F*ck The Rules

I actually texted that message to a friend today (minus the asterisk of course).

The Rules…Act like a lady, think like a man…How to get a date worth keeping…blah blah blah.

See, the thing is that if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that using strategies to catch a date means that you will have to maintain those same strategies to KEEP the person. Whenever someone adopts “rules” to try to manipulate (yeah, I said it) someone else into being what they want, it’s bound to be a losing endeavor. Two reasons why: people don’t like being manipulated and you will always go back to being who you really are!

The movie Act Like a Lady was entertaining but the premise bugged me. All these people playing games to try to get love and it all backfires. Of course, it’s Hollywood so it turns out ok in the end but in real life, that doesn’t happen. People find out you’ve been lying about who you are, they will leave your ass in a second. If they don’t, you may want to question why they would stay cause anyone with self-respect isn’t going to tolerate that sort of thing.

When people implement strategies and rules in their relationships, it almost always fails. Because if it’s not really in your frame of reference to “withhold the cookie” for 90 days, you will do what the girl in ALALTLAM did–gave in because her NATURE was to do so. If you are still following petty “rules” like “wait three days and then call” or “wait for two hours to respond to his text”, let me clue you in–you’re playing games and NO ONE will win.

If you want to change how you relate to people, do it because that’s what you want, not because some book tells you what to do. If you want to be treated like a high value woman, then start by believing it for yourself first and then you will inherently require it of the people you interact with. Set guidelines for yourself based on what you need and what works for you but don’t try to live according to some set of rules that are not who you really are.

I can attest from personal experience and from my work with my clients that working internally, breaking patterns and healing old wounds has resulted in a natural change in how I relate to people. So yeah…f*ck the rules. Get real, own your shit and change your life. That’s how it happens.

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The Space Between

Have you ever been in line at a store, maybe even having moved up to pay & the person behind you steps closer….closer…and even closer until you feel the skin on the back of your neck crawling?  You just want to turn around and yell “BACK OFF” but you know that would be rude so most of us suck it up, and try to get through as quickly as possible. 

That feeling you had?  The sense of discomfort?  The desire to push back?  That’s your body’s way of telling you that something is happening to you–you have just had your boundaries violated.  You can call it boundaries, personal space, or your bubble but what it comes down to is that we each have an invisible line that separates us from others.  There are different boundary styles and they impact how you relate with others.

The first boundary type is known as “loose”–imagine one of those plastic fences that are used at outdoor concerts that with the slightest push, bend or disappear altogether.  A person with loose boundaries often finds themselves saying yes when they want to say no, doing things they are uncomfortable with and allowing others to do things to them that they don’t like or that hurt them.  This type of person, when in a relationship, is often indistinguishable from their partner–they lose themselves in their relationships and can’t tell where they end and their partner stops.

On the opposite end of the human behavior continuum is “rigid” boundaries.  Those are more like walls–impenetrable, hard, and difficult to move.  These people are often lonely, isolated, and have difficulty in maintaining relationships because they don’t allow anyone in and shut down those who try to share with them.  Eventually, people just stop trying. 

Between rigid and loose are permeable boundaries.  These are neither walls or nonexistent but more like a spaghetti strainer whose whole function is to keep some out and some in.  The person with permeable boundaries knows how to say no to what makes them uncomfortable, knows how to separate their experience from others and also knows how to compromise, how to let others in, how to see and be seen.  This person has their own distinct identity and is able to hold onto that when joining into relational partnership with another.  

Boundaries are one of those relationship things we don’t ever really talk about but are so critically important to have healthy, happy partnerships.   It’s about seeking balance and learning how to authentically connect without losing ourselves in our relationships.  And as with most relationship skills, it’s not always easy to learn but it’s always worth it. 

Surrender

Surrender means to love without limits. It means to relax your guard so your lover can feel your core–authentic, unhidden, and undefended. Your muscles relax. Your breath becomes full. Your body and heart willingly open to your lover. If you are hurt, then you are hurt, but in any case you practice to remain open and full, like the ocean. ~ David Deida

This is what it’s about for me…this is what I want in relationship. The shallow-guarded-hidden-withdrawn-fearful of true intimacy doesn’t do it for me. I want to see and be seen. I want to show up, naked, unashamed, raw and the glory of who I am and I want my lover-friend-partner to do the same. I am not interested in shallow connections–lets meet in the deeper places where our souls connect & our hearts touch. Meet me in the depths of my story & invite me into yours. No more walls. No more barriers. No more hiding-dancing-retreating.

Life extends an invitation to live from the deeper places & is awaiting our collective RSVP. If there is one thing that is clear to me now more than anything it is that I want to dive deeper and I want fellow journeyers to go with. I want to ride the edge of my existence, push my own boundaries & drink every drop of bliss I can find.