“It takes more than just a good looking body. You’ve got to have the heart and soul to go with it.” – Epictetus, philosopher
“But all I attract in women, are losers.”
Eugene, Gene was his nickname, was 28 years old and a fitness addict. He was about five foot eleven, well muscled and trim. He worked out five times a week at his gym and was devoted to running and pumping iron.
Gene was in the middle of a business administration diploma program at the local community college. And, he had recently ended another relationship, where he said he felt ‘used’ and ‘dissatisfied.’ Since our get-acquainted chat was over, I asked him what had brought him to my office?
He replied with, “Ken, I place a lot of importance in my life on my appearance…I work at looking good…like, really good! But all I attract in women, are losers. I mean they look attractive at the start…but once I get to know them better…get to see how they think…I find they are just ugly…just airheads! I must be missing something because this keeps happening to me, over and over.”
“Gene, what do you mean by an airhead?” I asked.
“Well, let me tell you about the relationship I just ended. Her name was Candice, Candy for short. She was really attractive, a dental hygienist, and very pleasant to be around. We both loved working out, going to movies and playing outdoor sports. But, when I asked her what she thought of the results of the recent Irish Referendum on gay marriage…do you know what she said…and I quote, “Who cares!”
“I guess you thought she would have your values!” I replied.
“Ken, she had no idea how many people, not just in Ireland, but around the world who are impacted by that event. She obviously, doesn’t have any gay friends, or none she knows about. But, it isn’t just that, she wasn’t even interested in discussing it or learning what it might mean for other people. It was like she had her eyes firmly fixed on her mirror and her belly button…just totally unaware!”
“… she has ugly feet.”
“Gene, I’m wondering why the Irish referendum was so important to you?”
“My closest friend since grade school is gay, and I have watched him and his partner struggle with challenges of being gay in Canada for a long time. It is really tough to always be on guard about your who you are and what you do.” he said, the pain he’d witnessed, showing on his face.
“So, you have personal experiences which have enabled you to develop an appreciation for the value of the referendum. I guess Candy hasn’t had those kind of experiences in her past, eh?”
“That’s probably true but it is not an excuse not to be aware of what is going on in the rest of the world…is it?”
“Gene, we humans, unconsciously, focus and filter the information around us, based on our highest values. For example, you mentioned your high value on your fitness and your appearance. So, you may be noticing your size, your muscle definition and your strength. But, what are you not noticing, that others may value, and so they notice?”
“Well, it is funny you should say that because Candy thinks, even though I think she’s beautiful, and have told her so a few times…she thinks she has ugly feet. I didn’t think so, but she sure does…it is a real hangup of hers.”
“Gene, just like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so too is ugly, smart, stupid and every other trait.”
“A healthy outside starts from the inside.” – Robert Urich, actor
“I appear unhealthy to lots of people…!”
“Ken, do you mean there are people who think I am healthy, and others who think I am unhealthy?”
“Yes I do! And, it is not about you, it is about their values. If a person looks at you and your remind them of something positive from their past, they will find your attractive. Conversely, if they are reminded of something negative from their past, they will find you unattractive. And, it’s not about you, it is about their values which they created from their past experience.”
“Wow! I never thought of it that way before. So, I appear unhealthy to lots of people…and I have never noticed it!”
“Can you imagine someone watching you running and thinking you are emotionally unhealthy because you are doing it alone, isolated from others? Or someone else, seeing you pumping iron in a gym and thinking you’re overdoing it and risking injury to body? Gene, do you get the idea…it is not about you, it’s about their values, which they carry, often unconsciously, from their own past.”
“So, let me ask you a trick question, Ken? Is the opposite true, too? Does someone who thinks their unhealthy also have health, at the same time?”
“Gene, that’s a great question! And, yes, in fact, they do! Everyone has every trait according to someone at sometime. So, since you are realizing you are both healthy and unhealthy, depending on who you ask, this also applies to everyone else, even someone others think are not healthy.”
“…each of us is both healthy and unhealthy…”
“So, when I look in a mirror at my so called health…am I ignoring my unhealthy parts?”
“What do you think, Gene?”
“If I take this idea and play it out. I guess I could say I’m ignoring my unhealthy relationships with women, my unhealthy consumption of French fries, Pepsi and Mars bars, and my lack of time to spend with my friends.”
“I think you are getting the idea!” I said.
Then, Gene said, “But Ken, let’s be realistic. I read just recently, two thirds of the people on earth today are obese. You’re saying these people, who look ill to me, also have health, as well. Where is it hiding?”
“It will depend on their values, Gene. They may not even be noticing where their health lies or owning it, but they have the health trait, as well. It could be in many forms. For example, it might be a strong, healthy spirit determined to have a future. Perhaps, an unappreciated mental skill or ability in school, work or somewhere else. Maybe, it’s a healthy competence or attitude toward their work or job. It could take the form of a healthy bank balance, savings account or financial plan. Maybe their health is in the strong friendships they have built. It could be in strong, healthy family relationships. It could even be having a strong, flexible body which serves them well in their life. Since it is based on their values, it will be there, but only they can uncover it.”
“So, each of us is both healthy and unhealthy…it is just in different forms and only we can identify them…is that the gist of it?”
“You got it right on, Gene!”
“The first wealth is health.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, author
“…how does this all fit…with my love life?”
“So, are you saying we are both successful and unsuccessful in life, at the same time?”
“Right again, Gene! When each of us look in the mirror, we can find both healthy and unhealthy parts of our face, our body and our life. All we need to do is check from within our values. They will always be there…and this is what motivates us to grow and evolve…it is nature’s way to keep us on our toes to appreciate ourselves and our life.”
“That’s kind of cool, Ken! So, how does this all fit…with my love life?”
“I’m wondering if you are looking for a partner with the same values as you, instead of, someone you can learn from, and grow your sense of yourself?”
“Do you mean I have been operating under some sort of illusion, I could find someone, just like me?”
“Have you, Gene?”
“Tough question…and so, probably true!” he said, smiling sheepishly.
“It would be like chasing a rainbow to be looking for someone whose values are the same as yours. Your form of success, at being fit and attractive, will probably bore you in someone else because there’s not much learning for you with that person. Boredom kills relationships, not differences. I think you will find, people with other forms of success, which you may not even appreciate yet, will offer you more opportunity to grow you!”
“Ken, as you say that…what comes to mind is Candy and her form of success. She really gets excited when she talks about her work as a hygienist. She seems to love putting her hands in other people’s mouths…go figure! I could never do that!”
“So, when you think about her values, as compared to yours, you can see there are things you could learn from her, eh?”
“I guess it’s a two way street, eh? I would really like to bring her up to speed on things like the real Rainbow Culture in the world, not the ones after rain showers, and how important it is to people…and I guess I need to learn why it is so important to her to to work in dental health. It must be tied to her values, her past experiences, eh?”
“Gene, I think you are on a more realistic and exciting track into your future relationships. Will you keep me posted?”
“Sure will, Ken! And, thanks for this!”
“My honour, Gene! Stay in touch!”
“There is one consolation in being sick; and that is the possibility that you may recover to a better state than you were ever in before.”– Henry David Thoreau, author
Until Next time…
So, check out what you are looking for in the mirror. Do you only see the successes OR the failure, instead of the successes AND the failures? Do you look for the healthy and unhealthy parts of you and your life. Can you see how each benefit and cost you equally. Do you appreciate each and every part of you? If there is any part, any disease, any injury, any pain you don’t value, then this is your opportunity to correct that limited perception and grow yourself. Seize this opportunity!
If you are struggling in your relationship, please go to our NEW VIDEO on how you can deal with
If you find our posts useful, please share them with your circles of influence, your family, friends and colleagues. Encourage them to subscribe to our FREE Newsletter and ebook, “Finding Balance in Your Life” a And, please like us on Facebook . Remember the next seminar will give special focus on couple relationships, “A Transformation Day for COUPLES!” Seminar on June 20, 2015 at our offices.
Details are available at ww.kenpiercepsychologist.com Send us your feedback and topic suggestions…we love to hear from you! If you have a specific question or wish to schedule a consultation, feel free to contact me.
Namaste, (I salute the grandly organized design of the universe, manifested in you!)