“Don’t make someone a priority for whom you are just an option.”
Seriously, it’s so sad how transactional we have become as a society but that doesn’t make it any less true.
I was watching an interview between Lewis Howes and dating expert Larry Hussey recently and Larry said something along those lines which ties back to the Universal Story of ‘not enough’ that we seem to share as a collective, at the root level.
My friend Paul Fullerton and I often have conversations about my love for branches (knowledge) and his need to trace it all back to their roots (wisdom; Universal Truths). The focus offers a different perspective throughout the seasons of life because when the branches are full of leaves it looks thick and bountiful but during the fall and winter when the leaves have fallen off until the following spring, those same branches look very different than they did when they were covered.
The great thing about Paul’s approach is that the roots are the same in all seasons and that consistency offers a level of certainty that makes us feel safe and provided for, which is ultimately what we’re all seeking.
The problem is when we turn to someone else to make us feel that level of safety and provision, especially when that person is a mate; if their priority is something or someone else we suffer a self-esteem crisis unless we have done the inner work to become emotionally resilient enough to not take their distraction personally.
What I know from the past few years of dating, often guys that aren’t interested in anything long term, is that it’s not enough to be a viable option anymore and we can’t accept that level of complacency in our relationships either.
I remember talking to one guy who wanted to take it to the next level physically. He admitted he had a girlfriend but that he was just looking for something (in his words) that “just works.” He wasn’t looking for love, romance, intimacy or connection, he was just focused on building his empire with someone that wouldn’t take him for half of everything he was working so hard to build. And he didn’t really care who that was with yet.
Totally get that and respect his clarity, but wouldn’t want to invest my energy into building something with someone like that, and that’s been a journey of self-love and healing that I’ve been on for quite some time.
Recently I’ve learned a lot about relationships and who I choose to be in them, so I can meet someone actually interested in a noble gas relationship with someone who has done the inner work to hold space for their transformation as they hold space for mine.
What I finally realized is that I was getting those kinds of guys because that was all I was looking for too, but now I understand how much we lose when we play the short game.
I don’t want a practical, comfortable relationship that’s just barely good enough but meets my basic needs anymore.
I want an adventure and the certainty that comes with knowing I’m with someone who genuinely cares about me and will be there when I need his support or encouragement, and who can also be straight shooting enough to call me on my shit when he sees it and is able to take it too. Reliability goes a long way in life and being someone we can count on weighs a lot in life.
No longer is it enough to be a viable option in someone’s life when you were born to do something great with people who believe in our greatness. It doesn’t necessarily need to be on a global stage either.
We want to know that we are valued, respected and appreciated in the world, and especially by the one(s) we share ourselves with most intimately. When we feel we are valued, respected and appreciated we experience the equivalent of a deposit of self-esteem, and we spill some out each time we don’t.
Self-esteem is fluid and fluctuates based on how safe we feel and how accessible adventure is to us.
Having multiple partners certainty keeps the adventure alive but it can cost a lot of self-esteem, for many reasons.
The secret to meeting our basic needs is to find a way to achieve a sense of safety, predictability, security, dependability, belonging and community on our own AND have a sense of adventure, novelty, risk, mystery, unknown, exploration and discovery that we can share with others through action. The other secret is to look for it in someone that you enjoy being with, who is interesting to talk to, and who is open to considering alternative ideas with you.
While I wish you this kind of delicious partnership should you be looking for it, what I wish above all else is that you will make it a priority to become the one who can give yourself all of those things, and buy the bag of popcorn to celebrate with too!
You are powerful beyond measure my friend and it is only when you realize your greatness that you will discover who and whose you truly are.
Laura JEH – Namaste
PS. The ‘roots’ versus ‘branches’ conversation is far reaching and will be unpacked in another message. For today simply note the importance of differentiating knowledge from wisdom which is embodied from experience.