Forcing Relationships

When we have an experience we consider negative, we take it to mean that we're bad or that there is something wrong with us. When that person cuts us off in traffic we immediately wonder what we did wrong to deserve that experience. That's not the point of the experience.

Forcing Relationships

This is something that I had an unconscious habit of doing and I want to share it with you so that you can check for it in your own life. It's actually part of a pain response that I had because relationships weren't safe to me. People weren't safe to me and so one of the ways that I protected myself was by attempting to force relationships.

Do you try to force relationships?

Here's what I mean. By forcing the relationship you try to either make people be in the relationship or make the relationship be the way you think it should be. You try very hard to be in control at all times and when you don't feel like you have control, you abandon the relationship.

One of the struggles in my business, both the computer business and earlier versions of my current business, was that I couldn't force people to take on my work. I couldn't force relationships. It would cause me to argue with my work because if I can't force people to buy things, I'll never be successful. I'll never make any money. I thought the only way people would take on my work was if I made them.

Why was I holding onto all that pain? Because in every relationship that I'd had previously, I had learned that making people happy meant doing what they wanted. I had learned that being happy in relationships meant controlling people. People weren't happy with me unless I was doing exactly what they wanted and I started to project that outward. It has shown up in both of my businesses.

There have been a few layers to this in terms of healing it. The first was to simply stop the people-pleasing behavior itself. That meant not worrying so much about making everybody else happy. I was just learning to free myself to do my own thing.

The second layer came when I recognized I didn't have control. Suddenly I wasn't necessarily doing what people wanted anymore but I also couldn't control how they responded through changing my own behavior. I had to accept the outcomes of my choices, both good and bad.

The third layer came when I recognized that I didn't need to force the relationship to begin with. Not having control didn't have to be a bad thing and it didn't automatically mean there would be chaos. I had an unconscious assumption that people would simply leave and have nothing to do with me if I wasn't giving them exactly what they wanted. What good was I to anybody if I wasn't constantly making them happy at my own expense?

Those layers of beliefs around relationships, both personal and in business, affected how I functioned. If I didn't put out the right product or service nobody would buy it or pay attention to me. I had to say exactly the right thing to keep people happy.  If I didn't do the right thing I would be abandoned and nobody would want me. If I bumped up against people the wrong way my life would be over. I had a lot of very tragic ideas about relationships that needed to be let go of.

These beliefs are why I didn't want to share my own life, why I avoided talking about opinion based topics, why I tried very hard to create the "right" service or product, why I kept abandoning my own ideas, and why I never felt good enough. I had come to the conclusion that I would be alone because I wasn't good enough and could never do it right. There was a lot of pain there.

Forcing relationships happened because of all that trauma. It happened because it was the only way to keep people around me. It was the only way to not end up alone. Learning how to let go of control meant learning to trust that people wouldn't walk away from me the second I said something they didn't like.

Guess what offering private coaching triggered? The idea that the relationship would end the second I made people uncomfortable. My whole life is about making people uncomfortable these days because that's the only way to get out of the pain. I've spent years making myself uncomfortable so that I could heal. If I'm going to work with people and help them go down a similar path to my own, I have to be okay with making them uncomfortable.

That required me to trust that I didn't have to force the relationship. What was the force? My no refund policy. When I changed that it triggered the fear that the second I made people uncomfortable they would fly and want their money back. Do you see how it all fits together?

I stopped the behavior first because as long as I'm in the behavior I can't fix the other things. I have to remove the behavior first. You can't get over the nicotine addiction without actually letting go of the nicotine. To change the addiction, you have to let go of the behavior first. That was step one. For you, where are the behaviors? What is the behavior you're still holding onto? Shift that first.

Step 2 was then uncovering all the crazy beliefs that I had. These came up one at a time. I had to slowly work through the pieces of it as it showed up. Life gave me different experiences and different ideas and my job was to uncover why those experiences were happening. Life is communicating with you and it's not just angel numbers and feathers. Life communicates with you every time you have an experience. All experience is meant to learn from if you're willing. Most people just don't pay that much attention. The other problem is that this gets misconstrued in spiritual circles because the ego gets in the way and wants to protect the self.

How does the ego spin it? When we have an experience we consider negative, we take it to mean that we're bad or that there is something wrong with us. When that person cuts us off in traffic we immediately wonder what we did wrong to deserve that experience. That's not the point of the experience. That's the ego protecting itself. When your perception of the experience causes you to victimize yourself there's a lie in there. The lie is the victimization. The lie is the story of victimization the ego is using to protect itself.

To be able to question the experience without pain, you can't tell the story of why that shouldn't have happened. You can't tell the story of how people have no use for you. You can't tell the story of how people only want you to make them happy. You can't tell the story of how people are going to leave the minute you make them uncomfortable. Those stories all create victimization and then from victimization you try to force and control the relationship to protect yourself. It all comes from pain.

Those layers take time to uncover and the trick is you have to be willing to go on the journey. Making relationships safe is a huge part of my process and my original goal. But if I'd set out 8 years ago and tried to control the path I took, I would never have gotten to here. My goal would have stayed in my life for a week because there is no way I would have been able to handle it. I would have been triggered all over the place. My limited human perception didn't allow me to see the necessity of all these things I've ended working through because I wasn't trying to control the path.

Controlling the path is a form of forcing the relationship. I need the relationship to my goal to look a certain way and I need the path to go a certain route. That's force and control. By allowing things to be as they are and being willing to go on the journey, you're not forcing the relationship anymore. You're able to allow and it makes it easier to manage. The entire process gets a lot less scary when you're not afraid of losing control of it.

Forcing the relationship also means I don't engage in relationships with people that are just trying to make me miserable where I have no ability to manage that without making myself miserable as well. Now, we have to be able to recognize what's ours and what's not to do this otherwise it becomes a story of victimization and causes more pain. So we trust ourselves to navigate relationships with other people and we pay attention to what's happening. What is the other person putting out into the world? Am I happy with this relationship? Am I okay here? What, if anything, is this triggering in me? Am I having to sacrifice myself to keep this other person happy?

We've talked before about leaving people where they are. This is part of that idea. By forcing the relationship we're trying to make people change. We're trying to get them to bend and be what we want them to be. That doesn't work. We have to leave people where they are. That means we have to be okay with questioning whether we need to be in the relationship or not. It doesn't mean that we have to confront other people, blame them for things, and cut them off in dramatic fashion. We don't need to create drama. We can walk away quietly. We can just own our stuff and take responsibility for ourselves. We don't have to make people take responsibility for their own stuff if they aren't ready to do that yet.

We allow people to have a rough time. We allow the natural ebb and flow of a relationship. We don't take that personally. We remove expectations and demands. We honor people where they are even if that means they are in a ton of pain. We're not here to save people.

I know what you're thinking because saving people is the whole premise of what I do and why I write this. But the truth is, people are asking for help or at least they are looking for it if they are reading this. I'm not forcing anybody to do anything, even in a private coaching package, there is no force. You retain autonomy even when you're paying me to help you. That's how it works. If you choose to stay put and not shift that thing then the GPS will re-route and we'll go somewhere else until you're able to shift it on your own. It's fine actually. There isn't a problem there. The problem is only the perception of expectation and demand from me, but that's not something I do because I'm not in the business of forcing the relationship.

I can only show you what I see. I can only show you the story you're telling yourself. I can only show you how the pain is being reflected back to you. I can't actually make you do anything about it. That choice is completely up to you. You take on what I offer or you don't. You do it or you don't. You accept it or not. You're not paying me to force you. You're just paying me to show you and that's what I do.

What about the fear? I can't trap you or make you stay in the room. You have to choose to deal with the fear and if you need my help you have to make the choice to bring it to me. It's not me you have to be afraid of. In truth there is nothing to be afraid of, but your perception and your previous experience makes you afraid of me. I'm not going to be the problem for you. I can give you ideas of how to manage the fear. We can talk through what's going on. I can't make you shift it and if you choose to run from it anyway, that's up to you. Am I judging you? No because I get it. It's hard. Again, I just re-route the GPS and we try something else. It's not a big deal.

I'm not arguing with your path. If your path is circular, so be it. I don't argue with my own path. I've come to accept that the journey is what it is. My response to my own path is simply to take on what shows up. I've learned how to be okay and not be afraid of the obstacles that appear. I'm offering to show you how to do the same thing. I don't need to argue with your path or judge it for that matter. My own path has been all over hell's half-acre and because I'm human. Your path will probably be very much like my own. It'll be everywhere. There's nothing wrong with that. It's just how the path looks.

There is no force anywhere. You get to put down the sword like I have. You get to chill. It doesn't have to be so hard all the time. Not everything is a battle to be won. You get the ability to choose. That's the cool thing about being in relationships that aren't forced, that aren't being controlled, and that are allowed to just be. You're okay wherever you are, wherever you're starting from, there is nothing wrong with you. I'm simply showing you how to make the chair you're in more comfortable. We don't have to scrap it and start again if you don't want that. Everything is a choice and you're allowed to be where you are.

What's the next choice you're going to make?

As always, I'm here to help when you're ready.

Love to all.