Last time I wrote about Joe (not his real name) a client who met his ideal match in a transgender woman. Joe was excited about this. He felt the Universe designed this gathering.
But the “why” wasn’t what Joe thought.
This post details what happened after Joe’s initial excitement and enthusiasm. It also sheds more light on our framework. Why it is so powerful. And why we guarantee our results.
Let’s get started.
• • •
By his ninth session, Joe’s enthusiasm disappeared. He was low-energy. Not the excited person from our cancelled seventh session.
Turns out Cassandra (not her real name either), the transgender woman he met, hadn’t spoken to him in a while. Despondent, Joe had all kinds of negative explanations about why. Explanations about the experience. Explanations about himself. Negative explanations about the Positively Focused approach.
Joe’s grumpiness matched all these beliefs. He thought something went wrong with the framework.
Nothing went wrong.
Instead, Joe’s life experience showed him what he must change if he wants his ideal partner. The key to Joe finding his perfect relationship is, he must become a match to that relationship.
Joe is not yet a match to what he wants. So he drew to himself someone who matches where he is now. The gift of this perfect relationship connection is, it showed this to him.
The framework works. That doesn’t mean Joe liked what he saw.
Had he been able to, he would have benefitted even more from the experience.
Life is eternal. You always get more chances so nothing is lost. Nothing goes wrong. Ever.
The relationship with Cassandra didn’t show up as the relationship Joe wanted. But it did show Joe many of his disempowering beliefs.
And it showed him how his relationship behavior matches those beliefs.
For example, Joe moved too fast. His beliefs about relationship scarcity had him cling to this relationship. As if there weren’t going to be any others.
Out of his desperation to have a relationship, he asked Cassandra if she was seeing anyone else, implying energetically, of course, that he’d prefer he be the only one she was seeing.
After all, he wasn’t seeing anyone else. But the reason he wasn’t seeing anyone else wasn’t because he had other opportunities. It’s because he is grasping desperately for THE relationship. Instead of enjoying life. He’s also focused on the absence of relationships.
So he doesn’t have any.
When Cassandra said she was seeing others, Joe played it off. But it was obvious in our call that answer was not the right one. It did match Joe’s beliefs though. 😃
• • •
Beliefs create reality. Belief momentum can’t be avoided. That’s not how life works.
To slow old belief momentum, a person must create new beliefs. New beliefs which, over time, will build enough momentum in their own right. Meanwhile, old belief momentum deactivates. They have less effect on reality. Including one’s behaviors.
Joe didn’t focus on new beliefs after that exchange. That focus takes effort, which is why we offer our framework. Joe is only starting. So he doesn’t realize yet how to check in with his emotions early enough to halt old belief momentum.
It’s a rare skill among people. Hardly anyone has the discipline and rigor to do such work on their own. Hardly anyone understands why we have emotions in the first place. We offer our framework for that reason.
So rather than focusing on new beliefs he is working on in our sessions, Joe allowed his old ones to continue creating his reality.
Disappointment he felt isn’t about how the relationship turned out (it ended). Although that’s what Joe thinks is the reason he’s disappointed.
He feels disappointment (and frustration and sadness and impatience) because he’s focusing on his reality. The reality his old beliefs are creating. Realities not matching what he wants.
Again, Joe is just starting. So he doesn’t get how important it is to understand the purpose of emotions. So instead of using his emotions the way they’re intended, he tries to behave in spite of them.
Meanwhile, his behavior faithfully creates outcomes matching his old beliefs.
For example, one night frustrated in not hearing from Cassandra, Joe drunk-dialed her.
That didn’t go well.
Drunk-dialing is a classic knee-jerk reaction to strong negative emotions triggered by negative beliefs about relationships playing out in physical reality. Thinking that behavior brings relief, people drink to numb the emotion.
But alcohol amplifies negative emotion. It adds momentum to beliefs. That momentum draws to it beliefs like it. Beliefs are living things. Not just words. Beliefs like company. They draw to themselves beliefs like themselves. That’s how Belief Constellations happen.
That’s also why drinking to numb pain usually begins a downward spiral. When it comes to a “failed” relationship, that spiral often includes drunk-dialing.
Remember, in the last post I cautioned Joe about what was happening. I said Cassandra was a perfect match to Joe’s beliefs. That she is a perfect match is an excellent indicator.
What do I mean by that?
I mean, Joe got to see exactly how his beliefs create his reality. A reality which includes transgender women not all that interested in Joe for Joe.
To Joe, she seemed interested. At first. But later she wasn’t.
• • •
By our ninth session, Joe was not in a good place at all. He couldn’t see the extraordinary benefit of a relationship like the one he got.
One day, Cassandra contacted him after a long absence. He said she asked him to pay for something for her. Joe didn’t have the money. He hasn’t heard from her since telling her so.
Of course, Joe’s old beliefs showed up again. “That’s all she wanted me for”, He told me during our session.
That belief can be extended more broadly about all his relationships with transgender women, women who usually are sex workers.
Joe left session nine pretty negative.
If Joe continues the work, this could be a turning point for him. His beliefs are screaming out loud. Now that he has some grounding in how beliefs create reality, he is getting first hand experience in his own living laboratory how beliefs do that.
He’s not happy about that.
But this is the process. It’s how it works.
I reminded Joe his unhappiness is an emotion telling him something important. It’s telling him his beliefs about this situation aren’t consistent with what’s really happening.
Again, of course, Joe didn’t want to hear this. He defended his beliefs as “true”, which they are. But he refused to understand that they are only true because his beliefs have created a reality consistent with them. They are no more true than any other belief he might tell often enough to create momentum and a new reality consistent with that.
And that is the work. Using one’s life experience as a living laboratory, our framework shows clients how to tell new stories. New stories told frequent enough so they become beliefs. When that happens, one’s reality changes to match the new stories.
Then they have a new truth. A life experience that contains everything they want.
Including their ideal partner.
Joe is continuing the work. We’ll see whether his relationship with Cassandra was the last one he’ll let his old stories dictate.
In only six sessions learning the Positively Focused approach, a client of ours created the perfect relationship with his ideal woman.
In this post and the next, I’ll dissect what happened. This is how it can happen for anyone. In the next post, I’ll detail what happened next.
Joe (not his real name), contacted us through our free 1:1 offer. Like many clients, he desperately wants a relationship with a specific kind of woman. Desperation is not a great place from which to meet someone.
But it is a great place to examine your stories. And how your reality reflects back to you stories you’re telling.
Information Joe got from the free 1:1 convinced him the next step was worth the money. So he engaged us in our 1:1 offer.
• • •
The first few sessions involved exploring beliefs producing behaviors he didn’t like. He frequents working girls late at night or in early morning dark hours.
Some of these girls were/are drug-addicted. Others treated him like crap. Others treated him nicely. He has a mix of experiences reflecting his mix of beliefs about relationships and life, and women too. About himself too.
We explored how his beliefs create these experiences. Joe realized beliefs he didn’t know he had. Beliefs triggering desperation he felt about finding a partner. The same beliefs creating his experiences with women, including the kinds of women he met.
Desperation isn’t new to Joe. Some times in his life desperation (and the associated emotion “pain”) got so intense he contemplated suicide. Alongside relationship desperation, Joe also feels desperation about his life, his job and about himself. Beliefs triggering these feelings include one common to A LOT of people. That belief is “I’m not worthy of having what I want.”
• • •
I know how deep beliefs can be. They connect with other beliefs, creating Belief Constellations or weaving through and shaping life experience.
It wasn’t surprising then when I found through our next sessions that Joe’s mother herself was and may still be drug addicted. She also had a working girl past.
No one comes into life experiences that are “too much to handle”. Everyone chooses the experience they get before they get it. Hardly anyone understands this.
At Positively Focused, we help people understand why and how that is. Then we show them how to use that awareness to get joy and satisfaction from life and relationships. The same joy and satisfaction they knew they would get when they chose human life experience.
Beliefs create our reality. This includes beliefs we focus on before becoming human. These beliefs set up birth circumstances. Including the parents we are born to.
I explained why a person like Joe would come into the world through a parent who has sex work and drug addiction as part of her life experience. I described how those experiences create momentum. And how that momentum creates the reality he has. It wasn’t an easy conversation. But Joe got it.
I know when you pull at one belief, many others get uncovered. By our fifth session, Joe realized more long-running beliefs. Beliefs about his unworthiness as a person. Beliefs about how the women he wants won’t accept him for who he is and what he has (and doesn’t have). Beliefs about feeling stuck in his job. Feeling shame about where he is in life.
In other words, beliefs a lot of humanity secretly shares. Some beliefs you may share.
What’s great about this work is, once beliefs get uncovered, sometimes they start resolving on their own. They kind of lose their grip when exposed to the light of conscious awareness. Automatically, again in some cases, new beliefs get born from that exposure. Those new beliefs can create explosive positive results.
That’s what happened to Joe.
• • •
Before our sixth session, Joe texted me. He said he needed to cancel our meeting. I asked why. He explained he met a woman, was going on a daytime date with her and was excited about the potential. A daytime date was unusual for Joe. As I said, he typically meets women at night.
“Yes I’m actually hanging out with a new trans woman friend of mine,” he said via text. “We met Tuesday and hung out a couple of times and have been talking since. I like her a lot. She’s treats me well.”
I wasn’t surprised by this. This is how things work when someone starts seriously looking at their beliefs. But I was also concerned about Joe.
That’s because Joe got results we promise. But he doesn’t know something important. His old beliefs are still active in his life experience. So it’s a sure bet this transgender woman he met has her own beliefs. Beliefs matching Joe’s. Beliefs she may not be aware of.
So I clued him in:
Joe responded that he already has been seeing some of those signs. That’s why, he wrote, “I’m working to be the best version of myself. The work that you and I are doing is working!!! 😀”
Joe said when they first talked, they realized they both needed each other.
“I know the Universe orchestrated our meeting,” he wrote. “I was finishing up at a warehouse where I picked up a load and she was finishing work around the same time and we were really near one another….”
Joe added that he already can see how his beliefs about women have changed because, he said, “along with being very kind and cool person, she has a good job, makes good money and has a nice place in a nice neighborhood.”
I know the Positively Focused approach is not mainstream. That’s why Positively Focused guarantees results. Joe’s example is normal. Anyone can meet their match and enjoy a relationship that works for them. It just takes changing your beliefs so that you can meet the person you want. The person who is waiting for you. Your perfect match.
But so is everything else you’ve wanted in life. Minus the struggle. Minus the sacrifice.
I’ve found the best relationship fosters the greatest freedom. The best relationship therefore is the one I have with me. My Personal Trinity.
Relationships with other people can’t match it.
But when I prioritize my relationship with my Inner Being, all other relationships get better. Or they disappear from my life experience. Or they’re replaced by better versions of themselves.
It’s hard describing with accuracy how great my relationship with me feels. Like the feeling of love or bliss, it defies description.
I can say prioritizing my Inner Being relationship required owning parts of me I avoided. Like how powerful I am. Like knowing I created the life experience I’ve had, including the people in it. And knowing I can create any reality I want. No matter my current reality.
It also required accepting other parts of me. Authentic parts. Accepting them fully.
That I prefer being free. Meaning, preferring something other than constraints marriage brings.
That I find transgender women smart, beautiful and extraordinary.
That the mainstream binary spectrum doesn’t define me.
Making my relationship with me my priority blew up my marriage. That’s right. I knew for a while it was coming. It was not ever intending to last. It was temporary as all things are. She filed for divorce a few weeks ago. I’m sure it’s final now. We’re both moving forward. And that’s great. It was a learning experience for both parties.
I know divorce happened because my relationship with me became more important than my marriage. Examined from a Positively Focused perspective my marriage played its part in my unmarriedness.
It offered so much authenticity I realized what I wanted. And marriage was not it.
I also realized how deep, fulfilling and rewarding my relationship with me is. So marriage served a glorious purpose.
As all life experience does.
My new, post-marriage life already has brought monumental evidence. Evidence supporting prioritizing my me/me relationship. It comes like a slow motion avalanche. In quantities sufficient to astound but not overwhelm.
I manifested paying work as soon as I needed it
I manifested an awesome living place. It’s beautifully furnished and owned by landlords aligned with Positive Focus.
I live within biking distance of every grocer I like shopping at. I’m also walking distance to many places I enjoy visiting. Including parks, water spots, and tea shops.
I have all I need to move forward with my projects including my 1:1 Spiritual Mentoring. There’s ample space to make videos, and blazing fast internet (included in the rent). Most of my mentoring I do online.
And, several people, bringing differing levels of intimacy have replaced my marriage. That’s a far better fit to what and who I am than being tied to one person.
I know beliefs I hold create my life experience. The more Positively Focused I become the better my life goes.
When it comes to people relationships, Seth describes what happens when a person makes their me/me relationship a top priority:
People with like ideas reinforce each other’s beliefs. You may meet with some misunderstanding when you suddenly decide to change your reality by changing your beliefs—according to the circumstances, you may be going in a completely different direction than [your spouse]. The others may feel it necessary to defend ideas that both of you previously took for granted. In such cases your beliefs merged. Each individual has his or her own ideas about reality for reasons that seem valid. Needs are met. When you abruptly change your beliefs, then in the [marriage] you no longer have the same position—you are not playing that game any longer…you may suddenly cease to provide for [your spouse] a need that you satisfied earlier. This affects both intimate behavior and, say, social interactions. Others, sharing your new beliefs, will gravitate toward you and you to them.
The quote is playing out in my life.
· · ·
One belief we humans share is relationships with other people complete us somehow. Like without a relationship, we’re not whole.
It’s a strong belief.
What I’ve learned is, that yearning is real.
But as I try filling it with another person I’m asking for trouble. Because people aren’t here to satisfy that yearning. They have their own path. Their own experience. Their own reality.
That yearning is natural. It’s normal. And it’s meant to direct me to the relationship that brings everything I want. Including, ironically, fulfilling relationships with other people.
I prioritize that relationship because my Inner Being not only knows what I want. It knows the “where” the “when” and the “how” to get those things. That leaves me worry-free. It leaves me not needing any of those answers about anything I want.
When I follow my intuition, which is how my Inner Being communicates, I get those things. It handles the “where” the “when” and the “how”.
My job: finding ways to synchronize with my Inner Being focus. When I do that, what I want happens in delightful ways, yes. But also with little effort, struggle and sacrifice.
When I’m not synchronized with my Inner Being, life happens how it does for most people. With a lot of blame, judgement, demanding, frustration, annoyance, impatience, pain, hard work, struggle, sacrifice, anxiety and more. Absent all that, I find continual freedom, joy and happiness.
And, yes, everything else I want too. Including great relationships, and material things, including money.
I think it’s worth giving up yearning for human relationships.
Besides, what human-to-human relationship can match what my Inner Being brings? When I get that relationship right, right relationships come into my life.
That’s why I call my relationship with my Inner Being the best relationship.
Conservatives have a LOT of basis for theirfear. A biological basis, as we pointed out here. The future – our collective future – offers lots too. It threatens everything they hold dear.
We therefore offer this guide to progressives. Progressives are best positioned to make history. Not by changing conservative minds. But by changing how they approachconservatives.
This guide presents a path forward. Life-changing, gratifying conversations with conservatives are possible. Conversations that can change opinions are too. These are sorely needed, but they’re not happening today’s social discourse. Not enough anyway.
This opinion-changing must happen on an individual-by-individual basis. Influence on such an insignificant level can change nations.
It’s amazing what happens when a person feels heard. It’s also amazing we get so many positive responses from conservatives, such as this one:
Progressives don’t need to change the world. They need to change their approach.
So what follows describes practical, sure-fire approaches. They will work.
However, you must practice them. Becoming genuinely proficient with them will transform your experience. Not only with your conservative fellow Americans, but anyone you disagree with.
But….and it’s a big one: if you’re not genuine in your desire to form real human bonds with a fellow human being; a human being you right now may consider your existential enemy, you will not get far. Your desire to connect with this other human must be sincere. These are not debating tactics.
Your Ground Rules
Before offering the approaches let’s set your ground rules. Your rules of engagement. Not engagement with the prospective conservative. We’ll talk about that later.
These rules of engagement are for how you will engage your humanity and your brain in service of your cause. Which is to connect meaningfully with a human you may currently consider your enemy and, through that connection, have an inspiring positive experience via conversation.
So here are your ground rules:
You will not allow words to trigger your well-honed sensitivity to offense. Words are just that. Words. You are not under threat. Even if a threat is offered, they are words. A real threat is immanent behavior likely resulting in serious personal injury. Not someone’s lips moving. Maintain your calm no matter what is said. Better yet, replace your sensitivity to offense with a healthy sense humor.
Your goal is connection. Not winning. You are not trying to persuade a conservative to become progressive. Conservatives serve a beneficial purpose within humanity. Your goal is connection. So you can fulfill your primary and secondary intents and commitments, outlined below.
Your primary intent/commitment is: understanding. You must be clear and rigid in your desire to hear, understand and inquire further into what the conservative believes.
Your secondary (but no less important) intent: finding commonalities between you and your conservative conversation partner.
Follow these ground rules while applying approaches described here. You’ll be stunned as you discover how human conservatives are. Your mind will expand and you’ll understand where conservatives are coming from.
You may even become genuinely compassionate towards conservatives. Rather than claiming to be compassionate while hating conservatives. Hate, annoyance, extreme frustration are not compassion. That’s hypocrisy. If you’re progressive.
Distinguishing The Context
Now let’s talk about context. To do so we’ll distinguishing two labels which describe communication between two people. People often confuse one for the other. Doing so, they get in trouble.
You want a conversation with the conservative. The word “conversation” may mean to you the same thing as “discussion”, the other word we’re going to clarify. But these words are NOT the same. They describe two totally different intents, processes, outcomes, contexts and feelings.
One aligns with your intent (presuming you’re wanting connection). The other does not.
You want conversation
“Conversation” is a talk, usually an informal one, between two or more people exchanging ideas. You know this. But you may not know the word’s origin. Words’ origins carry their meaning so much better sometimes than their definition. So let’s look at the origin of “conversation”. Here it is:
Interesting, eh? A conversation then, is something that ends with you having a feeling of “living among, or having intimate familiarity,” with the person with whom you have conversed. This is what you want. You want a conversation. Not a discussion.
Not a discussion
Let’s contrast conversation now with “discussion”. A discussion is “the action or process of talking about something in order to reach a decision or to exchange ideas.”
That sounds laudable. It’s not though.
Not in the context of making a connection with, and understanding another human being.
Discussions don’t breed familiarity. In discussions, you’re just throwing back and forth opinions. Discussions get you nowhere if you’re trying to connect.
But wait, there’s more.
People don’t generally understand what “discussion” connotes. Probably because, like “converstation”, they don’t understand the word’s origin. Here is the origin of the word “discussion”, the noun and verb so you get a clear picture.
So the intent of “discussions” is not to gain familiarity and a sense of living among the person you are speaking with. No. Its intent is “to examine by argument, to tear apart, shake or dash to pieces.”
Does that sound like the basis of connection?
We don’t think so either.
· · ·
Progressives and conservatives are not trying to connect. They are tearing each other apart. And the country along with them.
They are discussing. Not conversing.
If you want a groundbreaking interaction with a conservative, you’re going to have to move out of discussion mode and into conversation mode.
The Right Way To Approach Conservatives
So here are the approaches. They only work if you stridently refuse to be baited. Strive instead for connection and understanding (your ground rules).
If you can’t stick to the ground rules, it’s best you first practice with someone who can role play a conservative until you get the hang of it.
Ask more questions than sharing your opinion.
Express over and over your sincere desire to understand their point of view, not to exert yours, until they relent, i.e. realize you really do want to understand them.
Beseech your conservative to stick to answering your questions. If they avoid or refuse to answer your questions, keep (politely) redirecting the conversation back to your questions, or express vulnerability (we’ll offer an example in a moment) that may trigger them reciprocating.
When the conservative answers your question, offer sincere praise and appreciation. It is not standard practice for someone who is fearful and feeling defensive to answer a question, particularly one that demands they be vulnerable. Especially a question asked by someone the responder believes is the enemy of their values. So reward them for taking a risk.
When the person answers your question, and you have praised them, ask more questions. Offer limited information you may want to share. Instead, listen to the person’s answers.
When they answer, take in what they say. Chew on it, prepare a relevant response. Then offer the response in the form of a question or a polite rebuttal supported with examples.
If they ask a question, answer it. If you don’t have an answer, say so. Risk looking stupid. And if they call you stupid or a loser or whatever, remember ground rule number one.
Repeat these steps.
We’re not offering this in a vacuum. It has worked for Perry several times now to remarkable results. Not every time, but often enough to recommend them. We’re offering one complete example that happened on facebook. We’re offering this example because of the documented evidence. Anyone can look at it to see what happened.
Despite Perry misstepping in several moments, the conversation went quite well. Here’s an overview of it:
Perry offered the following Meme on his wall.
It’s inaccurate (which the conservative responders pointed out). But the purpose of sharing it was for conversation. Conversation did happen. It ended with the following statement. This from a conservative who at first expressed himself aggressively:
I enjoyed reading your post. We do have more in common it seems….I wish you much success in your endeavors!
This is where you want to end up. It won’t happen every time, but if you practice, you’ll get better at it. Perry screwed up in this facebook exchange a couple times. But he still ended with positive results in line with the above ground rules, objectives/intents.
So we know if you sincerely use these approaches, you’ll find yourself in a new reality. One where conservatives turn out to be human.
Just like you.
Don’t Get Triggered
People who believe conservatively have been trained to be tough. They live in a brutish world where it’s dog eat dog, and survival of the fittest.
Their manner of interaction feels like discussion. Confrontational, gruff, belligerent. Not conversational. At first.
So be prepared for rebuffs, snide accusations, and direct insults. It will sound like you’re talking to Alex Jones, Donald Trump or Rush Limbaugh instead of the person you’re talking with.
After all, for many conservatives, these people are their heroes. So of course they will pattern their discussion style on those peoples’ styles.
Intelligent conservatives, taking a cue from many conservative activist organizational playbooks, such as the college campus-focused Turning Point USA, will try to bait you into losing your control.
Don’t take the bait.
Compassion Wins. Always.
Self control is your best friend. Again, if you suck at self control, your best fallback is your leftie compassion.
But if “compassion” is just a word for you, or worse, something you believe you “can’t afford in these times”, which is actually something a progressive told Perry recently, then you’ve already lost.
There is always room for compassion. The best, most effective progressives – Jesus, Ghandi, MLK, Harvey Milk – have demonstrated this time and time again.
You must contain your disgust. You must respond with vulnerability. Even in the face of their disgust of you (and what they presume you believe).
For example, when Perry clarified errors a conservative made in interpreting Perry’s previous comment, the person offered the following:
I’d like to continue proving my points but you don’t seem too receptive to the logic I’m providing. Your idea of what a necessity is leaves me wondering how much of a privileged life you must have and probably still do live. Many people survive without an education and many walk to jobs or bike. Many live healthy lives without doctors and hospitals. It’s a shame that you don’t seem to have facts to support your assertions, or did I miss them somewhere in your previous posts? Again I appreciate your ‘opinion’ and respectfully disagree with most if not all of them. Assertions without facts to support them lead me to believe that all of your points are opinion based.
In response, Perry could have been triggered as a person of color, being accused of enjoying privilege. Instead, Perry offered vulnerability. How? By acknowledging his privilege:
So now let’s talk about my privilege, which is a funny thing to bring up IMO. But as I said, I’m more than happy to chat about whatever you bring up.
I am privileged. I live in a great country. It has ALWAYS been great. It also can be improved. I live in the west. I live in a democratic society. I get to live pretty much wherever my finances make it possible to live. I have a wife who loves me, pets who adore me. I enjoy the sunshine, the beautiful state of Oregon and all it has to offer. I enjoy clean air, a healthy body and mind. I enjoy clean delicious food my wife makes for me or I make. I enjoy an adventurous life, where I get to spend my time doing pretty much whatever floats my boat. My life is getting better and better as is my prosperity. I realize my eternal nature and from that I know anything is possible.
I’m also male. I’m a “black” male. I came into the world with the perfect timing such that I can enjoy both these in relative security and comfort (compared to other times). I’m also non-binary. I’m free of constraints of being “straight” (thank god!). I have the fluidity of thought to see the world from multiple perspectives, and not just human ones. I have the privilege to have time to think about life – ordinary day-to-day life, but also extraordinary aspects of life, such as what happens after death and how all that happens after death (and before birth) shapes what happens between birth and death. I have found those answers. From those answers, I know things a LOT of people don’t know. So yeah, I’m privileged. But no more than anyone can be. I can pretty much do right now, whatever floats my boats.
It just so happens, what floats my boats is creating a world where EVERYONE has the opportunity to do whatever THEY want to float THEIR boats….
You can’t be vulnerable if you’re triggered. You can’t offer cogent thoughtful replies either when you’re triggered. When you get triggered, you offer fodder confirming conservative beliefs about you and other progressives (liberals). Don’t be this guy:
Offer Food For Thought
Once you have earned their attention by thoughtfully, calmly and constructively listening to, and then expressing understanding, only then should you offer “food for thought”.
Food for thought is not telling them they are wrong. This isn’t about right and wrong. Your food for thought should be an attempt to surface their human connection to other humans…even ones they believe aren’t worthy of that connection.
So for example, when a conservative says people who don’t work are parasites and deserve to starve, you must figure out a way to show how a person can do whatever he wants (even not work, for example) but shouldn’t have to starve. Or worse, work a job but not afford healthcare.
If you can’t do that, you have no basis for making such a claim. And a conservative will tell you.
Some conservatives (many people actually) view people negatively. Conservatives particularly believe people are lazy good-for-nuthins. People must earn their living by doing productive work, they believe. These beliefs aren’t factual. They’re conditioned or taught, which is exactly what a conservative told Perry recently:
…Maybe it’s because i’ve been conditioned to believe a certain way or possibly my life experience has taught me to be cautious….
A good way to chart unknown territory with a conservative: appeal to their well-known territory (for the conservative). That is, talk about liberty. But not the way conservatives talk about it.
Liberty as you may know, is a major conservative talking point. But the kind of liberty (aka “freedom”) conservatives believe in is a kind of pseudo-freedom. It’s not really freedom as it is based on coercion: As far as conservatives believe, your freedom doesn’t extend to being a lazy parasite on society. Another way of putting that is: your freedom shouldn’t cost me or anyone else. So pull your own weight.
The response to this point is: “you’re right. And in the 21st Century no one’s freedom should cost anyone anything. This is the future. Everything is possible.”
· · ·
Perry likes offering this tasty morsel, which creates amazing moments that, at first, stupefies conservatives. But then leads to remarkable, real, conversations.
It begins with Perry’s definition of real freedom:
“A person who is really free can do nothing if that’s what they want to do. A person who wants to spend all their time learning to paint, play video games all day, or fish or whatever, can. And they can do those things (or anything else) without going hungry, living on the street, or getting care for their body (or mind) if necessary. If they’re free that is. They can also get all the education they need or want to learn or improve any skill while doing whatever they want without having to earn money to get those things. And…the person exercising their freedom can do so without anyone else having to do anything they don’t want to do to support that person.”
A definition like that will short circuit most people’s brains (conservative and progressive) namely because most people can’t figure out how this kind of freedom is possible. Perry explains how this is possible. Then shows how the world is careening towards exactly that outcome for everyone.
Your food for thought, therefore, must halt a conservative’s talking points in its tracks. It must get them genuinely thinking. Not spouting conservative boilerplate.
Another example: Perry was at a Starbucks recently. There he happened to sit in a nest of conservatives. That wasn’t his intent. It just happened.
One of the conservative’s asked “what do you do for a living?”
“I don’t do anything for a living,” Perry said. “I don’t believe my living requires me to do anything.”
This conservative’s friend, Mary, piped in.
“So you’re a socialist,” She said.
“No. I’m not,” Perry said.
“Then what are you?” Mary asked.
Knowing Mary was likely a conservative, and therefore Christian (which she was) Perry said “I am what Jesus is.”
That derailed Mary’s train of thought. Now Mary had to ask a question likely not included in her talking points:
“What do you mean?” She asked.
“I am that I am,” Perry said.
The conversation turned to Christianity. Perry is not Christian, but he is well-versed on fundamental accuracies upon which Christianity’s distortions are based.
So he was able to form a connection with Mary through her religious beliefs. Then he turned the conversation towards Christian compassion. He was about to ask Mary if her compassion extends to immigrants and if not why not.
But Mary ran out of time (she had to catch a plane).
Still, you can see, by not getting baited into a debate about “socialism” and name calling, and instead connecting with something Mary held dear (her Christian beliefs), Perry found room in between Mary’s boilerplate about people who she prejudges as “socialists”.
You can do this too.
And not only will the conversations you have stun you in their originality, you’ll learn that underneath all that lashing out, anger and conservative closed-mindedness is a human being wanting to be understood and connected with.
That is the short answer to this entire approach. Giving conservatives what they want, so their minds open.
· · ·
If progressives really want the world they want, they must find a way to give conservatives what they want.
Until you know what that is, you can’t give it to them. And you can’t know unless you understand them. And, you can’t understand them unless you’re willing to talk with them.
And finally, if your approach is based on not understanding justified conservative fear that they’re losing everything, and that’s why they are lashing out, you’re going to have a hard time having a conversation with them.
Rancor in America and elsewhere can be mended. But you can’t expect conservatives to make the first step.
Someone has to though. That someone can be you. And this guide can help.
You can have anything you want. Just realize how things happen in life, then follow that process.
A lot of people look for love in relationship. For many, that is illusive. But relationships, like everything else, are easy to get. So is love.
Everything Is Yours
You can have love you want with no effort on your part. Hard work is overrated. Especially in relationships. Digging through online profiles, going to bars and trying to find Mr. or Ms. “right” by swiping left, right or whatever are unnecessary steps.
By relaxing, having fun and enjoying life, you don’t have to do those things. Everything you want comes easily.
A friend of Perry’s wife demonstrated this over the last two years. That she had no idea it was happening shows how easy it happens.
Following explains how the process works. After that, we’ll tell Susan’s story, which shows how the process worked for her. Along the way, we’ll clarify points you should know so you too can produce similar results.
Getting everything you want is easy. Here’s how:
Come to accept what you have. No matter how bad you think it may be, you have to find a way to accept it. More than that, you have to embrace it and appreciate it. It may not feel this way, but your current situation is working out in your best interest. That attitude makes you positively focused. Stay negatively focused – complaining, talking about or getting angry about what you have – and you get more of what you have.
Pay attention to thoughts you receive that you aren’t thinking. Often, you receive thoughts you didn’t think. They feel like intrusions in your ordinary awareness. These are messages sent by your Larger Self. They come as suggestions, ideas, gut feelings.
Follow the suggestion, ideas, gut feelings. Intrusive thoughts are inspirations. You’re supposed to follow them. It’s ok if you don’t, but if you do, life becomes far more interesting, spontaneous, fun and easy.
Practice being happy as often as you can. By doing so you tell your reality that you want more happy experiences. Inspiration comes easier too.
Even if you don’t do these five steps, you’ll end up using the process because it’s built-in to living. It literally is “life”.
Like we said, Susan is not aware of this process (Step five) yet it still worked for her. That means it can work for you. More so if used deliberately. So now, let’s overlay these steps on Susan’s experiences so you can see how they work in practice instead of just theory.
It began with a crappy marriage
Susan had been married many years. That marriage was crappy by Susan’s admission. Her divorce was even worse. Contentious and frustrating, it ended with her “wasband” getting the better deal. That’s because she was the “breadwinner”.
Every negative experience serves the experiencer. So, every negative experience in the end is positive. Susan’s crappy marriage helped her figure out what she wanted.
For one, she realized she didn’t want to be in a relationship where she lived in the same house with someone else. In other words, she enjoyed living alone, having her own space, not having someone always around, but also being in relationship.
That’s good to know when looking for a partner.
All through the divorce, Susan criticized her “wasband”. She complained about the divorce process, her lawyers, his lawyers. The more she complained, the more she had to complain about. Her ex fought her more and more.
He started doing vindictive things. Like slashing her tires and manipulating ways to keep her from their dogs. Perfect examples of Step One.
From time to time Perry’s wife told Susan about this process. Like many people though, Susan preferred experiential learning. She doesn’t like being told what to do.
Neither does Perry’s wife. 🙄
Soon Susan stopped complaining as much. She got tired of it. By the time her divorce was finished, she accepted the process. Step One: check.
Inspiration Creates Evidence of “Better”
What Susan didn’t know was, her experiences with “wasband” helped her know things she wouldn’t have known had she not gone through them.
She knew she didn’t want another marriage. She knew she wanted her autonomy. And she knew what kind of relationship she wanted: one without the intertwined aspects of traditional relationships.
It was no surprise then what happened next.
A friend she knew when married turned into a boyfriend. Let’s call him Jake. Jake wasn’t a long-term perfect fit. But he was perfect for now. Meaning: he offered sexual intimacy, occasional company, friendship. Someone to hang out with, without commitment. Jake was also a known-entity. They knew each other for years. So it was easy to turn that friendship into more.
Jake was and is polyamorous. He was seeing other women. He didn’t tell Susan this until six months into their two-year relationship. Jake subscribes to a “don’t ask, don’t tell” relationship policy.
“If you don’t ask, I’m not going to tell you,” he says. Which is fine, if the other person knows this.
Susan didn’t know this. By the time she found out, she wasn’t happy about it.
She told Perry’s wife she really didn’t want to be in an open relationship. She didn’t like feeling “second fiddle” to who-knows-how-many other women who might be in Jake’s life.
But by the time she found out, it was too late. She had feelings for Jake.
There was more to Jake than Susan realized. Jake is fiercely independent, wicked smart, adventurous and a talented agitator/activist. He likes being his own person.
“I never ask people for anything,” he recently told Perry over tea. “Even if I have to go to a hospital. I’ll find a way to make it myself.”
That independence spills into his relationships. Jake thrives in relationships he controls. No wonder he prefers polyamory. Multiple opportunities foster independence.
Jake’s independence tinted his relationship with Susan too. He decides when she could come over. He decides when he comes to her house. If he has a date with someone else, he is not available. In many respects, Susan’s access to Jake was at Jake’s discretion.
That worked great for Susan for a while. In time, though, she resented this. She felt the relationship was going one way: Jake’s way.
In Susan’s words recently: “I thought I’d like this non-monogamy thing a bit better if I were to participate in it fully.”
So she decided to do something. A “good for the goose” thing.
What she before resisted, she now was warming up to. So much so she too sought extra partners.
One day she got an idea: a profile on OKCupid. Step two: check!
“In retrospect, I did it shortly after discovering that [Jake] had another lover…” Susan said.
Meanwhile, Susan fell in love with Jake. Jake was in love too. What Susan at first tolerated now she enjoyed. Even given the imbalance. Step One again.
She enjoyed her freedom, her autonomy. She now liked Jake having options. And she looked forward to having her own options. Men she could see occasionally and casually too.
Your Reality Is Under Your Control
You get what you’re ready for. The problem is, you’re never ready for something different than what you have, until you accept what you have. If you’re not happy with what you have, you can’t get what you want because you’re not ready for what you want. You’re complaining about what you have.
People think they know what happiness is. Happiness is not something that comes after getting what you want. Well, it does happen that way.
But it’s meant to be something you feel no matter what you’re experiencing. That’s because everything you experience serves your fulfillment. Yes, even what looks like negative experiences.
When you figure that out, your life is your conscious design. This unconditional happiness is your painter’s palette. Because when you’re happy, no matter what you have, you are ready for having what matches how you feel, AKA your life’s masterpiece.
Making Room For Even More “Better”
As Susan found herself mostly happy in her open relationship, she made room in her life for more of what she wanted. That created what happened next.
For a while nothing significant happened on OKC. She says she met three guys. She enjoyed meeting them. Otherwise, She said, the process was “drudgery”.
This is why we don’t support using dating websites. They can work. But they frequently don’t. In the meantime, they conjure too much negativity (frustration, impatience i.e. resistance to what is). That stretches out the time it takes to get what you want. It’s far better to be happy, enjoy your life and follow your intuition. Meeting your match that way is a happy, natural, surprising and enjoyable process.
Online dating for most people isn’t happy, natural or enjoyable.
Like many people though, Susan learned to accept the drudgery. Again, Step One.
That’s when one profile “stood out,” she said. “OKC estimated 99% compatibility, and I liked his photos and what he’d written.”
She was referring to this guy Susan brought to a small friends gathering. Let’s call him Carl.
They had almost everything in common. They finished each others’ sentences…laughed at the same things…it was like they had been together for years.
Carl wanted a monogamous relationship from the get-go. He said so in his profile. Susan’s profile didn’t say that. But Carl liked what Susan offered so much, he compromised.
This happens a lot. Insecure people compromise their ideas because they think they need to to get what they want.
That’s never the case. But impatience is a powerful thing. As is insecurity. When people can’t be patient they compromise. In compromising, the path leading to what they really want lengthens.
It’s not a problem because every experience is helpful. You’re also eternal, so you have plenty of lifetimes to get what you want. But if you exercise patience and follow the process above, what you want comes faster.
Time for a mental health break:
Susan Finds Freedom In Openness
Carl fell in love with Susan instantly, he says. And why not? She’s lovable!
Interestingly, Carl’s relationship behaviors contrasted Jake’s. Some would say this was coincidence. But it wasn’t. It resulted from everything Susan experienced up to then.
Carl wanted collaboration in relationship. While he didn’t like so much sharing Susan with others, he didn’t resist it. Not at first. Meanwhile, Jake got more controlling when he found out Susan had another lover. His insecurities, dormant while he controlled the relationship, now surfaced. This was a good thing. His insecurities invited everyone involved to become better versions of themselves. Carl included!
For example, both men had toothbrushes in Susan’s bathroom. Jake’s was in the toothbrush holder. Carl’s in the drawer. Carl imagined (rightly) Susan was hiding from Jake the fact that Carl sometimes spent the night. That chafed Carl.
Carl’s feelings were petty. So were Susan’s intentions. Susan was trying to protect Jake. To keep from triggering Jake’s insecurities. That strategy backfired. It only made both men more insecure and her frustrated.
She found both men’s insecurities unattractive. But she also enjoyed it. Through something she initially didn’t like at first (an open relationship), Susan found empowerment and freedom and choice and options.
In other words: Everything her marriage didn’t offer.
Insecurity Boils Over
One night Carl put his foot down.
He said he wanted monogamy with Susan. That surprised her. She had been clear from day one that’s not what she wanted. One day, Perry’s wife reminded Susan that two years ago a monogamous relationship was exactly what she wanted.
But Susan grew happy with her current situation (being in an open relationship). That’s step one. She missed step two, but the process still worked because she followed her inspiration posting an OKCupid profile (Step three).
And now she faced a new reality. One she wanted two years ago. Carl represented a great match: intellectually, physically and more. They really liked each other too.
Susan didn’t remember wanting monogamy two years ago. And yet, here she was, getting everything she wanted. Freedom. Choice. Two good men who both loved her, that she both loved. And an opportunity for monogamy.
Susan Got Everything, And Then Some. So Can You.
Intrigued with Carl’s request, she told Jake. Jake got even more insecure. Angry in fact that Susan was considering a monogamous relationship with someone else. Of course, he didn’t want to be in a monogamous relationship. He wanted what he had: his cake (Susan) and the opportunity to eat other cake.
But let’s look at what Susan created. In two years her life matched every desire she wanted.
She put her marriage behind her
She found a relationship that worked immediately after the divorce
That relationship brought interesting experiences, growth, adventure
She followed her inspiration
That lead to meeting Carl, a perfect match
Now she has not only an open relationship, but an opportunity for a closed one too!
In other words, Susan is getting everything she wants. And then some. Even though she didn’t realize what was happening.
Like we say, the process works for everyone. Even those unaware of it.
· · ·
Today, Susan is negotiating the best of both worlds. She loves both Carl and Jake. Both represent different desires she’s had over two years. Both men love her. Both offer different things. In other words, Susan is enjoying her love life as it brings her plenty of pleasure, adventure, love and more.
You can have your version of the same thing: plentiful experiences where what you want comes easily. It all starts with realizing you have a larger you from which to live your life. Then finding ways that connect you to that.
Life doesn’t have to be hard or a struggle. Love doesn’t either. And neither is, when you follow life’s really simple process.