MGU 4 | Friends With Your Ex

 

When you’ve been friends with someone for a long time and decided to become romantic partners along the way, it can be challenging to end that relationship when you realize that the romantic side of it isn’t working. On today’s show, Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen tackle the issue of how to be friends with your ex. Having dated each other themselves, Jason and Whitney talk about their organic transition from acquaintances to friends to being romantic partners, as well as how they remained friends even after the relationship is long over. Want to know how to be friends with your ex? Stay tuned to this episode.

Listen to the podcast here:

How To Be Friends With Your Ex

The topic for this episode is, I can’t stop laughing. You’re making that face.

First of all, you have this look on your face that’s like, “I’m going to drop a bomb.” You were like, “The topic.” It’s the suspense.

I’m trying to be serious about it and I like surprises.

I do too. I also feel you love flinging me into situations because you’re like, “He’s good at improv. Let’s see what he can do.”

That’s true, you are, but it’s more authentic when it’s improvised. That one of our aims is not always to have everything perfectly lined up and planned. That’s one of our big messages. Anyways, the topic is how to be friends with your ex.

This is good. This is a topic that elicits a lot of curiosity and you and I both know this.

We should give some context because a lot of people assume that you and I are together as a couple of romantically.

It’s a pretty common assumption on social media and also various restaurants around the Los Angeles area.

People assume because of how much time we spend together that we’re romantically involved. It’s fascinating to me how people make that assumption. That is something that comes up culturally. People think that if a man and a woman are spending a lot of time together, then they must be romantically involved. It makes sense from a logical standpoint. There still seems something weird about it to me though, that people make that assumption. One thing that has been an ongoing question from people when they find out that we’re not romantically involved is what do people that we’re dating think? How are you going to find somebody if you two are always together? Are the people that you’re dating comfortable or uncomfortable with your relationship? It’s a unique thing. I will love feedback from anyone reading if you have a similar relationship as Jason and I. Let me break that down. Jason and I did date. We dated from 2012 to 2015-ish off and on. It wasn’t a straight shot.

Mostly on, a little bit off.

I didn’t keep track.

This is tangential because I want to get into the heart of the conversation. My mind, in keeping dates and timetables, works that way.

This is one of the reasons why we’re close is that Jason and I are similar. It’s interesting to me to hear that you kept track because I have a vague idea. Sometimes Jason will correct me when people ask how long we were together. You have a different number than I do. What happened from my perspective is that we have so much love for one another. When we realized that the romantic side of it wasn’t working, we didn’t want to go back to this. What most people do, including me, a lot of people when they break up with someone, they barely talk, they barely see each other. Sometimes it’s because they realize they didn’t have as much in common as they thought. Sometimes with relationships, they start sexual or in that rose-colored glasses type of state. A few months or a few years in, you realize this person isn’t for me.

That didn’t happen for us is that we had this bond quickly. We knew each other before we dated mainly as acquaintances. We don’t even remember exactly when we met, but we had mutual friends and we would see each other at events. It was this organic transition from acquaintances to friends and then to being romantic partners, boyfriend, girlfriend, whatever you want to call it. It was challenging to end that relationship because we are close. Jason and I did everything together. We spent much time together. We started doing a lot of business-related things together. That’s what I’m curious if you know how long it took for us. I don’t know if the term conscious uncoupling would apply to us. It took us at least a year of slowly unraveling or shifting and trying to figure it out because we cared so much for each other. It was tough.

I remember distinctly when we both started dating other people or we were interested in other people at the exact time. I remember it because I met someone in 2016. I don’t remember exactly what month it was, but I do remember clearly, I was driving you to the airport. I was nervous to tell Jason that I had started dating somebody else because the guy that I was dating at that time, it happened fast and it was this 0 to 60 type of thing with him and me. I wanted to tell Jason because I felt like I couldn’t hide it from him. I was nervous about it and I spent almost the entire drive to LAX. It was probably 45 minutes telling him the story. Jason started laughing towards the end right before we got to the airport. You were dating. I think I know who it was or you were just interested in this person.

It was a satellite exploration but hadn’t landed on a planet yet. We were collecting samples from the surface. It was an exploratory mission, but I was very much interested in this person. The timing of it was serendipitous how we both had these new people enter our lives. To me, that was a transition point.

It was interesting because it was probably the first time that you and I both had strong feelings. It was like simultaneously we were both ready to have feelings for somebody else. I remember before that, I did not feel ready. There was this period where we finally were aware that we wanted to date other people, but yet it was that scary position of who’s it going to be? How’s it going to happen? All of that place of unknown.

I also want to loop back to that moment en route to the airport. The reason that I was laughing so much was not just acknowledging the serendipity of that moment, but it was almost a sense of relief of we’re both ready. At the same time, there was so much love and honor in that moment of the way we were describing it to each other. There’s a weird thing because I feel like when we let go of something and our hearts and minds start to heal and that moment that we feel we can open up to a new person again, it’s usually done in isolation. It’s not necessarily done in the presence of the person that we broke up with. There’s a bond that gets created with certain people, not everyone. With us, it’s clear to me and it was clear even in our conscious uncoupling. There was this acknowledgment of there’s still something compelling and interesting about the alchemy of our personalities and the magic. We’ll fill in the gaps because people have many questions. I’m looking forward to digging in deeper is that here we are in this evolution years later where we’re doing this show together. We have the Wellevatr brand. We’re doing speaking appearances. We’re creating content together. We’re helping to uplift people.

We spend a ton of time together. Jason and I spent my birthday together. I decided to spend it with Jason and we went on this whole adventure together. A friend of mine messaged me and without getting into the details of my friend’s conversation, I can tell that she was perplexed like, “Why am I spending the whole day with my ex-boyfriend?” Even some of my closest friends still feel confused by our relationship, which is fascinating to me.

I understand this confusion and it’s clear that this confusion extends beyond our friends circle into the general public, fans and people that we interact with on social media, our global family. I think that the roots of this are we have so much cultural conditioning that how we ought to act and how we ought to treat each other when a certain life event happens. In this case, we’re talking about dating ending, a romantic relationship ending, a partnership, a marriage whatever it is, that you ought to isolate yourself. In some cases, the cultural narrative around this is you cut that other person out of your life. For a lot of people I’ve talked to, they’re like, “I’m not friends with any of my exes.” I asked them why. They’re like, “It’s too painful.” I asked them, “How many years ago was it?” They’ll give me whatever, three, four or five years. There are two things at bay here is the cultural narrative of when you break up, you cut the other person out of your life and you don’t engage at all. It’s like they’re dead to you in a weird way.

That’s a cultural conditioning that we see through movies, through media, through how we’ve seen our parents and our family do it growing up. Beyond that, talking about people that they say it’s too painful. I think that there are not enough healthy resources available when people come out of a relationship to heal their heart, to trust again, to let go of any pain, resentment and residual anger they might have for that other person. Don’t get me wrong, without getting into the details of our conscious uncoupling. We had moments that were extremely challenging. There were moments that I was as angry at you at one point as I’ve ever been at anyone.

I laugh because it’s simultaneously uncomfortable. Sometimes when you look back on painful things from the past, it’s that relief type of thing like, “We got through that and that was tough.”

Not just got through it, but we can look back on it and there’s no charge on it. That’s the other side of this interesting exploration of this topic is the cultural conditioning from family, society and media, but then the lack of understanding for people on how to deal with resentment, anger, pain and confusion. To me, if it’s real love, if you have a real bond with someone and it’s unconditional love or some semblance of unconditional love, the love will persist. The way you relate to someone changes form. We’re not sexual anymore. We’re not sleeping together. We’re not romantic. If there’s a foundation of respect, love, admiration and beyond it may be a mutual purpose or mission in the world to accomplish, why would you abandon that simply because that’s what you’re supposed to do? You act like the other person is dead to you. It’s a perfect opportunity for us to not only examine this cultural narrative and this conditioning but deconstruct it and ask, “Do we have to treat our ex-partners this way all the time?”

I don’t even know if it’s just the conditioning. It’s that a lot of people haven’t experienced it. It’s foreign to most people, being friends with your exes. It’s that either people don’t know how to deal with their pain like you’re saying. Jason and I are passionate about healing. That’s why we have this brand Wellevatr is that we want to help people elevate their consciousness through wellness. We see all of these different ways to heal yourself through wellness. That’s something that Jason and I are frequently practicing. Whether it’s meditation or it’s yoga or it’s spirituality, doing a lot of reading, having open conversations. These are the things that Jason and I practice regularly, separately and together. That helped us as well that we are committed to loving ourselves and we are committed to loving each other no matter what.

A lot of people are trying to protect themselves. They experienced the pain, the disappointment and they were trying to run away from it. One thing that I’ve learned so much about love is that you can’t run away from that pain. It’s either going to heal or it isn’t. If it doesn’t heal, it’s like you are continuously running, trying to hide from it, trying to soothe yourself from it but it never goes away. One thing that I’ve been thinking a lot about is that when I’m feeling the heartbreak of any kind, whether it’s from something romantic or whether it’s feeling heartbreak from life because life isn’t going the way I want it to or I’m feeling disappointed.

I can’t run away from it. I have to sit there with it and face it, work through it, see what’s going on and why I’m feeling the way that I’m feeling. Sometimes it’s a matter of time. We were talking about how in our lives we’re both working on surrender. I typically am somebody that wants to be in control or think that I’m in control. No one ever is in control. We’ve been conditioned into thinking that we can have control. I’m a fixer. I like to be able to find solutions and strategies and all that. I love that about myself, but it’s mainly out of comfort. It feels comfortable to me to feel I’m in control or to try to be in control.

When I feel like I’m doing everything I can and it’s still not working out, that’s incredibly painful for me. That’s exactly when it’s time to surrender to it and let myself feel all of those emotions and then not do anything about it. It’s a gift when you’re trying a ton of things and nothing is working. You can either see that as incredibly frustrating and depressing or you can say that as, “This is giving me an opportunity to let go and to surrender,” because that’s your only option when nothing’s working. Tying this back into relationships, a lot of people don’t know how to communicate with each other. A lot of people don’t know how to share what’s in their heart. A lot of people don’t know themselves well. They’re confused about what they’re feeling.

They don’t know how to stay it. They don’t know how to control their behavior. This is exactly why this all ties into Wellevatr because we don’t want anybody to have to go through all of that pain, at least not repetitively. Many of us go through that in order to figure it out. We don’t want you to go through that for the rest of your life. A lot of people are in so much pain. Their whole lives are in some level of suffering and relationships magnify it. Relationships are one of the best gifts that we have as human beings to grow because they point out our weaknesses. That’s why it’s hard for people to be in relationships is they’re afraid of somebody else witnessing their weaknesses.

When you’re in a dynamic, you’re either trying to hide your weaknesses because you don’t want anyone to see you because maybe they won’t accept you or you do reveal your weaknesses. When you get rejected, it’s deeply painful. You reveal your weaknesses and that person accepts it and then eventually, they decide they don’t want to be with you anymore. It’s painful to be like, “That person saw all my weaknesses. I don’t want them in my life. I’m trying to hide from them because I feel vulnerable.” I’m sure there are other versions of it, but that can explain a lot of the pain that people feel and the reasons that they want to keep others at a distance.

What you said goes back to deprogramming ourselves. I talked about the cultural narrative and the role that media and culture have on us. These impressions that we take and the mental food from childhood that persists throughout our adult lives has a tremendous impact on our subconscious mind. We enter a relationship. We’re super excited. We’re on fire for somebody. It’s going well. We have all those emotions, but we don’t realize that for a lot of us, we enter something where there’s a subconscious sense of incompleteness. Probably one of the most famous scenes is that scene in Jerry Maguire where Tom Cruise turns to Renee Zellweger and he’s like, “You complete me.” That’s the most horrible thing ever. Why is it horrible? It’s continuing to perpetuate this idea that I need to have another person around to feel a sense of completion within myself.

If you break up, does that mean that you’re not complete anymore?

That’s the subtext here. We think about all of the “Love songs.” Many love songs are like, “Baby, I need you girl, I can’t live without you, my world’s done without you, I feel destroyed without you.” Think about how many love songs that are beautiful and great, but if you pay attention to the lyrics, you’re like, “This is not a love song. This is a codependent desperation song.” Many people are living in a state of subconscious, codependent desperation and an illusion of need, but they call it love. One of the ways we need to examine, Plato once said that the unexamined life is not worth living. We have these subconscious drivers when we get into a relationship of I need you.

You complete me. My world is done without you. For me, part of the self-loathing that comes in a breakup is being angry at ourselves for putting ourselves in a position where we give so much of ourselves over to the other person that we lose our sense of self. We lose our sense of volition and perhaps we do not see as much. We’re not painting. We’re giving everything to the relationships. Part of that anger and despair when a relationship ends is the self-loathing we feel because we didn’t enter it in a state of wholeness. We didn’t enter it with the right frame of mind.

There’s something to be said for truly working on ourselves to heal any sense of not-enoughness, any sense of incompleteness, any subconscious or conscious drivers that says, “We have to have somebody in our lives.” To me, those mindsets do create a structure of codependency. The illusion of I need someone. We are social creatures. We thrive in the community. We thrive in tribes. I’m not saying we don’t need community and need other humans, but what I am saying is this sense of desperation, lack and necessity to have someone around is setting up parameters for a toxic relationship. The question that I’m putting out and I’m going to put this at you so we can discuss it is how do we engender a sense of wholeness and completeness within ourselves so that we say, “I’m going to meet someone.” It’s two complete people coming together who know who they are, know their hearts, know what they want and know what they’re passionate about. That’s a fertile ground to create a sustainable and loving relationship.

I feel that’s challenging to find, especially when we’re in this time where people are meeting each other online and their first impressions of each other are their best selves. They see the highlight reel when you go on Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, OkCupid, Match.com, on and on. It’s somebody showing their best photos where they look perfect or they look their absolute best. It’s someone writing about themselves and the best parts of themselves. It’s a highlight reel and we know that social media is mainly a highlight reel. We are starting to learn the effects of social media in comparing ourselves to other people. One thing I’d be curious to see is any research around the psychological effects of online dating because you’re seeing such a fraction of that person.

If you have a real bond with someone and it's unconditional love or some semblance of it, the love will persist. Click To Tweet

For me, when I did online dating, one of the most frustrating things is that you can’t feel somebody’s energy, which I’m a big believer in. There’s such a massive difference between texting with somebody, chatting back and forth through your phone or your computer versus meeting somebody out and getting a feel for them. Usually, that’s what happens with online dating is that if you hit it off with somebody online, then you’ll meet in person. Anybody that’s done online dating knows what it’s like to meet someone in person and realize they’re nothing like they thought they were in the chat.

There was this young lady who was an opera singer and we were emailing online in the little messenger box on this website. She lived across the State. I was still living in Michigan. I drove four hours across the State to meet her at a bar to sing karaoke. I come to the bar and I’m looking around. She was like, “Jason?” She looked completely different from her photos. My whole thing is this. I’m a different person than I was in 2001. We have primal things that we are attracted to, physically, pheromones. There are all kinds of factors that you don’t get online. They’re intangible things, energy, pheromones, a person’s vibe. I had driven four hours. What am I going to do? Turn around and drive another four hours home? I was like, “I’m going to bite the bullet, sing karaoke and do the thing.” What you’re saying about energy is important.

You’re seeing a complete person. Let me be clear about it because I feel like the word energy. Some people think that’s woo-woo. What I mean by energy is how they feel in person and how they look. When you’re talking to someone online, only your visuals are being impacted. Visually what they’re writing to you and visually what photos they’re choosing to send you. In-person, you’re seeing them as a three-dimensional being and you’re all of your senses, you can hear them, you can smell them, you can feel them.

Maybe you won’t taste them right away. To see somebody in person is different to see them in photos because somebody can edit their photos. They can make their skin look different. They can make their body size look different. They can change it however they want. They could send you old photos. That’s also the cliché of online dating. We’re trying to figure out this idea of being a whole person. We’re in this time where when you feel lonely, you can immediately open up an app and stimulate yourself by “Meeting people online.”

You could sign up for all of these different apps or websites. Go create profiles on all of them and constantly be “Meeting people” and getting validated by people or getting rejected by them. They can work the opposite way too. You could have conversations with people. It’s stimulating this primal emotion within us as humans and in a way that we don’t usually get in day-to-day life. How often do you meet somebody in day-to-day life that you’re interested in or you know that they’re interested in you? These apps are like, “This person’s interested in you.” They’re telling you immediately. Whereas a lot of the times when you meet someone out and about, there’s that phase where like, “I don’t know. Is this person into me? Do they like me?” You have to wait and figure it out. It’s exciting, but also can cause a lot of anxiety.

We’re in this time where it’s even more important for us to go into a deeper level with ourselves and our self-worth. Social media, coming back to that, it’s put us in a place where we’re constantly comparing ourselves to one another’s lives and thinking that somebody else always has it better than us because we’re only seeing somebody highlights. With this online dating world, we have this instant access to people that changes our relationships. It’s almost like people are disposable too. This happened with a friend of ours. I would love you to help me tell the story of something our friend’s going through. One of our friends met somebody. The summary is our friend met somebody that I had also met at two separate times. I met this person then our friend went and met this person in a professional setting. Our friend developed a crush on this person, developed an interest in this person. Our friend who’s female met this guy and let him know that she was interested in him. They were texting after meeting each other in person and tried to set up some date.

MGU 4 | Friends With Your Ex

Friends With Your Ex: You can’t run away from that pain. It’s either going to heal or it isn’t.

 

Their communication got all crazy and long story short. He stood her up. He said he was going to come to pick her up and take her out for coffee, dinner or something like that. He never showed up and she never heard from him again. Jason and I find ourselves fascinated by this. These aren’t people in their twenties. These are people in their 40s or at least late 30s. You would almost think that this is something that teenagers would do, twenty-year-olds, that’d be a little acceptable. I feel once you’re past your mid-30s, you’re still standing up somebody and not having good communication with them. It’s peculiar to me. It makes me wonder, are we living in this time where it’s okay to do that? It’s okay to blow somebody off. It’s okay to ghost them. That’s become a term over the past few years or so, meaning you’re talking to somebody, you feel like everything’s going well and then you don’t hear from them ever again and there’s no explanation.

This is again part of going on online dating. One of the reasons that I stopped online dating is because I felt like I was shopping for a human. It felt like I was swiping for a car or I was swiping for a set of shoes or on Amazon for people. I understand the primal desire for connection in us, but there’s a manipulation of us chemically going on. The manipulation of us chemically is when we’re lonely. We usually do one of two things in society the way it’s set up. We don’t face the pain and the loneliness. We get on and we check Instagram or we get on Tinder, Bumble, Raya, any of the dating apps. We talked about this ad nauseum on our social platforms, ironically, that the internet is a dopamine dispenser. The people, the platforms and the apps that capture the most attention are the most successful digital drug dealers. I call them digital drug dealers because that’s what it is. We know through clinical research that every time you get a like, a comment or a response, you get a little hit of dopamine in your brain.

Dopamine is important because it’s the neurotransmitter that makes us feel good. It’s a sense of accomplishment. It’s a sense of like, “I’m awesome. I love myself.” We’re lonely. We’re in pain. We’re in heartache. What do we do? We jump on social media. We jump on dating apps because we need that dopamine. Here’s another thing, when people break up, what’s the number one food they eat the most of? It’s chocolate because chemically chocolate has something in it called phenylethylamine, which mimics the love molecule in the brain. We eat a ton of chocolate. Our brain is getting lit up in similar ways as we are in love. We’re missing love. We’re heartbroken. In some ways, when we’re deeply in love and there’s a traumatic breakup, our bodies, our brains are still looking for that chemical fix. Chocolate provides that. We have to understand what is motivating our behavior.

What’s interesting about this too is that we live in a time where we have access to many forms of escape and many ways that we can make ourselves feel better. Most people think that they’re making them feel better. When you’re eating junk food, most people know overly-processed food, fried food, processed sugar food, poor quality chocolate, all of these different things. Most people consider that junk food and they know it’s not good for themselves and they’ll let themselves indulge a lot when they feel like they’re suffering or they’re sad. Even I do that. I go through phases where I’ll indulge more and I know it’s because I’m feeling emotionally low. It’s an easy way to feel better because who wants to feel emotionally low?

There are some people that are not even conscious of it. I would guess that a lot of people in our country, considering that the US has the highest rates of obesity. We have access to all of these things. These things are cheap and a lot of people don’t know how to deal with their emotions. Could that be contributing to obesity? Is this a lack of self-control and a lack of self-awareness? That’s a big generalization, but I wouldn’t be surprised. We have a television. We have movies. We have apps. We have games. You can look at all of these things that we can turn to get all of these chemical reactions in our brains. One of the biggest points of this episode is that we want to encourage you to look beyond those quick fixes and find the things that are more meaningful and deeper for you even if you feel like you’re the only one doing it. It ties back to our relationship between Jason and me is that a lot of people view it as weird. Is it weird because it’s against the norm? Are people not staying friends with their exes because they feel it’s not okay?

Another example of this is one of my previous long-term boyfriends from several years ago. He got married and he had sent me an email from a different email account. He wanted to connect with me, but he wrote that he didn’t think it would be okay if his fiancé and now wife saw the emails. I felt sad. This is the second boyfriend that’s done that. Another one years ago had done that too. He wanted to have me in his life as a friend. He would call me when he wasn’t around his wife and I could tell that he was nervous that she was going to find out that he was talking to me. It was interesting from two perspectives is that it was platonic. Both of those scenarios, there was nothing devious going on. There was no cheating, yet these men still felt like they had to hide it. What also was interesting is without knowing the details, I find it peculiar why were their wives concerned about them having a friendship with an ex-girlfriend? What’s the big deal? Why can’t we be friends with one another?

Relationships are one of the best gifts that we have as human beings to grow because they point out our weaknesses. Click To Tweet

When you say that, it brings up several things to me. It brings up what the nature of jealousy is? In those types of relationships, with this as an example, is there actual deep trust that’s been built? I’m of the philosophy that I will take you for your word if you tell me that it’s a platonic relationship, it’s a friendship and you’re hanging out with this person and doing things. First of all, as an individual human being, you have the volition to do whatever you want. If you are going to cheat, I can’t stop you anyway. There’s no amount of protection, control or telling you, “Don’t hang out with her,” that’s going to stop you from cheating if you want to cheat.

You can’t put somebody in a locker. You can’t put them in a dungeon in the basement. You can’t put a chastity belt on them. People will do what they will do. That’s the first thing to know is that as close as you are with someone, they’re always going to do in some form what is in their highest and best interest, whatever they deem that to be. The deeper layer of that I want to say is the nature of jealousy and the nature of the lack of solid foundational trust and openness being established and grown in a relationship. Why are we not teaching people how to do that? Why are people not in the practice of building that deep trust of whomever you spend time with, I take you at your word that this is the nature of the relationship. This is what you’re going to do and releasing the control of I can’t control ultimately your thoughts and behaviors.

That’s what I would love to talk about too is that we have this weird cultural conditioning of wanting to try to control people. I am someone that feels comfortable when I feel like I have control. This is part of me learning more about myself and learning how to best operate in the world is trying to control less. This idea of getting into a relationship or a marriage and that once you’re married, these are the rules. A lot of that has to do with religion, that’s my perspective. There’s a lot of rules that come about through religion like, “This is what you should do. This is what you shouldn’t do. This is what a relationship is. This is how you should be sexually or not be sexually.” There are a lot of different rules. Religion is such a huge part of our world. A lot of us feels all sorts of confusion when it comes to our dynamics with other people because of the various rules that are in place. Even if we’re not religious or we weren’t raised religiously, those rules are still there in our culture. There is shaming that goes on. When there’s any form of cheating in our society, it’s blown up in the news.

You hear in the tabloids and the media, it’s all over, “So-and-so cheated or so-and-so are they cheating?” There’s so much in our culture that creates this fear that, “I should never do that.” There’s all this confusion around when it comes to being sexual. I can only be sexual with this person. I think it’s good for people to make their own choices, but you have to go another level deeper and understand the why behind your choices. This is where the consciousness comes in is that in your marriages, for example, I’ve never been married and neither is Jason. I don’t know what it’s like to be married. I have friends that are married. My parents are still married. I have that glimpse into what marriage is like.

From where I stand, it’s important to examine where you stand and why in terms of what those dynamics are going to be. A lot of the times, these rules are in place as a form of protection. The truth is it’s two human beings coming together that have completely different backgrounds and they may share a lot of things in common. They may share beliefs, but ultimately their minds are different. Even men and women are different. Even if it’s two men or two women coming together, they’re different people. You can’t control them even though you might want to. Something that I’ve pondered is a lot of times with human beings, the more somebody feels controlled, the more that they want to resist it. The more that they want to rebel or the more that they feel resentful. It’s almost comical how many clichés there are about marriage like, “The old ball and chain,” or, “Once you get married, you’re never going to have sex again.” All these different ideas around marriage and then you should start to wonder like, “Why is it that way?” Is it because we’re trying to control each other so much? Is it because we’re not working to keep the romance alive? It becomes this weird thing where people are almost living out a program.

That’s what I mean about the conditioning. We ought to put energy and focus on examining the programs that are running us in our lives. What we believe and whether or not they’re serving us, whether or not they bring us joy, whether or not they feel in alignment with who we are. Ultimately, this is one of the most interesting, challenging and hopefully, the rewarding things we can do is the art of human relationship. One of the things is if you are a person who is dedicated to growth, evolution, change and you invite it, the art of staying together with someone over the course of years or decades as two people that are committed to that is an amazing dance. I’m always in awe and I have several people, the one couple that I can think of now. I have a mentor in my life, Michael, who is more of a father to me than any other being I’ve ever had in my life. He’s a deep father figure to me. He’s one of the most loving, truly conscious, open-hearted humans I’ve ever known. He’s been in partnership with his partner and they celebrated their 30-year anniversary of being together. They’ve been married since 2016, but they’ve been together for 30.

MGU 4 | Friends With Your Ex

Friends With Your Ex: We know through clinical research that every time you get a like, a comment or a response, you get a little hit of dopamine in your brain.

 

It’s something that I’ll actively ask them about because I want to know the dynamics and the interplay of energies and all of the permutations and versions of them that they’ve experienced with one another. Ultimately, what I see there is a lot of freedom, allowing and honoring in them as one example of people who have been doing that for decades who are still happy, connected and joyful. There’s an allowing of that evolution. There’s an allowing of growth. There’s an allowing of each person’s individuation and unique identity within the container of the partnership. How do we have these two people that are completely unique individuals, different minds, different hearts coming together?

This is a balance of we come together in a unit, hopefully with the same intentions, visions and dreams to help co-create that with one another. That’s my vision for a marriage and a partnership is you want similar things I do. We might go about it in different ways. We might have different passions, but we’re going to help each other build this while knowing that we have individual dreams. We have individual hopes, goals and visions, but so much we have been conditioned to sacrifice the individual goals and sacrifice our dreams for the relationship. That is the seat of where a lot of resentment can come in. Too much of the individual has been given up for the whole.

People lose themselves as individuals because they are merging so much. There’s something beautiful about that, but yet I don’t know if any of us want to lose who we are. It sounds nice in a romantic theory to merge with somebody to become one or to become complete. Is that something we should strive for? I guess if it organically happens and it feels good, great. I think that there’s this cultural mindset of what marriage is that starts to feel unclear. One thing that’s been interesting is studies are coming out about how Millennials are getting married later in their lives and thus the divorce rates are going down. That is another huge thing.

There’s this interesting dynamic for me as I get older as thinking, “All my friends are getting married and all my friends have kids. I’m not married and I don’t have children.” My mom wants that for me. To me, I only want that to happen if I’m with somebody that I want to spend the rest of my life with. Why would I get married just to get married or have a kid to have kids? If I get to an age where I can’t have children, then so be it. Why would I try to force something? I don’t want it bad enough to have it. I feel like from my perspective. I want it to be organic. I want it to be real. I want it to be rooted and I also have a major advantage in that I have had so much time single, meaning unmarried.

Whether I’m dating somebody or I’m not, I’ve had so much time to work on myself. I live alone and it’s wonderful to be on my own and make my own decisions every day. Even though I would like to get married and have children, if it’s right, I’m not in a rush to because I want to enjoy this time where I’m fully making my own decisions. I get to know myself well that hopefully if I do get married, that I have a greater sense of self than I would have several years ago. Some of my friends have ten-year-olds or their children are almost ten. I think, “I can’t imagine having a kid that long ago myself.” They made that choice. I also feel like when you get married young or you have children young and you don’t fully know yourself, you’re getting to know yourself now with other people involved.

There is a great value to that. I do believe that people are great mirrors and reflections for us showing us sides of our self that we aren’t seeing. That’s the value of connection. That’s the value of relationship is, “I’m going to shine the light into some of the dark corners of your soul so you can see that more illuminated clearly.” That is the beauty of consciously choosing or subconsciously choosing the people in our lives. Ultimately, I do think that how I approach any relationship, but in particular romantic relationship, is I know that we are here to help each other grow.

Many people are living in a state of subconscious, co-dependent desperation and an illusion of need, but they call it love. Click To Tweet

I don’t know on what levels yet, but I trust that if someone enters my life and enters my life organically and someone has entered my life. It’s a new exploratory phase. I’m well aware that she is someone who is committed to working on herself as am I. How that pans out, what that’s going to turn into, how we’ll support each other’s growth, I have no idea. Sometimes it’s not in ways you expect. That’s the other thing you talk about surrender. I don’t know what it wants to be. Often we get into new relationships and it’s like we’re thinking about marriage. We’re thinking about forever after. We’re thinking about the kids, the farm, the dog, the white picket fence and all the things.

To slow ourselves down and be real about I don’t know what’s going to happen several minutes from now. I don’t know what I’m going to say on this show many seconds from now. I do not know what is going to manifest and be created with this person. All I can do is keep saying yes to the energy that feels good or connections that I feel are full of growth and positivity and some hardcore lessons. There’s a Bob Marley quote of sometimes and I’m going to butcher this quote, but bear with me. It’s something like, “You’re going to bleed in life. You have to make sure you’re bleeding for the right things.” When I say that, I know that whomever I am going to choose in my life, there are going to be moments of pain, confusion, me letting her down, her letting me down and moments where we don’t know what in the hell we’re doing.

To go into a new relationship and be like, “Yes, this feels good. Yes, this feels exciting.” There’s joy, connection, sensuality, playfulness and if we keep going down this path, there are going to be painful hard moments. To not be in an illusion, especially in the Cinderella phase, the honeymoon phase of like, “Everything’s great.” Enjoy that, swim in it, but also know if you go down the path with this person, there’s going to be pain, confusion and suffering to some degree. If the love is built and the trust is built, can we be there for each other with compassion and understanding through those moments because they will be there? You need to pick the right person to bleed with. I don’t mean that in a macabre way. I don’t mean that in a morose way. I mean that in a real human relationship way.

This idea of the right person, though is also tricky. Society has made it challenging for us to know what the, “Right person is.” That’s another deep thing that we could go into is I feel like some people have this idea of this specific type of human being, the qualities that they’re going to have and what they’re going to look like. Some people only go after that person and then they realize later on, “This person checked off all the boxes, but they don’t feel right.” Sometimes we end up with people that are completely different than we thought we wanted, but they feel like the right person. Sometimes it’s a matter of the right person right now. Speaking as two friends that used to date, our relationship was right for us right then and now our relationship as friends is right for us right now.

It’s tricky to figure out what feels right because it’s all about you. This is exactly why you need to get to know yourself. If you’re feeling unsure, if you doubt something, then either that’s a sign that it’s not right or it’s a sign that you don’t know yet because you haven’t tuned into yourself to find the answer. You probably do know deep down, but you’re not having the clarity to know what’s right or wrong for you. Letting go of all of the cultural beliefs about what’s right, what makes the right person and what makes a good relationship and all that. That’s tricky too because as human beings, one of the hardest things is that we grew up in our parents, our family members, our friends, our teachers and all these other people that we come across.

We have the media. We have many different opinions about life. Coming back to religion and all the different ideas that we’re taught directly or indirectly through religion, I don’t know about most people, but I get confused. It’s hard for me to see what is right for me until I start to quiet my mind and this is one of the big benefits of meditation. Meditation is one of the greatest tools we have to get in touch with our true selves and finding that clarity that’s already there. As we touched upon a bit throughout this episode is we’re encouraging you to identify who you are, what you want and the truth of that, not just what society says. Coming back to our friend, before we got into this show, Jason was talking about how a lot of women especially, but I think this is true for men as well, feel this pressure that they need to get married or have kids by a certain age. Will you elaborate and share with them what you were saying to me?

MGU 4 | Friends With Your Ex

Friends With Your Ex: Meditation is one of the greatest tools we have to get in touch with our true selves and finding that clarity that’s already there.

 

There’s a value assessment that society has placed on being a certain age. It’s arbitrary, but if you aren’t coupled, married, with a partner and have kids by a certain age it’s, “Too late for you.” We see this reinforced with our families. We see this reinforced in Hollywood. We see this reinforced through many outlets that what you got to do X by a certain age or, “Too late, you’re done.” I don’t even know if this is a female versus a male thing. Certainly, to honor the women readers out there, the biological clock is a real thing. I don’t want to get into the pressure of that, but I want to talk about the more macro cultural pressure of if you are a single person, there’s something wrong with you.

Even my mom back home, her coworkers and some friends will question her like, “Why isn’t Jason married yet? He’s single and he’s handsome. He’s got this successful business and he’s charming.” They rattle off this list of qualities as if he’s got to look like me. I have all these things. What the hell is wrong? Why am I not listening? My mom responds, respectfully. She’s like, “Because he hasn’t found someone yet that he wants to commit in that way too. He may or he may not.” This is something I’ve had to examine. I want to go off on this because I realized that, and this was in a meditation class that we were in, the breathwork class. Something came up to me when we were doing this deep breathing. I realized that I was holding onto a belief inside of me that something was wrong with me that I wasn’t with somebody.

Here’s what it is. My level of lovability, how lovable am I, was validated by being with someone in the sense of if someone is by my side and I have someone to sleep with to be in a relationship with. That’s a validation of me being lovable. The lack of someone there means that I’m not a lovable person. When that realization came, I was like, “How long have I been holding onto this? How many years have I been walking around thinking that if I’m not with somebody, I’m not lovable? That was painful for me to realize, but what a gift too in the sense that, “Since I am on my own, how can I validate my loveliness without having to be with someone or the evidence of someone there to validate.

I know I’m a lovable person. I like spending time with me. I’ve begun to like spending time by myself and that is one of the best things. One thing that I like to do within anchoring this lovability for myself is taking myself on dates. I’ll take myself to the movies. I’ll take myself on a hike. I’ll go up for whatever, a ride in the car or motorcycle or whatever it is. It’s like, “I love doing this for me.” For all of us to practice consciously taking ourselves on dates and loving ourselves, we are the ones that get to say whether we’re lovable or not. The evidence doesn’t need to come from outside of ourselves. That was such a tremendous thing that I learned and that I’ve been practicing hardcore.

That’s one of the biggest benefits to our friendship and friendship in general. To come back around to the original topic is to have a relationship with somebody that you were once romantically involved with. Jason and I have a love for each other that’s incredibly strong and it’s rare for men and women that haven’t dated to have a friendship like this. I don’t know if Jason and I could have consciously had this loving, deep friendship without dating first. You have sexual tension with people. A lot of things happen in friendships between men and women. Maybe that’s why people find it confusing is that if you’ve ever tried to be friends with somebody of the opposite sex or somebody that you’re attracted to. If you’re attracted to the same sex, the same thing can be true is there’s this idea of, “I have feelings for this person, but I don’t want to tell them because we’re just friends. Maybe they don’t feel the same way about me.”

Jason and I have already gone through that stage. We dated and we know what that’s like. We found love and that love became a love of friendship. We worked through all of those things that some people never do as friends. That deep love that we have is wonderful because I can have experiences with Jason that is similar to experiences I would have in a romantic relationship, meaning everything but the sexual side of it. Jason and I do things that a lot of people would think that they’d only do with a boyfriend and girlfriend or a husband and wife, etc. That’s special because to Jason’s point. You can take yourself out on dates.

The sense of desperation, lack, and necessity to have someone around is setting up parameters for a toxic relationship. Click To Tweet

Jason and I as friends, go out and do date-like things together. We’re going to the movies together and I could do that alone, but it’s nice to do it with Jason. It doesn’t have to be somebody that I’m dating. That’s such a gift too to have someone that you’re close enough with. It’s a different dynamic. To me, it doesn’t matter what gender Jason is. I look at him as a friend. I think that a lot of women would have this dynamic only with other females, but I’m fortunate to be able to have that with a male because Jason’s perspective on life as a man is different than my female friends’ perspectives too. He and I can have these open-hearted conversations with one another. We can get perspectives on things. We can introduce each other to people that we’re dating to see what the other one thinks. There are all these great benefits because we have each other’s best interests in mind. A lot of times, Jason and I refer to our dynamic as more like brother and sister or something.

For sure, especially the moments we disagree. It’s much like a family. There’s a level of comfort and familiarity where it’s like, “This person is family to me.” There’s a point in life where we have our blood family certainly, but then we have our chosen family. The people that we consciously intentionally choose that we know we don’t have to have in our lives, but I’m making a conscious, intentional choice over and over to choose this person in my life. There are depth and love and there are moments of disagreement. There are moments where things get heated and tense. If the foundation of love and respect is there, you work through those moments. That goes back to the original point of like, “How do you have a friendship with your ex?” It comes down to the intention of what you want to create with that person. It also depends on the energy that’s cultivated over the course of the relationship. For a lot of people who don’t have their ex-partners in their lives, perhaps it’s because they entered the relationship out of desperation, out of pure lust, of having this person fill an illusionary hole in their lives out of lack.

Coming back to validation too, which I thought was such a big thing. A lot of people get into relationships or any romantic dynamic for validation.

How cliché is it to have the pretty young thing or the handsome dude on your arm and like, “I’m going to parade this person around.” It’s a cliché in our culture as the day is long.

You’re just looking to sleep with all these random people, it’s like you’re addicted to a new person finding you desirable, but you don’t want to commit to any of them or have anything deep with them. This is not a matter of right or wrong. We’re not trying to judge anybody’s choices. We’re encouraging you to get to the root of it. We live in this time where it’s culturally acceptable to find ways to escape our pain. I think that the desire for external validation is looking for somebody else to tell us that we are good enough. That makes it challenging in relationships when you don’t feel good enough and you’re hoping that somebody else will remind you that you’re good enough. That can be wonderful.

MGU 4 | Friends With Your Ex

How to Love Yourself (and Sometimes Other People): Spiritual Advice for Modern Relationships

It’s great to have someone tell you that you’re good enough, but we all know what it’s like for someone to compliment us or to say something nice about us and we don’t believe it. It’s only going to feel good when we give ourselves that validation when it’s an internal thing. If you can get to that point, then you’re setting yourself up for massive success. When Jason was talking about being complete, being complete is accepting and loving yourself deeply. I’m getting almost butterflies because it’s reminded me of this book that I’m reading. There are many phenomenal quotes in here.

What came up for me in terms of seeing people clearly and entering relationships with the right frame of mind, whatever it is, is about reality versus expectations. Our good friend, Kyle Cease, said in one of his wonderful live talks. He was coaching someone through a hard moment. He said, “They didn’t break your heart, they broke your expectations.”

You just read my mind because this is one of the core points in the book. This is what happens when you have a deep friendship with somebody. Jason and I are in sync mentally.

When you enter something with the mindset of, “What can I get from this person?” or only seeing the things you want to see and not seeing the full picture of who that being is. The light and the dark, the beauty, the flaws, accepting and loving all of it, truly striving to unconditionally love that person. If you come into it with assumptions and you come into it with expectations and trying to get something, it’s no wonder you feel devastated. I felt this way many times having to take full responsibility for entering things with an expectation of how long it was going to last or what it was going to turn into or what this person was going to give to me. How they were going to satisfy me sexually or how good they were going to look on my arm. I’m saying this because I’ve entered into relationships with this mindset full of expectations, full of assumptions, not communicating clearly, not thinking about what I could give or how I could support and uplift this person or grow something together. It was all about getting my needs met.

It’s important that you manage your expectations and that you go into relationships with an open heart and not knowing what’s going to happen, but trusting the feeling, trusting your intuition. Knowing that like anything in life, there are no guarantees and it requires a hell of a lot of courage to jump into something and give your all to it. One of the reasons that a lot of relationships don’t work out is because we half-ass them. We half-ass them because we’re afraid if we put our whole ass into them, our whole being and it doesn’t work out, we’re afraid of the devastation. We’re afraid of, “I got to pick up the pieces again.” The irony is that if we don’t put our whole selves into it, we’re never going to experience the fullness, the glory and the magnitude of what it could be. We play safe, we hold ourselves back, we half-ass things, we don’t show people who we are and then we wonder why it doesn’t work out. It’s insanity.

If you see this as a pattern, it’s like the Einstein quote. The definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If anything that this show is, I hope you’re gleaning from this or giving you perspective, it’s to enter relationships and look at relationships with a different frame. To ask ourselves what our true intentions are. To think about what subconscious belief systems continue to motivate patterns of, “Why do my relationships keep ending up in the same way?” We have to become different. We have to examine our lives and our belief systems and what’s truly motivating our behavior if we want different results. We can’t guarantee results, but if the input is different and the program is different, what shows up and who shows up will likely be different.

I am an avid reader and I turn to books for not only knowledge and understanding, but also to feel like I’m not alone, to soothe myself a lot of times. That was one of the big reasons I picked up this book and it was exactly what I was looking for. I also tend to prefer reading books on Kindle because then I can store all my highlights and access them quickly. I have a bunch that I want to share. I’m going to give you some of my favorite quotes from this book I’m reading. It’s called Love Hurts by Lodro Rinzler.

In this time of social media, it's even more important for us to go into a deeper level with ourselves and our self-worth. Click To Tweet

I’ve read one of his books that he co-authored with a previous partner.

That’s one of my favorite books. It’s called How to Love Yourself (And Sometimes Other People). It’s phenomenal. If there were going to be a resource to give you, that would be it and also Love Hurts. He’s written several books. Lodro specializes in meditation. That’s his big passion and that’s the root of all of his advice, a Buddhist perspective. I wanted to read to you some of my favorite parts from that book. I have not finished it yet, but he says, “True love is the natural energy of our settled mind. The more we can settle our mind in meditation or through other means, the more likely we’ll be able to touch the love that exists right underneath that set of armor.”

“My definition of a loving relationship is one where two people can stand shoulder to shoulder together to meet the many discomforts life presents them.” One of his big points in this book is related to what Jason was saying in referencing Kyle Cease. He says, “The heartbreak is based on feeling the things that should be one way and becoming disappointed to learn that they were another. It’s not the heart that breaks, it’s the ego. For love to last, it is best not to have too many expectations. It is better to offer love. There are many people out there who are confused. That does not mean that underneath their various layers of confusion, neurosis and pain that they aren’t good. Love doesn’t always have to be reciprocated. We can love. If love doesn’t come back to you, it is still love that you give and that you feel. Instead of trying to find love outside of yourself, please just see if you can drop right below the surface of your pain and feel the love that still exists.”

It’s a beautiful book and it’s cool because it’s organized into different sections based on different things that are going on in your life. He encourages you not to read it all the way through, although that’s what I’m doing because I love this book so much. It’s there to be a resource for various points in your life when you’re feeling heartbreak, whether it’s related to romance or other forms of heartbreak. This idea of expectations has been in my head so much since I started reading this book and wondering how I can work on expecting less. That I feel is my big challenge at the moment. I think something that a lot of people don’t practice as we get into this place where we’re expecting something and then if it doesn’t go the way that we expect it, we’re heartbroken. If you sit there and think about it, you’ll realize that usually why we feel pain is that we wanted a specific outcome and it didn’t happen. A lot of us have not learned how to handle it. It’s almost like we’re reverting back to the little kid that doesn’t get its way and throws a temper tantrum.

It’s funny you mentioned the childlike mind because one of Michael’s favorite quotes, my mentor is, “Most of us are children in adult bodies with technical educations.” There are many unexamined subconscious wounds from childhood that we are still acting out as adults that we don’t fully understand. This is one of them. If you were praised constantly as a child no matter what you did, and as you go into life and you build a business. You’re an entrepreneur, you put your heart out there, you’re looking for romance, you realize that you will not be praised for every single thing you do. You will be rejected. You will be turned away. You will be met with working months or years on a project or a business and not having the sales, response or outcome that you had intended. It brings up a Winston Churchill quote for me, which is one of my favorite quotes, “The definition of success is moving from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”

As we put our hearts out there, as we trust again, as we muster the courage and the will and the openness to engage and offer our love. As we build our businesses, as we do anything with love and courage, we need to understand that there are no guarantees. The love we put out may not be returned to us. That doesn’t need to prevent us from putting the love out into the world. That doesn’t need to prevent us from offering our creative gifts. That doesn’t need to prevent us from saying, “There are going to be moments when I need to put myself in a cocoon and heal.” If I can come out on the other side of it with my heart still open, wiser, more loving and willing to continue. That’s some of the greatest work we can do here on this planet is to heal and have the courage and the wherewithal to keep going and not to shut down.

MGU 4 | Friends With Your Ex

Friends With Your Ex: The opposite of fear is love. If you’re feeling pain, that’s because you’re in a fear state. The ultimate way to heal that pain is to tap into the love.

 

Be more present in life. Take it day by day, moment by moment because we have no idea what’s going to happen in the next moment. Coming back to this idea of control, we have a culture of giving us all these different ways that we can control our lives, but we don’t have control. There are too many factors going on in life that can impact the next thing that happens to us. When it comes to relationships with other people, you’re not the same person. Different things are going to happen to you that has a ripple effect and then it’ll affect your relationship at some point. You can’t control a relationship. You can’t predict somebody’s feelings. Some people may fall out of love and then they’re either going to choose to recommit to love, give it time or abandon it. There are people that you will break up with and you will get back together with in the future. There are people that you will break up with and you will never hear from. I’ve had a boyfriend and ex-boyfriend pass away that’s completely unexpected. I’ll never talk to that person again and I never saw that coming. What an example there of thinking that I would have this assumption that person would be in my life as a friend or an acquaintance, whatever. Suddenly, that person is not there anymore.

The moment that we assume that someone is going to be there forever is the start of taking that person for granted. There are no guarantees. We have no idea what’s coming. If there was an assumption like, “They’ll be around. This is my forever person.” We don’t know shit. We act like we know shit. Why? We have a technical education and we built Teslas and iPhones and sent people to the moon. When it comes to matters of the heart and it comes to being able to predict what’s going to happen, we simply don’t know. To be honest and more honest about our engagement with reality here, we don’t know how long someone’s going to be with us. We don’t know how much longer we have on this planet. We don’t know when we’re going to die. Being alive is a visceral experience of courageousness where we keep taking one more step and one more breath and one more moment not knowing what’s coming for us.

That reminds me too of that beautiful Instagram post by Elizabeth Gilbert, who’s the author of Eat, Pray, Love.

I was crying because it’s beautiful. Big Magic is an amazing book. Maybe we will be talking about creativity at some point on this show because that’s such a juicy topic.

She fascinates me. She inspires me. She’s one of those people I feel so much love for. She’s an incredible human being. She wrote the book Eat, Pray, Love, which many people have read, including me. It was about her journey to find herself. It’s another great resource. I feel like that’s the type of book you could read multiple times because it’s going to speak to you differently in each different stage of your life. I’m feeling inspired to read it again. It’s been at least a few years. In the book, she goes through a breakup and she goes to different countries. She meets a man that she ends up marrying and the book is based on her life. I would say somewhere maybe 2015, 2016, she announced on her social media that she was in love with a woman and it was fascinating.

She spent the past few years talking about that relationship and this woman passed away. This woman was her friend. I can’t remember if Elizabeth was still married, got a divorce and then started dating this woman. I can’t remember all those details, but they don’t matter. For the past few years since this woman passed away, Elizabeth posts regularly about the process of losing someone that you deeply love. She announced that she is in love with somebody else and it’s a man. I found myself feeling in awe of this. What an incredible life story. At first I thought, “Maybe she’s realized that she is lesbian, but maybe she’s been bisexual this whole time or maybe she has no label for it.”

Look beyond the quick fixes and find the things that are more meaningful for you even if you feel like you're the only one doing it. Click To Tweet

I don’t even know if she’s ever even used the word lesbian. This post that is quite long, she said, “It’s a beautiful spring day in my corner of the world. Life is everywhere, bursting forth with a sense of rebirth and renewal. This seems like as good as the moment as any to tell you that I’m in love. Please meet my sweetheart, Simon.” She goes on to talk about him, how they were friends and how they found their way into each other’s arms. She wanted to share the news publicly despite the fact that their love story is new, young and tender, which is sweet. How vulnerable for her to share this stage of her life, even though she doesn’t know how long it’s going to last.

I thought that was brave. She wanted people to know what was happening and she’s always going to share something personal about her life. This is the part that is helpful to read, “If you have lost a loved one to death and you thought you’d never love again, but you were feeling a pull of attraction towards someone new and you’re not sure if that’s okay. Let me normalize it for you. Let me say it’s okay. Your heart is a giant cathedral. Let it open. Let it love. Do not let your gorgeous loyalty to the deceased stop you from experiencing the marvels and terrors of your short mortal precious life. It’s okay to live and to love. If you are falling in love in middle age and it’s terrifying because you feel just as dumb, crazy, excited and insecure as you did at sixteen, let me normalize this for you. It’s okay. You will always feel sixteen when you are falling in love. If you once loved a man and then you loved a woman and then you loved a man and you’re wondering if that’s okay, darling, let me normalize that for you. It’s okay. Love who you love. It’s all okay and it’s all impossible to control and it’s an adventure that I would not miss.” That summarizes a lot of the things that we’ve said and we didn’t even plan on reading that.

That feels like a wonderful cap on this episode. This exploration of love is perhaps the greatest exploration of our human species. It’s this capacity to explore our hearts, to heal, to try again, to open, to close. Everything we’ve covered, this is the thing that they’ve written the greatest books and the greatest songs about throughout history. Here we are through generations and generations still exploring this, still talking about it, still examining our hearts and what love means. It’s beautiful. This is a wonderful episode. I’m glad you surprised me with it.

That brings me joy to surprise people. I feel like the big message here is that it’s all okay. It’s okay to be friends with your ex. It’s okay to be confused. It’s okay to want validation. It’s okay to explore how to feel your best. It’s okay not to have rules. It’s okay to break the rules. It’s all okay and the more that you open yourself up to the possibilities in life, the more freedom you will feel and the more love that you can feel. The core of what we’re saying here is we want to encourage you to love, whatever that means for you. Feel all different forms of love, love for your family members, love for your parents, your children and your siblings if you have them. Love for your friends and love for your ex-relationships, ex-partners and love for the partner that you have now and love for yourself ultimately.

The more we can follow the feelings of love and identify that true love, the more that life tends to flow with ease and grace. Whereas a lot of the times the pain and the suffering that we’re feeling is that we’re out of touch with love or we’re out of sync with it or we’re trying to hide from love. We’re trying to shield ourselves. They say that the opposite of love is fear. The opposite of fear is also love. If you’re feeling pain, that’s usually because you’re in a fear state and the ultimate way to heal that pain is to tap into the love, whatever that means for you. It’s easier said than done, but this is all a practice. That’s what wellness is. Wellness is about practicing every single day, every single moment, doing whatever you can to deeply love yourself and everything that you experience in the world.

We are going to be here with more resources on the show for you, examining all aspects of what it means to be human here, what it means to be healthy, well, balanced and loving on this planet. We’re excited to be on this journey with you as we practice, we experiment and we share all of our resources in this global community. Thanks for being with us. We adore you. We appreciate you. We’ll get back with more goodies. We’ll see you soon.

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