Before we get deep into this conversation, it must be said that there are a great many circumstances that can crop up across the various parts of the world or in a specific person’s life that make an adult perceive that their only option is to live with their parents. There are many cultures around the globe where living with one’s parents and grandparents and relatives, beyond childhood, is standard practice and even expected. And it also must be said that not all parents are the same. Though it is rare, it is possible for a parent to defy the more common and painful dynamics that occur between themselves and their adult children (the points I’m going to cover in this episode) thus rendering them capable of creating a positive co-habitation experience. Because of this, I can’t make the statement that living with your parents in your adulthood is always a bad idea in all situations.
But all that being said, living with your parents in your adulthood can be a really, really bad idea regarding your personal growth and life satisfaction, as well as theirs. It really often is something that raises a red flag. A lot of people who have continued to live with their parents or who have moved back in with them find themselves in a diminished state, but don’t really understand exactly why. And they certainly don’t understand the gravity of the situation. So today, I’m going to simply show you the down side of living with your parents.
When you are young, your childhood environment (including your parents and the way they interacted with you) serves as the contrast which you experienced. Both positive and negative. It is that original contrasting experience that caused you to form your desires and therefore begin to build the path of progress and expansion for your life. To expand is to continue to step into what is desired as a result of the wanted and unwanted experiences you had. For example, lets imagine that the way you were parented caused you to feel like your parents had you so that you could support them. This experience may give rise to the desire to be free and to live your life for what makes you passionate. Doing so is part of your personal expansion. But many parents don’t change. They stay the way they are. This means many parents won’t act as an ally in your expansion path, especially if it opposes their needs. And so, using our example, they will not be on board with supporting you to feel free and to live your life for what makes you passionate. Instead, they will continue to demand that you live for them and shame you and impose consequences for not doing so.This means, for most people, continuing to live with your parents (or moving back in with your parents) is to step backwards in the opposite direction of your own expansion. It is to go back into the very contrast that already caused your expansion, hoping that now the contrast itself will change so that you can feel better, which it most likely wont. Living with your parents is so often a step in the opposite direction of personal expansion. It also increases that gap between where you are and where you want to be. And that gap is what pain is all about.
When you live with your parents, and it isn’t good for you to do, you won’t feel good living with them. But you won’t feel bad enough to realize what is happening to you. It’s more like a gradual process of diminishment. You don’t realize the true impacts of the negative effects that the family system patterns are having on you. There are several reasons for this. One of these reasons is that every person normalizes their environment. For example, normal parenting in India is extremely emotionally abusive. But it is normal and an Indian child knows no different, any more than they understand what their parent is actually doing to them. Instead, they internalize it and blame themselves. If an adult who was raised in a normal household in India moves in with their mother or moves their mother in with them, the emotional abuse can be ruining their self-esteem and health. But they are so normalized to it that they don’t even realize what is actually happening to them. Or that their ill health and poor self-esteem is about the way their mother interacts with them every day. You can think of this problem as being like a slug who is so normalized to the feeling of a bit of salt that he doesn’t really understand why he is slowly dissolving. To understand more about this, watch my video titled: How Normalization is Hurting You and Hurting Society.
Family systems are resistant to change. And family systems that are dysfunctional are even more resistant to change. Living with your parents can keep even the most conscious people trapped in certain family system dynamics and roles and thus keep you totally trapped in dysfunctional patterns that you developed as a result of it.There is a saying in the Buddhist community: Want to be able to tell if you are enlightened? Go visit your family. Every person, whether they are living with their parents or just visiting experiences this feeling of slipping right back into the same role you played your whole life and into the same relational patterns when they are around their family of origin. For example, you open the door to your parent’s home on that holiday and all of a sudden, it’s like you’re six years old again. You’re actually 40, but you and your sister are still trying to one-up each other to vie for your dad’s attention and approval. Mom’s afternoon nap and doll collection makes you feel like you don’t exist. The only way you got either of them to approve of you was to be everyone’s little codependent helper. And there you are washing the dishes again. Not one of your several relatives has asked you one question about your life all day. And by 3:00 in the afternoon, you’re thinking about how your current boyfriend is always focused on other things. In fact, why did you think it was ok for him to go golfing instead of be there with you on this holiday? And just like that, you’re convinced that your life is doomed to be an endless reminder of how unimportant you are.Trying to change your own patterns is a thousand times harder when the environment you live in and the people around you are reinforcing those patterns. It can be compared to asking a veteran to learn to become trusting and not be on defense, while he is actually still in a war zone. Living with your parents often means fitting right back into that nice little role in your family system, no matter how damaging that is to your own life.Your parents played a significant role in forming those patterns that are not working for you. Very few parents (so far) will get on board with changing so as to act as an allied force to you changing those detrimental patterns. So, they will be working against you changing for the better. Using our previous example, living with her parents would reinforce her codependent role of the doormat helper, the one that is currently ruining her adult love life. And it would cause her to feel unimportant and employ all of the dysfunctional strategies that she has learned to deal with that. For example, she may even start drinking again.
One thing that is really hard for people to accept is that even the best parent is not capable of raising a child with no unwanted experiences. You experienced trauma, which is distress without resolve, no matter who you are or where your parents fell on the spectrum of function or dysfunction. But when you were a child, chances are that you felt powerless to do anything about those unwanted experiences. Whenever we can’t change a stressor, we cope with it. This means all of those nasty little coping mechanisms that may have saved your life in that situation, but that ruined your life and may still be ruining your life now, you will revert to. Did you use denial? Living with your parents, you will most likely slip back into denial again. Did you use self-harm? You will most likely slip back into some form of self-harm again. Were you passive aggressive? You will most likely slip back into being passive aggressive. Did you sleep to avoid everything? You will most likely slip back into being constantly tired and sleeping a ton. Did you slip into the role of surrogate partner for your mother or father? You will most likely slip back into being their surrogate partner again.And the interesting thing about when people live with their parents is that it causes people to revert in an even worse way… People tend to slip back into the feeling and belief that, just like in childhood, they are unable to change conditions and stressors in their life. The problem is, they aren’t actually a child anymore, nor are they in the same situation. They actually could change it now. But being around their parents causes this powerlessness conditioning to kick in. To learn more about coping mechanisms, you can watch my video titled: How To Let Go of a Coping Mechanism.
Especially dysfunctional parents can get into really harmful interpersonal patterns just based off of you moving in with them or them moving in with you. For example, a parent may offer for you to move back in with them and then hold the fact that you did over your head as leverage for getting you to do what they want. Or let you move back in, but never stop shaming you for it. To understand more about this, you can watch my video titled: Cut the Invisible Strings (How to Detach From Manipulation In Relationships). Or, a parent may move in with you and expect your house to be run by their rules, making you the second-class citizen in your own house. For example, a mother may move in with a son and demand that she takes over his bedroom and that he keeps the house the way she wants it and that he eats only the food she cooks for him and lets her do his laundry, and plays victim control dramas if he refuses. Thus putting him back into the role of a child. By doing so, she is acting as a powerful antagonistic force to his own manhood.
It can prevent a person from growing up. Living with your parents can serve as an antagonistic force to things like you maturing on a mental, emotional and physical level, getting out of your comfort zone, experiencing the new and the different, taking responsibility, developing accountability, owning your free will, being authentic and making choices that are authentic to you, becoming autonomous, knowing yourself, leading your life, being in reality about the world, learning from mistakes, learning life skills, planning for the future, developing financial intelligence, being empowered, creating a life that you can be proud of, being confident and becoming sensible.
Living with your parents, you can fall victim to shadow tribe. Mankind is in the process of trying to evolve beyond shadow tribe and into conscious tribe. Reacting to the pain of shadow tribe is what brought us to the evolutionary step where we no longer have tribe. We have single family households. That is not healthy of course. It is an unhealthy pendulum swing. But we will eventually find a place where we choose tribe consciously and without the detrimental aspects that can come with tribe.To understand shadow tribe, you must understand that there is a light and a dark side to anything and this includes tribe. The light side of tribe is things like: Belonging, support, connection, being able to accomplish great things because of team effort, safety, more resources etc. The dark side of tribe (or shadow tribe) is things like: Inability to make changes that must be made for the benefit of members of the group or the group in general due to tradition. Belonging being conditional upon the adhering of members to detrimental beliefs or practices. The refusal to recognize the best interests of individuals, only the best interests of the group itself. A dysfunctional system structure and dysfunctional dynamics within that structure. Dysfunctional leadership. Control and manipulative distribution of (or access to) resources based on compliance. Dysfunctional communication. No diversity. Consensus that does not reflect objective truth or reality etc.When we fall victim to shadow tribe, we often swallow all the poison of shadow tribe in exchange for the needs that the light side of tribe meets for us. And it serves as a way to negate or excuse detrimental thoughts, words and actions. For example, we may see that truly fitting into our family or having a harmonious relationship with our parents means not being financially successful because the family finds unity through hating the rich and commiserating about their misfortune and poverty. Anyone who does make money is suddenly expected to be responsible to take care of everyone else or is ostracized and then talked badly about by all the other members of the family. If we live with our parents, we will be much more susceptible to succumb to our need of harmony and belonging by avoiding opportunities that might make us financially stable or successful. Or, we might excuse away something like racism, prejudice, or abuse because of culture or a revered religious belief. Thereby, succumbing to shadow tribe.
There are plenty of ways that you living with your parents could actually be detrimental to them too. Some examples of this are: You might serve as an antagonistic force to their own expansion. For example, you might fall into a role that enables their dysfunctional behavior and thus prevents them from actually creating a life that would make them happy. Or you might engage with them in a way that is retraumatizing relative to their own childhood experience. Or you may actively impede them from doing something they really need or might really want to do. You might serve as an antagonistic force to their life satisfaction. You might put tons of pressure on them (such as emotional or financial). Regardless of whether they had a hand in creating the behavior in the first place or not, you might fall into dysfunctional and abusive patterns towards them. It’s easy for some adult children to be self-centered and not consider the negative impact that living with their parents could have on their parents.
The experience of multigenerational households, like all things, contain both sides of reality within them… Positive and negative. There are advantages and disadvantages inherent in it. It is important to be in reality about both sides of this reality. In one situation, a person may thrive by spending time with or even living with their parents. In another situation, a person spending time with or living with their parents may just be the reason why they are failing to thrive. And when this is the case, it is important to know why. Hopefully this episode helped you to better understand why. If by listening to this video, you feel like you are one of those people whose wellbeing is being negatively impacted by living with your parents, consider that an important step to your own expansion path and life satisfaction and health might just be living apart from them. Indeed in some cases, your ability to thrive might just depend on it.
Today, I’m going to take you way out on a limb by challenging one of the beliefs that current society holds most dear. I ask you to proceed with a very open mind. Because changing the perspective you hold about this, has the capacity to positively overhaul your life.
Today, transaction in business is seen as not only good and right, but also as an obvious element of business. But being transactional in other relationships is seen as bad and wrong. When we hear about a transactional relationship, we 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. We assume it is a purely self-centered relationship, where one person is simply using the other; or they are both using each other.
The truth that I’m going to put before you today is the truth that every relationship is transactional, whether it is a business relationship, a relationship with the government, a romantic relationship, a friendship, or a familial relationship etc.
Because transaction is a word that we have such a negative association with, you are going to have to re-examine the idea of transaction. A transaction is at its essence, nothing more than an energy exchange. It means each person receives something and each person provides something. What makes a transaction 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.
You may be able to see the value in something, without valuing it yourself. For example, in war time, you may still be able to see the value of art. But because you don’t currently need art, you need food, you personally can’t value art enough for it to serve as part of a good transaction. To truly value something, you have to perceive yourself to need and want it.
Every relationship you enter into, you enter into because you perceive that the relationship would meet a need or fulfill a desire, or many. For example, in this friendship, you give the person the feeling of being free and unrestricted and they give you that sense of security that you’ve always lacked. With this partner, they give you a sense of being needed and wanted and valued. And you give them the support they need to accomplish their goals. With this person you are helping, they get the help they need and you get a sense of your own goodness and the feeling of doing something that is right to do. With this family member, you give them the experience of availability and understanding. And they give you the same. This is one reason that relationships are so dynamic and change over time. After all, needs can change over time.
When one or both of you start to perceive that you don’t get the needs or wants you value from the relationship; or worse, that one or both is acting as an antagonist to those needs and wants, the satisfaction you feel in that relationship goes away. You will gravitate towards other relationships. This even includes parents deciding to have children. And this accounts for why parents who didn’t want a child in the first place (or who end up feeling like their child did not end up meeting their need) end up so resentful towards their child or towards parenting in and of itself. To understand more about this, watch my video titled: The Lie That Parents Tell. Keep in mind that many transactions could be taking place within any relationship; not just one.
There is nothing inherently wrong with there being transaction in any relationship. It’s not like you should try to eliminate transaction from relationships. And guess what, you couldn’t, even if you wanted to! Instead, you should be embracing the idea of conscious transaction.
Every relationship is transactional. For most people, these transactions are simply happening at a subconscious, even instinctual level. Or they are being flat out hidden and denied due to the attempt to avoid negative consequences, guilt and shame. This is scary because there is so much room for pain in relationships due to this fact. It is easier to see how dangerous unconscious, hidden or denied transaction could be when you think about business. We would call this a shady business deal. But guess what? It’s the same for any other relationship. When a transaction is not conscious, so much can go terribly, terribly wrong.
Just to name a few things that can go wrong if a relationship transaction is not conscious:
If you are unaware of what you can truly provide and what you truly need and want, you do not have a chance at consciously entering into the right relationships for you. It can be compared to a business man not knowing what he has to offer another company and not knowing what he wants to get from another company. How can he ever hope to find the right company to do business with; a company that is in need of what he has to offer and who has what he needs? It’s a recipe for dissatisfaction in relationships and also for an endless process of entering into a relationship feeling like it is the right one, only to find out it is wrong over and over again. It is a recipe for incompatibility… And finding out that you are incompatible the hard way.
We end up doing what we do to meet our needs any time we can’t be conscious and direct about them, we enter into relationships in manipulative ways. We go about getting what we need in those relationships manipulatively. We employ back door and round about strategies. Our relationships are manipulative in nature.
It is a recipe for both parties to feel hurt and duped. If you are not conscious of the transactions taking place, the best you can do is to assume (without ever really talking about it) that other person is agreeing to meet the want or need you entered into the relationship with. But that doesn’t mean that they can or would actually agree to providing that for you. It also means the best you can do is to assume why the other person is in a relationship with you. We can be way, way off base about this assumption. We can’t find the right energy exchange.
We end up shocked and hurt when no matter how much we loved and cared about the other person and thought they loved and cared about us, they still either ended the relationship or wanted to change/reconfigure it. We don’t actually know what needs and wants the other person actually has and was expecting to get in the relationship. So, we don’t understand what went wrong or what we lack that made them be able to leave us or hurt us in that way. We have no shot at having the choice to meet their actual needs, and secure the relationship by doing so. Also, we start to take it very personally and make it mean something painful about our own value and worth.
We end up extremely conflicted and in pain when no matter how much we love someone and care about them, we are at the same time so unsatisfied in the relationship and starved for our needs and wants that we feel the need to end the relationship or to change/reconfigure it. And we are unable to explain to ourselves or to them why loving them and caring about them, just wasn’t enough. We end up secretly wondering if we are a horrible, narcissistic person because of this truth.
We shortcut our chance of happiness in life. Life is relationships. Our happiness in life is down to our level of satisfaction with the relationship we have with all the other things in our life. And there is no way to have a good relationship without the transactional element of the relationship being a positive one.
To understand this whole concept of needing to be consciously transactional and to swallow it, you are going to have to do one very important thing. You are going to have to separate the concept of loving a person, caring for them, seeing the positive in them and seeing their value in general from the transactional element of a relationship. In other words, you have to separate love from needs in a relationship. I want you to consider pausing this video and sitting with that idea for a moment.
To love something is to take it as a part of you. It is to include it in your self-hood. It is oneness. 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. But we still live in a world of separation. We have a separate identity. So, even when we love, our own needs and wants and therefore best interests can be different than those belonging to the person we love. Therefore, loving someone does not make our own needs suddenly not exist; so that all we care about is their needs and wants. Love is not selfless. It is profoundly selfish in nature. But it causes you to include the other as part of yourself, meaning that it ends your ability to play a zero-sum game. This means, if you truly do love someone, you care both about your own wants and needs as well as the other person’s. You are looking for a win-win. A way to act in their best interests, as well as yours. Loving something implies wanting it to have what it needs and wants. It is not loving to expect a person to forfeit what they need and want to prove that they care about you and like you and love you. This means, love recognizes the beauty in conscious transaction.
So many people hold a subconscious belief. The belief we hold is that love should count for more than personal needs and wants. We believe that anything less is selfish and narcissistic. We expect others to love and care about us enough to trump their own personal needs, wants and best interests. Or to want and need us, no matter if we do not represent or offer what they need and want. And we expect ourselves to love and care about other people enough to deny our own personal needs, wants and best interests. So often when we do this, we don’t realize that what we get out of doing this, is the feeling of being a good person and doing what is right. We have been taught that doing so makes us good and right. This is a slippery slope to codependency. There is no such thing as altruism in this universe. To understand more about this, watch my video titled: Why We Do Nice Things For People, The Truth Behind Acts of Kindness.
This belief that love should count for more than personal needs is part of our deep desire for unconditional love. When we are trying to get unconditional love, we are trying to use love to negate, disqualify or deny the transactional element of relationship. We feel greater security in relationships and a greater sense of self-esteem when we feel like a person will love us enough to stay with us no matter what. Including no matter whether their personal needs and desires are met or not. But we don’t understand what unconditional love is and what unconditional love isn’t. For this reason, you would benefit by watching my video titled: The Truth and Myth of Unconditional Love.
In a relationship, love is actually and must be separate from personal needs… The transaction that makes the relationship satisfactory or not. In fact, they can seem like they compete in certain relationships. In any relationship, you could only have transaction with no love. Or you could have a relationship where there is both transaction and love. But they are two different elements of a relationship.
People mistake love and transaction for the same thing because they mistake loving something for valuing that thing. When most people say: I want to be loved, what they really mean is they want someone to value them to the degree that they ware wanted and because of that, can experience both self-esteem and the security of closeness and connection… The opposite of shame and loneliness. Not only does this mean that love is not actually what they want. What they want is to be valued. It means that they don’t understand that value is about personal need. A person who does not perceive themselves to need something that they offer, cannot value them, even if they see value in them. And they can guarantee that they will be valued specifically by entering into relationships where there is a conscious transaction based off of needs that they can (and truly do want to) meet for the other person. If you struggle with this concept, or want to learn more about it, watch my video titled: The Value Realization (A Realization That Can Completely Change Your Life).
You can probably see more now why it is so dangerous to enter into relationships inauthentically, like so much dating advice would encourage you to do. You know… acting in a way that is different to who you really are, promising to offer something that is not actually something you can offer. Saying what the other person wants to hear or doing what the other person wants, just to secure a relationship with them. That’s false advertising relative to the transactional side of a relationship.
Setting the idea of loving you and caring about you and seeing positive in you aside (because it is separate), there is always a transaction taking place in a relationship. A person is always in a relationship because they get some payoff or some need or desire met by being in that relationship. And if you can understand this, you can experience much greater relationship success by entering directly into conscious transaction in your relationships. You know exactly what the other person needs and wants by being in a specific relationship with you and they know exactly what you need and want by being in a specific relationship with them. You have much greater control over the satisfaction level of the relationship. And when the satisfaction level dips, you won’t be confused about why. You are no longer powerless because you will be able to look clearly at whether (based off of knowing what the other person’s need is) you will choose to or won’t choose to meet one or several needs that a person has. And if not, you can expect a person to want to end or to change the relationship or to be able to do so, even if they don’t necessarily want to. You will be able to identify if a relationship is one that contains both the element of love and transaction. Or just transaction. And best of all, you will stop taking it so personally when a person decides to end or change the relationship.
So much of the time when 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 person loves you, cares about you or sees the positive in you. It is simply about their own personal needs and desires not being met.
As strange as it may sound at first, be consciously transactional in all of your relationships. Find the right energy exchange. You are already doing this subconsciously every day. Become aware of what you need and want in general and in a specific relationship arrangement. Clearly communicate that to the other person. Find agreement with them about it. Become aware of what the other person needs and wants in general and specifically in the relationship arrangement with you. Decide whether or not you can choose to meet those needs/desires. Clearly communicate the answer to that question with them. Find the relationship configuration that is right and find the right role for them in your life based off of this. You may not know or be able to predict what life may hold, but do your best to become aware of what situations might occur that could make either person unable to fulfill their side of the transaction. And discuss what to do in the event that any of those situations occurs. Love someone better and be loved better by consciously agreeing upon the right energy exchange and watch your relationships and therefore your life improve.
Conflict is so unpleasant and even painful that it is easy to assume that every person wants the same thing when a conflict occurs: Resolve and Repair. The problem with this assumption is that it isn’t true. Some people in certain situations don’t actually want resolve and don’t actually want repair. And when we don’t understand this, or the reasons why they don’t, we can end up pretty confused as to why nothing we do to create resolve and repair ever works.
Whenever a person does not actually want repair and resolve, it is because they perceive themselves to benefit somehow by the conflict. They perceive their needs to be better met by the existence of the conflict and its continuation. And even if that person dislikes conflict and also experiences pain as a result of it, they perceive that personal payoff (that personal benefit) as still being currently greater than any personal benefit they would experience as a result of resolve. As you’re about to find out, there are many needs that can actually be met in a shadowy way through conflict. Just a few examples of needs that can be met through conflict are: Importance, significance, attention, superiority, consideration, empathy, belonging, being the priority, self esteem, power, getting what you want, being seen as good and right, connection, closeness, being chosen, control, acknowledgement, a sense of one’s existence, a sense of identity etc.
With this in mind, let’s understand some of the many reasons why a person would not actually want resolve and may even benefit from conflict and “bad blood”.
Some people subconsciously feel that the only way their emotional needs can be met, is through triangulation. And triangulation both implies conflict and requires conflict to stay alive. For example, a person may only feel secure, close and connected to another person if they both share a common enemy. Or, if a person feels insecure about their partner’s relationship with someone else, they may be able to separate their partner from the other person (thereby eliminating the threat) by triangulating their partner against that person. Or a person may only feel good about themselves if they are the good guy and thus a victim in some way to someone else. This means, they need a bad guy to exist and to have other people see them as the victim in a situation in order to enjoy a positive self-concept. To understand this more in depth, watch my video titled: Are You Being Triangulated (A Common Manipulation Technique in Relationships).
A person wants significance, which dovetails with attention. But doesn’t feel they can get it. It is common that if a person cannot feel significant enough in their own right or by being aligned with someone else, they will turn into an adversary and gain significance as well as attention by being against them. When someone suddenly begins to pose a threat to you, they are worthy of your attention. Your nemesis is always significant to you. This is one of the motivations that has turned a few people into school shooters. This is a shadow you also see often around celebrities. People have made entire careers and gained spotlights they would never otherwise have, just because they decided to be the one who was against a person who already has significance and attention in greater society. And when this is the case, repair and resolve means no more significance and no more attention.
This point goes hand in hand with the last one. Conflict can be a “hook”. It can be a pull that is impossible to ignore. And ultimately, a way to stay emotionally close and important to someone. When a person creates an issue, your attention goes to wherever that issue is. If a person becomes a full-on adversary, they are the threat to your wellbeing and thus become the most important person to you. On the extreme end of the scale, this can get abusive and can also turn into trauma bonding. On the less extreme end of the scale, an example of this is when a person finds themselves actually deliberately picking fights in a relationship, so as to hook someone who is acting otherwise unavailable and not giving them attention. You also see this dynamic a lot (a well as the next one on our list) in divorce courts.
A person is using conflict as a way to gain control and power. Power is the inherent capacity to create, direct, influence or do something so as to bring about what we want. When we feel in power, we feel in control. When we feel like we don’t have the capacity to create, direct, influence or do something so as to bring about what we want while getting along with someone or being in agreement or alignment with them, we turn to conflict as the best way to do so. In this way, creating and maintaining conflict can be an antidote to perceived powerlessness and lack of control. It becomes a way we subconsciously try to get into a position of control and power.
A person currently thinks they would feel better by exacting revenge or consequences. When a person is stuck in a mental and emotional space where revenge feels like the only way to experience relief, they feel like resolve and repair would only bring more pain. It is actually natural in situations where a person perceives themselves to have been really hurt by someone, for them to wish harm on the other person. This is actually a subconscious desire to force both empathy and reform in the other person. They may even want the other person to pay for what they did. Or suffer for what they did. You see this often when people feel wronged by someone else. They may go out of their way to cause that person pain. In these situations, resolve and repair feels like just letting a person do whatever horrible thing they want to you, with no consequences. And just having to take it. And forgiveness feels like letting them off the hook.
A person is benefitting by resentment and by holding a grudge. Both of these feelings imply that someone sees themselves as having been wronged. To repair and resolve often implies letting go of these things. But holding onto these things may just be what helps a person avoid shame. These things may help a person feel like they were and are right, good, lovable and a success. As opposed to wrong, bad, unlovable and a failure. Also, things like anger and begrudging feel better than powerlessness.
A person does not want something that would come about through being allied and finding a win-win. Instead, they know that what they want and need, you will never agree to because it is a zero-sum game in which you lose. And so, they feel that playing a zero-sum game, which implies conflict, is the only way to get whatever it is that they want. An example of this dynamic can be seen over and over again throughout history whenever a conqueror sought to take over a certain territory. They wanted that territory. They put the people in that territory in a zero-sum game, knowing they would never just give it up. They didn’t mind having to kill for what they wanted. War was their way to get it, not repair and resolve.
This point goes hand in hand with the last point. “Bad Blood” is a bad feeling of ill will, anger, hatred and hostility between two parties. Bad blood is a byproduct of conflict. And it feels so bad, it can be used deliberately like an emotional torture device. Bad blood can be used as a strategy to apply pressure to someone so that they give in. In this case, things that maintain conflict, like withholding needs, withdrawal, passive aggression, cold shouldering and triangulating become a way to cause a person enough pain, that they surrender and the other person gets what they want.
Some people feel that getting what they want directly, can’t happen. And that they can only get what they want when they put the other person in a lose-lose and force them to choose. This tactic employs conflict as a manipulation strategy. They make sure to create a scenario where the other person choosing what they want them to choose (what would meet their own needs) is the obvious lesser of two evils. They do this by using the other person’s needs against them. For example, a person may put their partner in a position to quit their job and keep the relationship or choose to keep their job and lose the relationship. To understand more about this, you may benefit by watching two of my videos. The first is: How To Win at Lose-Lose (No Win) Scenarios. The second is: Why the Choose Me Dynamic Can Be Toxic For Relationships.
One of the lesser-known reasons that a person may not actually want repair or resolve to a conflict is that in that specific conflict, some form of repair and resolve for childhood trauma is actually taking place. It is a subconscious attempt to re-create a childhood conflict so as to be able to manipulate a different result this time. When this is the case, it isn’t even about you. You are simply playing the role of someone from their past. For example, imagine that when a woman was a little girl, her father left the family for another woman. In adulthood, this woman might intentionally choose into a relationship with a man who is sexually attracted to another woman. She may try to hook him so that all of his needs are met by her. And create conflicts with the other woman. And then force him to choose between the other woman and her. When he chooses her, it will be a healing experience relative to her childhood. In other words, this time she was able to create a different outcome. This time, her dad chose her instead. When a person is in one of these subconscious re-creation dramas, what they are trying to resolve often comes from so much pain that they become unintentionally narcissistic and don’t care how much conflict they have to create and how much damage they do to others, in order to get that personal resolve.
Conflict helps some people who feel very little to feel something. It is an antidote to numbness. It arouses a part of the nervous system that helps a person feel alive. It can feel like a spark in the nothingness… Something rather than nothing.
Conflict can be associated with love. If conflict is what a person sees their parents do chronically. And sees it as the way their parents pull each other and connect with each other. Or if conflict was the baseline experience and their only connection between themselves and their parents, it becomes their only reference for what it means to connect and to love and to be loved. And people who struggle with this often report that stable relationships feel unsafe, like ticking time bombs, or alone (like there is no relationship). Conflict can cause a person to feel pulled. As if they matter enough for someone to get into a conflict with or about. It can also serve as an antidote to being ignored, and thus closer to love. As a side note, some people feel so at the other person’s mercy in any relationship, that when things are going good in a relationship (meaning no conflict), they perceive their needs as being met by the other person. And this is scary because it means the other person is in the position of power. So, being the one to deliberately create the conflict puts them back in the power position, back in the place for the other person to be at their mercy instead and back in the position to be safe by being free, solo and meeting their own needs.
Conflict can be a way of feeling a sense of self, an identity. Some people who have suffered from enmeshment trauma and who have developmental trauma around the development of identity, can often only feel a sense of self when they are in opposition to something. They long for closeness, but when they get close to people and feel aligned, they begin to feel like they are losing themselves and are losing their boundaries and are being consumed by the other person. Therefore, conflict is what keeps their sense of self intact. To understand more about this, it would benefit you to watch two of my videos. The first is: Why People Are Stuck in The Cycle of Either Complying or Rebelling. And the second is: The Freedom/Connection Split Within Humanity.
If a person actually wants repair, they act differently. They are bothered by the rupture and conflict to the degree that they initiate repair and demonstrate their prioritization of it and commitment to it. They both speak and act (don’t just speak) like it is in their best interests to be on good terms with you. If you are confused about whether someone actually wants repair, a smart thing to do is to mentally put them on mute and watch their actions as if you were a fly on the wall over the course of time (since the conflict began) as if you were watching a silent movie. What do their actions say?
When you put a person who does want resolve in the position of having to answer the question: What could I have done differently and what do you need me to do differently now to feel aligned in this situation? They will have or will come up with a direct answer. They will be able to tell you specifically and exactly what they want, unless they are so ashamed of the truth of what they actually want that they won’t own up to it. People who don’t actually want resolve will struggle to answer this and may even try to postpone giving you an answer. Because being aligned isn’t actually what they want.
With a person who wants resolve and repair, a conflict will actually get resolved. The issue won’t keep coming up over and over again as if nothing you do to repair it actually creates repair and resolve. With this in mind, it would benefit you to know about a specific pattern that often contributes to this pattern of nothing you do to solve a conflict actually solving that conflict. You can learn about this dynamic by watching my video titled: How Owning The Truth Solves The “No Resolve Pattern” in Relationships.
With a person who wants resolve and repair, they will be actively looking to find a win-win scenario. Or a way to make the situation feel better to all parties, so there is no longer bad blood. Keep in mind that a win-win scenario is very different than a compromise. To understand this in depth watch my video titled: Why You Should Never Make Compromises in a Relationship. This is different from making threats, exhibiting all or nothing behavior, trying to win, refusing to communicate, withdrawing or walking away, making the entire conversation about blame and rightness, being passive aggressive, imposing punishments, triangulating, spreading rumors, refusing to reflect on what they might have done wrong or bad or exhibiting victim control behavior.
Don’t forget that people can consciously want resolve and repair, but feel like they can’t get what they need and want through repair, and so the lesser of two evils between conflict and not getting what they need and want… is conflict. When this is the case for people, they have a very hard time seeing that they don’t want repair or resolution. They won’t relate to it, because they do want it... Just not as much as they want other things.
It can be confusing when you are in a conflict with someone who isn’t actually trying to create repair and resolve. It can become a gaslighting situation. And it can be hard to understand what exactly they are getting out of the situation being the way it is and even escalating. But hopefully this article helped you to come to a greater understanding. And if you find yourself in this situation, you can always ask yourself: How are they benefitting personally by this conflict staying the way it is and even escalating? What need is it meeting? How is the conflict in their best interests? And what might they feel they will lose by the conflict ending or by being aligned with me? How is it against their best interests for the conflict to end?
Many people hold an illusion that the womb is some kind of separate reality that is always positive and that most especially is free from outside influences. The reality is quite different. The womb is more like a chalice, inside which a complex curry of things is taking place. So many things influence the baby that is experiencing gestation at a specific time and in that particular womb.
To give you a very, very limited list, just so that you can have an idea of some of these influences, you have things like what the mother is drinking. What the mother is eating. How both mother and father think and feel towards the baby and about the pregnancy. What mother and father are thinking and feeling about their lives and about the world in general during that time. How much support or lack thereof the mother experiences during gestation. What is occurring within the collective consciousness of greater society at that time. The culture in the area where that baby is gestated. The non-physical realms associated with that place and that time. What sounds are in the environment where that baby is gestated. The air the mother breathed there. The energy and makeup of the land in the area itself. The living and nonliving things that are inside the home or city or environment; like objects, materials, animals and plants and minerals. The smells that are in the environment. What the planets were doing in the solar system at that particular time. The seasons at that time. The climate and the weather. And of course, how all of these different factors influence what is actually physically occurring within the womb. Such as amniotic fluid levels and placental attachment etc.
The reason that all of this is so unbelievably important is because when you were inside your mother’s womb, you were essentially being built and formulated. This is true at every level of your existence. The mental, emotional and most especially the physical aspects of your identity in this specific life were being formed. This means, you can look at all these influences, whether physical or nonphysical, as the original building blocks of you. You merely added to them over the course of your infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood with all the influences you experienced during those time periods.
This means that gestational experience and influence is more like the core or foundation of who you are in this life. And before you came to this life, you chose that foundation and those specific influences very intentionally. And this is where an incredible life hack comes into play.
Everyone gets to a point where they are in need of a powerful reset. These are times when it feels like a very big chapter is closing and a very big cycle is coming to an end. And that what is necessary for our progression is not to experience something totally new and totally different. What is necessary is to return to ourself. To go back to the core or the root. To re-experience the original influences to our selfhood. To go back to our own individual origins and to return to the place where we started… Our essence in this specific life.
The life hack is: To return for whatever period of time you feel intuitively called to return for, to the place where you were inside your mother’s womb… The place you were gestated. And remember, the closer you can get, the better. Doing this, causes a full system reset.
If you look at the cycles of life as occurring in a spiral pattern, each loop or cycle in that spiral, represents the next phase of your life experience and of your personal destiny. Returning to the place you were gestated, causes you to reset so as to be able to step onto that next loop or next cycle in that spiral.
Engaging with the influences that formed the original building blocks of your selfhood in this life, restores your core. It strengthens you from deep within. It puts you back into the correct state. It is a returning back to the ‘zero point’ from which you can then powerfully chose what direction to go.
When you go back to the place you were gestated, perhaps the most important thing to do is to drink the water from the area that your mother drank when she was pregnant with you. Again, the closer you can get to this specific water source, the better. This is the water which she passed onto you at the time that you were being built from scratch. It is the water which gave rise to the amniotic fluid that you were gestated in. In the beginning of pregnancy, amniotic fluid is made by your mother’s body. And the fetal heart begins to beat around 5 to 6 weeks of pregnancy. This means, the information and energy of this specific water is what developed your heart.
The multi-dimensional aspects of water would blow your mind. Water contains within itself the knowing or the memory of anything it comes into contact with. This means, it carries the knowing and the memory of that place and the happenings there, going back sometimes thousands of years. It is full of information. Sort of like a mirror that keeps the reflection of anything it has ever encountered. By drinking water, you are essentially informing yourself. Even if you are not yet at the point to be able to be consciously aware of what information you are absorbing, that information is being transferred to your being. When you drink the water, that core of you that was formed from the makeup and information in that specific water, is being restored and reset and reminded.
Some other things you should consider doing when you return to where you were gestated for a reset are: Eat the foods there. Breathe the air there. Walk barefoot on the land there. Do any specific meditations you feel called to do there. Visit the home that your mother lived in when she was gestating you or spend time in that area as close as you can be to it. Engage with and potentially bring home minerals or stones or dirt or sand that want to come with you from the area. Immerse yourself in the culture and cultural activities and experiences that the place has to offer. Observe everything there. Smell the scents in the area. Listen to all the sounds in the area, sounds you would have heard when you were inside your mother’s womb. Music she would have listened to. Touch things to feel the textures of everything in that area. Spend time with the flora and fauna in the area. Visit any bodies of water she would have visited or swam in. Sit beneath a nearby tree that might have witnessed the pregnancy. Interact with the art in the area, especially done by artists originally from that area, because that is to interact with the consciousness of the people there. Visit any people she would have interacted with there during the pregnancy. Learn about what was happening in that area at that specific time that your mother was pregnant with you. Learn the history of the area. Go to any sites or places that she would have visited while pregnant with you. Such as ritual sites, any streets she would have walked, nature she would have spent time in, restaurants she would have dined in, the place you were born, churches she might have visited or attended, markets she would have shopped at etc.
Again, the more information you have relative to your gestation, the better. But if all you know is the city (or even for some of you the country) where you were gestated, that can be enough to cause a reset. It’s really just a “the better it gets, the better it gets” kind of scenario. So, if you are feeling the need for a total reset, use this hack. And see for yourself just how powerful it can be.
Have you noticed that you keep ending up in the same unwanted scenario? It’s a bit like a nightmare episode of ground hog’s day? At times like this, you may find yourself feeling like the universe is against you. You may ask why you deserve to go through the same thing again.
It’s the person who keeps ending up in relationships where they are expected to compromise, finding their way into a new relationship where their new partner expects them to compromise.
It’s the person whose house burnt down, experiencing yet another house fire.
It’s the person who was cheated on, being cheated on again and again and again.
It’s the person who was rejected, being rejected again.
It’s the person who keeps finding themselves in situations where they don’t belong and aren’t compatible, making a choice for a new situation only to find out that they don’t belong and are not compatible again.
It’s the person who has lost someone they love, losing someone they love again.
It’s the person who has PTSD because of a certain experience, ending up in a similar experience again.
It’s the person whose emotions were not acknowledged, finding their way into a relationship where their emotions are not acknowledged again.
It’s the person whose life was ruined by being triangulated against, getting into a conflict where they are triangulated against again.
It’s the person who gets really sick but gets over it, only to get really sick again.
It is true that we often do not recognize the thoughts, words and actions that continue to cause us to experience the same unwanted things. We don’t see how we unwittingly and unintentionally and unconsciously bring them about. It is true that the law of mirroring (what is often called the attraction) plays a role in things recurring in our life. But there is also a bigger, more benevolent reason why this occurs. The universe values expansion. Expansion implies change. When a pattern is repeated, it is not changed. The bottom line is, the universe wants patterns to change instead of to repeat. But how can the universe provide an opportunity for a pattern to change without that exact same pattern recurring so that it can be changed?
Free will is an absolute of your existence. This means, what causes a pattern to change is choice. In order for a pattern in your life to not repeat, you have to make a different choice. The universe, as you, will put you into a repeat scenario in order to see if you will make a different choice and do something different this time and therefore cause that pattern to change once and for all. And universally speaking, this is considered to be resolve.
One of the reasons that awareness is so important is that with different and new information, you will make a new and different choice. When we gain information about ourselves, about other things and about the situations we are in themselves, we are in a place to see more clearly what different choices we need to make and what different things we need to do in order to change a pattern so that it does not repeat. And this is the process of each person awakening to their own empowerment as a conscious, intentional creator. To truly empower you and to truly change a pattern, the universe cannot simply get that you don’t want something and provide the opposite experience for you, regardless of what you are thinking and choosing and doing to bring that very thing that you don’t want about. It would be forever working against you. Which means, it would forever be working against itself. That is not an actual solution.
If you feel like the universe is against you at the moment, you may benefit by watching my video titled: I Can’t Trust the Universe, I Feel Like God Is Against Me. It is important to realize that the universe is not against you. Instead, it is powerfully for you when these unwanted scenarios repeat. It is providing you the opportunity to change something you are thinking, saying or doing so as to change a pattern for once and for all. Everything you choose and do is essentially a vote for the future. You are voting all day, every day with every action you take or don’t take for the life you choose to live into.
If a pattern repeats, the universe is wanting you to decide and to do something different. The question you need to be asking yourself is: What is the universe wanting me to decide and do different this time than I did the last time(s)?
So, identify what the repeat scenario is. Then, identify what you decided and did last time, both to contribute to bringing it about in the first place. As well as what you decided and did in response to it last time. Did deciding and doing those things bring about what you wanted? If not, why did they not? What do you actually want in this scenario? What is your vote? Then identify what different thing you could decide or do so as to bring about what you want; or that would serve as a vote for what you want with your thoughts, words and actions. Then follow through.
For example, Jason was raised in an environment where no one really cared about him. He wasn’t valued. He was ‘put up with’. Really, his parents wanted a different kind of child. Ending up in relationships where Jason is tolerated but not valued or wanted, relationships where his partner wants a different kind of partner and therefore rejects him, is a painful situation in his life that keeps repeating. When Jason looks at what he did to bring it about, he sees that he keeps rescuing women who are damaged and in distress. He feels like he has to be the hero to be lovable and wanted. But when these women who are damaged and in distress seem to be wanting him, they aren’t really wanting him. They are wanting rescue. Once he rescues them and they get healthy, the truth is, they are a very different person than they were when they were damaged and in distress. In fact, they are incompatible to him and want a different kind of partner.
Last time he got into this pattern, Jason saw that despite knowing that he has this rescuer pattern, he was so desperate for a relationship that he ignored all the red flags that a woman was damaged and in distress. He went into the relationship anyway and rescued her. And thus, the pattern repeated. He was rejected again.
What he wants is a woman who values and wants him and who is compatible to him. Looking deeply and consciously at this reality, he decides that he needs to focus on resolving the terribly low self-esteem that keeps driving him into the rescue pattern. So, he begins to do work on this root trauma with a therapist and puts more energy into the things that boost his self-confidence (such as being disciplined about a healthy lifestyle, career success, friendships with people who value him, and martial arts.) He also decides that he will only date a woman who is mostly satisfied with her life, is committed to something that is important to her and has close friends. When he follows through, he finds that the pattern has truly changed. He ends up in a relationship with a woman named Claire. She values him and wants him and is compatible to him and he can tell.
One unwanted situation can serve as a repeat for every person involved in that scenario. The specific different choice and different action that each person has to take in order to change the pattern that is repeating for them, is so unique. Keep in mind that it could be different for one person in a specific pattern than it is for another person in what seems like the very same pattern.
So, here it is again: The universe (and you) can only really know if a pattern has truly changed, if you are put into the same situation; but make a different choice. So, the universe will put you in a repeat scenario in order to give you the opportunity to make a different choice and do something different and by doing so, to change the pattern. Knowing this, what different decision do you need to make, what different action do you need to take… this time?
So often, when you ask a couple, that has been married for a long time, what the key to a successful relationship is, they will say: Compromise. Compromise is often treated like the sacred cow of relationships. But it’s time for this outdated idea to come to an end. It’s time for people to change their definition of what a successful relationship is. And to see that if you want a relationship that feels good, compromise is to be intentionally avoided.
When many of us are young, we do not feel accommodated and considered by our parents. We feel like our parents are unfair, uncooperative, rigid and unempathetic. They make unilateral decisions. We feel like they are not genuinely considering and changing and adapting to what we believe is actually in our best interests. But the fact that they are this way, means that in order to fit in with the family, get our own needs met and avoid serious consequences, we need to develop codependent strategies (which are really covert narcissistic strategies) in order to adapt to them. We are trained that this is what it is to be good and right and loving. This experience gives rise to two things that ruins our chances at a happy adult relationship:
A wounding around not being considered, not being accommodated for, not being cooperated with and inflexibility in general. And therefore, a desperate need for the opposite experience.
The idea that what relationship and love is, is compromise… What they had to do for the people they loved and what they now expect in return from the people that they love.
To compromise is to settle a dispute/conflict or reach agreement by way of mutual concession. Remember that to concede is to yield, give up or give away something you value. To compromise, by definition, is to accept something that is lower than is desirable. You cannot do these things without experiencing pain. By definition, it isn’t actually a win-win scenario. People simply mistake it for one. Therefore, what you are doing when you compromise is finding alignment with another person by saying “I’ll take a little pain and you take a little pain”.
You may be able to maintain a long-term relationship this way. But it will be a long-term relationship that is painful. And it is high time that people stop defining relationship success only according to longevity, regardless of how happy or unhappy, fulfilled or unfulfilled, both people are in the relationship.
But here’s the biggest problem: Often, people with this trauma around consideration and accommodation don’t actually register how much damage compromise is doing to them because compromise (both when they do it for others and especially when others do it for them), registers as both healing and as love. This means that they don’t feel the appropriate level of hurt in the experience of concession because they already associate pain with love. They associate their own willingness to concede so as to be in pain as a loving act that makes them feel good about themselves. And they associate other people’s willingness to concede so as to be in pain as a demonstration of love as well as a confirmation of that person’s goodness. They expect people around them to compromise, if those people do in fact love them. This is one of many patterns that falls into the category of confusing pain with love. To understand more about this pattern, watch my video titled: The “Suffer So I Can Feel Loved” Relationship Dynamic.
The other biggest problem is that a person who believes in compromise, must and will subconsciously gravitate towards incompatible relationships. Compatibility is when two things (even if they are different) are able to occur or exist together in alignment without problems and without conflict. In a relationship, it means that well matched characteristics allow for both people to naturally co-exist when combined together and in harmony. Harmony isn’t difficult to create with people that are compatible to us. Harmony is impossible to create with people that are incompatible to us, when we keep trying to force them or ourselves to change so as to make it compatible. For this reason, compromise, as dysfunctional as it is, is the sacred, moral good because it is what has to happen in order to keep an incompatible relationship.
When compromise was established as the way to make a relationship work, compatibility was not the social concern when it came to relationships. For example, marriages were about keeping two people together, no matter whether they were compatible or not. Marriages were established for other reasons and the couple had to make it work and make it work forever. To do this with an incompatible partner (which so many of them were) you had to be willing to concede and take a little pain (or a lot of pain) to make it last. Therefore, compromise is what you teach someone if you want them to stay in an incompatible relationship and make it last.
One of the best stories I have ever heard to illustrate why compromise is a problem, is the story of a married couple. The husband has brown shoes and black shoes. He likes the black shoes and hates the brown shoes. His wife likes the brown shoes and hates the black shoes. So, they meet halfway. He decides to go out wearing one brown shoe and one black shoe. The compromise turned out to be a worse outcome than him wearing the black shoes or the brown shoes.
A person who is looking for that feeling of adaptation, flexibility, change, concession, accommodation and compromise, especially if someone is willing to be in pain in order to do that for them, cannot find this experience within a compatible relationship. No matter whether it is a partnership or friendship or work relationship, a relationship has to in fact be an incompatible relationship for one or both parties to enjoy the experience of someone having to and being willing to concede and compromise, even if it hurts to do so, in order to demonstrate their love and commitment.
For a relationship to genuinely be a good one, both parties involved must be looking for the win-win scenario. To learn more about this, watch my video titled: The Zero Sum Game in Relationships (What is A Zero Sum Game and How To End One). But a win-win scenario is a scenario that is a genuine “yes” for both parties. Not an “I’m willing to concede and be in a degree of pain for your sake, and expect the same from you in return” scenario. You know when you’ve come up with a win-win when both parties feel like they’ve come up with a good deal and not like they had to give up something important to meet some middle point where no one is happy. And the way to ensure that will reliably happen, is to realize and accept just how important compatibility is in relationships. You must seek out compatibility and establish relationship arrangements that are actually compatible. To understand more about this, watch my video titled: Incompatibility, a Harsh Reality in Relationships. So often, people slip into compromise as their strategy for maintaining a relationship because they don’t want to face the incompatibility in their relationship… because of what facing it would mean.
Compromise is actually a sacrifice. To compromise is a recipe for resentment. When someone makes a sacrifice in a relationship, they consciously or subconsciously expect a payback or reward for it later. It becomes an “I did this for you back then, so you need to do this for me now” scenario. And if that payback or reward doesn’t materialize, they will be resentful. Resentment in a relationship is a corrosive force. This means, compromise is a ticking emotional time bomb.
It is a guarantee that when you compromise, you will remember having done it. And the next time you get into a disagreement, you will either bring up having done it as leverage (to hold over the other person’s head) in order to get the other person to compromise this time. Or you will compromise again and end up feeling like a doormat that everyone takes advantage of and steps all over.
When we compromise, we are not actually being loving. When we ask for compromise, we are not actually being loving. When others compromise for us, we are not actually being loved. Compatibility and the lack thereof, implies that there are some things where flexibility can exist and some things in where flexibility cannot exist.
When we compromise, we have not actually found a genuine win-win scenario. We have decided that a bad deal is better than no deal. And I’m going to tell you something. No matter what compromise someone makes, it will always be measured against their ideal scenario and it will always come up short. We compromise to stay safe. And this means, in compromise, we are driven by fear of what we want to avoid, not by what we actually want. Settling does not lead you to a happy life. Sacrifice does not lead you to a happy life. To learn more about this, watch my video titled: Self Sacrifice, The Most Self-Centered Thing In The World.
Compromise can also easily lead to us bait and switching other people. When a person compromises, they often agree to make a concession in the moment. But fail to comprehend what the actuality of implementing that concession will be like; especially what it will feel like. We are likely to discover that the emotional consequences of living with that concession is much worse than what we imagined. The solution we agreed to is actually impossible to uphold. And so, eventually, we have to choose to either be in emotional hell for the sake of integrity. Or lose our integrity and go back on our agreement.
When it comes to this conversation about relationships, it isn’t what you do for a relationship that matters, it’s how you feel about what you do for a relationship that really matters. A genuine win-win scenario leaves you with a good feeling. Compromise by definition, doesn’t leave you with a good feeling. Because when you give up something that is important to you, you feel that internal resistance. You feel that internal protest. If you bulldoze that feeling and go through with the compromise, you will end up in ever increasing degrees of pain. And so, compromise in a relationship, cannot and does not add up to a feel-good relationship. In fact, compromise is the enemy of harmony. Compromise is the enemy of happiness. And compromise is the enemy of actual agreement.
In psychology, self-development and spiritual circles, we often use the word resourcing. To resource means to identify and use a thing as a resource for something that is wanted; it is something that can be drawn on when it is needed or wanted. For example, a specific skill can be resourced to help you deal with a problem. Or a specific positive experience can be resourced to help you intentionally change the way that you feel. Or a specific mineral can be resourced in order to help create healing or change to some element of your life. Or a specific part of yourself can be resourced in order to deal with a situation in the most effective way possible. Or a specific person in your life can be resourced so as to fulfill any one of your needs. However, for various reasons, many people have trouble resourcing and many of those people who have trouble resourcing are stuck in a self-deprivation pattern that I like to call the “only from you pattern”.
When we are gestated and during our infancy, we experience ourselves as being fused with our mothers. We are like two binary stars. All of our needs are met through her. She is our resource for everything. Because of this, the level of need we feel and attachment we feel and satiation we feel and intimacy we feel and safety we feel and specialness we feel and importance we feel with her is unparalleled. Naturally, as we grow and develop and expand, we develop the drive for autonomy… To have a separate self. But we still need to be in connection with our mother. We also begin to add people to our life. We begin to resource other people like our fathers and sisters and brothers and grandparents and teachers and friends. Without interruptions to this process, we end up developing into a state where we have many people in our life, all of whom offer different needed things that we can resource. And we are able to identify and use a specific person such as their ways of thinking, skills, strengths, tools, gifts, experiences, energy etc. that they specifically can provide us in order to thrive.
When some of you heard this, you already got ahead of me by seeing that there were traumas and interruptions to this experience in your life. Maybe there was something about your childhood experience that prevented that initial, needed fusional relationship with your mom; or that prevented you from feeling like you could turn to anyone else in your experience in order to resource them as a child. These interruptions and traumas that interfere with this natural process can easily cause a person to fall into the pattern of failing to resource and instead fixating on needing to find and secure ONE person for themselves, to use as their only resource for everything.
For example, take a person who never got that initial fusional experience with their mother, because they ended up being abandoned to the system or because their mom was totally unpredictable and thus created an insecure attachment, or because they were left in a crib for hours upon hours on end when mom was busy with other kids and other things, or because mom had to go back to work or maybe even died. This person has a developmental trauma. He or she may find themselves fixating on the idea of finding a Romeo and Juliet style love. A love that is so all consuming and a life that is so entirely about that one other person, whose life is also so entirely about them, that they will be each other’s everything. This attempt to create that fusional relationship that was needed, but was never something he or she had, is a subconscious attempt to fill a hole where something should have been. A hole that has been there from the beginning.
Or for example, take a woman who learned that the only way to actually create a secure relationship, and therefore guarantee that a specific person (resource) would be available to them and safe to rely on, was sex. She may fixate on establishing a romantic, sexual relationship with a man and use him as her only resource for everything. Sex is her hook for keeping that resource (him). Not believing that any other person, who does not get sex from her, has incentive to be available to her, she will prevent herself from resourcing anyone else. The pain of relying on someone as a resource, only to lose them (because unlike her partner, they have no incentive to stay) makes it so truly, he is her only resource for any of her needs.
Or for example, a parent is able to prevent the process of their child growing and expanding to attach to anyone else but them. This parent might convince the child that no one else can or will be an ok resource. As a result, the child can never break free from this parent and may remain in a fusional relationship with this one parent all the way through their adulthood.
Or for example, a man has such a dysfunctional family, that he learned people are dangerous. Because of this, he withdraws and becomes intensely distrustful. He manages to come to see one person in his life as safer than the others. And therefore, attaches only to him. He resists getting any of his needs met through any other person. Instead, he demands that this one person meets them all.
What all of these examples have in common is that a person decides that they can only resource things from one specific person in their life. Usually, but not always, a partner. There are a great many life experiences that theoretically can lead to the “only from you pattern” in relationships. But all of them lead to a state of limitation, depletion, starvation and a failure to truly thrive.
It may make people uncomfortable to think of the people in their life as things to resource. We live in a world where society says it is wrong to use other people. But from a certain perspective, people are resources. And we are using people as resources all day every day, without consciously realizing it. We need each other and as such, we use each other. A person can absolutely be a source for something that is wanted; it is something that can be drawn on when it is needed or wanted. We use people as a source for all kind of things. Things like connection, fun, understanding, a sense of purpose, information, contribution, physical touch, a sense of belonging, growth, support, food, shelter, a different perspective, finances, sex, communication, a feeling of safety, confidence, validation, assistance, nurturing, intimacy, and power. The list is endless. To understand more about this, watch my video titled: Using People (Ask Teal Episode About Interdependence).
The reality is, one person cannot be your only resource. One person cannot meet all of your needs. It’s not possible. It’s not possible to be a person’s only resource or to single handedly meet all of their needs. People were not designed this way. Therefore, we need to expand our minds and social spheres to include many people, to use as resources for different things. Because of this, we need to do a few things:
We need to powerfully decide what we feel we need to resource from people in specific roles. This is really about assessing compatibility to the degree that we can put the people in our lives into a compatible place in our lives. For example, if you decide that you need a partner to be a resource for availability specifically, someone who cannot offer you availability should not be put into the role of partner in your life. However, that same unavailable person could be an incredible resource for information. So, you could keep them as an important contact. Or for example, if you decide that what you need in close friendships is calm and quiet quality time, someone who is loud and always in motion and is an extrovert may be better in the position of a more distant friend; a person who you are allied with and who can take you out of your comfort zone. Each person has to answer for themselves what resources they need to have from specific roles in their life. For example, one person might be fine resourcing availability from someone other than their partner. Another person would not be.
We need to get very squarely into reality about what other people can and can’t offer to us, in terms of resources. We need to learn to resource the right thing from the right person. We will end up starving if we try to get every need met through one person. We will end up starving if we try to resource a specific thing from a person, who does not want to be or cannot actually be a resource for that thing. To give you an example of what I mean, I have a friend who has a disability. He is often losing romantic relationships because eventually, a woman feels like he cannot protect her and keep her physically safe. For a woman to enter into a relationship with a man who is physically debilitated and expect him to be able to be a resource for physical protection is out of reality. Another example is that a person may need the resource of feeling special. But they may gravitate into the social sphere of a celebrity. That environment may not be conducive to resourcing your specialness. Instead, all you will get is fame by-proxy. You will be forever reminded of how much less you are than them. Don’t be in an overlay. To learn more about this, watch my video titled: Overlay, What Prevents You from Having a Real Relationship). Be brave enough to pop the overlay and really see what you can and can’t resource from each person in your life.
We need to start to collect people. We need to collect many varied resources for various things. This is the opposite of sitting in front of one person and asking them to be our resource for everything. To do this, we need to put energy into seeing the unique value that other people do offer… The unique resources they provide.
Become clear about what you do and don’t want other people to resource from you. Relationships aren’t only about you using other people as resources, they are also about other people using you as a resource. So, don’t be in an overlay about yourself as a resource. What can you offer and what can’t you offer? What do you want to offer and what don’t you want to offer? Find relationship configurations that are conducive to this and therefore compatible. To understand more about this, watch my video titled: Incompatibility, a Harsh Reality In Relationships.
When we fall into the “only from you pattern” in our relationships, we have the tendency to end up miserable, starved of our wants and needs, unfulfilled and disappointed. We make ourselves as well as the other person feel like total crap, demanding that they provide something that they can’t or don’t want to produce and provide. It’s a bit like going to the hardware store day after day for milk and getting furious and resentful that they don’t have milk. We make it mean painful things about ourselves and about the other person.
When we fall into the “only from you pattern” in our relationships, we also have the tendency to de-value people and throw them out of our life. We decide that if a specific person can’t be a resource for a specific thing we are wanting, that they are of no use to us at all. It’s a bit like deciding that if a hardware store doesn’t sell milk, the hardware store has no place in your life and is of no use to you, and never will be of use to you. By doing this, you inevitably end up all alone, with extremely limited resources.
Every person holds within them a valuable resource or many. The question is, can you recognize that resource? And can you resource what you want and need from many instead of from one?
In our formative years, our life experience can put us in a situation (or maybe even into chronic situations) where a person (or the people) in our life does not find a win-win scenario and as a result, chooses between us or our best interests and something else. It’s the child whose dad chooses to move to a different part of the country to be with the new step mom. It’s the child who felt replaced by a younger sibling that was preferred. It’s the child whose dad chooses the needs of his own career rather than to be there for the child when he or she needs him. It’s the child who is put into the middle of a contentious divorce and is expected to choose between mom and dad and thus learns that being chosen is what love is. This type of experience can cause a great deal of trauma. Not only can it cause a great deal of trauma, it can give rise to a dysfunctional association between being chosen and love.
It makes perfect sense that these types of experiences would create a strong desire to be chosen. You want to be chosen because you were not chosen before. To you, being chosen is an affirmation of your significance, importance and value. It is an indication of the degree to which you are cared about, wanted, loved and thus prioritized. You have learned that anything less than this is both tormenting for your self-esteem and is unsafe. But there are a few shadows lurking in this desire. Shadows that can destroy relationships and also other people’s lives. Shadows that can keep the chain of the suffering of ‘not being chosen’ going and going.
The first shadow is that because the need to find resolution for what is unresolved is so great, instead of consciously going to the place where we will be prioritized and in essence, chosen, we will unconsciously choose into a situation that mirrors our actual childhood experience. This means, we will gravitate to a situation where we are unlikely to be chosen or at the very least, have stiff competition. On a subconscious level, we feel that getting someone in this situation to choose us, will resolve the pain of our childhood experience. In other words, we don’t want someone who really does prioritize a romantic partner to choose and prioritize us. We want someone who currently prioritizes career to choose and prioritize us. We don’t want the available person to be available. We want the unavailable person to be available. You can see this shadow clearly in the woman who goes for a married man, hoping that he will one day leave his wife and choose to be with her instead. Because we don’t go straight for our need where we can actually get it, we enter into a situation that is incompatible with our need and force everything to change so as to meet our need, no matter the cost to everyone else involved. And many people’s loss becomes our gain.
The second shadow is that we have subconscious motive to put the person we care about at odds with anything they deeply care about. No matter what we might be telling ourselves (or them), we get a sense of self-esteem and a sense of our own value and we feel loved when we put them in situations where they have to choose between us (and our best interests) and something or someone else that they deeply care about. Because of this, we are constantly putting them into lose-lose scenarios to test where we stack up in terms of priority relative to all the things in their life. For example, a man plays up getting sick in order to see whether his career driven girlfriend will drop everything to take care of him or not. Or a woman puts up a boundary around her boyfriend spending time with his best friend, who happens to be another woman, in order to see whether he will choose her or his best friend. And this not only harms everyone else involved, it sets us up to ultimately be resented. So, by setting up situations in order to be the one who is chosen, we sabotage the wellbeing of our own relationships long term.
The third shadow is that we are perpetuating the very experience that we, ourselves suffered from. In order for us to feel good, we have to be the one who is ‘chosen’. In order for us to be chosen, someone must not be chosen. They must suffer the same fate that we suffered as a child. We are setting them up to feel how we felt and suffer how we suffered. This not only keeps the chain of pain going, it has serious karmic implications.
The fifth shadow is that instead of being an agent for cohesiveness, togetherness and harmony. And instead of strengthening the relationships between people around us, we subconsciously divide, weaken and destroy the relationships around us for the sake of our own wellbeing, our own self-esteem and our own personal needs. For example, a person could start dating someone with a child. Instead of enabling the relationship between them and their child, or leaving the relationship if they see that they can’t do so, this person might start to be threatened by the relationship and start to create conflicts between their own needs and the needs of the child. This puts their boyfriend or girlfriend in the position to have to choose between them or their own child.
The sixth shadow is that we aren’t really loving the other person when we are doing this. We are using them to validate our own self estimation. If we love someone, we don’t want to cause them pain. We don’t want them to have to choose between two things they really care about. Or to make them sacrifice something they need and want for our sake. This is one reason why when it comes to love, compatibility matters so much. Compatibility makes it so a person doesn’t find themselves in these ‘choose me or that thing’ scenarios. To learn more about this, watch my video titled: Incompatibility, A Harsh Reality in Relationships.
The reality is, with this pattern, while we are being totally unloving to the other person, on the flip side we believe that their willingness to be in pain for our sake is love. So, there is an association with suffering and love inherent in this dynamic. For example, we may feel loved if we put a friend or a family member in the position to choose something that is in our own best interests or something that is in the best interests of their life purpose/career… and they choose whatever is in our best interests. To understand more about this, watch my video titled: The ‘Suffer So I Can Feel Loved’ Relationship Dynamic.
Your life experience may have led you to believe that you are never enough. That you need to prove that you have value and therefore deserve to be someone’s #1 through being wanted, needed, desired, seen as special and thus chosen. If you have this desire, you need to do two things. This first thing is to go back and resolve the trauma that caused this need to be chosen. The pain of not being chosen. You can do this by using The Completion Process. To learn about how to do this process, you can pick up a copy of my book titled: The Completion Process or visit www.completionproces.com and find a practitioner to guide you through it.
The second thing you need to do, is to go for it consciously. If you want to be prioritized, go directly for being prioritized, but in a compatible situation. Consciously choose against the urge to enter into a repeat the past in order to try to bring about a different outcome. Instead, enter into a totally different scenario. For example, decide whether it is more important for you to try to get someone unavailable to be available for you or whether it is more important to have the best chance at availability, which means going for a person who is actually available. If it is more important to have someone available, then notice all the red flags that someone is not available and will not prioritize you. And don’t enter into that situation. Enter into the relationship where it is obvious that the person will prioritize you.
Notice when you are in this pattern. Notice that you are actually the one in the power position. You are probably telling yourself that the person with the power is the one who has the power to choose you or the other person/thing. When the reality is, you have the power to be able to put them in that position or not in the first place. Notice the emotional payoff you are getting, under any surface guilt that you may feel. Many people with this pattern say things like “I don’t want him or her to have to choose.” But really, deep down they do get something out of them choosing. Then, based off of seeing that you are in this dynamic, make a conscious choice about what to do about it. Do you want to go through with it or not? Become aware of the potential consequences on all people involved regarding any choice you might make.
This ‘choose me’ dynamic is to blame for so much of the pain that we suffer in relationships today. Becoming aware of it, noticing it in action and putting a conscious stop to it, is our way out of the pain. To love someone is to do our best to never put them in a position to choose between two things they deeply care about. And the best way to ensure that we won’t do this is to put ourselves into relationship arrangements that are truly compatible to our needs. And at the end of the day, if you recognize this pattern within yourself, you have to ask yourself, what price am I willing to pay, and to make others pay, for the sake of my own self-esteem?
As a human being, you are wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain… Seek the wanted, avoid the unwanted. This wiring governs your decisions and actions. As with anything, there are upsides to this design and downsides to this design. And one of these downsides can get in the way of life satisfaction as well as success.
Some people become stuck in avoidance mode. Specifically, they spend their life trying to avoid consequences. They imagine that it is possible to think, say or do something (the right thing) which will enable them to avoid consequences. But this is not actually possible. We live in a universe where one of the principal laws that governs this time space reality is the law of cause and effect. The law of cause and effect is simply that every effect has a specific and predictable cause. Every cause or action has a specific and predictable effect. This means that everything that we currently have in our lives is an effect that is a result of a specific cause. The reality is that everything you do has a consequence. This consequence can be judged as positive or negative, painful or pleasurable, wanted or unwanted. But what’s more, the negative or positive consequences we experience have both a positive and negative polarity to them. So that you can understand what I mean, I will give you some examples:
If you choose a simple life in the country with far less pressure, the consequence could be that you feel less stress and more peace. But it could also be that you fall out of touch with what’s happening in society and will reap less financial reward. And there are both upsides and downsides inherent within each one of those potential consequences. For example, if you fall out of touch with what’s happening in society, a consequence may be that your own thoughts are much clearer and you can be much more present in your own experience because there is so much less of ‘others’ to clutter your awareness. On the other hand, a consequence may be that you start to feel isolated and like everyone is moving ahead at warp speed, leaving you behind. And you might begin to feel like the one who is ignorant and ‘out of touch’.
Most people will only tell the truth or be honest if they can guarantee that there will be no consequences for what they say. But this is out of reality. There is a consequence for everything, whether you voice it or not. There are consequences for not being honest and not telling the truth, just as there are consequences for doing so. The law of cause and effect applies to personal truth, whether you voice it or not. The question is, looking at the consequences, which ones will say yes to? And why or why not? For example, if you have cheated on a partner, there are both positive and negative consequences for being honest about it. If you don’t tell the truth to your partner, you may suffer the consequence of silent self-hate and the lack of intimacy and separation inherent in living a double life. If you do, you may be seen as the bad guy by everyone in your social circle and lose the relationship with your partner. Conversely, if you don’t tell the truth, you get to avoid conflict with your partner, keep the relationship and not have to feel the intense shame of them knowing that you betrayed their trust. If you do tell the truth, you can feel the intense relief of not keeping a secret. You can feel closer to your partner, because you are back in the same reality. And you can feel like you did the right thing by society’s standards.
Any job you choose comes with both positive and negative consequences. For example, if you join the military, one of those consequences could be travel. One person could see this as a positive consequence because it means they get to see the world. Another could see it as a negative consequence because it means that finding a partner and building a stable family will be much harder to do. If you start your own company, you can set your own schedule and be your own boss and don’t suffer from a financial glass ceiling anymore. But the company will be like a newborn, demanding 24-7 availability. You will have much more responsibility. And you will have to take large financial risks.
Swimming in the ocean can carry the risk of things like rip tides, sting rays, shark attacks, jelly fish stings and sunburn. You can obviously do things to mitigate your risk. You can look to statistics and tell yourself that based off of them, risk is low. But the reality is, there can be a potential unwanted consequence. There are also potential positive consequences to swimming in the ocean. To feel the power of so much water as well as the way it takes your worries away. To be part of a totally different world (which the underwater world is) and forget the concerns of your daily human life. To play in the waves. All these things may just be an experience worth coming to earth for.
What all of this boils down to is: If you want life satisfaction and if you want success, rather than to try to avoid consequences, you need to consciously choose them instead. You need to be willing to decide that (fill in the blank with something you think, say or do) is worth the consequence or potential consequence. And when you do this, you can only be empowered by facing, accepting and dealing with the consequence that you have chosen. It will be yours to live with. So, knowing that, would you rather get on top of them by consciously choosing your consequences, or unconsciously choose them and feel like a victim to those consequences when they occur?
Most of us feel good about the idea of choosing positive consequences. What we are less comfortable with is the idea of deliberately choosing negative consequences. But consciously choosing your negative consequences is one of the most powerful things that you can do in life. The element of free will inherent in doing so, makes the experiencing of the unwanted very different. Many of the people whom are the most respected around the globe are people who have done this. Specifically, they have decided that consciously choosing a certain negative consequence is worth it because it holds the potential of some other positive consequence. To understand more about this in depth, watch my video titled: Want To Succeed? What Pain Will You Say Yes To?
Know that from where you are today, which is in the continual process of gaining awareness, it won’t be possible for you to foresee all the potential consequences. Don’t expect this of yourself. There are always things you won’t see and can’t anticipate. With different information and awareness, you would obviously foresee different consequences and therefore make different choices. This is one of the main reasons to commit to the expansion of your awareness. But with the awareness and information that you have today, the first thing you need to do is to accept that without exception, everything you think, say and do will have a consequence. Every cause has an effect. There is no such thing as a thought, word or action that does not have a consequence. Then, in any situation that you might find yourself, get into the habit of playing things out and looking down the line to see what some of the effects will be of whatever you might think, decide, say or do. Based off of doing this, which consequence is worth it? What consequence will you choose and why?
Most people don’t consciously take charge of the law of cause and effect. Most people don’t consciously choose their consequences. It is usually more of an unconscious, instinctual process of inclination and avoidance. This means that the idea of consciously choosing consequences is a totally new concept. But it is a new concept that you should definitely try on for size. Because it is a concept that can put you squarely in your personal power.
In a perfect world, when you are dedicated to achieving something great, when you have a hard to achieve goal or when you want to reach the highest level of some kind of success, people would see you as right and good for doing so. They would lend their energy to supporting and enabling you in that endeavor. But we do not live in a perfect world. And the reality is that while a select few people will see you as right and good for ‘going for it’ as well as support and enable you in your endeavor, many will not. And this will inevitably put you in the position where success will only belong to you if you are willing to be seen as the bad/wrong person for the sake of what you are dedicated to.
It’s no secret that some people greatly harm others and seriously lack ethics when it comes to achieving whatever it is that they want to achieve. This specific shadow of success focus is talked about often. What is not usually talked about is the fact that no matter what, if you decide to succeed, you will inevitably have to make decisions and do things that someone (or many people) will see as immoral, bad, wrong, or harmful.
So that you can see what I mean, I’ll give you a few examples:
A man has a goal of becoming the most acclaimed documentary film maker in the world. To do this, one of the many things that he must do that will cause people to see him as bad and wrong, is to decide that if he gets put in a pinch between his career, or the needs of a person in his life, his career is the #1 priority. This means that if he must be in another country for a specific shoot on the same day that one of his loved ones needs him, he is on an airplane flying to the shoot. So many of the people around him will believe that people, not career should be the priority in a person’s life. And that anyone who would prioritize their career over the people in their life is both heartless and self-centered. To be the most acclaimed documentary film maker, he must be willing to be seen as narcissistic and to do the opposite of what most people think is the right and loving thing to do.
An executive chef wants to earn another Michelin star. To do this, he and his kitchen staff must uphold the absolute highest standard in terms of the quality of each dish they serve. This means, he must hold the other chefs in the kitchen to that standard of excellence. To do this, he sets the bar super high, he is critical, he is demanding, he is driven and he does not let any mistakes slide. This makes his kitchen staff feel under pressure, stressed, and causes them to grapple with whether they are good enough or not. Many people would think that he needs to be softer with his staff and allow people to be people, and people make mistakes. But if he does this, he will not earn a Michelin star. So, in order to achieve his goal, he has to be willing to be unlikable.
A woman wants to have a career in comedy. But she has been raised by her parents to believe that people who want to be the center of attention are narcissistic, pathetic and hurt other people around them, who deserve attention but shouldn’t have to fight for it. In order to become a comedian, she must be willing to push through that feeling that something is bad and wrong about her for wanting what she wants.
A young man has suffered from poverty all his life. He was born to two religious missionaries. Growing up, he constantly heard that money is the root of all evil and that money is the cause of corruption… That it can’t buy you happiness and that to value wealth is a sin. For as long as he can remember, he loved the idea of being wealthy. And because of that, he felt guilty. In order to become wealthy, he has to be willing to ‘sin’ and to be rejected by his family.
As fate would have it, an athlete with the goal of winning a tournament has to square off in a competition against his best friend. He knows that if he beats his best friend, his best friend’s career will be over. He knows that many people outside the sports world would feel that the right and good thing to do, would be to let his friend win. Or at the very least, to try to manipulate the play so they both look good and neither loses sponsors. But to achieve his goal, he must be willing to demolish the competition, including his own best friend.
A woman owns a company, she needs to expand. In order to take the company to the next level, she must make sure that her employees are up to the task. Years ago, she hired her cousin when her cousin needed a job. The problem is, her cousin is not very good at her job. Her cousin is for sure not good enough to take on the new case load that the company expansion would put in her lap. Nor is she professional enough to interact with the new high-end clientele. Given that this woman has talked with her cousin several times about needing to ‘up her performance and act professional’ to no avail, she must now fire her own cousin. She knows that if she does this, she will be shamed and ostracized by her whole family. Thanksgivings will never be the same.
What all of these scenarios have in common, is that in order to achieve something, the person must come up against the limiting factor of their own self-concept as well as the way they are seen by others… and choose to not be limited by it. In each of these scenarios, in order to achieve something, they must be willing to do something that causes them to feel guilt and shame. And that causes other people to see them as bad and wrong.
This is not a small thing. This is major. As humans, we are a relationally dependent species. Our survival and the meeting of all of our needs depends on other people. And this means, we are biologically wired to think and feel that our survival is dependent on the approval of others. The process of socialization teaches us that in order to be safe and loved and to have any of our needs met, we must be and do right and we must be and do good. We are absolutely trained for this. To the degree that it even prevents self-awareness. To understand more about this, I encourage you to watch my video titled: Self Concept, The Enemy of Awakening.
The best way to imagine the dynamic this sets up on the inside, is to imagine that every time you are socialized to see something as good or right, you build an electric fence inside yourself, separating you from whatever that bad and wrong thing is. For example, if you are taught that wanting attention is bad and wrong, you build an electric fence between yourself and seeking attention. In order to have a career where you are on stage, you then have to be brave enough to cross this internal electric fence. And you may even have to do this with people on the outside giving you consequences as well. Using our analogy, you can put time and energy into changing your mind about seeking attention being wrong, which is to take the electric fence down. But that aside, you are not going to be able to succeed unless you are willing to cross some of those internal and external electric fences.
You’ve probably heard over and over again that to truly succeed, you have to be brave… That no growth or expansion happens in the comfort zone. Do you want to talk bravery? Talk about the bravery it takes to go for what you want, even though your entire survival system is telling you that the consequence will be for other people to see you as bad and wrong and to suffer all the consequences of that negative opinion they have of you… consequences like feeling like crap about yourself, other people not liking or loving you anymore, none of your needs being met, being ostracized, being seen as the enemy, which leads to being attacked, or even death. So many people simply have not accessed this bravery within themselves. And some people never will.
When it comes to success, you must become as conscious as possible about this specific dynamic within success… That to a degree, your success relies on your willingness to ‘be the bad guy’. The big question that every person has to answer for himself or herself is: Where is your line? What are you willing and not willing to be and do to achieve what you want? There is no right answer for this question, which is why every person must answer this for himself or herself according to the consequences they are willing to meet with in order to achieve what they want to achieve. What price are you willing to pay? People who don’t draw a line relative to a sense or rightness/goodness anywhere, run the risk of ending up across the finish line with blood all over their hands. People who draw that line too quickly, will never achieve anything except to be seen as right and good by others. But there are consequences for this as well. In truth, some people decide that to be seen as good and right by others is worth any consequence or any price.
I will tell you that this particular element of success is much harder for women than for men. So, if you are a woman, expect this. In society, females are expected to be the embodiment of rightness and goodness and are socialized for these qualities much more aggressively than males. There is an unconscious bias against women who choose to do what others may see as bad and wrong for the sake of success. Where a driven man is seen as ambitious, a driven woman is seen as a bitch. As a woman, your electric fences both internally and externally, run at a higher voltage.
Everyone who wants to achieve anything great will have to reckon with the price they are willing to pay and the pressure they are willing to endure for the reward that they are after. The reality is that most people are not actually willing to pay the price or endure the pressure that it takes to achieve certain things. Many people are also simply not in reality about what it takes. Everyone who wants to achieve something great, must make decisions and do things that cause others to see them as the bad guy. Just look at Martin Luther King. If he had been unwilling to be seen as the bad guy, where might we be today relative to racial justice? And don’t think that success is really about that one time that you were tested in that you had to do something in order to succeed that caused you to feel shame. Or that one time you had to do something that another person you deeply cared about thought was bad and wrong. The reality is that if you are on the road to success, you will run into these decision/action points all the time. They are a bit like tollbooths on the road to success.
Some people will always stay small, limited and imprisoned by their need to see themselves as good and right; as well as their need to be seen by others as good and right. You are never going to be able to stop wanting people to like you. You are never going to be able to stop caring what other people think of you. The question is: To what degree are you willing to let it limit you? To what degree will you let your commitment to seeing yourself as good and right; as well as to be seen by others as good and right get in the way of whatever you are wanting? To what degree will you let it limit your success?
Humanity is in the process of learning how an individual can have themselves and be in relationship with another person at the exact same time. At the current moment, most of humanity does not know how to do this. Many people feel like they have to choose between having their own personal truth (including thoughts, feelings, preferences, aversions, desires etc) and being alone. Or to be close, connected and together with others at the price of giving up their personal truth. When they do this, there is very little authenticity in the relationship. Very little actual honesty. Being inauthentic is exhausting. It feels bad. It feels like closeness, love and connection is conditional upon putting on an act and being different than you are.
This behavior of learned inauthenticity begins in childhood. Many parents the world over see children like a raw ball of clay… as something to be molded into what they want and what they think is best. Their children learn to think and say and do whatever pleases them, regardless of whether or not those things are in fact ‘true’ or authentic for their child. The consequence of not doing so, is punishment; the most terrifying of which is isolation, ostracization, exclusion and abandonment. To understand more about this, watch my video titled: The Freedom/Connection Split Within Humanity.
Growing up in this kind of environment is both painful and exhausting. It also feels complicated and restrictive and therefore, not easy or free. This experience gives rise to a strong desire to have a relationship where you don’t have to do this. It gives birth to the opposite desire in fact. To have a relationship that is so unconditional that you feel completely accepted for who you are and totally free to think, say and do anything. And that you will be validated for those things, no matter what they are.
The problem with this, is that it usually creates a pendulum swing. When we swing the pendulum, we run the risk of simply living out the opposite unhealthy extreme. To learn more about this, you can watch my video titled: What is the Pendulum Swing in Healing?
This pendulum swing can be summed up as “Perceiving YES as love.” People who fall into this relationship pattern are absolute “you are free to think, be, say and do whatever you want… and you’ll always have my approval for any of it” freaks. They want this for themselves and so, they give this experience to others. They surround themselves with people who approve of everything, validate everything and give them the freedom to say, be and do anything and everything. And they do the same for others. They try to set up a ‘no consequences’ for anything sub-reality in the friendship itself. There are some problems with this arrangement though.
Relationships based on this level of mutual yes, can only last short term. Inevitably the day will come when one person’s truth will bring them into a zero-sum game with the other. Something they think, say or do will oppose the best interests of the other. At this point, the other person will say “NO”. This “NO” is a trigger. It makes the person fall back into the feeling of being controlled, having to act, not being free, and being conditionally loved. They will feel like they are forced to have to either comply or rebel. If they comply, they will hold resentment and the other person will be seen as the bad guy. If they rebel, they will bulldoze the other person’s best interests. They are likely to end the relationship because they will tell themselves the story that it isn’t actually as good of a relationship as they thought. It is now too complicated and restrictive. It is reminiscent of the way their childhood felt… Controlled and conditional.
Unbeknownst to the people who feel amazing in this kind of relationship, this relationship is not actually about freedom and unconditional love. It is about mutual Enabling. Enabling as it applies to this conversation, is when a person contributes to and supports the other person’s dysfunction. In other words, they end up saying “YES” to the very things that will do harm that very person. But they will call it loving and unconditional.
This kind of relationship is only possible if you are in fact detached and not actually deeply connected to the other person. It is a false sense of closeness. The freedom required by people with this pattern is so extreme, it is a state of aloneness. You can only unconditionally approve of everything another person thinks, says and does, if those things have no impact on you. And for it to have no impact on you, you have to be really, really disconnected and detached from them. This makes it a “you do whatever you want and I do whatever I want” relationship.
To illustrate this concept, I will give you an example. There is a group of four friends. They all suffered from similar experiences in childhood, where they couldn’t really be themselves and avoid consequences. They subconsciously all love each other’s company because they feel the opposite with each other. They know that no matter how many other people disapprove of what they are doing and disagree with their point of view, it is a guarantee that the people in this group will agree with them and approve of the decisions they are making. They will feel validated instead of invalidated and like it does not matter what they do, there will never be a consequence.
One of them has a huge problem with commitment. But she feels amazing because whenever she decides to drop her latest boyfriend or show up late, or change her mind about her direction in life, she can always find the other three and they will totally understand her and make her feel like she is making the right choice.
One of them only finds connection through opposition. He loves to establish connection with the other three by triangulating them all against whoever is bothering him in his life. The good thing is, he feels so un-gaslit by them. Over months, they have shown him that his perspective is right on the money. They agree that it is so insane how without fail, people just end up going bad and no matter how right and good he is, they end up hurting him all the time.
One of them is doing ayahuasca tonight. All of them have been told it is a bad thing to eat animal products before doing ayahuasca. But she decides she’s in the mood for pizza. Getting pizza would be fun! The good thing is, they can all come up with justifications for why it’s fine for her to eat pizza, even though she’s going to do a journey later that night. She loves how game her three other friends are at joining her in the fun. It feels liberating.
One of them decides he wants to move to Germany. He’s being called there. The other three feel sad to know they will get to spend less time together. But talk themselves into the idea that if he goes, they’ll just go visit him in Germany, after all, they love travel and they need to let him go, otherwise they would be limiting him. They wouldn’t want anyone to do that to them. The ease with which all parties can just say yes to separation feels totally freeing and loving to all four of them.
It makes perfect sense that if a person grew up in the kind of environment that creates this pendulum swing, the energy of “YES” would feel more loving and more like freedom. It would feel like you could finally have yourself and be in a relationship at the same time. But consider that either both yes and no have nothing to do with love or that both yes and no have a place when it comes to love. To love is to take something as a part of yourself. To understand more about this, you can watch my video titled: What is Love? If you take something as a part of yourself, you cannot say ‘Yes’ to everything. You cannot approve of everything. You cannot be unaffected by what that thing thinks, says and does.
For this reason, I want you to ask yourself: To what degree is the ‘yes’ in your relationships; whether it is agreement, validation, permission, approval, or freedom healthy? And to what degree is it just a reaction (an unhealthy pendulum swing) to the painful conditions of your earlier relationships?
Have you ever found yourself in a romantic relationship, friendship relationship or work-related relationship where no matter how many times you seem to find resolve in a conflict, it feels like shortly after, it goes right back to being un-resolved? Maybe it is one single issue, where no matter how many times you re-visit the topic and reach agreement, it comes right back up again as unresolved. When this happens, it can feel like you’re living a nightmare version of groundhog’s day. But you don’t know why and you don’t know what to do to create actual resolve.
This “no resolve” pattern happens when one person involved (or more rarely both) is not seeing, accepting, owning and expressing their actual personal truth. Because of this, any time you are sitting down to resolve a conflict, you are not actually putting anything real on the table to be resolved. What is real, is being kept in the shadows... denied, disowned, and often invisible to the person themselves. But that very real, unsavory personal truth is coming out in all kinds of subconscious ways. It isn’t like it isn’t making itself known. It is, and it is making itself known all over the place. But the person whose truth it is, is blind to it. When what you are putting on the table isn’t the real personal truth, any resolution you find will be skin deep and will undo itself. It will do this because the personal truth is still there, unchanged. It will feel like you (or whoever seems to keep coming back to a position of lack of resolve) are “stuck on something”.
So you can better understand what I mean, I will give you an example. Mary owns a company. Rachel works in the company. Mary expects every member of the company to drop what they are doing and come to the board room if she decides that a company group meeting must be held so that everyone is on the same page. Every time Mary calls one such meeting, Rachel acts resentful, disrespectfully shows up several minutes late, zones out, and does not participate in group discussions. This is a problem for Mary.
They have sat down with a representative from the human resources department to try to resolve this conflict on three occasions. Each time, Rachel expresses frustration that the group meetings de-rail her focus and Rachel explains every facet of why they are necessary. Eventually, they seem to find resolve and the discussion ends in various agreement; such as the agreement that Mary will give 3o minutes leeway from when they are notified to when they are expected to arrive in the board room. And Rachel will be actively engaged and on time. This agreement lasts for one or two meetings before Rachel is right back to the same behavior. The two are both dumbfounded and confused.
The thing is, Rachel has a personal truth: Her truth, whether right or wrong, is that Mary is a Narcissistic Tyrannical Dictator. Rachel believes that Mary demanding everyone to drop what they are doing and show up at the board room is simply proof of it. On top of feeling like Mary should be different in terms of her expectations and interactions, Rachel’s personal truth is that she does not want to be told what to do or when to be where. It makes her feel controlled. A few times, Mary has brought up that it feels like Rachel has a problem with her directly. Each time, Rachel denies this and in fact says “no, I think you’re a great boss, otherwise I wouldn’t even have taken this job.” Rachel is not seeing, accepting, owning or expressing her actual personal truth. She thinks it will get her fired. But also, she is aware that she grew up in a household at odds with her tyrannical, controlling mother and suspects that the way she feels around Mary is because of the un-healed trauma of that. So, every time those feelings or thoughts come up that point to that unsavory, hidden personal truth, she will suppress them. Because of this, they are stuck until the pressure of the constantly unresolved situation gets so big that one or both can’t handle the elephant in the room, perpetual stuckness and lack of resolve. At that point, one will make a decision and take action in accordance with their deep personal truth, whether they know it or not, forcing the other to do the same.
In our example situation, it is only until later… after Rachel is fired, that she will suddenly feel safe and right to come out with her personal truth (after all, by firing her, there are no longer consequences for Rachel and Rachel thinks that Mary proved to actually be a tyrannical narcissist and is therefore, no longer suppressing the feelings and thoughts on the account of being insecure about whether or not it is really a projection from her own past). And, Rachel will also act on her deep personal truth of not wanting to run her life according to anyone else, and start to sell her art for a living, instead of get another job with a boss.
There are many reasons that someone might fail to see, accept, own and express their actual personal truth. So many reasons in fact, that I could never list them all here. For the most part, these reasons fall into two categories. 1. Not being able to see, accept, own or express your actual personal truth because you feel that existence of that personal truth within you is in and of itself bad and wrong and therefore negatively impacts your self-concept. 2.Wanting to avoid perceived or real consequences that you imagine will come as a result of seeing, accepting, owning and expressing your actual personal truth. For the sake of your understanding, I’m going to expose some of these reasons.
We live in a world where judgement in general and definitely certain judgments are seen as bad and wrong to have in the first place. Therefore, we are bad and wrong and shameful if we have it. This does not change the fact that everyone has judgements. Judgements are a kind of personal truth. If we have decided that it is wrong or bad to have a judgement, we may deny that we have any. Alternatively, we may recognize the judgement, but spend all of our time trying to argue ourselves out of that judgement (we resist our own judgment), to no avail. We will do this to be good and do what’s right and to maintain our self-concept. To use a triggering example, a person has the judgement that black men are dangerous. But they feel that admitting to that judgement is racist and that racist people are bad and wrong. So, instead of admit to that judgement, they will deny it and attend anti-racism rallies instead, to try to make up for feeling bad about themselves for the way they actually feel towards black men.
We live in a world where certain thoughts and feelings (that point to personal truths) are seen as bad and wrong to have in the first place. Therefore, we are bad and wrong and shameful if we have it. We may totally deny these truths and argue the opposite of these truths. For example, a mother may actually really dislike her daughter, regardless of caring deeply about her daughter. She will think, speak and act in accordance with this actual truth… but not see, accept or own up to or work with this truth because she has already decided it is wrong to have that truth and would mean she is a terrible mother. To understand more about this, watch my video titled: Self Concept, The Enemy of Awakening.
We may be trying to avoid consequences that would come as a result of either admitting to these personal truths ourself or admitting them to others. These consequences might be very real. Or, they might be imagined. What those consequences are, depends on the specific circumstance. For example, a person might fail to see, accept, own or express the personal truth that they are miserable and feel alone in their marriage. Because they imagine that by doing so, they would feel bad about their life, unable to cope, unable to change anything and might have to look at the drudgery of marriage counseling or even the hell of divorce. Or a person may not see, accept, own or express that they totally disagree with their boss’s decision because they fear that disagreement with their boss means getting fired. Or a person may fail to see, accept, own or express that they are Gay, because they imagine that doing so would mean something horrible about themselves, and also cause them to be ostracized from their family, community and even culture.
We may not recognize any personal truth as valid. Because of this, we may be ignoring, negating, arguing with, denying, suppressing, and even at war with one of our personal truths. We don’t see, accept, own or express it because we are against it. A great example of this is that people who are committed to self-awareness tend to feel that if any personal trauma in the past can be linked to a current personal truth or perspective, that personal truth and perspective is automatically invalid. Or we may hold a personal truth that we believe is unhealthy for us and so, we try to think and act to the opposite without ever considering whether that personal truth might actually need to be considered and even accommodated instead. Or, we may hold a personal truth that opposes the perspective of someone whom we deeply respect and whom we know is more aware and knowledgeable than we are. So, we simply try (but inevitably fail) to accept that person’s truth instead. We never bring up our own contradictory truth with ourselves or them so as to open up an opportunity to find an actual meeting of minds.
Whenever someone is not seeing, accepting, owning and expressing their actual personal truth, it will automatically feel like a gaslighting situation. For example, you will feel like someone hates you when they say they love you. Or you will feel like something is not being said, even though you talk for hours upon hours for days on end. To understand more about this, watch my video titled: Gaslighting (What is Gaslighting and How to Heal From it).
Seeing, accepting, owning and expressing your actual personal truth is the necessary ingredient for actual resolve. Whether it is resolve in your own life relative to feeling better, or resolve in a relationship to establish harmony. It’s only possible to create resolve when you can take a personal truth and put it on the table. Figure out whether it is reflective of what is actually true and or what a higher truth may be. Find out what to do with that truth so as to improve your life. And figure out how to take two people’s opposing truths and find a way to make them complimentary instead of at odds. Being brave enough to see, accept, own and express your actual personal truths (regardless of whether they are right or wrong, good or bad, savory or unsavory, coming from a healed place or not) is absolutely necessary. Your concern should simply be how to best go about doing it. Because to create any actual improvement to anything you must be willing to work directly with what is actually there.
In our current phase of personal development, people are learning how to maintain connection to each other in relationship and maintain a sense of themselves (autonomy) at the exact same time. We are currently struggling with two polarized forms of pain, enmeshment (loss of self) and isolation (loss of closeness with others). In this struggle, people tend to become very confused and fail to see what they are doing clearly. This is especially true when an individual who has experienced enmeshment trauma or isolation trauma begins to heal. Today, I’m going to explain a pattern that people struggling to heal from enmeshment trauma tend to slip into without seeing it.
Autonomy (having a sense of self vs. other) is an important part of physical existence for a person within a social group. So is a sense of closeness and connection. What people need is to be able to have themselves and have other people too at the same time. To understand more about this, watch my video titled: The Freedom/Connection Split Within Humanity. Enmeshment does not allow for you to have yourself and have others too at the same time. An enmeshed relationship does not recognize or accept boundaries. Remember that a boundary is simply the imaginary line that uniquely defines your personal happiness, your personal feelings, your personal thoughts, your personal integrity, your personal desires, your personal needs and therefore most importantly, your personal truth from the rest of the universe. Therefore, enmeshment trauma happens when in a relationship, the person does not recognize or accept or acknowledge or work with the reality of your personal feelings, your personal thoughts, your personal integrity, your personal desires, your personal needs and therefore most importantly, your personal truth. In fact, differentiating yourself puts you at risk of consequences such as punishment or abandonment. The result is that you either choose to face those consequences, or (in order to maintain harmony in the relationship and closeness) you have to ‘give yourself up’ and mirror the other person so that your thoughts and feelings and needs and desires and truth and choices are either the same as theirs or what they want them to be… You comply.
If you would like to understand enmeshment in a much more in-depth way, I strongly encourage you to watch my video titled: How To Heal Family Enmeshment Trauma. Long story short, many people do not believe it is possible to have themselves and have other people too at the same time. They believe that in order to be able to have a relationship, they must simply comply to the other person. Conversely, they believe that to have a sense of self, they must rebel against the other person.
So many people are stuck in this pendulum swing between compliance and rebellion… Either conformity or resistance. And neither of these states are healthy or empowered. So many people simply give themselves up to have a relationship with someone. So many people spend their life in the disempowered state of rebellion, imagining themselves to finally be empowered, when in reality, in a state of rebellion, their life is still controlled by the same person they tried to break free from. So that you can better understand what I mean, I’ll give you an example:
A woman grew up in a house with a verbally abusive, dictatorial father who would slap her across the face for disobeying. This is not a house where boundaries are accepted. So she learned that the only way to stay safe and to have a relationship is to please the other person. She spent the first part of her life complying and suffering from everything that goes along with the experience of enmeshment. Then, she hit a breaking point, at which point she rebelled against her father. In response to this, he disowned her. What she lost in that rebellion was all of the very real needs that were being met through that relationship. What she found in that rebellion, was a sense of herself… The feeling of boundaries. This felt personally empowering. But obviously, this whole experience caused very real trauma. She transferred this entire traumatic experience onto the next authority figure, the government. She spent her life politically fixated. Any time there was a rally to attend, she went to it; determined to “stick it to the man”. To her, this felt empowering and definitely made her feel a strong sense of self-hood. But from a higher perspective, she was still completely controlled by her father. Her life had first been lived for him and then had been lived against him. Her entire life was about him. Therefore, he was always the one in control of her life. But because rebellion feels so much more empowered than compliance, people fail to see when they are in a state of rebellion, that they are every bit as disempowered and enmeshed as when they were complying. And they fail to realize that dedicating your life to being against something or someone, is a recipe for suffering.
If you feel that you fall into a risk category with this pattern, it is important to live with the following question in mind: “Am I complying or rebelling?” Then, make the situation about yourself, instead of about the other person. What I mean by this is, imagine that there was nothing/no one there to comply with or push against. If you suddenly found yourself away from them and in a vacuum of space and time (but aware of the situation) what are your personal feelings, your personal thoughts, your personal integrity, your personal desires, your personal needs and therefore most importantly, your personal truth? What are you for instead of against? What do you want instead of not want? What would you think, say or do if there were no consequences in this scenario? This is the beginning of stepping into a place of actual free will. Free will is not about being against something, any more than it is about complying with something. Where people need to go is towards the conscious development of free will within relationships. This implies the existence of both autonomy and alignment in relationships. For this reason, it may benefit you to watch my video titled: How To Create A Safe Relationship.
A little-known fact is that if you are taking action based off of what you are for, your actions will be totally different than if you are taking action based off of what you are against. It is as important to establish a sense of self that is not dependent on opposition in order to exist, as it is to establish connection that is not dependent on compliance or obedience. True empowerment and true freedom do not lie in either the extreme of compliance or rebellion. Your life does not have to be reduced to a reaction to other people. Seek genuine personal truth and empowerment instead.
What is the purpose of life? This question has plagued people for centuries. It is the subject of religious, philosophical and cultural debate the world over. No person lives their life without asking this question at least once. When we ask this question, the first thing we are curious about is whether life (including our own individual life) is a random accident or whether life was created intentionally and therefore, has some inherent reason to exist and some intrinsic value. For this reason, I am going to explain the purpose of life, including why it is so important and what is so good and valuable about being alive. Essentially, I’m going to make a case for incarnation; for physical life.
Before I launch into this, know that I am very limited by language when discussing things that transcend the physical laws, whose concepts are inherent in the very creation of our language, and are therefore limited when trying to accurately convey any realities outside of those laws. Also, strap on your mental seatbelts.
From a more objective perspective, life is something that transcends the physical. This means that a scientist’s definition of alive or living is painfully limited. Many things that a scientist today would consider to be inanimate and therefore not alive, are in fact living. And there is life going on outside the physical dimension, separate of any physical embodiment. Consciousness imbues everything in existence. From an objective perspective, “life” is the experience of being able to perceive and being able to create thought. Therefore, anything that can perceive or create thought, is alive. And it is important to understand that the brain is not the originator of thought. The brain is, in and of itself, a specific thought that manifested in the physical dimension. But because understanding this level of reality becomes very complicated, let’s look at the reason for your physical life here on earth.
Collective consciousness (often called Source or God) is in the process of seeking self-awareness. When, the concept of “I” was born within Source, an event so much infinitely larger than the big bang occurred. Since Source is all there is, with no beginning or no end, Source suddenly felt lonely. If Source is all there is, there is nothing else to be in relationship with. That thought, “I”, suddenly created the concept of a beginning and end or a boundary to something that has no beginning or end. The thought “I” cannot come into existence without the concept of “other”. Source began to fragment itself in order to have something to be in relationship with. It split into parts, like a mosaic. Source is now aware that this “loneliness” is really only the result of the thought “I” and also that the perception of separation is really only the result of splitting itself into these fragments. Which is why Source has become aware that it now wants to come back to a state of oneness. But the initial curiosity that it had… “what am I”? is served by this process of fragmentation and then return to oneness. By the energy of Source splitting into these “differing thoughts” and each differing thought projecting forth new differing thoughts, Source learned more and more about itself. Each new thought, is a new drawing forth from potential energy. It tells Source more and more about itself. We call this process of continual creation and perception “expansion”. And it was taking place far, far before the existence of the physical dimension, much less physical life on earth.
Each dimension was a creation that was part of this process of expansion. Each dimension had different laws and each universe within each dimension operates according to different laws. These different laws were created to enhance this process of expansion and of self-awareness within Source. The concept of a “mirror” was created long before an actual mirror was ever invented. The idea of being able to see yourself reflected on the outside is one of the principal laws that governs this time-space reality that you are currently incarnated into. It is often called the law of attraction. Essentially, whatever vibration you hold, is reflected on the outside, so you can see that reflection and use that awareness you gain from it, to decide what you desire to create next. And then perceiving that new creation, what you desire and therefore will create next. Physicality is another concept that was created as a part of this process. As a way of better perceiving these thoughts. Essentially Source, which you are a fragment of, created the time-space reality of physical existence here on earth as a giant learning/self-awareness construct. And you, as a fragment of Source chose to project forth and attune yourself to this specific time space reality to assist in that process, because being a fragment of Source itself, doing so not only serves your own personal expansion, but also Source’s.
I have found that perhaps the best way of describing this to a physical human, even though this analogy has many flaws, is to have a person think of themselves as God who knows that everything in existence is them, simply appearing in a different form. And then, to imagine themselves sitting down to play a video game that they, themselves designed, using their own energy to build it, for the purpose of self-awareness. They first think up an avatar for this video game. And then project forth a portion of their energy to not only create this avatar in the game, but to enter into it, so as to perceive this video game world from inside the individual perspective of this avatar. This means, they are now two points of perspective. The non-physical “god self” and the physical, temporal person that is called John or Nancy or whatever. This avatar must participate in the very laws that govern the game, and there are important and valuable reasons for those laws to exist. The aim is to experience this video game world, through this individual perspective so as to allow the contrasting experiences that are a part of it, to give rise to new desires and therefore new thought and therefore, new things to fully perceive. Do you feel like you can truly understand something until you walk in someone’s Shoes? No? Source agrees! So, it seeks to walk in the shoes of and view other parts of itself from the perspective of all things that could possibly be created from its own infinite potential energy.
And perceiving in the physical dimension, is as intense as it currently gets. It is the cutting edge of expansion, because it is the cutting edge of perception. Here, Source can see, smell, hear, touch and taste itself. This is also a “consensus reality” which means that part of what you chose to come here to do, was to co-create the overall experience of physical existence on earth with everything and everyone else that exists here. Consensus realities tell Source even more about itself than individual reality constructs do. For example, being an avatar itself and being another avatar, observing the first one, are two very different experiences. Also, it is a great way to elicit consensus, which flushes bigger, overarching truths to the surface of awareness.
There is always a very important reason why the non-physical projects forth into this physical dimension as the avatar that you call by your name. This is one’s “life purpose”. Using our example, because of this initial intention for coming into this game, each incarnation that comes into this construct, is enhancing the game itself. But this intention is within you, you were created in its image. Your entire emotional guidance system is created in its image. Therefore, your purpose cannot be separate from your joy. Following what feels good will lead you into alignment with your purpose for being in this construct to begin with. This is why many teachers, who are aware of this dynamic, teach people to follow their joy. And even go so far as to say that the purpose of life is joy.
Every being has a different perspective and therefore has a different experience of life. Which is why the couch has a different perspective of being kicked than the dog. This different experience, creates different and new thoughts and this is one reason why each being, whether it is human or not, has such a valuable place within this picture of the universe at large. You come into a different perspective (incarnation here) in order to extract all possible awareness from that specific existence. And it is the amalgamation of all of these subjective perspectives that adds up to universal, objective perspective… universal awareness.
This means that the ultimate purpose of life is the process of self-awareness within Source, which you are a fragment of. And this process of Source becoming self-aware is being actualized through the process of expansion. And the process of expansion is being served indescribably by this physical human existence in the time space reality that you call life on earth. You could call this the more practical purpose of life.
There is also a less practical purpose of life, and that is… life. To understand this aspect of the purpose of life, ask a surfer why he surfs. Or a traveler, why he travels. Or ask a child why he climbs a tree. It is for the experience itself without some secondary aim. It is for the intensity of the experience of projecting forth into this specific dimension so as to have this specific experience. It is to experience more. To know more. To project forth more thought and more desire. To see those thoughts and desires come to fruition and manifest in the physical. And when those new things manifest, to know that you are standing in a new perspective, which in and of itself creates more and different thoughts, desires and manifestations. To be able to touch and taste and smell and feel and hear those manifestations. This means that an element of the purpose of life is the thrill of it. Physical existence is one hell of an adventure. This is where the action is. Which is why so many other non-physical perspectives are focused on physical life on earth. If you can accept that it is an adventure and consciously choose that adventure, then it matters less whether your experience here is “good or bad” because it is all so valuable.
There is an undeniable intensity to physicality… both positive and negative. There is nothing like physical life on earth. This is where you can touch your lover’s skin. This is where you can feel absence. This is where you can experience an ending and a beginning. This is where you can taste flavors that evoke tears and hear sounds that stir the soul within the body. To sort through the incredible contrast of this time-space reality and to feel the strength of the desires that are born from that process and to follow those desires so as to see the tangible manifestation of your desire through all the senses, is a sweeter actualization than you can currently find anywhere. It is a much more powerful actualization. When we experience something like complete isolation, we want to actualize something like togetherness in the physical. And guess what? It will feel like unfinished business until that happens. Even when you die, unfinished business in life relative to the desires that life caused you to create, compels you back to life. We are an ocean of potential energy and we want to see what those potentials are. We want to see and taste and smell and hear and feel them.
It is totally understandable that if you come into this time space reality, into a physical incarnation and begin to suffer, you would second guess the decision to come here, especially if you have forgotten that it was a choice that you deliberately made at one point. But re-connecting with the purpose for life in the big picture of things and knowing that you were meant to come here for the adventure and richness of the experience of this time-space thought construct, can help you to re-connect with the commitment and curiosity that you initially came into this life with. There is no middle when it comes to life. You can’t be “kind of committed’ to life. And the only way to really extract all that life has to offer, is to consciously and powerfully decide to commit to it. Many people have a conditional relationship with life. I can promise you that you did not have a conditional relationship with life itself when you first made the decision to come into life.
You did not come here to suffer. You came here to have an adventure, knowing that the path of the specific adventure that you decide to walk down, will create your own expansion and create expansion within the universe at large. You knew that you would be able to do this by following your unique and specific passion. You came prepared to chase your joy to the ends of the earth, knowing that not everything you encountered here would feel good.
So, I’m going to ask you a few questions: What about life makes it worth it to go through unwanted, negative or painful things? How might life be good, even when life is shitty? What would it take for you to let go of the conditional relationship that you have with life? What is making you push against life? What is the value in life in and of itself? What do you value about physical life? Make a list.
One thing I want you to remember, is that physical life is a manifestation of both wanted and unwanted. Both positive and negative polarities exist in everything in existence. Nothing is all good or all bad. Both polarities are in everything. This means, there is negative in every positive thing. But there is positive in every negative thing. For example, loss of job security may bring you more personal freedom than ever before. And it goes further, there is a positive and negative inherent in personal freedom too. People take life for granted. And in a way, this makes sense. In the same way that many people don’t value the taste of food until they are starving. In the same way that many people don’t value the feeling of aliveness inherent in emotions, until they are numb. Now, I want you to very seriously imagine that the only thing here in this adventure called life is good and positive. What would be negative about that?
Don’t become closed to experience in and of itself. Change the way you are thinking about the experiences you are having. Becoming closed off to experience, assigning painful meaning to experiences and perceiving yourself to be powerless to create change so as to get to your preferred experience is what creates suffering here. It is why people make an enemy of the experience itself. Pain is a part of life. But pain has a positive side. Pain is your indication that you need to change something. If you don’t make a change when pain appears to tell you to make a change, you will suffer. Imagine life with no pain. No new desire would ever be created. There would be no expansion, there would be no movement.
The beauty of physical experience is that you can change your experience here. Never accept that it must stay the way it is, or that it is meant to stay the way it is. Find the “can” in any situation. You are meant to experience the manifestation of what you desire here. It serves the universe at large for you to do that. You can change your adventure. But to change your adventure, you must be willing to change! To understand more about why we don’t change, it may benefit you to watch my video titled: The Real Reason Why People Don’t Change.
You must be willing to see that life is an adventure and no one is getting out of it alive! Life did not happen to you. No one ends up here without choosing it. Luck or curse has got nothing to do with it. The people who sink into habit and who do not change and who wait for this life to happen to them, rather than to actively happen to life, will simply arrive at death… safely. There is value inherent in death. But death will teach you the value of life.
Therefore, if you were to decide to stop resisting what you don’t want in life and instead took action based on what you do want, what would that action be? What adventure would you choose if you were brave enough to be committed to what you know right now that you want?
Don’t live for the afterlife. This life is not a test to get through. Fall in love with the process of life itself as if this is the place to be. After all, physical life is an unfinished project. The most exciting thing is to see how it will turn out.
In the modern era, power has garnered a really, really bad reputation. So has anyone who values it or seeks it. You’ll hear things like: He or she is just power hungry. Power destroys. Power is always dangerous; it attracts the worst and corrupts the best. All experiments in power have a bad ending. The problem with this country is power. The root of all evil is the quest for power. Whoever has power is going to try to control people. Only the weak seek power. You only need power when you want to do something harmful, otherwise love is enough to get everything done. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, and the list goes on and on.
The problem with power being seen as such a bad thing, such a wrong value and the seeking of it so shameful, is multi fold. I’m going to explain just a few reasons why. Firstly, it isn’t actually possible for a person to not want power. If you are alive, you care about power. If you are alive, you are involved in power struggles. If you are alive, you want power, whether you can admit to it or not. And if you are a person who likes to think that you don’t care about power, that there is your strategy for gaining power. For example, it allows you to gain power by being in a superior moral position relative to other ‘less evolved’ people. Saying “I don’t care about power” is in and of itself a power trip.
Power is energy. It is the inherent capacity to create, direct, influence or do something so as to bring about what you want. All people desire this, regardless of whether other people are in the picture or not. But, let’s introduce other people into the picture. When we do this, we see that because of ‘them’, we can easily find ourselves in certain situations where we feel incapable of creating, directing, influencing or doing anything so as to bring about what we want. When this happens, we feel out of control, disempowered and at the mercy of others. It is when we find ourselves in these situations that we become concerned with our power relative to other people or about having power over others so as to be able to keep ourselves safe and feeling good. This means, the more relationally traumatized you were, the more you care about power relative to others. And you can’t even say that something went wrong. It makes perfect sense if you were put in situations where you felt powerless to others, that you would become hypersensitive to power dynamics, prone to power struggles and very concerned with making sure you were always in a position of either equal or more power relative to the people around you. All people have power, all people want power and all people seek power. But believe me, they have some seriously creative and disguised ways of getting it.
The second problem with power being seen as such a bad thing in and of itself, such a wrong value and the seeking of it so shameful is that the minute society makes something bad and wrong, people try to suppress, deny, reject and disown it. If all people inherently have power, care about power and seek it, this just means that our power, the caring about it and the seeking of it will become a subconscious process. This means, we can no longer see the need for power in ourselves. We can’t recognize or accept that we are doing things specifically to gain power. We will enter into subconscious power struggles and not see the manipulative strategies that we are using to gain power; including gain power over others.
When society makes something so bad and wrong that it has consequences, it becomes an enemy of the ego and we can no longer see it in ourselves, even when it is there. It threatens our self-concept. This means, we have created a modern society full of individuals that deny our power, deny that we care about and want power and deny (are blind to) the ways we are going about gaining power. This makes society very, very gaslighting. This is what makes people use power in very dangerous ways. This also prevents our awakening. To understand more about this in-depth, watch my video titled: Self Concept, The Enemy of Awakening (Accept the Badness Within Yourself).
For example, there are wonderful police officers and security professionals in the world. But there are some police officers or security professionals who take positions like that subconsciously and specifically because of the power that being in those positions gives them. And when they are not consciously aware of their love of power, as well as how that power could heal or poison and could help or destroy lives, they can and do abuse that power.
Or for example, we could be helping other people, so as to ensure that they are in debt to us in some way, or to gain the moral high ground. When we are doing this, we will outright deny that we care about having power over other people, while in reality, having power over other people is really what is motivating us to help others.
The third problem with power being seen as such a bad thing, such a wrong value and the seeking of it so shameful is that it prohibits people from going for personal power in direct and conscious ways. Manipulation is what occurs when people can’t go for their needs in a straightforward way. Because we have made power bad and wrong, people must now be manipulative about it. This makes the ways we are seeking out and using power far more dangerous than before. Anyone who grew up in a dysfunctional family knows all about this.
In a dysfunctional family, daily life is a chess game for power between all members of the family. And in all kinds of overt and covert ways. The only way to survive in that kind of a social setting is to step up and play that chess game. This includes using inherently positive things like acts of love as a tool FOR personal power. For example, a parent may want a child to pick a certain profession because this would make the parent feel good. The way this parent may go about getting power in this scenario is to use the financial support that they gave their child over the course of the child’s life as leverage. The parent may say “I sacrificed my life for you, to give you everything you needed, so that you could have a better life than I did and make this family proud.” This puts the child in the position of being bad, wrong, ungrateful and even of betraying the parent if the child does not do what the parent wants. So, financial support is now being used as a tool in a power game to get the child to comply. But the parent will deny that he or she is in a power game with their own child. The parent may even deny that they care about power.
Or, a child may alter their entire personality, so as to please their parent. Because doing so, ensures that their own needs for things like approval, closeness and safety will actually be met. This was their strategy for gaining power in the family dynamic. But they are unlikely to be aware that this was a power play, even when it was in fact their winning chess move. Instead, because they are so in touch with the part of them that feels victimized by their parent in even having to employ this strategy, they will see themselves as being powerless.
Another example is that we may go about getting power by denying that we care about superiority, knowing full well that in a society that sees the need for superiority as a dysfunctional complex, the person who does not care about being superior, is automatically seen as superior and therefore more powerful. Because going for power in covert ways is such a problem in the spiritual community, it may benefit you to watch my video titled: Self-Development – The Transcendental Power Trip.
When we cannot go for personal power in direct and conscious ways, we fail to recognize and make use of the unique innate power that we have. Believe it or not, this pulls us away from our life purpose. Your innate power will fall perfectly in alignment with your life purpose. And often, acknowledging this power that we have, power that may be superior to others, is what leads you to the recognition of your life purpose. For example, a person may be so good at analyzing, organizing and creating systems. Far better than other people. This person may discover that her purpose is operations management for the government.
When we cannot go for personal power in direct and conscious ways, we put ourselves in all the wrong kinds of places and in incompatible situations, trying to get what we want. For example, I knew a man who was so ashamed of his desire for financial power that he could never just decide to go directly and make money in the financial market. Instead, he had to keep getting jobs in non-profit organizations, where he repeatedly created conflicts by arguing for salary increases and the introduction of bonus programs. Or for example, a person may want the power of fame. But instead of going for it directly themselves, they decide to go about it in an in-direct way, by publicly going against someone who is already famous because no one knows who they were, or cared who they were, until they went against someone who was known and cared about. In this situation, going for the power they wanted in an in-direct way, caused negative destruction.
Believe it or not, recognizing our own power and how that power could be used in either positive or negative ways, as well as going for power directly and overtly, greatly decreases the chances that we will cause harm to ourselves or others with that power or by going for that power.
The fourth problem with power being seen as such a bad thing, such a wrong value and the seeking of it so shameful, is that it prohibits people from seeing or admitting to the power that they do have. All people have power. To not see the power that you do have, is an incredibly dangerous thing. To give you two examples, a person may have the power to sense vulnerabilities in others. If this is your power, you have a 6th sense for people’s weak spots. You could use that power to heal or you could use that power to destroy. If you are unaware of this power that you have, and what you could do with it, you could be in a position to be the one who can change someone’s life for the better. But you might just sit there and let them suffer. Or, you could get into a bad mood and carelessly emotionally cripple another person, even if you love them. Another example is that a surgeon and an anesthesiologist both have the power to take someone’s life. Think of how dangerous it would be for a surgeon or anesthesiologist to not know that he or she had that power when they have a patient before them, ready to go under for surgery.
Something to know is that there are so many different types of power. Too many to list. Anything that can help you to bring about what you want is power. But to give you a tiny idea, intellect is power, finances is power, artistry is power, knowledge is power, non-reactivity is power, strong emotions is power, physical strength is power, optimism is power, skills are power, natural talent is power, charisma is power, language and communication is power, discipline is power, social contacts is power, good looks is power, caretaking is power, being spiritually attuned is power, openness is power, decisiveness is power, truth is power, morality is power, empathy is power, flexibility is power, organization is power, leadership is power, fame is power, storytelling is power, creativity is power, your entire physical form is power… just think what opposable thumbs enabled you to do that other animals can’t do.
People tend to only care about certain types of power and minimize or refuse to see other types of power AS power. People have a huge problem valuing one type of power over another type of power; as well as failing to recognizing all types of power. You care about the certain type of power that you care about based off of needs, desires, traumas and personal experience. That’s why a person who was very poor often cares more about financial power than about mental power. That’s why the super-rich often suddenly value the power of eternal life more than financial power. That’s why people who perceive themselves to have been harmed by financial power, devalue financial power and value the power of kindness. It’s why someone who feels they have suffered because of desire, does not honor the power of desire, but honors the power of non-attachment. In order to be in-alignment about power, you need to recognize power wherever it exists. Don’t negate it.
If you don’t see the power you do have, chances are high that one of the reasons you don’t see it, is that your breed of power is something that your society doesn’t value or potentially doesn’t recognize as power. If you don’t see your love of power, chances are high that one of the reasons you don’t see it, is because the types of power you care about, are not the traditional types of power that society recognizes as power and thus has condemned. For example, you might have the power to sense other people’s needs. This is a serious power. But, because you’ve lived in a society that sees only things like leadership or wealth as power, you don’t even recognize it as power. Or for example, every person cares about a type of power and argues that this one type is the most important and more powerful power than the rest. Such as, if a person cares about wealth, but not spiritual power, they will argue that wealth is the most important thing and may argue that spending time meditating is literally a waste of time. On the other hand, a person who cares about spiritual power may meditate every day, trying to increase their spiritual power and they may argue that chasing wealth is a fool’s errand. Because of this, people often fail to see what kind of power is necessary and/or most effective in any given situation.
Power is the inherent capacity to create, direct, influence or do something so as to bring about what you want. This makes power rather like a master tool, somewhat like a knife. You can use a knife to chop up vegetables in order to better feed someone or to cut the ropes around your ankles to set yourself free. You can also use a knife to threaten someone into compliance, harm yourself or kill someone. Power is something that takes on a positive or negative expression, depending on how it is used. But power in and of itself is not the problem. How power is used is the problem. How power is used and why and for what aim is what matters most.
You care about power… all people do… so own it. It is not virtuous to not care about and to have no need for power. In fact, so many of the people who would convince you that it is a virtue, are simply after another kind of power… a moral or a spiritual power.If you want to consider yourself an awake and aware person, see the power that you have. See that you care about power and see that you seek it. See the power struggles you are in. See the ways that you specifically go about getting power, including power over other people. And when you go for power, go for power consciously, being very aware of the positive and negative consequences for you and others of doing so. Just be aware that being able to see and admit to all of this, can in and of itself become a part of your power game!
Desire is something that springs forth from life experience. You don’t even have to think about it. It happens on both a subconscious and conscious level. When a desire is born within us, we want to see it manifest. This is a big part of physical life… The conscious creation and subsequent physical manifestation of whatever it is that you are wanting.
The process of manifestation takes place on both a non-physical and physical level. It is an energetic, mental, emotional and one could say ‘vibrational’ process. It is also a physical, embodied process. But so many people forget how important the physical element of manifestation is. They forget how critical action is. They forget that action is what they came specifically to the physical earthly plane to partake in.
Something very important to understand about life is that it doesn’t matter how much information you have, if you don’t apply it. It doesn’t matter how much mental and emotional processing you do, if you never make a change. It doesn’t matter how much you want something, if you never take action towards what you want.
So many people fall into the trap of using spiritual practice (and even mental and emotional self-development) to separate further from, and even escape from, their physical life; rather than to use spirituality (and mental and emotional self-development) to further connect with and enhance their physical life. So many people fall into the trap of learning more and more and more. And doing more and more mental/emotional and spiritual processes. They imagine that what they want will somehow spontaneously appear on their doorstep. That it will require no change, movement or action on their part. But this erases one of the main purposes of being physically incarnated. Unless you are in resistance to being physically incarnated, to changing, to moving and to taking action; changing, moving and taking action is part of the thrill and joy of physical life itself. By learning things, by becoming more aware, by mentally and emotionally focusing on what you want so as to pull yourself energetically into alignment with it, you are making it so that all the necessary people, places, things, circumstances, resources and events that are ingredients for what you want, will converge with you. But you still need to take action. You need to allow the non-physical things you are doing to compel you into taking action to bring about and actualize what you are wanting.
It doesn’t matter if you know that you need exercise and that exercise is critical for your physical, mental and emotional health, if you keep coming up with excuses to not actually take action and exercise. It doesn’t matter if you want a romantic relationship and keep doing visualizations in order to manifest one, if you commit all your action to working from home and watching TV series in your apartment. It doesn’t matter if you do all the shadow work in the world to realize that your parents acted, and still act, in a way that is counterproductive to your progression, if you keep living with them, in their home. It doesn’t matter if you want to be financially free and learn all about finances and know that you have to start to save up and spend your money on things that make you money, if you keep piling up stuff you don’t need in your house and living from pay check to paycheck. It doesn’t matter if you read every book there is to read and watch every tutorial there is to watch on surfing, if you never go to the ocean, rent a surfboard and paddle out to get on an actual wave. Your physical actions must align with what you are wanting, in order for manifestation to be assisted by you instead of prevented by you.
If you are unwilling to actually physical do something such as change, move or take action, you are resisting the process of physical manifestation. You’re making it that much harder for the universe to bring you together with those ingredients that make up the recipe of the manifestation of what you are wanting. You’re also making it hard for the universe to bring you to others for whom you could be an ingredient for the actualization of their desires. Action is meant to naturally arise as a byproduct of gaining information or a change in perception. But sometimes, when a person is in resistance to taking action, it doesn’t. And what most people don’t know is that this will make your life worse, not better.
It is a common assumption to make that the more you know, the better your life will get. And the more mental and emotional healing you do, the better your life will get. But this is often not the case. If you don’t want to physically change anything and if you plan on not taking action, avoid awareness. Avoid mental and emotional processing. And avoid focusing on what you are wanting. Instead, focus positively on what is. The reason I say this is because without action, all these things will make your life worse, not better.
For example, imagine that there is a woman who is in an abusive relationship. If she gains more awareness, she will become aware of just how abusive her environment is. If she starts to heal on a mental and emotional level, she will become more and more aware of what her needs actually are. If she focuses on what she wants (a safe relationship) the distance between where she is and what she wants will get bigger. If she takes no physical action to change the relationship or to exit it in search of a new one, being in it, and it staying the same, will get more and more painful. She will feel more and more unsafe, more and more deprived of her needs and emotionally worse and worse because the gap between herself and what she is wanting will grow and grow. Until she reaches a point of total desperation. It is critical to understand that if you do not take actual physical action based off of the things you learn, the awareness you gain, and emotional and mental healing that you do, your life will get worse, not better. All the forces that be, will be pulling you in the direction of what you want, like an unassailable current, and you will be turned against it. This is what suffering is all about. Suffering only occurs when you desire something else, but for one reason or another, you are staying and holding yourself in the ‘way it is’. In the ‘unwanted’. To prevent your own expansion in this way, is to invite the escalation of your own pain.
Hearing all of this, it may benefit you to think about what you want and to ask yourself the question, what is in the way of me taking action? One of the main reasons that people don’t take action is that they fear making a change. This is so often the case when you need to take action (and you may even know what to do) but you can’t seem to make yourself do it. If you think it would benefit you to understand this more in-depth, watch my video titled: The Real Reason Why People Don’t Change. A common excuse that people give for not taking action, is that they don’t know what action to take. When this is the case, know that there is no one right action to take. You are not being tested by the universe in terms of your ability to take the right action step. People often think there is some ‘miracle action’ that will bring about what they want and they have to know what that miracle action is, before taking any action. This is not true. No such thing exists. There is no magic way, even though every way is magic. What there is, is steps. And anyone who brought about anything through action, must take those steps that are unique to their own path of achievement. Don’t be passive to finding out what action you could take. Consult people who might have a better idea of action steps you can take. Become an expert on what action steps the people who already have what you want, have taken before in order to get themselves to where they are today. And should you ever come to an action step that no one has ever taken before, don’t be afraid to be a pioneer. With any step, there has to be a person who was the first to ever take it. That person might just be you. And no matter what resistance stands in the way of you specifically taking action, it is important to genuinely resolve that resistance. Because if you do not take action, you will be starved of results.
To wait for what you want to happen to you is a passive and powerless way to exist. It is not how you meant to come here and exist. Knowledge is power, but that power is useless if you don’t translate it to action. Motivation is useless unless you take action on it. Act on what you come to know! Act to bring about what you want! After all, in the physical, knowledge without application is incomplete. Visualization without action is incomplete. It is like an inbreath without an outbreath.
All people have two main aspects of self. The non-physical self and the physical self. Many people have called the physical self the temporal self and the non-physical self, the higher self. They have also called the nonphysical self, the soul and the temporal self, the ego. Your temporal self, your ego, is the seat of personality. But the personality is fragmented. To understand more about this, you can watch my video titled: Fragmentation, The Worldwide Disease. This fragmentation sometimes makes it hard to distinguish between your actual non-physical self and parts of your personality that are mimicking the higher self. It makes it hard to distinguish between your ‘ego’ and your ‘higher self’.
The ego, which is essentially your self-concept, wants to distinguish itself. It wants to be things like good, right, better, superior, more. There is nothing inherently wrong with this drive. But most people are not aware enough of this element of ego to integrate it or consciously work with it. As a result, their nonphysical self and physical self are not engaging in an aligned relationship. Instead, their ego is subconsciously running the show. This is the case all over the world. But in spiritual communities, there is a special shadow. In spiritual communities, the ego can run the show by thinking, speaking and acting like what that person imagines a transcendental, enlightened person would think, speak and act like.
In the spiritual communities, a person who is seen as ‘spiritually superior’ is celebrated as right, good, better, superior, more. Naturally then, there is motive for a person to be that. So, an aspect of their personality often adopts that identity. On top of this, people often turn to spirituality in order to escape pain and so, it is only natural that a spiritual way of thinking, speaking and acting can be developed as a protector personality so as to keep an individual safe. If you want to understand this in depth, watch my video titled: The Sad Truth About Most Gurus.
When an aspect of a person’s ego adopts the identity of a spiritually transcendent person, most people mistake that for the higher self. They mistake this personality fragment that acts in all the ways that they imagine a spiritually superior being would act (things like ‘above and beyond it all’, transcendental, non-reactive, always seeing the beauty in what is, forgiving, ego-less, etc.) for their ‘true self’… Who they really are. They become selectively identified with this spiritually transcendent part of themselves and often slip into the practice of suppressing all other ‘less woke’ parts of themselves. The ego has hijacked their spiritual practice without them knowing it, because it has come in the disguise of the higher self and they fell for it.
When this happens, the person is on a kind of transcendental power trip. Only now, what makes their ego strong is seeing themselves and being seen as things like more woke, more aware, more forgiving, more loving, more meditative, more intuitive, more transcendental etc. Spiritual superiority becomes the ego’s new power game.
I’ll give you one example to illustrate what I mean. Imagine a woman who grows up with a vicious and dictatorial single mother. She could never gain any power in her relationship with her mother. Until the day that her ego found a way… To be Jesus-like. To use things like unconditional love and deciding that she will be the one to teach her mother how to love and kindness (no matter how she is treated) in order to feel superior to her mother. This made her ego feel in the position of power. Really, she found a creative way to play the power game with her mother. And all of the spiritually transcendent qualities became a part of her power trip. But because the ego disguised itself as spiritually transcendent, she fell for it. She believed herself to actually be operating from the perspective of her higher self. Not only did this bring her further from integration and further from her actual non-physical self, it also worsened her relationship with her mother and made her stay living with in her highly abusive mother, because she was now getting an ego boost by continuing to do so.
It is a reality that certain individuals are more tapped into the non-physical, are more conscious, are more aware, are more able to consciously love etc. In the same way that there are people walking the earth who are more athletic, are able to jump higher and run faster and go further. It is important to be in reality about this instead of to imagine that equality exists relative to these things. The thing is, when your ego is identified with being spiritually transcendent, you will have a hard time accurately perceiving this reality and will instead imagine yourself to be more conscious, more developed, more aware, more knowing, more able to love, more forgiving etc. than you actually are. You will also be on a subconscious power trip relative to other people. If you have been unsafe with people or feel unsafe with them still (especially people in positions above you) you want to be “on top” of them or at least “equal” to them in order to feel safe. You will be trying to establish superiority or at the very least, equality relative to other people in your environment. And you will go about doing that by thinking, speaking and acting spiritually superior to them.
You can turn any quality that one identifies with being spiritual into a power trip. For example, forgiveness can be used as power trip. Love can be used as a power trip. Kindness can be used as a power trip. Awakening can be used as a power trip. Positive thinking can be used as a power trip. Growth can be used as a power trip. Ego-lessness can be used as a power trip. Inner peace can be used as a power trip. Non reactivity can be used as a power trip. Compassion can be used as a power trip. Intuition can be used as a power trip. Meditation can be used as a power trip. Yoga can be used as a power trip. Humility can be used as a power trip. Simplicity can be used as a power trip. Personal responsibility can be used as a power trip. Healthy living can be used as a power trip. And the list goes on and on.
Before you think you’ve got a handle on things, it is important to know that spiritual egoism is especially hard to recognize because the power trip often takes place in so many ‘disguised as the opposite” ways. For example, a person who is on a spiritually transcendent power trip is likely to be demonstrative about how unconcerned they are with power. They are likely to put on an act of humility. They are likely to say that they are very aware of their shadow side and ego… because doing so makes them seem good and right and better and more to themselves and to others. Consider that the part of you that says it doesn’t care about power, is the one having the power trip by saying that in a world where power has been made the bad guy; and therefore the person who doesn’t care about it, superior.
Often people who are stuck in a state of identification with a spiritually transcendent protector part of their personality will be more obvious to others than they are to themselves. Being around them will feel like they are putting on an act. You can feel those vulnerable and unsavory things that are being suppressed, denied, disowned, avoided or rejected beneath the facade. And also, you will feel the power struggle taking place underneath that facade. It will feel like a gas-light. Just be careful to check your own power trip when perceiving this kind of thing in others.
You should not be trying to get rid of your ego. To understand more about this, you watch my video titled: The Lesson of Christ and Lucifer. The thing you should aim for is to integrate your ego. And you care about power whether you are able to admit to it or not. To not fall into this unconsciousness trap, you need to see how you are using your spirituality or self-development to strengthen your ego. You need to see what you may be trying to avoid, suppress, deny, disown, reject or keep safe by seeing yourself and trying to get others to see you as a spiritually transcendent person. It would benefit every person who is into spiritual practice of any kind to do parts work with the part of themselves that is protecting them by being spiritually transcendent… The part of their ego that is disguised as the higher self. So as to become aware of and integrate this very real coping mechanism. To understand more about how to do this, watch my video titled: Parts Work, What Is Parts Work and How to Do It.
The direct truth is that each and every of us who identifies with spirituality and self-development, will have parts of our ego that are identified with all of the qualities that the spiritual field and self-help field sees as right, good, better, superior and more. Being aware that your ego IS involved in your spiritual practice is critical. By seeing this, you can begin to experience your actual non-physical self, even if a spiritually transcendent identity within your personality construct steps forward to try to convince you it is the ‘real and only and true self’.
The power of interpretation and association is evident in relational psychology. Relational psychology is well known for its tests and quizzes. Many of them feel more like games and you know how much I love games!
Most of these tests are designed to allow the subconscious to reveal the truth about you to your conscious awareness and/or to your therapist. To see how this works for yourself, give this very famous one to try! It’s called “The Cube”. This test was said to have been created by a psychologist from Japan.
Follow along with this exercise, keeping in mind that it is important to try to concentrate on how you feel about what you are describing and not just on how it looks. For example, you may describe something as a certain color because it gives you a feeling of calmness. However, another person may describe a different color but say that it gives him or her a sense of calmness. In other words, though both people picture the thing differently, the interpretations of their answers are the same - the color, represents calmness to them.
Ok. To start this exercise, close your eyes.
You are in a vast desert and you see a cube.
1. The desert.
What is this desert like? How big or small is it? What is it filled with? What is living and what is non-living in this desert? How do you feel about the desert? How do you feel being in it? What do you think about it?
2. There is a cube.
How big is the cube?What substance is it made of? What is its texture? What is its color? What do you think about that substance and color? How do you feel about this cube?How far away is it from you?Is it transparent? Can you see what is inside?How big is the cube compared to the desert? What is the ratio?
3. There is a ladder.
Is the ladder leaning on the cube?What is the color of the ladder? What is it made of?What impression does it give you?What is the distance between the cube and the ladder? What is the relationship between the cube and ladder?
4. There is a horse.
What is the distance between the cube and the horse?What is the color of the horse? What is it doing?What impression does it give you?Is it tied? Is there a saddle?
5. There is a storm.
What is the distance between the storm and the cube.Is it a big storm or a small storm?Is it passing by or staying? How do you feel about this storm?
6. There is a flower/ there are flowers.
How many flowers are there?Where is/are the flower/s and especially, where are they in relationship to the cube?What is the color of the flower/s? How hardy or fragile do they seem to you?How do you feel about the flower/s? How do they feel about you?
Remember that your interpretation of what you see also matters!
Desert: The desert represents your world view. Your idea of the world you live in. The size represents your knowledge of the world and how vast your worldview is. The conditions of this desert represent how you view the conditions or reality of the world. For example, if there is nothing else alive there, you feel very lonely in the world and perceive the world to be a lonely place. If there are many dead or non-living things, or if it is dull and empty feeling, you are pessimistic and are not feeling enriched by life. Or for example, if it is full of life and healthy and/or vibrant, you have an optimistic worldview and feel like the world is the place to be.
Cube : The cube represents yourself. How you think about the cube reflects how you think about yourself. For example, you may think the cube is made of yellow stones. Yellow may give you a feeling of warmth and stone may give you a feeling of strength. Then, it means that you believe that you are a strong and warm person.
The distance between you and the cube reflects your understanding about yourself. If the cube is far away, then it means that you do not feel close to your inner self.
The ratio of the cube to the desert is how you think about yourself in this world. The bigger the ratio, the grander you think of yourself and what you're meant for. People who see an excessively tiny cube, feel that they are smaller than life. People with a cube that is excessively large, feel as if they are larger than life. A small ratio means that you recognize that you are just one part of this world and there are many other things out there beside you. A large ratio means you thrive on being the center of attention.
To generalize, a cube with a transparent surface means you tend to let others know how you feel on the inside. You show your inner thoughts, and you are deeply sincere. You know that you are good inside. And chances are, you feel seen, heard, felt and understood (or are trying to be) by others.
A cube made out of water or ice indicates that you let external elements influence you completely. Your personality is sensitive to social pressure, relationships, and other environmental factors.
A hollow cube tends to mean that you are primarily concerned with your outside appearance, with far less care for what's going on within. However, this does not mean that you have nothing to offer on the inside.
A solid cube made out of metal or rock indicates that you have solid integrity. Your personality is so strong that it cannot be bent or influenced by any external force. You are dominant and consistent. But you are defensive of people trying to see into your inside world. You would rather control what they see or don’t about you.
What does the image of your cube tell you about yourself?
The ladder represents your goals. The length of the ladder shows the scale of your goals, the shorter the ladder, the simpler the goal. The distance between the ladder and the cube determines the focus and effort that you are currently investing in your goals. If your ladder is close to your cube then you are making all effort to achieve and assist your goals. If your ladder is leaning on your cube, you have a big goal to achieve. if your ladder is extending beyond or is in any way over the cube, you may feel your goals are too hard to achieve or you don’t have what you need. If it is under your cube, you are someone who likes to be on top of things but you may keep goals small because of this. The strength of the material of this ladder alludes to the support you feel you have from others in order to achieve this goal.
The Horse: The horse represents the lover you are subconsciously seeking. The distance between the horse and the cube represents the closeness you have with your lover. If the horse is facing the cube it shows you want to be the focus of attention in the relationship. If your horse is closer to your ladder it might suggest you want a lover who supports your goals. If the horse is tied up, then it shows the need to be controlling in a relationship. If the horse has a saddle then you feel secure with them. If the horse is free and not saddled, it means you view your lover as uncontrollable/unpredictable or someone who is very independent.
Storm: The storm represents the obstacles or problems in your life. If the storm is very intense then your problems are causing havoc in your life. If they encompass the entire desert then it means you might have some ongoing issues, which you think will take a while to resolve. If your storm is light then it means your problems don’t really upset the balance of your world. If it is outside the room it means you see your problems at a distance and they can easily be controlled.
Flowers: There is some argument about the flowers in relational psychology. The first argument is that the flowers represent your social connections. This could be those you consider to be family or friends. How you feel about the flowers reflects how you feel about the people in your life. The number of the flowers determines your significant connections and how close you are to them, a “bunch” of flowers suggests you have a close group of friends you rely on. A couple suggests you may be close to only very few people. Tons of flowers suggests that you are a social butterfly with many connections or contact, but may not develop a deep relationship with any of them. A row or more of flowers suggests that you have levels of connections, some have stayed and some have gone. The location of the flowers relative to the cube determine how close you are with your people. The color of the flowers represents your current feelings toward them.
The second argument is that the flowers represent kids. Some believe the number of flowers you see is either the number of children you will have or the number of children you want. The closer the flower is to the cube, the closer you feel to your children or the thought of having children. If your flower is close to the ladder then a goal in life might be to have children. Different colors also represent a variety in children (you want boys/girls of varying ages).
It's worth looking into the meaning of colors deeper, but here is a quick and generalized list of color meanings as it applies to psychology:
Black: Black is the color of authority, elegance, sophistication, mystery, secrecy and seduction. Black can also imply darkness and/or painful emotion. Or rarely, oneness/every thingness.
White: White symbolizes innocence, peace, purity, simplicity, cleanliness. And rarely, nothingness, like a blank slate.
Red: Red represents dominance, power, action, motivation, ambition, leadership, willpower, passion and sexual energy. It is also the color many associate with romantic love.
Pink: Pink represents softness, kindness, friendliness, nurturing, calming, love, naivety.
Orange: Orange represents energy, enthusiasm, excitement, attention seeking, thrill, warmth.
Blue: Blue represents knowledge, openness, royalty, loyalty, tranquility, calm, serenity, security, stability, reliability and sometimes sadness.
Green: Green represents compassion, growth, balance, harmony, equilibrium, prosperity, relaxation, renewal, vitality.
Yellow: Yellow represents optimism, joy, enthusiasm and playfulness, overpowering, sociability, uplifting, cheer, inquisitiveness, original thought.
Purple: Purple represents nobility, luxury, wealth, wisdom, spirituality, frustration, arrogance, creativity.
Brown: Brown shows stability, reliability, solidness, strength, resilience, grounded-ness, safety, stubbornness, isolation, it is also the color of nature, earthiness.
Grey: Grey represents neutrality, calm, balance, detachment, lack of emotion, impartiality, loss, depression.
Silver: Silver represents dignity, graciousness, justice, discerning, unbiasedness, sleekness, ornate, industriousness, quiet wealth, perseverance, patience, emotionality.
Gold: Gold represents success, wealth, winning, achievement, triumph, luxury, prestige, extravagance, pride, charisma and luck.
In some cube tests, the ladder represents friendships. If you’re curious about that interpretation, you can easily look it up online. You can also look up any other symbolic meaning of any of the elements you saw in your vision. Don’t forget to spend time thinking about what the images you saw (ie: your answers) mean to you. And try it with a friend!
To be completely honest with you, many of the self-help, new age and spiritual practices of the modern day have led to a community crisis relative to discipline. The idea of discipline has been thrown out the window to the degree that you’ll hear people say things like: “It just stopped feeling good, so I knew the right thing to do, was to quit.” Or “I can’t make plans, because I don’t know how I’m going to feel at that time.” And the problem with this, is that some people are forgetting that discipline is an essential element of overall life satisfaction.
When someone is disciplined, or has a high degree of self-discipline, it means that they have the ability to use their own conscious, objective free will to govern their emotional system, mind and body. Free will is something that is external to body, mind and emotion. You can think of this as being a quality of the ‘observer self’ (consciousness that exists beyond the temporal form). You are meant to observe or perceive the information that is being given to you by your own mind, body and emotions, so as to use that information to make the right choice for yourself in any given situation. This makes a person appear in control of themselves; in other words, able to determine, influence and direct themselves. A self-disciplined person is not controlled by their own thoughts, emotions or body.
Conversely, when a person is not self-disciplined, their free will is not what is governing them. Instead, they are operating from a position of determinism. Their choices are controlled (determined, influenced and directed) by their own thoughts, emotions and/or body. People who are not self-disciplined, let themselves be controlled by their emotional guidance system, rather than using it as a source of information, with which to make a better decision. This is rather like putting a compass in charge of your life, as opposed to using a compass to gain information, with which to make decisions for your life.
If you are deeply seeing, hearing and feeling your own body, thoughts and emotions, you are gaining information, which makes you better able to make the right decision about what to do or not do. This is distinctly different than believing that any time something doesn’t feel good, it automatically means that it isn’t right to do.
We can’t talk about discipline without taking about resistance. When we say that a person is disciplined, what we are talking about in layman’s terms is that they can take action regardless of how they feel. Or that they do what needs to be done to achieve goals, even if it is difficult or painful. Or that they pursue what they think is right despite temptations to abandon it. Or that they make themselves work hard (or behave in a certain way) without anyone else having to tell them to do it. All of these examples, imply that self-discipline has something to do with self-governing as well as the ability to persevere despite resistance.
Resistance is any oppositional force. This resistance can come from the outside or the inside, or both. If you want to understand resistance more in depth than what I can convey in this video, watch my video titled: Urgent, Deal with Your Resistance Before You Do Anything Else.
For example, you may have scheduled yourself to go visit a friend, but it may not feel good to do because you started to have thoughts about the effort it will take to get showered, dressed, out the door, and get to them via public transportation. A person who is not disciplined, will probably simply act at the mercy of their emotions and thoughts and cancel the meeting. A disciplined person, will take the resistant thoughts and emotions being shared into account, but within the context of what is objectively in their best interests and what is in alignment with their true values and then, put energy into resolving the resistance so as to make the right decision for themselves with their free will. That may mean keeping the appointment, even though getting to it is a struggle and therefore, does not feel comfortable. Sometimes, resistance is a “you’ve got a message” bell containing a message that something feels bad because you shouldn’t do it. But sometimes, resistance is a “you’ve got a message” bell that you have an outdated belief that needs to be updated or a trauma that needs to be resolved or that you need to change the way you are doing something. Or that discomfort or even pain is an element of getting to what you want, that you need to say yes to.
A person who is not self-disciplined misinterprets the meaning of resistant words, thoughts or feelings. They make resistance, discomfort or pain automatically mean that they should stop or not do something or change course. This means that a person who is not self-disciplined, runs the risk of aligning with and enabling their own resistance. And by doing so, they actually avoid integration.
For example, imagine that you decide to get a college degree. There are days that it will suck. For example, when you get invited to a party but, you need to stay home and study in order to get your degree. Now, imagine that for a period of time, it feels super bad to study. So, you decide to let your emotions control you and you stop studying. Eventually, your grades drop to the degree that you drop out of school. You may tell yourself the story that you just weren’t meant to go to college. But imagine that the reason it actually felt bad to study was that an old belief of yours was triggered… The belief that no matter how hard you work on something; it will never turn out. Letting your emotions govern you (your emotions told you to stop studying because it feels bad) was actually you aligning with that old belief, not you following your emotional guidance system towards what was right for you. Just because something feels good, does not mean it is an absolute indication that it is good for you or right for you. If this were the case, heroine would be good for you and help you to achieve your desires.
When you hear teachings like “follow your joy” or “listen to your emotional guidance system”, that doesn’t mean “never do anything that feels uncomfortable or painful”. That doesn’t mean “your emotional guidance system is always going to lead you to something that feels good, so let it govern your life”. That also doesn’t mean that “your feelings are always a reflection of an accurate perception”. Discipline goes hand in hand with following your joy or listening to your internal guidance system. For them to operate hand in hand however, you’ve got to understand that your emotions and mind and body are simply providing you with information about you and the world around you all day long, but this information, though important, is not necessarily accurate. So, your conscious awareness and free will then must decide what is right to do given that information.
People who are concerned with discipline, are not actually afraid of discipline, they are afraid of bulldozing. To understand bulldozing, I want you to imagine a bulldozer. When a bulldozer encounters resistance or opposition, it drives straight through and over it. It will not stop and consider and it will not work with whatever is resisting it, so that there is any alignment. It plays a zero-sum game with whatever is opposing it. “I win and you lose.” “I get my way and you don’t.” To understand about bulldozing in-depth, watch my video titled: Bulldozing (The Way to Ruin Your Relationship With Yourself).
Bulldozing is not good for you. Many people who struggle to be self-disciplined or who don’t value discipline already know this. They feel like being self-disciplined is betraying themselves and bulldozing themselves. But guess what? All too often, people who struggle relative to self-discipline are actually bulldozing, and therefore betraying a part of themselves without knowing it. They are using the way they feel in the moment to bulldoze long term goals or the objective reality of what is best for them in the long run, for example. Discipline is not about your ability to bulldoze yourself. It is about your ability to work with resistance instead of against it. Working with resistance means seeing, feeling and hearing into it deeply so as to be aware of the cause and the WHY of the resistance. From there, it is about resolving that resistance, so as to make a decision with your conscious free will that is actually in your best interests. Doing so, will make it so that all of you can say yes to something because it will feel right for you to do, potentially even if it comes with discomfort.
An important thing to know is that “it doesn’t feel good” is not the information you are looking for when it comes to what you should and shouldn’t do. The fact that something doesn’t feel good is simply your alert that there is a red flag. It is the same as hearing the ‘you’ve got a message’ ring on your cell phone. But it is as strange to decide that this automatically means you shouldn’t do something, as it is to decide that when your “you’ve got a message” ringer goes off, it means you need to not do something. All it means is: You’ve got a message! You have to actually see, hear and feel what the message underneath the alert is, in order to make the right decision relative to the information.
Many people who struggle with self-discipline, struggle so much with really feeling their own free will, that in discipline they feel the pain of ‘having to, even if they don’t want to’. The thing is, there is no such thing as a ‘have to’ in this universe. You could actually decide today to never get out of bed, pee and crap the bed when you have to use the restroom, never eat again and simply wait for death to happen to you. You need to realize that you have that much free will. And no one can actually take that away from you. All they can do is use their own free will to escalate consequences or reward for your choices. And once you realize this, it will feel like you can consciously choose discomfort or even pain with your free will, instead of it feeling like it is something you are being forced to do, despite the discomfort or pain. To learn more about this in depth, you can watch my video titled: Have To… The Life Philosophy That Will Ruin Your Life.
Living without discipline, means that you are at the mercy of everything around you. It means your life is limited, when faced with the inevitable downsides of doing something, you will give up on it, achieve nothing, build up nothing, never end up where you want to be, be unreliable, unable to plan, be a floater in life, align with your own resistance (regardless if your resistance is in your best interest or against it) and fail to delay instant gratification in the face of short-term temptation. You will have ruined every relationship around you. And you will be at the mercy of everything around you, including your own mind, emotions and body.
There are a great many things that involve discomfort or pain that are worth doing and that can very well be in alignment with your best interests such as: Learning something new. Moving to a different place. Persisting, despite your mind showing you all the worst-case scenarios. Developing your physical fitness. Looking at the contents of your subconscious mind. Achieving something that has never been achieved before. Having children. Developing security in a relationship and Healing, to name a few. And I mean an absolute few. This is why it is a mistake to think that your internal guidance system and/or the universe at large will only ever lead you towards things that feel good, if it is in alignment with your best interests. To understand more about that in depth, watch my video titled: How Your Inner Compass Leads you To Both Pleasure and Pain.
If you are making a choice from conscious, objective free will, often times it becomes obvious that the right choice to make is in the direction of something painful because you align with the reason for doing so. Just ask a professional athlete, the feeling of rightness can exist even when something you are doing, doesn’t feel good. A professional athlete only gets to that position by learning that you can add any meaning to discomfort that you want to. Going for what you want is going to entail a certain amount of discomfort. So, the meaning that you add to discomfort is everything.
It is all too common that if you lack discipline you will slip into a ‘passive’ way of being rather than an active way of being and forget that you did not come to this earth to have a desire and sit back and wait for it to show up on your doorstep. You came here to use your actions and will to bring it about. Discipline pulls you into active manifestation.
With true discipline, you are working with yourself not against yourself. Without discipline you are at the mercy of yourself (thoughts, emotions and body). And therefore, at the mercy of other people, because until you are truly conscious, who do you think programed your internal system?
The good news is that discipline is something that can be developed. You can become someone who is actually motivated to persist despite downsides and to enjoy self-discipline. If you struggle with self-discipline, here are just a few things you may want to try in order to bring discipline back into your life:
Become aware of your relationship to Discipline. What do you really think about and how do you really feel about self-discipline? Know that motivation is the main power generator for willpower. Willpower is what discipline is all about, so if you lack discipline, you need to look at your relationship to motivation as well. Anytime someone’s motivation dips, their discipline dips too. Are you motivated? Why or why not? What could you think, say or do in order to increase your motivation?
Learned helplessness is the exact opposite concept from learned industriousness. In learned helplessness, life experiences teach a person that effort and self-discipline is useless and even potentially yields worse results than putting no effort forth at all; no reward. Learned industriousness on the other hand is when life experiences teach a person that effort and self-discipline lead to desired outcomes, and therefore, a sensation of reward. Knowing this, can you identify any experiences in your life that could have zapped your motivation or caused you to slip into a learned helplessness pattern? Are there times that you feel depleted and totally incapable of disciplining yourself? If so, you might benefit by doing The Completion Process relative to this issue in and of itself. To learn how to do this process, you can either pick up a copy of my book that is titled: The Completion Process. Or, you can go to www.completionprocess.com and select a practitioner to lead you through the process. Essentially, release your resistance to self-discipline in and of itself, before going forward with developing self-discipline.
Do parts work with the part of you that you feel out of control of. Many people who struggle with self-discipline, report a lack of faith in their own ability to control themselves. They report that they feel like some part of them just takes over control and so, their discipline goes out the window. For example, they want to be disciplined to not eat sugar anymore. But there they are, standing in front of the bakery counter, buying doughnuts. When this is the case, one part of you is on board with the decision and the other is not. So, it’s down to which part of you has more control in any given moment. You need to integrate and establish alignment between these opposed aspects, whose opposition is sabotaging your self-discipline. Keep in mind that a part of yourself that you may need to work with is the part of you that is against self-discipline in general. To learn how to do this, watch my video titled: Parts Work (What Is Parts Work and How To Do It).
Create rewarding challenges. This means, add things to your day that are achievable and that you know will feel good to complete, but that you also know will cause you to feel some resistance. Things like completing a puzzle. Stopping yourself from letting your anger express outwardly when you feel it, and trying to get to the vulnerability underneath it instead. Going on a run. Eating something healthy instead of unhealthy. Meditating for ten minutes every morning. Completing an online class. Setting a date on the schedule and sticking to it, etc. This exercise will re-train you that you have the willpower to do things, and that doing so actually pays off. Small acts of self-discipline act like muscle strength training. It improves your overall will power for the things that really matter. Practicing self-control strengthens willpower.
Make a list of times that your self-discipline, willpower, drive, self-control or effort actually did pay off. As people, we tend to only focus on the negative, especially when we have a poor relationship to something, like self-discipline. You may even want to add times that other people’s self-discipline, willpower, drive, self-control or effort paid off for them. Doing this, causes you to form a positive mental link between self-discipline and reward.
Decide what (in your current life right now) you want to be self-disciplined about. If you struggle with self-discipline, you will want to only pick one to a few things. Write down that list and consider these your commitments. From there, find your meaning and/or motivation for being self-disciplined relative to these things. In order to be self-disciplined, you need to remember WHY they are important and meaningful to you. Anytime that you are feeling demotivated relative to something you want to be disciplined about, take a moment to think about thosebigger and potentially long-term reasons for doing something, so that you can reconnect to the meaning behind your commitment.
Fall in love with challenge. Self-disciplined people like challenges. This means, they have a positive association with the process of overcoming setbacks, downsides, failures and weaknesses, even if the process itself can be painful at times. A setback, a downside, a failure, a weakness or a challenge is usually not a message from the universe to quit or not do something in the first place. See challenge as an expected part of any process, especially when it comes to achieving success, personal growth and personal desires. Each challenge is an opportunity to know more and to become better.
Develop an if-then plan. A big part of self-discipline is to be able to delay instant gratification for long term pay off. It is harder to be self-disciplined when you are in the moment, facing a temptation. Because of this, it is beneficial to plan how to stick to, or achieve, whatever it is that you’re committed to. For example, say your self discipline is about finishing a project. You can say, if someone calls to invite me to do something fun, then, I am going to say no and stay here to finish my project. This helps you to identify goal-serving behaviors and to decide in advance how you are going to behave so as to keep in alignment with your goal.
To live a life that is truly worth living, you need to allow your thoughts, emotions and body to inform your conscious, objective will. You need to listen to your internal guidance system. But you must take that information you receive and use your free will to decide what to do with that information, so that your actions can actually be in-alignment with your highest and best good. You need discipline. After all, discipline is a major component of the bridge you are looking for, between wanting something and actually achieving it.
All people possess an internal guidance system. Sometimes people call it ‘the inner voice’. Sometimes people call it ‘the internal compass’. Sometimes people call it their emotional guidance system. This internal guidance system helps a person navigate life, make choices and keep heading towards their desires. But people make a faulty assumption about the internal guidance system. The faulty assumption people make is that the inner compass will always lead you to pleasure and never pain.
This assumption is what causes many people to misunderstand their own internal compass, to the degree that they stop listening to it. This is also an assumption that people capitalize on, in order to get others to abandon their own personal guidance system in favor of doing what they want. To illustrate both points, I’ll give you an example. A client I saw many years ago had very controlling parents. They did not like the stress of chasing a kid around and so, they preferred that she sit still and watch TV or use her coloring book. In order to discourage her from being active, they warned her about the fact that it was inevitable that if she was active, she would get hurt. Following her own internal guidance system, she put on a pair of roller skates instead of obeying her parents. A few minutes into the activity, she fell so hard on her butt that she couldn’t walk. She sat there crying and then had to crawl home. When she got home, her parents said “I told you so”.
That day, she made the experience mean that she could not trust her internal guidance system. That her inner voice and emotions would point her in the wrong direction. After all, if the internal guidance system was working, it would only say ‘yes’ to things that would lead to her pleasure. So, she abandoned it and instead, looked to her parents to know what is right for her and what to do and what to decide. This of course greatly pleased her parents, who were very happy to have such a compliant daughter and who truly believed that their estimation of what is ‘right’ for their daughter was far superior to her own estimation of what is ‘right’ for herself.
Consequently, this woman originally came to me because she had such a hard time with autonomy in relationships. Though she wanted freedom within a relationship, her emotional guidance system kept leading her into relationships where she had no freedom at all. She had no freedom because she had learned to look to her romantic partners to tell her what to think, say and do in the same way that she had looked to her parents for what to think, say and do. She did this so she would never get hurt again or have to blame herself for making the wrong choice again.
This idea that people have, that the inner compass will always lead you to pleasure and never pain, also tends to come with the beliefs that pain is wrong and that pain = negative results. All of these beliefs are inaccurate.
The inner compass is designed to lead you in the direction of what is in your best interests, what most people would call ‘right’ for you or ‘good’ for you. But just because something is in your best interests does not mean that it will necessarily be pleasurable. After all, your internal guidance system is not separate from the law of attraction or synchronicity or ‘divine plans’ within the universe at large. Not all elements of synchronicity are pleasurable. Not every element of a divine plan feels good.”
For example, another client I saw was an extreme skier. One morning, her internal guidance system told her to go skiing in a new location with a friend. She was super excited to go. But fatefully, that day she took a fall that completely ruptured her ACL in her knee. It derailed her sports career, which was her entire life. She slipped into a depression. But, one day, she received a call from a person that she knew, asking her to help out teaching students at a Montessori school. In the first three days of teaching the kids, she felt more purpose and more joy than she had ever felt doing anything else, including skiing. She now feels that she has found her place in the world. And gives the credit for finding her purpose to her injury. So, her internal guidance system led her towards pain. But was it wrong for it to do so? Or was doing so in fact in alignment with her best interests?
Another example is that if a person has learned a codependent style of relationships, their internal guidance system is likely to lead them into such painful relationships that they become aware of their own dysfunction and then consciously change a pattern within themselves, thereby bringing them closer to relationships that feels good.
Another example is that an athlete’s guidance system may point them in the direction of a gold medal and thus in the direction of a really difficult training regimen which causes them to bleed and cry and sweat and struggle.
I am not saying that the inner compass is always perfectly healthy. After all, the inner compass can be “messed with”. To understand more about this, watch my video titled: Why ‘Follow Your Joy’ Doesn’t Always Work. The main reason that channels and spirit guides often do not care about this nuance (and teach a person to follow their feelings anyway to the ends of the earth) is because they know that if the person follows their compass that was meddled with, it will lead them to a destination that they don’t want to be at, at which point they will then discover that they don’t want it and change direction entirely, back into alignment with the pre-meddled-with course. You should not distrust yourself and distrust the way you feel based off of knowing this. That would be worse than following your emotional guidance system towards what feels good with no awareness about why and lining up with the unwanted. Rather, when you follow your emotional guidance system with the awareness that your compass can be ‘faulty’ (mostly due to the process of socialization) you will be able to question yourself in the spirit of curiosity and the desire to be totally aware… You will ask yourself WHY something feels good to do.
That being said, if your inner compass has been messed with, it is in fact still working perfectly; therefore, not actually faulty. For example, if what was right for you, was to be an artist, but you were born to parents who would not put up with that career choice, and you adopted a deeper value of being close with family than personal purpose, your internal guidance would point you in the direction of: “then it’s right to give up your art for the career mom and dad want you to have”. It will make doing so, feel better (more like relief) than pursuing art. So, perhaps it is better to say that it is important to make sure the reason that your compass is pointing the way it is pointing, is both conscious and something you can consciously align with.
What all this boils down to is that just because your internal guidance system (following what feels good and what feels like a yes to you) leads you into something painful, that is not a reason that you should distrust yourself and abandon your internal guidance system. With a better understanding of how this universe works and the role that your internal guidance system plays in that more objective picture, your interpretation of these kinds of situations (as well as what you make it mean) will change.
We are conditioned to believe that feeling pain is both unnecessary and a bad thing. We also often make it mean that we’ve somehow failed. But pain serves a powerful purpose in the universe at large. And as such, it isn’t completely avoidable. To understand more about this, watch my video titled: The Meaning of Pain. Pain calls us to become conscious of ourselves and others. It is a messenger. Treat pain like a teacher and learn from your pain. Next time you feel pain as a result of your internal guidance system leading you towards something that ended up being painful, remind yourself that pain is the catalyst for the true alchemy of life change. And so, consider that it may just be both your inner guidance system and the universe at large working together FOR you and FOR your best interests, instead of against you or against your best interests.