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Do You Need a Bad Guy to Make Your Relationship Work?

When we have a relationship, our sense of survival and self-concept becomes wrapped up in that relationship. Humans are a relationally dependent species. When we are born, our survival completely depends on other people. And even as we grow and become more autonomous and better at meeting our needs, and even with the developments of our modern society, the reality is that we are still dependent on one another. We need each other and we cannot thrive without each other. Because of all of this, we become ‘attached’ to other people. And our attachment system is completely linked to our survival system. On top of this, we use relationships to estimate our own self-esteem and self-worth. This is why when someone cheats on us, and we make it mean that there is something sub-par about us as compared with whoever they cheated on us with, we feel like crap about ourselves. The ego is our sense of separate self. It is the ego that is concerned with survival and self-concept. And so, the reality is that at the current time, your ego is totally wrapped up in your relationships. This is actually natural.
There is a downside to this though. The downside is that anytime a problem arises in a relationship, that problem is usually experienced as a threat to our ego. Most of all, a threat to our sense of survival and a threat to our self-concept. When a problem occurs in a relationship, it is actually a big opportunity for the ego to evolve and to become a conscious ego. It is also a big opportunity for growth in awareness and getting closer to what you really want and even for developing a much stronger and more feel-good relationship with that person or with someone else. Don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t feel like this though. It doesn’t feel like this for practically anyone. If we saw this opportunity, we would respond to problems in our relationships in a welcoming way. We would look directly at them. We would take charge of them. We would put energy and focus into working through them with the other person. But this rather ideal way of dealing with relationship problems is just not the way that most people deal with relationship problems.
So many people encounter relationship problems and feel like because those problems pose such a threat (a threat to things like their survival and needs and self-concept etc), they can’t face them, take charge of them and work through them. Instead, they find a way to deny, displace, disown, project, deflect, suppress and avoid them. And today, I’m going to tell you about just one of the most common strategies that people use to do this… They find a bad guy.
To illustrate this strategy, I’m going to give you an example. Ye-Jun is in a romantic relationship with Brad. Ye-Jun moved from another country to be in that relationship and as such, had to marry Brad in order to be able to stay with him instead of to have a long-distance relationship. But this means that she didn’t have a very accurate idea about his life. Now that they are married, Ye-Jun is in hell because she and Brad are not compatible in many ways. For example, he has a job where he is on-call all the time. And his best friend is his ex-girlfriend. Brad loves this and Ye-Jun hates this. She always feels second to his career and second to his ex-girlfriend. If Ye-Jun had known much of what she knows now about Brad, she would never have decided to be in a relationship with him in the first place. But she feels like it’s too late now. She is attached to Brad. She uprooted her entire life and can’t face the shame of having to face that she made such a huge mistake. She can’t face the self-esteem crushing idea that she might need to swallow that Brad won’t choose her and the life she wants to have with him over his career and other relationships. So, instead of facing the problem, she decides to hold onto the fantasy of what she wants their life to be like. And she decides to hold onto the idea that the way she wants their life to look is the way it should look. So, instead of looking at the problems in their relationship, she decides that Brad’s ex-girlfriend is their problem. She spends hours trying to convince Brad that his ex-girlfriend is narcissistic and is using him and is hurting her. And eventually, she threatens that if he doesn’t distance himself from that relationship, she will leave him and go back to her own country. This triggers Brad and causes him to feel the threat of the loss of the relationship and therefore the threat of his loss of self-esteem and the threat to his survival. He also does not want to face the actual problem in their relationship, which is their incompatibilities.
Brad begins to notice that when he stops defending his relationship with his ex-girlfriend and aligns with the idea that his ex-girlfriend is in fact the problem, suddenly he feels closer to Ye-Jun. Suddenly, the pressure of the separation and division between them isn’t there. And they are instead aligned against a common external enemy. In this way, Brad’s ex-girlfriend becomes the scapegoat for the two of them. Brad and Ye-Jun both become obsessed with the “problem” of Brad’s ex-girlfriend. She is the main focus of their lives. They start to create frequent conflicts with her. Ironically though, they don’t make any move to remove Brad’s ex-girlfriend from their lives. The reason for this is because both Ye-Jun and Brad need Brad’s ex-girlfriend to be ever present in order to serve as a thing to deflect their relationship problems onto. They are now finding their closeness through their triangulation against her. To understand more about these dynamics, you would benefit by watching two of my videos. The first titled: How to Stop Being a Scapegoat and Stop Being Scapegoated. The second titled: Are You Being Triangulated (A Common Manipulation Technique in Relationships).
Brad and Ye-Jun need Brad’s ex-girlfriend in order to make their relationship work. They need her to be their bad guy in order to make their relationship work. After all, if they stopped making Brad’s ex-girlfriend the problem, or if his ex-girlfriend suddenly moved to another country or died today, they would have two choices: 1. Face the reality that they are not compatible and want different things and have a lot of self-healing to do and might need to get a divorce. Or 2. Replace the ‘problem’ of Brad’s ex-girlfriend with another problem that enables them to continue this avoidance strategy. 
It doesn’t take a genius to see that this relationship doesn’t actually work. Nothing about it works. And Brad’s ex-girlfriend being the false problem isn’t actually making their relationship work. But Brad’s ex-girlfriend being the false problem enables Ye-Jun and Brad to avoid the pain and terror of the reality that their relationship is not a compatible one. As well as to avoid facing and healing their own self concept insecurities. As well as to feel close by virtue of having a common enemy and an external problem. It is enabling them to continue to stay in a relationship.
An interesting thing to know is that in this scenario, both Ye-Jun and Brad got on board with the idea of having a common problem and enemy. But when this pattern plays out, it isn’t necessary for both people to agree on the bad guy or problem. Even if Brad had not aligned with Ye-Jun's strategy, Ye-Jun could have still decided unilaterally that Brad’s ex-girlfriend was the problem. And by doing so, could have still avoided facing the reality that the actual problem is that Brad himself is not compatible to her and will not prioritize her in the way that she wants to be prioritized. And most of all, by unilaterally making Brad’s ex-girlfriend the problem, she could have still avoided looking at her own deep, shameful truths. Truths like the fact that Ye-Jun feels bad about herself and is highly competitive with anything that takes focus away from her. Truths like she needs to be the number one priority in a relationship and thus loves to find a man with several other priorities so she can put him in a lose-lose situation between her and something else he deeply loves; in order to test her value and worth by forcing him to choose between her and that other thing.
So many people need to find a bad guy in order to make a relationship that doesn’t work, feel like it does work. So many people need to fixate on a problem that isn’t the real problem to avoid the real problem, which is much more threatening to them. So many people need to make someone else the problem so as to not face the fact that they, themselves are the problem. So many people grew up in families where they were made into the family problem because their parents needed to turn them into that in order to make their own crappy marriage seem to work.
When you are becoming aware of this dynamic, it is important to know that you could make anything the bad guy and achieve the same desired outcome. You could make the bad guy a situation, a job, a thing, a place, a person, an animal… anything. The common factor is that whatever you have put into the role of the bad guy, is a deflection. It is an avoidance strategy. To understand even more about this, watch my video titled: Deflection (The Coping Mechanism from Hell).
Because this strategy comes with so many personal payoffs and allows a person to avoid so many painful things, the likelihood that someone will watch this video and see themselves in this pattern clearly enough to admit it to themselves and others; and to stop this pattern and face what they are trying to avoid, is very, very small. After all, to see that you are making someone the fake problem and the false bad guy in order to avoid a real problem in your relationship not only forces you to perceive a very real threat to your relationship, but also to feel like the real bad guy. And as we all know; self-concept is the enemy of awareness. To understand this in depth, watch my video titled: Self Concept, The Enemy of Awakening.
If you feel like a situation, a job, a thing, a place, a person, an animal or anything else is the problem in your relationship, it may serve you to ask yourself the following questions:
What would be so bad about admitting that the relationship itself has a problem or that there are incompatibilities between you or even that the relationship does not work the way it is? Using our previous example, Ye-Jun and Brad both feel that admitting to this would mean that they would have to admit that their needs won’t get met in the relationship, and so they will never get what they want from each other. This means that they are back to square one in terms of their needs and back to square one in terms of needing to find a compatible partner; which they both believe doesn’t exist. As well as the shame of getting a divorce and how that looks to their family and to society; especially because Ye-Jun is a psychologist. Imagine that the specific problem does not exist and the situation, job, thing, place, person, or animal you’re having the issue with is exactly how you want it to be. Would the problem in your relationship be gone? Or would it manifest somewhere else? And what does that tell you that the real issue is? Using our previous example, if Brad imagines that Ye-Jun and his ex-girlfriend get along perfectly and are best friends, is everything between him and Ye-Jun fine? Or are they now fighting about yet another relationship in his life that Ye-Jun thinks is a threat? Or are they now fighting about him wanting Ye-Jun to be more independent and Ye-Jun wanting him to quit his job to find a job with reliable hours, where he isn’t on call? That tells both Ye-Jun and Brad that the real problem in the relationship is that they have drastically different desires for their lives in general as well as for how they want their partnership to look like. What truth about yourself or about the other person that you are in a relationship with, are you not willing to see and accept? How are you making the problem about a situation or thing or place or other person, rather than to make it about a specific painful or scary truth about yourself or about the other person that you are in the relationship with? Using our previous example, Ye-Jun is refusing to accept that Brad does not want to prioritize her and is instead telling herself that he will prioritize her as long as the ex-girlfriend is not in the picture. Brad is refusing to accept that Ye-Jun does not want him to have anything in his life that conflicts with her needs. And is instead telling himself that if he can get his ex-girlfriend to change her personality and be more accommodative of Ye-Jun's needs, even when Ye-Jun’s needs conflict with her own needs, that Ye-Jun will finally be fine to share him with his ex-girlfriend. If you 100% knew that the external problem in the relationship is solely a manifestation of an internal problem within the relationship, what would that internal problem be? Another way of looking at this is: If God/ The Universe came down to you today in a physical form and told you that what you think the external problem in the relationship is, is not actually the problem. The problem is inside you and inside the other person you are in a relationship with. And therefore, it is a problem between and internal to the two of you, what would the actual problem be? Using our previous example, the external issue with Brad’s ex-girlfriend and his job is just an external manifestation of the issue of insecurity relative to importance and prioritization that exists in the relationship. And also, the incompatible desires that both Brad and Ye-Jun have relative to the kind of life and relationship they both want. What would happen if that one problem in your relationship, or even if all external problems in your relationship, were gone? If your answer to that last question is, ‘everything would be fine’, then you fell into a trick question. If your answer is, ‘everything would be fine’, you are in denial about relationships in general. You are in denial about the relationship you are in. You are especially in denial about the actual problem in the relationship you are in. It is at this point that I’m going to hit you with a truth that is hard to swallow, but necessary to swallow if you want good relationships. Every external problem which is happening to a relationship is a reflection or indication of a problem within the relationship. Using our example, Ye-Jun and Brad may perceive that Brad’s ex-girlfriend is posing a threat to the relationship. They perceive that this threat is happening to their relationship and is making their relationship less secure. But it is simply a reflection of the problem within the relationship. Specifically the problem that Brad and Ye-Jun have a different idea of what kind of relationship they want to have with one another. As well as the insecurities that Ye-Jun has relative to her importance in Brad’s life. As well as the reality that Brad does not want to prioritize Ye-Jun.
So that you can understand this better, I will give you another example. A woman may be in a relationship with a man in the army. When he gets sent off on assignment over and over, she may decide that she hates the army. In order to avoid looking at the internal issues in the relationship, she decides that what is happening to her and to her relationship is the army. But actually, her husband continuing to be sent off on assignment for months at a time is just an external manifestation of the incompatibilities within their relationship. Specifically, between the kind of life they want for themselves. She wants a man who is there with her and with their kids every day. She wants predictability and reliability and presence. But regardless of what her husband says to her, he doesn’t want that dullness of the normal day to day life. He loves the excitement of the unpredictability. He loves being off on meaningful adventures and knowing that he has a woman back home who he can come home to, who is taking care of his kids and the household.
What are the real issues that are internal to you, internal to the other person and internal to the relationship between you both, which are manifesting as this external problem? If a person needs a bad guy to make their relationship work, their relationship doesn’t actually work. If you need a scapegoat to feel good about yourself, you don’t actually feel good about yourself. And all you are doing is avoiding reality and avoiding the real problem, which not only hurts you and everyone around you, it also leaves the actual problem absolutely unresolved for days and weeks and months and years and potentially forever. Which means that in order to avoid some kind of short-term intense pain and conflict that you feel you can’t face, you are settling for chronic underlying pain and conflict that you feel like you can handle. You are taking the slow acting poison and failing to see what the long-term consequences of that will be.

School Can Be A Way To Avoid Taking Responsibility

Learning is something that is seen as a good and right thing to do in human society today. This means it makes you see yourself (and also other people see you) as right and good when you dedicate yourself to it… to acquiring new and more knowledge. And to acquiring new skills and credentials. You don’t need me to sit here and tell you that learning is a good thing. Some people enjoy the experience of learning and therefore do more of it than other people. But no matter who you are, learning is part of the process of progressing and expanding and therefore, it is something that never ends. You will be learning for the rest of your life. But today, for the sake of your awareness, you need to become aware of a shadow that can use learning to hide behind. 
To illustrate this shadow, I’m going to use two examples.
Lauren is 32 years old. She grew up in a wealthy home where she never felt that feeling of wanting something badly enough that she needed and wanted to put forth effort to get it. She knows that if she gets into financial trouble, or really wants something, her parents will either bail her out or get her what she wants. Because of this, she doubts her own capability. She still lives like an adult dependent. When she thinks about really stepping into responsibility for her life and picking a career or starting a business and getting serious about it, she starts to get intimidated. She also feels like her life will become all work and no play. The idea of all of this pressure becomes so overwhelming that she looks for a way out of that pressure. So, she enrolls in a Hubspot Marketing Certification program. This certification program is one of so many that she has taken. She has a bachelor’s degree in human services and a certification in reiki and a real estate license and a global travel professional certification and a certification to call herself a Qigong instructor. She also went to school to learn how to be a mechanic to work on cars as well as to become an ACE certified softball coach. Lauren knows that doing this will buy her time. Her parents see education as Lauren getting serious and doing something useful with her time. This means they will keep supporting the illusion of progress in her life by paying her bills. And she can tell herself that she is progressing and is doing something respectable. She thinks that maybe with enough skills and certifications, she will one day feel capable of being responsible for her life. She can focus on learning and doing yet another certification program to avoid the feelings of inadequacy. As well as the fear she has about being responsible for herself and her life. But she doesn’t really use the certifications once she is done with them. The never-ending hamster wheel of enrolling in courses and getting new skills and gaining new certifications and credentials never really amounts to anything. Taylor has no idea what he wants to do with his life. He’s not one of those people who feels strongly that he is meant to be a doctor or a lawyer or an engineer or whatever. But his father has a lot riding on Taylor’s success. He wants to be a proud dad. He can’t be proud with an idle or unsuccessful son. Therefore, he finds it unacceptable that Taylor isn’t getting serious about his life trajectory and that he keeps partying. To get his dad off of his back about his life trajectory, Taylor simply decides to enroll in an expensive undergraduate program at a college straight out of high school. He doesn’t know what else to do with his life. So, he figures he can get his undergraduate years out of the way in the same way that he did all the rest of his school years… By attending courses that he hates about things that don’t interest him at all and doing just enough to pass. He can party hard in college. But his dad will be proud to say to people that his son is in college. He can feel good about himself telling other people he is in college. And he doesn’t have to take responsibility right now for what he wants his adult life to look like. His hope is that one day he will suddenly become interested in something and suddenly know what he wants to do with his life. Mateo has always been told by his family that he is destined to be a famous actor. This idea is one that compelled his family to put him into drama school and drag him from audition to audition as a kid. He was the golden child in the family because if it. Any time he tries to do anything else, he feels like he is doing the wrong thing. But he is afraid that if he moves to Hollywood and seriously pursues acting, he might fail. This will cause him to lose his special status in the family and to feel so much shame about himself that he doesn’t think he can face it. When he is offered an opportunity to play a stage role in a play with a director that has strong connections to Hollywood, shockingly, he turns it down. Instead, he decides to take out a student loan to go to film school. Every person he has met in the film industry says this is a stupid and unnecessary decision that he will regret. But Mateo thinks this is the right step because he feels he can’t achieve things right away. He feels he needs an in-between step to increase his confidence. This way, he can tell himself he is still on track to become a famous actor. He is still going in that direction, but he sure as hell isn’t taking any step that causes him to feel that lack of confidence and like he might let his family down or prove to himself that he isn’t as special as his family always led him to believe that he is. For Mateo, going to film school is falling back into his pattern of preparing to prepare to prepare to do something. The shadow is that learning… Things like school, education, trainings, certifications, internships, degrees etc. can either be something that helps you to take responsibility and causes you to progress and expand and therefore really ads to your life trajectory. Or, it can be the exact opposite. It can be something that helps you to avoid responsibility. It can be something that helps you to deny, suppress, disown and avoid deep traumas and feelings related to insecurities about your competence and capability as well as the fear of failure. And it can be something that keeps you in limbo, spinning your wheels, wasting your time and putting things off to the point that it keeps you perpetually stuck in life. The tricky thing about this shadow is that if you are caught in it, the feeling of relief you will get at the idea of doing another course, or going back to school, will cause you to feel like doing so is the right answer for you and is a step forward in your life, when it isn’t. It’s just relief from pressure and avoidance.
Look at that feeling of relief that leads to your idea that going to school or attending a training, or getting a certification, or taking an internship, etc. is the right thing to do. And notice if your decision is motivated by your desire to avoid something unwanted. Energetically and emotionally speaking, does it help you to move away from something uncomfortable or to take off some kind of pressure? And ask yourself the following questions?
Consider whether you are putting something off. What might that thing be that you are putting off? Do you notice a lack of bravery inherent in your choice? What do you not feel brave about? Do you notice an aversion to responsibility in your inherent in your choice? What scares you about responsibility? What might be preventing you from going directly for your passion? Pretend that schooling is not a step towards your passion, what might you do to fulfill that passion of yours in another way? Would you still do that thing if there was no schooling for it? Do you feel like your life has been planned out for you? Do you feel like your destiny is written for you and that you “should” be something specific or “should” be doing something specific? Why are you being passive about your life or passive about what you want to be doing in your life?
If learning is what you are doing in order to avoid something, it is either a step backwards or it is a stuck-ness where you are. It is not a step forward in your life. And in order to know the right step to take in order for your life to move forward, you’re going to have to directly face whatever it is that you are trying to avoid through learning. Including the fact that you are using learning as a way to avoid something else.

The 'If You Loved Me, Then X' Pattern (A Pattern That Dissolves Love in Relationships)

There is a pattern in relationships that dissolves the perception of love in the relationship. This pattern is responsible for so many breakups and not only that, it is responsible for why so many relationships end on very bad terms. And this pattern is the: ‘If you loved me then x’ pattern.
Most of us feel we have a handle on what our own best interests are. And regardless of whether this is actually the case or not, we understand on a visceral level that to love something is to take it as a part of us. It is to include it in our self-hood. 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. Therefore, we feel that someone acting against our best interests is not love. So, anytime someone acts out of alignment with what we perceive our best interests to be, we make it mean that they don’t love us. It dissolves the perception of love in the relationship. 
For example, Rachel perceives that it is in her best interests to be fully committed to by a man who is monogamous with her. When her boyfriend Mike flirts with other women, she no longer feels loved by him because she perceives him to be acting against her best interests. She has decided that if a man loves her, then he will not flirt with other women. She has decided that if a man loves her, then he will commit to her and want only her and be monogamous with her. This is the ‘if you loved me then X’ pattern. The problem is that Mike was enmeshed as a child. He perceives that it is in his best interests to be free and autonomous. When Rachel flips out when he flirts with other women or when he expresses his hesitancy about getting married, he no longer feels loved by her because he perceives her to be acting against his best interests. He has decided that if a woman loves him, she would let him be free, and not restrict him by expecting him to commit to her needs for security over his needs for enjoyment. This is the ‘if you loved me then X’ pattern. 
Another example is that Justin perceives that it is in his best interests for people in his life to value his art and approve of him being an artist. When his parents keep responding unenthusiastically to his art and instead keep bothering him about when he is going to go to college or get an internship, he no longer feels loved by his parents because he perceives them to be acting against his best interests. Justin has decided that if his parents love him, they would support his art and the fact that he is an artist. This is the ‘if you loved me then X’ pattern. Ironically, his parents actually think that they are acting more in Justin’s best interests than he is. They perceive what they are doing to be in alignment with his life success and therefore to be loving. When Justin refuses to get serious about his professional life, they fear that he will fail and that they will not only have to worry about him and support him forever. But that they will look like bad parents in society because of it. They don’t feel loved by their son because they have decided that if their child loves them, he will make the most of the opportunities given to him and be grateful to them for those opportunities. And also, they have decided that if their child lives them, he would also make choices that don’t worry them and that make them look good instead of bad and that take financial pressure off of them, not put financial pressure on them. This is also the ‘if you loved me then X’ pattern.
For one final example, Joanna has decided that it is in her best interests for her friends to be confidential about anything she tells them. When she finds out that her friend Megan didn’t keep this confidentially, but instead told another person what she confided in her, Joanna decides that Megan is not a friend and does not love her. Joanna has decided that if a friend loved her, she would never share something that Megan told her to another person. This is the ‘if you loved me then X’ pattern. Megan decided that it was in her best interests to tell her other friend what Joanna had said because what Joanna had said had affected her relationship with that person. Megan needed to confront that person to get the truth. When Joanna was so upset with Megan for telling the other person what she had said, Megan felt like Joanna wasn’t a good friend and didn’t love her. Megan has decided that if a friend loves her, they won’t put her in the position to choose in their best interests (in this case to keep a secret) over her own (in this case to confront someone with that information so as to find out the truth). This is the ‘if you loved me then X’ pattern.
All of us enter into relationships (I mean any relationships, whether they be friendships, work relationships, family relationships, romantic partnerships) with a whole collection of ‘if you love me, then you will do X’s’ as well as a whole collection of ‘if you love me, then you won’t do X’s’. All of us have found ourselves on both sides of this equation. We have all experienced this feeling that someone does not love us because of something they do or don’t do. And we have all experienced the torment of someone putting us in an impossible position where they decide that we love them only if we do something that is completely against our own best interests. Or when they make something that we do or don’t do mean that we don’t love them, when what we did or didn’t do had nothing to do with that.
One of the most difficult elements of life is that we live in a world of separation. Relationships can actually only exist in a world of separation, because for a relationship to happen, there must be at least two parties. 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. And even oppositional to their best interests. Problems with the ‘if you loved me then X’ pattern occurs when we perceive ourselves and another person to have conflicting best interests. We feel like we are in a lose-lose scenario. 
It is at this point that we usually bring in another common, but faulty belief that love is selfless and that love is about self-sacrifice for the other person’s sake. When we perceive ourselves to be in a conflict relative to best interests, we decide that if a person loves us, they will act in our best interests instead of their own. And when they don’t, we decide they don’t love us. Very quickly, this can escalate to us deciding that the other person never did love us. It was all an illusion.
Loving something implies wanting it to have what it needs and wants and what is in its best interests. It is not loving to expect a person to forfeit what they need and want or to forfeit their best interests to prove that they care about you and like you and love you. This means, love recognizes the beauty in conscious transaction. If you want to learn more about this concept, you can watch my video titled: Be Consciously Transactional. Why Every Relationship Is Transactional.
To break free from this pattern, we need to do two seemingly opposite things.
We need to question our conclusions when it involves an ‘if this person loved me then they would or wouldn’t X’. Most of the time, what a person does or doesn’t do has nothing to do with whether they love you or not. It has to do with what they perceive their needs and wants and their own best interests to be. So, we may just be adding meaning that does not inherently exist. To understand this deeper, you would benefit by watching my video titled: Meaning, The Self Destruct Button. We need to put genuine energy and focus into understanding anyone who comes into our life. And they need to put genuine energy and focus into understanding us. We need to put more focus on this than we put on trying to make each-other feel loved. The reason is that if we understand someone, we will actually understand what they perceive their best interests to be and maybe even what their best interests actually are. This allows us to act in their best interests and to foresee when there is going to be a conflict between their best interests and our own. This put us in the position to be able to communicate about it and problem solve and caretake and resolve that conflict of best interests before it turns into something that dissolves the perception of there being love in the relationship. Doing this, makes it possible to build and maintain trust in the relationship, even when there is a conflict of interests. And doing this, makes a person feel cared about and loved. To understand more about this, watch two of my videos. The first titled: Stop Trying to Love Them and Start Trying to Understand Them. And the second titled: Trust (What is Trust and How to Build Trust in Relationships). 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. Instead, 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 are choosing to be loving to 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.

The Power Play of Limbo

Limbo is an uncertain period of time or state of uncertainty and/or non resolution, where a person is awaiting an important decision, action or resolution. It is an intermediate state or condition. When you are in a state of limbo, you will feel stuck; like there is no progress of improvement. One of the experiences that is central to limbo is powerlessness. When you are caught in limbo, you will feel like you have very little to no control or power. At face value, it’s easy to think that because limbo is such an infuriating and painful experience, all people must hate limbo. But actually, there are some people who love it. Some people feel safer in a state of limbo. And some people use limbo as a passive aggressive way to gain power over other people. 
There are some reasons why a person would actually get a positive kickback by creating or maintaining a state of limbo for themselves and/or for others. 
People who are terrified of losing control and of losing options, love limbo. They love the personal freedom inherent in limbo. To decide often implies cutting off options. To commit makes them feel trapped. They fear the feeling of being trapped in a decision that they might regret. No matter how much it tortures the people around them, a state of limbo, (where everything is ‘up in the air’) creates a sense of personal freedom for them. People who feel that they are in a lose-lose scenario (where they face negative consequences no matter what they do or decide) will often try to prevent themselves from meeting with those consequences by staying in a state of limbo. It is a state of avoidance. But a state of limbo creates a sense of personal safety for them. At the very least, it postpones consequences and postpones pain. It is a temporary sanctuary to hide away from the risk of what might happen if they made a decision or took an action. Limbo can be a shadowy way of passive aggressively gaining power over others. When people use limbo as a way of gaining shadow power, they see that resolve or certainty or progress depends on them. For example, if you are using limbo as a way to gain shadow power, resolve or certainty or progress depends on you providing information or on you doing something or on you making a decision or on you initiating/creating resolution. This means, the other person is at your mercy. You are the one in control with the ball in your court. And this is where you want to keep it. So, you intentionally stay passive. Limbo then becomes a hook, keeping other people powerless and trapped and waiting and stuck with you in the power position. And this can become quite abusive. People who have a serious aversion to responsibility (and especially to seeing themselves or to being seen as the bad guy) use limbo as a way to avoid being responsible for what happens. At some level, every person knows that if you don’t make a decision, one will be made for you. And they like this idea. The idea behind this one is that if they don’t make a decision or if they won’t do something, the pressure will build up and build up until the other person decides something or does something. By being committed to limbo, that pressure to take responsibility to make a decision or do something is on the other party. It can be the other person’s fault. The other person can be the one responsible or to blame for whatever is decided or done to create forward movement. They can then see themselves (and be seen as) the victim and the other party will have to see themselves and be seen as the bad guy in the situation. Using limbo as a means for gaining power is a dirty chess game with serious repercussions in a universe managed by both the law of mirroring and by cause and effect. Whether conscious or subconscious, it is a strategy that enhances a person’s weakness of character. And so, it does not serve you and it does not serve others. 
In order to let go of this shadow strategy, first and foremost you’re going to have to tap into your bravery. Limbo is the result of your unwillingness to face, feel and deal with something in your life. It is about fear and avoidance. Bravery is the antidote. And bravery is like a muscle you need to learn to exercise.
Admit that you are afraid and admit to what you are afraid of. Bravery doesn’t mean that you aren’t afraid. It means that you are going to make a decision or take an action anyway. And with your fear. Bring your fear out into the open and into plain view by speaking about it, writing about it, facing it, examining it and putting real energy into resolving it. Validate your feeling of fear instead of judging yourself as wrong or defective for feeling fear. 
You may or may not be right about the actual consequences you are facing in whatever situation you are in. Either way, fear doesn’t happen for no reason and it is a valid response to whatever thoughts you are thinking or consequences you believe might exist or whatever your past experiences have taught you to expect.
Get clear. When you are using limbo as a shadow power strategy, you will use confusion to disguise your unwillingness to face whatever it is that you don’t want to face. If you are stuck in limbo, you will keep trying to distract, postpone, defend, analyze, rationalize and explain. You do this so that you can expend energy without having to make a decision or take an action. You are spinning your wheels so that you can avoid moving forward in any direction. 
 So, the question you need to ask yourself is: How are you confusing yourself? And how does doing so benefit you? Be brave enough to see the personal payoffs that staying stuck in limbo and keeping other people in limbo is giving to you. Choose consciously to stay in limbo or to get out of it. If you choose to get out of it.  Then face and examine and identify how to approach and resolve the fear you have in your situation. And then, face, examine, and identify how to approach and resolve the problem that you are afraid about in and of itself. Whatever you do, don’t run away from or ignore or postpone the problem. And beware that deciding that you need to ‘figure yourself out’ and ‘deal with your fear first’ before making a decision or doing something or creating resolve, is simply a strategy to keep yourself and others in limbo.
Get in the habit of playing things out. If you are making yourself or other people stuck in limbo, you are playing a short-term game. Become aware of the long-term repercussions. The first long term repercussion you should play out is what happens if you make no decision, take no action and create no resolve. Literally close your eyes and just watch what happens in a month, two months, three months, four months, five months, six months, a year, two years, five years, ten years etc. Play it out as far as you can. Then do the same thing with any decision or action you might take in the scenario that you are in. What you will notice is that the outcome that will inevitably happen as a result of maintaining the state of limbo is either the same or is far worse than the outcome of making a decision, taking an action or actively creating resolve.
Because the state of limbo is about the fear of commitment and the fear of making a decision and the fear of consequences and the fear of being seen as the bad guy etc. You would benefit by watching a small collection of my videos. The first is: Indecision (Decisions and Indecisiveness). The second is: Why You Should Consciously Choose Your Consequences. The third is: How to Get Over the Fear of Commitment. The fourth is: Self Concept, The Enemy of Awakening. And the fifth is: How to Get Over the Fear of Responsibility.
When you are creating a state of limbo, you must know that life will not stop and stay stuck for you forever. Your life will be decided for you. You will be powerless to whatever happens. And so, you need to ask yourself: “Do I care so much about feeling like the good guy or about not having to take responsibility for something going badly or about having the upper hand or about avoiding unwanted things that I am willing to let my life happen to me?” You cannot thrive in your life if you stay passive. You cannot thrive in your life if you decide to be at the effect of your life. The life satisfaction you seek only belongs to people who are willing to be at the cause instead of at the effect of their life. So, exercise your bravery and be proactive. Face what you need to face, make the decision that you need to make, take the action that you need to take. And resolve what needs to be resolved.

You Don’t Really ‘Own’ Anything

Human beings have forever been concerned with ownership. One of the primary concerns of the ego (self-concept) is: what is mine vs. what is yours. The problem with the concept of ownership is that it has both a potential positive side and a potential negative side. To own something is to have that thing in that it belongs to and with you. It implies some form of responsibility towards that thing. This is actually the positive side of ownership. It is an inclusion-based concept. For example, in a state of love, you own all things as a part of yourself. To love something is to take it as part of yourself.  This means it automatically belongs with and to you and so you have it and have some measure of responsibility towards it’s wellbeing. Where the concept of ownership becomes negative is that people often take it to mean that you have complete power over that thing that you have. There is a refusal to acknowledge things like the autonomy, agency, desires or wellbeing of that thing, especially when they differ from your own.
I’m going to come right out the gate and hit you with a universal truth. Because all things in this universe (including you) are all part of the same universal energy, and because you are a fractal within the greater universe, you own everything in existence. You have everything within you, in that it belongs to and with you. It is a part of you, whether you recognize it or not. And at the exact same time, in another sense, you own nothing. It is impossible to own anything that you encounter. No place, no person, no thing. All things in this time space reality that you call physical life are separate, unique, autonomous and have differentiated will. 
Currently, people are very limited in terms of their understanding of existence. It is not understood that an inanimate object has a higher purpose for existing, has consciousness (even though its consciousness is different to the kind of consciousness humans experience) has its own autonomy and destiny and therefore, it even has its own preferences, needs and desires. You could look at an inanimate object as being like a very different species within collective consciousness. The same goes for places. Therefore, to be in a place of awareness and alignment, you must apply the same understanding that you have about the idea of owning people to the idea of owning places or owning things. Back when people were even more out of alignment relative to the idea of ownership, they thought slavery was a perfectly fine thing and in alignment because it was common practice to own people. To treat them as if they have no independent will, no autonomy, no agency and as if they do not have best interests that are separate from your own. Remember that so many human laws are designed specifically to establish and protect ownership. And at the time, even the law saw it as good and right for one person to own another person.
Parenthood, as it is in human society today is still a form of temporary negative ownership over another person. A child is at the mercy of the awareness and attunement of their parents, whom they are thought to belong to. In the future, you will see this shift in awareness about ownership extend to children and also to other species. Much of pet ownership today is a new form of slavery. It is inter-species slavery. An animal is at the mercy of the attunement of their owner. If you have any doubts about this, just watch a beta fish that is isolated in a clear fish bowl. Or watch a dog who spends its life trapped in a backyard kennel. Many of you who are becoming more and more conscious are already finding yourself in a kind of existential moral conundrum relative to the idea of pet ownership in general.
If you want to understand the positive form of ownership, watch my video titled: Own People. And apply what I say in that video to all people, places and things. But for the sake of expanding your awareness and really grasping this concept, you would benefit by accepting that you can’t really own anything. All things that you call ‘yours’ will be left behind here when you die. All you can do, is to be a steward for other people, places and things here for a time. Begin to think of yourself as a steward. All things belong to the universe at large. Part of your own destiny and best interests in your lifetime will be to look after, manage, be responsible for, serve and protect other specific people, places and things. We may serve as the sole steward of something, or we may share that function with others. Each and every one of us is a steward of the earth we call home. And to be honest, many of us are doing a terrible job at that. There is a beautiful kind of respect and care for all things in existence that originates from adopting this awareness about all things.
Not so long ago, I stayed in a house that belonged to a world traveler. Sleeping in his house was like sleeping in a condensed form of the entire world. So many ancient and new objects accrued from all over the world. And almost none of them wanted to be or should have been in that house. From their perspective, they had been kidnapped and imprisoned. From their perspective, sitting on those shelves and kept in those boxes, they had been denied their purpose for existing. Under the surface impressiveness of the place, was this undercurrent of ‘wrongness’ relative to what has been done and what was being done with the objects themselves. And whether the ‘owner’ of that house or the people who entered that house knew it or not, that energetic reality was greatly negatively affecting their own health and life experiences. We live in a reality based on the law of mirroring, also called the law of attraction. We live in a reality based on the law of cause and effect. You cannot partake in the negative expression of ownership without getting the same experience back. This world traveler was not conscious enough to see this mirroring of what he had been doing for years inherent the displacement and pain that was forced on him when his own children decided to take him away from his home, pick it apart to sell each part and put him in a nursing home against his will. Because it was in their best interests alone to do so with him; and with the things he was so attached to.
For this reason, it is critical whenever you are buying something or whenever you are taking something from a place, to have attunement relative to whether a place or a thing wants to be with you. And whether it is in that thing’s best interests to be with you. Most people simply decide to ‘own things’ because they, themselves want to. For the average person today, they take a crystal from the earth with no concern about whether it is in the best interests of that crystal to be pulled from the earth. When they buy an object, they do so because they want it and they like it. They have no attunement to whether that object wants to be with them or to whether it is in the best interest of that object to be with them. The average person keeps objects even though it would be in the object’s best interests to be with someone else. This is in fact the reason why I am not currently a steward of any indoor plants. I would love for my entire house to be filled with plants indoors. But, with my current lifestyle and life choices, it would not be in the best interests of any plant I have yet come across to be inside my home. 
There can be serious consequences for succumbing to the negative expression of ownership. Many of the people who have broken into ancient tombs in Egypt have discovered this the hard way. One such place that illustrates this point beautifully is Hawaii. Hawaii is unique in that it is so very rare that anything (shells, stones, sand, plants, etc.) wants to be taken off of any of those islands. It is so out of alignment to take most things from those islands specifically that people experience negative circumstances befalling them almost immediately when they take possession of something from there that does not want to be in their possession or away from the islands. This has gone so far on occasion, that I have instructed people to fly objects back to where they were found or to mail them to someone who can do so for them.
Any person, place or thing should be where it can fulfill its unique mission and purpose and reason for being.  And all things have a mission, purpose and reason for being. Many Native American tribes understood this, as well as understood that you cannot own the earth you walk upon. These tribes have a giveaway ceremony called a potlatch. It is a ritual practiced to offer or give away without attachment or regret.  In this ritual, things were not given because they were no longer needed or wanted.  Instead, it was common for a person to give away his or her most prized possession if he or she knew that the item would fulfill its purpose better elsewhere.  All things in existence were understood to play a role in creation and thus have a particular mission. To many Native Americans, to have something sitting in a box or in the attic or closet was to deny a thing of its mission and purpose. And also to deny other people, whose wellbeing would better be served by it. So, the thing someone else would value or the cherished thing whose mission of service would be better completed with someone else, was given to that person. To do otherwise was to dishonor the medicine of not only the item/tool itself but also the maker of the item, if the item did in fact have one.
To sum up today’s teaching, you cannot truly ever own anything you come into contact with. All you can do is to enjoy it and be with it for a time. All you can do, is to experience the great honor and rewards of being a steward for certain people, places and things here. All things in existence have agency, autonomy, independent will, desires, needs and best interests that may be different from your own. You are merely in a relationship with all things. And if you want a truly in-alignment and rich life experience, take it upon yourself to caretake and do your best relative to each of these relationships that you have with a person, a place or a thing. But I warn you, the minute you start to approach people, places and things in this way, people, places and things will literally come to you from everywhere, eager to be with you and eager to be in your possession.

It Takes Two to Make a Relationship Work and Only One to Ruin It

It’s time to dismantle a revered societal belief, because this societal belief prevents people from seeing the truth of relationships as they really are. The belief it’s time to dismantle is: It takes two to ruin a relationship.
One of the most common things you will hear when you go to see a relationship counselor or when a breakup happens is “it takes two”. What this means is, it is automatically assumed that both parties are at fault in some way or hold some responsibility for the downfall of the relationship. But the truth of relationships is much more complicated than that. The truth is, it can be two people who both hold responsibility relative to ruining a relationship. But it only takes one person to ruin a relationship. The real truth is, it takes two to make a relationship work.
There is a risk that people will use this information to try to absolve themselves of any responsibility regarding the destruction of their relationship and use it to back up their blame of the other party. But if you do not understand this concept, you will not get how serious it is to consciously choose to step up to the plate and commit to and take full responsibility for your part of a relationship. If you don’t, your relationships are doomed. 
Keep in mind that it is not simply the one who pulls away or ends a relationship that is by default the one that ruined a relationship. A person can behave in a way that ruins a relationship and so the other, at face value, ends it.
To illustrate this point further, let’s make use of the phrase “it takes two to tango” by actually using the example of tango. If I take two tango dancers, both of them have to commit to dancing with the other and each needs to do their personal best in order for them to dance the tango. This is a metaphor for it takes two to make a relationship work. If one of them keeps sitting down for a breather in the middle of the dance and the other keeps tripping their partner, the tango is a bad tango and both parties are ruining it. This is a metaphor for it can be two people who both do their part in ruining a relationship. But if one of them decides to keep sitting down in the middle of the dance or walks off the dance floor or becomes emotionally abusive, but the other person is committed and is doing their personal best… the tango dance is ruined. This is a metaphor for it takes one to ruin a relationship.
This truth makes us really, really uncomfortable. Because, quite frankly many of us don’t trust other people. Knowing this truth makes us feel powerless and at the mercy of the other person… Doomed to be hurt. We would like to think that if we are knowledgeable enough and committed enough and good enough, that we can be in control of our entire relationship.  We imagine that we can think in a way and behave in a way and change ourselves in a way that no matter what our partner does or doesn’t do, we can create a successful relationship. We can make up for our partner’s issues and we can make our relationship work ourselves. But this is an illusion. Just like it is an illusion that you can dance the tango alone or do a good tango no matter what your partner is doing or not doing. 
You may have relationships where both of you do your part to ruin a relationship. You may also have relationships where it is only one of you that ruins the relationship. But knowing that it is impossible to even have a relationship, much less make a relationship good, unless two people are aligned in doing so, this puts you in a choice point. Knowing this, you can become avoidant of relationships because it is too terrible to know that no matter how much you may want to make a relationship work, you can’t if the other person isn’t on board. Or, you can decide that you are going to be one of those people who takes a powerful stand for relationship. When you do this, you are choosing to be that tango dancer who is dedicated and committed to each dance and who keeps learning more about how to succeed and become better and better at the dance and who puts forth their personal best. 
Making the decision to take a powerful stand for relationship means the following: It means that you know you can’t control what the other person in a relationship does or doesn’t do. It means that you know you can’t commit to relationship for them and you can’t compensate for their part of the relationship. It means knowing that what you do have is influence. Everything you think, say and do affects the other person. It impacts the quality of that relationship dance you are doing together. It means knowing that even though you don’t have control over the entire relationship, you do have control over one thing in any relationship: Your part of it. Your part in a relationship is: YOU. And so, being 1/2 of the relationship, you need to bring your personal best. You need to take total responsibility for YOU in the relationship. It means not basing your degree of performance in the relationship (or lack thereof) off of their performance (or lack thereof). It means considering your behavior to be a demonstrative vote for what you want the world to be like and for what you want to receive in your life. 
In a universe based on the law of mirroring (often called the law of attraction) doing your personal best in a relationship is your best bet relative to lining up with strong relationships. When it comes to relationships, all you can do is dance your best dance. And be brave enough to open up to give other people the chance to dance with you. Part of dancing your best dance involves this bravery to be in relationship, where you are not the only person in control of the dance. If you do this, at the end of the day, no matter how painful a relationship or breakup may be, you can live with yourself because you were the person you want to be and you were the person you would want to be in a relationship with. Just ask yourself, before you make this mean that you should be committed and stay in a relationship no matter what the other person does or doesn’t do, do you want to be the person who keeps dancing with a person who doesn’t dance back or who makes it painfully hard to dance your dance?
Because you are ½ of the relationship and you have control over that part, it is always a good idea to examine what your part in a relationship problem is. And because you have control over ½ of the relationship, it takes you to make it work. But it also takes the other person. And it can only take one of you to ruin it.

Pretending Nothing Is Wrong: The Road To Ruin in a Relationship

Have you ever been in a situation where a huge conflict occurs, something really bad happens or someone really hurts you and the next minute (maybe the next time you see them) they are pretending like nothing ever happened? They’re acting like everything is normal and acting as if nothing is wrong. Maybe the person who is acting this way, is you. This pattern is one of the most gaslighting experiences in the world. It can make you feel like you are losing your mind. And today I’m going to explain why this pattern occurs. 
There are actually several reasons why a person (maybe it’s you) might play this game of pretend or act like nothing happened. It might be for one of these reasons or for several of them at the same time. So, let’s look at the many reasons that a person might do this. 
A person might not know how to act. This is especially true in situations where the bad thing that happened was a conflict and the person doesn’t understand how to resolve and repair conflict. If a person doesn’t know how to act or how to repair conflict, they might just try to default back to what is familiar. And this will be their usual way of interacting with you before the incident occurred. When a person does this, it is usually a reaction against things changing. They want things to go back into the comfort zone, which is the way things were before the incident occurred.   A person might perceive themselves to be unable to face and accept the reality of the situation. And so, they might slip into the coping mechanism of denial. When a person feels they can’t deal with, change or eliminate something painful, in order to avoid despair, they might simply deny whatever is painful. Keep in mind that denial is not just about denying that there is a problem. Some people see there is a problem but their denial comes in the form of minimizing the impact it has on their life or your life, excusing it, forgetting it or rationalizing it. To understand more about this, you can watch my video titled: How To Call Bullshit On Denial.   It is often a strategy for avoiding the emotional/mental pain of shame. People love to soothe their own conscience this way. If something that happens causes a person to feel like they are bad or wrong, they may simply do whatever it takes to get out of that shame; no matter the cost to anyone else. They can buck responsibility and accountability by doing this too. For example, instead of owning fault or mistakes, they may intentionally forget it happened. Or re-write or re-frame the story in their head, so they can see themselves as the good guy instead of the bad guy in the narrative. Also, if they can pretend that nothing is happening and like you are the one who full of negative emotions and who is acting like there is a problem, they can turn you into ‘the problem’. Turning you into the one that has the problem (into the scapegoat), enables them to see themselves as the one ‘in the right’ and as superior to you; and thus, feel good about themselves and look good to others. The opposite of shame. The other person may be in a totally different reality about what happened from you. I call this a parallel perceptual reality. When this is the case, it can be very hard to resolve things because you and the other person can’t actually agree upon the reality of what happened. Or maybe you can, but the different realities are about things like what it means or whether it is a serious matter or not. Maybe they have never been on your side of the situation and thus have never been hurt in that way, so they can’t relate and aren’t in a space of empathy or compassion because of that. Keep in mind that when people are trying to cope with denial or avoid shame, they may create entire perceptual realities that enable them to feel good instead of bad, especially about themselves. This is often the case with revisionist history. To understand more about this, watch my video titled: The Most Dangerous Parallel Reality. It can be a conscious or subconscious (deliberate or instinctive) attempt to gaslight you. Gaslighting is a form of manipulation and control over group perception and group narrative; including your perception and narrative. Gaslighting warps your sense of reality. It confuses. And the idea is that if you doubt the reality that you perceive and yourself along with it, you might just surrender your perspective and narrative and adopt theirs, which will be a narrative that makes them feel good about themselves instead of bad. To understand more about this, watch my video titled: Gaslighting (What is Gaslighting and How to Heal From It). The person has some motive to avoid the elephant in the room. They find the discomfort of there being an elephant in the room and ignoring it more comfortable than the feeling of everyone’s attention going directly to it. You will see this often at family gatherings. There is an obvious issue, but everyone is ignoring it and acting like it doesn’t exist. There are all kinds of motives for avoiding addressing the elephant in the room. Such as someone being terrified of conflict. Someone being desperate to pretend everything is ok to maintain an overlay. Someone being so concerned about not making other people feel bad that they don’t bring the issue up. Not wanting to being the one to ruin the moment for everyone. Not wanting to become the problem or scapegoat by being the one to bring it up etc. They want to avoid the consequences. Instead, they can push them into the future. It’s a form of procrastination. For example, a person might cheat on their partner. Then act as if nothing is wrong. Doing this enables them to put off taking responsibility for it and put off or delay consequences like a complete self-esteem collapse, a break up, loss of connection, having to find a new place to live etc. But this puts the other person in the position to be in the consequences upfront and alone. Using our example, consequences like broken trust, having to make painful executive decisions and self-esteem collapse etc. They may be using this as a tactic to try to buy time to wait for you to do something where they can make you the bad guy and make you hold the blame and point to your actions as the cause instead. When people pretend that nothing happened, but there is a huge un-dealt with problem happening, you will only be able to hold that for so long without making decisions and taking actions of your own. And then, they can blame you and make you the bad guy for those decisions and actions. For example, a person may cause a huge rupture by saying that their heart isn’t in their job and that they don’t like anything they are doing. But they don’t do anything about it. Then the next day, they may show up at work like nothing happened. There is now a big rupture with their boss. The boss will only be able to hold this for so long before firing this employee. But that’s what this employee wants. This way, he can play the victim to the boss and the boss gets to carry the blame for the failed work relationship. And has to carry the responsibility for making decisions. This can be a symptom of a person switching personalities. Consciousness fragments. In some people, this fragmentation gives rise to severe splits within their psyche. If you want to understand this concept in depth, I encourage you to watch my video titled: Fragmentation, The Worldwide Disease. The part of a person that was previously “up” when the conflict or situation occurred, may not be the one that is “up” now. Different parts of self-relate to the world and to others differently. To give you an example, with classic splitting, a person is fragmented in a way where when they have negative feelings towards someone, in that moment they have no access to positive feelings towards them or memories of them. And when they are having positive feelings towards them, in that moment they have no access to negative feelings towards them or negative memories of them. It is rare, but fragmentation can even be so severe, that a person literally has no access to the memory of something bad that happened. Needless to say, this can cause someone to behave like dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Or at the very least, to behave explosively and irrationally one minute and to act fine and rational the next. They can be acting this way because they are actually up on a high horse. In-between the conflict or negative event and now, the person may be making themselves feel good by reframing the situation in a way that causes them to feel good and right. And if this situation involves a crisis, the person is most likely making themselves feel good by convincing themselves that you will eventually come to your senses and see that they are right. So, they are actually up on their high horse, giving you the space to come to your senses. For example, a woman might have a huge blow-up fight with her boyfriend over his job. She wants him to quit. He really doesn’t want to quit. At some point, she may go to wash the dishes. As she washes the dishes, she is soothing herself by convincing herself that she is right because he obviously doesn’t realize how bad the job is for him and for their relationship. And she is good because she knows what is best for him and is doing her best to fight for his actual needs, even when he doesn’t know them. She may then walk back in the room with him and act normal and like everything is ok. But this is because she feels right and good and calm because she feels she knows the truth, and feels that inevitably he will come around and come to his senses and align with her point of view. So, for now, they can drop it and discuss what TV show to watch. If you should find yourself in this situation, know that the confusion and anxiety and fury it creates is perfectly natural and to be expected. You are going to have to find out whether you are dealing with a person who is currently capable of having an actual mutual relationship with you or not. 
And here are some things you can do:
Seek the assistance of someone who can help you maintain your grip on the reality of the situation and go over the events to sort out what is true from false. Ideally, this should be someone that is hard or impossible for you, yourself to manipulate. Ideally, a professional. When you go to get this assistance, you need to care more about getting help to see the actual reality, no matter how much it hurts and no matter how much shame it might cause you to feel. Whether this experience ends up being validating or not, you need to make sure that you are not going to someone outside the situation because you need them to validate you or to make you feel good about yourself or to see yourself as right in the situation. Because if this is your intention, you may simply be using the other person as an accessory to your dysfunctional behavior and slipping into a narcissistic bubble that just so happens to be outside of reality.  Give the other person a chance to understand your feelings and perception of the situation. If you never bring up the rupture that you feel exists (no matter whether they are acting like it does or not), then you are choosing to continue on living in two separate realities. And thus, you are choosing separation, not alignment and not a relationship. Remember this: If someone says that they are hurt or that you hurt them, you don’t get to decide that they aren’t hurt or that you didn’t hurt them. If you say that you are hurt or that someone hurt you, they don’t get to decide that you aren’t hurt or that they didn’t hurt you.Being the one to initiate resolve or to initiate getting into the same reality sucks. Especially when in your mind, it should be the other person doing so. But if you care about having a relationship with the other person, you’re going to have to try. You’re going to have to force the issue. And there are ways you can do this that will increase the odds of this going successfully, such as sticking to expressing your feelings. When you do this, you want to focus on letting them know how their actions had an impact on how you feel. By doing this, you are making statements about the emotional reaction that you had and how those actions had a negative effect on your relationship. Keep in mind that people who pretend nothing is wrong are usually severely shame averse and so, communicating in a way to decrease their shame while helping them to see your reality is important. For this reason, you may benefit by watching my video titled: How to Resolve Conflict. The way the person responds to you sharing how you feel, tells you a lot about what type of relationship you can have with them, if any. And this is down to what is true for you personally. As you know, unfortunately it takes two to make a relationship work. If they refuse to understand your feelings and perception in the situation and don’t act committed to proactively trying to reach some kind of alignment and resolve with you, they aren’t interested in a relationship. They are interested in supply. What I mean by supply is, they are only interested in other people meeting their needs. Needs like attention, adoration, control, praise, importance and power. Anyone who doesn’t do that, they can get rid of with no concern about the impact that has on the other person.If a person wants a relationship, they will not want ‘bad blood’ to exist between you. They will want to feel good again and they will want you to feel good again and they will want to occupy the same reality as you. And both their words and actions (not just words) will demonstrate that. For more information about this, I want you to watch two of my videos. The first is: How To Create a Safe Relationship. And the Second Is: Why Some People Don’t Want to Solve Conflict in a Relationship.
When someone demonstrates that all they want is supply, not a relationship, it is down to you to decide how and if you want/need to continue a relationship with them; knowing that you are dealing with a person who has been traumatized enough that they do not currently know how to have a relationship and may not even want a relationship as opposed to supply. This is a rehabilitation case. And relational rehabilitation must take place within the context of relationship. The question is… are you actually the right person to be a part of that process of rehabilitation; knowing that it may take years or may never work; and that you will certainly get hurt along the way? Or if you are truthful, is doing so incompatible to you? Consider bringing in a genuinely neutral third party to help put the issue on the table and help with conflict resolve. This person can act as a bridge and a bringer of all parties into the same reality. Again, the best-case scenario is if this is a professional. Someone whose life is not personally affected by the situation. Someone who has no ‘skin in the game’ and can therefore remain objective. It can be really shocking when someone pretends that nothing happened. In fact, it can feel downright cruel. The thing is, most people don’t know that they are being cruel. If they did, they couldn’t keep doing it. Most people aren’t doing things deliberately to hurt you. Instead, they’ve got one thing on their mind: Themselves and their needs and their pain. Everything they are doing; they are doing to try to avoid pain or get out of pain they are in.  They are not thinking about you and what’s best for you and how you feel. And the reality is, you may not be thinking about them and what’s best for them and how they feel either. Pain often triggers people to slip into a narcissistic bubble of only self-concern. People actively have to choose out of that bubble in order to have a good relationship. And so… 
Everything is not ok unless a genuine meeting of minds takes place. That meeting of minds entails accepting that something DID happen and something IS wrong. Thus, some form of facing and unpacking the issue so as to find resolve must actually take place. By not accepting the reality of something unpleasant, a person can’t do anything about it. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Eventually, the situation that exists will take its own course, with or without your consent.
By acting like nothing happened, or going along with someone who is acting like nothing happened, you are acting out a lie. And a genuine relationship must be based off of what is real.

Why Living At Home With Your Parents Can Be A Bad Idea

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.

Some People Don’t Want Conflict Resolve in a Relationship. Here’s Why

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?

The Great Reset (A Life Hack)

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.

What is the Benefit of Unwanted Experiences Repeating in Your Life?

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?

If You Want a Good Relationship, Don’t Compromise

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. 

The “Only From You Pattern” in Relationships

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?

The ‘Choose Me Dynamic’ in Relationships

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?

Life Tip: Choose Your Consequences Consciously

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.

Do You Want to Be Successful? Be Willing to Be Seen as The Bad Guy

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?

The YES Pattern in Relationships

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?

The “No Resolve” Pattern

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.

Are You Complying Or Rebelling?

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.


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