Thursday, January 17, 2013

Love Needs Room to Grow

Our nature is to want to escape anything that feels like it's limiting to us. Obligations, expectations, "shoulds." 

You know what I'm talking about. Do you like doing things that you have to do? Probably not. But what about doing things that you want to do--do you like that? Yes, of course. Well, the same rules apply to love. 

When you feel like you have to love--that you have to do things to make your partner happy, that you have to be a certain way to get the love you want--then the feeling of authentic love starts to disintegrate and die. Sounds harsh but it's true. 

Love needs space to grow. Like fire, it needs a little breathing room. Stifle it and it burns right out. 

The reason love dies under heavy limitations is because limits are counter to our very nature, which is growth. We can't help but expand. We can't help but evolve. We can't help but to change. 

The process of growth cannot be stopped within us--nor should it be. So when limits, expectations, and shoulds are placed on us by our partners and by ourselves, we automatically want to break-out of them. 

Now, let's be honest, we all do this. We expect them to act a certain way; we expect ourselves to act a certain way. We feel like they should (fill in the blank); we feel like we should (fill in the blank). I could go on and on about how this impulse to limit constantly shows up in our lives. But, why?  

One word: fear. 

We limit ourselves and others because we are scared. Really scared.  

We're scared that if we don't hang on tightly to our partners, they'll leave. We're scared that if we freely show-up as we really are, the people we want to love us, won't. We are scared that if we don't get our needs met by certain people, we'll go without. 

We're scared that love itself is limited--that there is not enough to go around. 

We feel a ton of fear about losing love so we try to lock it in place. Ironically, this coping mechanism backfires--the tight fence we build around love suffocates it in the end. 

Love can't live like this! It cannot be boxed in. It cannot be dictated or forced or obligated. If love is going to grow and flourish, it must be FREE.  

So this creates quite a dilemma for us. What can we do to change this pattern?    

Believe it or not, there is one thing we all can do to shift this dilemma, and that is: we must give our love away.

Like, for free. To everyone. You might call it free love. (What can I say, I'm from San Francisco…)

Now, before your minds run too wild let me clarify what I mean by this. Free love doesn't mean that we drop all our boundaries in relationships and go live on communes. I mean, go for it if you want, but that's not exactly what I am talking about here. 

What I am saying is that collectively we need a major shift in our perception about love. We need to understand that love can be anywhere that we bring it; and the more we bring it, the more we get. (And the opposite is also true: the more we set limits on love, the more it limits us.) 

Love does not reside with one special person! We are programed to believe otherwise and this makes us terrified! We grip so tightly to these people that the love gets suffocated. But when we recognize that love lives within us (no, it's not outsourced by them), then our fears about losing love will start to shift.

When I talk about practicing free love, this is what I mean: 

To love freely is to be kind, generous, understanding and compassionate to everyone you meet. 

Free love exists when you smile at strangers, when you chat with people in line, when you gaze up at the beautiful night sky. 

Free love is about appreciating your partner for who they are and how they choose to show-up in your relationship.

Free love is recognizing that love exists within you at all times; that there is an ever-abundant source of it ready to be shared with the world. 

Free love is the act of giving love away so you can keep it for yourself; it is the recognition that the more you share it, the more you receive it and feel it. 

Giving love away helps you learn that you can never ultimately be separated from love. And it is by knowing this that your fears about losing love will start to dissipate, and your urge to limit and control the love in your life will slowly fade away.   

When we subscribe to the belief system that love is limited--that there is only so much to go around--then of course we are going to be terrified about losing it! But, when we tap into the real truth--that love is limitless and it resides within us--then we realize that there actually is nothing to be afraid of. Love is always here. 

Free love may seem like a unattainable ideal or it may seem too simple to be true. But I encourage you to try it for yourself and see what happens. I think we all would agree that this world could use a little more love, right? Give your love away and watch the amount you feel in your heart expand and grow, just the way it's supposed to be.    

Why Feeling Like a Victim Makes You Unhappy

We all get caught in the victim-trap from time to time. Feeling like we've been wronged; like we were right and they were, well, I'm sure we can complete the sentence with lots of words. It's true, being a victim is not an uncommon stance to take in this world. 

But you should know that feeling like a victim only makes you feel worse. Many of us don't realize this. In fact, often we hang-out in victim-land because we unconsciously believe that it will get us what we want (which is care, concern, and love). On some level we think being a victim will make us feel better! We are sorely mistaken. 

If you recognize that sometimes you identify as a victim and you want to stop the pattern, then keep reading. In this article I'm going to discuss why feeling like a victim ultimately leads to more unhappiness, and how to turn the pattern around. 

The main reason feeling like a victim leads to unhappiness is because it means you identify with being powerless. And very simply, powerlessness = fear and fear = unhappiness. Always. No one likes to feel powerless! It is impossible to identify as powerless and be happy at the same time. They are basically opposite experiences.  

Why is feeling like a victim a powerless position? Because the essence of victimhood is that something other than you has the power to make you feel awful. And it's true, when something other than you is dictating how you feel, you are powerless.  

When you feel like a victim what you are forgetting is this: no one else is responsible for your experience in life. Of course you are affected by what other people say and do, but ultimately your sense of well-being is dependent on YOU. We are majorly conditioned to believe otherwise so this can be a hard concept for us to grasp. But it's true. 

If your happiness is dependent on what other people do or don't do, then frankly, you're screwed. But if you take responsibility for how you feel, then you are saying that no matter what you can feel good again. And that makes you very powerful. 
Contrary to popular belief, feeling better after we've been hurt is not about the other person admitting they were wrong and apologizing or changing. Although of course these things are nice, they are not the way out of feeling helpless. Helplessness is overcome by you taking your power back; this is done by accepting personal responsibility. 

Anytime you feel like a victim, the way to regain your power is to own your part in the situation. 

This is not always easy; but it is essential if you want to feel better. 

What exactly is personal responsibility? It is the statement that you are responsible for your experiences in life. 

Personal responsibility says, "Ouch, that hurt. And yes, I'm willing to take responsibility for my part in the experience. I am willing to move beyond it, back to my own sense of well-being." People who take personal responsibility are far from weak; they are empowered, conscious, and full of integrity. 

Not only does personal responsibility give you power in the moment, but it also gives you power for the future. When you can honestly own your part, then you can choose differently next time (choice = empowerment). It is only through the recognition that you could have done better that you are able to grow into a better version of yourself. Without personal responsibility, you don't get a choice to grow.  

Many people have a hard time taking personal responsibility because they think it means something is wrong with them--that if they make mistakes, they are flawed. 

But we all make mistakes. Mistakes are what allow us to grow. We cannot grow if we pretend like we don't play a part in our experiences in life. We have to take responsibility for our faults if we want to move passed them. 

This is a very radical position to take in the world! Is it easy? No. Is it worth it? Yes.

The next time you find yourself feeling victimized, ask yourself, "What is my part?" Do not bypass this question! If you can honestly answer it when faced with any circumstance that tempts you to be a victim, then you are on the path of seriously-empowered personal growth. And growth will always point you in the direction of more and more happiness. And that, of course, is what we all want. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

How to Intentionally Welcome the New Year

The New Year. A fresh start. A new beginning. 

For me, the marking of the New Year is filled with hope, with potential, and with anticipatory excitement. It is a time of reflection--honoring what has been, what is currently happening, and what is yet to come. 

Consciously honoring rites of passages such as the New Year allows us to think about our lives in a way we often don't do. It's easy to get caught in the grind--moving through life on autopilot. We have our routines and schedules--we trudge along week by week by week.

But the New Year is a break in the pattern. It is an ending and a beginning. It is an opportunity to stop, reflect, and start again. 

In this article I am going to guide you towards honoring your New Year. Here are some simple thoughts and questions to help you reflect on what happened in 2012, to align you with what you are grateful for in this very moment, and to set you up to move in the direction you want in 2013. 

Honoring the Past
As we move into a new phase of life it is natural and important to reflect upon what has been. A lot can happen in the span of a year. I'm sure for most of us 2012 was filled with many wonderful experiences, and challenging ones as well.

Take some time to fondly look back upon the beautiful memories you created this passed year. I'm sure if you think about it, there were many. Also take some time to reflect on what didn't go so well. For it is only by acknowledging what was difficult for us that we are able to make different choices for the future.  

When thinking about challenging things that happened in our past, one thing to keep in mind is: it's over. Sometimes we forget this. We get stuck, holding onto to fears and pains that affected us in the passed year or before. A lot of us carry the mindset that if we don't continue to think about the bad things that happened, they will continue to happen in the future. Ironically, it is by not letting go of the past that keeps it repeating in the present. After all, we can't move on from the past if we're still obsessing about it today. 

Honor your past, cherish the beautiful times, and be willing to let the challenging times go. Allow yourself to move into a new reality. Here are some questions to help guide you through this process: 

What was significant for me this passed year? 
What was challenging for me this passed year? 
What was wonderful this passed year?
How did I make it through the hard times? 
What were my best times? 
How did I grow? 
What would I do differently next time? 
How can I choose again? 
Who do I need to forgive? 

Deepak Chopra said, "Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future." Honor your past. Keep the dear memories close. And use the knowledge gained from the challenges to choose differently tomorrow. 

Gratitude for the Present
I have heard that the only time we really have is NOW. 

It is definitely easy for us to skip over Now. Just as we get caught up in our routines, we also get caught in both the past and future, skipping right over this very moment. And while the past and future are important and have their places, what is most relevant is what is happening for you right now. 

There are many ways that we can bring ourselves back to the now. Meditation is one. It, again, is an opportunity to disconnect from the grind and reconnect to yourself. The reason this is so important is because if we don't actively connect into ourselves, then we feel disconnected from everything else (Ta da! Amazing how that happens!). 

This is the simple equation of life--how you feel internally is how you feel about everything around you. Therefore, if you actively take the time to connect into yourself, you immediately start to feel reconnected to everything else too.

Here are some questions that will bring you back to Now: 

What feels good about my life, right now? 
What am I grateful for, right now? 
What does it feel like to be in my body, right now? 
What is important to me, right now?
What am I happy about, right now? 

Taking just a few minutes a day to close your eyes and pay attention to what is happening inside of you will make a big difference in your sense of well-being. Well-being happens now. We are usually just too busy to notice!

If you don't like sitting quietly, another option is to notice what is happening Now throughout your day. Ask yourself these questions randomly: 

What does the sky (trees, buildings, anything!) look like? 
What do I see, feel, smell, hear and taste? 

There is so much to appreciate around us all the time if we just stop and notice. Now is usually pretty damn good if we let go of what was (past) and what will be (future). Try not to forget that your life is happening right now. You don't want to miss it. 

Excitement About the Future
Consciously and unconsciously we are always moving towards self-actualization. What this means is that deep within us we are called to become whole. We long to grow. Our Souls long to grow. It's just what we do; it's called evolution. 

This movement within us towards becoming greater people cannot be stopped--nor should it be. The New Year is a time to get excited about who you want to continue to become. 

Sometimes people associate self-actualization with acquiring things or accomplishments. That is definitely a part of the process. But I believe the most important piece is about getting to know yourself as you already are. How can you be in the world in a way that more authentically you? Because the truth is you don't need to add things onto yourself--who you are now is already amazing. You just have to work on showing-up as that person in your everyday life.

Self-actualization is about embodying you authentic greatness. Ask yourself these questions to align with who you really are: 

How can I be more authentically myself in this New Year? 
What kind of person do I want to be? 
How do I want to show up in the world? 
What do I want for myself this year? 
What do I want to feel like? 
What do I look forward to? 
What are my dreams? 
What do I want to accomplish?  
What greatness will I share with the world this year? 

Everything that has ever been accomplished first began as an idea or a dream. It is by taking time away from the grind and connecting into ourselves that we set the wheels in motion for creating and building our futures. The New Year is a beautiful time to start. 

Allow yourself to feel excited about the potential changes that are on the horizon for you. There are tons of them! You have so much potential inside of you--tap into it so you can make it a reality in this upcoming year.

I wish you all a very Happy New Year. Here's to peace, joy, and kindness in 2013. I hope your year is filled with laughter, happiness, heart, abundance and most of all, lots and lots of Love.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

You Are Who You Are Looking For

Are you seeking a relationship that will make you feel complete? Have you been searching for love but all of your experiences seem to fall short? Do you get excited, thinking you found "the one," only to feel dissatisfied again shortly after the high wears off? If so, you are reading the right article. 

This is a very common experience. It's easy to feel jaded about love if you've had enough experiences that haven't turned out the way you want. Luckily, there is a reason this keeps happening. Believe it or not, you are looking for love in all the wrong places. 

The relationship you are really looking for is one with YOURSELF.

I know. You may not believe me at first. You may think that you already have the best possible relationship you can have with yourself. But let me tell you, if you are constantly up against feelings such as "something is missing," or "this isn't good enough," or "I'm not satisfied," then it means that it's time to really start tending to the most important relationship in your life--the one you have with you.

When we don't feel satisfied within, we project the feeling of inadequacy onto our partners and other aspects of our life. The real truth is, if it feels like something is missing in your life, it's probably you (thank you Robert Holden for this life-changing lesson). 

Here is what is going on in this oh-so common pattern: When you seek completion (meaning you are looking to feel good about yourself--to feel at peace, in love, and whole) outside of yourself, it implies that you feel incomplete to begin with. Unfortunately this feeling of incompletion (that lives in you) is going to follow you into whatever situation you make your way into. Sure, when you fall in love you are going to get a glimpse of completion and love that is so divine. But, if what drove you into the relationship in the first place was to overcome a sense of feeling incomplete, you will find that soon enough you will begin to feel incomplete within the relationship too. 

Other people don't complete us. Only You complete You. 

I know many of us have heard this before and that, in theory, we believe that it is true. But the trouble is we don't do anything about this truth! We keep repeating the same pattern over and over again--looking for love, for completion, for a sense of inner peace by acquiring things (especially people) outside of us. Unfortunately nothing on the outside can ultimately change the way you feel on the inside. 

This isn't to say that relationships don't serve a purpose. That is not true. They serve the ultimate purpose--for us to feel love. But there are very different qualities in the type of love you feel if you are trying to complete yourself with someone else versus the type of love you feel when you are showing up to join, share, and co-create with another. In the first relationship you are going feel preoccupied with everything that is missing--with all that you are not getting from the other person. In the second, you are going to feel much more freedom to just relax and freely give your love away. 

You can feel deeply satisfied in relationships with other people. In fact, you are supposed to. But (and this is a big BUT) YOU have to get right with YOU first. 

I came across this quote the other day by Suzanne Falter-Barnes, and she sums it up perfectly. Here is what she said: 

"There is no relationship pure enough, pristine enough, sublime enough, romantic enough, beautiful enough, fulfilling enough, spiritually attuned enough to overcome the despair you will feel when you are not connected to who you are--when you are not connected to your own heart and soul." 

For your life to feel full, YOU must feel full. For your relationships to feel satisfying, YOU must feel satisfied. Soul, depth, heart, and love all come from within. And when you tap into these parts of yourself, you start to feel them all around you. When you feel disconnected from you, you feel disconnected from everyone around you too. This is just how it works. 

So what can you do? Stop looking for the answer outside of yourself--it's not there. 

You can't control other people. You can't expect someone to behave in a way that feels good to you all the time. You can't get another person's attention 100% of the time. You can't get a stream of pure positive love from another person all the time. You can't. 

But, you can give yourself those things. You can connect into your own heart. You can live out your desires. You can be true to who you really are, and feel fullness from within. You can live your life with depth, purpose, meaning and soul. All these things you can do. And you must, if you really want to live a life filled with joy and love. 

You are who you are looking for. It's You. Just you. 

If your life doesn't feel satisfying enough--if your relationships are falling short--stop looking for the answer on the outside and go within. Connect into yourself. Find yourself. Be true to yourself. And when you do, you will find that the love you have been looking for has been with you all along.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Head and The Heart

Have you ever wondered why you get a little goofy around that person you're crushing on? Why is it that you act normal and keep your cool everywhere except around people you really like? In this article I'm going to talk about why your head gets so activated when you fall in love, and how to try to keep your cool the best you can. 

Falling in love is one of the most potent spiritual experiences many of us have ever had. Feelings of oneness, of completion, of timelessness, and of ecstasy fall upon us. Yeah, it's some good s#*t! And because those feelings are so desirable--because we want love so badly--it can easily take us over. 

And herein lies the problem--when we believe that another person holds the key to feeling this good, they become all-powerful. Immediately, we are tricked into believing that love exists outside of us--in them! And if only we do and say all the right things, then we will get to hold onto to this amazing feeling of love. This is your ego talking to you, and it's a tricky little sucker. 

First thing to remember about the ego is that it is always going to tell you that what you want is outside of you. And this, although it seems believable, is a lie. 

Actually, what you want--that feeling of love that you want--is occurring within you. And the best way to make it last is to allow yourself to FEEL it. 

Your ego doesn't want you to feel love because it doesn't exist when you do. So it fights for it's life by pulling you back into your mind when your heart gets full. It feeds you all kinds of messages about what you should and shouldn't do to make that feeling of love last. And these messages do their job well--they distract you, taking you right out of the moment in which that beautiful feeling of love is existing. 

When your heart gets really activated, your ego gets activated to the same extent. This is why you get a little cuckoo.

So what should you do when your head starts to trip about love? Remember this: Love doesn't live in the mind. It lives in the heart. 

All you really have to do is recognize the ego's crazy voice inside your head and politely say, "No, thank you." Make an effort to drop back into your heart. Take some deep breaths. Allow yourself to feel into the love, rather than analyzing it. Your mind can really do a number on love; seriously, just put it in the back seat for awhile and enjoy your heart's ride. 

People are afraid to let their hearts lead the way. But my experience has been that it is not the heart that gets us into trouble; it's the head. You can easily overanalyze the goodness out of love; you can think yourself into a frenzy. You can list out all the pros and cons, the whats and whys and hows. But nothing, nothing is going to give more potent, more accurate information than how you feel. 

When you fall in love, trust it. Is your heart saying "yes?" Then listen. 

There is a level of wisdom that occurs beyond the mind. This is called intuition. When we let our heads get in the way and distract us from our the more intuitive messages, then we can miss out on the good stuff. Relax into love. Melt into it. Consciously allow yourself to feel your way through it. And don't be afraid. Love is supposed to feel really good--let it! The more you get out of your head and drop back into your heart, the better it's going to be. 

What You Should Know About Soul Mates

Many of us have pondered the concept of Soul Mates before. What is a Soul Mate? Do I have one? And if so, where is mine? The idea that there is one special person created just for you is too juicy not to consider. 

I definitely believe in Soul Mates, but my definition extends beyond the traditional idea of The One. What I personally believe is that a Soul Mate is a person that you are unexplainably drawn to be in relationship with; I believe they are brought into your life so that you can grow and expand into the best version of yourself. 

Let's think about attraction for a second. We come into contact with many, many people throughout our lives. And we are attracted to some of them. But there are only a few that we are so attracted to that we make a decision to partner-up with them. Why is it that we are pulled to get into relationships with just a few people? 

It is because our unconscious is leading the way when it comes to attraction. Love is not logical; it is of the Soul. And the Soul knows a thing or two; it's pretty damn smart. It will match you up with the very people you are supposed to be with--and it does this through attraction. When you feel a strong urge to enter a relationship with another person, rest assured, you have found a Soul Mate. 

Now, of course this does not mean that this relationship will last forever. Nor does it mean it's going to be a walk in the park. In fact, you can assume that you are going to come up against some challenges with your Soul Mate. Where there is potential for the greatest love there is also the potential for the greatest pain. Soul Mate relationships include both. 

I know, I know, you don't want this to be true. None of us do. We all want the love without the pain. We want bliss without breakdown. But, it isn't possible. 


Because both love and pain exist WITHIN US. What is within us is going to show up in front of us, especially in our relationships. This means that the unresolved issues that are residing within you are going to come to the surface; this happens in our most inmate relationships. Many of us are quick to right off our relationships when the going gets tough, but I'm here to assure you that challenges aren't necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it's supposed to happen this way. Because what does not come to the surface cannot be healed. We have to look our demons in the eye if we want them to go away. 

People spend a lot of time questioning whether or not they are with the right partner. And usually this question arises when we feel pain or discomfort. But what if we shifted our perception a bit--what if we understood and accepted that discomfort is part of the deal? And this doesn't mean that we act carelessly with our partners to evoke more pain. Nor does it mean that we stick around in relationships that are abusive or too awful to tolerate. 

But what I am proposing is this: What if we recognized that discomfort comes from within us (no, it's not their fault) and that it is telling us that we need to change? What if we actually took responsibility for our uncomfortable feelings and approached them as a call to become conscious--to learn where we struggle the most and try to grow beyond these setbacks? 

Jung said, "Seldom or never does a marriage develop into an individual relationship smoothly without crisis. There is no birth of consciousness without pain." Pain is the opportunity; it literally is the call to wake-up and change. 

To personally evolve means to grow through the things that challenge us the most. Our Souls long to do this--we inherently want to become greater people. Deep within us we are driven to make our way through struggles and emerge victorious. Our Soul Mates are the people that give us the opportunity to do so by triggering our issues so we can become conscious of them and create a different reality.

And how do we move beyond the issues that get triggered in relationships? By choosing love instead. 

You can say that all feelings are categorized as either love or fear. To state the obvious, love feels good; fear does not. To grow simply means we transform experiences of fear into experiences of love. There are many simple and difficult opportunities to do this within a relationship. 

Choosing love means we see people (including ourselves) beyond their mistakes. It means we see the potential in our partners, even when they cannot see it within themselves. It means we are kind, compassionate, understanding, and forgiving, even when it's hard to do. It means focusing on the good in somebody else, rather than the bad. It means consciously committing to work through our stuff; to clean up our side of the street.

Your Soul Mate is someone to grow with. This doesn't come easy. They are going to challenge you in many ways, and that's ok. Don't write-off your relationship because it's difficult at times--understand that the difficultly is an opportunity for you grow.

The next time you start to question whether or not you have a Soul Mate, take a look at the person or people you are closest too. They are your Soul Mates. Quoting Jung once again, know that "in all disorder [there is] a secret order." The people who are in your life are here to help you become a better person, to expand and grow in love. 

All you have to do is accept the challenge. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

How to Get What You Want in Relationships

There is something you can do to guarantee getting what you want in your relationships. And it's probably not what you think. In fact, its probably the opposite of what you think. No, it's not by getting him to commit or by getting a guarantee from her. You've tried all those things--they don't work. Trying to GET someone to GIVE something to you is always a dead-end street. But there is something else you can do--it's something that you probably haven't thought of. This something is called GIVING. 

Yes, turns out the old saying is true, "You get what you give." Problem is, most of us think we are giving; in fact, we think we are giving and giving and giving--too much! If you give and give and give (more than you feel comfortable with) then, I hate to break it to you, but you aren't really giving. Over-giving is a sure sign of  GIVING TO GET. And the truth is, it's not going to GET you anything (except resentful). No this isn't giving at all--it's called sacrifice. 

When you are not in contact with your own fullness then you will try to get from your partner the exact thing that you are not 1) giving to yourself or 2) giving to them. It is very hard to give--to genuinely give, without the motive of getting in return--if you are running on less-than-full yourself. This less-than-full is actually is the feeling that causes you to try and GET from someone else in the first place. You think they are the key. You think they have what you're seeking. So, ironically, what you usually do to try to GET from them is you… sacrifice yourself more? Can you see the irony in that?! Stop over-giving! It doesn't work!

You see, the only way to GET what you want is to stop trying to GET it--you have to start GIVING it, like, for free. And how are you supposed to so that? You give it to yourself first, of course. 

Anything that you feel like you need from your partner--anything you feel like you are not getting from him or her--is a sure sign of something that you are not giving to yourself. You don't feel like you have it, which is what makes you seek it from them in the first place! I'll show you. 

Let's say you are you seeking security from him. You want him to commit, you want a guarantee! Then sweetie, if it's security you are looking for, it's time to boost up your inner-security chops! Lack in the department of inner-security is what leads you to try and GET security from him in the first place! And, unfortunately, there is nothing he can actually do to make you feel--once and for all--secure. Only you can do that for yourself. The good news is, you can. Easy. Start contacting your own fullness. Start contacting your own solidity and abundance and strength. And once you do--VoilĂ !--your relationship begins to feel more secure. Let's do another one…

Let's say you are looking to get more freedom in your relationship. Well, if it's freedom you are seeking then this means you are not giving enough freedom to yourself--you have start there. Many people don't feel free in a relationship because they do things like censoring themselves, hiding the truth, not saying what they really feel--all of these modes of "hiding" are going to make you feel trapped. Often what happens when you're stuck in a mode of censoring yourself for so long is you start to project that freedom is "out there." Reality check: there is no freedom anywhere unless you give it to yourself. This means you have to start being REAL. Give yourself the freedom to say what you are thinking, be who you really are, and then, then, you will feel free. 

You see, we project exactly what is not happening within us onto our partners--and then try to make them give it to us! Here is the truth that I want you to remember: YOU PARTNER CANNOT GIVE TO YOU WHAT YOU DO NOT GIVE TO YOURSELF. Period. So whatever you are looking for--whatever you are desperately trying to get from them--you must, must, must learn to give it first. TO YOURSELF! Continue to come back to your own fullness, your own completeness--continue to remember that you have everything you need, that you don't need to GET anything from anyone else. Everything you think you need from your partner you can actually give to yourself. You take care of you. And it is in this knowing--when you stop demanding to GET from him or her and when you start showing up to GIVE--that you really start to receive everything you want.