I had the pleasure of meeting with Tim Jantosz yesterday.
If you haven’t met Tim, he’s pretty far out even by my standards, and I’ve been following his work for some time.
We talked about fasting, pranic living, breatharianism, and more.
But, the core of it all was about following your heart.
We uncovered a pattern of people-pleasing and self-abandonment. Any time we go against what we know is right in our heart, this is a form of self-abandonment.
I’m not talking about drinking a coca-cola when we all know coke is unhealthy.
I’m also not referring to epic events like committing a homicide.
I did notice a large middle, where following the heart requires nuanced discernment, especially around interpersonal relationships.
My gut tells me that I’m not alone in this. Plus, I haven’t seen advice around this topic that felt coherent, so I decided to write about it.
Getting Deeper Into The Pattern…
Going against the heart involves something I made up called “proactive self-rejection.” Basically, times when a past situation triggers the present inner child– it is afraid of losing connection, losing out on love.
In those moments, making a bid for connection feels risky. Think of bids for connection like saying hello, making a call, text, asking for a raise at work, or perhaps a day off, maybe winking at somebody, waving, or asking for something you truly want. Thoughts might creep in like…
- what if I hear a no?
- what if I hear nothing at all?
- what if they make fun of me?
- what if they judge me and withhold connection in the future?
In those times I may childishly decide (wounded inner child deciding for the grown-ass man) to reject myself and not make the bid, hence the concept “proactive self-rejection.” Sure, it’s true the bid might not be met. And yes, thinking in probabilities has wisdom. All of those questions listed have some non-zero probability.
In fact, they may simultaneously be true.
But, the list is incomplete.
When I’m stuck in my head, in fear or worry, I act as if this list is all that exists.
Don’t do that!
This list doesn’t account for upsides. Benefits. Positives of making a bid. For example…
- what if I hear a yes?
- what if they not only call my bid but raise it? Ex- a compensation boost becomes a pay raise and title change. A dinner becomes dinner and a movie, etc.
- what if they compliment me?
- what if they judge me positively and increase connection in the future?
Again, more than one of these may simultaneously be true. This second list is also incomplete. It doesn’t account for the downsides of inaction. For example…
- what if I feel bad for not trying at all?
- what will it be like to wonder what could’ve been? Ex- self-loathing, regret.
- what type of person will I become if I consistently don’t take action?
When I see all of these lists together, SHIfT happens. Making a bid seems like a much better idea. The lists work well when making an ask to others.
But, self-abandonment can be sneaky when an ask is made of us.
Most advice I’ve seen to navigate these asks is pretty crappy, hence why I’m writing today.
Self-help gurus tout phrases like “Just say No” and try that out for a week. Or, try a week where you say yes to everything. Jim Carrey even starred in a movie called “Yes Man.”
These methods are also ungrounded.
The reality is that life is dynamic. We are dynamic.
Defaulting to a yes or no IS ANOTHER FORM OF SELF-ABANDONMENT! It involves ignoring what is present in the here and now and going with a templated response. Or, as G.I. Gurdjieff might say, The ‘I’ who went to sleep at night is not the same ‘I’ at breakfast in the morning.
Instead, check in with yourself. Take a deep breath. Maybe a few. Place your hand on your heart. If it’s a full-body, heaven-yes, go for it. Pretty simple.
But what if it’s not a clear yes or no?
This is where Tim and I discovered a pattern. When the people-pleaser sometimes comes online. This may become its own form of self-gaslighting– going against what you know to be best in your heart.
The people pleaser caves.
Caves are dark. That’s where the shadow goes to hide.
What To Do Instead?
First, it’s not lost on me that there are some obvious answers here. Such is the nature of a fundamental insight. It illuminates a blind spot and has you saying “Duh!” after the fact.
Going with what’s in your heart, when your heart says no, may involve a few parts…
- Sharing the knowing
First, you must know in your heart that your answer is a no. The second involves how to share it. The most simple, is “No-ing.” Just say no, and keep moving.
Once you know in your heart that your answer is no, you have to decide what to do with that. No-ing is always on the table, and if you have a history of people pleasing, it is likely severely under-utilized.
But, what if you want connection, but not one particular flavor? This type of no can be trickier in the body.
For example, no can mean not now. It can mean a yes later, or yes to something else. Ex- no to hiking, but yes to swimming. Get clear with yourself so you can make a counteroffer that feels right in your heart.
Other times, a no may not be enough. For example, you go to a steak restaurant every Friday with your friend then suddenly become vegan. You reject their weekly invite without explanation. They become curious about what’s going on and request an explanation. Maybe you still go to the steakhouse, but have a salad. Or, you cook together at home. Or whatever.
Other times, you share your ethos, pathos, and logos, and they still try to convince you. The answer isn’t to default to yes or no, but to check in with yourself again.
It could be that you had a “change of heart.” Yes, I used those words deliberately. Remember, the intent of the process is to be true to what’s in your heart, and the heart is dynamic.
Or, it could be that you don’t have a change of heart, and you stick with your no.
It also could be that you aren’t open to being convinced, or that you need to set a boundary. Ex- “I’ll give you 5 minutes to try to convince me.” You don’t owe anyone your attention after giving them a no. Manipulative salespeople prey upon people’s kindness by pretending to ask for “just a minute” when they are sincerely asking for much more.
The “right answer” is what the heart says. Only the mind clouds us.
Remember, if you get confused, do what Roxette told us…Listen To Your Heart
I hope you enjoyed reading that. At this time I feel called to pick up the pen more often, though I’m uncertain what form these writings will take. Tim has inspired me to be rawer with my expression.
Mush Love, 🍄
PS- For you truth-seekers out there, when people say “my truth” they are often stating a preference, which is its own objective truth. For example, Sandra says (assuming she isn’t lying) that ketchup is her favorite condiment. Therefore, we can state that it is objectively true that ketchup is Sandra’s favorite condiment. This doesn’t mean that it’s objectively true that ketchup is the best. People can state their preferences, and that can be true, while simultaneously not true for everyone in every moment. This basic observation appears to be missing from most public discourse I see.
This form of “my truth” is also important when considering the idea of being “true to yourself”– like deciding to wear a mask out of fear because some man or woman acting as a public servant told you to, even though deep inside you don’t agree with them.
PPS- I may play around with linking or not linking people and recommendations in these writings going forward. Linking them helps “for convenience” but modern life is inundated with links and information, and sometimes less is more.