March 11, 2024

Romancing The Stone

Motivational speaker, Jacques de Villiers writes about heartbreak and seven-year-old children.

Jacques de Villiers – writing quest: Article 41/365

I was in a brief romantic entanglement recently. It was brief because I blew it. We’d had a wonderful evening and connected beautifully. Our future was pregnant with promise (probably not something you want to be thinking about when dating ;-)). We potentially were going to meet the next week if she could get out of a prior engagement. On the day I sent her a WhatsApp asking what was happening. I got no response, neither that day nor the next. I sent a ‘hope you had a good day’ text. I was starting to feel a bit like a drowning man.

Then she sent me a life raft. “Sorry, I’m not ignoring you, I’ve just been crazy busy.” I popped her a note, feeling the validation-seeking seven-year-old child rear its head. I wrote, “To be honest I thought you’d had a change of heart, rejected my attempts at connecting and were ghosting me.” 

She replied that wasn’t the case and said that she probably didn’t handle the situation well and apologised. 

And, that’s when I snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. What I should have said was, “That’s ok, reach out when it suits you.” Here’s what I did. Because of my social Tourette, I agreed with her that “she didn’t handle the situation well”. Cringeworthy I know.

And, as I sent her the message, I knew that I’d blown it.

Could it get worse? Hell yes. She didn’t answer any of my texts after that. The ominous grey checkmark materialised. She didn’t even open my texts. I sent an email. I sent a note to Facebook Messenger which she also did not read. I sent her a note to her LinkedIn. Not a peep. I meditated and sent her messages through the cosmos. I even wanted to get my old carrier pigeon, Bernie, out of retirement to get to her. But he needs his rest. Once again, cringeworthy.

Her heart had turned to stone. She’d turned me into a non-person, which is eina. And, there was no way my desperation was going to crack through that.

After recovering from my whiskey binge and self-pity, I managed to learn something from this situation.

I need to reread Power Vs. Force by David R. Hawkins.

Clearly, I learned nothing from the last read. I tried to force a situation that probably was never going to resolve itself. And, by sending all those messages, I looked desperate. Definitely not a look that one wants when wooing a woman. If I had true power, I would have respected that I messed up and apologised once (not 10 times) and let the chips fall where they would. I would have let go of the outcome.

People often mistake me for an adult because of my age.

She knew she had acted inappropriately by not contacting me about our tentative plan, but she didn’t want to be confronted about it. Immediately her defences went up, and her heart turned to stone to protect herself.

And, this is probably the crux of this piece of text.

Most of us don’t ever want to be called on our frailties. You can dress it up in words like ”constructive feedback’ (we don’t even say criticism any more), “a learning moment”, ‘I’m telling you this because I love you’, ‘I’m only saying this to you because you’re important to me …’ Criticism sucks, no matter how it’s presented.

It happened to me the other day. I attended a professional speakers’ event recently. I ran into a well-known and successful speaker whom I have known for 15 years. She approached me and said, “Your last video wasn’t great.” And she was right, I am awful on video (that’s why I write). I look like I’ve had a stroke. My speech slows dooown, my one eye droops, I smile like a cricket, and I’m wholly inarticulate. It’s a train wreck, I know. But, even knowing my short falls, all I could think was, “Eina”.

Perhaps she saw the pained look in my eyes and tried to walk it back. She said, “I’m only saying this to you because I know you can take it.” With a painted smile on my face I replied, “Of course I can. Thank you so much for the feeback. I appreciate you highlighting it to me.” Here’s the problem. I can’t take criticism. That’s not entirely true, of course: I can take a hit, but my seven-year-old child can’t.

Here’s what I heard. “You suck at making videos.” “You suck.” And, from there, it went downhill: “You’ll never amount to much.” “You’re stupid.” “I wish you weren’t born.”

“Yes, mommy, you’re right. I’m sorry.”

When seven-year-olds get together, it’s a mess.

If our short romantic encounter had turned into something more serious, it would have been challenging because when two seven-year-olds come together, it won’t end well.

We’ve all been engineered by our parents and our environment. Despite their best efforts to disadvantage us, most of us have come out of it OK (ish). Once we learn to let go of the negative programming we had punched into us, things will get easier. 

The trick is to figure out what our location is. And, this is where David R. Hawkins’s Map of Consciousness comes in handy. If you find yourself in the location of shame, apathy, guilt and grief, it might be worth exploring. These may be constructs foisted on you by your parents. They can definitely be undone by letting them go. 

Is it easy? No. Is it worth it? Yes. 

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