Self-Inflicted Suffering: Waiting For Someone to Love You

Self-Inflicted Suffering: Waiting For Someone to Love You

I waited for years for him to accept me and to love me. I thought if I changed myself enough, he’d give me a chance and that he’d love me. The good thing is because of him, I learned a lot about love and life. I learned a lot of things about myself. I learned to accept myself and love myself. Because of him I grew a lot as a person. And as a result I came to see that this wasn’t the best relationship for me.

I guess deep down I always knew, I was too afraid to admit it because I didn’t want to lose him. But one day it just clicked– I knew I was waiting for someone that would never accept me nor love me.

I had wasted so much of my time and energy fretting on the one thing I couldn’t change… his mind.

(more…)

The (Relationship) Killer That Silently Lurks In Your Life

The (Relationship) Killer That Silently Lurks In Your Life

Today’s topic is going to be a touchy one, one that most people like to argue over.

But it definitely tops our list as a major relationship killer.

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 9.40.58 PMThere’s no shame admitting it, we’ve all been there, and we’ve all done that.

Neediness is an epidemic

It robs us of our peace and is fueled by our insecurities.

It makes us feel as though we have no control over our lives, and we’re constantly at the mercy of others. If you’re struggling with neediness don’t feel bad. You’re not alone…. (more…)

How to Stop Being a Victim and Take Control of Your Life

How to Stop Being a Victim and Take Control of Your Life

“Perfect moments are more often made than they are found”–Anonymous 

victimYou’re human. Life happens. Your emotions will ebb and flow. You’ve probably all heard this before, right?

However some people take this attitude to a whole new level—The Victim Mentality Level

First, let’s clarify what a person with Victim Mentality looks like.

  • Feeling powerless and does not take action at resolving their situation.
  • Constantly thinking about what is wrong rather than what is going well in their life.
  • Blaming others for their unhappiness.

Do you know someone who has the “The-world-is-against-me-attitude”?

Perhaps it’s your mother or father, one of your of siblings or a close friend…or maybe it’s even you that struggle with this. How does having this kind of attitude towards life actually affect you? (more…)

Finding the Courage to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Finding the Courage to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Screenshot 2014-06-03 21.10.51Recently I went on a long vacation! A good long vacation where I had tons of fun, met loads of nice people and visited places I’ve always dreamt of seeing.

It was a vacation I had been planning for a while; I even had a countdown to the departure date!

I was traveling the world like I’ve always wanted to! It was so exciting!

Excited as I was at the prospect of having to finally embark on my long awaited adventure, with the date getting closer and closer something in me was stirring. Minor discomfort at first, overlooked by my excitement later turned in to full blown anxiety. Don’t get me wrong, I was still excited about the whole trip but I was feeling uncomfortable…and I almost didn’t want to go.  (more…)

How to Be Independent in a Relationship

How to Be Independent in a Relationship

One of the biggest problems we see in relationships these days is a lack of independence.

I’m not talking about where someone is financially dependent on a controlling and domineering spouse or anything like that. (That does happen sometimes, and it sucks…)

I’m talking more about what are called fused relationships or enmeshed relationships.

This is a kind of emotional dependence that can be quite damaging to a relationship. It can lead to clinginess, neediness, and resentment that can eventually destroy a relationship.

Maybe this doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense to you. So here are a few diagrams that might explain this better.

A Dangerously Common Scenario

When you first get together with someone, you are (hopefully) a complete and independent person on your own.

1

You have your own interests and things that you enjoy doing.

2

Then one day, you meet someone new.

You like how he plays the guitar and kicks a soccer ball around with his friends on the weekend.

He likes how you love to knit and study French in your spare time.

3

All goes great. You meet, the sparks fly. One date turns into two, then three. And before you know it you’re giving up little bits and pieces of what you used to do for the sake of spending more time with each other.

Your weekly “Francophone meet up” gets put on the sidelines and his jam sessions get put on hold for the sake of movie night and spending time together.

4

That’s totally normal in moderation, but if this becomes a recurring pattern, then these parts of your life  start to disappear and leave an empty void.

5

Then the obvious thing to fill that void with is the relationship and each other.

Then suddenly, you find yourself in a fused relationship.

6

And if your partner is off on a business trip or isn’t around for one reason or another, you just don’t feel complete.

7

I can already hear a few people out there in the back row exclaiming:

“But… Isn’t That Romantic?”

Now, a lot of people will think that this is a good thing. They feel like they can’t live without their partner, that their partner completes them, that their partner is quite literally their other half (replacing the missing half that they surrendered to get into the relationship).

But as romantic as this may seem on the surface, this can actually be a very bad situation to be in.

On one hand, you’ve given up parts of yourself that initially drew the two of you together.

This means that the attraction might start to taper out and that spark… that connection… the chemistry just might not seem to be there anymore.

IDUNNOOn the other hand, this creates an environment rife for manipulation, covert contracts, clinginess, and power struggles.

If you are in an enmeshed relationship, and one person decides they want to improve themselves by, say, getting out of their comfort zone and making more friends, it can come across as a threat to the other person.

Instead of seeing that their partner is working at bettering themselves they become worried that they’re trying to cheat on them, that they’re pulling away emotionally, or that they just don’t care about the relationship as much.

This is where the accusations come. The threats. The pouting. The attempts to get them to give up this attempt to make more friends. The “innocent” tries at sabotaging their efforts.

“I can’t believe you’re going out with your friends again! Don’t you care about us anymore?”

“But I already rented the entire third season of True Blood and got us a pint of Rocky Road. Wouldn’t it be so nice to curl up and spend all night catching up?”

“If you really loved me, you’d be here for me more often the way that I’m here for you.”

This is a common response when you’re in a fused relationship and one person tries to un-fuse the relationship.

To the other person, it can literally feel like they are losing the connection and even part of themselves.

That’s why they will often unknowingly sabotage or guilt their partner for trying to change things.

And even if their partner does comply, they’re only left with a sense of resentment and bitterness.

After all, they let friendships, dreams, and goals go for the sake of keeping their partner happy.

How to Be Independent in a Relationship

medium_470780785Okay, so being in a fused relationship isn’t healthy, and it isn’t going to help you or your partner really live  fulfilling lives in your own rights.

What do you do to become independent?

The first step is to realize that any sense of clinginess, neediness, or dependence is a symptom of a void in your life that you are trying to fill with a relationship or a person.

No person will ever “complete” you, so don’t try to do that.

Instead, find things that you can use to fill the void yourself.

Take some time for deep introspection and ask yourself what you really want for your life and for yourself.

  • What dreams have you put on the sidelines?
  • What goals have you never given yourself permission to go after?
  • What’s one change that you’d like to see in the world?

For example, I recently joined a men’s group with a few male friends. It’s fun to get together every few weeks to just joke around or to talk about some of the deeper issues that come with being a guy.

I also decided to learn how to cook several months ago. I enjoy picking out recipes for the week, learning new skills, and pairing different spices and foods together (I have a really great recipe for mashed cauliflower seasoned with coconut milk and cashews, if you’re interested!).

And even just taking the occasional evening for myself to read a book or write in my journal has been incredibly rewarding for me.

I’m not saying that these are the answers that will necessarily fit you. You’ll have to find what works best for you and your vision for yourself and the world.

Finding the Answers That Work for You

Being independent in a relationship can be a difficult thing to start with. Especially if you’re overcoming the inertia of being in a fused relationship.

You’ll have to set aside all of those impulses to fill the void with your partner or your relationship.

And you’ll have to look deeper at what you truly want for yourself and your experience of life.

But over time, having a life outside of your relationship will really help nurture your relationship. You’ll be able to have more experiences to connect on and there won’t be an oppressive suffocating feeling that you always need to do everything together.

[stextbox id=”P2P” caption=”Have You Ever Been in a Fused Relationship?”]

If you’d like to learn more about how to gain independence in your relationship and do the things I wrote about in this article, the Passion Program would be a great fit for you.

We directly address the issues of fused relationships and independence in module 7. Plus much of the other modules help you get more in touch with yourself and what you really want for yourself so that you can have the healthy and loving relationship you really want.

If this sounds like something you’d like help with, we’d love to work with you in the Passion Program.[/stextbox]

Choking Back on Tears: My Crazy Path to Relationship Bliss

Choking Back on Tears: My Crazy Path to Relationship Bliss

[Note 1: I’m thinking about creating a free “Relationship Mini-Intensive” for you, more details about that near the bottom of this post]

[Note 2: This is a followup to this post, which got an astonishing number of comments from across the globe (it still blows my mind that people in just about every country read this blog)]

tear01In 2006, my life changed in an instant.

I hung up the phone for the last time with my ex, after she said those four words: “This isn’t working anymore.”

This wasn’t our first breakup. Actually, over the seven years we were together, it was our third.

I probably could have gotten her back, the way I had in the past, but something told me to take a different path.

Ultimately, in my heart, I knew that the two of us weren’t right for each other, and no matter how hard I tried to force it, it just didn’t make up for our dramatically different values.

And, Ultimately, This Was a Choice That Changed EVERYTHING

So, I started on a difficult and challenging journey to really learn everything I could about relationships, dating, forgiveness, emotions, and connecting with others.

And I had a lot of catching up to do…

Back on that cold evening in late February in 2006, I was painfully shy, I was so disconnected from my own emotions that I hardly knew how to describe how I felt aside from “bad,” and I only had one real friend in the world who lived about 100 miles away from me in a college town out in the middle of nowhere.

…Like I said, I had a long journey ahead of me.

The Crazy Story of How I Found the Best Relationship of My Life

rain-01I made a lot of mistakes along the way.

I spent MONTHS suffering as I coped with crippling heartbreak.

I even got a crush on a co-worker who was going through a breakup too (I guess somehow the shared experience made me feel like there was more there)… and then I was emotionally devastated when she didn’t feel the same way about me.

I spent a lot of time reading books and trying to figure out this whole “love” part of my life, which I’ll admit isn’t really what your typical twenty-something guy does with his free time…

Sometimes, I’d make little realizations along the way…

…But never much that really took me LIGHTYEARS ahead of what I even thought was possible.

When I Look Back on It…

Every Single BIG Change Came as a Direct Result of Getting Intense Feedback from Other People

goldfish jumping out of the waterThere are lots of great books that helped me, for sure, but when it comes to the quantum leaps in progress

I could always look back and remember someone there, holding my feet to the fire, and giving me guidance through the difficult times.

You see, we often have a hard time seeing our own situation from an outsiders’ point of view. We’re often so stuck, thinking that we just need to know the right “magic words” or master the right “body language,” that we completely miss how we’re actually acting and behaving.

They say that the three greatest mysteries are:

  • A fish unto water…
  • A bird unto air…
  • And a man unto himself…

That is to say that oftentimes we’re stuck “swimming in” our own limiting beliefs, doubts, and uncertainties that we have no idea that they are even there to begin with.

Just like if you were to ask a fish about water… It would have no idea what water even is because it has spent its entire life swimming in water. It doesn’t even have any concept of a life or a world outside of the ocean.

And it’s in those moments… those sudden flashes… when the fish suddenly realizes he’s spent his whole life surrounded by water… and those flashes when people just like you and me realize that we’ve been living our lives based on a set of fragile yet unquestioned beliefs… that everything changes.

…It’s in those moments that real transformation happens.

…And it’s in those moments when this whole “relationship” part of your life goes from a no-win game designed to crush and defeat you… into a game that you can actually win!

…A game with the odds stacked in your favor for having that relationship you truly yearn for.

How to Find What You’ve Been “Swimming In”

Okay, so maybe you’re wondering how do you find these beliefs that have kept you a prisoner… and held you back from enjoying the kind of relationship you truly want… without even knowing it!

And I’m going to be honest with you.

You’re not going to figure this out by reading a book.

The only way you’re going to make these life-changing, relationship-saving shifts is to get feedback and guidance from someone who is not “swimming in” the same stuff you are.

It’s through getting direct help from someone to point out the blind spots that keep you from getting the love you want… the blind spots where you unintentionally and unknowingly repel the very people you want so desperately to attract.

The First Time, This Happened, I Was Choking Back on Tears in San Francisco

A photo of me in my hotel room afterward (I never felt as open before, and I tried to capture it on film...)

A photo of me in my hotel room afterward (I never felt as open before, and I tried to capture it on film…)

I was sitting across from a man and a woman who I had only met a few days earlier… Yet they were guiding me through DECADES of suppressed pain and suffering.

Once the tears subsided, I felt lighter. All that emotion and numbness I was holding onto for so long was gone.

And in that moment, I was a new person.

All the suffering, heartache, and loneliness was gone. And in it’s place was the real me. The person I always “sort of” knew was there, but was always stifled and held back.

But aside from feeling better myself, the people in my life found that I was easier to get along with.

It was almost like they could take a deep sigh of relief and FINALLY let their guard down.

Little did I know, but for nearly my entire life up to this point, I was unknowingly repelling people from me.

…Even the people that I wanted so desperately to love me.

I couldn’t help but look back on all the breakups, failed relationships, and challenges and see–with crystal clarity–how I had been pushing these people away from me, without even knowing it.

I just couldn’t go on making the same mistakes that kept me lonely and single any longer.

And shortly after that deep, cleansing, catharsis, I met Mika.

And people tell me that I’m lucky to have such a great relationship…

But I Can Tell You That “Luck” Has Absolutely Nothing to Do with It

MandMeI can say beyond the shadow of a doubt that if it wasn’t for all the grueling work I put it and compassionate guidance I got from others along the way, I never would have been able to have the relationship that I have with her today.

These days, I’m truly blessed to be in the best relationship of my life.

  • I no longer feel like I’m walking on eggshells, trying to prove myself to anyone.
  • I no longer feel like I’ll be left alone if I don’t measure up and put on my “best game.”
  • I no longer feel as if I need to hide who I am or what I truly want.

In fact, my relationship is almost completely effortless.

Now, I won’t lie to you and tell you that we don’t have our bad days every now and then, but those are few and far between.

The real cool part is that my relationship and my love life is no longer a source of stress or anxiety for me anymore.

My relationship is like a safe harbor, where I know I can be myself and express anything I want without the fear of being judged or rejected.

It’s more like an endless path that we both travel together as we share a journey and help each other grow… where each day we’re constantly falling in love with each other again and again.

And I really couldn’t have done it alone.

I really owe all the progress I’ve made to a few people who have stood up and held me accountable… who have guided me through confusion… and who have pointed out my own blind spots and helped me grow in ways I could never even imagine.

So, Here’s What It’s Come to… Here’s What’s Being Demanded of Us… And What I Feel Compelled to Do for You…

Sure, Mika and I help people just like you navigate the world of love and relationships with the products we offer.

But we also know that no situation is the same, and that every relationship is unique.

For some people, a one-size-fits-all model is fine, but for others, they need closer guidance to know exactly how to get the love they deserve.

I’m thinking about creating a free “Relationship Mini-Intensive” for you, just as a test to see if there’s any interest in this kind of thing.

To be honest, both Mika and I have been truly humbled with all the messages, comments, emails, etc. about the last two blog posts I wrote.

It seems there’s a lot of interest in getting more feedback and learning more advanced strategies

But Here’s the Catch…

I told you how I’m a hopeless perfectionist, so I want to create separate “mini-newsletter” just about this to see if there’s enough interest.

So, here’s what I’d like you to do…

If you’re interested in this, then enter your email address below…

This is a separate newsletter than the one you are probably already subscribed to. This newsletter will have updates just about this free Relationship Mini-Intensive.

If enough people get on this insiders’ only interest list (I’m thinking at least 100), then we’ll go ahead and do this in the next week or two.

Ultimately, you will need to help by giving me feedback about specifically what you want help with.

And together we’ll work to help you have the relationship you know you deserve.

People Pleasers and the Bankrupt Game of Covert Contracts

People Pleasers and the Bankrupt Game of Covert Contracts

smileToday I want to talk about People Pleasers.

What’s wrong with People Pleasers?

I mean isn’t bringing joy to others and serving the world the key to a fulfilling life?

Yes, but it all comes down to your motivation behind doing so.

If you are motivated by wellspring of love in your heart that overflows from a place of pure abundance, then you are doing it for the right reason.

If you are afraid of rocking the boat or deeply terrified that if you don’t live up to someone else’s expectations, then they will leave you, then you are doing it for the wrong reason.

Of course, this has a lot to do with boundaries and expectations.

But it also has a lot to do with the belief that your relationship is built on a shaky foundation, and you’d better fall in line or else that relationship is going to disappear.

Being a People Pleaser really comes from a perceived place of disempowerment and insecurity(is a relationship really supposed to be about power struggles and control?).

And situations like this are often laced with Covert Contracts.