If you’re an entrepreneur, you might feel like it’s impossible to find love.
Why does it feel like this?
Because there’s a grain of truth in it. Entrepreneurs care about the value they bring to the world and the legacy they leave behind.
Many of them try so hard to achieve status because that’s what they think will attract unconditional love. But this only repulses love away. Instead, you attract “value-love,” which is the culprit behind why entrepreneurs go through multiple divorces.
That’s the bad news.
The good news?
You can be an entrepreneur and attract real love. But you need to unlearn many of the habits responsible for your success.
In this episode, you’ll discover how to get rid of these toxic habits that keep love from coming into your life. Listen to the episode now.
Show highlights include:
- The insidious way working harder in your business only drives love further from your grasp (6:59)
- How becoming more valuable as a man sabotages your love life (8:26)
- The ancient “end of life” exercise that helps you understand your purpose in life (12:04)
- Why your legacy will be forgotten — and how this cold, hard fact helps you find unconditional love (24:28)
- The “Worker Bee” trap many entrepreneurs fall into that erodes all pleasure in your life (26:39)
Does your neediness, fear, or insecurity sabotage your success with women? Do you feel you may be unlovable? For more than 15 years, I’ve helped thousands of people find confidence, fulfillment, and loving relationships. And I can help you, too. I’m therapist and life coach David Tian, Ph.D. I invite you to check out my free Masterclasses on dating and relationships at https://www.davidtianphd.com/masterclass/ now.
For more about David Tian, go here: https://www.davidtianphd.com/about/
Get access to all my current and future online coaching courses by applying for the Platinum Partnership program today at:
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Note: Scroll Below for Transcription
Welcome to the Masculine Psychology Podcast, where we answer key questions in dating, relationships, success, and fulfillment, and explore the psychology of masculinity. Now here’s your host, world-renowned therapist and life coach, David Tian.
David: I’m David Tian, and welcome to the Masculine Psychology Podcast.
In the previous podcast, I covered why it’s so difficult for entrepreneurial achievers to experience unconditional love and to create unconditional-love relationships and intimate relationships. [00:36.6]
We explored why the more successful you are in worldly or material terms, the more difficult it is for you to experience real love, unconditional love, because real love is predicated on accepting all the parts of you, including the parts of you that are holding vulnerability and that the striving achiever parts might considered to be weak or less than, and that these are the parts of ourselves that the achieving parts, the striving parts, want to disown or exile, or cut off or make go away or kill, in order to achieve these outsized goals.
Very often the symptom of repression is the material success on the outside, not always, but often. There are, of course, ways of excelling that don’t require repression. I gave examples in the last episode of flow activities and flow states, and how achievement can be a much more natural expression of who you are and what you enjoy doing. [01:50.5]
But very often the material success on the outside, the external success, is the result of a torturous process of beating herself up, of using an over-reliance on discipline and willpower to get to that end goal, and then finding that even when you do achieve that end goal, it’s not nearly as fulfilling as you were hoping and you didn’t get the experiences and the emotions that you were really wanting all along—the experience or emotion of love or of acceptance or self-worth.
In the last episode, we covered the main reasons or some of the main reasons why this is the case. We explore childhood dynamics. I introduced the four major questions, the four powerful incisive questions to get started on exploring your childhood dynamics. We looked at who you ended up becoming, who you ended up deciding to become, the pleaser or the rebel, and how tired you must be if you’re far along in that entrepreneurial journey or that journey of material success, and the third point about caretaking your parents’ emotions. [03:00.5]
In this episode, we’re going to dive even deeper and help you, hopefully, to see a different perspective on success, on worldly material success, and this episode, just like the last one, is aimed at a particular profile of clients who have become more and more common in my work over the past several years.
This is not just the conventional achiever who does well in school and gets a good job and climbs up the corporate ladder or the success ladder. These are much more of outsized success in the sense that they take higher risks and they often excel outside the conventional standards or the conventional pathways of success, either dropping out of university or starting your own company early on, or getting that sales and marketing experiences as teenagers, or just pushing the envelope of their threshold of risk and uncertainty and so forth. [03:58.1]
Most of the time, by the time they find me, they’ve already experienced incredible success, exiting or IPO-ing from companies that they’ve founded or have helped in a major way succeed at the level or the tune of triple-digit millions or billions of dollars. I will generally meet them when they’re in their forties, fifties, or sixties, and sometimes even as early as their late-twenties as is the case with the client I shared about in the last episode.
By the time these clients come to me, they’re at a stage in their lives where, because of their success, worldly material success, just getting sex or getting attraction isn’t as much of an issue, if it’s even an issue at all, really, and that, instead, now they’re looking for a relationship of unconditional love or of intimacy, and they’re finding a lot of trouble creating or sustaining an intimate relationship, and they’re getting on in years. [05:00.5]
Even though they’ve had this great, incredible level of material success that they’ve worked really hard for and sacrificed a lot of their personal life for, and yet at the end of that, their bank account is a lot bigger or the portfolio is a lot stronger in material terms, but in emotional terms or psychological terms, they’re just as empty as they were before, if not worse, and they’re often despairing because the conventional ways of going about creating and sustaining a love relationship don’t seem to be working for them.
They’re right about that that, in many ways, it’s actually harder for them because of how much energy these parts that they have that are these entrepreneurial achiever parts, how much energy they have in repressing the vulnerability, which is often equated to weakness, and the whole worldview, their value system, which actually prevents the experience of unconditional love. [06:05.0]
They may not notice that until a certain point in their intimate relationship when they reach that point, but it’s an inevitable point. They will always reach that point and then they’re faced with a life without love. Some of them discovered me quite late in their lives after a divorce or two already and I’m, in a way, their last ditch effort or their last resort. Luckily, I have now come to specialize in this sort of work and have been able to right the ship. As long as they have breath in their body, it’s still possible, there’s still plenty of time to find love in their hearts and to create a relationship of love and experience unconditional love.
I hope that, by the end of this episode, you too will share in this hope that I can have for them, because, without the hope, they’re actually facing the stark reality of their lives, which is that despite how much they strive in their lives, the harder they work, the more they will actually drive love away from their lives and they have no idea that it’s happening. [07:11.8]
The lie that they’ve bought into is what I call the “value love” myth, and when you buy into that myth, you actually end up experiencing a life where no matter what relationship you get into, no matter what woman, no matter how perfect she seems at the beginning, because of your value system and your worldview, it will poison that very relationship. Regardless of the woman. She can have all of her own faults and she might actually also be poisoning it from her end, but you will be poisoning it from your end, guaranteed, if you, like most entrepreneurial achievers, share in the “value love” myth and if you haven’t done the healing and unburdening work in the therapeutic process. [07:54.1]
This “value love” myth is really simple and it’s very common, and it’s often what drives a lot of the toxic, neurotic, achieving and striving that, unfortunately, is the engine for much of the entrepreneurial activity that you see in the world. But, again, it’s not the only way that you can achieve at that high level, but it’s the most common way.
The big lie that the “value love” myth spreads is that your worth for love is dependent on your value, dependent on the value you bring or the value you can create, or the value you possess. When you pursue love in that way, by bringing value or presenting value or possessing value in order to earn love, you end up sabotaging and undermining love itself, and you end up with “value love.” [09:01.6]
It’s a play on words. It’s a pun, but it’s not real love. It’s a transactional love, conditional love. It’s that empty love, that poisonous love, the desiccated type of love that doesn’t satiate, doesn’t fulfill it, doesn’t fill that need that we all have for love, which is unconditional.
If you’ve listened to other episodes before, hopefully, the ones on unconditional love, you’ll know that the experience of unconditional love is dependent on first coming from yourself, love for yourself, and from that foundation, being able to give love to others.
Unfortunately, with the “value love” myth, the entrepreneurial achiever buys into this myth that their self-worth is based on performance or based on possessions or attributes—so we call these performance-based self-esteem or self-worth, possession-based self-worth, attribute-based self-worth. [10:04.5]
When it comes to a relationship this bleeds over into other-based self-worth, so that your self-worth, no matter how amazing you were in your career and professional achievements, when it comes to finally being worthy of love, which is at the bottom of it all, the thing that you’re most looking for and yearning for underneath it all, underneath all that striving for significance, etc., that it ends up being the other person is dictating to you, whether you, in fact, will experience this love and are worthy of it, and this ends up becoming other-based self-worth.
This whole “value love” myth, the connection between value and love that your worthiness of love is dependent on your value that you create or that you bring, or that you possess either material possessions or attributes, is a great lie that destroys the possibility of love entirely. [11:05.5]
All of these other type of self-worth, performance-based, possession-based, attribute-based, other-based, I contrast these toxic types of self-worth with healthy self-worth. For the rest of this episode, I’ll be introducing to you three distinctions that, hopefully, will help you to see what it could be like to live free of the “value love” myth, hopefully, helping you to see a new value system that will lead to love.
Okay, so let’s look at the point of life first, and I’ll walk you through an abridged version of an exercise that has proven helpful to some of my clients, not all, but many, so I’ll start with this one. If it doesn’t work for you yet, that’s okay. I’ve got two other points to make, but this is a really powerful one and it’s an exercise I do almost every day, at least once a week. [12:08.0]
I’ll just lead you through it real quickly here, because I do have a longer version of it that’s more meditative with some background music and sounds to help you get more into a reflective state, but I’ll just introduce to you the general concepts here and these are end-of-life questions. You can find exercises like this throughout human history that go back over 2000 years. You can find it in Stoic philosophy and Stoic writings. You can find it in Buddhist writings, in Daoist writings. Anyway, so there’s a lot of precedent for this and I’ll just share a quick version of it that maybe you can get started on right away just through this episode. [12:45.4]
Okay, these are end-of-life questions that help you get to the point of your life, the meaning of your life, beyond what I call superficial, but I know many entrepreneurial achievers would consider to be “the” most important legacies of their lives, how they will be written about in textbooks and how others will think about them, and where they based their own self-worth on the significance they derive from their achievements and accomplishments and the creations that they’ve left on this planet, and not seeing the bigger picture. I’m actually not going to zoom out to the bigger picture. I’m going to zoom in to the micro to help you see this.
Okay, so let’s look at some end-of-life questions, so just as a kind of thought experiment. By the way, the more that you really reflect and make these questions I’m about to ask you your reality, the more that you’re able to imagine them as being real, the more powerful this exercise will be for you.
Okay, so imagine this. You have been given a year left to live, 365 days of life. You will hold the same capabilities, capacities, abilities that you have now, physically, mentally, emotionally, for the entire year. [14:07.3]
- How will you spend this year?
- What aspects of yourself will you give to those around you and what aspects will you let go of?
You now have one month left to live. You have been gifted 31 full days.
- How will you spend this last month?
- How will you show up every day?
- What will you let go of in yourself?
- What aspects of yourself will you give to others?
Now imagine you now have one day left to live, 24 final hours. [15:07.8]
- How will you spend this day and with whom?
- What qualities of yourself will you offer to others in this one day?
- What would no longer matter to you and what would matter most?
It is now your final minute of life, 60 short seconds.
- Who is with you?
- What should they know?
- What do you need to thank them for?
- And what aspects of yourself do you offer them and remembrance? [16:02.4]
Okay, so that was a really quick exercise. I tried to pause there between each scenario to help you think and reflect on these really powerful questions about the end of life, and for most entrepreneurial achievers, those who are neurotically striving in a toxic kind of way, they’re striving, their achievement is to avoid ever having to face these scenarios and face these questions where you’ve run out of time to achieve that self-worth that’s always eluding you because it’s never enough. It’s never enough to be ultimately worthy of the love that didn’t come—and we experienced or explored this in the last episode—through your childhood experiences. [16:53.3]
You’re trying to recreate that now as an adult in a kind of desperation and it’s never enough, and these end-of-life questions hasten that inevitable experience of coming to the end of your life that we all will at some point have to face. Some of us don’t even get the luxury of it because we have a sudden death, so it’s actually a gift to be able to ponder it now.
For those who really did the experience or the experiments or the exercise, what did you discover? What theme ran through all four of these timeframes? Was it the people you spent the time with? Was it the quality of presence that you would offer? What really stayed with you through this whole time?
This practice is simply to help remind that life was never given to us with a guarantee of our survival, but is instead a gift, and we do not need to wait until the end of our days to discover what matters most to us. [18:05.6]
For many people who actually are forced to, to confront these end-of-life questions at the actual end of their lives, it’s often too late to do much about it and it’s too jarring of a worldview shift and a shift of their values. It’s best to start now when you have plenty of time, or when you think you have plenty of time, to right the ship, to course-correct. This can be your daily practice to remember and to connect with the greater picture.
The second point is, what did you discover? Most people who do this exercise truthfully, authentically, they discover that, especially as you get even more focused from a year down to an hour, down to the last minute of your life, that you’re not thinking about your legacy or your accomplishments or achievements anymore, but that, instead, you’re actually focusing most on the experience of living. [19:09.8]
The emotions that you’re experiencing are what make life life, that, otherwise, without the emotions and without the experience from the inside, without what it’s like to be in your own skin, as many achievers, especially entrepreneurial achievers, treat themselves as if they were some other third-party person that is trying to optimize that person’s life, that person being you, thinking about them in a kind of abstract way, hoping that when this character in the SIM, that is you, that’s you are controlling, achieves enough points or pro trophies or whatever it is, then finally they will win the game, and finally they’ll get to rest and experience all the good stuff that they’re hoping to experience—instead of realizing that the experience has been happening all along the way, and that even when you get to the end of the game, so to speak, you don’t get to have those experiences if you’ve been putting them off this whole time, because the accolades don’t earn you the experience. In fact, it’s the experience and the emotions themselves that we’re most after. [20:19.4]
Let me put it in a different way. Let me actually tell you a story about a very distinguished professor that I worked with very closely, and who, at the time, was “the” big-name professor in the field, the field that I was working in. She was appointed in three different departments at the university. She was a capital U capital P “University Professor”, a distinction given to only 20, or is it 21 professors, in a university that had over 2,000 faculty members. To over 2,000 professors, these were the top 1%. [20:57.7]
These professors were not beholden to any one department. They were not under the authority of any department chair. They reported directly to the university president … or was it the dean? Someone much higher up in the administration. They got to choose which department or which college they would have their offices in and so forth, and they had their own separate research budgets that were determined much higher up than anything at the department level.
Out of the entire world, there were maybe only three professors. She is one of the top three in the entire world at that level, and I worked very closely with her as an undergraduate in my first year as a grad student, and so I got to see her just because I was working also with her and her husband as their closest research assistant. I was able to observe her in her day-to-day life and I even answered the phones for her for a while, and I was kind of the intermediary, kind of like a personal assistant, so I got to see the inside of how she operates her life.
She was very driven. She was always working on some projects, always had at least three projects on the go, a book in the publication stage, a book in the writing stage, a book or two or more in the researching stage, and a lot of just go, go, go, go, go. [22:15.1]
After I worked with her, about a year later, she passed away because she was a multiple-cancer survivor and it just kind of caught up to her. I think part of it was that she just retired that year, and when you’re that driven and you no longer have to show up to work, you kind of lose that drive and that drive has been what was sustaining her the whole time.
I’m just putting this out as hypothesis for this particular individual, but it’s a common pattern among high-level achievers, not just entrepreneurial achievers, but achievers in general, that they’re driven by kind of toxic achiever energy, and when you’re no longer forced to do that or the outer pressures or the external pressures are removed, the drive for continuing in your life is greatly reduced, and then all of the repressed energies that you were staving off through just that tortured, neurotic, striving now come on and you can’t hold them back any longer. [23:14.4]
She succumbed to illness a year later, and I was just thinking about—I should add this—then she had a replacement and the replacement professor was also very senior. Obviously, it was a very senior position. The replacement wasn’t given the university professorship, the UP of the top 1%, but he was given a position that was across multiple departments and so forth, and then he passed away relatively recently, a few years ago. I guess I’ve been around a long time since then. It doesn’t seem that long ago, but I guess it’s several lifetimes ago for me actually, being a beginning grad student like that. [23:50.2]
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Now looking at her legacy, I remember even just a few years after her passing, I had a whole bookshelf on one of my shelves, as a grad student, as a PhD student, in my home devoted to our books and they were all signed and stuff, and even after she retired, she published some books and she published a lot, like a dozen books, let’s say, and they were all really influential at the time. Just a few years later, other grad students would come through and then they’d look at them on a shelf and they’d be like, Wow, she published a lot, I had no idea, and already her legacy was being forgotten. [25:02.8]
Now how many years has it been? Thirty years? No, not that long. Twenty years later, I think very few people in the field who are doing research now, who are younger than 50, would actually even know of her or have read any of her work, and a lot of those who are reading her work and responding to it were her contemporaries or those who were assigned it because it was new.
It’s so odd, because, at the time, my professional life, such as it was, as an aspiring professor, revolved around this one individual and it seemed like she was the big star, and now, just a short decade and two later, she’s just a footnote, if that, and I’m seeing this among all and then her replacement also.
What was sad about it, in an interview after his passing and in his memorial, the students were sharing that he had these retirement plans. That sounded really nice. Finally, he could take a vacation with his wife and travel to these places that they’d been meaning to enjoy. [26:07.6]
But every time he travels, he’s going to a conference, and he hardly gets to enjoy the city because he’s just presenting papers and then attending other people’s papers, and you know what it’s like to travel for work, especially for a conference and kind of have the promise of being a tourist and visiting places of interest dangling in front of your eyes, but you just don’t have the time, and putting it off, putting it off. Then he also succumbed to illness and never got to enjoy that retirement plan, and just being reminded of you.
Then also to think about it from a biological or from an animal’s perspective, that there are species that are like these worker ants or worker bees that devote their entire existence to the collective, to the greater good, and when you think about it, and you could do it a bug’s life kind of thing, where you are a worker bee or worker ant and you sacrifice your life for the hive or whatever, you’re not like that, and there’s a question of what the inner life of a bee is or whatever. [27:04.8]
Maybe you are. Maybe you are actually devoting your life for some greater legacy down the road, hoping that you will be remembered as the inventor or creator of this thing, and then, posthumously, you will derive some pleasure or significance from it, but you’re dead, so you can’t enjoy anything out of that.
But in this life that you have now, you derive some pleasure in the thought that others will be talking about you later on and sharing about how awesome you were and, all thanks to you, you were able to enjoy this. I know that that’s a common theme among entrepreneurial achievers, this kind of legacy and the focus on legacy.
The fact of the matter is no matter how hard you work at this thing, no matter what you sacrifice to it, your legacy and the amount of thought devoted to you, almost in every case, almost, very, very likely will be a small minuscule percentage of the amount of sweat, blood and tears you sacrifice to create it. You’ll be like, Who was it that made that? Oh, yeah, that person. [28:07.8]
If you just fast forward enough in time, that pleasure you can get from that legacy—and, of course, you’re dead, so you’re not going to get any pleasure out of it. That’s an important point to make—because actually in philosophy class, we think about that. Why do we care about what happens to our reputations posthumously? We still do, but that’s obviously a false quirk of our evolution, evolutionary heritage of our needs, because obviously we can’t derive any pleasure. We’re dead.
Yet we stupidly still want to have it, just like we stupidly have not developed. We have not evolved a resistance to chocolate. Actually chocolate is not as bad for you as, let’s say, Krispy Kreme donuts. That’s my weakness. But whatever yours is, we’ve not evolved that, because, back in the day, what we are evolved and optimized for a hundred thousand years ago of life, fifty or a hundred thousand years ago, we didn’t have to resist these sorts of things. If you saw something that was like a Krispy Kreme doughnut, you’d better gobble it up because it would probably go bad or you’d lose it, so we don’t have that resistance. This is kind of a quirk of our evolution. [29:09.8]
It’s the same with thinking about the future. Our genes want us to sacrifice all of this being present in the present, and in the present enjoyments and the experience of love, because if we’re driven and haunted by this need to strive, then we will get status. Status will get us more sexual opportunities and we’ll fuck, fuck, fuck, have lots and lots of babies and then die.
But our genes are happy because they’ve now spread. They don’t actually give a fuck about your experience of your present life right now because actually it would benefit them for you to be kind of driven and then just sow your seed as quickly, fast and widely as possible. That’s one major strategy, especially from the male’s perspective, of sticking around long enough, just two or three years to make sure that the kids can fend for themselves and then moving on. This does not lead to happiness. It is not for our benefit, but it will be for your genes’ benefit. [30:06.1]
But who would you like to live for? Just you optimizing, passing on your genes, just like a worker bee, a worker ant, who is sacrificing his life for something, some legacy that he never even will enjoy? Or if you can pull yourself back from the precipice of what evolution or what our evolved instincts are pushing us towards, a kind of miserable self-sacrificial existence for an illusory legacy, then you can see it could have been.
Even if, let’s even grant it for you, granted to you, that you will have a great legacy, that you’ll have a whole paragraph in some textbook, the history textbook, right, and so you’ve spent your 80 years slaving away over this creation of whatever it is that you’re now known for and it’s now just a paragraph in a textbook. Yeah, okay, maybe, maybe they’ll give you a whole chapter. For you, that was your whole life and now it has been encapsulated into one little chapter or paragraph, or a line or footnote, or not even there at all, which is much more likely. You will still sacrifice your entire life for that. How worth it was it to you? [31:17.0]
You’ll notice that if you truly, honestly, authentically answered those end-of-life questions, none of that crap in the history textbooks will really matter, unless you’re incredibly driven, still in the early period of your maturation emotionally and psychologically, and I do realize maybe some portion of my audience listening to this, some of you might have answered, What would really fire me up is all these people looking at me and adoring me. All right, if that’s you, maybe live a little longer and then come back.
For the people I work with, especially those who are entrepreneurial achievers, generally will find me in their forties, fifties, sixties, and beyond. It’s brutally obvious what really matters, especially as we go from one year down to one minute. [32:03.7]
At that one-minute mark, no one is thinking about, I wonder what people will write about me in the history books, and you’ll notice then that the thing you’re really dialing in on is, Whose eyes am I looking into right now and who do I want to feel my love and gratitude? And what message do I want to pass down to those I love the most?
You’ll discover that the most powerful of emotions is what you’re most yearning for and feeling in your heart as you look upon the eyes of those that you, what? Love. That’s the third point I want to make, the second being that we’re focused on experiences and emotions, not the achievements or creations. Then the third is love that I’m going to quote a really great meditator and writer of meditations, Sarah Blondin. [32:52.5]
“Don’t forget how uncomplicated your life can be. A man on his deathbed held close to his heart his most beloved, breathed his last words to her as he closed his eyes. ‘Ah.’ It was all so simple. He was speaking of love. Don’t forget you came to this earth to feel.
“Don’t forget that what you are living right now in this very moment may be an answer to a prayer that it may be the very way, the very path you need to walk down, in order for you to receive what you quietly whisper to the wind.
“Don’t forget to close your eyes to breathe in the beauty that is you, to deepen your relationship with your quietest self. Plunge often into the comfort of your heartbeat. Take time to grow your love for yourself. There is nothing more precious, more valuable, more sustaining than the love you have for yourself. [34:08.6]
“Don’t forget how uncomplicated your life can be that you, my dear friend, came here to love, and if given the chance, you would do it all over again, only this time to choose more of the love you denied the first time. Don’t forget how uncomplicated your life can be. Don’t wait until your last breath to remember how simple it all was.”
I’ll leave it for you there. I’ve done a lot of episodes on how the meaning of life, really, if you really sit with it and think through it, the meaning of life for human beings can really only come down to love. But instead of arguing for it philosophically, it’s always more powerful to give you an experience from the inside, and maybe this gave you a little bit of that. [35:10.6]
It can be more powerful when we’re in a kind of meditative state in a private therapy session or in the meditation, since it’s drawing from two different meditative exercises that I’ve provided for our guys in our “Platinum Partnership” and even in our legendary coaching group. If this is something that interests you, those are some resources that you can take advantage of. Especially the “Platinum Partnership” gives you access to everything, all the online courses I’ve ever made.
If you’re an entrepreneurial achiever, it might be something you’d be interested in to pursue these questions for yourself and explore some of the childhood patterns that you’ve developed that are maybe unconsciously driving you that you’re not aware of, and private therapy would be a great way to do that. I have a private practice. If you’re interested, you can write to support@AuraDating.com to inquire about availability. [36:03.8]
Okay, so just before I leave here, I just want to leave you with this story of a client named Richard.
Richard came of age at a time when his parents were arguing a lot in front of him and he stepped in as middle-school age to kind of mediate their divorce, and at the time, he was responsible for keeping them, he felt, and actually was in many ways responsible for keeping them together for an extra 10–15 years, and that was his role in the family as a kind of peacekeeper, a mediator, at a very young age already a parentified child.
It took him many months to come to terms with that because he was seeing me in his late-sixties already having achieved incredible amounts and now coming out of his third marriage, an incredibly successful entrepreneurial achiever, and coming to terms with how poorly parented he was, how much his parents relied on him to take care of their emotions, and how they expected him to grow up much faster than he ought to have been—and what, by right, for any child would be considered a natural and healthy development of a child. [37:24.7]
Growing up with that kind of pleaser-healer role, he ended up in relationship after relationship that was doomed, but because of that doomed dynamic, and especially also imbibing his parents’ value system of achievement—that self-worth comes from achievement and value, that the more value you can create, the more worthy of love you are because that’s what their whole family, the extended family bought into—he bought into that as well, then being attracted to women who on the outside had all kinds of success, but on the inside, he knew unconsciously would require him to caretake because that’s the dynamic he grew up with and that was the only one he knew, and it’s the role that he played and he became that character. [38:10.3]
These were his default parts, and over and over, it eventually got to the point where he couldn’t save it again, but he felt like it was his responsibility, and this childhood pattern, it took him six decades to see it and a lot of work and a lot of courage for him to face.
Through the therapeutic process, he is coming to see this and unburden himself as parts from these legacy burdens, these thoughts and beliefs, and emotions and value systems, that were passed down to him that he can let go of and finally allowing himself to feel that unconditional love for himself and all of his parts that he repressed, ignored, didn’t even think were there; and slowly over the process of that therapeutic journey, discovering this power of his higher self and the natural overflowing love that comes from himself to his own parts that he has disowned; and then moving into now this fullness of life late in life, but not too late. [39:14.7]
Then, one other example, a client named Paul, who is younger and he’s in his thirties, was coming into business under the shadow of his father who was a very successful entrepreneur, who was driven in a kind of tortured neurotic way to succeed and passed that same value system down to his son, Paul.
Paul now seeing that, in every relationship, he was finding himself recreating that dynamic of not feeling good enough because his dad always made him feel not good enough. That’s the position he put himself into and his interpretation of what dad was saying, and he was recreating that dynamic. [39:58.3]
Also a mediator in his parents’ divorce because his father was requiring him to translate and to mediate and get his mother to agree to certain and various points in the divorce agreement. Then he, at a very young age, also in middle school, around that age, having to step in and take that role of protecting Mom from Dad, but being Dad’s mouthpiece to Mom, which is a very complex arrangement, and then we creating that in his relationships and dating toxic woman after toxic woman who was using him like emotional vampire women would,
Finally, through many sessions of healing, one by one, these inner-child parts that were parentified and caretook, caretake or were caretaking his parents’ emotions and taking responsibility, especially for his mother’s wellbeing, as a young child, he was able to unburden them of those and now also able to step into the fullness of his independence. [40:57.6]
Now, at the moment, enjoying being free from that and not rushing into another relationship and seeing that relationship as a successful relationship, especially a power couple kind of relationship that he could show off as being a way of marking his success in life.
Being free of all of those toxic standards, to finally be loving and comfortable with himself and giving himself that love that he so desperately craved now frees him up to truly love others, and sensing that, he’s in no rush to commit to any one woman yet because he’s already experiencing all the love that he was, in the previous relationship, so desperate to get.
Now he’s in the best position, in fact, now, because he fully loves himself and is able to meet his needs at the moment, and every week we’re discovering more points of growth, but at the moment able to meet all of his own needs. He’s at the perfect position to correctly evaluate and judge the women that he’s meeting to see whether they are, in fact, the right person to invest his energy and time into. In fact, they won’t feel like an investment from him anymore because it will be a natural outgrowth of the overflowing love that he has for himself. [42:16.6]
I’ve shared about what it’s like to be in an unconditional-love relationship and which is a really important thing to understand, especially for achievers because it’s hard for them to imagine what it’s like to not be desperately driven, to have someone else fulfill you, to have someone else to tell you you’re good enough, to have someone else meet your need for love for you, and it seems so foreign. I’ve created and had other episodes on unconditional loving. You just Google search or YouTube search or whatever that is, unconditional love, David Tian. You’ll find a whole bunch.
I can attack this notion of the myth of the “value love” myth purely intellectually, philosophically. I’ve found that that is not as effective, not nearly as effective as giving the experience from the inside, and, hopefully, I’ve done some of that here. That was the aim of asking those questions, going really slow, pausing enough to give you that reflective experience that you can have in a podcast. [43:11.8]
In the next episode, come back for that. I’ll be getting into more of the nitty-gritty hows, the how-tos. I’ll be giving some practical tips on how to actually go through the therapeutic process to be free of the “value love” myth.
If you liked this episode, please share it with anyone you think would benefit from it. Give us a rating on Apple Podcasts. Thank you so much for all those who have been giving feedback. I really value that. If you have any feedback at all, just put them into the comments wherever you’re seeing this and let me know what you think.
All right, so thank you so much. I’ll see you in the next episode. David Tian, signing out. [43:49.0]
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