Today I explain how you can turn your dating life into a true spiritual path that heals your heart and connects you to the deepest parts of your being. I want you to step away from the approach to your love life that tells you that you are not enough. Our world changes when we commit to holding our own hearts as treasures. In this episode, I explain how we can find the parts of us that we have abandoned and claim these parts of ourselves that we aren’t confident in.

Listen to this episode to learn what the inside-out approach to dating is and how to turn your dating life into a spiritual path.

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Show Notes:

  • What is the inside-out approach to dating
  • How to turn your dating life into a spiritual path
  • What does it mean to be spiritual
  • How to reclaim the parts of ourselves that we are not confident in
  • What is the true definition of confidence

Important Links:

 

6 month coaching and mentorship intensive with Ken Page

 

How Dating Can Become a Spiritual Path

 

How do you turn your dating life into a true spiritual path that heals your heart, connects you to the deepest parts of your being, brings you into spaces that are truly transcendent, and helps you find love, healthy love at the same time? Stay tuned to this episode to learn more.

Hello, everybody and welcome to the Deeper Dating® Podcast. I’m Ken Page, your host. I’m a psychotherapist, I’m the author of the bestselling book, Deeper Dating, and the creator of the Deeper Dating intensive. I’m so glad to be here with you today, when I’m going to be talking about how in the deepest, truest way, your search for love is a spiritual path that leads to spiritual healing as well as healthy love. And we’re going to talk about how to turn your dating life into a true spiritual path.

 

Who we really are is a portal to a vast space and when we touch the beating heart of our humanity, and we hold it with care and tenderness, something wider happens...that's the essence of spirituality. Click To Tweet

 

In this episode, and every episode, I’m going to share with you the greatest insights and tools that I know to help you find love and keep it flourishing and heal your life in the process. Because the skills of dating are the skills of love. And those are the greatest skills of all for a happy and meaningful life.

If you like what you’re hearing here, please feel free to subscribe, to share, and to spread the word, and leave a review. I always really appreciate that. If you go to deeperdatingpodcast.com, you can find a transcript of every episode and you can get some wonderful free gifts; an eBook, an audio meditation, and more. So, I hope to see you there as well. And now, let’s dive in.

 

How Dating Can Become a Spiritual Path

I’m talking about connecting with your deepest spirit, the spirit and the essence of who you truly are: I’m talking about something else as well, because when we’re in touch with who we really are, we are also touching something transcendent.

 

When I say spiritual, I mean two things. I’m talking about connecting with your deepest spirit, the spirit and the essence of who you truly are. And then I’m talking about something else as well, because when we’re in touch with who we really are, we are also touching something transcendent.

Who we really are is a portal to a vast, vast space. And when we touch the beating heart of our humanity, and we hold it with care and tenderness, something wider happens, something opens up inside us, a magical kind of state happens, a spiritual state, a state in which we are living a sense of preciousness, our preciousness, the preciousness of the people around us. And that’s sacred. That’s the essence of spirituality.

As we connect with our deepest self, just like Emerson said in his wonderful essay on self-reliance, he said, “The closer you get to the most intimate personal truths, the closer you are getting to the deepest universal truths.” When we make this commitment to hold our own hearts as treasures and to look for the mysteries in who we authentically are and learn to see the gifts in those parts of ourselves, our world changes, our life changes, and we find our place in the world. That place in the world is just simply being us and letting that radiate, and then growing from there.

 

Watch the episode here:

 

What does it mean to be spiritual:

 

But until we can do that… This metaphor of coming out is so universal. And as a psychotherapist, and also in the intensives, the six-month intensives I lead where I get to work with small numbers of people very closely, I witness, and I have witnessed in my own life, this brave, brave journey of saying, “the things that my nervous system are telling me about what feels good and what feels safe aren’t fluff. What if I actually honored them and listened to them? What if the things I’ve been trying to say in the world, what if the things that I’ve been trying to express in my intimate relationships, and maybe so often haven’t been heard or honored, what if those things are deep truth and deep truth for me? What if I champion those parts of myself instead of trying to domesticate them or leave them in the house when I go out because they’re going to embarrass me?”

These are the parts of ourselves that I call our Core Gifts. And as we follow that “what if” and learn to honor and champion those parts of ourselves, our worlds change.

Not only do we increase our chances of finding healthy love dramatically, but we tap into something greater, something vaster, something more beautiful, we tap into our deepest connection to self. Because that heroic act of being who we are somehow opens a door to the magic of who we are, the essence of who we are, who can be in the world. Saint Catherine of Siena said it in a very particularly theistic but wonderful way. She said, “Be who God intended you to be, and you will set the world on fire. And as you live as you are intended to be, and trust that and honor that.”

 

The things that my nervous system are telling me about what feels good and what feels safe aren't fluff...what if the things that I've been trying to express in my intimate relationships...are deep truth and deep truth for me? Click To Tweet

 

This is an unequivocal truth, I believe. The people you meet and are attracted to and are attracted to you will begin to change so much for the better. That’s a holy, sacred, amazing thing. That speaks about how the universe is built and created, and how intimacy works. To me, that gives me tremendous hope.

I’ve seen in my work with so many people, this process of claiming the parts that we were afraid to claim. And this is how, I think, that the queer journey of coming out is just such a message of hope for the world, ’cause we all have to come out with these parts of ourselves that we thought weren’t as sexy, weren’t as attractive, weren’t as confident, didn’t fit into the bell curve of where people are mostly supposed to be.

 

How Dating Can Become a Spiritual Path

When we make this commitment to hold our own hearts as treasures and to look for the mysteries in who we authentically are and learn to see the gifts in those parts of ourselves, our world changes, our life changes: we find our place in the world.

 

And that’s right, those parts of you don’t. They are your genius. They are outliers. They are more sensitive, more tender, more fierce, more needing, more generous than the average person. They are linked to our soul. They are linked to our greatness.

But when we try to make ourselves more like everyone else, the magic disappears. And also, our picker gets a lot less effective. Our capacity for discrimination dramatically plummets. Because on some level, we’ve lost our instruments, we’ve lost our center. This act of championing the beating hearts of our humanity, the essence of who we really are is this heroic act.

And when we do it, when we finally do it, our discrimination does, our picker, improves dramatically, because we’re finally listening to ourselves, which creates a deep sense of healing and connectedness, and allows us to love. This is one way in which your search for love is a spiritual journey, because there’s this brave act of saying, who am I? Where does my heart really live? What hurts my heart? What fills my heart? What turns me on romantically? What turns me on spiritually? What turns me on sexually? What makes me feel connected and close? And what shuts me down?

That’s our spiritual path. That is the map. That is the shape of the direction we need to go in to claim our heart, to claim our soul, and to really be available for love. Because here’s the amazing, amazing, one of the many amazing formulas in this real, authentic intimacy journey: To the degree that your deepest self, your core gifts don’t feel like they’re being seen and honored by you, to that very degree, you will put up walls against love. And they’re not going to be conscious walls for the most part. They will be unconscious and they will be sabotaging you again and again.

 

The inside-out approach to dating:

 

The act of going back and claiming your heart, if you will, your soul, and learning to lead with that, and then developing this radar for whose face can I look into and feel like these parts of me are seen and treasured? Whose face can I look at, who can I, in holding, feel like I am home, that there’s a safety, that there is a cherishing? Where does it feel right? That’s really where we want to look for love, because that’s the kind of love that brings us to a whole other kind of level of spiritual connectedness.

Is this the path to finding love that we get taught in the magazines and the books and the articles? Mostly not. Everyone, everyone, everyone says these days, “Authenticity is important.” But then, that message is mixed with, you have to embrace your femininity if you’re a woman, you have to embrace your masculinity if you’re a man. You have to learn how to flirt, you have to learn how to act confident. You have to do this, you have to do that. All of this stuff that is like basically, the learning there is that the odds are against you, so you have to do everything you can to improve yourself so the odds are for you. That’s number one.

 

The journey is a spiritual journey and it must begin with self-honoring. Click To Tweet

 

And then it’s also this feeling, finding love is finding a needle in a haystack, and it’s a race against time, and it’s a numbers game. All of these messages mixed in with, yes, mixed in with, oh, be yourself, lead with who you really are – it doesn’t work. We can’t be an inauthentic version of ourselves at the same time as we’re being an authentic version of ourselves. It doesn’t work that way. Those are what I call the outside-in paths, with a nod to the inner work.

But really, it’s the inside-out approach, which is one where there’s a reorganization of self that begins with this self-honoring, this listening to what the beating heart of our humanity is telling us it wants, it sees, it feels, it needs, and coming from that place. When we do this, there’s a power, there is a shift in our magnetism, and there’s a way that some kind of forces of fate engage with us in a benevolent way. I don’t know how that is, but I deeply, deeply believe it’s true.

We need to step away from this approach that tells us “you’re not enough, you have to fix yourself”, and then go out and look for love, mixed with these other messages. The journey is a spiritual journey. And it’s a journey that must begin with self-honoring.

 

How Dating Can Become a Spiritual Path

When we try to make ourselves more like everyone else, the magic disappears: our picker gets a lot less effective.

 

People might be thinking, might be asking, but what about all the ways that I sabotage love? What about all the ways that I block love? Yes, that’s the work. But what I want to say about that, is that behind every one of those defensive behaviors lies a wound that you are defending. You’re protecting that wound. And at the heart of every wound lies a profoundly authentic aspect of your being, which has not been treasured, which has not been protected, which has not been safe enough.

Even in our most sabotaging behaviors, the wisest way, I think, to begin is by looking for the core gift, the piece of our humanity that is somewhere buried under those defenses that we are protecting in an immature way. That is the truer growth journey. But it starts with a cherishing and honoring of who we are.

 

How to reclaim the parts of ourselves that we are not confident in:

 

That leads us to this powerful, powerful question that we can ask ourselves. And that question is: What are the parts of ourselves that we have orphaned, that we have abandoned, that we have turned into shadow because we think they’re not going to be attractive enough, ’cause we think that they’re…

Here are some of the big ones: I’m too needy. I need too much. I long for closeness too much. I am too sensitive and too tender, and I feel things too intensely. I tell the truth too much. I ask for intense communication too much and too often. I need a sense of space that I think other people might feel is rejection of them, but it’s a sense of space and freedom that I really need to be able to breathe and be present.

These are just some examples of parts of ourselves that we hold back on. I’ll tell you one for me. One for me is the fact that my capacity to feel love is not this steady thing. I think this might be true for a lot of us. It’s not this steady, consistent experience. I think it’s that way for my husband a lot more.

But for me, it has ebbs and flows. There are times that I’m not feeling connected to my love and my warmth. It’s not like it’s not there, but I’m just not feeling it. When I allow that, instead of tensing up and saying what’s wrong with me, but I allow that the experience of loving comes from me in waves, when I allow that, something softens and when those waves of love and connectedness come, they feel so much better.

And when the other parts are there, I settle into them and I feel my humanity in the quietness of those moments, in the gathering of forces that happens for me in those quiet moments, where it’s like waves going out and waves coming in.

I’ve talked about this before, a little bit of a garden path, but I love this. A meteorologist friend of mine said that if you’re drowning at sea, the thing to do is that when the water pulls you out, don’t fight it. But when a wave brings you in, swim with it with all you’ve got. For me, that’s something I have learned to do. When this pulling inward happens, I follow it. I don’t fight it, and I don’t tell myself this means that I’m somehow defective in my ability to love. Because it’s a gathering of forces, it’s the way my being works. And then when the waves of love come, I go with them as fully as I possibly can.

But there’s shame there, too, for me, in the effusiveness of my love, the silliness of my love, the child-likeness of my love, the bigness of my love: Another thing that I have learned to accept and treasure and see as a core gift instead of something that is just not male enough, not masculine enough, not contained enough. These are just some examples.

And I ask you, what are the parts of yourself that you have been embarrassed to show in their power, in their truth-telling, in their sensitivity, in their differentness? Those are indications of where your most beautiful core gifts lie. And when you honor those, then you’re going to look for people who honor them. When you don’t honor them, you will look for people who don’t honor them and you will try to convince them of the worth of these parts of you. And we know where that leads.

This is not easy work. This is brave work. And it’s this journey of going against the tide of what the world tells you you should be, and deep within yourself to say, who am I really, and make this choice to lead with that. Which makes you so much more beautiful and noticeable and recognizable to the people who are looking for someone like you. When we don’t do that, we make ourself more recognizable and noticeable and desirable for people who sense that they can somehow latch in and take advantage of our uncertainty.

There’s a bravery in this journey. And that bravery is a spiritual bravery as well. It’s a bravery toward goodness, because the act of believing that how we’re built, essentially, is a good thing and that we’re going to live by that, we’re going to take that risk, is very, very brave and, I think, the true definition of confidence. But it’s a different kind of confidence. It’s not a rock-hard, locked, rigid confidence. It is a softer, more human confidence.

When we try to protect against these parts of ourselves, we become rigid. That rigidity, that’s part of the spiritual journey of doing this deeper authenticity work, is that our rigidity begins to melt. And the other thing that I want to say about this, is that we learn that we are not independent, but interdependent.

And when we approach our search for love in this way, there’s a tenderness, there’s a sense of humanity, and there’s a sense that we need support, that we can’t do it alone. Which means that we are becoming less rigid and more interdependent, which is the formula for being able to flow with love. As you take this journey, don’t do it alone, find like-minded people where your heart and soul feels safe, because that is the prototype that you are going to be using as well in your search for love.

If you’re interested in learning more about the path and the process that Deeper Dating® has developed and created and teaches to help people turn their search for love into this spiritual path, you can just go to deeperdatingpodcast.com and join my mailing list. You can read my book, you can do my online course. And for those of you that want to commit in a deeper way to this journey, working closely with me and a small handpicked group of people, you can go to deeperdatingintensive.com to learn more about this.

I’m excited for you in thinking about you shifting the whole trajectory of this journey to one that honors and treasures who you are, your essential spirit, that this becomes a love relationship to your deepest, essential spirit, and that’s what your dating life springs from. That changes everything. And that gives you so much more chance at having a wonderful future in love than trying to trick yourself into becoming someone different than you are.

Thank you so much for listening, and I look forward to connecting on the next episode of the Deeper Dating® Podcast.

 

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