How often do you look yourself in the eye and work on your mental blocks? This is such an uncomfortable thing to do (what to even say about writing about it), yet inseparable from one’s growth.
Today I feel like flexing that vulnerability muscle and opening up about mine. So listen up.
Ever since my new chapter in Malaysia, I knew it: I have a lot of brules (bullshit rules), when it comes to relationships. You can make fun of me if you want to, but being the person of long-lasting relationships who had been only dating my friends who eventually became partners, I found the dating world completely confusing.
I just couldn’t wrap my head around this idea: do you swipe right based on the look? But hey, I get attracted to a person based on personality. So how do I…?
On top of that, growing up in a tiny European country with a homogeneous population, I didn’t get a chance to get exposed to a lot of Southeast-Asian men. So I would open my Tinder and would feel pretty confused whether I could call any one of the men I saw on my phone screen “sexy”. Especially when most locals seem to be listing food as their passion, which – unfortunately – I don’t really enjoy (please, don’t tell anyone).
Working in a personal growth company I get exposed to a lot of philosophers ideas. One of my favourite ones, by the name of Ken Wilber, talks about integral living. Integrity is about the totality of all parts. A totality of matter, body, mind, soul, and spirit. It is also about the totality of masculine and feminine energy which each of us has. What’s interesting is the way he describes “the sick energy”. It happens when we go to extremes and tend to choose one energy over another.
The “sick feminine energy” definition perfectly describes my behaviour in my previous relationships.
“If the healthy feminine principle tends toward flowing, relationship, care and compassion, the unhealthy feminine flounders in each of those. Instead of being in relationship, she becomes lost in relationship. Instead of a healthy self in communion with others, she loses her self altogether and is dominated by the relationship she is in. Not a connection, but a fusion. Not a communion, but a meltdown.”
Have you ever experienced that? I know it is hard to admit, but so commonly, girls and boys, many of you have been there. I certainly was. Looking back I realize that no matter how strong my personality was, I used to forget about my passions, hobbies, or the time alone and instead tend to blend into my significant other’s company to the point of obsession. Eventually, I used to choke my partners with love by not allowing them to be themselves without me.
To my defence, just stop for a moment and raise the volume up. Listen to all these songs “The best thing about me is you”; “You complete me”. The cheesy romantic pop scene dictates the rhythm, that once in a relationship we need to embrace the formula 1+1=1
So with my most recent breakups came an important lesson: You must love yourself first before getting into a relationship with someone else.
And this is what I have been focusing on ever since the beginning of 2017. A dream job, a new exciting country to live in, new friends, quality time with myself. I deeply immersed myself in personal growth like never before. Being part of Mindvalley, the bar of the awesomeness of your life, and a consciousness level rises so high, that you become pickier. You become conscious of everything you do – from the way you spend every minute of your day to what kind of people you hang out with.
So it became harder and harder to meet and have a relationship with someone outside of my company. More than that – the root cause was that I started liking myself and self-company so much that I would not need anyone else. Or so I thought. However, Ken Wilber – the philosopher I just quoted – opened my eyes again: I reached another extreme which he calls “sick masculine energy”:
“If the healthy masculine principle tends toward autonomy, strength, independence and freedom, when that principle becomes unhealthy and pathological, all of those positive virtues, either over- or underfire. There is not just autonomy, but alienation; not just strength, but domination; Not just independence, but morbid fear of relationshop and commitment;
Captain, we have a problem.
Worst comes to worst is that I became conscious of my challenges, but it is so hard to admit them and start working on them. The most obvious opposite step of independence and freedom would be to start going to dates and stop fearing the relationship.
Funnily enough, it took 3 girlfriends to count my dates and hold me accountable on this, for me to start shifting. To start exercising that commitment muscle.
Today I find myself in a relationship where I have so much to learn. First of, not to shy away from this relationship, as much as it feels easier to be alone. Next up, I am learning to accept another person exactly for who he is, no matter how different from me with his entire essence. Finally, I learn not to compromise on my ideas, life vision, and to still find the time for my perfect early bird morning routines.
I’ll be honest: It feels messy and complicated, like learning to juggle. It is as scary as slowly walking barefoot on the hot fire coals. Yet, as I have done that too, I must admit fear is not real. It’s just the fact that growth is uncomfortable, like walking without the umbrella in the warm summer rain – It takes some time until you get used to it and learn to laugh and enjoy it.
So as I am working on my limitations, I hope you find time to stop and shine the light on your hidden brules too. While the last days of May are approaching, I challenge you to do some mental spring cleaning.
Take a walk, put some music to put you in flow, take a notebook and start writing until there’s nothing left to say to yourself.
I wonder, what have you found there in the dark corners of your brain? Mind sharing? Drop me a line.