be because choice not manipulation, truth not fear motivates both of our beings.
Say what you mean and it will give meaning to your being.
Simply, do not fret about outcomes that don’t match your desires. Your desires are being refined by such outcomes. And when you do get what you want it is because the timing is right, you are alive and full of choice, and all parties involved feel the same way.
The truth will set you free and it will determine your meant to be.
21st Century Love Letter
It’s me again. It seems we keep bumping into each other—one life after the next. This time around, I’ve managed to make it to my 34th birthday and you to your 33rd. I can’t help but wonder how long we have loved each other. Have we always loved each other?
If time and love are infinite, then it seems that this is the logical assumption: I have, in truth, always loved you.
The form you have taken in this life is a beautiful one. But, that is why I am attracted to you and not why I love you. Your generosity, creativity and wild spirit enliven those who come in contact with you. I’m invigorated in your presence, but this is not why I love you. Your struggles echo my own, therefore allowing me to cultivate greater empathy in my life. I’m becoming more aware of existence and mortality due to our exchanges, but this is not why I love you.
The reasons given to love another are but constructs of the mind. Lists of desires are but platitudes sought after by weary hearts that long for sanctuary. I’ve nothing of this nature to offer you.
And I give you this: I love you because I know nothing of love. It is inescapable. It has imposed itself upon me and so to it I surrender.
I do not pretend to understand it and I trust it as my guide.road
Our union has had many iterations including separation. The ache of distance between our bodies has broken me open. I stand on razor’s edge between sanity and total delusion only to utter the phrase a thousand times over, “I love you and I always will.”
This phrase is both a mantra and an attempt at forfeiting my limiting beliefs—the very essence of fear.
I can’t say with certainty that you will always love me. To demand more than you are willing to give is to enter into suffering. I’ve suffered enough but not so much that I won’t suffer again.
Fate is what life brings to us and destiny is what we do with it. You have been and are a part of my destiny and I’ve no idea what fate has in store for me. It may be the best. It may be the worst. And I choose to believe every part of this life is in service of my growth and overall well-being.
I love you because you remind me to be well, to take the path that harkens to my heart and tells me to live my own legend.
I love you as I’ve loved others. This is not a contradiction. It is just proof that love is that big. It extends beyond the reaches of our flesh. Love’s expression comes in many variations. It is both conditioned and unconditional. It is complete and unrefined. It is everything I’ve always wanted and nothing I’ve fully realized until meeting you yet again.
In short, I’m finding myself again by rediscovering you. Thank you for giving me somebody to love.