Some Quick Updates
First, I wanted to give you guys a quick update on the NYC Event, November 9th (Full day workshop with me in Manhattan!!). We’ll be opening up the tickets for sale this coming Monday!!! And OMG, you guys, the whole thing is going to be so freaking VIP. The Universe is just outdoing itself. Details in four days! Watch for the blog post/mail!!! Yay! (Can you tell I’m excited?)
Second, for those of you who have been wondering why I’m not replying as quickly to mails and stuff, it’s not your imagination. I’m less responsive than normal, but I have a really good reason. I’m writing my book! I’m about half way finished and on track to be done by the end of the month. I don’t want to give too much away, but honestly, it’s even better than I thought (and it’s not like my expectations were low…). I’m actually routinely stunned by how awesome it’s turning out to be. So yeah, I’m spending every spare moment sculpting this amazing work, just glad to be the one it’s coming through. I feel blessed and energized and I just want to do the happy dance all the time (and just felt like sharing that with you). Yay!
And now, for today’s Burning Question!
Awesome Dudette asks: “I have a problem with my boyfriend (kind of) this time. He is a very sad, negative and depressing person who clearly doesn’t know what it’s like to love himself. Even he has told me that he has given up on himself and he is always saying that he has to do better and not fail and he ignores all of his successes and just says anyone can do better than what he has done.
He’s been like this for a long time and I have tried to help him out in many different ways. Recently I have just tried staying positive with him and when I’m around him in the hopes that it will inspire him and I have even pointed him in the direction of the law of attraction and even to your blog.
Another problem is that I attracted him to me in a time when I was depressed and lonely…in fact he admitted to me that he was only with me because he was lonely too. So we were two lonely people who didn’t know about self-love who got together. I have grown up and learned to love myself a lot more and have finally admitted and accepted to myself that he is not the kind of guy I’d want to be with forever. And as I started to think of what the perfect guy for me would be like…he showed up. I have been talking to this other guy and he is everything on my list for the perfect guy.
I want to break up with my current boyfriend but it’s like he senses me losing interest and is just clinging on to me. One minute he says “I’ll understand if you break up with me, all I do is drag people down” and in the same conversation he’ll say “you’re the only one who believes in me and I’d hate myself if I ever lost you and I want to be with you forever. Please don’t leave me”. He’s always saying how I’m the only good thing in his life and how all he wants is to be a better boyfriend and make me happy. Basically he’s centering his happiness and purpose in life on keeping me in his life, which is putting pressure on me. I know I can’t be responsible for his feelings just like he can’t be responsible for mine but…I think I’m afraid to hurt him or make things worse for him.
I care about him and I don’t want me breaking up with him to cause him to sink further, but I’m not in love with him anymore. Especially since this new guy is around and is everything I want (and deserve) in a guy.
How do I help out my *boyfriend* and how do I end things smoothly? Every time I suggest to him that I’d still be there for him even if I’m not his girlfriend, he just says he doesn’t want to lose me.”
Dear Aweseome Dudette,
Thanks for such a great question. Here’s my very direct and blunt and lovingly slappy answer:
You say that you know that you can’t be responsible for how he feels. And yet… that’s exactly what you’re doing – you’re taking on the burden of his feelings, something you have absolutely no control over.
It’s very clear from your description that you two found each other when you were in a low point. You were a vibrational match then. But over time, you changed; you grew; you felt better. And he didn’t. And now you’re holding yourself back from moving on with your life, from claiming the happiness that’s rightfully yours, because he can’t or won’t (yet) do the same.
It’s like dancing
Think of it like this: if you and he met at a beginner’s dance class and became friends, but he wasn’t all that talented at dance while you were, would you repeat the beginner class with him so he wouldn’t feel so alone? And what if he always stayed at the beginner level, while you had the opportunity to become a world class dancer, travel the world and appear on TV; would you continue to go to the beginner’s class instead, just for him? Would you give up your life so he wouldn’t get his feelings hurt?
Do you imagine that you’d have fun dancing at a beginner’s level, when you could actually be fully expressing yourself with advanced moves? Do you think it would be fun for him, knowing he was sacrificing your entire life for him?
Not being a great dancer doesn’t make him a bad person. It says nothing about him, except that his level of dance is where it is. Just as his current emotional state doesn’t make him a bad person, and says nothing about him except that his level of consciousness is where it is. And, here’s the kicker, neither does yours.
Being a great dancer when your friend is not, doesn’t make you a bad person. Having grown and evolved and found a way to feel better when he has not, isn’t something you need to feel guilty about.
Would you ever berate him for not being good at dance? Would you plead with him to practice so you could take a more advanced class? Or would you accept him just the way he is and go and dance the advanced stuff with someone on that level? Of course, you’d never berate him for his dance skill. And yet, isn’t that exactly what you’re doing emotionally?
Would you ask someone who was a way better dance than you to stay at your level? Would it make sense to you to ask them to give up their life for your comfort? Of course, you’d never do that to someone, and yet, isn’t that exactly what he’s doing to you?
You are asking him to grow emotionally, so you can move on.
And, you’re allowing him to ask you to stunt your own emotional growth, because he’s afraid.
What if he never finds another dance partner? What if no one else will ever dance with him again? Are you really going to give up your happiness in order to allow him to avoid having to face those fears?
It’s not just for you
But consider this: what if he doesn’t even really like dance, but would rather express himself through writing? What if you, having created this safe environment in the dance class, are actually keeping him from figuring out what his real dream is? What if you’re enabling him in his pain? What if the stress of being on his own is actually necessary in order for him to figure out what he’s truly passionate about, and you’re actually keeping him stuck where he is by catering to his fear?
You see, the relationship is either beneficial to both of you, or detrimental to both of you. There’s no way that you can actually benefit him by sacrificing yourself. The Universe only has win/win or lose/lose scenarios. Win/lose is something we invented, which doesn’t actually work. When you lose by sacrificing your happiness “for him”, he actually loses, too, because now he’s using you as an excuse not to face his fears. Just because his path includes some discomfort, doesn’t mean it’s not valid.
After all, you had to face your fears. Why can’t you let him do the same?
The answer is that you’re not entirely sure that he’s capable of doing that. You want to make it easier on him, seeing as he’s so weak and incapable. And yep, I’m using those words on purpose. When we help people from a place of obligation, because they need us to and can’t do it without us, it’s actually kind of arrogant and condescending.
He’s a powerful being, just like you are. You don’t have to understand what his path is about, but you do want to respect its validity and the fact that he, the whole HE (Who He Really Is) knows exactly what’s he’s doing. If you are inspired to help him in some way from your place of joy, then by all means, go for it. But what you’re doing right now is keeping you both stuck where you are. And while he may still be served by that place, you are not.
Many people choose to grow through pain. It’s not necessary, but we don’t just get to take that method away from them. It’s their choice. I wrote an entire blog post on this method of growth, and why we shouldn’t interfere when we see someone using it. Read: Are You Using The Cattle Prod Method Of Growth?
How you can really help him
My advice to you would be to break up with him immediately. Do it kindly, don’t blame anyone (not yourself either!), and remember that just because a relationship didn’t last doesn’t mean it was a failure. This relationship served you both immensely. But it’s time to move on. Make it a clean break (no hanging on and babysitting him through the break up).
He doesn’t want the responsibility of holding you back, but he’s afraid to go on by himself. He’s afraid of what might happen, but you why are you choosing to share that fear? Imagine he’s a little boy on his first day at school. He may be nervous, but you know that he’ll be just fine. And going through this experience is part of his evolution. Let him have the experiences that are unfolding for him. Let him go down his path. It will lead him where he wants to go.
Stop asking his permission to get on with your life, because that’s essentially what you’ve been doing. You’ve been asking him to absolve you, to let you go. While you focus on his weakness, you’re actually asking him to be the strong one, so you don’t have to be the one who severs the ties. He’s not capable of making that decision for you (no one is).
Go your separate ways, focus on building the life you want, and then see what happens. See if he naturally gravitates back in, in some way. But if he doesn’t, know that he’s simply chosen to take a writing class, while you excel at dance. Know that he’s on his way to where he wants to go.
Enjoy the new guy. He’s a match to who you are now. Wish your ex well and send him love when you think of him, but don’t hold on to him. It’s not fair to either of you. Set him free, and as you do, you’ll be doing the same for yourself.