A Soulmate Is Born

Maybe its time to let the old ways die.”— Jackson Main

There is a moment in “A Star Is Born” that is almost too painful to watch. In it, deteriorating Country Western singer Jackson Main is watching his wife Ally receive a “Best New Artist” Grammy. Inebriated, he wanders up on stage to join her. Right there on national television, he loses control of his bladder and wets himself, visibly. Imagine the humiliation and pain, the self-loathing not just triggered by something like that, but triggering the action itself. Can you imagine what it would require to screw up that badly? How much rage and fear at Ally’s success that would produce a passive-aggressive nightmare like that? The mixture of love and hate? And what of the aftermath, after you “sober up” and apologize, apologize, apologize. There’s only one problem with apologizing for an alcoholic outburst: it works once. Maybe twice. After that, if you drink you KNOW you are going to screw up again, and you cannot blame the alcohol. You chose diminished capacity. Perhaps it’s a medical problem, but you cannot deny that a problem it is.

Moments like that change everything. And the saddest part? In the midst of her humiliation, what Ally did was try to protect him by covering the wet spot. Love. Pain. Fear. Anger. Success. And…the most horrific public failure, all mingled.

THAT was a moment none of us would want to live through. And one hypnotic to watch.

##

Let’s overview the film.

Jackson Main is a hard-drinking C&W singer, raised by an abusive, alcoholic father. He wants love, like the rest of us. There is a serious problem: He does not love himself, and all of the adoration of his audience means nothing with the empty space within him. He sees Ally and is blown away by her art, her purity, her goodness. He decides that he will give her the chance of a life-time and lift her up. And we sense that he is hoping that just perhaps, if he can give her the gift she wants — success — she will reciprocate by rescuing his broken heart.

The problem is that the gaping wound in his heart is too large. As her star rises, eclipsing his, her total adoration of him isn’t enough and he begins a self-destructive spiral. Without faith and self-love, he cannot accept the chance that he might damage her career — which is clearly more important to him than their love, as his career was more important than his life. He was a scrambled man, turned inside out, the external world full and the internal world empty.

And this conflict destroys him. Ally, more genuinely tough and integrated (the love of her father is obvious and deep, giving her a foundation) his sacrifice allows her to integrate stardom and artistic integrity. She was a healthy human being. He was not, and the light of her love withered instead of nurtured.

A Soulmate has been defined in many ways, but for the sake of this discussion let’s say this: a soulmate is a person who, when you meet them and are with them, you feel the doorway to your future opening before you. There are so many values, intentions, energetic “frequencies”, mutual attractions and other things contained in this notion. The most important part is that everything is matching up: sexual attraction, emotional connection, values and life direction, mental “vibing” and even a spiritual union.

We all crave this kind of connection, even if some of us don’t believe it is possible, or that we can find it. Some make the mistake of thinking a Soulmate relationship should be some level of perfection where there are never arguments or disagreements, and the Soulmate “knows everything you need before you say it.” That is a grotesquely immature notion, a holdover from pre-verbal infancy, when mommy and daddy knew you needed changing, or a bottle, or a hug, even though you had no words.

Finding a Soulmate is one of the most precious experiences in life, and the first step we can take, even before we meet them, IS TO BECOME HEALTHY HUMAN BEINGS. That’s it. Not complicated at all. Brutally simple. If we don’t…if we aren’t…how can we attract and hold a healthy person? Its hard for a relationship to be healthier than the people within it.

Remember Groucho’s “I wouldn’t want to belong to a club that would have me for a member” line?

If we don’t respect and love ourselves, won’t we have to see anyone who loves us as flawed? And if they AREN’T flawed…won’t we fear losing them? It’s an emotional nightmare.

And indeed, Jackson DOES try to tear Ally down at one point, criticizing her looks. She is too strong, retreating from him rather than letting him damage her, and he must apologize. When his life falls apart, had he loved himself, had some sense of faith in his ability to heal, or at least know that Ally was strong enough to make her own decision to love him, and that destroying himself was the LAST thing she would have wanted….he could have healed and grown.

What was the origin of his emptiness? An adored father who treated him as a drinking buddy rather than a son. Damaging his emotions and possibly even his brain chemistry.

Love was right there. Healing was right there. Human connection, in a world where loneliness is said to be a greater killer than obesity or smoking, was RIGHT THERE in his hands, and he couldn’t grasp it, and that is why “A Star Is Born” is a genuinely tragic love story.

It speaks to every wounded heart that wants joy, that calls out for love, and somehow manages to throw it all away. If he had STARTED by loving himself, healing his heart, then when he met Ally, the two of them might have had a chance. But even if they hadn’t…he would have been happy…would have had the chance to meet someone else and the two of them could have been happy together.

The first step is yours: healing your heart. Learning to love yourself. Then, when you don’t NEED the love of another person, you are free to want it, find it, nurture it.

When the lover is ready, the beloved will appear.

If only Jackson had been able to let his “Old Ways” die, indeed.

This holiday season…give yourself life’s greatest gift: the gift of love.

Begin by loving yourself.

Steve

www.theancientchild.com

Advertisements

Self Love: The “Rock” of Ages

images.jpg

I was just watching Dwayne Johnson’s latest blockbuster “Skyscraper.”  In it, The Rock plays Will Sawyer, a former FBI/SWAT officer who, due to losing a lower leg, has retired to become a security specialist.  Sawyer has been hired to go to Hong Kong to vet the tallest building in the world, and while there, terrorists set fire to it.

 

Yes, it’s “Die Hard” in “The Towering Inferno.”

 

One scene that is especially powerful is the moment when he realizes his wife and two adorable children are trapped in that building, and that he has to do anything he can to save them.

 

Before that moment, he has been a normal man: strong, but insecure in his abilities, due to the accident that took his leg.    But when he realizes that everything he loves is at risk he beats up multiple cops, evades pursuit, climbs a giant tower while buzzed by helicopters and pursued by armored officers. He gets to the top and extends an enormous bridge toward the building and…it is too far away. The gap is impossible, especially for an amputee.

 

He is exhausted, trapped, finished.   The flames will consume the woman he loves, burn the flesh from his helpless children…he has failed as a father…as a husband…as a man.

 

There is nothing for him to do, no way for him to get there…

 

And then…somehow…digging deep, deep within himself, he finds the courage, and all-or-nothing confidence to run and LEAP…

 

And makes it to the other side.  He becomes a HERO!

 

The audience went WILD as he hung onto the side of the building…clawed his way up, and made it to safety!

 

THAT is the kind of moment we go to movies for.   Why? Because deep inside we KNOW that that strength and power, that superhuman capacity, is the truth of what we are. That we are limited by our self-concepts, our fears, our egos.   But if we could find the right way to strip away the illusions, forget our failures and all the negative talk seething in our heads,  we could be SO much more.

 

This is the power of becoming a parent…learning that we are more than we think we are.   What if we could access that power for our own use?  Whenever we wanted?  What might we be? Have?  Do?  What gifts could we give the world, what love might we win?

 

Well, it IS possible.   The beautiful thing is that that same power is available by visualizing the child we were, the “inner child”, and committing to protect her.

 

The love and commitment we are biologically, socially, spiritually, and emotionally programmed to feel toward children is a wellspring of power, of love, of growth.   We can be sick ourselves…but drag ourselves out of bed to make a Halloween costume for our son.

 

We can be broke, and sacrifice our own meal to feed our child.  We can be depressed, but find the strength to smile and sing our babies to sleep.

 

Because that’s who we really are: love without limit. Strength to the very end of physical endurance.

 

And if you were so hurt, so ill-programmed in childhood, a loveless home, an abusive “nest” that you cannot access this “child” self…the core wiring is still there, waiting for you to access it.  YOU are your own protective “parent” now, and if you commit to protecting your heart at ANY cost, to be a warrior for your own soul, all of that superhuman energy becomes available.

 

What would YOU do to protect the child you were?  To be sure that he knew he was precious, loved, of infinite possibility?   That his dreams were as important, his heart as pure as those of any human being who has ever lived?   That he was as perfect as the stars in the night sky?

 

I first met my son a week after he was born. And I held him, and took him outside and held him up to the sky:  “Behold!” I said, crying, remembering that wonderful scene in “Roots”:   “The only thing greater than yourself!”

 

And swore to God that I would move heaven and Earth, do everything in my power to deliver him safely to his adulthood.

 

What if you KNEW your mother and father loved you THAT much? What if you could access that storehouse of love and confidence and emotional security whenever you wished?

 

And all we need to do is open the door.  The Ancient Child is one such tool, to self-love and healing, one of the perfect steps to finding love in the world is FIRST finding it within our own hearts.

 

I wish you that love and healing. To be the Hero in the Adventure of your lifetime.

 

Everyone can use a little Rock, don’t you think?

 

Love yourself…and share the love!

Steve

www.theancientchild.com

Romeo and Juliet’s Journey #10: The Student Becomes the Teacher

A glooming peace this morning with it brings.

The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head.

Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things.

Some shall be pardoned, and some punishèd.

For never was a story of more woe

Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.

 

 

And that is the end of the play.   The last step of the Hero’s Journey is “The student becomes the teacher.”  Also such names as “the return to the village with the elixer” or “the movement to the higher level.”

 

When we finish one journey, we begin another, but our journey also stands as example for others.  One purpose of great art is the binding together of social values: after viewing, the audience would often gather for coffee or wine and discuss what they saw. In that sense, Romeo and Juliet is a treasure trove of discussive possibility.   What we need, however, is not bad examples but GOOD ones. There are a thousand ways to get lost for every way we might find our way home.

 

And if you find your way to a loving, happy relationship…share the wealth, by example if nothing else.

##

 

Once upon a time, there was a boy named Stevie. His mother and father divorced when he was about six, and his mother never remarried. He was nerdy and unpopular, and none of the girls he liked liked him.   His hunger to find love grew and grew, and when he got to college he finally met a girl he loved, and who loved him, and after years of living together they married and had a daughter.

 

But…his ignorance of the way relationships really worked caused problems, and they had made errors in the construction of that relationship which, in time, grew until the problems were greater than the desire to be together, and the marriage began to crumble, and it failed. Lost, lonely, devastated and more insecure than he had ever been, rather than building his castle atop the rubble.

 

And in doing that, he learned that he had to start by loving himself, valuing himself, or he would have nothing to offer a healthy woman.  If he wanted honesty, he had to offer it.  If he wanted beauty and power he had to offer them.  That realization changed him, and changed his focus, so that it stopped being about “what do women want?” and started being about “who am I?”

 

And it was the hardest, and most rewarding work he’d ever done, and as he walked that path, he met the love of his life.    Now…that wasn’t the end of the story, it was the beginning of another:

 

How to nurture love every day

How to communicate

How to argue with integrity and compassion

How to raise children together.

How to keep the passion sizzling decades in

And so much more.  Winning your love BEGINS with “I do.”   And continues every day after, if you want to keep it alive.

 

That is what little Stevie learned. And in thanks to all the people who taught him along the way, he and his love now share what they learned, what they know, in the hope that everyone will find what they have found, and have what they have together.

 

That is where THEIR story stands.

 

Where is yours?   The steps are:

1)love yourself.  Heal and value your time and energy.

  1. Commit to loving another person. Admit that you want it.
  2. Understand the mating game in a way that blames neither side, and forces both to take responsibility
  3. Don’t worry about the people unattracted to you: you only need The Right One.
  4. Play the game of love with integrity and compassion…but enjoy the game. It’s the very best game in the world, when the players play fairly. There are no rules…but there more certainly are principles.

 

 

In general, those steps should be taken in that order. The good news is that self-love has all the joy and creativity you seek, and requires no cooperation from another human being…but simultaneously increases your likelihood of meeting that person.

 

Mindfulness, connecting with the source of love and life within you is your path to this wellspring.    Commit to making this connection every day for the rest of your life.

 

Be the Hero in the loving adventure of your lifetime

Steve

www.theancientchild.com

Romeo and Juliet’s Journey #9: Confront Evil and Win

IF only Tybalt and Mercutio had only been wounded instead of killed…

IF only Romeo and Juliet had been a little older and wiser…

The English-speaking world’s most famous love story might have ended with a wedding instead of a funeral, and been a comedy instead of a tragedy.

If you’ve never had the sense of “we were made for each other!” that timeless sense, that “discovering the other half of me” sense, that “sweet mystery of life I’ve finally found you” sense.

For the naïve, the first time you have experienced the blend of love and sex, it can feel EXACTLY that way. I had that with my first real love, that sense of melting together, of infinite possibilities, of fate’s door opening to reveal a path unknown.

Heck, I was just a guy looking to be happy in life, and hadn’t really understood that the next level of joy was COMMITMENT to another human being. The RIGHT human being. I remember a woman who lusted after me sexually telling me that something changed in me after my mother died. “Your green light went on” she said.

“What do you mean?”

“Well, its as if you were a Taxi with a red light on the roof, meaning no passengers allowed. Not for a long trip. Maybe a short one. And now….you have a green light. You’re looking for something deeper, longer.” And there was a bit of sadness in her voice, because she had a “green light” too…but we were heading in different directions. For a short trip? Sure, that could have worked. But the real thing? A bonded, loving relationship trying to build a life together?

No. Our values, hopes, dreams, and energy “frequency” didn’t match. We could have pretended they did for a weekend…but it would have been foolish, and dishonest, to pretend it was more.

https://awarenessact.com/when-two-people-are-meant-for-one-another-they-will-always-make-their-way-together-again/?fbclid=IwAR0VJR2nEUSiK02qgvr84r1DRorpPYgliCWlWkxG7ZhvHEO00CF3NAJR01A

That article speaks to the “If you were meant to be together, you will be together” notion. And…that is a perfectly reasonable idea, rather tautological in fact, if you simply say “if it didn’t happen, it wasn’t meant to be.”

In other words, you don’t get to say “we were meant to be together, and SHE/HE didn’t see it!” or

“We were meant to be together, but the world stopped us.” No, if it didn’t happen, it wasn’t “meant to be.”

Stalkers seem to get this wrong all the time: “we’re meant to be together, I just have to show them.” THAT attitude sounds like a special, Valentine’s Day episode of “Criminal Minds”, doesn’t it?

To use this, you have to love yourself enough to be complete, to satisfy all of your own “needs” leaving on ly “wants”. You also have to genuinely enjoy your own company, enough to really believe that you would want to be with yourself. NO CHEATING HERE. You really have to have that sense of satisfaction and joy.

You need to feel you are unique, precious, that your heart is a thing of infinite value. And to know that while you are unique, in a world of seven billion people, there are millions you could love. All you have to do is be confident enough to put your “green light” on, knowing that you can survive rejection, and then put yourself out there. Meet people, find a vehicle for your voice. “This is who I am” you say to the world, like a bird signing in the forest. IT isn’t trying to attract EVERY bird. Just the right one.

You only need one. I’ve talked to countless people with long, happy marriages. And most of them met that person in under fifty dates. Often around twenty-five. To me, that implies that the person we’re looking for is in our web of personal and professional association. Further, that there are SEVERAL potentials, because many of them will already be in relationships or otherwise have their “red lights” on.

Just one. Who is right. And ready.

Considering that that person is probably known to someone you know NOW, or no more than two people away, there is no such thing as a “Friend Zone.” Only friends, who might introduce you to THEIR friends, if you are a good person, if you don’t make the mistake of confusing lust with love. If you love them…you will want them to be happy. If you can’t grasp that, you are an obsessive child, and they were right to run from you.

And you can admit that you have that wound IF YOU LOVE YOURSELF. And if you don’t…you can learn to. That is always available to us. And it is the starting place.

The person you were “meant” to be with, looking back over your time line, you will be with. But first you have to be whole within yourself. No bullshit. NO cheating. No pretending. No “Pick Up Artist” games. No “Make A Man Fall In Love With You.” No pity parties about how horrible the Other Sex is.

NO taking advice from people who have not themselves run the race and won the trophy: a relationship of passion, joy, love and purpose that has lasted over twenty years.

Ignore what the others say. Listen to your elders, not the children burning in the fire of First Love/First Sex.

That’s how Romeo and Juliet ended up dead, you know.

Love yourself…and share the love!

Steve

Www.theancientchild.com

.

Romeo and Juliet’s Journey #8: The Leap of Faith

Romeo and Juliet’s Journey #8:   The Leap of Faith

 

 

 

“Come, bitter conduct, come, unsavoury guide!

Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on

The dashing rocks thy seasick weary bark!

Here’s to my love! Drinking. O true apothecary,

Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die.

 

And with those words, Romeo commits suicide.

 

And here comes the moment which, if these lovers had not been children, tragedy could have been averted. Romeo found Juliet apparently dead, and at that moment, the pain of living without her exceeded the fear of death, and he chose death. She awakened and found Romeo dead, and her pain of living without him made HER choose death.

 

If Romeo had possessed the wisdom to know that his broken hearts would heal, he might have taken a different action. Then Juliet would have awakened, and they live happily ever after.

 

His problem was a lack of faith.   IN this context, faith is a deep conviction in one of three things:

 

  1. Faith in himself (that would be able to heal and love again)
  2. Faith in his companions (perhaps that there would be another woman he would one day meet as fair and perfect as Juliet
  3. Faith in a higher power (perhaps that God would not make only one perfect partner for us)

 

Any of these would have saved the story from utter tragedy. Probably made a lesser tale, however.

 

Romeo and Juliet FAIL their “leap of faith.”  Too much pain, too narrow a view of life and love.

 

My first marriage had died, and it absolutely tore my guts out. I felt as if I had totally failed as a human being, that no one would ever love me again.    I just wanted to work my way back into the dating market, find happiness–but the problem was that I had no “game

I discovered that I had no “game”.  I’d never picked up a woman in my life, and my efforts to make connection with the ones I knew just seemed to end up with one disaster after another.

 

The breakthrough came when I realized a simple reality: you can create a relationship with someone on your “frequency”, at your level of integration and evolution. NOT someone below or above that level.   I was attracted to confident, beautiful women…but I was not confident or balanced myself.   A lioness wants a lion.  My very need for love was crippling me.

 

I remember laying in my bed in my solidary room, thinking through all the pieces of the puzzle. To create a relationship with a powerful woman, I had to be a powerful man, and not be “bleeding” emotionally all over the table. I couldn’t the love I craved unless I didn’t NEED that love from another human being. I could WANT it, sure. But if I NEEDED it…I was screwed.

 

What could I do?  I couldn’t get it if I needed it. And I’d need it until I got it…

 

Wouldn’t I?  And I remembered the words of Ram Dass:   “All that you seek is already within you. In Hinduism it is called the Atman, in Buddhism the pure Buddha-Mind. Christ said, ‘the kingdom of heaven is within you.’ Quakers call it the ‘still small voice within.’ This is the space of full awareness that is in harmony with all the universe, and thus is wisdom itself.”

 

The love I sought was within me.     I remembered a very special visualization/meditation designed to heal and evolve the heart, and began to apply it to my own life.

 

And in a few weeks, things began to change. It was rough at first, I’ll admit. My head was filled with doubting voices, and at times I felt silly.  But I kept the FAITH, and soon I was HAPPY.  Happier than I had been in years. I no longer chased after women: but had a sort of detached curiosity and interest, combined with an affectionate respect. Saw them as complete human beings who might be very interesting to know better, but were complete in themselves.   And to my astonishment, removed from any sense of lack, I became UNCANNILY  attractive to women, getting the reaction I’d always desired.   And that lead directly to meeting the woman of my dreams.

 

That “missing link” of self-love, self-respect, healing, I continued to refine over the years, finally teaching it at a high-end stress clinic in Santa Monica to millionaires and movie stars.  And called it The Ancient Child.

 

As a means of connecting to the love within you, it has no equal.  And if you have ALL the love you “need”, flowing from within you, you have the freedom to have “choice” in what you want, what you DESIRE, from outside you.   You are free, and confident, and self-contained.

 

Most of the “Pick Up Artist” or “Get A Man” courses are about FAKING this state of health and happiness.  FAKING genuine confidence and balance. But…why not actually BE healthy?

 

If only Romeo and Juliet had been better balanced, healthier, wiser people…we’d have been denied one of the great literary works of the Western World.  But…your life is not an amusement for the crowd.  It is YOUR LIFE, and you have the right to be happy. Moreover, every person who seeks and finds happiness helps others see the possibility. Your fire lights the way for the rest of the world.

 

Have FAITH that within yourself you have the strength and love you’ve sought from others.

Have FAITH that there are others who are looking for someone just like the healed human being you have the potential to be

Have FAITH that the world is not so cruel that there is only one human being out of billions who could share your path.

 

Have Faith.

 

Love yourself…and share the love!

Steve

(you can get a free copy of The Ancient Child meditation.  Just go to:

www.theancientchild.com)

Romeo and Juliet’s Journey #7: The Dark Night (and “the last dog on Earth”)

Romeo returns from exile to find his Juliet apparently dead.  He commits to death.  Juliet awakens from drugged sleep and finds Romeo dead. She too commits to death. This is their “Dark Night of the Soul.”–

 

O, here

Will I set up my everlasting rest,

And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars

From this world-wearied flesh. Eyes, look your last!

Arms, take your last embrace! and, lips, O you

The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss

A dateless bargain to engrossing death!”

― William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

 

I think we’ve all been there. Lonely, we felt a vague ache within us that we might not even acknowledge. Then…we meet someone, so beautiful, so attractive to our eyes that we can feel something within us say: YES!  THIS ONE.  We see our fate, our destiny stretch before us.   The notion of spending our lives, making love, sharing dreams, raising a family, growing old together with THIS ONE is almost overwhelming.

 

So we try things.  Meet. Court. Open our hearts. And at some point…it all goes to hell.

 

I remember the very first girl I ever asked to “go steady” with me. Her name was Sonja, and we were in Junior High together.   Just the cutest little thing.   I was too shy to ask her directly, so I asked a mutual friend, Neil, to ask her for me.  He called me and said she would give me her answer the next day.

 

All day long I had butterflies in my stomach. I saw her glance at me in our classes, and giggle with her friends. It was just a crush…I was only about fourteen…but I imagined us having lunch together, going to school dances together (maybe she would even teach me to dance!) study together, walking home holding hands. If I was very very lucky, maybe I would even steal a kiss or two.

 

All day long I could hardly concentrate on my classes. When would she give me her answer?  Yes?  No?   Was this the beginning of something wonderful..? She even SMILED at me a couple of times: oh, frabjous day!

 

Then in the last period of the day, she passed me a folded piece of paper. It passed from hand to hand until it reached me, and with trembling fingers I opened it.

 

“Dear Steve,” it said.  “I wouldn’t go with you if you were the last dog on Earth.”

 

##

 

Boom. There it was. The bottom falling out of my stomach. The very first heartbreak of my life.  I wasn’t’ even angry with her…I blamed myself.  How dare I try to fly with such an angel?

 

Depression, despair, fear. Fear that no one would love me, that I was broken, that the happiness I saw others experiencing was never to be mine.   All the burning acid in my gut, all the sense of shame and guilt and embarrassment, knowing the others were laughing at me, that all my friends knew what had happened.

 

I spiraled into the depths of the “Dark Night”, which is the place where it seems that all of our abilities are insufficient to reach our goals and dreams.

 

I never should have asked her!  I should have had the courage to ask her myself!  Everyone else in the world was happy except me!  How dare I even dream of being happy, thinking that an attractive woman would ever be attracted to me!  All the voices in my head, screaming at me. Laughing faces sneering at me, scratching cat-claws of her laughing friends ripping my heart to pieces.

 

And…I knew that somehow, someway, some day I would be happy.  SOMEHOW. I didn’t know how.

 

But there was a voice deep inside me. It was a younger Steve.   The one who, long before, at the age of five or six had had no father, who looked at every man my mother dated (and there weren’t many of them) and wondered: Are YOU the one? Will you be my Daddy? And when they went away, curled up and cried and wondered if I was so ugly, so broken, that no one wanted me.

 

That younger me…that part of me is the part that writes, that plays, that has the joy in life.   I heard his screams and something inside me rose up.

 

IF NO ONE WANTS TO LOVE ME, I WILL LOVE MYSELF.  I looked at the women I was attracted to and realized that ALL of them were attracted to larger boys. Stronger boys. Smarter boys.  Older boys.  Athletes and leaders.   And at that moment, I could have taken the Incel path, and resented them.  It’s not fair…

 

But that was the screaming of the “Child” within me, a boy some eight or nine years younger than I was.  And I realized that I was not that child…I was the one who had to PROTECT that child.  Somehow…instead of resenting Sonia, resenting the lovely girls who liked the older, stronger, more confident boys…

 

I DECIDED TO BECOME ONE OF THEM. Somehow, in some way, one day I would BE one of those boys who attracted the kinds of girls I yearned for.   Somehow, instead of blaming them, I congratulated them on the self respect to go for what they really wanted and needed.

 

Somehow, even then, I sensed that Sonia knew my timidity did not make me a good prospect.  She was holding out for more, as was her right.  And in the depths of my pain, it was hearing the voice of the even younger child within me that gave me STRENGTH.

 

One day…I will be strong.

One day…I will be confident.

One day…I will have the power to build my life, and be a good prospect for a pretty girl looking to build her life.

 

One day.

 

Not today, thought. Not then.  And I didn’t know how I’d do it.  But I did know that the only other course was either being alone…or “settling.”

 

You know the people: “well, she was all I could get.”  “Oh, he ain’t much, but I guess he’s mine.”

 

That’s not enough. You want to look in your lover’s eyes and know she ADORES you.  You need to look at her, hear her voice, watch her move and feel your heart SING.

 

I didn’t make Sonia’s heart sing.    And if I really liked her, really wanted the best for her…then I wanted that for her.

 

I cried at night, yes. But somewhere, under the tears I was thinking:

 

One day…

 

And one day finally came.

 

Love yourself…and share the love

 

Steve

www.theancientchild.com

Romeo and Juliet’s Journey #6: Confront Evil, meet Defeat

Look for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man“–Tybalt.   Wm Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

 

Imagine the horror Romeo feels at the moment his best friend Mercutio dies.  In rage, he slays Tybalt (Juliet’s cousin), and is banished from Verona.  In a moment, the play spins from being a light romantic comedy into a tragedy. There is no coming back from this event.   A game for children has become a deadly serious adult matter.

 

Love into hate.   Faith into despair.  Rather than two families united, they are torn further apart.   The ultimate ending begins HERE.

It is important to grasp that “evil” can be an overstatement here. The forces that oppose us can be fear, confusion, ego, desire, values conflicts, mistaken beliefs.  With that understanding lets go forward:

##

 

I loved a woman once, and had dreamed of a life with her.  I was in heaven–it seemed the very best life I could imagine.  All my hopes and dreams, come to life.

 

Then one day I got a phone call telling me she had made a decision that seriously endangered both her, and our chances of a  relationship.  There was nothing I could do.  In that moment, I saw that our values were either totally different…or she had made a dreadful error.  There was literally no way to come back from what had happened, and although both of us knew it, we pretended to think otherwise for a while. The horrible telephone conversations, strained visits, and mutual accusations ripped my guts out. I wanted to act, but there was nothing to be done: she wouldn’t accept my help.  Every day that passed felt like another death: of dreams, of hopes…and of my own judgement.

 

Why hadn’t I seen it coming…?  And that, ultimately became a salvation.  If I was in horrible pain, if I could just keep my eyes on the ball: I will love again. I WILL find my way through this.  And…if I can learn the lesson here, I never have to make this mistake again.  What is the lesson? What is the lesson?

 

I remembered something NLP expert Tad James had said: If you learn the lesson, you can release the pain. The pain is only there to get your attention.

 

The lesson was that she hadn’t made a mistake. She was just being who she was. What had happened was a natural outgrowth of other decisions. She was on HER journey, not just a puppet on mine.  My martial arts and shamanic studies teacher Swiftdeer had once said: “Do not trust people.  Instead, rely upon them to do what they see as their own self-interest.  It is up to you to determine what that is.”

 

It was MY problem.   Not hers.  She was just being who she was. I HAD CHOSEN HER.   If I had attracted her, more importantly been attracted TO her, she was a mirror for my own heart and soul.   If I could look deeply enough into that mirror, learn that lesson, I could both support her in whatever way it was healthy for her to let me do that, and also go my own way.

 

If I loved her, let her go.  Don’t try to control.  IF there had been something I could do, then obsession might have had some point.   But if there wasn’t…well, loving her was fine, but didn’t I love myself as well? Didn’t I love that child in my heart enough to nurture him when he was screaming in pain?

 

Even though I was in agony, I could see that if I could learn the lesson…if I could nurture my own heart…if I could find my way out of this dark, frozen cave I had fallen into…

 

That on the other side of this I would be a stronger, better, healthier person.   Capable of making better decisions.  If SHE learned too…well, perhaps we would be able to meet on the other side.  BUT LET HER GO.   If I didn’t, and she was in a death spiral…I was going down with her. And if she was on her own journey, and had rejected my help, was I not infantalizing her to say she needed to take it?  And if she was that infant, what was I saying about myself, if she was the best I could do at that moment?

 

No. There was no way out but to find a way to die and be reborn.  God, I didn’t want to do that. But if I didn’t…I was finished.

 

And tomorrow, we’ll talk about the road back.

 

 

Love yourself…and share the love!

Steve

www.geeksguidetosoulmates.com

Romeo and Juliet’s Journey #5: Allies and Powers

Romeo and Juliet’s Journey #5: Allies and Powers

 

“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”

-Romeo, in Act 3, Scene 2, as Mercutio offers to protect Romeo in battle

 

 

 

The fifth step of the Hero’s Journey, “Acquiring Allies and Gaining Powers” is simple acknowledgement that we must learn and grow. Do different things, see the world in different ways.  If you do what you’ve done, you’ll continue to get what you’ve got. If you want different results, you MUST do different things.

 

##

 

I recently got a query from a student (“George”)  who had become enamored of a lady on a social media site.  They had corresponded, they had some mutual social media friends, and when she finally agreed to meet him in person, his heart was about to pound out of his chest.   He had wanted love, connection, passion for years, and here was the chance right in front of him!

 

She had expressed a desire for a fancy smartphone, and he decided to buy her one, and present it at their first date.  With his heart full of hope, he did just that…and then watched as she took it and then backed away, “ghosted” him, leaving him confused and angry.

 

It is easy to say that “George” made a mistake.    Harder to put your finger on what he could have done differently.  Wisdom is the result of experience, and experience is painful.

 

If “wisdom” is one of the “powers” Romeo needed to keep from committing suicide (the knowledge that the love he felt for Juliet came from within HIM, if he was complete within himself, he wouldn’t’ have killed himself, knowing that he would recover, his heart would heal and that he would find love again.   Paradoxically, allowing Juliet to “go” would have resulted in her awakening and a joyous reunion.)

 

How do you get wisdom without the experiences?  ASK OTHERS WHO HAVE BEEN ON THE JOURNEY.  It is simple, really. So simple that we forget that ALMOST EVERYTHING we’ve learned in life we learned by modeling the behavior of others: how to walk, talk, ride a bicycle, read, write…everything.

 

Love is no different.   The beautiful thing is that even among people our own age, experiences will vary.  You will be more advanced in certain arenas, your friends in others.  But the very best mentors are people who are older, who have experienced the journey of life for longer, and are further along the road.

 

“But things are different now!” yeah.  They always are. But there are things that are the same.   FOCUS ON THOSE.

 

I had the extraordinary pain of courting the woman of my dreams and watching it all fall to ashes.  The more I gave the faster she backed away.  Sound familiar? As my marriage had recently gone the way of the dodo, I felt horrible, desperate, confused. Was there something broken about me?  Was I so ugly and stupid?   What kind of idiot was I, that everything I tried to do was wrong?

 

 

 

WHY DID IT HAPPEN?   I had to learn by painful experience: relationships have a thing called “rapport”.   Each person is traveling at a given pace, in a given direction.   If they have experience, they know that people lie, and cheat, and wear masks.

 

So if a beautiful woman has had any experience at all, she knows that there are predators, men who will pretend to be what they are not.  And she will reveal herself one bit at a time, an unfolding, like a flower spreading its petals slowly.   Imagine that each of you is holding a deck of cards.  You put down a card: “Hi!  My name is Steve!” she puts down a card to match you:  “my name is Mary.”  And you proceed, putting down one card after another: what you do, what you like, where you’ve lived.  Bits of your relationship history, your hopes and dreams and values.

 

One at a time. You put down a “card” and then she does.  MAYBE you put down two at a time.  If she still only puts down one…OOPS! Slow down.

 

The “power” there is awareness of incremental progress. Building rapport and not breaking it by moving too fast.   You learn either by experience, observation…or modeling friends and mentors.  ASKING.

 

What had “George” done?  The same thing I did.  I gushed out my guts, dumping them on the table in a steaming pile: I LOVE YOU!!

 

From the way I’d come on, I had to be either a fool or a predator.  George had gone from zero to Engagement Gift before they’d shaken hands.   There is no way a

woman with self-respect and experience would not look at that and wonder what he wanted.

 

And if SHE was a predator?  A user?  He’d simply fallen into a trap. She got the goodies and ran.  If either of us had unfolded more carefully, revealed ourselves more gradually, MATCHED THE PACE OF OUR PARTNER…

 

A lot of pain could be avoided.   I asked, and observe, and finally learned. Applied what I learned. And when I had integrated that understanding, almost immediately I met the love of my life.

 

How do you learn?  ASK. Find people who have been married happily twenty years or longer.  Talk to them.   A LOT of them. You will begin  to see things in common, form your own theories.  Compare them with others.   This is a game for awake, aware, adult human beings. You are playing with the circuitry that creates helpless baby humans.  Whether you are using birth control, are gay, or even beyond the time of reproduction, the circuitry, more ancient than human thought, is still there, make no mistake.

 

If you have problems in an arena of life…if you want to rise to the next level…you need to find guides along the road ahead.

 

If only Romeo had done such a thing, that immortal play would have been a comedy rather than a tragedy.   Probably a minor work, yes.  Don’t let YOUR life be memorable for its tragedy.   Please

 

Love yourself…and share the love!

Steven Barnes

www.geeksguidetosoulmates.com

Romeo and Juliet’s Journey #4: The Road of Trials

The course of true love never did run smooth.“–Midsummer Night’s Dream

 

The fourth step of the Hero’s Journey is called the “Road of Trials.”

 

This is basically everything that the character does to bridge the gap from where they ARE to where they want to BE.

 

In my own life, I was alone, broke, and overweight.    Living in that one-bedroom apartment in Vancouver, Washington.  In order for me to prepare myself to meet and bond with my eventual Soulmate.

 

I had taken one major action: met the girl of my dreams and actually lucked my way into dating her. I had figured out two of the major flaws that kept me from being on the level of the woman I desired.  One was that I had lost my spiritual center.  It hit me hard, but I couldn’t deny it was true: I had stopped meditating, cut myself off from the source of love and deep energy in my life. Probably one of the reasons I was so attracted to this amazing woman: she HAD that energy.  I was at risk of being a vampire, because I didn’t have my own source.

 

I asked “what should I do?” and came to a decision: the spiritual guru I’d studied with, had a group of followers up in Seattle.  I could connect with them, and hopefully re-center myself.

 

I called them and it turned out that they met every Sunday to work in the kitchen of a restaurant they owned, and also play and congregate. With a heart full of hope, I drove from Vancouver to Seattle, smiling and singing.

 

The people were gentle, sweet, loving, filled with light and joy.  If the guys seemed a little “yin” to me, and the women just a little…bland?  No makeup, no “flirt” energy…oh well, that was fine. Maybe I was seeing something important, right?

 

We cleaned the kitchen, served and cooked food, and played vollyball. Great, great time.  And after, we had a feast.   I was so happy, felt at home, felt  my spiritual heart opening.  Everyone was talking about their plans for the week.  Someone asked me about my own life.

 

And I said that I was feeling great, and that on the way home, I was thinking of stopping to see a woman I knew, very attractive, and that I was feeling optimistic about the potential connection…

 

And the room went SILENT. Boom. Dead.  People gave me the side-eye and edged away from me.   WTF?

 

Slowly, the sound in the room picked back up again, but people weren’t talking to me. One of the seniors came up to me and asked if they could speak to me outside for a moment.  I said sure.

 

My stomach was filled with butterflies.  What was going on?   The guy looked embarrassed.  “Steve…” he said.  “Didn’t anyone tell you that Guru wants us to be celebate?”

 

If you had dropped me off a ladder onto my head, I couldn’t have seen more stars.  Oh CRAP!  THAT was the energy I’d been seeing.  And no, no one had said a thing to me, nor was it stated in any of the books or videos or lectures I’d seen and heard.  I instantly “got it”: these people, radiating a spiritual energy, were balanced in the male-female sense within themselves.   Heterosexual relationships are about creating that balance between two people. In THAT sense, from THAT perspective, the more balanced you are, the less energy there is for sexuality to release!

 

I was devastated.   Here was the greatest spiritual path I’d ever found, and it wasn’t for me. Why?  Because I am a sexual creature. That’s just the truth. And my attitude is that if God didn’t want me to have sex, he would simply take away my ability to physically respond, if you know what I mean and if you’re an adult I think you do.

 

Confused, disappointed, but just a critical bit enlightened, I realized that I had a challenge: to simultaneously open and deepen my spirituality AND stay connected to my sensual and sexual energy.

 

I had made a commitment to a journey (find love)

Along it I had learned I needed to grow (enhanced spirituality) to be an appropriate partner for the kind of woman I desired

I connected with my past spiritual path (driving to Seattle)

And discovered that it was no longer appropriate for me.

 

Was it ever?  I saw it was.  That there was a reason I’d not been told about the celibacy: because I needed something from it, a glimpse of something very special, which the Guru really did possess.   What I needed was to find that same energy while walking a path of loving connection to another human being.

 

I needed to find a new balance, something I’d never found. Something I wasn’t even totally certain existed.  But…others had found it.  I believed that with all my heart.

 

So it was out there.  And driving south that night, angry and frightened and more aware, I swore I would find that balance, a way to be centered in the divine without losing my fleshly hungers. There HAD to be a way for all those things to balance.

 

What seemed true was that I wasn’t going to be able to follow a clearly marked path.   My journey was MINE.  The masters had left clues, bread-crumbs, but no clear path for someone like me. And realized that  it was possible that this is just the way of life: if you are to live authentically, eventually you reach the end of the marked path, and must travel alone…for a while.

 

And with faith I proceeded, alone, and began to learn the lessons I seeked, and get the results I craved, until I was ready to emerge from the forest onto the path…where I found another soul who had been wandering, and we joined hands.

 

The road of trials.  You will have your own journey.  I can speak of mine.  And you can talk to others and get their perspective. But ultimately…you will walk alone, at least for a while.

 

Make your peace with that, and the rest is, if not easy, as natural as putting one foot ahead of the other.

 

 

Love yourself…and share the love!

Steve

www.geeksguidetosoulmates.com

VOTE! And how to spot sleepers and snakes…

I try to avoid politics when I can, but “what is true?” is more a matter of the philosophical.   As today is voting day, I see no rational reason any American shouldn’t stake out their position, so I will.

 

There are many issues concerning America right now, but it is said that the most important issue in this election for Democrats is health care.  It is such a partisan issue, like many others. But here, at least, (unlike racial and gender issues, immigration or even climate change)  I believe that there is something very close to black-and-white clarity.     More than any others, less room for honest debate on the core statistics (even if there IS room for discussion about what should be done with them)  and I suggest it can be used as a standard, a litmus test of clarity, honesty, and degree of politicized brain-freeze.

Here’s my notion: IF you believe these stats are as clear as I do, then beware of anyone who tries to twist that truth, confuse that reality.  They CANNOT be trusted on issues with less clarity.

 

We’ll look at the major arguments generally offered in public, repeating some things I said just a few days ago.   Repetition is the mother of skill, and this is too damned important not to hammer it in a bit:

 

 

  • Universal Health Care produces inferior results.

 

 

To those who wonder if UHC is superior to private insurance, the stats are clear.

The World Health Organization uses lifespan and infant mortality to measure the health of a people.  Let’s simplify and stick with the first: Lifespan.  Here, the U.S. ranks 26th, and EVERYONE ahead of us has UHC.  So anyone who says it “doesn’t work” will try to distract you from those numbers. Don’t let them.  Hold onto them, because there will be a torrent of rhetorical distraction.

 

Let’s zero in on one country, close to us geographically and demographically. Canada.  Not precise, of course: what is?  But its just across the border, and frankly, when I’ve been there, if I hadn’t known I was out of the U.S. it would take me some time to realize it.  And another simple statistic: Average life span is 82 years to the U.S.’s 79.

 

People will tell you that we’d do better statistically if not for those pesky minorities and poor people, who apparently WANT to die. Want their children to die.  Rip off the mask of that argument: just what the hell are they really saying?   Don’t argue with them, just let them tell you who they really are.  Decide if that is who and what YOU want to be.

 

 

  • UHC is too expensive.  We can’t afford it.

 

 

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) believes Canada spent approximately $228 billion on health care in 2016. That’s 11.1 per cent of Canada’s entire GDP and $6,299 for every Canadian resident. 

 

U.S. health care spending grew 4.3 percent in 2016, reaching $3.3 trillion or $10,348 per person. As a share of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, health spending accounted for 17.9 percent.

 

Please look at those numbers.  They are clear.   It is NOT more expensive for the country.

Anyone who uses either of those arguments is, IMO, either asleep, or a snake.

 

Here’s a bonus: “Obamacare didn’t deliver these numbers. It won’t work in America.”

 

Yeah, well, Obamacare wasn’t UHC.  It was the closest anyone had been able to get in a half-century of struggle, a spavined camel compared to the sleek race-horse of single payer. The tactic was pretty clear: make it impossible to get to UHC, then act as if the Frankenstein patchwork that COULD get through the legislature represents what people really wanted.     If you don’t grasp the difference, I have to suspect you don’t WANT to.

 

That’s not to say there are not legitimate arguments.   There are several I can think of offhand:

 

  1. What IS true is that the money will be shifted from the private to the public sector.
  2. It is also true that there will be individuals whose very specific circumstances might not be as well served by public as private policies. These will need special insurance “riders” which might well increase their expense.    But OVERALL, for the average citizen expenses go down. Way down.
  3. You might simply say: “I don’t want my money going to help other people.”  I can understand this, and have a certain degree of empathy for it.  It is at least honest. Very few people will actually say this directly. Usually they will say it is too expensive, or doesn’t work.  In other words…distort the truth for personal or political gain.  My attitude is that government spends money on LOTS of things I’ve not approved of, including military actions that killed tens of thousands of people.  I live with that as a cost of living in a democracy. You can’t expect me to be more upset about you
  4. You might say that you are afraid of government overreach.  Too much power in too few hands.

 

As long as they are aware of the stats, and admit to them, this conversation is actually a useful one, as is the discussion of whether health care fits into the “Promote the general welfare” thingie.  That can be an honest, heartfelt conversation between awake, aware human beings who differ on some basic questions of life and society, but are committed to communication and inquiry into the truth. THOSE people I have little problem with, and think we can work this out together.

 

But people I know and love have DIED after a lifetime of working and paying taxes, for fear of medical bills.  I’m not prepared to compromise on this.  I will discuss with honest people who are aware. Sleepers and snakes need not apply.  And remember: there are monsters lurking.

 

Again: if you believe as I do that these basic stats are important and valid, then note the people who argue, try to confuse them, deny, try to argue about what the meaning of “is” is.  Sleepers and snakes.  Do NOT trust them on more complex issues if they can’t communicate clearly and honestly on simpler ones. They will simply try to drag you into deep water and drown you with irrelevancies.

And once again: VOTE!!

 

Namaste,

Steve