Something I used to hear a lot when I was younger, and chronically single, was this: “Love isn’t something that you can make happen, it’s something that just comes into your life magically, on its own.” Uh huh.
Do you agree that love is only real if it’s an unexpected windfall? If you buy into this popular belief, you are in for a huge amount of suffering and loneliness in your life. Buying into this “wisdom” – that popular movies, friends, and loved ones graciously imparted onto me – might have been the single biggest mistake I ever made in my dating life.
I sometimes pictured love as a beautiful woman in a white dress, riding down from the sky on a technicolor unicorn… I just hoped she had my current address, because I moved around a lot. This was before the era of social networks, but I assumed my love goddess was Facebook-stalking me.
Let’s talk about Radical Accountability. One of my favorite online mentors, Tom Bilyeu, sells a tshirt which has a slogan printed on the front: “Everything is my fault”. Holy. Shit. What a polarizing and triggering message… to some people it probably even feels violent. “What?!! Are you saying it’s my mom’s fault that she died of cancer? Are you saying that it’s my fault that Donald Trump got elected? How dare you?”
In today’s times, it is definitely very fashionable to blame everyone, including God, for the horrors of life. It is also generally acceptable to NEVER take responsibility for the tragedies and mishaps of your own life. Nowhere is this more of a trend than in dating and romantic relationships:
- “My ex was such a bitch. I can’t believe how badly she treated me… I wished I would have known what a psycho she was before I got in so deep”
- “I can’t believe she didn’t call me back… she’s scared of commitment, I’m probably better off”
- “I’m actually glad that I’m single, because let’s face it all men are assholes and they’re definitely all just in it to get laid”
- “If I wouldn’t have been raised in an abusive home I wouldn’t be having this trouble in relationships.”
To be fair, all of these lines of reasoning have a grain of truth. But let me ask you… how is this working for you?
You see, in my life, I have adopted the mantra, “Everything is my fault” as doctrine. At first it felt weird, even dark and gross. I sat with it for a few days, and then something started to change. At first I only looked at the negative aspect of this statement – every fucked up thing that ever happened to me (going to prison, being a single dad and having a strained relationship with my daughter, the Seahawks losing the Super Bowl) was my fault. Ouch. And then… and then… it hit me: Every good thing that happened was my fault too!! Presto. I went from loser to winner in the span of five seconds.
With this mental shift, I went from being horrible with women to having to hire a personal assistant to schedule all of my dates. I went from flat broke to having plenty of money in a matter of weeks. I went from laying paralyzed in bed thinking God was out to get me, to not being able to sleep because I was so excited about what awesome shit the next day might hold for me.
I went from wondering: “When will love ever find me?” to a way more awesome thought: “What can I do today to allow the woman of my dreams into my life?”
I started to understand that I could create whatever good outcomes I wanted in my life. That included finding the woman of my dreams (she’s the one who edited this piece of writing.. gosh, I love her!!). Believing that love is coming on a magical unicorn involves a lot of sitting around and waiting, wishing, and hoping (lame); believing that I am in the driver’s seat involves a lot of fun things, like talking to women at the grocery store and attending a tantric speed dating workshop (not lame).
You see, I came to believe something entirely different than what most people were telling me , and that is this: YOU are the only person who can bring love into your life. I see love as a verb, something to do, something that requires action and hard work. It takes belief, courage, delusional optimism, and a willingness to talk to anyone, anywhere, at any time. I see love as something that I can train for, something that I must practice, something that I can pursue, something that has a formula. It’s no longer mysterious to me or out of my hands. It is now in the only place it ever was – right here, in my own heart, in my own two hands, and I simply have to stand up straight with my shoulders back, open my eyes, take a deep breath and start playing the game of love and life with a sense of immediacy and passion.
Everything is my fault. Everything is your fault. And that, my friend, is some really awesome news.