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The Hidden Truth About Sexuality

Most people assume that sexuality is just one part of life… Albeit a part that is a bigger or smaller part of someone’s life depending on the level of importance they place on it. But this is not the truth about sexuality. Sexuality plays a much, much bigger role in the picture of someone’s life and a much, much bigger role in the picture of compatibility in relationships than most people have any idea of. Sexuality paints a much bigger picture than the act of sex in and of itself. Today, I’m going to reveal the deeper truth about sexuality and explain why, given that truth, sexuality is one of the most important elements of life and relationships. 
Sexuality is what creates life. At its very core essence, sexuality is a root creative and manifestational force. And it does not matter how aware or unaware you are of it. It should not come as a surprise then that your sexuality and your deepest desires (especially the ones you had to deny, suppress and disown) are linked. And I’m not just talking about desires in the bedroom. I’m talking about desires for your life experience. Especially the ones you aren’t consciously admitting to. No matter how subconscious your desires may be, they are still connected to your sexuality. Indeed, they play a major role in shaping your sexuality. Beneath every person’s sexuality is a life experience or many that shaped that person’s desires and needs and those desires and needs reflect in their sexuality.  
Many people think that sexual incompatibility is a small item of incompatibility that can easily be worked on and improved in a relationship. But in reality, incompatible sexuality is one of the hardest things to work on and improve in a relationship. Not because it is hard to improve things regarding the act of sex itself. But because incompatible sexuality points to deeper oppositional desires and needs between two people. And these incompatibilities (which incompatible sexuality will point to) will not just limit themselves to the bedroom. They will ripple out across so many other aspects of a person’s life and their relationships. Most people simply don’t do the consciousness work necessary to decode their own sexuality, and what it means about their deep needs and desires for life and relationships.  
So that you can understand this better, I’m going to give you a couple of examples. Simon is in a relationship with Allie. They really care about each other and make a good team. But the sex was never great. Simon feels like Allie is never really there with him, embodied and emotionally connected when they have sex. Allie feels like Simon is not initiative and dominant enough. They consistently cause each other displeasure, especially on an emotional level when they engage in sex. But let’s take you back into their childhoods. Back to the origin of each of their sexualities. When Simon was young, he lived with his mentally ill mother, who was always in her own reality. He was bitterly alone in life, despite the fact that he lived in a safe society where all basic needs were covered. This created the strong desire to merge with someone on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. One day, while looking through a text book, he stumbled across the medical image of a penis inside of a vagina. And he immediately became captivated and aroused. Though he was not consciously aware of it at the time, this image held the promise of merging with someone. And his budding sexuality naturally evolved from there. Simon is intensely focused on having just one person who is his match and whom he can merge with. He likes to spend hours just feeling every sensation of being physically close to that person. He loves deep eye contact. He wants to orgasm together. He doesn’t want to talk, especially during sex. Instead, he wants to feel so merged, that the connection between him and the other person is telepathic. He wants to feel like his body and soul and the other person’s is one. This sexuality reflects out into his life in ways that no one would at face value think were linked to sexuality at all. In his life, he adores privacy because this increases the sense of specialness and connection that only he and this other person share. He is an exclusive person, who has a high need for exclusivity as well. He fails to communicate because having to communicate, makes him feel separate from the other person. He wants to make every decision together and share responsibility with the other person because that makes him feel a greater sense of togetherness. 
Allie on the other hand was also very alone as a child. Her father was disengaged and failed to protect her from her mother, who took a disliking to her. Unlike Simon, she lived in a very unsafe situation where basic needs were a struggle. This created a very strong desire for caretaking and containment. One day, while watching a tv show, she became enamored with the relationship between a dinosaur and its owner. Though she was not consciously aware of it at the time, this image held the promise of being positively owned and contained by someone who would fend for her and take care of her best interests, like her father never did. And her budding sexuality evolved from there. Allie loves power play when it comes to sex. She loves to feel like a man’s cherished pet. She likes to fantasize about being an animal, who is being bred and has no say in the matter. She wants to be able to let go completely and let the other person take the lead and take responsibility for her. What’s more, Allie responds to any signs of ownership, regardless of what man that ownership is coming from or if she is in a relationship or not. And she dislikes anything during sex that reminds her of herself.  This sexuality reflects out into her life in ways that no one would at face value think were linked to sexuality at all. In her life, Allie is not an exclusive person at all. In fact, she subconsciously operates with the motto the more people the better, because the lower likelihood she will ever have to fend for herself. Because of this, she makes sure multiple people live with her. She is flirtatious and super open. She loves talking for hours on end. She puts tons of effort into her appearance, so as to increase her odds of being wanted and therefore kept by someone. She commits to sexual monogamy not because it is natural for her. But only because it tends to be the condition upon which a man will take responsibility for her as his. Her best-case scenario is to be shared by multiple men. She stops driving her car once she gets into a relationship because autonomy often makes her feel like she is fending for herself. Her best relationship is with her personal assistant because her personal assistant is constantly taking care of her needs. 
Because of this baseline incompatibility, their sex life is not the only thing that isn’t satisfying. Simon is constantly feeling insecure and like he can never have the closeness he wants with her and like he is always in competition with other people, including her assistant and other men. Allie is constantly feeling like her nature isn’t ok and like she is being isolated and like she carries too much pressure because Simon wants to do everything in life (including handle responsibilities) together, rather than taking care of her by taking responsibilities off of her. On a subconscious level, they are always pulling in opposite directions. The creative, manifestational force of their sexuality is manifesting against each other. No amount of counseling to help them improve the practicalities of their sex life is going to fix this issue that is made so obvious by none other than their sexual incompatibility. At the very most, they can hope for taking turns accommodating each other; which may pull them into the land of compromise. To understand more about this, you can watch my video titled: The Difference Between Compromise and Workability.
Nick and Tanner used to think they had a super compatible sexuality. In fact, they used to think they were compatible all around. But lately, things haven’t been going so well and neither of them can figure out why. Nick feels increasingly frustrated and angry and has been wanting to take it out on Tanner during intercourse. He feels guilty afterwards and withdraws. Tanner feels like too much of his time is spent operating within the confines of Nick’s various comfort zones in order to keep the relationship secure. If we go way back, we find that Nick was born into a family with a sister that was terminally ill. The entire family revolved around this sister that was sick. Nick was never considered important enough to be the main focus or to receive any support, because that support always had somewhere or someone “more important” to go to. Nick feels like he can’t function or feel calm and secure without sex every day. When he sits down to really explore what it is specifically about sex that he needs, he realizes that through sex, he is able to put the other person, in this case Tanner, in the position to have to focus on him. He becomes the most important thing in the room. He admits that when he is engaging in intercourse, he doesn’t really care about the other person’s pleasure. He likes it to be all about him and his pleasure. Because he had to suppress his need for importance in his life, it comes out in a strong way regarding his sexuality. Including the fact that he loves to dominate in bed, and tell his partner what to do to pleasure him. He has found a set and setting where he gets to demand their full attention. Tanner is actually fine with this. He likes being dominated. Which is why everything went so well in the beginning. The problems started to arise regarding Tanner’s sexuality. 
Tanner is an artist with a natural curiosity. He is full of zest for life experiences and personal expression. But he was not allowed to express himself growing up. His authenticity was squashed under a very strict regime imposed by both his parents and his society. He was not allowed to explore who he really was and what he really liked an didn’t. There was no freedom. There was one thing to be and one way to act and he was expected to abandon his authenticity and conform to what was expected of him. So far, Tanner has done this in adult relationships too. He has conformed to whatever would please the other person so as to establish security in the relationship, only to try to push the envelope from there. But due to his nature and life experiences, Tanner’s true sexuality is one of extreme experimentation. He wants to try everything and to have a partner that is on board with that wild experimentation. The list is endless. He wants to try every form of bondage, food sex, touchless orgasm, tantra for spiritual awakening, swinging, orgies, public sex, cuckolding and the list goes on and on and on. Lately, Tanner has been pressing Nick to try swinging. And suddenly, there was a huge clash. Nick doesn’t feel he can get his need met to be the focus and most important thing when Tanner has an interest to be with anyone but him sexually. And the fact that Tanner feels this way, makes him really, really angry.             
This is not just a problem in the bedroom. Imbedded in each of their sexualities, is their deepest root desires for life and relationships. Tanner does not want his life to revolve around the person he is with. He wants to be free to experience whatever he finds to be most captivating at any given time. He wants to jump on opportunities. He is often distracted with whatever interests him in any given moment, and has not made Nick the most important thing. This triggers the hell out of Nick, who is too unconscious of his true needs and too afraid to admit that what he really wants is to have a partner that makes him the center of their life and the most important thing and prioritizes him and supports his endeavors. And Tanner feels limited by Nick. He feels like to keep the relationship good; he has to dedicate himself to Nick’s needs. Every time Tanner prioritizes something other than being with Nick, Nick becomes passive aggressive and pushes Tanner away. Tanner is sick of feeling like instead of being a partner who will explore the world’s many wonders with him, Nick is constantly pulling him into being some version of an “always available, doting househusband”. 
Hopefully what these examples highlight for you is how a person’s sexuality is shaped in large part by their early life experiences… The very same thing that shapes personality and needs and desires and therefore a person’s personal expansion path. And how contrary to popular opinion, a person’s sexuality is not limited to the bedroom or even relationships. It bleeds out into the rest of their lives. Sexuality is the realm of a person’s deepest core desires in life. Your sexuality remains connected to it, even if you actively try to deny, suppress and oppose it. Sexuality never lies.
For people to really de-code their own sexuality, they have to become super conscious about what causes them to feel turned on and aroused and most especially, WHY. This exploration must especially include the emotional elements involved. They have to ask themselves, what is it about this that I like? And really dig deeper and deeper to unpack it. For example, a person may know that what gets them aroused is pissplay, meaning that they are excited or turned on by the thought, sight, taste or feel of urine. When they slow everything down to dissect the why behind liking the experience, they might notice that they get a feeling in their body of crossing a line of what is taboo. This makes them feel defiantly empowered. Also, they might notice that they feel like the spirit or essence of the person is in their bodily fluids and like the idea that they can catch and keep it. Also, they might feel aroused at the humiliation factor of urination being forced and realize that they are under the pressure of putting up an image for themselves due to societal positions and expectations. They might see that they have the desire to stop hiding these deep layers of shame that are covered over by the pretense and instead let go of that pressure and feel vulnerable and have their own shame exposed and wanted. Don’t be afraid of really looking deep and hard at every element and aspect of the unique picture of your own arousal. Including the first time you ever remember being sexually turned on. Not only because it will improve your sex life. But also, because it will help you to decode what you are really wanting to experience in your life, but may not be allowing yourself to admit to.     
So, the bad news is because of this, sexual incompatibility is not just about sex. Rather, it points to much deeper core incompatibilities. The good news is, because sexuality originates from strong needs and desires, finding someone with a compatible sexuality greatly increases your chances of finding someone who is more compatible to you in your broader life.

Dysfunction is How People make their Relationship Last!

People want their relationships to last the test of time. Because of this, longevity is currently the measuring stick for whether a relationship is successful or not. People automatically think that if a relationship lasts, the people in that relationship must be doing something right. But the sad reality is that the overwhelming majority of long-term relationships don’t last because the individuals in those relationships are doing something right. Rather, they last because of dysfunction. 
Humanity is in the dark ages regarding relationships. This is a sad reality to swallow, especially given that humans are a social species and relationship was not only central to our life experience, it was and is the key to our very survival. We are headed from unconscious relationships to conscious relationships and we are deep in the middle of navigating that journey. Currently, most people live in enough of an unconscious state that they don’t even spot dysfunction in their relationships. Instead, they tend to celebrate it. For now that is. This can be compared to so many things throughout human history. The female clitoris was not even fully mapped until 2005 and female sexuality is completely in the dark ages today, meaning that most of the information you have taken to be true regarding female sexuality is completely and totally wrong. The people of the 1940s and 50s used to believe that a really great treatment for psychiatric illness was to drill holes into a person’s skull and perform a lobotomy. The people of the sixteenth century used to think a perfectly healthy source entertainment for themselves and their children was to take them to see public executions. Numerous reasons were given as to why women shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Ready for some of the most prevalent ones? 1. The mental exertion of voting would cause infertility in women.2. Women’s brains were inferior to men’s, and so women were incapable of participating in politics.3. Women would neglect their home and family, causing society to unravel.4. Women were too good for the dirty nature of politics.
Human slavery used to be totally normal. People thought nothing more of it than they think of how they treat cows or pigs today. And because of this lack of recognition of dysfunction, how do you think they experienced the QUALITY of their relationships? The answer depends partially on what they have been trained to expect and what they have to compare it to doesn’t it? Welcome to the danger of normalization. If you’d like to understand more about normalization, you can watch my video titled: How Normalization is Hurting You and Hurting Society.  
The mistake that every generation makes is that they point to the past as an example of dysfunction and wrongness without realizing that the people of the future will be pointing a finger back at them in the same way. The real work of a conscious life is to recognize and change that dysfunction as it exists in the here and now. Those of us that study relationships across history often look at relationships across history with disbelief and horror. But what if that is how the people of the future will view our relationships today? The things you currently think are normal and fine. 
I’m going to hit you with a reality that people of the future see about us, but that the people of today don’t see about themselves… The current way that people make their relationship last is by adopting dysfunction and adapting to dysfunction. Are there some people whose relationships last because they have a truly mutually beneficial dynamic? Yes. But they are by far the few and far between. 
So that you can see this picture of human relationships clearly, let’s first define dysfunction as it applies to relationships. Dysfunction in a relationship is when the way a person functions (what they are thinking, saying and doing) is detrimental to themselves and/or to others. Usually to one or both people in the relationship. When a person uses dysfunction as a way to create longevity in a relationship, what it means is that they have adopted detrimental strategies to maintain that relationship. So that you can understand this, I will give you some examples. 
A woman is married to an emotionally unavailable man who is not there for her. So, she leans on her oldest son to meet the needs that her husband should have met. Things like comfort, encouragement, love, advice, support and companionship. This is covert incest. And the result is her husband gets to continue his dysfunctional behavior by being disengaged from the marriage. And her son is now threatened by intimacy and expectations in his adult relationships to the degree that he ruins every relationship he gets into with passive aggressive behavior, is a people pleaser, has no sense of personal identity, and has an eating disorder. But last month this mother and this father had their 40th wedding anniversary. And everyone congratulated them on how many years they’ve “made it work”. Both gave a little speech about how they did it. Ben and Oliver have been in a relationship for over 20 years. They have built an impressive real estate investment portfolio, own several places around the world and have traveled extensively. The thing is, they rarely ever see each other. Ben is always taking care of remodel projects in one place while Oliver is taking care of them in another. When they get together, they exchange surface conversation and go out to clubs to pick up younger guys. Oliver feels lonely. For a while, he tried to get Ben to engage in a more emotionally intimate relationship, to see a therapist and go to couple’s retreats. But Ben was not interested. He refuses to expose any vulnerability to others, which is one reason why he loves wining and dining much younger men. Oliver is so afraid that his financial security depends on his relationship with Ben, that he simply chose to adapt. He gave up on trying to have emotional connection with Ben and simply made himself busy with projects and travel. He uses distraction as a way to be able to live with his relationship the way it is. Now, whenever he doesn’t have a project, he panics and has to create a new one for himself. People often congratulate Ben and Oliver on how rare it is, especially in the gay community, to have a long-term life partner. And Oliver’s best friend, who has an insecure attachment, is envious of their ability to be away from each other for months on end and act like everything is ok with each other. She mistakes this for a secure attachment.  Howard is a tyrannical dictator in his home. Everything is his way or the highway. He wants everything predictable and the same. This is how he manages his anxiety. His wife, Barbara has a very different personality. She is easy going, loves different ideas and has always dreamed of travel. But Howard flies into a rage fit when anything disrupts his routine. Barbara is conflict avoidant. So, she adapted to Howard’s dysfunction and enabled it. She has given herself up for the sake of the relationship. She cooks him a predictable meal on every day of the week. She makes sure the kids behave the way that will keep Howard placated. When he is busy reading the paper, she sneaks to watch national geographic channel. When he disowns his youngest daughter for joining a political party that opposes his own, Barbara does not oppose Howard. Instead, she sneaks out to call her daughter sometimes in secret. Barbara had a heart attack one day while she was sitting in her arm chair. The furthest she ever traveled in her life, was to Florida. Her obituary reads: Howard and Barbara were able to share a wonderful 53-year marriage.  Khloe has been in a relationship with Kenneth for 13 years now. At first, everything in the relationship went really good. But after Kenneth was fired from his job, the polarity in the relationship started to flip. Kenneth became consumed by self-doubt, started acting passive and he dropped more and more household responsibilities on Khloe. He seemed to need more and more time to relax and be left alone. In turn, Khloe found that all her time in the relationship was spent prodding Kenneth into action. Her ambition and anxiety ramped up. And the resentment she feels towards him makes it so that he disgusts her sexually. Their relationship is clouded by a feeling that something isn’t right. But both of them have no one else to live their live with. They are terrified of ending the relationship and ending up truly alone in life. So, Khloe and Kenneth have adopted a pattern. Every month or so, When Kenneth inevitably breaks his word regarding a responsibility he agreed to take on, she kicks him out of the house. She feels amazing for a day or so. And then, she starts to miss the things she does like about him. The same thing happens with Kenneth. He goes camping or sleeps in his car. Rather than changing his behavior or realizing that he is at the mercy of her wanting him around or not, and seeing how unhealthy the relationship is, he starts to miss her too and resolve that he will come back and act differently. So, Kenneth asks to come back home. When he does, he behaves active and responsible for a week or two. They make passionate love every day. After all, they both love makeup sex. Then, he slips right back into his previous behavior. And the cycle repeats. They have been doing this for eleven years now. But they both take pride in the fact that almost everyone else they know has broken up or is divorced.       Gwen is married to Hilton. They have been together for 19 years now and they have four children. Well, Gwen might be married to Hilton. But Hilton is married to his job. He imports chemicals from India to sell to pharmaceutical companies. He is a superbly wealthy man. He has given his family unlimited credit cards so they can help themselves to every luxury they could ever want. Hilton is not present in his wife’s life or in his children’s lives. He has extremely high standards regarding his son’s conduct and achievements because he sees them as extensions of himself. Gwen often has to deal with their meltdowns when Hilton is around, because they feel so ‘not good enough’ in his eyes. Gwen feels enormous pressure to keep herself looking good because it is clear that she is expected to be an example of a perfect, successful family. Gwen copes with what truly doesn’t work about her relationship and life with denial. If you confront her on her unhappiness in her life, she will look at you like you are crazy. Her truth is that she is genuinely blessed and genuinely happy. Gwen’s friend from college feels like either she or Gwen is going insane because she has personally watched Hilton berate one of their sons to tears and storm out of the house in his Porcha, only to watch Gwen talk about how good of a father he is and how lucky she feels about his dedication to family a half an hour later. She tells herself the story that Hilton is hard on his kids because he cares so much. She tells herself that the reason he is never at home is because he cares so much about her security, that he is working hard for her and the kids. Everything that causes her pain about her relationship with Hilton gets explained away and turned into something else and everyone around her feels gaslit because of it.  She goes out into society and to church as the example of a perfect wife with the perfect husband and perfect kids.  Bonnie has serious insecurity issues, especially regarding other women. When she first got into a relationship with Landon, she acted super open minded and presented herself like she was not a jealous type. But over time, that changed. She felt like their relationship was so insecure that she deliberately tried to get pregnant by Landon. Subconsciously, she saw this as her ticket to his commitment. But when that didn’t happen, and he still put his attention on other women, she flipped out. She even enrolled her doctor in the game by having the obstetrician confront him on how important it was to not do things that elicit stress in her during the pregnancy. Codependently, Landon stopped attending parties. When the baby was born, and Landon unexpectedly found himself attached to his unexpected son, Bonnie used the child as leverage. She threatened that if Landon didn’t cut off his relationship with a few women who Bonnie felt insecurity around, women that meant a great deal to Landon, that she would fight for full custody and move away with their son. Terrified by the idea of losing his son, he did exactly what Bonnie wanted and cut himself off from every person she was threatened by. He became socially isolated to only Bonnie and her friends and family. Down deep, he has a nagging feeling of being controlled and consumed by Bonnie. He feels empowered when he does things like come home a half an hour late or eat things in secret that he knows she would not approve of. But Landon just wrote a Christmas card that said “I was lost before I found you. You were the best thing that ever happened to me.” This month is their 8-year anniversary.  If you want to learn more about this concept, you can watch my video titled: Longevity is Not Necessarily a Measure of Success or Health in a Relationship. But before you do that, I want you to consider the following: You may be able to recognize how these relationships are dysfunctional. But guess who can’t? The people who are in them. And this has serious implication because it means that if you are in a dysfunctional dynamic in a relationship, the likelihood is that you do not see it. 
When you are looking at someone else’s relationship, the first thing to know is that there is a whole lot that you don’t see. On top of this, we are often not brave enough to see the reality of relationships because of what it would mean for us to acknowledge the dysfunction. Many of you who know your parents have a horribly dysfunctional relationship may have experienced this with siblings of yours idolizing their relationship and defending it. Many of you know that when a Hollywood relationship breaks up, fans go into crisis. If we are dedicated to a conscious life, we need to be brave enough to look at what does work in a relationship and what doesn’t work in a relationship. And believe me, this is a serious topic of debate. 
But it is critical that you accept that as of right now, the vast majority of people achieve longevity in relationships via dysfunctional strategy. They keep the relationship together and maintain it with behavior that is detrimental to themselves, detrimental to the other person, detrimental to other people involved in their social system or to all of the above. And we will only be able to change that fact, if we are willing to see this reality in the first place. Creating conscious, beneficial relationships will only be possible if we are willing to face the current state of dysfunction that we currently label as a working relationship.            
        
 

The Hilarious Personal Ad Exercise

Today, we’re gonna make things lighter and funnier and I’m gonna show you a cringy yet playful and humorous self-awareness exercise. This exercise challenges you to admit to and be honest about your negative relationship patterns as well as the dysfunction in your relationships; while at the same time, bringing some humor to the whole situation. I will tell you in advance that doing this exercise as a kind of game in groups, makes this exercise SO much better.      
Back in the day, people used to post want ads for relationships in the newspaper and later on posting sites like craigslist. They were called a personal ad or a contact ad. And they are actually the very thing that evolved into the profiles on dating sites and dating aps you know today. I’ll give you some actual, real life examples of what I mean. Here is one from the 1920s that reads: I am 27 employed by the government. Have small but reasonable salary. Will make some poor working girl from 18 to 25 a good husband and a happy home. Must be protestant. No dancers, flirts or streetwalkers need answer. My object is matrimony. Write P71 Allegny Press Office. 
And here is one from the 1980s. Forever Single! Phooey! Says this very attractive, slim, successful male professional, 50, who is more sensitive than mother Theresa, lore loveable that E.T, wiser than Yoda and more modest than a presidential candidate. Seeking a pretty, slim, warm female who yearns for a serious relationship that is more fun than human beings should be allowed to have. 
And here is one from the year 2016. Is anyone out there? This 32 year old vivacious thrill seeker is seeking her hero who knows how to treat a lady. Why is she still single you ask? Because she isn’t one to settle! I can cook like the best of them. And I love a good sports game. Not looking for anyone with a checkered past or a wandering eye. If you’re ready to be someone’s prince charming, send me a note and a photo to (her e-mail). 
The thing about these personal ads is that they don’t really represent the truth about what being in a relationship with the person is like. They are super short, super sweet and salesy in that they do not represent the full reality. So, in this exercise, you do something a little different. Here is what you do. 
You write a lengthy personal ad that represents the harsh reality of you in relationships, your dysfunction and negative patterns, but in a humorous way. And if you’re playing with a group of people, which hopefully you are, you read your personal ads out loud to each other. You can include positive traits as well if you’d like. The objective is to sell the harsh reality of yourself in relationships. 
So that you can understand this, I’ll give you two examples. The first, was submitted by a man named Daniel.
Who out there is looking to be swept off their feet by a duper? I’m a fifty something who has such big identity issues that you can be sure I’m just the man for you. My mommy taught me exactly how to please. And you have her to thank for the fact that I love me a dominating, control freak of a woman. We’ll watch all your favorite shows, listen to all your kinds of music, live in your house, play everything by your rules. I will fit into your life like a custom-made glove. But all that goodness is just too boring. So, surprise surprise, I’m a man who will always spice it up with a good old fashioned identity crisis. I’ll wake you up one morning with breakfast in bed and tell you that I don’t know who I am or what I want anymore. You’ll be tickled pink by watching everything about me change. I loved your music, not anymore! I was fine with watching your shows, not anymore! I agreed to your rules, nope… I take that back. We were perfect for each other… Nope, I think we’re actually pretty incompatible, I was just doing what it took to make you like me. 
And just like that, you will feel the excitement return to your life because I have mastered the art of plunging a woman into the passionate throws of complete uncertainty. If you’re a lady who is scared of ending up with a cocky narcissist, look no further, because I am an insecure codependent who is looking for a lady who wants to dance. Dance back and forth that is between push and pull because unlike all those other men who know exactly who they are and what they want (how un-original) my terror of enmeshment and yet terror of aloneness will ensure that this relationship is never gonna get boring. It’s never gonna get stable either. I’m seeking that special woman who knows deep down that she will accept the exact opposite of the original premise upon which our relationship was formed. A woman who is ready to set up her life so it depends on me, only to realize she’s built her life on quicksand. Love is about being willing to give up our truth and hurt for the other person’s needs. And I’ve spent my lifetime searching for a woman who is ready to do that for me, just like I did it for my mommy. 
Also, are you sick of how sex obsessed men tend to be? My mommy raised me up different. She taught me to never initiate sex at all. This way, everything gets to be on your terms. And this means, I’m every woman’s dream because if you don’t initiate, we won’t ever have sex, I can even go years without it just the same. We can even sleep in separate bedrooms if that’s what you prefer. I snore anyway. 
If you’re that lucky lady who is ready to be the next person I start off pleasing and then rebel against, send me a text message at (phone number). I’ll respond just as soon as I don’t feel like my autonomy is threatened by having to respond to you in order to please you.  
And here is a second example:  
         Are you looking for a high-maintenance woman with a little dose of crazy? Look no further because I’m your gal. At first glance, you’ll be enchanted by my warm and elegant seeming charm. I will have countless deep conversations with you to the point where your concept of time will be lost. In a few weeks, even days, you’ll feel like no one else in the world knows you as well as I do. This is because I am studying you like you’re my next science experiment, partially because I do really want to know you. Also because now that I have effectively psychologically analyzed you, I can keep myself safe by becoming the perfect woman for you.
After all, I’m doing exactly what my parents taught me to do - become whatever I need to be to get their love, attention, and approval. It’s not like I ever learned that I could get love by being authentic and real.
If you need a housewife, I’m your gal. If you need arm candy, I’m your gal. If you need a CEO businesswoman, I’m also your gal. If you need a book worm, I’m your gal. If you want an athletic woman, I can also be that for you, no problem at all. I’m down to be whoever you want, as long as you meet my needs.
Warning though, if you don’t meet my needs, I’ll flip on you! All my real truths and personalities will come out and I will expect you to love me anyway. If you don’t, you’re the bad guy. At that point though, my intense grip and depth of intimacy in our relationship has you hooked and you just can’t get yourself to leave!
So buckle your seatbelt in for a wild ride... you are now officially stuck in this cat and mouse game with me. I will push and pull and push and pull, all to get you to fixate your attention on me. Ultimately, the men who are interested me care more about excitement than they do stability and I am one to please.
Oh, another thing! Me believing I need to change myself for love has led me to have crippling self-worth issues and an anxious attachment style so I will need reassurance 24/7. If you planned a thoughtful date for us, by the end of it, I’ll still ask you if you love me. And again when we wake up in the morning. And again the next day. And again and again and again. It is something I conveniently like to forget. What can I say?
Remember when I said I’m just a little dose of crazy? Well, I lied! I just say a little bit so you’d still be willing to get into a relationship with me. I’m the whole package of crazy! It’s at this point in the relationship where I feel secure enough to really show you what I’m really made of.. If you act in a way that upsets me enough, I will go full Kung Fu Panda on you your ass. We’ll be lucky if there are no broken plates at the end of our fight. But I know you have a fetish for fire and I know how to turn a camp fire into a forest fire.
This will perfectly feed into your dysfunction because if you’re interested in me, you must be the kind of guy that likes to let the woman in your life take up so much of your life that you can avoid yourself and your own personal truths. You will keep yourself nicely occupied and entertained by my chaos, that you forget who you are and let me lead the relationship. In turn, I will gladly take all the responsibility just like my parents taught me to, only for me to end up bitter and resentful.
So if you’re the type of guy who dreams of dating multiple women, I’m perfect for you. You can have a relationship with all of my personalities. The only cost is your sanity. 
When you are writing this personal ad, consider things like: What is a funny way of selling people on something that isn’t appealing? Are there any marketing gimmicks that you have seen that you could include? Would you be placing the article yourself or would someone else be posting it for you and about you? And how would that impact how it is written? What are the things about you that you receive the most negative feedback about? What have multiple people objected to about you? What are your worst habits? What are the most damaging patterns you display in your relationships? What are the awesome things about you and how you are in a relationship that keep a person stuck on you, no matter how bad the bad stuff is? Would your personal ad be about a romantic relationship or a different kind of relationship, like a friendship or a work relationship? What are the unwanted or dysfunctional traits in the people you keep being attracted to or choosing? And what makes you keep choosing them over other people? What would make someone suffer about your behavior or the details of your life, and how might you highlight those things in a sales pitchy way?       
This exercise will sting. But practicing adaptive humor by developing the ability to laugh at yourself and accepting that every person and every relationship comes with contrast, is a very useful tool on the road of self-awareness and self-development, where we all have the habit of taking ourselves and our problems a little too seriously all the time. 

The Hidden Link Between Anger and Vulnerability

A person who is angry does not give the impression that they are vulnerable. Rather, they give them impression that they are exerting strength and power, even if they seem out of control of their anger. And a great many people fear anger, along with the many reactions and actions that can accompany anger. Because of this, people fail to see the pain that anger covers up. Even the people who are angry themselves fail to see the pain (such as hurt, fear, powerlessness and vulnerability) beneath their own anger. Because of this, we fail to do the right thing with people who are angry. And we fail to do the right thing with ourselves when we are angry. Today, it’s time to look at anger from a totally different angle, recognize the link between anger and vulnerability, so that you can never again un-see it. And learn what to do with anger, should it arise.
But first, like usual, we need to go back to the beginning. When we are very young (really no matter our age), we need to feel as though we live in a social environment where our pain matters. We need to feel like the people around us are ‘moved’ by our pain and are intrinsically motivated by virtue of their connectedness with us, to alleviate that pain; especially if they themselves are contributing to it. But this is not the reality for anyone who grew up in a dysfunctional family dynamic. This need goes un-met because in a dysfunctional family situation, all members of the family are simply employing strategies to meet their own needs, regardless of the negative impacts on each other. It is by definition an anti-trust building environment. The lesson the children in this environment learn is: “No one is moved by my pain.” “No one will caretake my vulnerability”. In this social environment, vulnerability is a liability. And each person needs to find a strategy to keep themselves safe in an environment that is either emotionally, mentally or physically unsafe, or all of the above. And in an environment where they are on their own, even if they are technically in the vicinity of others all day long. There are all kinds of strategies one might employ to keep themselves safe in this kind of situation. For example, a child might begin to establish safety by becoming a people pleaser, covering over their vulnerability with placation behaviors. Or a child might begin to establish safety by becoming avoidant, covering over their vulnerability by checking out relative to other family members and inserting their existence into something else they can control, such as becoming obsessed with something like video games or live action role play or a sport.  
One of these strategies that a child may employ that we are discussing today, is anger. This is often a strategy employed when a child learns that the people around them are not moved by their pain, which is the ultimate unworkability. The child who employs the strategy of anger can find no predictable way to endear themselves to the others in their environment, so as to manipulatively ensure their own safety and wellbeing. Often on a subconscious level, they have learned that either one or some or all of the people in their environment are adversaries. This child cannot run away. They cannot find an effective way to fawn. And no one can stay frozen all day, every day. And so, they learn they have one option for self-preservation… to fight. 
Anger is a cover emotion, which is also called a secondary emotion. It occurs in order to protect ourselves from vulnerable feelings and vulnerable experiences. To look at this from a different angle, anger is a strategy employed by a specific protector part within you. If you want to learn more about this, you can watch my videos titled: Fragmentation, The Worldwide Disease and Parts work, What Is Parts Work and How To Do It.     
In an environment where you have already learned that your pain, fear and vulnerability will not be lovingly responded to, it makes no sense to show it to others… Or even to allow yourself to be aware of it. So, all that vulnerability (all that fear, all that perceived powerlessness, all that pain) is hidden behind the anger, which comes in as a protector of that vulnerability. 
When someone is locked into this dynamic internally, their anger happens so fast and the part of them that protects them with anger takes over so fast, they don’t usually even perceive the fear or pain or other vulnerable feelings, which is the thing that happens before the anger. They only perceive the anger. And for most people who are locked into this dynamic, the idea of not getting angry and not using that anger as a fuel to fight back, feels like self-betrayal. This can make anger persist, even when it is clear that the anger is ruining their life. It’s one of those situations where a protector part within a person’s personality spectrum perceives itself to be in a lose-lose situation where it has to choose the consequences of fighting to avoid something worse. 
What all this boils down to is that anger covers and protects vulnerability. And all the strategies in the world that address a person’s “anger issues” at the level of their anger will fail. What must happen is that the pain underneath the anger (such as the fear, powerlessness, hurt and vulnerability) must be recognized, seen, heard, felt and attended to. 
By far the most important thing if you struggle with anger is for YOU to do this. When you notice anger kick in, and it kicks in really fast, you must slow way down and attend to the vulnerability, the pain and the fear and the perceived powerlessness underneath it. This is in fact a much more self-loyal thing to do than fighting back when you are caused pain, because it doesn’t come with the terrible consequences to yourself that your anger usually does. What if attending to your pain that is underneath your fear was your new way of being loyal to yourself? What if it wasn’t self-betrayal to not get angry and to not fight?          
When someone else is angry, don’t be fooled by the cover or smokescreen that you are being presented with. The cover/smokescreen being the furious body language, the wave of energy and power you are being hit with, the intense eye contact, the yelling and the threats. You must recognize, see, hear, feel and attend to the vulnerability, pain and fear and perceived powerlessness underneath it. If you do this, there is no reason for the anger to exist, and so, it wont. 
So that you understand this better, here is an example. Tonia is known to fly into a rage sometimes. The people in her life are afraid of her anger because when she gets angry, they can expect to get blasted by a wave of intensely hot energy, screamed at, insulted and for her to throw things at them. Tonia knows that her anger is an issue that people have with her and that it has negatively impacted her relationships and her career. But she feels totally powerless to controlling it. And also furious that her anger keeps being considered the problem, rather than the totally messed up things other people are doing to cause her to get angry. It’s a familiar feeling, as Tonia was the scapegoat in her family growing up. She is in a lose-lose. Her anger causes her problems, but the idea of not getting angry and not insulting and not fighting back, and not aggressively setting boundaries and not giving ultimatums, feels like she is betraying herself, and is acting as a bystander to other people hurting her. Her anger kicks in so fast, Tonia is out of touch with the extreme levels of pain and fear and powerlessness and vulnerability underneath that anger.
On one particular day, she sat down on the couch with her boyfriend and started expressing her worries to him. And instead of be there for her, he proceeded to fall asleep. Tonia immediately swelled up with rage. And yelled at him. He woke up and re-engaged for a few minutes, only to fall asleep again. This time, Tonia ran to her bedroom and slammed it behind her, burning up with rage. It startled him awake and he ran to the room to try to re-engage in a discussion. Tonia started screaming at him and insulting him and when he told her to calm down, she started throwing everything within reach at him. 
If Tonia had slowed way, way down to notice the vulnerability underneath her anger, she would have seen that she was already feeling vulnerable and was looking to her boyfriend to soothe her. When he did not respond to her vulnerabilities by soothing her, and instead, proceeded to disengage and fall asleep, she felt not cared about and abandoned. In her chest, the empty, desperate feeling of emotional starvation came up and outside of that, a static buzz of fear. She did not notice that. She did not take any time to feel it and be attentive to it. When he fell asleep again, after she expressed the boundary of that not being an ok way to treat her, these feelings became unbearably strong. And on top of that, it was an even deeper confirmation that she is on her own. And she started to see him, the very person who she needs, as the threat. What she learned was that he is not motivated enough by her pain to decide to stop doing what is hurting her. That he will continue a behavior that hurt her, for his own sake. And this, put her over into full blown powerless terror. She did not notice that. She did not take any time to feel it and be attentive to it. Instead, she got lost in the dizzy flood of anger and fury. Her protector took over and began viciously fighting him like an enemy, in the name of self-preservation and self-loyalty. 
If she had slowed way down, so as to attend to the pain and fear and vulnerability that is underneath her anger, she would have shown herself that she is there with and for herself by attending to it. This would have actually increased her sense of self trust and decreased her sense of aloneness. It is a step towards regulating herself. She would have been able to identify her truth and her needs. That she felt afraid during the day and really needed reassurance and coregulation from her boyfriend when he came home from work. Had she noticed this, she could have directly expressed to him that she needed reassurance and was afraid. If he fell asleep after she expressed that, and she had attended to the vulnerability underneath her anger, she wouldn’t have escalated to slamming doors or throwing things etc. She would have found herself in a choice point, where she decides the right way to caretake her vulnerability. This might look like several different things. For example, it might look like waking him up and telling him that he has created a rupture in the relationship on top of failing to provide reassurance and that that he needs to create repair. This might look like getting up and leaving the house to go to a friend’s house and waiting for him to realize he created a rupture and initiate repair. It might look like going into her room and doing a shadow work process on her childhood abandonment trauma, because it is showing up again in her adult life. And then coming to him with a very clear boundary about the behavior that she wants and needs from a partner. It might look like grabbing her computer and writing him an e-mail about the painful and scary vulnerability that she feels, and his contribution to it. It might look like calling someone else on the phone for reassurance and co-regulation and warning her boyfriend when he wakes up of the danger that their relationship is in, if he demonstrates that she must look to other people for what she needs from him.  
All of these options would be more effective for both her and him than anger because they address the actual thing that is going on… the vulnerabilities. Also, anger tends to put other people in their own protector personalities, so they are less able to caretake the vulnerabilities and are less receptive. Anger also tends to make it so that people make the person who has been hurt the problem rather than the person who actually did the hurting, which is a scapegoat dynamic. To understand more about this, watch my video titled: The Sickest Game You Can Play. These options don’t allow her boyfriend to fall into this scapegoat pattern with her, which is healing for her childhood dynamic in her family. Instead, they force him to look at his own dysfunctional behavior in relationships. Not getting angry is NOT letting the other person off the hook! 
Again, when you notice anger kick in, you must slow way down and attend to the vulnerability (the pain and the fear and the perceived powerlessness) underneath it. Caretake it. Find a direct way to resolve the fear, pain, powerlessness and vulnerability.  
And when someone else is angry, don’t be fooled by the cover or smokescreen that you are being presented with. You must recognize, see, hear, feel and attend to the vulnerability, (the pain and fear and perceived powerlessness) underneath it. Caretake it. Give the person a way to resolve the fear, pain, powerlessness and vulnerability.

EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCING PROCESS

Despite the fact that we experience emotions every day, as people, we are very ignorant about emotions. And it doesn’t help that the fields of science, medicine and psychology are still in the dark ages about emotions. As a result of this, we don’t deal with emotions correctly when they arise. Today, I’m going to offer you a process for correctly dealing with your emotions. A process which will prevent emotions associated with traumatic felt-experiences from getting stuck in your body and being, becoming triggers. And a process which will help you release emotions and traumas from your body and being.     
When it comes to emotions, we do things like ignore, suppress, deny, reject, fix, turn against, try to control, minimize, distract ourselves from, disguise, dissociate from, numb out and violently act out emotions. There are so many different ways that we do these things and there are so many different ways that this harms us and the people, places and things around us. But one of the ways that it harms us, is that it causes emotions and traumas to become stuck in our body and stuck in our being. You can think of it metaphorically like this, when we do not fully go through the way we feel and allow the emotions to pass fully through us, gaining the valuable information that is contained in our emotions (and emotions carry lots of information), that emotional sensation, emotional content and emotional information is stored in packages in the body/being until we release it. Our traumas become trapped within us in this way. It may be interesting for you to know that one of the reasons people start suppressing emotion, is because emotion carries truths. And they don’t want to see those truths that are painful to acknowledge about themselves, or about other people or about life. 
For this not to happen, we have to let emotions fully pass through our being when they occur, without resisting them. And when we go through something that is traumatizing or that stirs up strong negative emotion, we need to place our attention on it so as to give it our full presence. We need to fully experience it. We need to let it pass fully through our body and energy field. And we need to learn the information contained in it. Doing so, will increase our capacity to feel as well as our capacity to process emotions. It’s like building an emotional muscle. And this, in turn will make it so we feel we can deal with anything life throws our way, rather than spending every day in panic because down deep, we feel we can’t handle painful things happening, because we can’t handle the emotions that those things will cause us to feel.
People fear that when you focus on an emotion, it will simply amplify. It won’t ever go away and it may even kill them. This represents a huge amount of disempowerment that people feel relative to their own emotions. And this is not true at all when it comes to emotions. First of all, emotions are fluid, they move through you if you let them. On top of this, your truth and therefore your emotions don’t just disappear by focusing on something else. The picture of what causes emotions is more complicated than just what you are focused on in the moment. And most people use these tools designed to avoid negative emotion as a tool of resistance to their emotions. So, their emotions get stuck in the being. Their emotions get sequestered into the subconscious. They start to see their own emotions as the enemy. Your emotions are not against you. They are powerfully for you. Emotions are feedback about what is happening in any given circumstance. When you pay attention to your emotions, you are listening and responding to this feedback. It’s like listening to radar on a submarine.  
Also, emotions speak. They sing. They want to be listened to. When you bring your presence to emotions, you bring the frequency of presence to the frequency of whatever emotion you are focused on. This changes the overall frequency. And you listen to the emotions. You are meeting the need of the emotion. And therefore, you will register an improvement in your own system when you do this. It is profound self-care. Think of a baby. A baby isn’t thinking its way out of the emotion it is feeling. They are purely with their emotions. There is a truth behind that emotion, such as: “I am afraid, this is a no for me.” Or “I feel lonely, I want togetherness.” Or “I feel insecure, I need reassurance.” Or “my tummy hurts. I am uncomfortable. And I feel powerless to do anything about it”. If a baby has an emotion, it is for some reason. Adults are no different. Just like when you are caretaking a baby, and in order to do the right thing, you need to listen to your emotions. You need to notice them, you need to feel them, you need to hear them. You need to respond to them. Arguing that if you focus on a negative emotion, all you get is more stuff that matches that negative emotion, is like arguing that if you focus on a baby’s discomfort, all that will happen is they get more uncomfortable. When you resist an emotion, that is when an emotion amplifies.      
Without further ado, let’s just jump into the process. When emotional pain arises, sit or lie somewhere comfortable, so that you will not be distracted. Close your eyes and place all of your attention on the sensations that are occurring wherever they might be in your body. For example, you might feel buzzing or extreme constriction or heaviness or aching or hot flashes or cold emptiness etc. And you might feel it in your heart area or in your lower back or in your head and jaws or radiating down your arms, or consuming your whole body. Your intent is to experience the emotional experience fully. To feel, hear, see and understand it completely. Therefore, you are not going to do anything with the sensations you are feeling and observing. You’re not going to fight them or fix them or soothe them or anything else. Pay very slow and very deep attention to them. And as an anchor for keeping yourself with your emotions, you’re going to keep asking yourself, “How does this feel?” or “what does that feel like?”. If your mind gives you an answer like: It feels empty, you will mentally ask yourself “what does empty feel like?” Or if your mind throws up a metaphor like: it feels like mud. You’re going to mentally ask yourself “What does mud feel like?” The reason you do this, is so that the mind stays with the feeling, rather than pulling you out of the feeling by telling stories about the feeling. If your mind is hijacking the process, it will feel like the content of your mind is pulling you OUT and AWAY from the emotion, causing the intensity of the emotion to dissipate. 
As you are fully present with, observing and feeling the emotional experience occurring within you, you are likely to get images, sounds, insights and potentially even memories as well. Remember how I said that these emotional experiences and the information they contain are stored in the body, like little trauma packages? These images, sounds, insights and memories are inside these packages. And so, when you place your attention on them fully and willingly experience the totality of what is inside them, these things stored inside the packages release and float to your conscious awareness. They simply appear in your awareness. For example, you may see a specific color where the emotion is in your chest or you might see swirls of specific colors consuming your whole body. Those colors might come with patterns and textures. You may get an image of a substance, like sand or mud. Or an object or a food or a person’s face. Or a place. You may hear someone’s voice or the sound of wind or screaming. You may suddenly be able to taste a certain flavor in your mouth. You may instantly feel like you are inside of a memory of yours, like a whole scene has come up for replay. You might hear an insight, such as “This is why I have such intense issues trusting people”. Or experience a deep knowing like “I need to choose to let go of people who don’t put any effort or energy into the relationship with me.” 
Again, you’re not going to fight them or fix them or soothe them or anything else. you are going to notice them, observe them, feel them, pay very slow and very deep attention to them. When any of the content of the emotional experience you are focused on comes up, you are going to continue to feel the emotion. Like when you watch a movie. Those colors and textures and images and insights and memories are there to enhance the experience and ADD to the experience, not take you out and away from it. Which is why you want to keep using your anchor question of: “And what does that feel like?” And be willing to be present for a very slow, time-consuming process, rather than to rush the process. This process tends to get faster over time by the way.    
By fully experiencing an emotion or an emotional package that is stuck in the body, by letting it completely consume your body and being, you are giving it space to move. And as you do so, it will move and change. For example, the color black, might start changing to the color blue, and this might coincide with a change from the feeling of an aching, charged, stuck hatred to something like a cold, sinking, sore sadness. The images might move and change. For example, from the image of a rain storm to the image of sitting in your living room as a child all alone in a silent house. What is important is that you are not “doing” any of these changes. Instead, they happen to you, and you are just experiencing them happen as a result of being totally, unconditionally present to fully experience them. 
Some of these emotions need more presence than others. Some move and change very quickly, whereas others hold for a long time as they are, causing you to worry if they will ever change or ever end. This should simply show you how resistant you are to experiencing that specific feeling. And how conditional you are with yourself, because the message you are sending yourself is: “I’ll be with you, so that you go away.” Essentially, as a part of this process, you are likely to experience your own resistance to feeling emotions or to a specific emotional experience. And you will experience your own resistance, the same way you do any other part of this process. With sensations and images and sounds etc. You are going to keep using your anchor, even on the way the resistance itself feels… “What does that feel like?”   
I’m going to give you another analogy to spin off of the last one, which will help you immensely as you go through this process. Imagine that inside every emotional package, was a singing bowl. And imagine that the specific feeling you experience when you experience that specific package, is the unique tone of that specific singing bowl. Some are far more unpleasant than others. When you place your attention on the way you feel, or when something happens in your life to trigger a specific emotional package, it is like that specific singing bowl was struck. And it needs to sing through your entire body and being. It needs to be able to vibrate out completely, to the point where it no longer vibrates. This is true if you feel any emotion. It’s smart to address any emotion, as if it is a singing bowl that has been struck and that needs to sing itself out in order to de-materialize. But if you have a trigger, what has happened is that when the painful experience originally occurred, that singing bowl was not allowed to sing. It stayed stuck and un-played in the being. And you have most likely spent your whole life trying to shut its singing down, should it ever get touched by something you experience in the world. More than that, you’ve most likely spent your whole life trying to avoid anything that might cause that package with that singing bowl to be touched. For so many of us, our entire lives are spent in a perpetual state of avoidance. Our life is nothing more than us trying to avoiding feeling certain ways. And this is no way to live.  
When you are doing this process and you feel the emotion, like a feeling tone in your body, remind yourself to let it sing through your whole being, like a singling bowl that has been struck. 
It is here that you have options. Because it is so important to fully experience your emotions and be present with yourself in that way, building up the emotional muscle to do this, might be something that you choose to do in increments. Metaphorically speaking, you might choose to dip a toe in first. And then an ankle. And then a leg. If you do this, you are going to do this process until you feel a slight release, maybe a 10-20% reduction in tension within your body. The reason for this tension release is that your own being registers your presence. It is a soothing force because you are indicating that you are changing your pattern of self-abandonment. And you are going to simply increase your presence from there. Maybe the next time, you will do it until an emotion you are experiencing moves and changes to a totally different emotion and you experience that new emotion for a time. When you do this process that way, just make sure that you exit the process by giving yourself some reassuring message, that is the opposite of self-abandonment, such as saying to the specific emotion you are processing, “You can stay with me as we go through the day.” Or affirming to yourself, “I will not leave myself here like this, I’m coming back to this on Saturday.” Or by internally explaining to yourself why you are choosing to stop there, and caringly addressing and resolving any fears you may feel crop up in response to that.  
The other option is to go all the way through. When you go all the way through an emotion, you are with it unconditionally and completely as it changes and changes and changes, until the improvement happens on its own and to you. You are simply experiencing the improvement as it naturally occurs. For example, this might look like palpable relief. Or it might look like deep grounded-ness or it might look like experiencing the opposite of the original pain. This is the master’s class of emotional experiencing. And depending on the specific emotional experience that you are experiencing, it can take a really long time. When you do this, you are likely to experience a turning point.  For example, you may have been triggered by someone de-valuing you. And you might be sitting in a part of the process with an excruciating white, hot pain and it may consume your whole body, you might get images of your body falling apart, being dissolved by that white hot pain. Only to suddenly start experiencing your body coming back together again, and that white hot pain turning to a technicolor tapestry and the feeling changing from excruciating pain to solidness and strength and fullness. And suddenly receiving insights like “everything in the universe is inside of you, so it is impossible not to have value.” And you will get to a point where intuitively, it feels like you have reached “completion” with that specific package and with that specific singing bowl. You may also choose to do anything in between these two options.  
So that you can understand this process better, here is an example: Jaxson received a rejection letter from a college he was desperate to get into. He got a towel and laid it out on the floor to lie down on it. He closed his eyes and turned all of his attention inward towards the sensations. He noticed extreme tightness in his throat first and a sharp, gripping, pulsing, throbbing pain in his chest. He spent around 25 minutes just feeling that sensation, letting it spread out across his whole body. Whenever he felt his mind trying to go elsewhere, he just asked himself “What does this feel like?” And re-attuned to the sensations. At first, he saw flashes of red associated with this sensation. But soon, that red turned to an experience of white light. And when it did, he felt like he was up against an immovable stone wall. He felt desperation. When he asked himself, what does desperation feel like, it was things like frantic, static energy, a crushing sinking feeling and an aching so deep in the heart, the ache itself felt like it was screaming. An insight popped into his awareness… “I feel powerless. Powerless to get the people in charge of admission to decide to admit me, like there is nothing I can do or will ever be able to do.” He felt a tiny breeze of relief because he was on top of the actual pain. The perception of utter powerlessness.
He asked himself “what does that feel like” meaning the powerlessness. He focused fully on the sensation… breathlessness, stuck-ness and aching in his chest. Wobbliness in his limbs. He watched it and felt it and listened to see if it had any sounds for what felt like a long time before the image of a big, red, rubber ball took over his entire vision. He did not understand it. The image felt intrusive. But he let himself feel intruded upon. He let the big, red ball intrude on him. And asked himself “what does this ball feel like?” The sensations he felt of powerlessness simply intensified. The image of the ball and the powerlessness stayed as is. He felt himself go into resistance to it. The thought “Oh my god, this is never going to end” came up. So, he felt the powerlessness and also the resistance he was feeling to the experience. He allowed the feeling of himself pushing against what is happening and clenching against it to take over his body, as if he was totally surrendering to that internal fight between the experience and his resistance to the experience. He heard his own internal voice pipe up and say “Ok then.. let it never end then.” This caused a relaxation in his body. Then Jaxson saw a memory of being in his middle school gymnasium. The smell of the place was so real, it was as if he was there again. And he asked himself “what does this feel like?” Extreme frustration in the form of constriction and heat and rushing and electric currents coursed through his being. With bright red again. For a time, it was like he saw in the memory while at the same time feeling totally engulfed by red a red fire. He was totally with it. He let his whole body feel it. And eventually, that red turned to a white light, similar to in the beginning of the process. And the memory of him not being chosen for a dodgeball team he was desperate to join, on account of a group of older boys popped up.
Jaxson experienced the memory as if what was happening emotionally at that time, were happening to him right here and now. He let the breathlessness, stuck-ness and aching in his chest spread all through his body. The white light intensified and intensified. He had been fully with the process for over an hour at this point. He thought about the singing bowl that needs to sing and this helped him to let that feeling experience completely ring through his whole body for as long as it needed to. Then, he felt himself stop fighting against the boys in the memory. He felt himself give up as if he just couldn’t fight anymore. This felt like relief. The white light disappeared and turned to a dark, blue. A heavy, sinking sadness. He saw the image of himself lying on his side on the gym floor and the lights being turned off. A knowing appeared… that he needed to accept the rejection and to accept he was not going to keep trying to change it. Tiredness took over his body. A palpable fatigue. But he was surprised by how relieving that felt. Not good. Just much better than the powerlessness and fight to try to be accepted. He fully surrendered to the feeling of that let down. And to the smell of the gymnasium floor. 
Soon, the image of the gymnasium faded on its own. He was just completely in and of that blue, tiredness and sinking. That sensation and experience stayed for quite some time before he smelled coffee, despite there being no coffee in his house. So, he breathed that smell in. Fully feeling it. He asked himself “what does coffee feel like?” Three times he asked himself this. And felt the feeling of that sadness, while also being willing to feel the coffee that had appeared to his senses. He started to feel some warm, cozy, lightness in his underarms and down the sides of his ribcage. And he put his attention on that. Took deep breaths to better feel it. And it expanded and expanded until he was seeing swirls of blue with swirls of yellow. And the texture of smooth candy. An image flashed and then disappeared. The image was of him sitting at a coffee shop with one of his friends, Maggie. He didn’t chase the image. He didn’t “try” to understand it. He just kept feeling what was there. The swirls of blue and yellow, the sadness mixed with the warm, coziness. And after about fifteen minutes of the feeling being allowed to completely play out within him, he had a huge insight come to his awareness. “I don’t try to get accepted by Maggie. I can just sit there at coffee with her and feel this incredible relief because I can just be me… I associate coffee with acceptance. HAHA. I don’t need to be part of the cool club to have what I want. Oh god. What if this is the real reason I’m trying to go to Stanford? That’s bullshit.” 
Jaxson felt himself being sucked into this awareness, away from how he felt. So, he placed his attention back on the feeling sensation that was occurring in his body exactly at that minute. The swirls of blue had gone away. All that was there was the feeling of solidness, almost grounded-ness and a sharp, warm, opening feeling. He invited that feeling to take over his entire being. He saw flashes of his friend Maggie and they intensified this feeling. He loved that feeling. He let it seep into every fiber of his being until he felt this intuitive feeling that it was enough for that time. He checked internally to “feel” for if opening his eyes and going about his day would be ok for all of him. And he felt an internal “yes”. So, he took three deep breaths and thanked the feeling in his body and got up and drank a full glass of water and went about the rest of his day.           
     This process is as close to a medicine journey as you will get without actually taking shamanic medicines. Like shamanic medicine journey work, it is simply a process that happens to you and you are simply experiencing it. You are going along for the ride rather than proactively doing anything to bring it about. You are… experiencing.  
You may feel exhausted after you do this process. That is totally normal. Building emotional muscle can be tiring at first. On top of this, it is exhausting to keep emotions stored in the being and to live your life trying to avoid them being triggered. So, there is often a huge exhaustion to be experienced when you stop doing that.
You can do this process with what you might judge as positive, feel-good emotions too. It’s not like you are limited to doing this only with what you would judge as negative, uncomfortable and painful emotions. It’s just that those are the ones we tend to resist, rather than let ourselves fully experience. 
Another powerful element of this process is that it de-activates the nervous system. Often, when triggers are activated, you will register threat and danger. But when you do this process, you are directing your attention inwards. And this signals to the nervous system that you are not in danger, not only because you are really there with yourself, but also because you are focused inside, whereas, if you were really in danger, you would be focusing externally. And this allows the vulnerable emotions to come through, past protective elements of the being that might be suppressing that emotion. 
Having become aware of the information carried by the emotion, you can then make better decisions and take better actions in your day-to-day life. Using our previous example, Jaxson’s experience caused him to release the trauma of rejection he suffered as a middle school student. And caused him to become aware of how much of his life is ruled by the desperation to not feel rejected and therefore desperation to be part of the cool crowd. He decided that is not a good enough reason for him to go to an Ivy League college. So, he decided to prioritize applying to a college that was near Maggie and near the people who have never treated him like he needs accolades for them to want to spend time with him.     
 By using this process, you can move through painful experiences that happen in your life, and let the emotions that arise move through you, rather than accumulating trauma that prevents you from truly living. So, all that’s left, is to give it a try!     

How To Create Repair in a Relationship (Part Two)

In every relationship, at some point we will experience a breach or damage to the connection between us and them. At some point conflict will happen. At some point frustration will happen. At some point, the trust we had in them or they had in us will suffer a hit. These ruptures can either be what breaks the relationship, or what makes it stronger. But all that depends on our ability to repair ruptures with someone when they occur. Today, I’m going to walk you through how to participate in creating repair when someone else has done something to create rupture in the relationship step by step. In addition to this article, I highly suggest that you also read the part one article on this subject, which is about how to create repair when you are the one that created a rupture in a relationship.
Ruptures in relationships are very similar to wounds in the body. If ignored or put off, they fester and get worse. So, the strongest relationships are between people who don’t have tolerance for the feeling of rupture and who put energy into creating repair as quickly as possible, if not immediately when they occur. Keep in mind that repair in a relationship, is a process. So, let’s dive in.
You have to recognize that the rupture occurred. When a rupture occurs, it feels like a hit or a rip to the fabric of trust, commitment and security that makes up your connection to that other person. You suddenly feel out of alignment with them. Disharmony and anxiety and dissatisfaction start to bleed through the rupture. It feels really bad. You may be someone that immediately recognizes it when this occurs. This is a really good thing. On the other hand, you might be someone who is normalized to relationship rupture. You might be someone for whom the people in your early life experience created rupture with you and never bothered to acknowledge that, much less create any repair. As a result, you may have learned to suppress, deny, disown, ignore, negate, try to explain away, keep to yourself or just put up with the experience of rupture and the feelings that come with it. This is a recipe for a relationship to fall apart. It’s important to think of a relationship like a dance that two people are doing. There will be times during the dance that what the other person does, doesn’t work for you. For the two of you to be a stronger dance team, you need to bring that up so as to create effective adjustments. When you don’t acknowledge ruptures, you are actually making the other person alone. You are turning a tango into an unchoreographed 2-person solo dance. You are failing to recognize and expose areas of potential workability and areas of potential incompatibility. You are also saying yes to whatever your partner is doing. Only, you can’t actually and genuinely do this with ruptures. Your truth will leak out in the form of passive aggression or resentment. You must acknowledge that you feel a relationship rupture because of what the other person has done or not done.
So that you can understand this better, let’s use an example. Marie was out to dinner with Jonah. Jonah caught sight of a waitress that he found very attractive. He stopped focusing on Marie when she was speaking mid-sentence to turn around when the waitress passed him and stare at her as she walked by. Marie must recognize that the feeling of pain in her chest, indicates that for her, Jonah’s action caused a relationship rupture to happen. She must recognize that the way she is feeling is important and it is necessary for there to be a repair between them in order to move forward in the relationship.       Clarify what your issue with it was, for yourself. It’s very easy to feel confused and lost when a rupture has happened. It is disorienting. You may feel thrown into the confused pain of loss of relationship security. You may immediately start trying to figure out if they are the problem or your expectations are the problem. Instead of getting lost in trying to figure out who is to blame, you need to recognize that what the other person did or failed to do made you experience a rupture. And inherent in that experience is some very juicy self-awareness which needs to be extracted. 
Your job is to find out what the real issue is for you and why. All too often, we get lost in the surface happenings, without going deeper. Deeper into what meaning we are adding to an experience and what needs and wants it is making us aware of. Some questions you can ask yourself is: What am I not liking about this situation or what about it is making me irritated? What is my partner doing that is different to what I expect them to do? What about what happened scares me? What is the pain for me in this situation? If nothing ever changes and this keeps happening, what need would not be met? If I was to make it so this person was an automaton and did exactly what made me feel good, because it makes them happy to do so, what would I prefer them to do, and what would them doing that give me that I am not getting now? There needs to be a deep understanding of self to know what the actual issue is, so that you can recognize an actual solution that answers to the actual issue.   
To use our example, Marie could make the issue about the surface thing that happened. She could get immediately defensive and make the problem about Jonah looking at other girls. But this is not the actual problem. When she really looks deeper at the cause of the rupture, she realizes that when Jonah looks at other women, it makes her feel disrespected, like Jonah does not consider her and thinks very little about her. Down deep, she sees his behavior as a reflection of the fact that he sees little value in her and thus, she is terrified that he would abandon her if a woman he perceived to be more valuable came along. She is not getting the experience of being valued by him. And she is not getting the experience of security that he will not abandon her.      Bring it up as a problem for you, but speaking from vulnerability. When a relationship rupture occurs, the best-case scenario is that the other person is attuned enough to you, that they notice the rupture, and they bring it up. However, it isn’t ok to simply wait for the other person to do this. Therefore, if they don’t notice or don’t bring it up, you need to do so. When a relationship rupture occurs, you usually feel hurt and afraid. The hurt and afraid part of you is very vulnerable and for most of us, when our vulnerable parts are wounded, our protector parts come up and do even more damage to our connection with the other person. We treat them like the enemy and engage in all kinds of anti-relationship behaviors because we begin to fight against them for our own best interests. 
There is nothing wrong with anger and if someone has created a rupture with you, you most likely have every right to be furious. But anger occurs in order to protect ourselves from vulnerable feelings and vulnerable experiences. It hides what is really going on. If you want to learn more about this, you can watch my video titled: The Link Between Anger and Vulnerability. You must slow way down and attend to the vulnerability, the pain and the fear and the perceived powerlessness underneath your anger. And then, put that vulnerability on the table in front of the other person using I statements. Name what happened and then speak from and for that vulnerability underneath the pain… what you discovered in the previous step. Let them respond to it. Don’t come to the other person with a solution yet. Remember that you are in a dance in a relationship. The other person needs to learn how to dance. You can’t take 100% of the responsibility for the dance of the relationship. When you are doing this, it’s a good idea to remember that you can choose to say things to soothe each other, while still telling the truth or you can say things that hurt and provoke each other. If you say things that soothe each other, it will feel much more like you are together against a problem rather than against each other. A good question to have in mind is: What would make you both feel loved and safe, while you are in conflict?      
Using our example, Marie might say to Jonah “I want our relationship to feel strong and secure. At the same time, when you look at other women, I feel not considered by you and therefore like I am not valued by you, and afraid that you might abandon me if a woman who you think is more valuable crosses your path.” Obviously, you can elaborate much more and longer than this, so they really understand your pain and your fear and your feelings of powerlessness etc.              Seek understanding of their side of it. But not to negate your experience. In this step, you are really wanting to understand why the other person did what they did, or failed to do what they failed to do rather than project your assumptions onto them. The aim is to get into their perspective. To understand them better. This may confirm the meaning you have added to the experience, or it may show you that you assigned the wrong meaning to the experience. None of what you learn, negates the way you feel or the needs you have. Both can exist at the same time. To learn more about this, you can watch my video titled: I Can Have Me and I Can Have You Too. Ask them questions from a place of curiosity, not accusation. If you ask them questions from a space of accusation, it means you have already decided on the painful meaning of what happened and are seeking only to confirm it, rather than to be open to their side of what happened. 
To use our example, Marie might ask Jonah “Walk me through what happened for you when you turned around to look at that waitress. I need to understand the reason why you did that.” Or “Can you tell me what I should make it mean when you look at other women when I’m around.” Or “What are you feeling when you turn around to look at other women when I am there, is it because something is missing from our relationship?”. Or “What do you think women’s reactions should be when the men they are with look at other women and why?” 
It is especially effective when you ask questions that give the other person the opportunity to answer to your insecurity. On top of this being an opportunity for you to deeply know the other person, their answers will tell you a lot about their willingness to engage on the level of vulnerability and intimacy with you. Jonah’s answer might be something like “I just love beauty, it takes over my senses when I see it, but that doesn’t mean I would go be with some other woman because she’s beautiful. Lots of girls are beautiful.” Or “I wish we didn’t have to only be with one woman at a time. I like being able to act on my attraction to whoever I’m attracted to.” Or “It was super unconscious. It just made me feel good, like a natural high to look at her. It was just a natural reflex and it doesn’t mean I’d rather be with her, or that I would go with her even if she threw herself on me.” Or “I feel more alive when I can look at other women. To be honest, it makes me feel like I’m expected to be dead if I can’t feel attracted to other women just because I’m in a relationship with you or any other woman for that matter.” Or “I’ve been feeling like our relationship is becoming dead and I haven’t known how to bring it up directly.” A person’s answers might point to areas of workability in the relationship, or it might point to serious incompatibilities between you and them.              Own your part of the rupture if there is one and modify any behavior that may have contributed to the problem. Contrary to popular belief, it is absolutely possible for a person to destroy a relationship all on their own. But more often than not, when a rupture occurs in a relationship, both people contribute to it in some way. We may need to change our part of the relationship dance in order to improve things. This means taking a really hard look at how we may have contributed to the rupture, taking accountability for it and altering our behavior in the relationship. Using our example, Marie might realize that her part in it is that she has really low self-esteem and puts all of the pressure of her sense of value on Jonah. And so, she might tell Jonah this and acknowledge that this might feel like he is walking on egg shells around her. And she might decide to commit to proactively working on her own self esteem.  Put forth your needs. Put forth what needs to change for you to be able to move forward in the relationship. If a person is committed to security of connection with you, and to a feel-good relationship, they will initiate the step of trying to figure out what you need to feel better. But you can’t expect people to be masters of relationship already or to be psychic. This step is about making the other person aware of your needs and what would make you feel better.  
To use our example, Marie might say, “I really need to feel valued by you. I need to see effort being made by you that makes me feel valued.” Or “I need to feel more secure in our relationship so I don’t feel like you will abandon me.” Or “I need to feel like my partner is thrilled to be with me.”     Participate in the search for a solution which would create repair. The attitude to take on is “it’s us against the problem”. Not “it’s you against me”. The solution should account for both your truth AND the other person’s truth, which they will have shared when you were asking them to share their side of it. If a person is committed to security of connection with you and to a feel-good relationship (and especially if they are the one that created the rupture) the ball is in their court to offer ideas for resolve. If they are passive about this, or resistant to it, you are going to end up taking the responsibility for the relationship upon yourself and dancing the tango for the both of you. And this is a recipe for disaster. However, because a relationship is a dance, don’t just sit there, expecting them to do the dance alone for you either. Instead, proactively participate. Offer potential solutions that would allow for the two of you to move forward in the relationship… to repair. This step allows for serious creativity. Why? Because there can be so many solutions to a rupture in a relationship given the truth that belongs to both people in the relationship. What will absolutely work for one person might not work for another. For example, a solution might be Jonah committing to not focus on other girls when he is with Marie. Or, a solution might be Marie looking at beautiful women with Jonah, to feel like she is in on the appreciation of beauty with him. Or a solution might be to go to relationship counseling to try to re-ignite the relationship. Or a solution might be for Jonah to not stop looking at other women, but to change how often or long he looks at them. Or a solution might be for Jonah to show Marie he values her more consistently in other ways, like words of appreciation and by making time that is only for her, free from other distractions. Or a solution might be for Jonah to demonstrate small acts of thoughtfulness throughout the day such as helping her out with something or buying her something to brighten her day. Or a solution might be for him to find out what practical things she is afraid of in the case of his abandonment, and provide solutions to those things, so that she is less afraid of losing him on a practical, tangible level and they can focus only on the emotional element of their relationship.              
It is super important to know that a relationship rupture is a “don’t move forward” moment. And many people make the mistake of thinking that if someone acknowledges something they did or understands your pain, that counts as resolve. It doesn’t. That is not the resolve. The resolve must involve some kind of mutual agreement or change. Something that causes you to feel re-connected, on the same page and in alignment with the other person and more secure. The harmony needs to be restored. If all a person does is to acknowledge and apologize for what they did or understand your pain, this does not mean they will actually change anything for the better. And if a person sees your pain and acknowledges that they hurt you, but makes no change, or does the same thing again, it is a recipe for a trust disaster as well as emotional damage. Repeat offense, assuming it is not something that both people have agreed to, is a relationship killer.
It's at this point that you must know that ruptures highlight where there is workability in a relationship and where there is not, because incompatibility exists. This will require you to be very honest about where you can be workable and where you cannot. Agreeing upon a resolution is not the same as a compromising. You’re going to need to agree to a resolution that makes it so that you and the other person are actually resolved, not that you aren’t and so, it’s going to come out in passive aggressive ways or be used against the person in later fights or lead to resentment or bitterness. In a relationship, you may find yourself needing to choose a specific contrast. But you can only do so if doing so will not lead to resentment or genuine life dissatisfaction. For this reason, it is a really good idea for you to watch four of my videos, The first is: The Biggest Lie You Were Ever Told About Relationships. The second is: Incompatibility, a Harsh Reality in Relationships. The third is: The Most Important Element of Compatibility in a Relationship. And the fourth is: The Difference Between Compromise and Workability in a Relationship.
Using our example, if Jonah’s truth is that he wishes he didn’t have to only be with one woman at a time because he would like to be able to act on his attraction to whoever he is attracted to. And Marie’s truth is that what she has always wanted and still deeply wants, is to be in a relationship with a man who wants romantic and sexual exclusivity with her, this is a point of unworkability. This will be a conflict that comes up over and over again, corroding the relationship. They are likely to have to face the reality of incompatibility as partners. Every person will have different areas and levels of workability and unworkability. What is important is that you are in reality about what is and is not workable for you specifically.
This step usually causes people to come face to face with just how willing or unwilling they are to adjust their own behavior according to someone else’s insecurities and needs. And this willingness or lack thereof should have to do with to what degree it is beneficial to do so and to what degree it is detrimental to do so. Be receptive to the solution. Fully experience and resource the agreement or change when it is demonstrated. This means be receptive to and positively reinforce the other person when they are doing what it takes to repair a rupture. Sometimes, we can feel so hurt that we close ourselves to the other person’s genuine effort to repair. This is building a wall between ourselves and the other person. This prevents re-connection. If we have agreed to a course of repair, we can’t act like nothing they do is going to work to take the chip off of our shoulder or take the walls down or make us trust them again. Where there is no actual willingness, there is no way. When someone tries to repair with us, for the repair to take place, we need to actually let that repair take place. A relationship only works if both people are in it.  
Using our example, if Jonah shows Marie he values her more consistently in other ways, like words of appreciation and by making time that is only for her, and she has agreed to this being the way to repair, she needs to respond positively to those bids for connection and security rather than rejecting them. She needs to really let herself feel his efforts as her being valued.  Ruptures without repair is a recipe for a painful, resentful and bitter relationship, all of which leads to the ruin of a relationship. But rupture does not have to be the thing that ruins a relationship. To the contrary, it can be the thing that makes your relationship both strong and long lasting. If you and the other person learn to expect that you are both committed to repair and experience being able to do it whenever a rupture occurs, what you are left with is rock solid trust. Repair is the part of a relationship where you come to understand each other better, build a stronger, more resilient connection and to come back together.       

How To Create Repair in a Relationship (Part One)

We want to believe that we can find a relationship where all that occurs is connection and harmony. But the reality about relationships is that rupture is inevitable. In every relationship, at some point we will experience a breach or damage to the connection between us and them. At some point conflict will happen. At some point we will hit points of frustration. At some point, they may do something or fail to do something and that will cause us to suffer a hit to the trust that we have in them. Or we might do something or fail to do something and that will cause them to suffer a hit to the trust that they had in us. These ruptures can either be what ultimately breaks the relationship, or what makes it stronger and stronger. But all that depends on our ability to repair ruptures with someone when they occur. Today, I’m going to walk you through how to create repair when you are the one that created a rupture in a relationship step by step. 
Before I walk you through the steps, it’s very important to understand two things. The first is that, even though ruptures are inevitable in relationships, we should be doing our best in our relationships to prevent them. When we demonstrate the care enough for a relationship that we are active about preventing ruptures, we are building and building trust in a relationship and are adding to the health of the relationship. It’s not fine to create ruptures. To give you an analogy, it’s inevitable that a car will break down and have to go to the mechanic shop. But knowing that should not make you go “Oh -well, since it will happen one, day, I’m not gonna prevent my car from breaking down. It’s not as big a deal to not change the oil and let the tire pressure run down and not replace the brakes etc”.      
It's also important to know that ruptures in relationships are very similar to wounds in the body. If ignored or put off, they fester and get worse. So, the strongest relationships are between people who don’t have tolerance for the feeling of rupture and who put energy into creating repair as quickly as possible, if not immediately when they occur. 
It is WAY, WAY easier to repair things when they are very, very small, than it is when they are big. People teaching about relationships will often say, “To make a relationship work, you gotta let some things slide” or “don’t get upset over the little things”. And there is a real danger to this. The danger is that when what occurs is a little rupture, no matter how little it is, it will become big. And by not bringing it up to repair, the opportunity to repair is missed. And believe me, it is complete hell when you or the other person realizes, after a relationship is so damaged that it has fully broken, that everything could have been avoided if all those months or years ago, some initial rupture you or they didn’t even realize happened, could have been brought up for repair. Repair is a process. So, let’s dive in shall we?
You have to recognize that the rupture occurred. There is an ease, a connectedness, a completeness and a harmony to a relationship that is doing well. The connection feels strong. It feels “on”. This is a feeling that will occur in your body. This is the feeling of being in alignment with the other person. When a rupture occurs, this feeling will be disrupted. It will feel like tension, discord, angst, anxiety, unresolve, and incompleteness instead. The connection will feel weakened, if not damaged. It feels “off”. When you get this feeling, this is your indication that something has happened to the connection. It may be really obvious what the rupture is about. But, if it isn’t, you need to investigate what happened. This should not immediately involve the other person because when you have done something obviously damaging to the relationship and you didn’t even notice, demonstrating that you didn’t notice, makes the rupture even worse. Start with a mental play back regarding what happened or didn’t happen that day, especially in the relationship. Ask yourself, Why Might This Person Be Upset? It’s a good idea to look for when that feeling of rupture started to occur and what was or wasn’t happening at that time. To repair a rupture, you must know exactly what the issue is.  To give you an example, let’s imagine that Jason was late to drive Eliza to her prenatal appointment after promising to do so. He must recognize that this is a trust breach that is destructive to the relationship. And that Eliza is likely to feel bad towards him. He will feel that feeling of tension, discord, angst, unresolve, incompleteness and anxiety in his body. He recognizes that a rupture has occurred.   
You have to bring the rupture up to the other person with the intention of creating repair. You start this by acknowledging verbally to the other person that you see that a rupture happened. It’s even better if you can acknowledge what it was. Name what happened and name your part in it. And it’s even better if you can acknowledge how they might have been hurt by it. If you don’t have the foggiest clue what happened, you need to ask the other person. This must be done in a sincere way, not a way that suggests that the other person is wrong for their upset. Something like “Hey, I can tell that something isn’t right. I really want to know what it is, so I can do something about it.” Or, “Hey, I noticed ever since lunch time, I’ve been feeling like we’re on two different pages and you don’t seem very happy. Can you tell me what’s up?”  If you know what the rupture is, then you bring up that you noticed what happened.  Using our example, Jason would say “I know you’re upset because I didn’t pick you up on time, like I promised I would do. And that probably made you feel unimportant, unconsidered and alone.” The goal is to get out ahead of the why behind the other person’s upset. This actually builds trust, even during the conflict because it demonstrates to the other person that we are attuned to them enough to know them, which is the opposite of how people feel when there is a rupture. When a rupture occurs, people often feel like they aren’t seen, heard, felt, understood and cared about. They feel like if you did see, feel, hear and understand them, you would not do what you did. After all, the underlying contract in any relationship is: If you love me, you won’t hurt me. So, you must demonstrate that you do see, hear, feel and understand them. Or at the very least, put effort into doing so when a rupture arises and you don’t understand why. It’s important to know that when you’ve created a relationship rupture, it is YOUR job to repair it. 
Invite the other person to speak to how they feel. See how it impacted them. For this step, instead of being defensive, since you acknowledged that you created a rupture, you are going to roll out the red carpet for them to express. Using our example, Jason might say to Eliza “Tell me more about how it made you feel that I was late picking you up.” And he would ask questions to understand it even deeper. But these questions are so that he can completely see, hear, feel and understand her. So, he can completely and accurately assess the situation. Say for example that Eliza says “I feel like you don’t give a damn about this family.” He would notice that anger as a protector for her fear and ask a question like “What does that make you afraid of, or afraid will happen?” And don’t ask these questions with a tone that suggests they are wrong for feeling how they feel. When you have created a relationship rupture, you need to hold a strong container for THEIR feelings.         Demonstrate understanding for the way they feel with empathy. Emotions need to feel understood and people need to feel that you are genuinely empathetic to them in order for them to trust you. This can take the form of validation or sympathizing or mirroring or apologizing or all of the above. For example, using our example, Jason might say, “Eliza, I see that you felt very alone today and you have every right to be upset. It’s not acceptable for a man to make you feel uncared for.” Or “I understand exactly why you felt afraid and not considered today. I don’t want you to feel that way”. This is not the time to give any excuse as to why you caused the rupture. Explain yourself regarding what happened in a way that does not suggest that you should be or expect to be let off the hook. This is not the same as coming up with excuses. An excuse is an attempt to lessen the blame, fault or level of offense. It is a defensive strategy. It is a self-centered strategy. Why this is really bad is because you have hurt someone, but now, you are the one acting like the victim. When you explain yourself, the intention of doing so, must be to help the other person to not make it mean what they are making it mean, unless it does mean that. Using our example, and only after Jason has empathized with how Eliza feels, he might say “The reason I was late is that I popped into the phone shop and thought it would only take 20 minutes, but it ended up taking them nearly an hour. It’s not because I don’t care about you and I will not leave you alone, even though today made you feel that way.” Notice that Jason expects of himself to be there for Eliza to make the relationship strong. So, he isn’t putting the blame on the phone shop, so as to take it off of himself. He expects himself to not put Eliza in a position where she and their relationship is at the mercy of the phone shop.  You might have to face some painful things about yourself when you look at the real reason that you created a rupture in a relationship. It is essential to become aware of the real reason why you do the things you do. If you are unaware of the why, you might be able to repair a rupture in a moment, only to create that rupture again in the future. To learn more about this, watch my video titled: The Secret To Self-Awareness, Becoming Aware of The Why. Also, people can feel when you are not being genuine. For example, if Jason’s real reason he was late was that he prioritizes the status of having the newest model of phone over making sure his relationship is strong and his wife feels cared about, Eliza will be able to feel that. And his explanation will be empty. And Jason will have to seriously consider what kind of man he is, what kind of man he wants to be and what priorities he wants to align himself with. Because if he prioritizes status over the security of their relationship, having gotten into a relationship with Eliza, who prioritizes relationship security (and expects him to do the same) this is a recipe for constant rupture in his relationship with Eliza. They would have to confront workability or potential incompatibility if this was indeed the case.  
Based on what happened, you find a way forward by settling on a way to fix or mend the problem that presented itself in the relationship so that the ease, connectedness, completeness, harmony and trust is restored in the relationship. This means, you cannot do what caused the rupture again. You must prove that you won’t. There is no “try” when it comes to repair. You either do it or you don’t. Whatever you choose to do to make it good with a person, fix the problem or re-establish trust, the goal is to demonstrate to the person that you deserve their trust because you are unwilling to leave them in pain and are committed to them feeling good in the relationship with you.  Some examples might be that you set a new expectation in the relationship that makes them feel good and hold yourself to it. It might look like cleaning up a mess you made. It might look like making a new agreement with a person. It might look like empowering the other person in some way. Using our example, Jason might say, “I never want you to feel that way again. And while I may not be able to control every little thing that happens, I’m never going to try to fit everything I have to do into my schedule, when I have something important to do with you. What I should have done and will do going forward is to schedule ample time before our important appointments.” Or, he might say, “I don’t want to take any chances that you feel dropped by me. So, I’d really like to re-schedule these appointments for my off days.” 
He would also make sure to demonstrate the OPPOSITE of the pain that he put her through. So, he would step up regarding being extra present to her at the prenatal appointment. And being attentive to considering her regarding what food that would please her to eat or activity she would enjoy doing with him. Whatever he decides on as a repair and she agrees to as a repair, he is going to follow through. He’s looking to make the relationship predictable. And predictably feel good. This rupture just became an opportunity to strengthen the security of the relationship. Think of it like adding to the relationship security bank. 
When you are creating repair in a relationship, repeat offense is not an option. If Jason inspired the re-building of trust in Eliza and therefore created repair by guaranteeing her that it won’t happen again, and he does it again, he has damaged their relationship double or more so. He has demonstrated that his word is worth nothing. That he can see her pain, but not be moved enough by it to change because he can do it again. He has demonstrated that because of this, he can’t be trusted. And rather than keep the privilege of being able to soothe and reassure her, he has lost that privilege and is now demonstrating a pattern where she can expect to be hurt by him. This is why addictions ruin relationships so effectively. 
It's at this point that I need to mention the fact that if a rupture occurs and it becomes obvious that you can’t guarantee that the same thing won’t happen again, your repair has to accommodate for THAT. Your solution needs to be to find a way to take the other person out of the pain that you would cause them by continuing to do whatever it is that is causing the conflict. This might mean facing potential workability or even incompatibilities. Using our example, if Jason decides that status is more important to him than relationship security, he needs to recognize that this could put him in a pinch again regarding choosing between being there for Eliza and some opportunity to gain status, whether it is job related or activity related or object related or whatever. And he then needs to own up to that. He needs to explain that status is so important to him and why. From there, Jason needs to find a way to repair based on Eliza’s workability relative to this. Can she support him in this? Or will she forever be unhappy with a man for whom that is the reality? If she can, Jason might say something like “I see this really hurts you. And I’m not ok with you feeling that way. I will take it upon myself to arrange someone else that I trust and that you trust to take you to any appointment that I might miss on account of a status opportunity. And I will call you beforehand to tell you that is happening. It shouldn’t be your job to make up for my absence on account of my priority. That’s my job.” And reassure her that relationship security is still important to him, no matter how much he might care about status. 
If she can’t, then they have the very tough job of confronting their incompatibility. To learn more about this, you can watch three of my videos. The first is: Incompatibility, a Harsh Reality in Relationships. The second is: The Most Important Element of Compatibility in a Relationship. and the third is: The Difference Between Compromise and Workability in a Relationship.  
Rupture in a relationship is not pleasant to experience. But when you are committed to repair and begin to master the art of it, you will find that over time, you will no longer dread relationship conflict because it is an opportunity to grow the bond and the security and the trust between you.            
   

Avoid This Massive Relationship Mistake! (They’ll Change Because of Me)

There are mistakes that can and should be avoided from the get go when it comes to relationships. Mistakes that can doom a relationship no matter how much effort you put into it. Today, we’re going to look at one of them so that its one mistake that you don’t make.
When we are first getting into a relationship with someone, we are gradually confronted with things that we like about a person and things we don’t like about a person. Things that are compatible to us, and things that aren’t. It’s during this process that we decide where someone belongs in our life and doesn’t. It’s during this process that you can make a crucial mistake and that is to believe that a person will change into what you like and want and thus become more compatible, by virtue of being in the relationship with you. 
Without explaining further, I’m going to give you a couple examples of this. Emmanuel fell in love with Taylen. He had known Taylen for years because they ran in the same social circles and she had dated a friend of his. He observed Taylen in this previous relationship and had noticed how flirtatious she was with other men. He also noticed how often she openly revealed intimate details about her relationship and confronted his friend in front of everyone when she was upset. For Emmanuel, a feeling of exclusivity and privacy is very important in a relationship. But Emmanuel saw how poorly his friend treated Taylen. And he knew that he would be a better partner for her or to any woman for that matter. He told himself that the only reason she exhibited those behaviors is because she was in such a bad relationship. He told himself that with the right man, she would become faithful in her behavior, exclusive, discreet and happy. At first, they were happy together. That is, until one night at a party when Taylen started flirting with another man, despite there being nothing wrong with their relationship. Emmanuel started a downward spiral because of the incident. And that downward spiral caused him to withdraw in the relationship emotionally. And what do you think this led to? Yep… Taylen was soon complaining openly about Emmanuel to other people, confronting him in front of them and revealing intimate details about their relationship. Rather than considering whether he could be with a woman like Taylen, if nothing about her ever changed, he decided that his influence could change her. Of course, when Taylen figured this out, she felt like she was just some fixer upper project for him and like she would have to be someone different to be loved. Emmanuel finally owned up to the incompatibility between them and ended the relationship, but not before they both had already gone through unnecessary emotional damage.
Janiya is often teased by her girlfriends because she seems to be irresistibly drawn to bad boys. And recently, she met one such bad boy, Angelo. When she met Angelo, he was on parole for a drug distribution crime. A few times when they were first spending time together, she would notice shady behaviors, like stepping out to run quick errands, but not telling her what the errand was. Always ending up in the same place as other men he knew by “coincidence.”  And a few times, she showed up at his apartment to find him high. But Janiya wanted the American dream. She wanted the house in the suburbs with the man who has a stable job and the kids and a Labrador retriever. She wanted a life and a marriage that she could be proud of. Janiya has a huge heart as well as a rescue complex. So, when Angelo acted how he acted, Janiya fixed her sights on that little inner child in Angelo who was neglected and who was never loved well enough. She became convinced that it would be her loving care that would awaken Angelo’s potential to be a good man. She imagined that his love and gratitude for how well she loved him would make him clean his life up, step up in their relationship and become the man in her vision for a happy life. Rather than considering whether she could be with a man like Angelo if nothing about him ever changed, she decided that it was her love that could change him. Of course, this did not happen. They ended up in a re-traumatizing three-year relationship from hell. Janiya ended up completely depleted because her efforts to reform Angelo never lasted. She was trapped in a tormenting intermittent reinforcement cycle.
Angelo was in the same conditional love dynamic he was in as a child, only this time with a woman who only loved him for what she knew he could be one day and for what she wanted him to become for her. He didn’t even want the same life she wanted. He didn’t want a quiet life in the suburbs. He wanted to own clubs one day and buy a penthouse. The constant pressure to do and be better caused him to feel rejected and therefore lonely, which only increased his drug use and avoidant behaviors. And he ended up back in jail. Because Janiya was never able to do and be enough to make Angelo change his ways, her self-esteem went to hell and so did her health with it. She was so emotionally damaged that she became bitter about men. And her house was even raided because of her association with Angelo. 
There are potentially many reasons that we fall into this pattern. But to give you some examples, we might want a relationship with someone so badly that we tell ourselves the other person will change by virtue of being in the relationship with us, so that we can avoid the torment of saying no to what we desperately want. Or we might be trying to re-create the relationship we had with one of our parents with the subconscious intention of achieving a different and healing outcome. Or we might be attaching our sense of self-worth to another person changing for us or by virtue of being with us. Or we might decide that it is more meaningful and a bigger statement of love if someone changes to be a certain way for us or by virtue of being with us, rather than if someone is already that way. Or we might be needing to prove to ourselves that nothing and no one is beyond saving; that with enough love and kindness, people can change for the better or even be saved. Or we might be tapping into and answering to the truths, needs and wants of a specific vulnerable part of a person while ignoring every other part of them.
I want you to remember this. When you meet someone and you are getting into a relationship, you need to ask yourself this question: How do I feel about this person knowing that nothing about them will ever change? A variation of that question is: How do I feel about this person knowing that them getting into a relationship with me will not change a single thing about what they think and say and do? And based off of your answer to those questions, ask yourself, could I be with them and be happy? Where are the compatibilities and where are the incompatibilities? And based off of that reality, where do they actually belong in my life?
People tend to feel a lot of resistance to the idea of getting into relationships with people with the assumption that nothing will ever change about the other person, especially by virtue of being in the relationship with them. After all, people can change and they do change. On top of this, we all hear those stories and speeches about how someone’s love or care or influence made all the difference to someone else’s life and brought about such positive change. For many reasons, most of us would love to play that role in someone else’s life. But before you go down that path, consider being on the flip side of this pattern. How would you feel if someone got into a relationship with you with the idea that something they don’t like about you or are incompatible to about you, will change by virtue of them being with you? Because of their love or care or influence on you? Does it feel like they value and love you or something else they think you should become? Would you want to be in that relationship?   
There are some mistakes in relationships that are completely avoidable. Getting into a relationship with the idea that a person will change by virtue of them being with you, is one of these. 

The Relationship Apathy Pattern

To generalize, people only put energy into something if they feel they are going to get what they want out of it. This is also true when it comes to relationships. A person won’t put energy into a specific relationship unless they feel like they are going to get what they want out of that relationship. If a person doesn’t feel that they will get what they want out of the relationship, they tend to become apathetic towards the relationship. There are all kinds of things that a person might want to get out of a relationship such as a sense of belonging, intimacy, togetherness, sex, trust, a sense of security, protection, shared experience, affection, attention, prioritization, emotional connection, joint goals, romance, significance, respect, kindness, honesty, dedication, excitement, encouragement, self-esteem, acceptance, not to be lonely anymore and the list goes on and on. If a person is in a relationship specifically for any one of these things and starts to feel like they won’t get it, they can become apathetic towards the relationship. Therefore, if you are in a relationship and someone is behaving apathetically towards it or towards you, it is very smart to consider that the reason might be that they want something out of the relationship that they are not getting and feel they are not going to get.
But today, I’m going to expose the deepest, most unconscious and most difficult to recognize relationship apathy pattern. And I’m going to tell you what to do about it. First, I’ll tell you what the pattern is. And then I’ll break it down for you so that you completely understand it. The pattern is that a person’s deepest desire is to be loved for “who they are” and they perceive that they aren’t going to get that in a relationship, and so they become apathetic towards the relationship.
The first thing that is important to understand is that when someone says that they want to be loved, 99% of the time, they don’t actually mean that they want to be loved. What they mean is that they want to be valued, appreciated and therefore wanted. So, really, this pattern is about wanting to be valued for “who they are”. 
The second thing that is important to understand is that in the context of the desire to be valued, “who you are” is a meaningless term. What does it mean? There are some questions you must consider if you want to be loved for who you are/if you want to be loved for “you”. 
Who and/or what are you?  What is it about you that you want to be valued, appreciated and wanted for? What is it exactly that you are asking other people to value, appreciate and want about you? To understand this pattern, we need to go way back into childhood. In some families, a child gets the message that their only value is what they DO for the parent or for other members of the family. They feel their only value is in their use. This leads to both extreme insecurity and exhaustion because it feels like they are on a never-ending treadmill to earn their place every day and will lose it the second they stop. Imagine a horse that is valued and wanted only for the fact that it races, and if the day comes that it doesn’t race, it immediately is not valued anymore and is rejected and discarded. Inside this child, a deep desire is being born. A desire to be valued for something intrinsic to them, something that is not dependent on their service or lack thereof or on their performance or lack thereof. They want to be valued, appreciated and wanted for something that has nothing to do with their use. 
The problem is, the only way this person knows to be valued enough to be wanted, is to be of use. And so, they will enter into a relationship with someone who has very obvious and desperate needs. Even to the degree that they need rescue. Therefore, again, they will be valued for what they do for the other person. But they will secretly hope and expect that to the contrary, doing so will magically lead to that person valuing them for who they are instead. 
This person will be a person who starts out pouring their energy into the relationship and into the other person. The exact opposite of apathy. Because they think that everything they are doing, will lead to them feeling valued, appreciated and wanted for “who they are”. But then the day comes where something happens that causes them to perceive that they will never be valued, appreciated and wanted for “who they are”. And so, they begin to test it. They start to drop the things they were doing for the relationship and for the other person. Naturally, this makes the other person upset at them. And this is further confirmation that they are only valued, appreciated and wanted for their use. And so, they go into full blown apathy mode. They drop responsibilities. They don’t put energy into the relationship or into the other person. They emotionally withdraw. They act completely passive and unhappy. They act unworkable. They become unresponsive. They lose their enthusiasm. And when the relationship spirals, they don’t put any energy into making changes to improve the relationship. They stop actively participating in the relationship and even sink into depression because it’s too painful to accept that in the relationship, they won’t be valued, appreciated and loved for “who they are”. And because they don’t want to sign up for a life or a relationship where they aren’t. Suddenly, the other person feels like they are in the relationship alone and as if they are the only one putting any energy into it. 
So that you can understand this better, here is an example: Michael was born into a poor family with lots of kids. He was left in the crib a lot as a baby, because every member of the family was too busy doing what needed to be done to get by. When he was old enough to pitch in, he was immediately put to work. Tending to his siblings, taking on tasks for the household, helping to bring in income. No one in the house was valued for anything other than what they practically did. For example, Michael had an incredible sense of humor. But no one cared. All they cared about is whether he lit the wood fires first thing in the morning or brought back enough money from his afterschool job. 
Michael is now an adult. Since his life experience has taught him that he holds no value other than what he does, he has deep insecurities about his own worth. This causes him to get into relationships with women who desperately need a man because they are fending for themselves. He does this because by doing so, he does not risk rejection. Also, all he knows is to be in a relationship with someone who really needs him for something that he does. The woman he is with now, Kelsey, is a single mother with a history of severe sex abuse. She needs all the things that a father would provide, but that her father never provided, and even more. She needs someone to provide for her financially. She needs protection. She needs a father figure for her daughter. She needs a man to be there for her whenever she needs him emotionally. She needs to be supported in her goals. She wants to be taken care of and taken responsibility for. Michael is convinced on a subconscious level, that if he steps up to such a degree for Kelsey, she will fall in love with him for who he is. What he means by this is, Kelsey will value, appreciate and want him for his soul. For how he feels. For his sense of humor. For the way his body feels against hers. You know… for everything that takes no effort on his part because it isn’t about what he does. Kelsey does actually value him for all these things. But the reason she got into a primary partnership arrangement with him isn’t because of those things. It was because of all the things he does for her. Things like taking responsibility for upkeep around the house and paying for bills and bringing home dinner for them all and talking her through her problems for hours and providing incredible containment and setting up elaborate dates. 
One day, Michael runs into a situation where he doesn’t have enough money to pay the grocery bill. And Kelsey gets upset about it. A shock wave goes through Michael’s system. Suddenly, he feels like his security with Kelsey and his place in her life is dependent on his use. In this case, financial providership. He is in a state of constant anxiety then. He doesn’t talk to Kelsey about this fear. Instead, he decides to test whether this is in fact the case. He doesn’t put the trash out on the street on trash pickup day, like he has of his own accord every other week in their relationship. Again, Kelsey gets upset. She becomes afraid that all the pressure is starting to fall back on her shoulders and like she is going to have to either do things herself, or manage Michael to do them. When Kelsey gets upset, Michael’s worst fears become even more real. She might never love him for who he is. And it is at this point that progressively, he goes into full blown apathy mode. 
Michael starts dropping all of the responsibilities he signed up for in their relationship. He stops doing anything romantic. He stops initiating sex. He withdraws emotionally and spends most of his time working. But he passes up opportunities to make a lot of money because he doesn’t want Kelsey to value him for how much money he has. He stops providing containment. He leaves her to fend for herself in conflicts with other people in her life. And when the relationship really turns bad, he is uncharacteristically passive about it. He won’t read books about how to make the relationship better. When Kelsey tells him directly what he needs to do to make her feel happy in the relationship again, he doesn’t do it. He reluctantly shows up to a visit with a marital therapist but won’t go back. Kelsey has lost her partner. Michael has slipped into an apathetic depression, leaving her to fend for herself and carry him. He is stuck in that depression because he can’t consciously admit that what he wants is to be loved for “who he is” and Kelsey is a woman with very serious and practical needs. She will never love him enough for “who he is” to have that be the reason to be in a primary relationship with him, or with any man for that matter. Part of Michael’s despair is that he truly believes that this is the very thing he offers to Kelsey. Something he feels he can give to any woman in his life, but that he never receives in return. If you ask him, he will say that he always ends up in relationships that are conditional when all he wants and what he offers, is unconditional love.  
What he doesn’t realize is that he also is in a conditional relationship with Kelsey. The need he is trying to meet and what he is trying to get out of a relationship is esteem. His childhood led him to believe that he is worthless as a person outside of his use. He wants a woman to value, appreciate and want him for things that have nothing to do with his use, so that he feels esteem. And if he doesn’t get that in a relationship, he stops participating in the relationship. He becomes apathetic. On top of this, he dupes the women he enters into a relationship with by entering into the relationship on the foot of “value me because of all the things I can do for you”. Only to drop the relationship when it becomes obvious that they do because his real request is “value me for who I am, regardless of what I do or don’t do for you.”
Needless to say, Michael and Kelsey’s relationship ended. And both of them are retraumatized because the relationship was a repeat of each of their original wounding. 
If you recognize yourself in this pattern, the first thing you need to do, is to throw away the idea that there is a right or a wrong reason to be in a relationship. People who want to be loved for ‘who they are’, love to defend this desire by believing that it is the only true and good and right reason to be with someone. This is not true. There is nothing wrong with a person being in a relationship with someone for any reason, provided that there is a mutual agreement about it. What causes pain in relationships is a mismatch between what someone is valued, appreciated and wanted for and what they want to be valued, appreciated and wanted for. In the relationship with Michael and Kelsey, there is a mismatch between what Michael is valued, appreciated and wanted for and what he wants to be valued, appreciated and wanted for.    
The second thing you need to do, is to figure out what you want to be valued, appreciated and wanted for. When a person says “I want to be loved for who I am” or “I want someone to love me for me”, what this usually means is that the person has certain specific aspects about them that were never valued, appreciated or wanted. Potentially they have been rejected for those things in the past. Or potentially, those things have never been adequately recognized. On top of this, they may have been valued, appreciated and wanted for something that they don’t want to be valued, appreciated and wanted for. You need to figure out exactly what it is about you that you want to have be appreciated, valued and wanted. To understand more about this, you can watch my video titled: Want To Be Loved For Who You Are, Watch This! Using our example, Michael realizes that he wants to be loved for his presence, for the way he feels to the other person energetically, for the feeling of his touch, for his humor, for his ideas, for the sound of his voice, and for how nice he is.    
The third thing you need to do, is to decide whether or not being valued, appreciated and wanted for those things is a requirement for a partnership or whether you could have a partnership with someone based off of another agreement and establish other relationships where this need is met. If the answer is yes, you will either need to find out if your partner can change the reasons for being in the partnership with you, or end the partnership. I need to warn you that it is rare that a person will simply change their reason for being in the relationship with you when you change what you are offering, simply because you decided that you want them to be in a relationship with you for something other than what you offered to begin with.  If you decide that being valued, appreciated and wanted for certain things is not a requirement for a partner and could get this need met in other relationships, you need to drop the apathy and start stepping up and into the relationship. Using our example, Michael decides that he wants a partnership to be based off of a person valuing, appreciating and wanting him for these things, rather than for things like providing financially or offering containment or protecting them or taking on responsibilities around the house. So, he decides that it was right for the relationship with Kelsey to end. In fact, it wasn’t right to be with her in the first place. But he can see that he was the one who duped her, so he meets her for coffee to offer a serious apology and explain his pattern and why everything happened the way it did.       
 The fourth thing you need to do, is to advertise whatever it is about you that you want someone to value, appreciate and want. Part of this implies communicating with others about specifically what you want them to appreciate, value and want about you. And never forget that you are more likely to be appreciated, valued and wanted for something when you advertise that thing specifically to the people who are most likely to value, appreciate and want that thing. This means, if you don’t want to be valued for your use (for what you do for someone) then you need to not set up the relationship on the foot of “I will do these things for you”. You have to be willing to take the risk of putting what you want people to value, appreciate and want out there. Using our example, Michael stops looking for women who need rescue because they are carrying too much responsibility and are too alone. Instead, he decides to look for women who are very resourced. Women who are very close to their family and have lots of close friends. And rather than taking on responsibilities or doing things for them, what he offers, is quality time and touch. This way, he can tell that they are in a relationship with him for what he wants them to be in a relationship with him for. 
     Relationships need to be fed. A relationship will end if it is approached with apathy. For this reason, it is critical to know what you want to be appreciated, valued and wanted for in a relationship. And it is critical to know what you want to get out of a relationship. And it is critical to make sure that you are on the same page and in agreement with the other person about both.   

The Real Reason Why a Person Won’t Stop a Negative Behavior

We live in a universe that is managed by the law of cause and effect. This means that everything we do or don’t do, has a consequence. That consequence might be experienced as positive. Or it might be experienced as negative. Usually, when something we do has a negative consequence, we learn not to do it and to do something else. But sometimes, we keep doing something, despite the negative consequences. In this article, I’m going to explain to you the real reason why a person may be choosing not to stop a certain behavior, even if that behavior has obvious and very severe negative consequences. And I’m going to explain how to break through this pattern if it occurs.
In a previous video, I explained that there is no such thing as self-sabotage. I explained that if any part of you is exhibiting a behavior that is bringing about a negative consequence in any way, it is because that part of you thinks it is in your best interest to do so.  In other words, it believes it is saving your life by engaging in that behavior and by not going along with the plan.  For this reason, we cannot say that it is against you. It just doesn’t agree with the rest of you about how to be FOR you. 
Most of the time, this happens because the specific behavior gets that part of you something that it (and therefore you) needs. So essentially, this part of you perceives itself to be in a lose-lose situation and that the negative consequence of whatever behavior it is engaged in, is worth whatever it is that it is (and therefore you are) getting. To understand more about this, you can watch my video titled: There Is No Such Thing as Self Sabotage. 
But behaviors which persist due to a need that is being met through those behaviors are not even close to as stubborn as those behaviors that are inspired by avoidance. And it is avoidance-based behaviors where you see the most extreme patterns of people continuing a negative behavior, no matter the consequences to themselves or others. When a person is caught in this pattern, they do X despite any of the extreme consequences of doing it. Because doing X keeps them away from a consequence they are FAR more afraid of than those consequences. 
So that you can understand this pattern, here are two examples. Suraj has a big problem. Every time he pursues a relationship and the woman starts to act like she really likes him, he loses interest in her. He becomes aloof and disconnects emotionally. He dodges questions. He starts pointing out all of their differences. He starts to go against anything she says, as if he was intent on creating petty arguments. He brings up past women he has been with, as if romanticizing them. He pushes her away. This behavior has massive consequences. For starters, he is desperately lonely. He feels terrible about his life and himself and likes to escape those feelings with too much alcohol. His parents shame him on a weekly basis about the fact that he hasn’t settled down and the cultural pressure is building. But Suraj keeps doing it. Despite all these consequences. The reason he keeps doing it is because, as a child he was raised by a severely enmeshed mother and a culture that raises children in an atmosphere of enmeshment. In Suraj’s childhood, none of his personal boundaries were respected. He was treated like he existed for one reason only: To please his mother and to deny all of his own desires, needs, wishes, aversions, dislikes, thoughts and feelings to serve his mother’s wishes and overinvolvement in any given moment. Suraj is terrified of being swallowed up and suffocated by whomever he is in a relationship with, and completely losing his individual autonomy. Suraj is far more afraid of that, than he is the consequences he is experiencing when he ruins yet another relationship. So, the behavior continues. 
Katie has a big problem. She is addicted to crystal meth. The consequences are dire. She lost her job. She spends time at other people’s apartments, because she can’t afford one of her own. She suffers from convulsions. She has cracked teeth that are decaying. She has sores on her skin from picking at it. She feels frail all the time. She’s lost nearly every relationship in her life. She has to deal with the come-down and withdrawal every time she uses. And she can clearly see that her life is ruined. Despite all these consequences, she keeps engaging in her addiction. But it isn’t really because of the confidence, the energy, the euphoria and elation caused by the high of the drug itself. Nor is it really caused by the chemical element of substance addiction in her body. It’s because the drug keeps her AWAY from the emotional hell of her life. The deep vacuum of loneliness. The feelings of being inherently unlovable. The emptiness caused by years of emotional neglect and emotional abuse. The desperate powerlessness of feeling like she can’t fix any of the things that cause her pain about her life, so as to feel better. When Katie does crystal meth, it pulls her away from that powerlessness. It doesn’t help her to fix any of those problems. Afterall, her problems feel pretty unfixable. Instead, it makes all of those problems just go away for a few hours, especially in those moments when she’s in so much pain in the moment that each minute is an unbearable lifetime and so, she starts having suicidal thoughts. Katie is far more afraid of getting stuck in the hell that is those thoughts and those feeling states than she is of the consequences of the drug that is killing her. So, she keeps up her addiction. 
When a behavior that has negative consequences is motivated by a need, the way to change the behavior is to find a different way (that comes without the negative consequences) to meet that need. When a behavior that has negative consequences is motivated by an avoidance, the way to change the behavior is to find a different way to empower a person to keep themselves safe from experiencing whatever it is that they are trying avoid. And/or to decrease their resistance to whatever it is that they are trying to avoid.
Using our examples, Suraj might be able to start letting go of his behavior if he was encouraged to stop forcing himself into relationships and have conscious casual relationships or friendships instead; until he feels like he really wants to have a committed partnership. Rather than doing it because he thinks he has to. Or because he thinks the only way to not be lonely is to have a committed partner. And he could focus on going to attachment-based therapy. And he could commit to learning all about boundaries. And he could dedicate his free time to learning about himself (developing a sense of self and identity) with other people who are also committed to learning about themselves, rather than settling down. And he could do parts work with the part of him that feels guilt relative to his mom for focusing on himself. And he could journal every day to identify his own opinions, thoughts and feelings. And he could set blocks of time aside, as a kind of safe container to focus on others, so he can go back and forth between focusing on them and focusing on himself. 
Katie might be able to let go of her behavior by having someone else be completely with her in a brave joint exploration into the deep traumas and emotional absence and losses that are the origin of the mental and emotional pain she has suffered from for years. And by being in a social setting where she is not alone, where there is always someone available to connect to. And by exercises to change her deeply painful beliefs. And by disciplining herself to notice and list the positives in any given situation for an allotted time each day. And to restore a sense of empowerment to her life by picking only one single problem in her life at a time to improve, and focusing on taking little steps each day to bring that improvement to the situation, until it is better. And by doing presence meditation, where she develops the ability to be with her emotions instead of abandon her own emotions, as well as a tolerance for feeling uncomfortable emotions. She would benefit by realizing that the feelings themselves are not going to harm her and that they are helping her by carrying important messages about her personal truth, including what she needs in any given moment. And by picking something to learn or picking a skill she already has an aptitude for and putting time and energy into it so she can build confidence and self-esteem.  
When someone is terrified of some consequence and that is why they are keeping up with a negative behavior, despite there being other consequences for doing so, it is a profoundly painful experience for them. But the way to solve it, is to find a different way to avoid whatever it is that they are trying to avoid, so that the initial behavior is no longer the most effective means of keeping themselves safe.     
    
   

The Importance of Ancestral Healing

When most people hear about the idea of ancestral trauma or ancestral healing, they get overwhelmed and confused. The concept feels abstract and esoteric. After all, how is someone supposed to heal something that happened way before they were ever born and to people that they have never met and may not even know about? And this is why, in this episode, I’m going to explain ancestral trauma and ancestral healing in depth, help you to understand why it is so important and give you an overview on how to do it. 
Most people are so focused on their own lives in the here and now and on their own specific moment in the overall timeline of humanity, that they have lost touch with the bigger picture of their ancestry. Ancestry plays more of a role in your life than most people can possibly imagine and a much, much bigger role than past lives do. Before coming into this physical life, your awareness was not as limited as it is now, in your physical incarnation. You observed and were aware of all of the ancestral lines you would potentially be assuming as a result of coming to the specific parents that you were considering incarnating through. From this vantage point, you observed the consciousness of your family on both your mother and father’s side. As well as the expansion path of those specific family lines. You were looking to choose into family lines that would be a match to your own intention for this life and at the same time for family lines whose own expansion path would be benefitted by you incarnating into them. Each new generation that is born, is the expansion path for the family line that stretches back throughout the course of history. Whether you are conscious of it or not, you are continuing the existence and the story of all of those who came before you. 
The thing is, purpose is born from a mixed bag. You weren’t only looking for what we might judge as “good things”. You were also looking for what we might judge as “negative” things, as those things would not only serve your life purpose, they represent the opportunity for progression and expansion for a family line.
Every single-family line comes with positive and negative themes. Strengths and weaknesses. Aptitudes and shortcomings. Pleasures and pains. And these themes continue from generation to generation. For example, a family line might have a pattern of entrepreneurship running through it or a family line might have a pattern of escapism from responsibility running through it. To make it really simple, to opt into your specific family line can be compared to opting into a specific hand of cards, made up of both good and not so good cards. And the purpose for your incarnation in this life is deeply and inescapably woven into how you play those “family” cards. 
As people, we have a very hard time accepting that our ancestors play a big role regarding who we are in this life. To many of us, thinking that our ancestry has so much influence on us, causes us to feel powerless, as if our fate has been decided for us, based on whatever family line we ended up in. While this perspective is understandable, it doesn’t reflect the truth. When you get a hand of cards, it is in your hands how to play them. And it just so happens that you came into this life wanting that specific hand. You knew it would benefit you and that you would benefit that family line. 
Genetics are not simply physical. They are not one dimensional. They are multi-dimensional. They don’t just apply to your physical body and to whether you have blue eyes or brown eyes. Genes are like a multi-dimensional blueprint or code, even for things like knowledge, desires, needs, affinities, preferences, aversions, phobias, aptitudes, inaptitude’s, beliefs, feeling states and memories. What we experience in our lifetime, is encoded in our genes. And when a new generation is born, those things are passed down to them. This means that deep within you, you contain all of this from every direct ancestor that you have ever had. It's enough to make your head spin. Based on what has happened before us, some of these things are active and some of these things are inactive within us. 
This means we can look at two levels of ancestral impact.
The first being this much larger and more multidimensional and even esoteric understanding that our ancestors are essentially downloaded deep within us. This is the level at which our experience of our ancestors is not direct, it is inborn. For example, if individuals within our family line were nomadic. That knowledge may be totally lost to us. And still, within ourselves, we could exhibit an undeniably strong inclination towards stepping out of our comfort zone to live in new places. We can call this INDIRECT Ancestral Impact.   
The second being that things are quite literally passed down from one generation to the next and thus, we have a direct experience of our ancestors through our interaction with our own parents. For example, if one of our ancestors abandoned their family, the normalization of abandonment of children might have created a pattern where in each generation within a family line, a parent abandons their kids. In alignment with this pattern, your parent may have abandoned you and your siblings. You directly experienced your ancestors and therefore ancestral trauma by virtue of your own parent abandoning you. We can call this DIRECT Ancestral Impact. 
Trauma is something that does not die with the individual who experiences it. Ancestral trauma is a reality. And after the personal trauma that we go through in our personal life experience, it is the thing that impacts us the very most in our incarnated lives. You don’t have to understand esoteric or multidimensional concepts to understand ancestral trauma and how it impacts descendants. Scientists have long been captivated by the startling realities of how memory is passed down from one generation to the next. There have been several studies done on both animals and humans that prove the inheritance of trauma and also of memory across generations.  
Keep in mind that this indirect ancestral impact as well as this more direct experience of ancestral impact can manifest in both positive and negative ways. And what is important to accept is that living within you, is the gift of all of those positive things that are running through your family lines. And also, living within you is the challenge of all of those negative things that are running through your family lines. The task we have taken on by being born is the task of resolving this inherited trauma. Indeed, so many of the traumas that we experience in our own lifetime are a direct byproduct of this ancestral trauma. The question when it comes to ancestral healing is, can you consciously take advantage of those gifts and can you consciously master those challenges? 
Clearing ancestral trauma is about trauma resolution. Trauma resolution is about healing. And healing is about changing something into its improved state. For example, if a person experiences a lack of belonging, to heal would be to experience a true sense of belonging. Or if a family line experiences and exhibits consistent betrayal, to heal would be for that family line to develop the quality of loyalty and to experience loyalty. At its essence, clearing ancestral trauma is about changing patterns that have been running through your family lines for the better. 
Right now, humanity is at a crossroads. So many of the detrimental patterns that we are seeing on a mass scale within humanity, patterns that are threatening our own demise and the demise of the other beings that share this planet with us, are in fact ancestral patterns that are the result of ancestral traumas. Our own progress as a species depends on re-connecting to our ancestors and on recognizing and changing the detrimental patterns that are recurring throughout history from one generation to the next. And society is made up of individuals. This means, the ability of our species (and countless others) to thrive, depends on individuals engaging deeply in ancestral healing right now. For this reason, right now, there is a massive push within the greater universe towards ancestral healing. It is going to continue to be a theme everywhere you look. When these massive movements occur in the greater universe, it is a very good idea to choose consciously to get on the bandwagon. The good news is, ancestral healing can be really, really fun. And completely mind blowing. 
For those of you that feel the calling to take what is genuinely a deep dive into ancestral healing, I have created an online course to help you do exactly that. You can find this course on my website by going to TealSwan.com, clicking on Teal’s Work and then on Online Courses. There, you will see the Ancestral Healing Course. This course goes into ancestral healing in a much deeper way than I can in a single episode like this. And it walks you through the steps of ancestral healing, so that you can follow along with them and do those steps yourself.
That being said, so that you can get your mind around how to do ancestral healing, here is a brief overview. The first thing that a person needs to do, is to release or resolve some of the resistance they might have to doing ancestral work or ancestral healing. The reason being that this resistance that a person might have for any number of reasons, acts as an oppositional force to being able to do effective ancestral healing work. 
From there, it’s time to research. This means, you want to find out as much about your ancestors and your family line as possible. Obviously, some people are able to find out more than others. Some people hear me say that you should find out as much as you can about your family line and they panic. Maybe you were adopted and could not find any information on your birth family. Maybe you have no contact with your parents or other members of your family line and were unable to make contact. Remember that when it comes to working with ancestry, it is simply the more you know, the better. You can work with whatever hints you may have, however tiny. Believe me when I tell you that if you are committed to ancestral healing, more information has a way of surfacing. It feels a lot like an easter egg hunt that never ends. 
The real heart of ancestral healing is about recognizing unresolved pains and detrimental patterns within your family lines, and changing those into their improved state. You do this with both traumas that are direct and traumas that are indirect. For example, you might notice that a pattern running through your family is that everyone had to keep strong and shut up and get things done on their own. You might decide to consciously work on communicating, sharing your emotions and on learning to fully resource other people by getting them to do things with you. When you are healing ancestral patterns, you need to come up with practical ways that you are going to change the pattern or create improvement for the trauma. 
You are not only going to figure out what you want to let go of and change within your ancestry. You are also going to decide upon what you are going to re-own, revive and embody. One of the biggest mistakes that “experts” on ancestral trauma make is that they think clearing ancestral trauma is just about letting go of and resolving the negatives within your family lines. Almost all of the focus of clearing ancestral trauma is on the bad things that happened and on the unwanted aspects of the family line. But this is just one part of clearing ancestral trauma. The other part is to consciously discover, own and integrate the positives within your family lines. All too often, clearing ancestral trauma is done from a place of rejection. It becomes all about things in and about their family line that they want to get rid of. Therefore, it is done from an energy of wanting to dis-own or to emancipate oneself from one’s ancestry. This is the opposite of healing and it is the opposite of integration. 
You can’t reject your ancestry (your family lines) and not simultaneously reject yourself. Because your ancestors are an aspect of you. And a very big one. And upon coming into this life, you wanted them to be. The gift of embracing your ancestry is the gift of integration of the self. It is also to develop or restore a sense of belonging within the overall picture of your place within this human world. To clear ancestral trauma, you are not only going to have to resolve what is not benefitting your ancestors. You are going to have to own, celebrate and proudly embody the wonderful things about your ancestors. For example, say that you discover that your ancestors had an incredible aptitude for music, you may choose to learn a specific instrument with ancestral celebration in mind. Or, let’s say that you discovered a wonderful tradition they used to practice, you may choose to revive and honor that tradition. 
One step further, is to resolve ancestral karma. The word karma is a Sanskrit word that means “act” or “deed.” In Hinduism and Buddhism, the word has come to mean any decision or action that brings you good or bad results, either in this lifetime or in a reincarnation. It has also come to mean “fate” or “destiny.” In this context, ancestral karma means those choices and those actions and those physical, emotional, behavioral, and mental traits and characteristics that brought about either good or bad results. It is very much in our best interests to right our family’s wrongs. It is in our best interests to heal intergenerational wounds. And to change their detrimental behavior, characteristics and patterns into positive ones. It is in our best interests to make better choices and take different actions, especially those that bring about healing. To clear ancestral karma, you identify decisions that your ancestors made or actions that they took. Specifically, ones that brought about bad results. And you consciously “clear some family karma” by making a different decision, taking a different action, righting the wrong… pulling the fate of your family line in a different and, corrective direction. For example, imagine that you find out that your family exploited forests for generations as loggers. You might donate time or energy or money to an environmental foundation that is focused on re-forestation. 
The next thing you can do, is dissolve detrimental ancestral loyalties. Belonging with our family and staying connected to them, is a core need that we all have, even at a subconscious level. We want to maintain our loyalty to them. But not all ways that we maintain our loyalty to them are beneficial for us, for them, for the family line of for the rest of the world. Just think of a person who maintains their loyalty to their family line by maintaining hatred for an entire other demographic of people or by failing so they don’t make their family feel bad about their lack of successes. It is in everyone’s best interests to discover what these negative ancestral loyalties are and to dissolve them, replacing them with positive forms of loyalty.
You can also forgive on behalf of your family line. Lack of forgiveness serves as a sticking point for the progress of a family. Therefore, a powerful practice can be working towards forgiveness and letting go. This can take many forms. It can take the form of you forgiving your ancestors, or a specific ancestor. It can take the form of you being the person in the family line to forgive someone or something that harmed your ancestors or a specific ancestor. It can take the form of you letting go of something you are holding on to or resolving a “sticking point” relative to your ancestors. And it can take the form of you letting go for your ancestors or a specific ancestor regarding a sticking point or something they are holding on to, when it would benefit them to let go. It can take the form of you forgiving yourself for something regarding your ancestors. The hard part about this is, you can’t simply force forgiveness or just decide to forgive. This is in fact a form of bypassing. You have to work towards it. To understand more about this, you can watch my video titled: Forgiveness (Radical New Approach to Forgiveness).
Some more powerful steps that will help you to embrace your ancestry as well as to enhance ancestral healing is to do things like engage in meditation, journey work or medicine work specifically with ancestral connection and ancestral healing in mind. Listen to their music, experience their cultures, learn their languages or skills or arts or crafts, read about the history they experienced, set up an ancestral altar, make and eat the food they used to make. And if it is possible for you to do, visit your ancestral lands and drink the water there. In fact, genealogical tourism or “roots tourism” is a whole section of the travel/tourism market. 
Water in general is very special because it holds memory. Whenever I go anywhere, I make it a point to drink the water there. The reason being that water holds an energetic vibration and a big part of that specific vibration is information. Drinking the water in a place is like downloading that vibration and that information… Information about the land and everything associated with it. It connects you immediately to where you are and to what happened there and to all those things that it encountered before you. When you go back and drink the water that forged your people, it has the power to restore you and remind you of everything you have lost touch with. It is a re-set on both a personal and an ancestral level. It is an indescribably deep kind of re-set. The power of returning to your ancestral land cannot be overstated.
Rather than expecting ancestral healing to be something that you do, and then it is done, consider it to be like a lifelong relationship you are building with your ancestry. The better it gets, the better it gets. You don’t have to worry about “getting it all done”. After all, relationships are not something you are looking to be “done” with. Everything you end up doing over the course of your life regarding this relationship you have with them, will bring improvement to your life and will add an ever-increasing sense of depth and richness to your existence.  
Your family line is not actually “out there in the world”. It is inside of you. When you reject your family, you reject yourself. You create splits within your own consciousness. It creates an internal separation and it creates internal suffering. You are the culmination of your ancestry. It is very much alive within you, and it very much matters. The memories of all of your ancestors that came before you, are your memories. Their trauma is your trauma. And your joy is their joy.  
  

The Difference Between Workability and Compromise in a Relationship

People the world over are completely confused about compromise. They don’t know when they should compromise and when they shouldn’t compromise in a relationship. They want to know where that line is between it being ok to compromise and it being not ok to compromise. And being this confused about compromise causes people to dive head first into dysfunction in their lives; most especially in their relationships. For this reason, I’m going to clear up this confusion for you. I’m going to break down the concept of compromise and help you to define when you should and shouldn’t compromise in your relationships. 
To compromise is to settle a dispute/conflict or reach agreement/alignment by way of mutual concession. And remember that to concede is to yield, give up or give away something you value. 
The problem with conversations about compromise is that when people use the word compromise, they are often talking about two different things. One person sees compromise as being about the big things that really matter. So, they are talking about those things. When people say that compromise is important and they hold this definition of compromise, it is just another way of saying “it’s important to give up what is important to you sometimes and take some pain for the sake of the relationship.”
Another person sees compromise as the small stuff. Stuff that doesn’t really matter because it doesn’t represent something the person deeply values. So, they are talking about those things. When people say that compromise is important and they hold this definition of compromise, it’s is just another way of saying “It’s important to let the other person have their way when something matters less to you than it does to them.” 
Compromise is by definition to yield, give up or give away something you value. If you value something, it is important to you. It is a big thing. And it matters. Otherwise, you couldn’t really call it a compromise.     
The real problem is that we have one word, compromise, to describe two different things. And this is why it is so hard to figure out where the line should be relative to when you should and when you shouldn’t compromise. Because of this, the first thing you should do, is to make the two different things, two different words. The first word being compromise. Which we have already defined. And the second word being workability. When something is workable, it is flexible, negotiable, pliable and adaptable. It can be influenced, molded or changed so that it produces the desired effect or the desired results. When a person is being workable, they are settling a dispute/conflict or reaching agreement/alignment by way of flexibility by adaptability. By finding a win-win. Or by letting the other person have their way because doing so does not conflict with something they deeply value.  
I’m going to make a bold statement here. For a relationship to be harmonious, mutually pleasing and successful, we need to be workable. We will find ourselves changing certain things, adapting to certain things and developing flexibility in certain ways. But contrary to popular advice, you must never compromise. The truth is, you can’t actually do it, even if you think you can. A person can’t give up something that they truly value (and thus that really matters to them) without experiencing pain that eventually causes personal decline and disharmony in the relationship. It is ironic that when we say that someone or something is compromised, we mean that it has become vulnerable, weakened or is functioning less effectively, because that is exactly what happens when we compromise. At the heart of compromise is the idea of giving yourself up in some way. Whether it is your standards or your beliefs or your needs or your desires or your convictions or your truths or what is right for you or what is important to you etc. And when you do this, not only do you compromise yourself in ways that are detrimental to your wellbeing, you will not stay on good terms with the person you do this for. 
Compromise is a form of self-sacrifice. A basic definition of self-sacrifice is the giving up of one’s own best interests for the sake of someone or something else’s.  But this is where we run into a problem right here.  It is not actually possible to give up your own best interests.  People only think it is.  Therefore, there is actually no such thing as self-sacrifice. And self-sacrifice is an inherently narcissistic act. To learn more about this rather provocative claim, watch my video titled: Self Sacrifice, The Most Self-Centered Thing in the World. Compromise is about settling for less and accepting something that doesn’t fully satisfy one or either person.
A compromise feels bad because compromise insinuates that you don’t want to do it. When people compromise, even if it takes years to surface, it will lead to things like using it against them later, resentment, dissatisfaction in the relationship, passive aggressive behavior, unmet needs, manipulation, physical illness, mental illness, constant emotional tension in the relationship and the whole host of unhealthy coping mechanisms people employ to deal with that, tit for tat or give and take mentality in relationships, disappointment, missed opportunities for personal growth, fatigue and lack of energy/vitality, emotional blackmail, behaving in inconsistent ways, loss of integrity, loss of a sense of self and healthy identity, a breakdown of communication, loss of important relationships and people in our life, the feeling of lostness in life, dissatisfaction with one’s life, the feeling of being undervalued, low self-esteem, feeling empty, loss of passion, loss of self-respect, loss of authenticity, egoic superiority that comes with seeing oneself as the better person, failure to reach the full potential of your relationships and of your life, victim control dramas, lack of intimacy in a relationship and the feeling of being alone in a relationship, losing sight of what is important and all the pain that comes with incompatibility. Compromise is often just a way to avoid conflict or reach a quick resolution, rather than addressing the deeper issues at hand. So, it acts as a big smokescreen for incompatibilities that two people do not want to face. On top of this, you will find that most relationships that are based on compromise, end up being one-sided in that as if a relationship of tit for tat or give and take wasn’t bad enough, there is no give and take. More often than not, one partner ends up being the sole collaborator in the relationship by constantly being the one to compromise.
Workability, is not about giving up something important to you. It implies feeling good about a decision that is being made. It is about finding a solution that meets both your needs and desires as well as the other person’s needs and desires. As opposed to compromise, it is when both partners work together towards a common goal or solution while taking into account each other’s needs and desires. It’s about finding a way that both people’s needs and goals can be met without having to give up something important to them. Workability is based on open communication, mutual respect, and a willingness to work together to find solutions that are satisfactory to both people. And to do this, you may need to be flexible and adaptable and even change in ways that don’t feel like you are sacrificing part of yourself. Workability should be about the smaller things. But beware, small is determined by how important it is or isn’t to you specifically. By whether it causes pain or not. And what is small to one person, may be very big to another.   
I know I said in the beginning of this video that I was going to tell you when you should and shouldn’t compromise. But the truth is, the reason why no one can tell you when you should be workable and when you shouldn’t (because it is compromise) is because there are no SHOULDS when it comes to workability and therefore compromise. It’s based on one person’s boundaries versus another’s. I’ll give you an example, a person who is an outdoor enthusiast might be in a relationship with someone who prefers indoor activities to outdoor activities. This person might be able to be workable about that. They may be able to decrease the amount of time they spend doing outdoor activities and also do it alone, so that they are spending their time with their partner doing indoor activities. Or they may find a win-win by doing an outdoor activity on one day of the weekend and an indoor activity on the other. But another person in the exact same scenario may find that doing outdoor activities and having a partner who wants to do it with them is so important that they cannot be flexible on that, without compromising themselves. And so, this person cannot be workable about it, because that would be compromise. 
To give you another example, it may be no big deal for one person to attend church on Sundays, or even to let their partner and children do so without them. They could be workable about that. But for another person, say someone who has trauma with religion or who has very strong beliefs against religion, they would not be able to do this without it being a compromise.
To give you another example, one person would not care if their partner entirely got their way on how to decorate the house. After all, aesthetics doesn’t really matter to them. So, they could be workable enough to just let their partner decorate the house however they wanted. But another person might feel like they were living in someone else’s house if this happened. And since the feeling of proprietorship is so important to them, they could not be as workable about it and would have to do something like co-decorate or agree upon places each of them gets to decorate on their own.       
To use a metaphor, some things about us and about our life are unworkable, like solid steel. And need to be for the sake of our wellbeing. And other things are workable, like modeling clay. And need to be for the sake of our wellbeing. And because every person is different and every person’s values and therefore priorities are different, no one can set a hard fast rule for all people on what should or shouldn’t be like steel or like modeling clay. When people argue that they can, all they are really doing is trying to get you to agree to their core values (what is important to them). 
When two people stand by what is genuinely important to them, what is flushed to the surface is areas of workability and areas of incompatibility. If you want to learn more about this, you can watch my video titled: Incompatibility, a Harsh Reality in Relationships. 
 But when it comes to facing your personal priorities and values, what is really hard to face is the shame around it. We are taught that some priorities and values are good and right and others are bad and wrong.  If we feel we have sacrificed, we often feel that we have given something up because we could not choose that thing we gave up or prioritize that thing we gave up and feel good about ourselves at the same time. We have to face our shame about choosing what we are giving up or have given up instead. If you want to dive deeper into this topic of compromise, I suggest you watch two of my videos. The first titled: Why You Should Never Make Compromises in a Relationship. And the second is titled: Do You Base Your Relationships on Compromise or Compatibility? 
No matter how workable you are and how well you avoid compromising, you are likely to find yourself in situations in relationships where there is unworkability on the other side of the relationship equation. When this happens, you will need to consciously choose your consequences. What I mean by this is: We may be faced with having to choose for something we really want, but at a cost. For example, we may be in a relationship where the person we love gets into a serious injury. This is a situation that we would never have chosen and that does not align with our desires. But we might decide that loyalty is super important to us and so is maintaining the connection we have to the person we care about. That is something we value and want. And as a result, we may decide to take care of them. Doing so is likely to come with difficulty and pain. So, making that choice comes with certain consequences, both positive and negative. And we would have to decide if we can choose those consequences. You need to be willing to decide that (fill in the blank) is worth the consequence or potential consequence. If it is, you are still acting in alignment with your values, and so it can’t be called compromise. And when you do this, you can only be empowered by facing, accepting and dealing with the consequence that you have chosen. The question is: Is the cost something that you can live with, because of what it gets you, without that causing you to feel like you have compromised yourself and without it causing disharmony in the relationship? If you would like to learn more about this, you can watch my video titled: Why You Should Consciously Choose Consequences.     
Be workable all you can in a relationship, but do not compromise. When you don’t know whether you can be workable about something or when something is going to take you into the territory of compromise, ask yourself whether doing so would cause you to feel resentful. Whether you would expect something in return. Whether you could feel good and right about it long term or whether it will eat at you. Whether it feels like you’re giving something very important to you up or away. Whether you will use it against them later. Whether you are settling for less or are lowering your standards. Whether it would be in alignment with a way you want to change and grow or not. Whether you would be happy with your own child or whoever you love the most in your life making the same decision or doing the same thing? Whether you are being true to yourself and your beliefs or not. Whether you can maintain self-respect or not. Whether you feel safe or not. Whether it compromises your integrity or not. Whether this is simply to establish confluence and avoid conflict, making it a way of avoiding deeper incompatibilities. Whether it will ultimately make you feel less close and aligned with the other person over time. Whether you would be giving up one of your needs. Whether you would have to cope with it and in what ways. Whether it would cost you a relationship with someone important in your life. Whether it would make you dissatisfied with your life and life choices. And whether you are only doing it to feel like a good person or the better person. You need to know your why behind what you are deciding or doing.     
Compromise and workability are two very different things. Compromise undermines your values. It corrodes your life. It ruins relationships. Workability preserves your values. It enhances your life. And it strengthens relationships.    

Why Any Value Can Become Your Greatest Weakness

One of the most important keys to a fulfilling life, is to live according to your top values. The people who are the most in-alignment with themselves are the people who do exactly this. But in this universe, there are upsides to every downside and downsides to every upside. Baked into every value, is a positive and a negative potential. And this means, a person’s deepest value can become their greatest weakness. In fact, it can become their very downfall. 
What is a value?  It is what you consider from your honest, authentic core to be most important. This includes what, deep inside your heart, you really want and need. This includes how you want to be in the world relative to others and to yourself. This includes what you want to do and how you want to go about doing it. You have values relative to every sector of your life.  You have values relative to work, values relative to friendships, values relative to marriage, values relative to parenting, values relative to personal growth, values relative to spirituality, values relative to leisure and the list goes on and on.      
 When the things we do and the way we behave in the world towards others and towards ourselves match our values, we experience alignment. Whether you consciously know what your values are or not, you have them. And like most people, you are most likely spending your time vacillating between subconsciously acting according to your top values and subconsciously acting according to what you have been led to believe should be your top values instead. Living according to your actual values is the north star of your life. For this reason, you would benefit by watching my video titled: The Secret to A Happy Life. But today, we are going to go one step further and talk about the potential pitfall of any value.
Every value, comes with a potential downfall and because of this, any value can become your greatest weakness. To give you a couple of examples, let’s imagine that a person’s top value is achievement. That can lead someone to incredible levels of personal growth and self-development and incredible levels of success. But the value of achievement can also lead to a person pouring so much energy into only one aspect of their life that they experience a failure in another aspect of their life. Or it can lead to people around them feeling like nothing is ever good enough. Or it can lead to a person constantly being dissatisfied and therefore, stressed and never enjoying their life, which has serious implications for their health. Or it can lead to a person’s entire identity and self-worth being only about what they accomplish and so any lull in accomplishment can become a downward spiral, to the point of burnout, depression and even suicide. Or it can lead to a person being blind to being taken advantage of by being made promises of greatness. 
Or to give you another example, let’s imagine that person’s top value is service. This can lead to a person having a deep sense of their purpose for being and having a felt sense of both contribution and belonging within the world. And it can lead to thriving relationships in which they are deeply valued by the people they come into contact with. And it can lead to them doing greatly needed work in the world that improves lives. But the value of service can also lead to a blindness around one’s own needs and desires, which can make someone very lost in life. Or it can lead to a blinding attachment to one’s own goodness and therefore moral superiority. Or it can lead to a person getting into relationships that are one-sided and completely depleting. Or it can lead to unnecessary self-sacrifice and martyrdom.
Without insinuating that dark is bad and wrong, for the sake of your understanding, let’s say that any value can have a dark side. And that any value can become an open door to a person being taken advantage of; if not outright deceived. A prominent lawyer that I know personally, loves to say that “every person’s got a con with their name written on it.” In his career, he has found that many people like to think they can’t be deceived. But every person can be deceived and in fact, there is a perfect con out there for every person on this earth. And what I will tell you, is that that perfect con will always involve your top values. It is also important to know, if you didn’t catch it in the previous examples, that each value might have several potential upsides and several potential downsides. By holding a specific value, we might fall into none, one or several of these pitfalls that come along with it. 
So that you can understand this even better, let’s look at the example of Peter. When it comes to relationships, Peter’s top value is loyalty. This value has made it so that Peter has very strong bonds with his friends and family. No one around him fears abandonment. As a result, he has lots of social support. He gets to experience the gift of being trusted by others. The women in his life feel safe in relationships with him because his loyalty bends him towards protective behaviors. And he is cherished by the people in his life. Peter has a brother named Darius. Darius has a gambling problem. Over the years, Peter has fallen into the pattern of bailing Darius out financially over and over again, no matter the cost to himself. Recently, this has gotten so severe that Darius showed up on his doorstep beaten up. As it turns out, he had borrowed money from a shady loan shark to gamble and lost it all. Darius’s apartment had already been vandalized as a consequence. And he had been threatened that if he didn’t pay the money by a certain time that his girlfriend would be kidnapped. And so, what did Peter do? He took out a second mortgage on his house to cover his debts. Peter’s loyalty has made it so he is now acting as an enabler to his brother’s addiction. And Peter’s loyalty has made it so that he holds an allegiance to a person that is consistently detrimental to him. And believe me, he is suffering the consequences and has been for years. 
Living according to your values is a must if you want to live a fulfilling life. For this reason, it would greatly benefit you to become consciously aware of your values and to start living according to them. If you’re curious to go deeper with this specifically, I created a deck that you may want to check out called The Inner Compass Deck to help you do exactly that. Then, ideally, with each one of your core values, challenge yourself to list the potential dark sides, downsides and pitfalls that could come with that value. Challenge yourself to recognize where you might already be falling into a pitfall related to any top value you hold. And decide how you are going to ‘course correct’.    
It isn’t about de-valuing whatever it is that you value. It’s about becoming as aware as possible of the potential dark sides, downsides and pitfalls that could come with any value that you hold, so as to ensure that you don’t fall into them and to course correct if you do.          

The Femininity Hack

One of the most common complaints from women the world over is that they want to be in their feminine energy, but they are in a situation that makes it impossible to do so. For example, they don’t have any man in their life providing a masculine container, or they are in a relationship with a man who has flipped the polarity dynamics in the relationship or they are in an unsafe or high-pressure environment, or they were so traumatized or even masculinized as a child that they can’t seem to get out of their own masculine shield or they may be in a career that absolutely requires masculine characteristics. Seeing as how this is such a hard and painful experience for a woman, today I’m going to share with you a simple hack for getting into your feminine energy, no matter what situation you may find yourself in. 
Once upon a time, I did a video titled: What Every Man Needs to Know About Women. In that video, I explained that while fear is something that everyone experiences, fear plays a different role in the lives of men and women. For most woman, fear is the baseline experience of her life, whether she is consciously aware of it or not. Women respond differently to fear than men do. And when a woman is either unsafe, or perceives herself to be, what tends to happen is that she responds to that by putting up a masculine shield. She will begin armoring. There are some characteristics of feminine energy that are very hard to bring forward in these kinds of scenarios. Things like softness, gentleness, sensitivity, kindness, tenderness, supportiveness, openness, expression of emotions, receptivity and nurturing. In most unsafe or high-pressure situations, these traits make you vulnerable. And so, they get hidden deep beneath a masculine shield. Essentially, a woman brings forth masculine qualities (including shadow masculine qualities) to keep herself safe. Things like warrior energy, strength, assertiveness, bravery, hyper responsibility, initiation, drive for success, action, independence, leadership, aggression, hardness or harshness, dominance and control. Another way of looking at this, is that she brings forth protector behaviors that keep her safer. But this is not a state that is conducive to health in the female system. This armoring pulls a woman out of alignment. If it is maintained over long periods of time, it causes sickness in her mental body, emotional body and physical body. It causes her to suffer on all levels.        
It's worth mentioning that the women who you will see bring forth traits like softness, openness, receptivity and nurturing when they feel unsafe, grew up in and/or are currently in very specific environments… Ones in which she is safer when she exhibits those traits. For example, she may have grown up in a society where females were punished for any kind of empowered behavior and who were only safe (and whose needs were only met) when they behaved in weak ways that were not a threat to the men around them. Or for example, a woman might be super nurturing and affectionate with a man when she feels unsafe, as a way of controlling his behavior in whatever way she wants to control it. Or a woman might behave in soft and receptive ways because she has learned that this is what will motivate someone to step up and protect her. We have the tendency, when we think of protector personalities, to only think of masculine protectors. The reality is, a person is going to put forth whatever specific traits kept them safe, or whatever specific traits they THINK will keep them safe. Whether that trait is more feminine, or more masculine. But it is far more common that it is the masculine traits that a person will bring forth in the face of the unsafety they encounter here on earth and most especially in human society because this current society we live in, was made by men and for men. 
Where a great many feminine traits function best, is within a masculine container. To conceptualize of masculine containment, imagine that in a relationship, a man is a clam shell and a woman is a pearl inside that clam shell.  This masculine clam shell is creating a safe, nourishing space in which the female can exist or occur. It enables a woman to be soft, open, receptive and to grow. If you imagine removing that masculine shell, the female immediately contracts, goes rigid and into a state of defense. It is a coping mechanism rather than a natural feel-good state of being. She is forced to compensate for the lack of that masculine shell by becoming masculine herself.  And this causes a ‘flip’ in polarity. To understand more about this, you can watch my video titled: Containment, what a Woman Needs from a Man in a Relationship. 
In a tribal setting, which is the social structure that is natural for our species, there are many men who are providing this containment for each woman. And so, it would be rare for a woman to find herself in a position where she lacked containment. Alas, since our species became agrarian, there has been progressively less and less containment for women. And in today’s modern world, it is an absolute crisis. Today, whether we are men or women, we are desperately under resourced. We are also not made for the ever-present stressors that cause us to feel unsafe today for extended periods of time. In other words, we were biologically designed to deal with the stress of being chased by a predator, or a fight breaking out. But not being stuck in a distressing relationship pattern day after day or the chronic presence of cyber bullying or workplace stress from 9 to 5. And this has led to a modern reality where so many women around the world are in a chronic state of unsafety. And as a result, are becoming increasingly more and more masculinized. 
The ideal situation is that every woman can find a life and relationships in which she feels safe. This will naturally bring forth these cherished feminine qualities, including those that are on the vulnerability spectrum. But the reality of today is that many women are not in this situation and are desperately in pain because they want to be in their feminine energy, but they feel like they can’t because they are not in a situation that is conducive to it. And this, feels like a very powerless space to be, because being able to be in your feminine essence feels like it is totally dependent on the external world and other people. And let’s be honest, they seem to be doing their very best to make it impossible. But today, I want to offer you a hack for being in your feminine energy, something that is not dependent on you being in a safe situation or on you having a man to provide containment. 
The hack is this… There are many traits that are feminine that do not depend on being in a low pressure, safe situation or on having masculine containment. Therefore, instead of trying to bring forth the feminine traits that fall on the vulnerable spectrum for you, bring forth the ones that don’t. Softness might be something that you can’t bring forth, but flexibility on the other hand is a quality of the feminine, and it is something that you can embody no matter how safe or unsafe you might be; because it is a feminine quality that can keep you safer in a great many situations. Or for example, your body, which is currently armored, might feel like solid steel. You may not be able to bring forth openness or receptivity. But water is an element of the feminine. And there is nothing weak about water. Just look what water can do on this earth. And so, you can focus on bringing forth the many qualities of water and practice seeing your body as water rather than steel. Or for example, you may not be able to bring forth nurturing energy or behavior. But offering your intuition or wisdom might be something that causes you no pain to bring forth, no matter the situation you find yourself in. Or for example, you may not be able to bring forth the quality of caretaking. But devotion or dedication is something that is not dependent on being in a safe environment or having containment. Or for example, you may not be able to go with the flow of how your feel. But you may be able to do a spontaneous movement exercise. Or you might not be able to bring forth cooperation or collaboration. But you may be able to bring forth effective verbalization and communication. Or you may not be able to bring forth sensitivity. But you may be able to bring forth creativity.  
That there is the femininity hack. Look at what aspect of femininity you feel like you can’t bring forth in general in your life and look for periods of time, settings and/or situations where you might be able to. And even more than that, look for aspects of femininity that you CAN bring forward even if there is no man in your life providing containment and even when you are in a high pressure or unsafe situation, and intentionally do so. I’m going to say it again. There are feminine qualities that are in no way vulnerable and also are in no way weak. And leaning into these qualities, will help you to be in your feminine essence, no matter what situation you find yourself in.   

What Happens When You Die

In honor of Día de Los Muertos, it seems pertinent to talk about death. After all, death is a part of life. This is true no matter how much we may not want to accept it. In times past, we had an easier time accepting it, because it was a part of everyday life. In today’s age, death has become sequestered away. It has become taboo and so has talking about it, which is a tragedy because death is something that each and every one of us will face. One day, as people, we are going to have to accept that you do not have to dread death in order to value life. 
We have to take talking about death out of the box of taboo. The taboo around talking about death, which is especially prevalent in the Western Cultures of the world, harms people greatly. Society has created all kinds of cultural adaptations that are designed to keep people from being conscious of their mortality. The discourse around death reflects the attitude that death is bad and wrong and serves to perpetuate the idea that it is the worst thing that can happen and is therefore something to dread. As a result, many people are in a state of ‘death denial’. And this death denial contributes to a greater sense of wrongness, shock and pain when death suddenly does inevitably enter one’s life experience. In the modern era, due to our attitudes towards death, we have a very dysfunctional and ever worsening relationship with death, which is a natural part of life.
Part of this taboo surrounding death puts spiritual teachers, such as myself, in a rather difficult position. The taboo surrounding death suggests that the collective belief is that death is in and of itself bad and wrong and so is talking about it. If death is bad and wrong, that means that we are all inevitably headed towards a bad and wrong fate in the future. And this increases our fear of death as well as our fear of the future. It creates resistance. This extreme resistance to death can make the transition that is the process of death, one of deep suffering. It can also make the pain we experience when we lose someone to death, much more painful. It is rather ironic that the taboo around death is thought to benefit people, but it actually serves to make the experience of death more painful for people. 
You’ll notice that our judgement of badness and wrongness is often less about death in and of itself, than it is about the circumstances of a death. For example, if a very old person dies, we tend to think that death is ok. We say things like “it was time.” But if a person who is not old dies, we think it is not supposed to happen and is therefore wrong. If a person dies saving another person’s life or serving their country in a war, that death is seen as honorable and therefore not wrong. If someone is murdered, that death is seen as bad and wrong. But if a soldier kills an enemy, that murder is seen as good. If someone murders other people, that person’s death is often seen as a good thing. After all, many people still celebrate the death penalty and many more of us still celebrate when the bad guy dies in a movie. The Samurai practiced seppuku. In this practice, it was considered honorable to commit suicide as opposed to falling into the hands of the enemy. Most of the Western World today views suicide as morally bad and wrong. But none the less, a debate currently rages on regarding physician assisted suicide, which is legal in certain countries. Even the debate around abortion is a debate around death. What all this means is that even today, given the right circumstance, many people believe that death is in fact good. 
What I am doing by showcasing this confusion and mass mixed message we keep giving and getting about death, is trying to help you become conscious of humanity’s complicated attitude towards death, especially based on circumstances. It is important to notice your own relationship to the circumstances of death and how they influence your perspective of rightness, goodness, wrongness and badness relative to death itself.
The taboo around death also means that those of us who see the danger in death remaining taboo (and who are thus brave enough to talk about death), end up being demonized and expected to send some pretty mixed messages to the public. For example, we are told that it is ok to help someone who is dying of a terminal illness by explaining to them that they will experience it as relief, that it is ok to let go and that there is nothing to be afraid of. We are told that it is ok to tell someone who has lost a loved one that their loved one is at peace and is not suffering and that their loved one is not ‘gone’ in the spiritual sense. Thus, making death ok.
However, when we talk publicly about death, if we talk in any other way than to give the impression that we see death in and of itself as bad and wrong, period the end, we are at risk of being accused of being pro-death and thus, even worse, pro suicide. This could not be further from the truth. Take me for example, I do not glorify death. Instead, like every spiritual teacher who has come before me, I see the universal value inherent in life. I also see the universal value inherent in death. But this truth doesn’t matter because people have decided that death has no value and is bad and wrong. And that anyone who says otherwise, is a threat. I find this heart breaking because this way of thinking will harm them immensely when the time comes that death enters their own life experience. For this reason, I think it is important to ask yourself: What do you think about death? Is death bad and wrong? Should talking about death be taboo? What is the benefit and what is the harm inherent in death being taboo?
On top of this, you have the difficulty of talking to people about the reality of why death happens when it does; and trying to convey that reality in a way that does not make people feel guilty or at fault for a death happening. 
So, now that I’ve said all that, let’s have a real conversation about death. The first thing that is important to know is that death is experienced so differently from one dimension to the next. For example, from many of the higher dimensions, there is no such thing as death. There is no ended-ness. There is only recycling of consciousness and energy. There is also a much different perception of time. One lifetime occurs like a blink of an eye. One lifetime is only a very small snap shot of existence. Like walking into and out of a movie theatre. Of course, we all know that the experience of death in the physical, facing death ourselves or having someone we love die, is quite different than that. Most people absolutely do experience a life as all there is, and as lasting a long period of time. We experience death as an end and as a deep loss. 
Death is very similar to slipping into a dream. So is coming into life. You will close your perceptual awareness to one reality and open it to the next. I want you to recall that in a dream, you’re so attached to what is occurring, as if it is the only reality. But then you wake up and it suddenly isn’t all of who you are and isn’t as important because the truth of you is so much different, bigger and more. Death, first and foremost is a transitioning. It is a drastic change in perspective.
When you die, the stream of consciousness that is feeding and continually creating your thought form (the idea of you that exists separate from your physical embodiment) as well as your physical body, will withdraw. First from the physical form. When it does this, the body (no longer fed by a stream of consciousness) will begin to dissipate. It will de-manifest. We experience this on the physical plane as decomposition. It will also withdraw from the thought form which is your identity. And that too, will dissipate. It will withdraw all the way back to collective consciousness. It essentially goes through a process of dis-identification. You become part of “oneness” again. You lose a sense of separateness. This is experienced, in terms of felt perception, as returning back to love.
This process of dissipation of a thought form, just like the dissipation of the body, is not immediate. Which is why the ‘ghost’ of someone sometimes still has enough energy in it to influence things in the physical dimension. We call this a haunting. This is especially true if the thought form is “charged” with energy due to a sudden death or unfinished business with someone in the physical plane. Most of the entities that we call ghosts are these dissipating thought forms. They are not being fed by a stream of consciousness, so they must draw energy to maintain themselves from somewhere else, such as other people’s focus on them or electric currents or energy generating minerals etc.
The first form of manifestation into the physical dimension is light. For this reason, when beings de-manifest from the physical dimension and reverse this process of manifestation, they will experience this “light” in death. When a being goes towards and into the light, they are reversing the process of manifestation.
The process of re-incarnation for most beings is a mix of determinism and free will. It is not very different than your choices in your waking life. You are in essence “choosing” things in life, but there are so many unconscious factors that determine the choices you make. And so, they aren’t really conscious choices. On top of this, the law of mirroring (often called the law of attraction) applies to the process of re-incarnation. For example, you may subconsciously be acting with only yourself in mind. And this may cause you to choose a certain life that you believe will benefit you on a conscious level, while also deterministically lining up with a life where the environment is ‘every man for himself’. This is one reason why the process of awakening, awareness and becoming conscious in your life is important as it applies to your successive incarnations. People looking to master enlightenment step out of determinism and into a position of free will and conscious choice relative to their incarnations. Soon, even incarnating at all into a separate identity within the collective consciousness that we call “God or Source” is in and of itself, a choice.
For death to happen, it must actually be a choice. In fact, no matter how badly the body is damaged, the consciousness (nonphysical perspective) must still choose to withdraw from the physical. It often does. But sometimes, this is why ‘miracles’ relative to near death experiences happen. And it is also often the spiritual reason why people slip into comas instead of die. Essentially, their temporal and non-temporal aspects do not yet agree upon death or coming back into life. 
Do not worry for someone who has died. They are not suffering. They experience themselves as being closer to you than they were in their separate physical forms. All the concern should be for those left behind… Those who in their separate physical forms, are feeling separate from the one they love. Those who are experiencing loss and grief.
To understand death, you must above all understand that death is the ultimate change. Death is not ended-ness. Death is drastic change. It occurs when no further expansion can take place without changing perspectives and forms. There are many variables that add up to making it so that the only way further expansion can happen is through death. But the sad reality is that people have a huge power relative to making that be the case or not.
As it applies to humans, both individuals and social systems (such as family, culture and society), create stuck-ness that can lead to death. For example, so many people tend to cope with what is and encourage others to cope with what is instead of to change what is. The problem is that one of the main purposes of life is expansion. It is an exercise in collective consciousness (what many call Source or God) knowing itself. If this expansion does not occur within an individual and within a system because the pressures to change are met with adaptive coping mechanisms, the people’s thoughts, words and actions will continue to keep things that are not supposed to be as is, as is. And that stuck-ness invites death. The person who dies, then expands through shifting perspectives and forms. And that person’s death serves as pressure put on the other people in the social system to start expanding again by making changes to their life.
For example, imagine a family that is dysfunctional. That dysfunction prevents all members from lining up with what is truly highest and best for them. For example, say a mother continues to be codependent to a dictatorial father. He is enabled in his dysfunction, which is preventing his expansion. She thwarts her own progression by virtue of being too afraid to lose the marriage. They both distract themselves from this pain by hyper-identifying with their son and by forcing him to live the life that they want for him. By doing so they train him to prevent his own life purpose and cope with the pain of doing so. If this state of being (which goes against the progression of all members of the family) is maintained, this son could become a match to death. The Universe is not against him or the family when this death occurs. Instead, death became the only open door for him to experience the expansion that the variables of his life were opposing. And his parents no longer have him to focus on, so as to avoid their own dysfunction. His tragic death calls them to question everything about their lives. The universal hope is that this questioning will lead to them getting back on track with their own personal expansion. Death of any perspective is not beneficial to the universe when expansion is still being served through that perspective. 
And the sad truth, especially when it comes to suicide, is that so many people believe themselves to be stuck and believe that no improvement or progression or expansion can take place in their life, when the reality is quite the opposite. They are simply suffering from the severe limitations of their individual perspective.
To generalize, the universe itself does not want beings to die. There is too much value in them being alive. If there wasn’t, no being would come into existence with their instincts and biology wired for survival. It is in the best interests of the universe at large for a being to stay in their current form, as long as expansion and enhancement is actually occurring through that perspective… As long as the reason for life to exist in the first place is being actualized through that perspective. The value in death is really all about the value of drastic change, especially in terms of a drastic change of perspective. And the truth, whether you are aware of it or not, is that it is in your hands to continue to create that expansion forward.
Having said all of this, when death happens around you, it is absolutely a calling to re-examine your life. It is a calling of your life and of life itself into question. And you would be very wise to let it be that and to get on board with this powerful objective process of re-evaluating everything.
One of the most life enriching things that you can do is to live with your mortality in mind. What so many people who have had a near death experience or who have overcome suicidality or who have grappled with a terminal illness will tell you is that the facing of death brings an invaluable gift for life. What they will tell you is that people should face death (this essential feature of life) in order to live a more rich, meaningful and authentic life. It is all too easy to get sucked into the drama of temporal day-to-day life. It is all too easy to behave as if life will last forever. It is all too easy to lose track of what really matters in the grand scheme of things. Facing death and living with the awareness that you will die one day, can break you free from the way that you have been sucked into the small picture of your temporal life. It has the power to re-connect you with the bigger picture of your life here on earth.
Facing death will cause you to ask questions like: How will I feel about this thing that I am doing after I am dead? How will I feel about having spent my time on earth in this way after I am dead? When I am dead, will this thing matter? Am I really living? What does it mean to really, truly live? Will I choose from today on to really truly live? Will I choose to live like every moment of my life matters? What does it mean to make the most of my time here on earth? Am I making the most of my time here on earth? What would I do differently so as to make the most of my time here on earth? If I accepted that I am going to die one day, and so the goal of life cannot simply be to stay safe, so as to survive, what might I be brave enough to do differently? Contrary to popular opinion, thinking about life within the context of death will cause you to make drastically different decisions and to live both fully and bravely.
We must know that even if, at a more objective level of reality, death is just a change in perspective, it is quite a different experience here in our temporal forms. We should not be invalidating our physical life experience and perceptions with higher dimensional awareness, like so many people seem to do. One does not negate the other. This means we need to hold BOTH the reality of loss and of no loss. Death and no death. Don’t expect or allow your awareness of the bigger picture of death to negate the physical life experience of death. Let that awareness ‘caretake’ your pain, not invalidate it. And see death for what it is… the ultimate change. It is my deepest hope that this awareness will help you to live the fullest, most meaningful and most joyful life possible.  
                           

The Most Important Element of Compatibility in Relationships

Compatibility is so important in relationships. When two things are compatible, their co-existence is beneficial and ads to the wellbeing of each of them. But there is one element of compatibility that is the most important thing to consider if you want your relationships to feel good and that is workability or lack thereof.  
Compatibility is when two things are able to exist or occur together in a state of harmony and without conflict. Compatibility is about creating the right arrangements with people and putting people in the right place in your life according to their boundaries (their personal feelings, thoughts, desires, needs, behavior, truths etc) and your boundaries (your personal feelings, thoughts, desires, needs, behavior, truths etc). But the most important element of compatibility is workability or lack thereof. Another way of saying this is that the most important part of assessing compatibility is to figure out what is and isn’t workable.
Let’s define workable in the context of this conversation. When something is workable, it is flexible, negotiable, pliable and adaptable. It can be influenced, molded or changed so that it produces the desired effect or the desired results. For a relationship to be harmonious, mutually pleasing and successful, we are likely to find ourselves changing certain things, adapting to certain things and developing flexibility in certain ways. For example, we may get into a relationship with a person who love sports and as a result, we may end up spending a lot of time watching sports when we didn’t before. Or, we may be in a relationship with someone who gets a job in another country. And as a result, we may end up moving to another country when we would never have moved to that place if we were not in that relationship. Or, we may find ourselves in a relationship with someone who is very emotionally volatile. And as a result, we may have to change our relationship to emotions and learn how to effectively regulate someone else.      
But a relationship can only be harmonious, mutually pleasing and successful if we know what is truly workable for us and if we know what is truly unworkable for us. And it can only be harmonious, mutually pleasing and successful if by knowing this, we don’t delude ourselves or other people into thinking that we are workable where we actually are not. To use a metaphor, some things about us and about our life are unworkable, like solid steel. And need to be for the sake of our wellbeing and other things are workable, like modeling clay. And need to be for the sake of our wellbeing.    
So that you can understand this better, here are some examples. A doctor has chosen a specific specialty that requires her to be on call. This is creating disharmony because her partner can’t plan anything that involves her and does not like the feeling of her being able to be called away at any moment. For this specific doctor, this is an area of unworkability. There is no flexibility or changeability relative to this thing in her life. So, the adaptability must be on the other side. But if needing a partner to be reliably present happens to be an area of unworkability for the other person, then there is genuine incompatibility. 
A person has strong beliefs about veganism and animal activism. He starts to date a woman who is new to the whole idea. She feels unable to just go off of all animal products cold turkey, but expresses an interest in trying vegetarianism. So, there is workability relative to this thing. For this man, he feels that he can tolerate eggs and yogurt being in the fridge, as long as there is no meat in the fridge. Which means that for him, there is also workability relative to this thing.  
A person loves climbing. They met someone on vacation that is not what you would call “outdoorsy”. This starts to be a problem because they never seem to want to do the same things. The relationship seems to be pulling this person away from what they love doing most in the world. A very strong desire is born within this person for a partner they can be with doing the thing they love the very most. Someone who is also a climbing enthusiast. They realize that it isn’t workable for them to have a partner who is not intrinsically invested in climbing too.    
Because all people are different, one person might exhibit workability relative to something where as another person can’t be workable relative to that same thing. For example, imagine that your career demands that you move around to different cities. One person might be able to be workable relative to that. But someone else might have a family and friend group that they are so close to and have no interest in leaving, that they could not be workable relative to that.
Keep in mind that workability and lack thereof doesn’t only apply to romantic partnerships. It applies to other relationships as well, such as friendships and work relationships and family relationships etc.
When we have to assess what is and is not workable for us, we begin to wander into the territory of compromise in relationships. The problem with conversations about compromise boils down to two things. The first is that people currently see compromise as an indisputably crucial part of relationships. And the second being that when two people are using the word compromise, they are often talking about two different things.
To compromise is to settle a dispute/conflict or reach agreement or alignment by way of mutual concession. Remember that to concede is to yield, give up or give away something you value. Keep in mind that when some people are using the word compromise, they mean it how I just described it, in that they see compromise as being about the big things that really matter. When people say that compromise is important and they hold this definition of compromise, it’s is just another way of saying “it’s important to give up what is important to you sometimes and take some pain for the sake of the relationship.” 
But when other people use the world compromise, they mean the small stuff. Stuff that doesn’t really matter because it doesn’t represent something the person deeply values. Such as a person who has a preference to eat at a certain restaurant, but who concedes to eat somewhere else because the other person wants to eat there. Or a person who may not have a super strong conviction to any religion, joining a religion for the sake of their partner. When people say that compromise is important and they hold this definition of compromise, it’s is just another way of saying “it’s important to be workable where you can be workable”. Does it make sense now, why we get confused when we talk about compatibility? 
One of the least popular videos that I ever did, was a video on the importance of not compromising in relationships. Every time my team posts a quote from that video, it ignites an online flame war. Why did I make such a bold claim, because a person can’t give up something that they value, and thus that really matters to them, without experiencing pain that eventually causes disharmony in the relationship. So, when you are assessing what is and isn’t workable, you have to assess what you truly value and what is truly important to you. And no one can tell you what is or isn’t important to you. Nor can they tell you what should and shouldn’t be important to you. None the less, so many fights in relationships (especially fights about compromise) are about what a person thinks should and shouldn’t be important. So, if you’d like to see that controversial video, as well as another good one on the topic of compromise in relationships, the first is titled: Why You Should Never Make Compromises in a Relationship. And the second is titled: Do You Base Your Relationships on Compromise or Compatibility?
Unfortunately, you may discover more about what is and is not workable specifically by being in a relationship that makes you aware of it. But knowing what is and what is not workable about you (such as things about yourself, your life, your values, your preferences, your aversions, your desires etc). is the most important part of assessing compatibility. Because these areas of unworkability are what causes extreme disharmony in a relationship and they are what breaks a relationship apart. Finding compatibility in these areas of unworkability is your best shot at having a relationship that is harmonious, mutually pleasing and successful. 

The Two Different Types of Energy Exchange in a Relationship

In every relationship, there is an energy exchange that occurs between the people involved. Sometimes the people in the relationship are conscious of this energy exchange and sometimes they aren’t, even though it is nevertheless happening. We can divide these energy exchanges into two different types of energy exchange. And knowing the difference between the two, as well as which kind of energy exchange you want, is a critical part of establishing a feel-good relationship. For this reason, in this article, I’m going to explain what energy exchange is, define the two different types of energy exchange and explain why this understanding is so important when it comes to creating a mutually fulfilling relationship. 
Despite the fact that energy exchange is an element of literally every relationship, people tend to get uncomfortable when we start to talk about the energy exchange element of a relationship. The reason being that energy exchange is a kind of transaction and we are in a time period where transaction in any relationship (other than a work relationship) is seen as bad and wrong. When most people hear about transaction in a relationship, they make the automatic assumption that there is no love, no actual mutual caring and no actual valuing of the other taking place in that relationship. They assume it is a purely self-centered relationship, where one person is simply using the other; or where they are both using each other. 
Energy exchange and love are two totally different aspects of a relationship. To love something is to take it as a part of you. Love naturally gives rise to experiences like compassion, closeness, understanding, empathy, caring and appreciation. When we love something, we cannot hurt it or act against its best interests without hurting ourselves. A person can have a purely transactional relationship. But ideally, a relationship will have both a love element and an energy exchange element. And ideally, both people are consciously aware of what the energy exchange is in their relationship. To learn more about this, you can watch my video titled: Be Consciously Transactional. Why Every Relationship Is Transactional.        
Energy exchange essentially means that each person receives something and each person provides something for the other. What makes an energy exchange a good one, is if each person gets something that is valued. And value, especially with regards to what we value most, is based on what that person needs and wants. A person has to need and want something to truly value it. To learn more about this, you can watch my video titled: The Value Realization (A Realization That Can Completely Change Your Self Worth). 
The two different types of energy exchange in relationship are:
People give and therefore receive the SAME thing from each other  People give and therefore receive DIFFERENT things from each other  This seems straight forward, but so that you can wrap your head around this, I’ll give you some examples of each. Some examples of people giving and receiving the same thing in a relationship are: Both people give each other the same kind of support for their individual goals, such as encouragement, being present for important moments, reassurance and helping them in whatever way they can to reach their individual goals. Or both people provide each other physical affection. Or both people give each other a sense of belonging. Or both people offer each other guidance. Or both people offer emotional regulation to each other when the other is upset. Or both people share the same tasks that need to be done around the house. Etc.         
 Some examples of people giving and receiving different things in a relationship are: One person does one task around the house, and the other person does another. One person provides finances and the other provides nurturing. One person provides stability and the other provides adventure. One person provides a high degree of emotional intimacy and communication, the other provides physical competency and new experiences. One provides purpose and the other provides dedication to their personal successes etc. 
It is important to identify in what ways you want to experience giving and receiving the same things in a relationship and in what ways, you might feel more satisfied by giving and receiving different things in a relationship. Most people are fixated on the kind of energy exchange in a relationship where people give and receive the same things from each other. In fact, many people don’t see that there is any other way to have a relationship. Most people believe that fairness and reciprocation in relationships depends on there being no double standards. Another way of putting this is that most people believe that fairness and reciprocation in relationships is dependent upon giving exactly what you want to receive in a relationship; the energy exchange being the same. But this isn’t true. We are not all the same, we have different needs and each and every one of us has different experiences and strengths and vulnerabilities. And because of this, we offer different resources. This means that in any relationship, a person might be able to offer much more or much less than the other can, of any one resource. This can very easily give rise to the sensation of unfairness in a relationship. On top of this, a lot of people are in positions in their life where they can’t offer the same thing they want or need. It is very important to know (especially in this day and age where society is swinging towards the idea that equality means sameness) that it is ok for an energy exchange to be about totally different things in a relationship, provided that both people agree to that energy exchange and find it mutually nourishing. 
So much of the time when a relationship turns south, or a person decides to end a relationship or change it, it doesn’t mean anything about your inherent value or about whether you are lovable or about whether the other person loves you, cares about you or sees the positive in you. It is simply about a break down that is happening on the level of energy exchange in the relationship. Their needs are simply not being met. 
Identifying what you want and need from a relationship, what you can and can’t offer in a relationship and recognizing these two different types of energy exchange will greatly help you to assess compatibility in any relationship. It will also help you to establish that wonderful feeling of being in a relationship that is truly valuable to you. But a relationship where it is not only you doing the valuing, because you are deeply valued and you feel that you are deeply valued by the other person too.

What Is Happening Right Now? A Spiritual Update

In case you hadn’t noticed, something is happening in the universe. Maybe you’ve been noticing that life is feeling more difficult than ever. Maybe you’ve been feeling like you’re being pushed to the edge in an emotional pressure cooker. Or maybe you’ve been feeling like your attempts to create the life you want are proving futile, as you find yourself in the very situations you were desperate to experience the opposite of. There is a reason for all of this!
Let’s start out by jumping right to the punchline. What is happening in the universe right now is that each and every person is being forced to face the very thing that they have spent their life avoiding, running from and using coping mechanisms to get out of.
So that you can wrap your head around this, I’ll give you some examples: The person who has been avoiding stepping into their power for as long as they can remember is likely to find themselves in a situation where that is the only way forward. A person who was traumatized by aloneness, will find themselves back in that aloneness and being forced to feel it and explore it and understand it to the degree that they are no longer running from it. A person who has spent their life trying to run from failure through successes, will see everything they try to do fall apart until their relationship with failure changes for the better. A person who is in avoidance of responsibility will find themselves in a situation where they cannot avoid responsibility, no matter how hard they try, so they will find themselves choosing it for the first time. You get the point.   
The very thing we are the most afraid of, we are being forced to confront to the degree that we are no longer walking the earth in fear and resistance to it. The reason this is happening is both microcosmic and macrocosmic. On a microcosmic level, when a person is desperate to get away from something, the various beliefs they form, behaviors they employ and actions they end up taking to get themselves away from it, bring about terrible results. Often ones that bring them in the opposite direction from what they want and thus, create intense suffering. And as a result, this desperate avoidance acts as an oppositional force to a person’s personal expansion. Avoidance gets in the way of a person’s wellbeing and what a person needs and wants.
On a macrocosmic level, when all the people of earth are stuck in this pattern of avoidance, and they can band together when they agree upon something that is to be avoided, the various beliefs they form, behaviors that they employ and actions they take, bring about terrible results that create suffering for the world. Avoidance gets in the way of the world’s wellbeing and what the world needs and wants.  
On paper, this all sounds straightforward. But on a practical level (and for some more than others) this is so difficult, if not unthinkable, that no words do it justice. I’ll give you just one example of this playing out on someone’s life. Cassidy grew up in a rough culture, where vulnerability of any kind was seen as a weakness and weakness had no place. Vulnerability was the road to incredible suffering and exploitation. It just made having to fend for herself worse. So, Cassidy has been avoiding vulnerability all her life. To put it mildly, she had to “man up” from the time she was three. But she has been wanting someone to fend for her all her life. That is her missing need. To avoid vulnerability, Cassidy has become uber competent, strong willed, harsh, hyper responsible, competitive, focused on achievement, domineering, intense, opinionated, charismatic and she’s developed serious grit. But because of this, no one wants to take care of her. In fact, she attracts the exact opposite. She attracts men who prove to be weak and who want her to protect them and take responsibility for them and encourage them and coach them out of their weaknesses and vulnerabilities, like the father these men never had. 
The very thing that Cassidy wants and the very thing that would be in alignment with her wellbeing is being prevented by the thoughts, behaviors and actions that she is engaged in, in order to avoid vulnerability. And the suffering is really racking up. So now, the universe is forcing her into her vulnerability. She is now in a situation where a forest fire burned down her home and the riding school she had built. Her third husband had an emotional breakdown because of the trauma of the experience and left her to man up and deal with the damage herself, while he was out of commission and even to help him deal with his breakdown. And this caused her to lose respect for him and also for them to grow apart because there was no one there for her in her darkest time. So now, they are on the verge of divorce. Her best friend just moved to another state. And now, she started feeling sick and was just informed that she needs to have bowel surgery. 
Cassidy is being literally forced into the very thing that she has spent her life disowning and resisting and denying and rejecting and trying to avoid… Her vulnerability. The solution to this, is for her to stop doing what she has been doing all her life, which is trying to get out of it. Trying to re-establish her power. Instead, she needs to recognize, sit with, re-own and integrate her vulnerability. The feelings of being unable to control life into working out the way she wants it to. The parts of her that are lost and that don’t have any of the answers and are confused. The needs she feels ashamed of, because they make her feel weak, such as the need for guidance and the need for reassurance and the need for comfort. And she needs to explore the discomfort she feels when someone else is in charge or is in the top position. Ironically, doing this, rather than avoiding her vulnerability, will cause her to be able to have that relationship that she wants, where a man is truly fending for her. 
When we are desperate to avoid something, our whole life becomes about avoiding that thing. For example, if we are desperate to avoid the feeling of not belonging, we might adopt a codependent relational style. We might put on a fake personality to establish a sense of sameness with our friends and dupe them in the process. We might get addicted to alcohol to numb the pain of inauthenticity. We might choose to enter a group and do whatever is needed so that we can feel that we are wanted, rather than to do what we are actually good at and actually enjoy doing. We might thwart our own successes, if they threaten our social connections. We might marry someone one week after we meet them and end up suffering in an incompatible marriage. We might suppress our own truths and desires and needs, if they even remotely threaten to differ from those of the people around us. And the list goes on and on.
Our lives become an absolute mess because of the beliefs we form, behaviors we employ and actions we end up taking to get ourselves away from whatever it is that we are desperate to avoid, because it is what we are the most afraid of and it is the thing we don’t want to experience the very most. The solution is to consciously get on board with ending this avoidance pattern and to choose to face and integrate the very thing you’ve been avoiding. 
Universally, time has run out for humanity to change patterns on our own terms and at our own pace. What we are a match to on a microcosmic level as individuals and on a macrocosmic level as humanity, is the universal timer running out and the universal pressure cooker being turned WAY up, so change is literally forced. Kind of a do or die situation. We are being cornered so we can’t keep running from what we were trying to avoid. Where it literally won’t work to keep coping to get out of the acknowledgement and experience of what we are trying to avoid. Given that this is what is going on in the universe right now, we are likely to find ourselves in the very situation we have spent our lives trying to avoid. No one will be exempt from being put directly into what we are so desperate NOT to experience. Many of you reading this have already ended up in that very situation. 
   The good news is that the solution to what is happening right now in the universe, is to figure out what you are trying desperately to avoid. And to stop avoiding that thing. Because ironically, the thing you want the most will only be actualized as a result of doing so.

Anger is About Powerlessness!

If you struggle with anger, you most likely look around the world at all the people who seem to be able to not get angry and feel extreme envy and also feel like something must be wrong with you. You probably don’t understand your own anger or what to do about it. And to make matters worse, other people don’t either. They simply expect you not to be angry, or at the very least, not to show it. And quite frankly, the vast majority of advice out there about what to do to manage your anger is bad advice. 
When you struggle with anger, relationships can feel impossible. It feels like the other person does something or fails to do something and that thing they did or failed to do causes you pain or is a threat in some way. But you know (because society has made you very aware that anger is wrong) that you are expected to immediately down-regulate yourself and not get angry at them. Not only does this seem impossible, it seems totally unfair and wrong because it is a flipped dynamic. They did something potentially harmful to you and yet you are the problem if you get angry about it. As a result, you may want to work on your “anger issues”, but at the same time, doing so feels like self-betrayal because it feels like all you are doing, is playing into this flipped dynamic. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way. You can learn to regulate anger without playing into this flipped dynamic. And to do this, you need to understand the difference between the people who don’t struggle with anger, and the people who do. 
Anger is an emotion that every person has. It is a part of any healthy emotional system. So, people who don’t struggle with anger do feel anger. But when they do, they don’t turn against it immediately. Nor do they act on it immediately. They see that the emotion would not be happening if it were not for a very important reason. They seek to understand their own anger. They let themselves feel it and hear the personal truths behind it. And then, they take empowered actions according to what they have come to understand from their anger. 
This process is one that a person learns in their very early toddler years when they need to be emotionally regulated by their parents. But let’s face it, a lot of people had parents that failed to emotionally regulate them. In fact, a lot of people had parents that even dis-regulated them chronically. These parents had a real problem with their child’s anger. As a result, when their child got angry, they turned against the child’s anger. These kinds of parents don’t see the anger as valid or existing for an important reason. They shame the child for their anger. They don’t spend time trying to figure out why the child is angry and what is making the child feel powerless to something that the child feels is harmful to him or her. And they do not help the child to take empowered actions accordingly, to help the child feel empowered to change what is causing them pain or fear. As a result, the child’s anger escalates rather than de-escalates. And as a result, the child learns that they are powerless and that other people are unworkable. The world and especially relationships are a very dangerous, painful place where they either have to surrender their best interests completely and put up with being caused harm, or stick by their own best interests and fight like hell. 
People who struggle with anger, internalize this process of faulty regulation or dis regulation. They don’t do any of the same things that a person who doesn’t struggle with anger does. If you struggle with anger, you have an aspect of you that is the internalization of your parents that immediately turns against your own anger the minute you feel it. You may be aggressively displaying anger and aggressively defending your right to be angry. But deep down, you are actually invalidating it and pushing against it. It is like an immediate internal tug of war is occurring. You don’t actually get that your anger is happening for an important reason. You don’t let yourself really feel it and hear your personal truths that are behind it. You perceive yourself to be powerless and you perceive the situation to be unworkable. And so, you don’t decide upon empowered actions to take about the situation. And so, you stay angry. 
The root of anger is perceived powerlessness. And there is no greater powerlessness than perceived unworkability. Therefore, powerlessness and unworkability is what anger is really about. If you perceive something to be causing you pain or threatening to cause you pain on an emotional, mental or physical level, you need to change the situation so you can feel good again. If you believed that could happen and knew how to do it, you would feel empowered and so, you wouldn’t get angry. But if you perceive whatever is causing you that pain or posing that threat to be unworkable, you feel immediately powerless. When I say unworkable, what I mean is that something is so un-changeable that any attempt to get it to change has been or will be unsuccessful. And as a result, you feel powerless and stuck in pain. To understand more about this, you can watch my video titled: The Anger Hack – What To Do When You’re Upset. 
You will most likely hear people say that the root of anger is hurt and fear. And because hurt and fear so often give rise to anger, it often benefits people to look for the hurt and fear underneath their anger. But there is something deeper than that, which is infinitely more beneficial to recognize. Here it is… When people feel fear or feel hurt, they often feel powerless regarding whatever they fear or however they were hurt. The anger is in fact a response to that perceived powerlessness. Your anger comes in to try to rescue you from that powerlessness.  In this way, your anger is a protector. It exists as a last-ditch effort to try to restore some sense of empowerment within you.  
And it is here that I am going to call out a huge pattern amongst chronically angry people. Chronically angry people fail to take empowered steps within their relationships to enforce their boundaries and limits. They do not create any consequences for the people in their life who violate boundaries and behave in unworkable ways, especially those who do not hold themselves accountable and who don’t respond to being held accountable.  Most especially people who passive aggressively do so. Instead, the only consequence they impose is that they get angrier. 
So that you can grasp how all this fits together, here is an example: Tom has a man who works on his farm as a farm manager of sorts named James. James chronically breaks his word and is intermittent regarding the completion of his tasks. Tom does not feel like James can be relied on. And as a result, Tom never feels like the farm is taken care of. This causes Tom harm because it adds pressure and stress to his life because Tom has way too many responsibilities already and he can never truly let go of the responsibility of the farm because he can’t trust that James really has it. Tom feels totally powerless regarding the situation. He can’t seem to get James to change his behavior. And he feels like James is totally unworkable because for two years now, Tom has been confronting him on his behavior and has gotten absolutely furious at him again and again and has made several threats. 
Today, James broke his word again about taking the twine off of the hay bales before putting it into the goat pen. And Tom yet again found the goats eating the twine and had to deal with it himself. Tom is furious. But the minute he gets furious, this internal part of him that thinks anger is not ok, turns against his anger and so inside him, there is an internal war. Tom doesn’t sit down to really feel his anger and to hear the personal truth behind it. The personal truth that he needs a person to take responsibility for the farm and one that he can trust. The personal truth that a person breaking their word and not completing tasks cannot be in that position in his life. Tom doesn’t then think of empowered ways to enforce that personal boundary of his. Things like docking James’s pay. Or looking for a new farm manager. Or requiring him to go to a course on personal accountability if he wants to keep working at the farm. Instead, Tom simply reacts to James’s unworkability and to his own perceived powerlessness with rage. 
Tom yet again seeks out James, who is unloading chicken feed from a truck and starts yelling at him and insulting him. Tom is red in the face and is restraining himself from punching James. He is convinced that James will be moved by his distress and anger to the degree where he won’t do it again. But James won’t do this. He actually subconsciously gets something out of breaking his word and dropping his responsibilities… Not feeling alone. When Tom does the tasks that James drops, he feels like they are in it together, which was always a need of his in life. On top of this, he gets sympathy from other people and is seen as the good guy regarding what a rage monster his boss, Tom is. They will be locked in this cycle forever because of the things James gets out of being unworkable and because of the way that Tom deals with his anger.                       
The really good news is that if you struggle with anger, there are concrete steps you can take to regulate your anger.
Do parts work with the part of you that turns against and invalidates your anger. This part of you is a protector personality that will make the process of regulating and working with your anger impossible. This part is most likely the internalization of one or both of your parents regarding how they dealt with your anger when you were young. The goal here is to understand this aspect of you fully and to get this part of you to see that its current strategy is not working. The goal of it seeing this is so that it is willing to re-purpose itself to something that allows you to integrate your anger rather than push it away, and work with your anger so as to gain empowerment. If you want to learn more about this, you can watch my video titled: Parts Work (What is Parts Work and How To Do It). Alternatively, you can go to www.completionprocess.com and select a practitioner who facilitates parts work to help you work with this part of yourself. When you feel angry, remind yourself that a person does not feel anger for no reason. This means you are feeling it for an important reason. And decide that you want to understand your anger.  Close your eyes and feel your anger. Feel the sensations that are occurring inside your body, no matter how uncomfortable they are. This gets easier over time, the more muscle you develop for tolerating intense feelings and sensations.  Start to question your anger. When did it start? What happened?  Identify what made you feel threatened, what it made you afraid of and/or what made you feel hurt.  If we are angry, it means we feel as if we have been threatened.  You need to ask yourself “what do I feel so threatened by?”  Once you figure out what it is that you feel threatened by, you need to ask yourself “why do I feel so threatened by that thing?”  And once you have answered that questions, you need to ask yourself “what about that hurt me so bad?” “What am I really afraid of in this situation?” And “What need do I have in this situation that is not getting met?”  If we feel threatened, we feel vulnerable.  The question is to what? Identify what about the situation that made you so angry made you feel powerless. Your anger always reveals what in life you feel dis-empowered about.  But because anger is such an unconscious process, people almost never directly name and work with whatever they feel powerless about so as to empower themselves more relative to whatever feels powerless.  Ask yourself, what in this situation do I feel is totally unworkable? Name it directly. Anger directly reveals those areas where empowerment needs to come back into your life, as long as you are willing to see the unworkability that your anger is trying to call your attention to directly, so as to strategize how to make it workable instead.  In other words, your empowerment is about facing your disempowerment. You will find that just the awareness of the disempowerment that is hiding underneath your anger, will take the edge off the anger.       From there, all your energy should go towards consciously figuring out what to do about what you feel powerless about and what to do about that unworkability you perceive, so that you can make a choice and take an action that is empowering. First of all, are you really powerless? What power do you have in the situation? Is whatever you perceive to be unworkable really unworkable? Maybe you can tell whoever is involved in the situation what you feel is totally unworkable, so that you draw their attention to it, so that they can problem solve that unworkability with you. What might you try to do so that the situation that feels unworkable is workable instead?  And only if it is truly unworkable, you can ask yourself: if I accepted that unworkability, and swallowed that it would never change, what could I do then?   Take empowered action. This empowered action should be anything that causes you to feel more empowered and therefore, better. It could be anything. It could be deliberately working with your mind and perception, such as changing a belief. It could be a specific communication that needs to take place with someone. It could be an action that looks like self-care. It could be following through on enforcing a boundary that has been violated with a consequence. It could be changing up your life in some way. It could be re-negotiating a relationship agreement. The empowering action will directly relate to the specific situation you feel mad about.     Anger is a self-preservation impulse. It is a reaction to try to restore a sense of empowerment. In order to be able to work with our anger in a way where people will look at us and say we can control our anger; we need to turn that impulse reaction to restore empowerment into a conscious process instead.

The Codependent Flip Pattern

There are a few patterns within people and within relationships that lead to a person flipping, that is to suddenly change to the opposite. When you find yourself in this scenario, it is especially painful, disorienting and confusing. For this reason, today, I’m going to reveal one of the most common patterns that causes a person to flip in a relationship. And I’m going to reveal why this pattern spells drastic change for your relationship, no matter what.  
It is tempting to think that the majority of relationships are functional and that dysfunctional relationships are the rarity. But the reverse is actually true. Most relationships between people on earth today fall somewhere on the scale of dysfunction. And the vast majority of the dysfunction in relationships is about how to be in relationships with other people and their best interests, while maintaining a sense of our self and our personal best interests. In dysfunctional family systems, we learn that we cannot trust other people to truly act in our best interests. We have to vie for our own best interests and create adaptations to that family system so that we can feel as safe as possible and so that we can have as much control as possible over getting our own needs met. There are so many different strategies that children learn to employ in order to do this.
Before a child selects these various strategies, they are faced with a choice. 1. They can go through the front door and fight the other members of the family system for their own best interests. Or 2. They can go through the backdoor and manipulate the other members of the family system for their own best interests. And it is here that people develop the relationship strategy of narcissism or codependency. The truth about narcissism and codependency is that they are not personality disorders. They are adaptive relationship strategies. If you want to learn more about this, watch my video titled: The Truth About Narcissism and Codependency. 
People who develop the relationship adaptation style of codependency decide at a subconscious level that because no one is really concerned for their welfare, benefit and best interests, the best way to survive is to get their own needs met by sacrificing parts of themselves so as to conform to other people’s interests and creating an attuned emotional contract with them, whereby their own needs are manipulatively met in exchange for doing so. You will hear pretty much everywhere that codependents place a lower priority on their own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others. This is not true. It only looks like that on the outside. The reality is that the preoccupation with the needs of others is their method for getting their own needs met. 
This codependent relational adaptation carries on into adulthood. And it is this relational adaptation that causes them to flip in relationships. The Codependent Flip Pattern is when someone enters into a relationship and creates a false sense of confluence with that person, even if doing so requires things like sacrificing parts of themselves, suppressing personal truths and saying “yes” to what is actually a “no” for them; because they believe that doing so promises to meet their needs. They have all kinds of subconscious (or conscious but unexpressed) expectations. But when their strategy doesn’t work to actually get their needs met, the truth comes out. They drop their strategy. They essentially dupe the other person. The fact that certain things were a sacrifice and certain things were not actually true or a yes for them, comes out. They then begin to flip to a narcissistic style of relating to the other person because they have no frame of reference for any other style of relating. And what’s more than that, they now expect the other person to do for them, what they did for the other person in the beginning. To sacrifice for their best interests, to say “yes” to what is a “no” for them and to suppress parts of themselves. Essentially, to reverse the dynamic by becoming codependent to them. 
So that you can understand this pattern better, here is an example. Bruce has a codependent relational style. He fell in love with a very beautiful woman named Brynn. Bruce was awestruck by Brynn and he saw Brynn as the ticket to the self-esteem he lacked and as a perfect way to feel a sense of belonging and power and emotional closeness and physical intimacy. Brynn preferred him to be with her all the time, so he quit his job to work with her in her company. Brynn had very particular music tastes, so he just let her control the music they listened to. Brynn wanted to buy a house and didn’t trust any man enough to want his name on the mortgage. So, Bruce said yes to paying rent and living with her in her house. Brynn wanted dogs, so Bruce not only said he wanted them too, he surprised her with a puppy. Brynn felt she had met a true friend. Someone who was such a kindred soul, he could be family. But the reality is that Bruce was simply creating a sense of confluence and was only pleasing Brynn with his own subconscious needs in mind. Specifically, Bruce expected Brynn to become his partner on a romantic and sexual level. He expected her to publicly introduce him as her boyfriend. He expected her to eventually make him part owner in her company. Bruce has duped Brynn.
Brynn would go on dates with other men. She would quickly set people straight if they assumed she and Bruce were together as a couple. And one day, she explained that she wanted to transition him out of his role within the company, so someone even more qualified than them both could take it over; to make the company expand. All of this insulted Bruce. And gradually, Bruce started to realize that everything he had given himself up for, wasn’t going to happen. Now, he felt resentful and full of rage. Rather than seeing that he is accountable for saying yes to what was really a no. And to sacrificing what he was not actually ok sacrificing. And for misleading Brynn to think they were compatible where they actually weren’t etc. Bruce decided that Brynn was using him all along. That she only cared about herself. And that he needed to do what was best for him. 
So, out of the blue, Bruce flipped. He told Brynn that he expected a portion of her company, for all the years of dedication he had shown to the business. He told her that he thought it was wrong that she owned a house that he had been paying rent to, when he could have had his own house and been paying down the mortgage on his own asset, rather than hers. He started blasting the music that he loved, but Brynn hated. And he started dropping his responsibilities for the puppy, as a passive aggressive way of asserting the truth that he only said yes to the dogs because of wanting to please her. And when she got upset about it, rather than to immediately give into his zero-sum game demands by sacrificing her best interests for his best interests, saying “yes” to what is a “no” for her and suppressing parts of herself (because in Bruce’s mind, that would be the good and right thing to do), Bruce went on a triangulation tour. He told every person they mutually knew that Brynn was a complete narcissist who had taken him for granted and wronged him and had prevented him from his own success for years. Bruce was convinced that by flipping, he was becoming empowered and he was healing. But what had really happened, is he had swung the pendulum and he had slipped into the Codependent Flip Pattern. To learn more about the pendulum swing pattern, you can watch my video titled: What Is The Pendulum Swing in Healing? Bruce and Brynn ended their relationship after years and years of being the closest people in each other’s lives, as enemies.   
When people find themselves confronted with this pattern, they feel completely bamboozled. The reason being that at first, they don’t understand why the person has suddenly changed, usually into the opposite of what they were. And after they understand the why, they feel bamboozled because what they thought was true about the other person and therefore what they thought they could depend on, was actually false. This pattern causes history to be re-written. Including the narrative about who the person they were in a relationship with is or isn’t. 
The personal truth underneath this pattern is: “I did all this for you, even though I led you to believe I was getting something out of it and even though I said it was a yes for me… It wasn’t. Now, I’m dropping the act. And because I did all that for you, it’s your turn to do X for me.”  
The Codependency Flip Pattern is a form of entrapment in a relationship. It is to coerce someone into an energy exchange that they may never have said yes to if they were presented with the exchange directly. It is to give up the self, with the hidden expectation to get something undisclosed back. And when the other person figures it out, it’s too late for them to say no. In fact, if they say no, there are consequences. 
The reason that people with a codependent relational style do this, is because they have learned that they cannot have themselves and have other people too. So, they must give themselves up in order to get. They feel they can’t put themselves and their needs on the table, and so they must not do so. And instead, entrap the other person into meeting their needs or manipulate the other person in order to get their needs met. 
The very unfortunate truth is that because the Codependent Flip Pattern involves inauthenticity from the get go, the relationship is changing no matter what you do. It is never going back to what it was. What it was, wasn’t real. This is very hard to accept if you are on the other side of this pattern, most especially because people with a codependent relational style have become so good at perceiving other people’s needs, that they put up an act that is so wanted and needed by you, that it will feel like letting go of the very thing you were always desperately looking for. But having had it, was an illusion. 
Codependency in and of itself, is an extremely painful relational strategy. And the Codependent Flip Pattern is one of the most painful patterns that someone can experience in a relationship. It is a pattern that destroys trust in a way that drastically effects a person’s belief in their own ability to discern, as well as their trust regarding all future relationships. If you notice that you fall to the codependent side of the spectrum, it’s important to know that the only reliable way to not fall into this pattern, is to get into a relationship with the actual truth of who you are. To say no when something is a no for you. To not sacrifice what is important to you. To not feign compatibility where there is incompatibility and to master the practice of win-wins in a relationship. It sounds so easy, but the reality is that this will not be easy because it is the opposite of the way you learned to engage in relationships and for good reason. 
If you realize that you have fallen into this pattern, the way out of it, is to admit that you fell into this pattern and to take radical accountability for it. Often, this means taking responsibility for cleaning up the emotional and even practical mess that was created by falling into this pattern. It is bad enough for the other person to have been duped. They don’t deserve to be made the bad guy on top of it, because you feel like you lost yourself in the relationship and because your unexpressed needs weren’t met. The next step is to let go of your unexpressed expectations. They will never be met, because you never gave the other person the chance to consciously agree to them. And from there, if the other person wants to associate with you, rather than end the relationship all together, you need to re-negotiate a new kind of relationship from the ground up. I mean completely from scratch, based on what is real and based on the actual points of compatibility between you and them.
I’m going to say it again, the hardest thing to accept about the Codependent Flip Pattern is that what you thought was true for the other person, wasn’t actually true for them. And the relationship you thought you had with them; you didn’t actually have. And because of this, the relationship you have with them, is changing no matter what. You are starting over from scratch with getting to know who they really are and with a totally different relationship. 

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