Next Level Human

Authenticity & Purpose in Love & Romance: You Grow Me Sample Chapter- Ep. 253

February 01, 2024 Jade Teta Episode 253
Next Level Human
Authenticity & Purpose in Love & Romance: You Grow Me Sample Chapter- Ep. 253
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever wondered how staying true to yourself can amplify your love life? Join me and my co-author, Emily Gough, as we unravel the secrets of personal growth and authentic relationships in our latest book "You Grow Me," a timely piece perfect for Valentine's Day. We're peeling back the curtain on the transformative journey of siblings Alex and Casey, whose stories serve as a beacon for navigating life's intricate dance of staying genuine amid romantic entanglements.

This heartfelt episode invites you into a world where authenticity is not just a buzzword but the guiding principle of the universe. Emily and I dissect the contrasts between living a life that's true to your core versus one shaped by societal pressures, and how these choices echo in the realm of love. Our personal narratives weave through the discussion, illuminating the courage needed to chase passion and make decisions that steer our destinies. Get ready for a profound revelation of the Five Ps - the elements that define our spiritual fingerprint - and how pain can unexpectedly guide us to our most authentic selves.

As we round out our conversation, we touch on the essence of purpose within relationships. Reflecting on my own shift from nutrition to relationship coaching, and Emily's journey toward her true calling, we underscore the significance of listening to life's signs and embracing the evolution of our purpose. A relationship should challenge and uphold you, not just complement your existence. If you're seeking to fuel your inner fire and discover joy in connections that elevate you, this episode is your lighthouse to becoming the best version of yourself.

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Speaker 1:

Welcome to the show, everybody and Jay Tita. This is the next level human podcast, and this episode I am going to be sharing a chapter out of my new book. I'm very excited about this. This book comes out in two weeks, on Valentine's Day, and it is written with my co-author, emily Goff. This book is a book called you Grow Me, and it is a book that introduces you to the next level human philosophy through the lens of romance. It is a personal development book that covers deep philosophy and psychology and all the things that you could possibly want to know about romantic relationships, and this is a book that I've been wanting to write for some time and it is finally here. It comes out very shortly in both the written and audible audio book format, and I'm going to give you a sample of this book in today's podcast. The chapter that you'll be listening to is chapter seven. It is the chapter on authenticity Creating your authentic self so that you can be and live your purpose in the world. And finding a romantic partnership creating a romantic partnership whether you're currently in one or you're looking for one. That's new. Creating that relationship so that you can live out your purposeful, authentic life, and this chapter is one that I'm just excited to give to you. I think those of you who listen to the next level human podcast and love the next level human philosophy you're going to see a lot of the philosophy embedded in here, and for the next couple of weeks, as the book comes out, I'm going to be sharing different episodes, mainly in the realm of romance. I'm going to have a few guests on that talk to us about sex and sexuality, and we're going to be talking about romance. I'm going to share a couple of chapters, but I hope you like it and, without further ado, let's get into chapter seven of my new book, you Grow Me, written along with my co-author, emily Golf, and you'll hear me reading my parts and Emily reading her parts. Hope you love it and I will see you at the next episode. Chapter seven authentic relationships, your authentic self. The word authenticity is thrown around a lot in personal development. We agree. There is simply nothing more important than living a life authentic to your nature, but there's a problem with this concept. Who exactly should you be authentic to? Life is about growth, remember, and this entire book is about using romantic relationships as a catalyst for growth. So if growth is the goal, then being steadfast in our authenticity to self seems counter to that goal, does it not? Think about it? If you remain authentic to your past self, would you have grown into the wiser, more mature human you hope you are today? And if you remain authentic to your current self, how the hell are you supposed to evolve into the next level human you aspire to be? That's why, when you commit to growth, you must remain authentic to the future. You, the you who lives out your highest purpose potential. That means there will be aspects of yourself you must reject. There will also be new ways of thinking, feeling and acting you must become and, of course, there are aspects of ourselves. We should never, ever lose. Superduper, lover Trooper. Imagine life is really just one big video game simulation. You're born into the game and forget. You are really a spiritual entity. You volunteered for the experience, to learn and see if you can master the true meaning of love. Before you're born, you get to choose a few key attributes for your human avatar. You played the game several times before but never unlocked the level required to graduate to the next level of spiritual evolution. Now you're back playing again. For the thousandth time. You have decided that you are going to be a human named Alex. You've also decided that this time you'll play the game alongside your best friend. They have also played the game many times and decided to reincarnate with you as your twin sibling, casey. You and Casey get to choose a combination of three physical attributes and personality traits. You both choose to be good looking, smart and ambitious. Having played the game before, you feel these are advantages. You also know that once the game starts, you'll forget who you really are and be so totally immersed in the game you'll believe it is the ultimate reality. The reason this game is so hard is that it forces you to learn the most important lesson in all the universe. The conditions of the game make it incredibly difficult to uncover this truth. You both have no clue what this magic piece of wisdom is. Hence the reason you've failed so often and the need to go back. Now you are born along with your sibling, casey, and off you go. Childhood is nearly identical for you both. You both have similar traumas and difficulties with your parents, school and peers. It's not until your teenage years that the two of you begin to approach life differently At this point. It is not a conscious choice, but what seems like a matter of circumstance, but remember, the rules of this game are tricky. Adolescence presents much greater challenges. This is where things start getting hard for you. You are twins and at this point you start desiring acceptance and belonging on your terms. You are both tired of being compared and confused with your sibling. Each of you desire to make your own mark and be seen on your own terms. In high school, you both have the same romantic crush and Casey is the one who wins the prize by getting involved with the sport your romantic interest loves. You are devastated, lonely and feel hurt. You were not chosen, but you are happy for Casey. You try your best to move on and continue to struggle in multiple facets of life, including romance. Casey's life is progressing differently. They are popular, outgoing, confident, capable and smart. They are always in a relationship and invariably find the hot, smart and mature partners. They get involved in all the clubs and activities. They become president of the high school. They find themselves head of their college Greek society. They progress on to being a badass corporate professional, reaching big boss status in their career before they turn 30. You, well, life has unfolded differently. You have tried lots of different things. You loved band in high school. You got a degree in art at your first college. You traveled the world for two years. You didn't know what you wanted to do, so you went back to school. You dropped out again for a time and finally finished an architecture degree. You liked it okay, but it was not quite the right fit. What you really loved was being outside in nature, and so you spent a lot of time hiking and camping and all the rest. You are pegged as a hippie and a wanderer by many, and romance Not so much. You've had a few partners. One cheated on you, one was not nice to you. Another one was the wrong sexual orientation and never told you until you were already too attached For better or worse. You did not hang around and quickly disconnected if you felt things were off or not right. Love just didn't seem to be your thing. Meanwhile, casey continued to kill it in life. By the time you both turned 40, they are already a millionaire who is also married to a millionaire. Both they and their spouse are conscientious, kind and loving humans. Casey has two adorable kids and they are a perfect parent, balancing career and home life with ease. You start to feel inadequate whenever you're around, casey. They are your sibling and you love each other, but you often wonder what went wrong for you. You can't help but notice the respect they command and the vast difference in the quality of your lives. You eventually end up creating your own career in a little known field called landscape architecture. It combines your love of art, architecture and the outdoors all together. You love it with all your heart and while it earns you a living, it does not make you much money. You eventually find love as well. It took you a while, but you meet someone who just fits. They don't want to get married or have kids, but that was never a top priority for you anyway. Truthfully, you never wanted kids. You love Casey's kids and treat them like they are your own. While you're partnering, you have no great culture level achievements. You live a quiet, content life you chose and are happy with. And then you and Casey celebrate your 45th birthdays together. It's a tradition. Ever since you both turned 30, casey has treated you both to an exotic trip together, alone. As siblings. You love each other and, despite your vastly different paths, you have never lost your bond. It's there, during that trip, that Casey comes clean. They hate their life. They feel lifeless in their career. They never love their spouse and they have been having an affair for the past three years. They cry and despair and lament. You are shocked. Everything seemed perfect. They got all they wanted. This is all they ever talked about. Casey confesses that they never even thought about what they wanted. They were just doing what they thought they were supposed to do. You comfort them and tell them you love them and they can change if they want and you'll support them. They can get out of their relationship, go back and start a business. They can start following their heart now. For you it's a shock they feel this way, but it's also simple, and at least now you finally feel you can help them. Following your path has been lonely, filled with rejection and dominated by judgment. Your entire life you have felt less than the least favorite by your parents, the less popular at school, the one who never could make it financially and the one who struggled to make friends. All that was hard, but you also felt fulfilled because you followed your own path. Unlike Casey, you were living the life you wanted to. It may have been less than desirable from a cultural perspective, but at least it was on your terms, you finally feel you have something to teach and offer your sibling. After the talk, casey seems to be ready to make the big change. But on returning home they go back to their old routine, their old programming and their old self. In the five years that follow, you both have immense success on your own terms. But only one of you is happy From the flight back from your annual vacation that year the flight goes down. You and Casey are both dead. Like all the times before, you didn't know you were playing a game, until your spirit wakes up and realizes once again it was all a virtual reality game you voluntarily played to learn the most important of lessons. As you and Casey stand together in life review, it becomes apparent just how different your lives were. You were a human called Alex, following a lonely, difficult, unconventional path. No riches, no great success, no hot body, no beautiful kids. You were kind and smart and ambitious and loved your work and did it well. They were a human, casey. They were wealthy beyond imagination. They volunteered and gave immense amounts of money to charity. They were beautiful Even at 50, they still had defined abs and a tight body. They had a gorgeous, successful spouse who loved them. They had beautiful, kind, productive children. They were also ambitious and smart and kind. They did not love their life or their work. And when the points are revealed, who do you think moves on from the game and who is going to have to go back? You, alex, get to move on. Casey, your sibling, must repeat the game. And what was the universal truth? Alex figured out Authenticity. Authenticity is the major guiding principle of the universe. We are each spiritual fingerprints, unique extensions of source consciousness. Remember we are purpose potentials. Pursuing our unique purpose is the entire point of our existence. Whenever we sacrifice what we really want, who we really are and what our work truly is, we lose. More importantly, the universe loses In the game of human. You learn that you are the way the universe experiences itself. When you fall prey to the culture-level pursuits of power and popularity and abandon your purpose, you are abandoning your individuality. You are rejecting your next-level human spiritual potential. When you do that, you become like everyone else and the universe misses out on the unique perspective and experiences your existence would have contributed. You learn to be the you you felt called to be, regardless of the cost. That is the only way your spirit can grow and evolve. That is the secret of the universe. So who are you going to be, authentic, alex, or culture-level Casey? That's the choice we make in the game of human. And what about romance? Yes, it's beautiful, but it's not meant to be some trophy. You hold up for your fellow humans to see. Hey, look at me, I have a hot, cute partner with me. See, I am safe, I am secure and I'm worthy, just like you. No, romance is simply another choice, testing your authenticity. Will you choose the romance that makes you look powerful or popular in the eyes of others, or will you choose a romance or perhaps not? Choose a romance as a means to grow further towards your authentic self? And once in that romance, will you change your authentic nature to hold on desperately, or will you continue to use it to grow yourself and your partner in the authentic direction of your purpose? When it comes to romance, be aware and choose carefully. There is no greater threat to your authentic self and there is also no more powerful support for uncovering your true nature.

Speaker 2:

Staying true to yourself in relationship. A few years into my relationship with Jacob, I made a decision to make a career change. I'd been working at my corporate job for a few years by this point, and I was miserable. It was a good job, but I knew it wasn't where I belonged or what I was meant to be doing, and getting out of bed every day to make the long commute and sit behind a desk felt like a slow but certain death of my soul. I'd begun to take a strong interest in fitness and nutrition. I'd already gotten certified as a fitness instructor, teaching bootcamp classes on the side and thoroughly enjoying it. When I got the idea to go back to school to become a holistic nutritionist while still working full-time, it felt as though a spark had been reignited in me. The school offered me a spot for the two-year program, but there was one issue Money was tight. Buying a house a year earlier had stretched us and we had lived almost entirely off of my sole income. A few months that year, while Jacob attended school for his trade apprenticeship, I ran the numbers and knew I would be able to make the payment plan for the program work covering household expenses, but just barely. I called my mom to excitedly tell her the news that I had been accepted into the program, but also to express my hesitation at bringing up the possibility to Jacob, who I thought might not go for the idea. I don't remember exactly what my mom said, but something shifted in me as she reminded me, with more force than I had anticipated, that if I could make it work, I needed to tell him I was doing this, not ask his permission. This was my life and future on the line, and not snapping up this opportunity to enroll would mean delaying moving forward with my life by a full year at minimum. I think my mom had seen the spark of hope reignite me for the first time in a long time, and she was doing whatever she could to fan the tiny flame rather than watch it be extinguished. It was a powerful reminder. I needed to step into my own power and give myself permission slips. When I told Jacob my news, he was decidedly reluctant but agreed. And yet something changed for me when I witnessed his unenthusiastic reaction. We had had a tough year as a couple and I had supported him relentlessly and compassionately through multiple situations, so much so that most people in my position likely would have walked away. This was what I was getting in return, when a sliver of feeling, a sense of purpose, was opening up to me. One of many things I loved about Jacob was that he was my biggest cheerleader over the years. It took me until the dramatic ending of our nine years together to really put my finger on the fact that, while he would outwardly appear to want me to progress in various areas of my life, when those moments came into reality he was a little less supportive. He had been supportive of me looking into the holistic nutrition program until I was actually accepted. He was excited for me to start my new online business, something I had talked about for more than three years until the dad came home and proudly showed him my brand new business license. Then he subtly switched to seeming surprised and a little taken aback, which I couldn't understand. He encouraged me to quit my corporate job for many months, to which I still give him a great deal of credit, because I'm not sure I ever would have had the courage to take the leap without his support. Yet, looking back, as soon as I quit, he began to distance himself from our relationship and perhaps even resent me, and our relationship began to take a downturn until I found out about the infidelity six months later and ended things. Of the many gifts Jacob gave me, one of the most valuable was the opportunity to deepen into who I was as a human, as Emily, in the moments when I did finally choose to put myself and my own needs first. With every step I took forward into my own authentic self, over the years, my power grew. That was also scary, because one of the reasons we sometimes forego stepping into our own power and allowing our real selves to be seen is that we worry our current or future partner won't be able to handle it. Perhaps they won't like what they see when they get to know who we really are and it can seem easier to safeguard the relationship at the expense of our own sense of self. It was what I did for many years and I can say with certainty that is not a relationship you want to be in. It will keep you in a continuous loop of betraying yourself to satisfy another. And the trickiest part is that self-abandonment is subtle. It happens slowly over time, sometimes eroding us so softly that we don't even notice, until we can no longer ignore the gaping hole for within. It's what happens when we place the needs of another consistently and regularly above our own, say yes when we mean no, refuse to advocate for ourselves or convince ourselves and others that we're fine, when we feel like we're dying a slow death on the inside. If I had ignored my own authentic nature and didn't follow my passions, it would have left me with nothing to hang onto. Going back to school, starting a business and exploring my own interests were essential for my own personal growth outside of the relationship. These intuitive hits aren't a coincidence in my mind. They're choices, or perhaps even nudges from the universe, god, source, consciousness or whatever label you want to attach to it. What matters most is how you choose to allow relationships to fuel your own growth into your authentic self. The fact that I grow from every relationship I've been in is a mindset change, a perception shift that is open and available for anyone to choose. So where does authenticity come from in the first place? How do we find it, or is it even something to be found? From my and Jade's perspectives, it's probably more accurate to say we create it. Jade's going to give you his explanation on this in more detail.

Speaker 1:

You are unique. Imagine the universe is one giant octopus. I know it's a weird image, but roll with me on this. It's one giant nervous system sensing every single aspect of its surroundings. The tentacles move up and down, side to side, with twisting and swaying motions. If you look closely at the skin of this universal octopus, you will see suction cups. But look closer and you will see a skin teaming with different size bumps, from near microscopic to large enough to pick up and manipulate things. This universal octopus scoots and slides, swims and clings. Every part of its bumpy body is designed to sense, explore and experience. It is getting feedback from every single imaginable aspect of its body. Now imagine you are a small little bump somewhere on the sixth tentacle, just to the left of the suction cup 9 trillion. You are hanging out and receiving all kinds of information. You may think you are insignificant, but you occupy a unique place and space on the octopus. It needs you to do your job so that it can receive the information you are gathering and integrate it with all the other data it is gathering. This is the way it understands the world, knows what direction to head, grows and evolves. What you realize is that all the other bumps around you are influencing you and being influenced by you. If you don't do your job, they may also not do theirs. Not only are you an example for other nervous tissue protrusions around you, you are also a unique experience of the entire organism, a microcosm of the macrocosm. Without you being exactly who you are and staying true to your experience and location, the octopus loses some aspect of its understanding. This is a job you need to take seriously. Imagine if every single aspect of the octopus was the same. Let's say all aspects of our universal octopus were suction cups. Then it would get stuck and be able to sense nothing. It would be stuck in one place. Let's say all aspects were like the soft and smoother aspects around the mouth. Then it would be unable to swim or cling or would just float like a blob in the water aimlessly. Every aspect of the universal octopus plays a role and has an important perspective that contributes to greater understanding. All the aspects and parts of the octopus are required for it to know itself. This is the way I like to think about people and our place in the world. We tend to see consciousness as something that is generated in our brains. We think that the universe existed and we just showed up in it one day by chance, and that whatever we observe is simply a manifestation of our senses and the consciousness our brain produces. What if our brains are not separate from consciousness, but rather a part of it? Just like that bump on the octopus seems to have a singular existence, separate and apart from the octopus itself, but in reality is an extension of it? I like this view of the universe better, as it allows us to see we are not separate at all. Separation from others is simply an illusion. All the bumps around us are also part of the larger whole, while also having a distinct perspective. In a very real sense, we are separate from the octopus and a part of it all at the same time. The octopus serves as a lesson about authenticity and connection with our fellow humans, and the most important connection we have with other humans may be our romantic connections. To be fully part of a romantic connection or any interaction with any human, we need to first appreciate our uniqueness. There has never been another human like you in the history of humanity. There will never be anyone quite like you who lives again. Consider the magnitude of this. You occupy a unique place in time and space. You also have a unique set of attributes and experiences. You have your people, individuals from the past and present who have hurt and helped you. Your people were integral to you, forming your narratives around seeing the world as safe or dangerous. Whether you can trust or not trust your sense of worthiness, the way you see yourself and all the rest, their influence is present in you, whether you like it or not. In fact, like that little bump on the universal octopus, you don't exist at all except in relation to the other bumps around you and all other aspects of the octopus. Without other living things to relate to and learn from, we cease to exist at all. If you were the last thing on earth, you would not be a thing at all. In addition to your people, you have the things you enjoy and like, your passions. Passions are the things you are drawn to, that interest, you provide entertainment and fun and are a source of exploration. Passions are a great way to explore the world. The great thing about passions is they can be fleeting and fickle or they can become a deeper interest and lead us down paths of meaning and even purpose. You also have your unique personality. Science is not 100% sure which aspects of personality are genetic or environmental. This is because, like the octopus, it is virtually impossible to separate itself from the environment it inhabits. An octopus stuck on land ceases to be an octopus. Your personality is like a mix of you, the world you are in and the experience the world provides. It's nature and nurture lessons and learnings. You also have your talents or unique powers. They are the things you are good at. We all have an area of expertise. No matter who we are, we have something to teach. Even a person living out on the street with no job carries an immensely valuable skill set for anyone else finding themselves newly in that position. We all have something to contribute and teach. Most importantly, you have your pain. This is the source of your greatest lessons. Think about that tiny little nervous system protrusion of the octopus. Let's say it encounters water that is too acidic or it gets injured in a scuffle with an aggressive starfish. It may seem that it does not matter, but the information it sends to all the nervous systems around it and the lessons it communicates to the global nervous system are crucial. If it gets the information and translates it correctly, it can save the rest of the universe as the octopus scurries away or knows to avoid that pain next time. Your pain is your greatest catalyst for growth, the primary means for you to contribute to others and, in a very real way, evolve and enhance the universal collective through your experience and example. I call these the five Ps. Together, your people, passions, personality, powers and pain, along with your time and history and place in the universe, make you utterly unique compared to anyone else who has ever existed or will ever exist. This means you are a unique spiritual fingerprint, a purpose potential who can bring some positive contribution or creation to the world that no one else could do in the exact same way. When you choose to take on this task, it's called purpose and there is nothing more important for you to do in this world. There is also nothing more attractive to potential romantic partners when you do your purpose simply because you are the only one who can, without the need for acknowledgement, reciprocation or reward. You are a living manifestation of love. This is what love is. Love at its purest and most simple is not about romance or child-parent dynamics. It's about you living your purpose. That's what true authenticity is, being true to your place on the universal octopus. Following this path for yourself is the only reason you are here. And when you recognize this aspect in another and seek to help them realize their potential, you are loving them. When the two of you mutually nurture and grow each other's potential, you are loving each other. And when you are also fucking each other, well then you're in love. When you live your authentic purpose, you are essentially generating love within yourself and sharing it with the outside world. You create it in yourself first. Only then can you recognize the same in another. This is what being authentic is all about, and fully loving yourself or another is impossible without it. This is why purposeful authenticity is the first step to being in love. You won't find it in another. You create it in yourself and then share it with another. It only ever works this way. Any other connection is being in need, not being in love. This is why it can never be about completing, only about growing. Let's look closer at what it means to be your authentic self so you can realize authentic next level romance. Authenticity is not easy. As I went from a cheating, lying Mr Nice guy to someone more in line with my authentic self, I had a lot of help. First life gave me something beyond anything I could have dreamed of or thought I deserved. It gave me the best gift of my life, the worst pain I'd ever experienced. I was in a betrayal sandwich. I was betraying my wife. My lover, who was also betraying her husband, then betrayed us both with a third guy. I basically became an affair within an affair. If it sounds completely confusing and stupid and like I got what I deserved, I can't argue there. I loved my wife. I also thought I loved this other person. Of course, in hindsight I realized I actually barely knew that person. But here's what I am most ashamed to tell you I did not fully comprehend what I was doing until it was happening to me. Yes, I was cheating on my wife and only understood the pain and dysfunction of this when the person I was cheating with then cheated on me. If you're thinking, I can't believe this guy. He's a shitfuck asshole of the highest order. I hate to say it, but you've not heard the worst of it yet. I eventually came clean to my wife, not because I suddenly got a conscious, mostly because I felt so alone and confused and needed her. Yeah, that's the kind of coward I was, but, as I said, life was giving me help. I had never asked my wife for anything. To me she was amazing and talented and strong, but I also saw her as so self-centered and ego-driven that she didn't know how to give me attention or show up for me in any way. Then suddenly, not long after my confession, she started to At my lowest and her most crushed. We started loving each other in an entirely different way. If you think I became nicer, you're wrong. If you think she was nicer to me, you're also wrong. What we were was lovingly honest. We made a pact together that we were going to love each other and tell each other everything. So I did. I told her all the things about the affair and all my frustrations with her. I took responsibility for everything, but also pulled no punches. I was done with being nice. I figured if our relationship was going to end, I was going to be honest and true. My wife did the same. She took full responsibility and also started to communicate differently. Some people would call this brutal honesty, but being brutally honest requires a level of indifference to the other person. Lovingly honest is saying all the things, even the harshest, with the sincere and loving intention to help the other person grow. This is the first way I was helped. I was also helped by my ex-lover. For years after the affair I did the Mr Nice Guy thing of trying to be there for her in every way she would allow. I also sent a million emails, texts and letters, being honest with her and trying to tell her the whole story and include her. I was hoping we could also help each other, learn and grow from the experience. She wanted none of my brand of personal growth and communication and became a paranoid, degraded version of what I thought I knew. Saying goodbye to the romance was not hard. Letting go of the friend I thought she was, but was just a story I wrote in my imagination, was the hardest thing, and the final aspect of this was the worst betrayal of all, the one that took me the longest to deal with the self-betrayal, the realization of who I was and the shame it made me feel. There is a difference between embarrassment and guilt and shame that I had not understood before. I have always had a thick skin and was privy to all manner of dysfunctional humans through my work for years in the clinic. That allowed me not to have much embarrassment or care what others thought of me. Guilt would have been easy because I could just apologize and move on. Shame was a whole different animal. I didn't like who I was. Here's where the authenticity comes in. When I looked back over my life, I saw a kind, generous and loving guy. I also saw a dysfunctional, angry kid in his younger days and someone who changed in college after a bar fight. I saw a guy who changed his relationship with his brother. I saw a guy who learned and got better from every single one of his romantic relationships. I was still friends with many of those exes. I saw a guy who was committed to personal growth and was looking straight at his shit every step of the way, even as a child. This led to the realization that my authentic self, who I really was, was a willing student and a good human who was messy but learning. I also saw all these people around me, the ones who loved me and the ones who hated me. As just feedback, I started to look at where my historical patterns were and was able to discern which ones belonged to me and which ones belonged to others. I saw my wife's shit as well as my own. I saw my ex-lover's shit and my contributions as well. I became very clear on what were my repeated patterns and dysfunctional shit versus theirs. I then started to get clear on where I was going and how I would use this as another opportunity to elevate. I conquered independence when I was younger by learning to stand up for myself. I love my brother for that. I discovered a gentle kindness through my fighting days. I am so grateful for that. I found my intellectual strengths and an appreciation for my integrative mind through my adopting a way of studying that was unique to me in medical school so grateful for that. I developed an uncommon generosity from the influence of my parents and through the greed and vitriol I encountered with a lawsuit I went through early in medical school. I am also grateful for that and I developed a brand of loving honesty that is rare in today's world through my deceit and my dysfunction. I'm so lucky for that. Authenticity is an emerging process. People say be authentic to yourself. That is the wrong way to think about authenticity. Your self is not the best you that you can be. We all have our shit we are going through. We need to get better. Imagine me being authentic to myself back when I was making one bad choice after another. If I had stayed authentic to myself, then I never would have grown the way I have. What we must be is authentic to our best level human versions of ourselves. That is the us who is growing and getting better, and we also need to help our romantic partners do the same. This is why the work in the healer's journey is critical. Eventually, my wife and I decided to split. By the time we did, we both understood it would be hard, but we had a sense that our growth lay elsewhere. Shortly after we split, we both moved to Santa Monica independently and started to develop a close friendship that was more like siblings than lovers. We became close in a whole different way. There is something incredibly special about a love like ours that is taken on different forms as we have each grown. Jill is one of my all-time favorite people on the planet. I love everything about her Her strength, her drive, her power, her honesty, her loyalty and all the rest. She turned out to be one of my greatest teachers. We procrastinated on finalizing our divorce until Jill started getting serious with someone else. When we finally did, we went out together after we signed the papers. She raised her wine glass and said congratulations on a great ride. I learned a ton. And then she made a comment I'll never forget. She said I don't understand why people think relationships that end are always a failure. I'm so much better as a person for having been with you, thank you. I could not have said it better. I felt the same way Authenticity in action. My Honor Code set the direction for the man I would be. Without it, I would not have been able to create the man who was writing this book. But it wasn't easy. Your Honor Code acts as the guardrail for your authentic self. After my extreme personal failings, I told myself I would be different. Once I made this commitment, I could not ignore my repeated patterns, stuck emotions and recurrent obstacles. It was as if the universal octopus would smack me in the face with one of its tentacles and wake me up. Shortly after I split from my wife, I was dating a girl who I was crazy about. She was an old friend who was having a tough time with her husband, who she thought was having an affair. If your palm just smacked you on the forehead, that's what happened to me as well. I knew I would never cheat again myself, but somehow I overlooked the fact that I was enabling her to do the same thing. My Honor Code made me aware of this fact within a few weeks and, as happy as I was with this woman, I had to break it off. I would not cheat ever again and I would not be with someone who does. And so, yes, it was hard, but I was proud of myself. It was like I passed another personal development PR. A few years later, I found myself in love again. She wanted kids and marriage and my authentic self just did not want those things. I also had to say goodbye to her Again. Sad, but I was proud I could love her by not selfishly wasting her time. We are still the best of friends Another personal development PR. Authenticity for me means doing the right thing, even when it's going to hurt me. I would rather suffer than lie. For me, honesty is kinder than kindness. Virtue is doing the right thing when no one is watching. It is being the antidote to the asshole I once was. If you want a great love, you need to first love your authentic future self. This is a completely individual journey. Emily is going to clue you in a little more regarding her journey. The hope is that hearing how Emily and I handled our paths to authenticity will help you in navigating your own.

Speaker 2:

Creating your purpose. Now I'd experienced a taste of what it felt like to be lit up about something. The tiny flame that ignited when I started down the road of holistic health had planted seeds of possibilities of what would come to be. When I ended my relationship, teaching about nutrition and health rapidly lost its importance to me. While I still felt, and continued to feel, strongly about it, it didn't light me up the way it once did. It can be easy in these moments to panic, to feel as though we've lost something that will never be returned, to wander aimlessly through life looking for something to reappear. It's important to use these moments to pause, breathe, live life a little more fully, allow yourself to truly experience the small joys and follow what guides you Around. The same time, people kept reaching out to me seeking advice about starting and growing a podcast. By this point, I'd launched two different podcasts, and my current podcast that I still host to this day, room to Grow, was doing really well. I was always excited to talk to others about how to create a podcast for themselves and use it to grow their business. My thought process was what the hell? I've lost? Nearly everything else in my life Might as well burn my business down at the same time and step into an entirely new career path. I was committed to learning to listen to the whispers of my life, after ignoring my intuition in the relationship for so many years, and wanted to see what would unfold as a result of following the breadcrumbs life was laying out for me and leaning further into what felt most authentic for me. In that moment, I dove in with gusto and felt that old flame reignite once more, but stronger this time around. Diving into this teaching was fairly effortless and I blossomed into the work and began to build a name for myself. Fast forward to 2020, and once again, I started to lose the flame, struggling to find the energy to give to my business. Interestingly, I never lacked drive, but I didn't seem to have an outlet to pour myself into. This time, I was beyond frustrated. It felt like I was running up against a brick wall and I couldn't hear any fucking whispers about what to do next. Instead, I was gifted with several other humans, including Jade, who didn't whisper but more or less shook me by the shoulders in the metaphorical sense, but barely to get me to both recognize and accept what I'd been denying within myself for a very long time. It was exactly what I needed to get the point across. Relationship discussions and advice was the one thing many people around me would regularly seek me out for much to my own surprise at times, and I had been quietly but relentlessly educating myself in the realm of relationships for years. Much of my work for many years ended up focusing on the relationships my clients had with themselves and others, and it permeated everything I did. I couldn't, and still can't, think of anything more fascinating than the art of human connection, particularly romantic relationships. I'd been resisting doing this work for a long time because I continued to feed into the story I'd created that no one in their right mind would want to get relationship advice from the girl who'd been cheated on for nine years. But human connection was threaded throughout everything I had done and what I placed the highest importance on. It became glaringly obvious to me that this work was choosing me, whether I liked it or not. Once I accepted the assignment, everything began to flow. I'd spent a lot of time, resources and energy denying my authentic self, and it showed because I couldn't seem to hang on to my sense of purpose. Keep in mind, however, that purpose is ever-evolving and growing with us. It's not something that's up on a pedestal waiting for you to reach it, like some impossible destination that continues to elude or taunt you. It's that small flame that needs to be nurtured and it can grow gradually as you continue to take one step forward at a time, even if it doesn't make sense at that moment. Think about it this way I would never have believed it if someone had told me years ago that my greatest sense of purpose would be around relationships, but that I would first have to work at a completely unrelated corporate job, do the fitness and nutrition thing, teach about podcasting and sharing personal stories and take on a long list of other eclectic jobs. I would never have understood how the hell I could have ended up here and may have thrown in the towel in pure exhaustion before ever embarking upon the journey. What I learned is that when I stay true to my sense of purpose, I'm able to tap into feeling fulfilled and joyful, whether I'm with someone or not. Being able to hang on to that feeling has a side benefit. It will help to guide you towards tolerating nothing less than people who truly and genuinely appreciate you and recognize all that you are the right person or people you choose to get into a romantic relationship with, are going to call you forward and request that you show up as the highest version of yourself. They won't accept anything less from you because they see what you are capable of and the person you are growing into becoming, and they'll challenge you to step into embodying all of the courage, strength and beauty that you possess. This is the gift of intentionally creating next level relationships.

Speaker 1:

Passion, meaning and Purpose. To be our authentic selves, we have to understand who we are and where we start and another begins. We must live our purpose and other people can never be our purpose, ever. Most people use the terms passion, meaning and purpose as if they are synonyms. They are not, and the distinctions between them must be understood if you are to live your authentic life and help your romantic partner grow and live theirs. Here's the thing to get clear on Another person can never be your purpose. They can act as meaning for you and they can also help you indulge your passions. Passion in a romantic relationship usually brings mind to sexual exploration, but it is more than that. When you get to share your love of hot sauce and beer with your partner, that is also a form of passion. And when you introduce them to an interest of yours and they introduce you to something they enjoy, that is another form of passion expressed in romance. To understand passion versus meaning and purpose, think of them as an evolutionary process. For example, I fell in love with football as a young kid. This was my passion. Because I loved football and wanted to get better, I started lifting weights. This soon became my dominant passion Then, as a result of that and a desire to get into bodybuilding, I developed an interest in nutrition. Then I started sharing my love of health and fitness with others. This is when the passion evolved to the point of meaning. My pursuit of health and fitness became a part of my life in a way that enhanced it. It wasn't just for fleeting pleasure anymore. It became a source of energy as well. The benefits stayed with me and started to enhance my life in a way that made me feel better. Victor Frankel of the classic man's search for meaning articulated all the ways we can find meaning. We can find meaning in other people, such as our lovers, our parents, our kids. We can discover meaning in our work, as I did with personal training and nutrition. We can also feel meaning from beautiful experiences like sunsets and travel. Frankel missed something subtle about meaning, though. His idea of meaning depends on things outside oneself. Like passions, meaning is dependent on other things, and because of that it can be lost. What happens if your lover leaves? What happens when your kids move out or, worse, die? We know these people will not always be around. If we rely on others to sustain us, what happens when they are gone, leave or die. The same goes for work. What happens if you get fired? What happens when you retire? What happens if you are injured in a way that keeps you from working? Same thing for events like travel and experiences like sunsets they aren't lasting. So while meaning is critical, it is also fleeting and must be borrowed. Passions are even less substantial. They are fickle and changeable, and they must be revisited again and again. They also lose their potency over time. Passions are fun and a great life certainly has them. Meaning is critical and a good life can't go without it. However, both passions and meaning don't live in us and they are not a part of us, and we can never own them in any substantial way. Purpose is different. Purpose is a creation we choose to bring to the world. Purpose is inside of us and flows from us to the outside world. It fills us up, is self-sustaining and goes with us everywhere we go. When my passion for football turned into meaning through sharing health and fitness with others, it could have stopped there, but then it evolved further. I started using it to help others. It started to be something I brought to the world rather than enjoyed from the world. I used it to become a healer and a teacher. This has provided me with something no one can ever take from me. There are also different emotions derived from passion, meaning and purpose. Passions bring fun and levity. Meaning brings happiness and contentment. Purpose engenders fulfillment and joy. But while these emotions are similar, they all don't carry the same weight. Fun is fleeting and not very deep. Happiness and contentment are deeper but context dependent. Fulfillment and joy, however, land in our core and are permanent. Think about someone close to you dying. There is no way you can feel happy and content or find any fun in that, but you can be deeply in grief and still have a sense of fulfillment, pride, gratitude and joy around how you have lived your life, how you brought it to the world and how you touched others through your purpose. Authenticity has elements of all three, since you can't get to purpose without passion and meaning. But many people don't ever find purpose, usually because they wrongly think their lover, spouse, kids or friends are their purpose. Those things can only ever be meaning and while meaning is required for a good life, purpose is the ultimate expression of authenticity. Purpose is the quintessential element of an authentic life. It does not have to be something grandiose like writing a book, building a business or being some kind of a superstar. It is also not your job. For most people, a job simply finances their purpose. I like to make the distinction here between a job and work. A job is how you make money. Your work is how you make a difference. Sometimes, your job and your work are the same. I am one of the lucky ones who gets to make money while doing my work. My job and work are the same things. For most others, this is not the case. Purpose is the creative intention you bring to the world. When you choose to bring good vibes, loving expressions, acts of charity and generosity to the world, this is the creative expression of your purpose. We all also occupy a unique space, place and time in the universe. At the time I am writing this, I live on Earth, in the state of North Carolina, in the city of Asheville in the United States, in the year 2023, as an example. This gives me a unique location in which to be able to effectuate my purpose, and let's not forget that we vary in our five Ps too. The combination of time, location, history, personality, talents and wisdom allows me to operate in a completely unique way within my distinct surrounding. Wherever we are, we can choose to bring a singular purpose that we get to define and implement. Sometimes your big P purpose is different from your little P purpose. This is another distinction to be aware of. For example, my big P purpose is to teach and heal through writing books, doing research and working with people in the clinic through events and online programs. My little P purpose is to bring positive vibes to the world and influence through my actions. I get that I am an experience and an example for the world, and so I show up with smiles, compliments, courageous actions, standing up against rude people, racism etc. And a generous spirit. My father, on the other hand, was one of the few people whose big P purpose and little P purpose were in total alignment. His purpose was father. It could be that because he took his role far beyond his relationship with my siblings and me. His purpose became father when he decided to coach other kids or take in my mom's nieces and nephews, one after the other, when their dysfunctional families left them alone. He even took in an adult friend of mine for close to two years after they went through bankruptcy. My dad fathered him and helped him get back on his feet. He has never stopped being father to the world. So, yes, he is my dad and he gets great meaning from that, as do I, but his purpose as father goes way past me. Even if I and my siblings passed away, he would still show up as a father to the world. As you embark on a next level human relationship, whether you are meeting, dating, sexing or living with a partner, your authentic expression of purpose must infuse all you touch and all you do. It is the thing that attracts the next level human you seek. It is the mirror you show to the world. It is also the mirror you look into to assess the quality of your own life. Without purpose, it is difficult to grow in any relationship, and growth defines the true purpose of any great romantic relationship. The relationships that complete us try to substitute meaning for purpose, and when they end, we are left more shallow and degraded than we once were. Relationships should grow us, move us closer to our purpose and or enhance it. They should enrich us and leave us more whole and integrated purpose potentials. Final Thoughts Authenticity is the name of the game in romance. We can never abandon our own nature or sacrifice the pursuit of our unique purpose for another human, a true partner in romance dreams your dreams along with their own. They want to see you succeed while also pushing themselves to achieve. It's a beautiful balancing act where your journey becomes synergistic with their own. Your difficulties inform theirs. Their struggles provide clues to elevate your own. You grow together and you grow separately, each enhancing the other. Key Takeaways you must be authentic to all the parts you love and all the parts you have yet to become. Using the courage to be disliked and showing up exactly as you are is the greatest gift you can give yourself and your partner. You must choose yourself before you can fully choose anyone else. Life is a balancing act of managing our own dysfunction while also dealing with the issues of others. Each individual is a unique spiritual fingerprint with a singular mission and varied superpowers. The best relationships allow each partner to individually pursue their purpose, while providing a safe, secure and inspiring home base from which to grow. All are practice, and the best practice should come from your partner.

Authentic Relationships
Authenticity and the Choice of Self
The Importance of Authenticity and Connection
The Five Ps and Authenticity
Finding Authenticity and Purpose in Relationships
Relationships and the Power of Purpose