Welcome back to Tuff Love with Rob Kandell. In this episode, Rob explores the concept of the prisons we create for ourselves, as well as how to escape. Remember, 99.9% of the time it is us creating the prisons. There is that 0.01% of other people doing stuff to us and creating prisons around us, but that isn’t what this show is about. It’s about the prisons we create and how we respond to them.
This relates to Tuff Love episode 49, from November 2016, called The Lure of Freedom. That episode was about how freedom is so attractive and we think we want it, but at the time we don’t. If you haven’t listened to that show yet, go back and do so because it explores some different things to this episode.
The inspiration for this show is something from Rob’s life that happened recently. Morgan went to a birthday party of 8 or 9 women, and had a blast. When she came home, she said to Rob, ‘Thank you so much for letting me go.’ Rob’s first response was confusion because he doesn’t control Morgan and she doesn’t control him. It might sound ridiculous on the surface, but when Rob started to explore it, he had some realizations:
- This is the cultural norm. Morgan had some reasons to thank her partner for ‘letting’ her go because it’s part of what our culture considers normal
- We often put ourselves in prisons to remain safe. These prisons are a way to restrain us and to enable us to feel safe and contained. They’re somewhat comforting, but not actually healthy.
- The first prison is that we all have fear around the consequences of our actions and the expectations. We ask ourselves, “If I am fully myself, what will happen? Will there be detrimental effects?”
- When you’re looking at the prisons in your life and looking at the places you don’t feel free, the first thing to ask is if they’re imaginary or self-imposed. Rob’s guess is that they probably are.
- When we feel like we’re out of alignment with out desire, that’s when prisons occur and that’s where we feel constrained. If you’re agreeing to be part of that experience, but don’t look at the places you are co-creating that experience, then it will feel like a prison.
- The way to alter your relationship and modify your agreements to be out of prison is a simple process: communication. Rob suggests starting with something like, “I’m not pleased about how things are going. Can we talk about what’s happening, what we want and what we’re doing?”
- It’s not easy, it’s not comfortable. But the prison is when you withhold what’s happening inside of you and live in your own world.
- Most of us are chicken shit. We’re not willing to take the steps to be authentic in our relationships, and we feel imprisoned by the façade. But we’re only imprisoned by our own unwillingness to speak the truth.
- Rob was feeling imprisoned at the end of his time with One Taste, but in retrospect he found he had made the choices all along the way to stay inside that process. It was his willingness to admit to himself and others that it was fully his choice actually empowered him to move out of victim and into the empowered piece of it.
- We often think that things are happening to us, that it’s the circumstances controlling things, but it’s really out choice to be in any situation. The containment of the situation might have you feeling safe and warm and well-handled.
- When you change your relationship and viewpoint around it, that’s where things feel less and less like prison and more and more like freedom.
- Freedom is feeling secure and powerful in all circumstances. Your ability to know it’s you creating the circumstance will empower you to feel total freedom in all conditions.
- We often don’t ask for how we want to be related to. How often do we walk into conversations and the person across us is not providing the presence that we want, and we get victimized by it? We get mad at the person because we haven’t clearly asked for what we need to be free.
- Your ability to actually say “this is what I need in our relationship” will create a higher chance of you having what you want instead of relying on the other person’s guess at what you need. This will therefore create the chance for you to be free.
Where do you stop yourself from having it the way you want it? Where do you hold it in? Where are you trying to look cool rather than real?
How often are you putting on the façade to be liked, rather than creating the situation and the relationship that you do like to be a part of?
Take the steps to connect to what you want and to feel into it. If you don’t ask for it, odds are you’re not going to have it.
Steps to take to escape your prison.
- When you notice how you’re in prison, take responsibility for the co-creation of it. Look at what you’ve done to create the situation. E.g. where you haven’t spoken up, where you haven’t been truthful.
- Reflect on your self-worth. Reflect on where your self-worth is not enabling you to ask for what you want. Maybe you don’t feel like you deserve it. Maybe you feel like you’re too much of a bother or asking for too much. Look at the places where your self-worth is hampering you to be free.
- Have trust in the process. Before you say anything, just have faith. Look at it and say ‘I’m going to go for this, I’m going to have this experience, and I’m going to have faith at the end that things are going to get better.’ You might blow up some very safe, clear thing, but have trust that at the end of the process, things are actually going to be better. Most of us think ‘why bother, it’s not going to work out anyway.’ Believe that your willingness to speak the truth will enable you to have more relationships in your life.
- Be willing to shift your perspective around your prison. Be willing to realize “that which I thought was a prison, was actually a great life lesson.” Shift your perception to see the life lessons, because that’s where the prison really dissolves.
Your willingness to step up and have life the way you want it is the only way it’s going to happen.