Monday, May 12, 2014

Ladies...Everyone...We Have a Problem

I’m not sure where to begin. I clicked on a link that said, “3 things that repel men”—I guess I wanted to make sure I was doing it right—and ended up listening to a 15 minute sales pitch from a woman promising to sell her secret on how to get a man. I was appalled, humiliated, hurt, offended, and outraged, for myself, and then for all of us.

What is wrong with us? That is not a question, it’s more of an accusation. What is the deal about the focus we put on “relationships”? Why does a romantic relationship merit more attention than other relationships? Isn’t everything that we are involved in some sort of relationship? We have a relationship with our job, our self-image …money. We have relationships with family, friends, and pets (read family). The idea of a loving relationship for some reason appears to take precedence over all of them, including what should be the most important relationship we have: with our own self.

NOTE: Before I go further and offend people with this, let me state that when I am talking about ‘people’ I am talking in very general terms. This does not include the “exceptions to the rule”. Before any single person (read: someone who is not in a romantic relationship) gets offended and wants to comment, “I am not like that!” Know that I am not talking about you specifically. I am aware that there are people who are not “the” people that I am ranting about, but there are many of them, possibly many more than the rest of us. And I say that backed by what we are bombarded with in the media, in certain laws, and society in general – note again, that I said in general. Another note: I do believe that we are all connected, if I am saying anything that you think is offensive to people, I am one of those ‘people’—meaning, what I say about others applies to me as well. Hopefully with this disclaimer, I have limited the amount of people I could offend. The only people I think I can offend now are those that consider themselves “exceptions” who, despite my disclaimer above, will still take personal offense (oh, yeah, and people who get offended if (when) I swear).

Of course, if you are in a romantic relationship that is wonderful.  You may assume I’m blowing smoke out of my ass. That is fine, too. And I am truly happy for you. If you do have it all figured out, feel free to share with the rest of us.

Why are romantic relationships treated as being more important than any other? Why have we been taught at a young age to look for them? To feel that without them we are nothing? Why are we led to believe that our lives are incomplete without one? That line from the Jerry Maguire, the one that is considered oh-so-romantic, “You complete me.” is bullshit. When do we realize that we do not need anyone to “complete” us? We are complete; we are already perfect …already loved. We are love.

We all grew up hearing in some way that to be happy is to find it within ourselves. In The Wizard of Oz the tin woodsman asked, "What have you learned, Dorothy?" And Dorothy answered, "well,… If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with!" Confucius said, “Happiness consists not in having what you want, but in wanting what you have.” This is not new information for anyone, yet so many of us are still running around looking for things to make us happy. Looking for people to make us happy. Why is that? What is wrong with us? Who told us that there was something missing? Part of me thinks sometimes it’s just a skewed version of the idea behind the thought that we are all connected. That people think that it’s a literal connection that we need to make with people. That we are like random puzzle pieces on the kitchen table, sorted into groups of similar color, shape, and whether or not we have “straight” edges (yes, that was very tongue-in-cheek) waiting to be paired with that one piece that fits us perfectly. We are not connected like that. We are not made to be connected like that. We are connected by the simple fact that we’re human, each one of us is made like the other with the same essence. What is inside, our organs, our blood, our body structure, are the same. Our spirits are of the same energy; the connections we notice that we have with others can have different depths and strengths, and that has to do with the levels we are connecting with them on—how their energies ‘match’ ours. Our differences are only on the outside, and they are few. I am you and you are me. And still, people have to draw lines between each other based on gender, religion, color, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and anything that a collective group of people perceive to be “different”, even if those differences are differences we are born with. (You know I will be talking about this later!)

And after drawing all those lines and sorting our differences between each other, we go back and look for our connections? That doesn’t make sense.

--Don’t worry, I will eventually get back to what started me on this track in the first place.

If you’ve read any of my other blogs, you know about my best friend Donna. We have been friends for 40 years now, outlasting our own marriages (yes, plural) and a few other romantic relationships. Why is that? There is an adage about marrying a person that you consider your friend first. If that is considered good advice, I have a question: why are our romantic relationships considered more important than our friendships? I’ll be honest, I have said on more than one occasion that if I were gay, I would have asked her to marry me a long time ago. Unfortunately, I am straight.

---I don’t know when I chose to be straight, though (see what I did there? :) ). My first crush was Shaun Cassidy, a boy who was quite pretty, which really gave no indication of my 'preference'. Either way—and for whatever reason—I am not attracted to Donna in that way. (Donna, that is by no means an insult. Maybe if you tried…)

Let me interrupt myself (as if you have much of a choice, outside of deciding not to read further).

As I got older, and had more bad—not always bad, but not lasting—romantic relationships I began to fully appreciate the importance of having friends. True friends. And then I started questioning why romantic relationships can be so much work, when a true friendship is really effortless. Did you ever realize that you can say absolutely anything—ANYTHING—to a true friend? Think about this. You can say whatever you want to them, and they can do the same to you—and you will STILL be friends. This obviously is the biggest indicator that you should be true friends with your romantic interest. My friends (and I am so lucky to have the circle around me that I do) love me, support me, encourage me, kick me in the ass when I need it, cry with me, laugh with me, and most of all allow me to be me. There is an incredible freedom in that alone; to be able to just be and know that you are loved no matter what. The only thing I don’t do with my friends is have sex with them.

So, why then aren’t friendships held so highly? Or, rather, why are they given a back seat to that other kind of relationship (you know, the ones you do have sex in)? Or, why don't we have that same freedom in the love/sex relationships? Why is it that we can just be ourselves with our friends but we have to be something else to or with a ‘love interest’? We are not supposed to be who we are because we are now someone's significant other? Are we in those relationships merely to reflect an image for them? Why are there ‘rules’? Or strategies?

Which brings me back to what got me all hell-bent in the first place.

First, let’s go back to Confucius on the yellow brick road: we have everything we need inside us to make us happy. There is no reason to LOOK for anything to do it for us. We grow up being taught that in so many ways. “Money can’t buy happiness,” right? If you are never happy with what you have, you will never be happy with what you get. By that same token, if you are never happy with who you are, you will never be happy with who you are with. You have to be happy with what you have and with who you are before you will ever be able to enjoy anything or anyone else. This is the essential secret behind real friendships (and I mean the REAL ones): there are NO expectations for them to be anything other than who they are. We don’t expect our friends to take care of us or fix us, and they don’t expect us to fix them. We just want to spend time with them and enjoy being ourselves while they are being themselves. We don’t look for anything more, because nothing more is needed. If you think about that, and if you have those kinds of friends, then what more do you need? Why do you have to go out and look for anything else when you have unconditional love right there? Seriously, if it’s just sex that’s missing, it is easy enough to get without compromising yourself just to get it.

And yet again I got off track. Get used to it.

When we go out looking for something or someone, we are operating under the mistaken impression that something is missing. We are coming from that place of ‘lack’. If lack is the focus, lack is more of what we will get. How many times have we realized that the best things that have happened to us happened unexpectedly? When we weren’t looking or trying for it? Even in the simple example of when you lose your keys, or are trying to remember something: When do you find the keys? When do you remember ‘that thing’? When you have relaxed and stopped stressing about it. That is the answer. Relax. Stop stressing about it. It will come to you.

Relax. Stop stressing. Be happy (yes, it is a choice). Be YOU. Everything else will come to you. Don’t expect anyone to take care of you, to fix you, to make you happy. And don’t go looking for someone to take care of, to fix, or to make happy. We all should learn to be happy first with ourselves, then we are able to just ‘play’ with others, and enjoy each other. Like we do and are with our friends.

And NOW, finally, back to the beginning: If you MUST go looking for someone, please, please, PLEASE, realize first how wonderful you truly are. Realize everything that you and only you can offer to share with someone else. Do NOT try to buy them, or take care of them, or by trying to ingratiate yourself into their space and forcing them see how much they ‘need’ you. You are not and cannot be responsible for someone else’s happiness, and you should never dare to expect that of or put that level of responsibility on anyone else. That alone adds pressure to a relationship that should never be there.

Anyway, I’m listening to this sales pitch given by a woman and she starts with this:

“I am so-and-so, and in a few minutes I am to show you how to break through even the toughest guy’s shell… Reach deep into his heart and have him begging you to be with him forever! Watch this short video to the end and discover how I stumbled on a simple secret that ignites his passion for you, and has him bending over backwards to please you… Adore you…And honestly give you everything you could possibly want… Without playing games! It's so simple it's embarrassing… And yet I insist that I can quickly teach the simple secret to you… Instantly giving you the power in your relationship.”

There are so many things wrong with what she says right there alone. And she got worse.

For the record, this is for all of us, not just the women. I may focus more on women…well, because I am one. Women have been dealing with shit like this forever. Movies, magazines, music, etc. But certain things are finally being discussed and dealt with. Photoshop. That one word brings up the new awareness of what magazines have done and still are doing to women. Women in movies—not just actresses—are realizing the importance of the effect they have on women. (This actually goes to ALL groups that are stereotyped or put in a certain ‘place’ in the media—another example of all the lines drawn between us). But the reason I took special exception to this…spiel, is because this woman is trying to sell this line of bullshit to other women. One of our own has turned on us and trying to profit from it. She starts off by saying “No games” then outlines a STRATEGY. If that is not turning it into a game, I don’t know what is.

She even went so far as to say something along the lines of “(women have said)…that girl isn’t half as good as I am, yet she found someone and I’m stuck with the losers.”

Again, this is not just a problem with women. Both men and women have been dealing with loneliness and emptiness and feelings of ‘incomplete-ness’. We all have to realize that we already have everything we need within ourselves first.  What this woman is selling…not for $99.00…not for $69.00…but a ONE TIME payment of $39.00…

What this woman is selling is that there is something wrong with you.

“But wait! IF you act now (and you have to, because the price is going to go back up if you don’t order by midnight—Hey, I’ve already charged thousands of dollars to women for this secret [don’t worry; they can afford it] and it’s not fair to them that I drop the price so drastically just to get the word out), I will GIVE you another book that the title of basically repeats what I said I was going to give you in the initial package!”

You are wrong because you don’t know how to work other people.

“AND, if you purchase this I will add ANOTHER book with a title that suggests I left something out of the first book that I promised to tell you!”

And here’s where she really crosses the line:

“This system will work for anyone! EVEN IF…”

(Are you all ready for this?)

You are a few pounds overweight.

--(I will NOT abbreviate this) WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?


(If the previous comment wasn’t enough to make you throw up a little in your mouth. Or cry.)

You have children.


I am telling you right now that you are fucking perfect the way you are, and you already have everything you need. It does not matter how you got here. Please, know this much. Find your happiness inside and then you will see it outside. It was never missing and it never left.

We do not need to look for connections; we are already connected. Stop drawing lines between people, between groups. Be yourself. Then you will notice that the people that are around you are the ones that appreciate what you are, who you are. No games, no strategies. Then you can enjoy each other with no expectations for anything other than just that.

And if you read this far and still don’t agree with me, you can at least be happy that I said something nice about you. For free.

But if you’d like to pay money to be told that you are a fucking moron who will be alone and lonely forever, email me. I’m sure we can work something out. J