Some thirty years ago I created “Lifewriting”, the meld of Joseph Cambell’s model of the Hero’s Journey with the balance and personal evolution implied in the Chakras model. Was having great fun and success teaching it.
And then…my marriage to Toni went belly-up. As “relationship” was one of the Big Three (now a “Big Four”: body, career, relationship, and finances) I felt it would be dishonest for me to claim to know how they work if I didn’t have one. And my standard for a successful relationship was high: it has to be happy, and last long enough to raise a family to the point they don’t need you anymore. How long is that? 15-20 years.
Note that I’m totally aware that not everyone has kids, or wants to. And that there are people who believe we weren’t intended to find one partner for a lifetime. Fine.
I wasn’t going to let myself off the hook like that. I’d messed up. There was NO way to put it off on Toni–at the very best, what was I saying, that it was all her fault? In which case, at the least, my judgement was shit.
No. My bad. I would take 100% responsibility for my actions and attitudes, just as, from HER position, Toni has to take 100% of hers. That’s how it works.
I took responsibility. Realized that my actions, beliefs and emotions had not been in alignment with my values. Then when I got out into the dating market saw that my perceptions about men and women and what they wanted from each other simply didn’t match observable reality.
Once I fixed those things, dating became childishly simple. And as soon as I had 100% confidence in my ability to satisfy sexual needs, I was able to realize that my emotions were NOT a matter of what someone else thought or felt. They were mine to deal with. And once I took responsibility there became self-contained in a way I never had been previously…and immediately “jumped up” a level of integration, and met and bonded with Tananarive, my soul mate. Just that simply.
Our twenty year anniversary is right around the corner. NOW I can relax again, and really teach what I know. Yeah, got that specific balance I was looking for, the specific path. Not that there aren’t other paths, but this is the only one I can be an honest guide for. The assumption is that most people (over 99%, I suspect) want:
2) A healthy, fit body that they themselves would be attracted to.
3) A career doing something for a living that they’d do for free.
4) Financial security, such that money is a tool rather than a nightmare.
And when you drill down, the same principles of focus, self-love, discipline and incremental actions apply in all four. And even if you don’t GET them, pursuing them is an authentic journey of life.
And…if you have all four the Masters suggest that further levels (spirit, for instance) evolves automatically.
And..if there AREN’T any “higher levels” you’ve still had a great life.
And…if you aim at all of these, it is far less likely that you will hurt yourself than if you ignore any one of them.
It is relatively easy to be good in ONE of these four. Even two. But by the time you get to all four, I submit that it is impossible to balance them without actually engaging with the most important questions: “who am I?” and “what is true?” And those questions take you home.
Someone can have all the lovely theories in the world, all the rhetorical flourishes they want, can sound as convincing as anyone ever has…
But if they don’t have these four things, at the very least they are not on my path. Why should I be interested in their map?
And if they ARE on my path, then either they got a bad map, or they had some serious disadvantages they are coping with. Handicaps which limited their expression. If they are honest about wanting those four things, and dealing with handicaps, they are IMO unlikely to be debating the rightness or wrongness of their approach with me. They are more likely to actually be engaged with the process of moving away from pain and toward pleasure. I recognize those people: they are brothers and sisters.
I gladly listen to what they have to say about their journey.
The rest of humanity? If they have my values, and have similar maps, we are on the same road and can trade information. Those ahead sometimes leave notes for me, and I gobble them. As I leave notes for others.
If you are on a different path, genuinely? I wish you well. I’ll read some of your notes, too.
But if you want me to listen to your theories about writing…and you’ve never published?
Want me to listen to your theories about relationships when you’ve never had a good one?
Want me to listen to your theories about martial arts practice when you have about 5% of my experience?
How about listening to your money theories when you have never had any, or never kept it…?
You know, you might well have something interesting to say. But I don’t have time to listen to everyone. Seven BILLION people in the world, each with their own theories. If I gave each of them ONE SECOND that would be about 210 years.
Now tell me again…why precisely do I owe you a second? Make it good–there are 6,999,999,999 people behind you in line.