When we enter relationships, we sometimes create prisons inside us when we don’t speak out what our desires are. One way of exiting these prisons we create is through communication because this is where our emotions start to speak out. You have to understand that while your partner may be a reason for creating this prison because you feel you don’t deserve his or her attention, you are also responsible in co-creating it. Learn how to reflect on self-worth and stop feeling that you are a bother to your partner.
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Exiting the Prisons We Create
This is the show called Escaping the Prisons That We Create. We all create these very comfortable, sometimes tiny little prisons to keep ourselves safe, to stop us from being big. This show has some specific techniques on how to break out of your own self-containment to have the life you exactly want. I’d love to talk about the coaching, but the guy had technical difficulties. No one would volunteer, so it was just me.
I am very pleased to be here. I am excited to be here and exploring this concept of the idea of how to escape the prisons that we create. The prisons that we create, not that are created around us. 99.9% of the time, it is us. That 0.1% is other people doing stuff to us. That’s not what this show is about. It’s about the prisons that we create and how we respond to them. I did a show called the Lure of Freedom on a similar topic of how freedom was so attractive and we think we want it, but at the same time I didn’t. For me, I had freedom and then I created another and put myself back in this prison.
The way this show started, the inspiration for the show, all the shows tends to be in real life, things happen that strike me as odd. Morgan went to a birthday party, eight or nine women, new friends and I wasn’t invited me being of the male persuasion. She went out, she had a good time. She came home at 12:30 at night. I woke up and said, “How is it going?” She had a blast. She had a good time. Then she said something that shocked me. She said, “Thank you so much for letting me go.” My first impression was, “What the fuck?” Why would you even state that? Let you go? Who am I, as one person, to ever diminish this freedom on you, to dictate who you are and what you can do? I don’t control you, you don’t control me. Then I started to look into it and it’s like, “That’s the cultural norm.” The cultural norm is that she had some reason to say thank you for me, her partner, to letting her go. I think that’s ridiculous.
I started to explore into that, read into it, and play with it and this is what we do. We often put ourselves in prisons to remain safe and these prisons are somewhat comforting. They’re a way to constrain us. There’s a way to enable us to feel safe and contained and they’re not healthy. Morgan could do whatever she wants in this world, but if she does things that bugs me, things that piss me off, then I’m going to have a negative reaction to it. If that happens, then she’ll fall out of favor or break up. There’s some fear associated with her not doing what I like.
The first prison is around the expectation of, if I fully be myself, if I fully allow myself to come out, then what will happen? What will be the result? Will there be detrimental effects? To me, I’m a very freewheeling guy. I’m in full support of her living her life and having things exactly the way she wanted. At the same time, even though I’ve told her time and time again, she still has that self-imposed prison. When you’re looking at the prisons in your life, you’re looking at the places that you don’t feel free.
The first thing is, are they imaginary? Are they really true? Are they self-imposed? Yes, they probably are. You’re in a relationship or you’re in a marriage or in a partnership and one person wants to be monogamous, the other person doesn’t want to be non-monogamous, and you’re in this conflict between the two. The non-monogamous person might feel like they’re in prison. They might feel like they’re restrained, and they’re bound.
What it comes down to is that’s not true because you’re agreeing to be in that relationship. You’re agreeing to be part of that experience, which is called your love life. If you don’t truly confront that piece, if you don’t look at the places where you’re saying, “I’m co-creating this experience,” then it will feel in prison. I wrote down when we feel like we’re out of alignment with our desire, that’s what prisons occur. That’s where we feel like we’re constrained when we’re out of alignment with what we want.
A way to alter your relationship, the way to find to be out of prison, the way to modify your agreements is through communication. It’s through this very simple process of saying, “We started here. I’m finding us here and I’m not pleased about the way things are going. Can we talk about our agreements? Can we talk about what’s happening? Can we talk about what we want and what we’re doing?”In that communication, that’s where emotion starts. Morgan and I have been having a lot of intense conversations, heated discussions about our sex life. What’s happening is that we’re finding who we are in that relationship and finding out what we want. The topic of our sex life, the topic of monogamy versus non-monogamy, the topic of frequency of sex, all these things are constantly in our faces because we’re constantly changing. I can feel victimized or in prison by the constant conversation, which is always in the back of my head like, “Why do we have to talk about this again?”
Truly, underneath that is, “We are two dynamic human beings willing to admit what’s happening inside. Willing to say what the scoop is going on for us to share that with another human being and in doing so, there is so much more intimacy in truth.” It’s not easy. It’s not like, “I can snap my fingers and feel comfortable with this.” It’s not comfortable situations, but the prison is when you withhold what’s happening inside of you and live in your own world. The ability to talk about it, to communicate, to dive into it, that is the first and foremost way to escape your prison because most of us are chicken shit. We’re not willing to take the steps to be authentic in our relationships, in our partnership. What’s happening is the façade relates to the façade and then we feel imprisoned, but we are only imprisoned by our own willingness to speak the truth.
A podcast got released by this great guy, Tripp Lanier. It’s called The New Man Podcast. What Tripp did was he talked about my exit from OneTaste. His press, his marketing is a little sharp. The thrive of leaving OneTaste and the interview itself was sweet. What I got from that podcast was I was not happy in my end of my time with OneTaste. I felt imprisoned in the last year on some level. In retrospect, what I’ve found is I’ve made the choices all along the way to stay inside that process. My willingness to admit to myself and to others that was fully my choice, always my choice to stay in every environment, empowered me to move out of the victim into the empowered piece of it. We often think that things are happening to us. We often think that it’s the circumstances that are controlling things, but it’s not. It’s our choice to be in any situation. People in relationships who feel like they don’t want to be in that relationship or they don’t feel like they’re empowered in their relationship, they’re imprisoned, look at what you can do to change it.
I was thinking about my relationship to school. I went to a great high school. I went to a better college. I went to grad school. Grad school was not really on the par with my undergraduate and there was this process of those eighteen years of schooling where there’s part of me that could not wait to get out of school, but there’s another part of me that love the process of school. It was the containment of school that had me feel safe and warm and well-handled. There’s a way you can look at all aspects of your life and say, “Is this a thing that’s keeping me tight or is that keeping me more on the work towards my goals?
When you change your relationship, when you change your viewpoint around it, that’s where things feel less and less like prison and more and more like freedom. To me, freedom is feeling secure and powerful in all circumstances. Your ability to know that it’s you creating the circumstance will empower you to feel total freedom in all conditions. I also had this experience where I was having coffee with a friend, someone I’ve known for a couple of years. We don’t get to see each other very often and we met in Hollywood and sat down for coffee. We talked and rift about her business. We talked about my business, talked about her being single, and she’s an attractive woman. Someone I feel that attractive pull for, but at the same time, she’s someone who’s made it clear to me that that’s not what she wants from me. She doesn’t want my flirty, eye-staring, tilting of the head, witty banter. She doesn’t want my come-on. She doesn’t want me to be like most guys are with her. She made that communication about six months ago.
It got stuck in my memory banks as ‘when relating to her, don’t flirt’. I left my flirting personality in the car, I sat down, and we were talking. We had a great conversation and left an hour later. I went on my day and she went on with her day and then I sent her a note saying, “It’s so much fun hanging out with you.”Then she sent me this voicemail on Facebook and she said something that really warmed my heart. She said like, “Thank you for just being with me and your presence alone allowed me to fully be who I wanted to be rather than some act, rather than some facade of who I thought I should be with guys who know I’m single. There was a way where you were fully present and allowed all of me to come out.”You get these voicemails, you get this feedback, there’s so much negative feedback in the world that you get of what you’re doing wrong. Every once in a while, someone says you’re doing something totally right and I felt that feeling of success down to my toes. What I realized was that we often don’t ask for how we want to be related to.
She made a very clear communication that I luckily remembered, but that she didn’t want the flirtatious Rob. She wanted someone who would just sit with her and not have her feel uncomfortable. In doing that, she felt free. Then it struck me, how often do we not ask for what we want, not so much with our partners who we have these open dialogues with, but with friends and acquaintances? How often do we walk into conversations, coffee dates, dinner dates, texting conversations, and the person across from us is not providing the presence that we want and then we get victimized by it? We get mad at the person because we haven’t clearly asked for what we need to be free. The prisons that we create in our relationships, and this can extend to our bosses, this can definitely extend to our mothers, our fathers, even with our children, when we don’t ask for the kind of relationship we truly want and specific, then it’s up to the other person’s perception, their guess, their noticing to provide the other side of the relating. Your ability to say, “This is what I need in our relationship,” will create a higher chance of you having what you want, which will and therefore create the chance for you to be free.
It’s you, it’s us, it’s me. We create the prisons of the shelter type areas in our lives because we’re unwilling to speak to our desire of how we want it, who we want it with, and exactly the details. This is a while ago, before Morgan, there was a woman that I liked a lot and we had this intense flirtation. One of the most intense flirtations I had, and I was really excited. Fast forward six months and I hadn’t talked to her, and I said to her like, “Do you want to get together? We’re going to this party.”She says, “I’m not interested in having a sexual relationship with you, Rob.”That stung a little bit, I’ll admit it. There was like a little punch in the stomach, but the second feeling after that again was, “I can modulate that.”
I felt great that she could tell me what she wanted, and I felt more freedom inside of me to relate to her because I know what she wanted. 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? Where are you putting on the facade to be liked rather than creating a situation that you do like? How often are we creating the facade to be liked than to create the relationship that you like to be a part of? It’s more often than we’d like to think. Take the steps to connect to what you want and to feel into it and really have it. If you don’t ask for it, odds are you’re not going to have it.
Here are some steps of how to escape your prison. The first thing is when you notice how you’re in prison, take responsibility for the co-creation of it. For 0.1% of the time, this doesn’t quite fit, but for 99.9% of the time, take responsibility. Look at what you’ve done, where you haven’t spoken up, where you haven’t been truthful to create the situation. As I was leaving, OneTaste, I wasn’t happy, but guess who created that? I did. I wasn’t willing to ask for what I wanted until it was too late. Number two, reflect on yourself-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 you’re asking for too much. Look at the places where your self-worth is hampering you to be free and see what’s happening there.
The third is have trust in the process. Before you say anything, just have faith. Look at it and say like, “I want 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.” That means that your relationship might end. You might get into a really big fight. 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. That’s how I feel about Morgan when we’re in this really intense, tight times. I’m like, “I feel so uncomfortable,” but I do have faith at the end of the heated discussion that things will be better and more secure. Have faith in the process. Most of us are like, “Why bother? It’s not going to work out any way.” You need to actually believe that your willingness to speak the truth will actually enable you to have more relationships that you want.
The last is be willing to shift your perspective around your prison. Be willing to look at, “That which I thought was a prison was actually a great life lesson.” Mother for me, school for me, some relationships, OneTaste, all these things, once I shifted my perception to see like, “That was one of my greatest life lessons,” that’s where the prison dissolves. Your willingness to step up and have the life the way you wanted is the only way it’s going to happen. If you keep waiting for someone else to trigger it, keep waiting for Santa Claus to rise and give you the gift of the life you want, scratch and get that million dollars, you’re going to be sitting at the bus stop waiting for the bus that may not arrive.
Thanks so much for being on the show. Thank you for joining me on my rant about the prisons that I’ve created, I continue to create, and my relationship to them. How I don’t want to create that for my partner and I don’t want that partner to create for me. How to create room and space for us to have our lives exactly the way we want them. If you want to support the show, please visit Patreon.com/TuffLove and send me a little loving by sending me a one-time or monthly donation. Thank you so much for being with us. Tell your friends, tell your enemies about Tuff Love. They can visit TuffLove.Live, if you feel so inclined. Like us on iTunes. Thank you. Go forth. Face the day and good luck.