Honesty Is The Path To Perpetual Passion
This is a poignant excerpt from my Revive Her Drive Mastery Interview with Taber Shadburne about Soulful Communication in which he talks about how honesty changed his life… starting with forgiving his parents and creating more intimacy.
Note: The “Sometimes I pretend that _(fill in the blank)_.” Exercise is below.
“And when I came to the epiphany that I really need to change, it launched me on a whole journey of exploration and, brother, that’s gone all over the place. As Susan mentioned, I’ve lived in a Zen center for a couple of years and done all these hardcore meditation retreats and I got my Master’s in Psychology and I apprenticed with wild men like Brad Blanton who I actually lived and worked with closely for many, many years. He’s like my spiritual dad. So I went through all of these journeys and I discovered the art form, as they call it, of really intentionally creating intimacy. It’s not a fluke. You don’t just like fall into intimacy. There’s sort of a cultural myth about romance. You find the right person and fireworks go off and that’s it. You live happily ever after. Well we all have those moments, but the truth is that sustainable, deep, perpetual passion is something that you learn the skill of creating. I am happy to say that I learned that skill and now I can create intimacy with all kinds of people. I can create intimacy with the lady from the phone company when I’m pissed off about the way that they screwed up my bill. Seriously! Or my neighbors. I mean your love relationship is going to be your laboratory and your ultimate achievement in this art form, but it will eventually just fan out to where you just have a juicy relationship in your whole life.
Like Susan said, I totally healed my relationships with my family. I lost my dad a couple of years ago, but because I had done the work of full body forgiveness, as I call it, with him, when he died I felt kind of a bittersweet quality. I was not torn up about it; I felt sad I wouldn’t be able to sit with him anymore and stuff, but I felt a lot of gratitude for who he had been and how he had shaped my life and stuff, and not one that was phony, not one that glossed over his weaknesses and stuff, but one that just really honored all of who he was. And my mom is alive and we have a better relationship than I have ever had with her in my whole life. We talk for hours and are both truly moved by the quality of the connection that we have, and if you had known us years ago, you would have never guessed that. I will say that I found her a challenging mom to have sometimes, but, and she felt sad. She was just a kid when I was born, and she had to go through forgiving herself and some guilt about not showing up in the ways that in retrospect she wished she had. But the point is that now we both can stand in that full body forgiveness and openhearted love for each other.
And let me tell you, when you heal your relationship with you “source family” — your mom and your dad and your siblings — it heavily impacts the quality of relationship that you have with your spouse. You may not know that there’s a direct relationship, but it definitely heavily impacts it. In our workshops, we give an assignment that people go do this work with their families as well because it’ll help your relationship immeasurably because in your love relationship you repeat the patterns of your background family.
So anyway, it’s transformed my life in ways that I obviously could talk all day about, and it’s my joy now to share this art form, as I call it, with other people because it’s like somebody getting saved, born again and then wanting to spread the gospel. I know it’s possible. I’ve seen it change not only my life, but thousands of other people’s lives that I’ve worked with. So now I’m on a mission from God to share this juicy information with people and help them implement it in their lives.
Okay. We don’t have the passion that we want to experience because we spend so much time hiding the ones that we don’t want to experience. I’m going to underline that. Say that again, so that you really let that sink in. The reason you don’t have the degree of the passions that you want to experience is because you unwittingly spend a lot of time hiding the ones that you don’t want to experience. This seems understandable but emotions are a package deal, so you can’t stuff some of them without accidentally stuffing all of them, at least to a significant degree. Not only that, but in order to hide the truth about yourself, you have to put on a mask, a performance, a false front with others. And by doing this, you automatically disqualify yourself from ever feeling truly loved. This isn’t conscious again, but you just sort of like, you start slipping into kind of showing people what you think they need to see or what they can accept or such and such, and overtime that becomes a performance that you’re putting on, unconsciously, automatically. And when you do that, you disqualify yourself from ever really feeling loved. And that’s because even when you seem to receive love, you know secretly that what’s being loved is your performance, and you think on some level, “If you really knew me, then you wouldn’t be able to accept it” or “You wouldn’t like me.”
So how do we hide ourselves from each other? We go around pretending. We go around presenting an image of ourselves that isn’t complete, that isn’t accurate, that doesn’t truly portray what’s going on inside of us. We pretend that we’re not angry when we’re angry. Or we pretend we’re really interested in what someone else is talking about when we aren’t. I do this little exercise with people in workshops where we play a game where they talk about sometimes I pretend when really… and they talk about the things they pretend and what’s really going on with them at the same time. And I’ve done this with thousands of people and I hear all of the same answers over and over again. “Sometimes I pretend that I’m not bored to tears with what you’re talking about.” “Sometimes I pretend I’m not pissed off at you when I am.” “Sometimes I pretend that I’m not attracted to someone when I am.” “Sometimes I pretend that I know exactly what I’m doing and I’ve got it all together when really I’m flustered and nervous inside.” “Sometimes I pretend I’m not trying to impress you when I am.” I’ve heard them all over and over again. And the really funny thing is we all go around pretending the same stuff all of the time, and it’s really kind of ludicrous when you look at it.”
Try Taber’s exercise with a trusted friend or lover.