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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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.