I was thinking about a few of my friends who have been single for quite a while. They would love to find an awesome husband, yet they haven’t done anything I suggested they do. They haven’t done anything that I did that helped me stop attracting all the wrong guys and finally attract Mr. Right. I was wondering why we all do that from time to time. Why don’t we do things that we know are good for us? Why don’t we do things that help us find love? We know something worked for someone else. We know it could work for us. We know it could be beneficial and add joy to our lives. Why do we resist doing things we know could get us closer to what we really want? Why don’t we stop binging on Netflix every night? Why don’t we put down the bottle after the second glass of wine? Why don’t we say no to dessert when we’re full? Why don’t we read more books? Why don’t some of my girlfriends write their soulmate list in the notes on their phones as I did?
As I was hiking with my husband last Sunday, something dawned on me. I wonder if one of the reasons might be the unknown reward.
We don’t know what the reward feels like. So we give up.
My husband and I have been on this program called 75 Hard, and we haven’t had any sugar or alcohol for two months. I’ve gone without alcohol for months and even years before, but I had never gone without sugar completely, and I never knew how good you could feel if you get it all our of your system! I had no idea! I thought I already felt great. But I am sleeping better than I ever have in my entire life. I hit the pillow and don’t even MOVE. I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Now I know what it’s like to get sugar out of my system.
As far as finding love and manifesting your soulmate, if you’re single, you may not know that the reward – a husband who is a partner in every sense of the word – is so great, it’s worth all the years it took, it’s worth all the idiots, all the horrible blind dates, all the heartbreaks, all the crying, all the lonely nights, all the hiking alone. I now know what the reward is like. Even when I want to kill my husband, I now know that being married to him (the reward) is SO MUCH greater than the suffering, the amount of time it took to come together, and the amount of “work” it took to finally be the woman I needed to be to attract him. Most people don’t know what it’s like to have a husband who has your back and drops everything if you need him. Or maybe you do know what that part is like, but you were missing chemistry or romance. Maybe you had the chemistry and romance, but you didn’t have the same values or same dreams, or he wasn’t driven to succeed like you wanted him to be. You only know what it’s like to have the kind of relationships you’ve had in the past. You don’t know what you don’t know.
So if you’re thinking about relationships only in the context of what you know and what you have experienced, you’re right. Doing that again isn’t worth any effort at all. You don’t want that again. Of course, I used to say I never want to get married again and that being single was awesome because I had the freedom to whatever the f*ck I wanted. Now I know better. Being single is fine, and doing whatever the f*ck I want is fine. I’m a control freak type-A Capricorn who raised her kids alone for the first eleven years. However, if you’re married to the right person, you can still be you! I still do whatever the f*ck I want. He does’t want me to be any different. You can create whatever relationship you actually desire and reap the incredible reward: having a partner who loves you no how much of a bitch you are sometimes and appreciates everything you do for him. You can define what an amazing relationship is and attract it!
I’ll never forget the mom of the last guy I dated. I loved her. She and her husband Bob went everywhere together. They were recently retired, and they traveled around constantly and had a ball. One day she told me, “I just love Bob, and I want to be with him all the time.” I thought to myself, “Really? After 30 years? You want to be with him all the time?” I had no personal experience with that kind of relationship, but that’s what I wanted. I didn’t know first hand what that felt like to have a husband for thirty years who was still my favorite person to be with. I had no idea what the reward was like. I still don’t because I’ve only been with my husband for five years. I know what it can be like five years in to still want to spend all my free time with my person. (depending on the time of the month. HA!)
Tim Grover is a performance coach and author who has coached the most elite athletes such as Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. He said:
You must crave the results so intensely that the work becomes irrelevant.
If you’re an athlete, the results and goals are easy to define. You win the game. The only way to win is to practice hours and hours every single day and have great coaches. Michael and Kobe were always first on the court and last to leave, they were up at 3 am practicing and working out when no one else was. They knew what was required and weren’t afraid of the work. The players that don’t win, even the best of the best athletes who have already made it to the NBA, don’t work as hard.
A physical fitness or weight goal is easy to define. The result you want is a certain number of pounds on the scale, a certain percentage of body fat, or a certain dress size. You know you have to eat clean and work out every day. You know it will take time, you know the results won’t happen in a week or a month. With a weight loss goal or fitness goal, you may already have already experienced the reward. You may have already been that weight before. You know what it’s like to fit into your skinny jeans and bounce around the mall feeling like a million bucks. But if you don’t know what the reward is like, you may quit. The people in the gym at 5 am every single morning know what the reward is like, so they don’t even want to stop exercising. Once you get into shape, you can’t stop doing what it was to get you there. Super fit people know how good it feels and that is their motivation for staying in shape. They just go every day. It’s a habit.
If you’re a singer or instrumentalist, your goals are easy to define: You memorize a song, you nail that super hard passage, you have enough breath to carry the entire phrase, you can play all the scales with accuracy. You already know you are going to have to practice five hours a day in order to accomplish those goals. The best players and singers just practice every day for hours and hours. There’s no other way to accomplish those goals. They get to expire the reward when they nail it on stage and everyone stands and claps. That’s enough of a reward to get back into the practice room the very next day and start learning a new piece, run the scales again, practice another five hours the very next day.
A soulmate, lifetime relationship goal is much harder to put into definite terms. You haven’t experienced the reward. you’ve experienced what it’s like at the beginning. That’s infatuation. Romance is intoxicating. It’s addicting. We fall into the trap of becoming addicted to that feeling of meeting someone new and falling in love. I know I did. I’ve heard therapists call that beginning stage of a relationship the “psychosis stage”. Most people are eternally going in and out of relationships because as soon as the infatuation wears off, they move on. That’s not love. That’s not a reward worth working for. That’s just another breakup waiting to happen. You may not have experienced the reward. You may not have experienced what it is that you really want, so it’s hard to describe what you want. You’re not sure if the reward is really worth the work. You don’t know what you don’t know.
So what are the rewards? What could possibly be worth writing and editing your soulmate list every day? What could be worth creating harmony in your home every day? What could be worth working toward becoming the person you’ve always wanted to be in order to attract your soul mate? What reward could possibly be worth following the strategies I followed and write about?
Sex and romance? Sure, that’s a wonderful benefit, but that’s easy and everyone has had that. You can get that anywhere. But how about sex and romance with someone who knows you? All of you? All of the mistakes you’ve made, everything you’re ashamed of doing, all of your regrets, all of your dreams you haven’t accomplished yet. That kind of intimacy takes time. That kind of intimacy takes courage to peel back the layers of your well-guarded heart and let someone in. It takes faith to show someone who you really are to your core: your fears, your anxieties, your shame, your cellulite, scars, broken heart. Vulnerability is freedom.
It’s painful to admit when we were wrong and hard to be brave when we’ve been hurt so many times before. The reward is an unbreakable bond that only the two of you possess. The reward is a friendship that can never be broken. The reward is a certainty that your needs will be met. Your needs won’t be met entirely by another human being. The reward is a knowingness that my needs will be met, someone has my back, and we can get through whatever it is that happens. Even in uncertain times, sickness and so many challenges. We have had some major challenges. Maybe another reward is comfort. Not in the sense where you’ll never be uncomfortable again, but in the sense that through whatever discomfort or suffering, your person is standing beside you with you, supporting you. Together you can conquer whatever it is. You’re stronger because of your person standing shoulder to shoulder with you. You’re part of a team. Whatever weaknesses you have, your person fills in where you left off. The best team makes you better than what you were alone, not weaker.
Tony Robbins says:
Some of the biggest challenges in relationships come from the fact that most people enter a relationship in order to get something; they’re trying to find someone who’s going to make them feel good. In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take.
What if the biggest reward is giving? Giving love, giving your time, your efforts, your full attention, forgiveness, kindness, compassion? What if the best reward is serving someone who cherishes your entire being and is so grateful you are his wife? What if giving love is one of our purposes in this life? I think it is.
We have many purposes in life. Our greatest purpose is to love. Love is an action word. The act of loving is the ultimate reward.
Is loving others and working toward becoming the person you want to BE really what it takes to attract your soul mate?
There’s only one way to find out.
Wishing you lots of love,