#566 – Journey Of Attachment: The Search for Unicorns

Are you a unicorn hunter, chasing some magical fantasy as the answer to your problems? When you find your perfect mate, when you write your best-selling book, when you win the lottery. You think your unicorn is waiting for you “out there” somewhere, but it never appears because what you’re really searching for is what you lack inside: value, worthiness, acceptance, love, validation. You’re disconnected from yourself. As the saying goes, “Wherever you go, there you are.”

When you feel like a deflated shell of yourself, it’s easier to focus on the magical moments that will rescue you rather than what’s going on internally. You look for an exit to avoid those negative feelings, believing there is a place where only positivity exists. A place where someone else sees your magic because you don’t see it in yourself. Searching is no small feat; it requires a lot of work and suffering… to what end? Disappointment is the real destination because you never do find what you’re looking for. In this week’s podcast you’ll learn the chase only ends when you decide to deal with yourself. When you look beyond the fantasy in your mind to accept your reality. And reality is not as ugly as you may feel it is. It’s where life is lived.

Wisdom Nugget (#wisdomnugget)
Chasing unicorns will keep you chasing as a life pursuit. Be in your reality now and accept all feelings. Love yourself now.

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Transcription

Hey there, hi there, hello there. Welcome back to another episode of Journey of Attachment. I feel like somebody else should do it like somebody with a deep voice. Journey of Attachment. Because it’s not like you’re going to Disneyland on a ride, is it? It’s a ride, but it’s not Disneyland. At least what I equate with Disneyland. I always liked Disneyland. It’s one of my favorite parks to go to, and actually haven’t been in years. Actually, haven’t even been with my husband. And I was thinking about that the other day, because it’s going to open back up. So thinking I’ve got to go make a trip to Disneyland because I might enjoy the rides in a different way. Yeah. Okay. So today, episode number 566. Can’t believe we’re in April of 2021. because it still feels like April of 2020 for some reason. And we got the search for unicorns.

Yeah, I was a big proponent of this in my life, like a big proponent of this in my life. So I was a unicorn hunter, I would like to say. I was always looking for the unicorn. I just kept looking. And the thing is, the moments that I would have that would be that high, that intensity, that otherworldly feeling, I would try to string them together because I kept thinking on some level… And I have to say, I actually didn’t think it on some level. It’s what I believed on some level, that somehow my dreams would become a reality, that heightened place would just be that way.

So to me, it’s tough when your dreams are a fantasy and you think the solutions are magical, like me. And the thing is, is solutions are not real-life based. So we’re going to be talking about this today, and there is an avoidance of your shit. instead you classify yourself as a problem. Why can’t I get it together so I can have my unicorn life? But you don’t address what’s really happening inside. So you still look for the mystical, magical answer that lives in another person or that perfect situation. So let’s open this up. Yeah. Isn’t it tiring? Yeah. I know it was tiring for me. Tiring for you, I am sure. You may think you’re a complete fuck-up, after all people come and go, right? And maybe you believe it is all about how repellent you are. And this leads you to look for those magical moments, the escape, the permission, the validation, the something which says you are more, you are worthy, you are so deserving and wonderful. The unicorn, right?

So you would think the bigger issue is the unicorn, but it’s not the unicorn itself. No, it’s that you need all of these things because of the avoidance I mentioned, because you do not have that connection to yourself. It really is about that connection to yourself. I know a lot of things I talk about are the connection to yourself. But in reality, it is the connection to yourself. We don’t have a great relationship with ourselves. And it’s so funny because how can we have a great relationship with someone else if we don’t even have it with ourselves, right?

What you have usually is you have judgment, pain and a feeling you’re broken beyond anything normal and only a unicorn can help that situation. Yeah, I know. It sounds crazy, right? But you look for the answer in the next thing, the new dating app or the new book or the new workshop or the new therapist or the circus or a vacation or a guru or the new guy or the gal, the new city, the new state, the new country, the validation you received from someone, somewhere that will finally provide you with more. Give me more. Right? Yep. I’ve been there. So I understand this completely.

And there you are feeling like an empty deflated shell as you avoid what is really going on with you, and focus on the magical, not real moments, the moments you want to extend into eternity as they lift you out of the shitty relationship with yourself. If I have more magical moments, can I string them all together and have this be my new reality? Oh my God, I lived there. I understand. Can I just avoid the feelings inside because they won’t change when my unicorn is here? Yeah, they’re not going to change when your unicorn is here. That’s the bummer. Maybe for a moment, like I said, try to string all those moments together. But it won’t permanently do that. Wherever you go, eventually there you are.

So what about me? And mainly not just me, but my clients too. And my issue was that this was extremely disappointing to live this way. I literally was either on a high or living in some kind of disappointment that I didn’t want to face. So I would feel depressed. I would just feel like, what am I doing here? What’s the point? I can’t live this life right. Other people got it down. I can’t do it. So I banked on the magic. I hoped for the glory. And I needed things to be different in a way that was so far removed from any reality I had ever experienced. I needed the magical moments with a man. I needed magical moments with my job. I needed magical moments when I was engaged with anybody in my life. And what a fucking disappointment when the day came and I realized, this is all there is. The reality is all there is, no matter what happens.

And so meaning, for me, wherever I go or wherever I went, eventually there I was, and no one could prop me up or be a source of validation I refused to give myself. And I remember years ago when I had a graphic design marketing firm and I was bored and it was successful, which is really sad because I destroyed the business… Yes, I did. I sabotaged the shit out of it because I, one day, I had sent out these crazy marketing letters. And one day this guy answered who was a CEO of an animation company here in Los Angeles. And he’s like, “I want to know who wrote the letter.” I’m like, “I did.” He goes, “I want to meet with you.”

Oh, that was the beginning of unicorn time with that because I thought, oh my God, this is amazing. How amazing. This guy wants to meet with me. And he was this head of this company for a very, very popular animation company at that time. And so I met with him, and I was on that high, like that high when you meet somebody and you’re like, “Oh my God, this is the answer. My life is going to change.” I mean, this is probably one… led to one of the biggest disappointments ever in my life because I was so fricking removed from reality. Oh, totally. So anyways, yeah. So met him, we hit it off. I had brought him a basket of my cookies because I also used to have a cookie company, and he loved the cookies. And then I went home and I’m like, “Oh my God, I just want this to work out. I want him to end up hiring me.”

Meanwhile, I also had what I thought was my soulmate relationship with this guy in another state who I had known when I was young and we had gotten back in touch and all of this crap. So I was living in Unicornville. It was either the thing in the other state or this dude, this situation. And I remember laying on the floor of my office going, “Oh my God, I just don’t want to do what I do for a living anymore. I want to work in animation. I want to do this. I want to do that.” And I remember he called me and he’s like, “Let’s go to lunch.” I’m like, “Okay.” So I ended up going to lunch with this CEO dude.

And I told him, I’m like, “I want to work for you,” because he’s telling me how horrible all the people are that work for him. I’m like, “Oh, I’m perfect. I can do this.” And so it was like a total, total unicorn time in my life. I don’t need to get into the whole story because it wasn’t, and it was ugly, and I had a weird sense of integrity my whole life, which basically has sabotaged many moments. And this ended up being sabotaged because I was standing up for people who wouldn’t stand up for themselves. Just stupid. And the things that ended up happening once I got hired and then I was hired working for him at this animation company, and then I ended up in charge of a six-day animation festival that was an industry festival. There was just all these things. Anyway, and then I still was like living in unicorn land for a long time, and I just wasn’t seeing reality.

So anyways, I ended up leaving at some point because I had all this integrity, all this integrity. And I was so bummed because that was the last time in my life that I actually took on somebody’s business like it was my own when it wasn’t my own. Plus, I had dated another person with this whole attached relationship who was a producer. And, there was like this whole thing. Oh, he’s a producer. Oh my God. Anyway, I just think back to these moments, sometimes. I’m like, oh my God, I lived in such an altered reality. I really did. So the thing is, I was looking for this validation. And I would get validation like, “Oh my God, you’re doing great, blah, blah, blah,” because I knew graphic design and stuff, and I would do all these designs. And then I made us money. I would go to different… like Cartoon Network. “We need money for the animation festival, give us money.”

And nobody liked my boss. Everybody thought he was a megalomaniac. And plus I had this attached relationship at the time. And then I ended up in the second one at the same time. So that was a mess. So anyway, I was looking for the unicorn. I kept thinking, okay, these are the brightest moments of my life. And I kept trying to string everything together. And it just ended up crashing and burning in so many different ways, which I could just do a whole podcast on that. So for me though, I was always stuck waiting for the unicorn and I had no acceptance of myself. I would blame myself for everything and be so weighted down in guilt and other shit that I’d just be stuck.

I would date someone and wonder if they were going to be the unicorn saving me from myself, these soulmate relationships or whatever they were. That’s what I called them. I would hesitate to call them that now if that showed up in my life. This is not healthy, is what I would show up with. So the problem is when you’re in that situation and you’re waiting for the unicorn to save you from yourself. Or I would go and get readings asking about my work, and then nothing would happen. And I mean nothing. I’d be told all these amazing things were going to happen, and then nothing would happen. And then I would feel like it was never arriving. And so I basically experienced, throughout my life, temporary unicorn-ness. That’s a new word by the way. Unicorn-ness, yeah. I wanted the high and the intense moments where I feel like I found the unicorn at last. I’m here. I have to hold on. Like I was in a movie or something or a song, right?

Oh, this is my life. Right? Wrong. Totally. So I was always looking for the otherworldliness and only to find it eventually ran out or no longer sparked me as it became work. I would work super hard. I put all this effort in, and the suffering and then the thing with suffering for this unicorn and thinking that’s what I had to do, like I had to prove myself in some way, shape or form. But I was avoiding my own self-hatred, my self-loathing, myself that thought who I was was absolutely nothing unless somebody else was telling me I was something. And that’s how my search for unicorns came basically crashing down on my head more than once, like so many times. And you would think I would have gotten it sooner rather than later, but each time I just kept going, “No, I got to get back in the search for it.” And literally I spent most of my adult life doing this. It was painful.

So why is this a problem? Well, it’s a problem because you’re not in reality and disconnected from yourself. So your life is a perpetual fairy tale with you as the damsel or man in distress. You’re constantly looking for an exit from the stuck feelings because you won’t deal with your other feelings. And that’s the truth. You got to deal with all the feelings. Somehow you believe there’s a place where all the positivity exists and you’re constantly disappointed that you do not have the key to find it. You would prefer running from who you are and hope that someone else sees your magic since you don’t see it. Or maybe you do for a moment or two, but you need it. It’s like you crave the validation. I know I did.

So the lift out of the humdrum life you live, because that’s what it feels like, until unicorn and then, “Oh my God, life is amazing. Oh, look at the trees. They’re so beautiful,” or whatever. Okay? Like everything all of a sudden has an extra sheeny, shiny look to it. And it’s really escapism. And the problem is your wasting time in a sense. And I’m not saying you like I’m telling you that you’re doing that. You’re going to tell you that you’re doing that. You’re going to feel that way. Oh my God, I’m wasting my time, my energy, and not really outgrowing that self-loathing or getting to self-acceptance and self-validation. And that is why it’s a problem, because escapism is the issue if you ever really want to feel good about yourself and not look back as though you wasted that time, or you wasted that money, or you wasted a resource. It’s a chase that only ends when you decide to deal with yourself.

It’s true. It really is. And then your life can have a unicorn appeal, but it’s not like you have to live in this crazy fantasy. Wow, it is hot in here. Okay, so let’s get to the wisdom nugget. The wisdom nugget is a hashtag. Here we go. Chasing unicorns will keep you chasing as a life pursuit. Be in your reality now and accept all the feelings and love yourself now. Why not, right? May as well do it. I know things stand in the way. It’s not as easy as going, “You know what? I’m going to love the shit out of myself today.” Obviously there’s things that stand in the way. So let’s get to the solution here. Well, whenever I speak of solutions, by the way, I’m always at the launching pad. This is always like you’re at the diving board. I can’t give you everything you need to do.

First of all, it wouldn’t make sense. Second of all, I’m not sure that you would take the information in a way that would actually create that change. So I just want to give you a place to look, a place to start, a place to be able to do something besides feel like you are completely lost in this bullshit. So obviously, your solution is within you. It always is. And you want to first look at the elevated moments in your life, the ones where you no longer are in the moment, but at that time you were lifted super high, into a fantasy of what you thought was happening in your life, like when I was describing the whole thing with the animation, right? And it’s so funny because I don’t really have those kinds of highs in my life anymore.

I remember when I got a book agent, it kind of had that buzzy feeling about it because I thought, oh my God, I actually have a good book agent, that’s actually sold great books. And I thought, oh my God, wow. I was thinking that was going to be a different process, but I didn’t get out of the moment. I don’t get out of the moment. And that’s one of the things you’ve got to do, is stay in the moment, not get high into your fantasy or what you think is happening in your life. Get in the moment. What’s happening right now? I met somebody new, as an example. Okay, you met somebody new, and that’s it. Not, “We’re getting married. This is the person I’ve dreamed about.” None of that shit. Be here in the moment. Because when you start building that fantasy, you’re going to be disappointed, because a fantasy is always disappointing, always. Because in real life, there’s pushback. There are potholes. There are things that happen, and it’s all how you take it.

So when you’re in a fantasy, you’re basically setting up impossible circumstances to work with. You’re setting up something that’s supposed to be perfect and not hurt you or not have challenges, and that’s not life. So that’s what I’m saying. On some level, you’re going to have some kind of disappointment. Even if it’s not the other person, it’s a situation. It’s your own actions. Whatever it is, that’s where you’re placing yourself. Okay? So anyways, you want to pay attention. Am I walking on cloud nine today for the last week? Notice if you’re doing this. What am I actually paying attention to? What is it that has me in this altered state? And then I want you to look at what is it that came crashing down. And maybe this is happening in your life right now.

But usually for most of us, it’s something in hindsight that we cherish. And we were like, “Oh my God, I have to have that moment again.” But look at how it came crashing down. What was it? Try to get specific with these things. What exactly happened? Not blaming the other person or something happened because they didn’t live up to whatever standards it was, or the job or whatever, the vacation, the house, the location you’re living in, whatever it was. Look at the aftermath. Did you work hard to try and hold onto it? Did you try to reverse the circumstances? Did you try to not let go? Did you notice you felt a fear of loss? Did you blame yourself for all of it? These are questions to ask yourself, hopefully asking your feelings, not your cognitive thoughts. Oh yeah, that’s what happened. Because you need to feel, not think. You need to feel the feelings that you avoid.

Most of us avoid disappointment. We will call it anything else. We will blame other people so we don’t have to actually deal with the reality of what took place. So the thing is, you want to get to know what your pattern is through asking these questions as well. Like, “Oh, I’m walking along in my life, just living my life. All of a sudden out of left field, this thing happened. And then all of a sudden I lost control of my life,” or whatever. But you want to see what was actually happening in your humdrum life. What was happening? Were you ignoring your own feelings where you just in autopilot? Notice these things, because this is all part of a bigger pattern. So when you can notice it without blaming anything, again, outside of you, you got to look at what was I doing? What was my hope?

You want to know what you’re doing so you can see how you put a spin on this story, right? Because we always put a spin on the story that makes us a victim or the rescued person in the castle. We need to look at ourselves in reality. You want to look beneath the fantasy in your mind and what you avoid inside of you. What feelings are you avoiding of inadequacy? Because it is about inadequacy, and it’s about loss. So you can do this by noticing, because this is another thing you can do, what triggers you have when you fear loss. What is it that’s happening? What is it that triggers you to go, “Oh God, I don’t want to lose that.” So this is a whole other part of breaking down the fantasy. What do you grapple to hold onto when you fear losing something? What will you lose inside of yourself? What inside of you will be gone if you don’t have your unicorn? What happens if you don’t have the unicorn?

I always tell people, sit with that feeling that comes up wherever it is in your body. And then ask yourself, “What happens next? What happens if I don’t have the unicorn? Am I just going to live a life that looks like it is now? What’s bad about that. Why do I reject that? Why do I not want it? What am I doing to maintain this life? Am I waiting for a unicorn?” That’s what you got to look at. You want to look at the trigger of being in the moment of the unicorn. What are you focused on? Because the trigger will usually be around fear of losing the unicorn. I’m not good enough to hold on to the unicorn. How am I going to hold on to the unicorn? I better be perfect me. I better do things so that my greatest fear doesn’t happen. We do this all the time.

So as I said, all of these questions are about getting to your underlying motivation, not your thoughts, but getting beneath your story and the trigger to what is your real motivation. What is really happening? And again, I always say these are questions to go inward, not outward. You can go, “Okay, this was happening outside of me and triggered me,” and bring it in here. Triggers outside of you, that’s not their fault, ever, whatever they are. People are doing what they do. Shit is happening the way it happens. It’s not happening to you, it’s how you’re receiving it. So you have to look at, hey, that’s a trigger. And it’s hard, but this is the way we untangle ourselves because a lot of us are on autopilot, which is physiology. It is not because there’s something wrong with you.

But you want to be able to get in and break these patterns and get in and make a difference in your life. Right? Right. What did I do? Well, I had to do this more than once. I had to basically sit my ass down and looked at what my expectations of life were. What was I looking at life delivering to me? I also had to look at how I wanted drama, but denied I wanted drama. But drama was this heightened place, like anything could happen. Things were going to change. I had this whole connection to drama, even though it wasn’t a, let’s call it dramatic, person. I wasn’t having meltdowns or screaming and yelling and what I associated with drama, although I usually picked people who were dramatic. It was basically an avoidance, right?

So I dealt with my deep, disturbing disappointment. I finally connected to it and dealt with it. And there’s some times where something new will happen and I might feel a sense of disappointment, but I just deal with it. And I let it pass through me instead of holding on and making it a thing that I react to, that I go put effort out to try and change something that I don’t have the ability to change at all. So it was very depressing for me. I’m not going to lie about how much I lived outside of myself, really. I was waiting for the amazingness and the hope that I would finally have arrived, but I never arrived. No I didn’t. And I could not see outside of my blinders, and so everything was colored by these blinders. I walked around like this, and my expectation… If you guys can’t see me because you’re not watching the video, I have my hands like I literally have blinders on.

And so everything, all of my expectations, were all inside of the small, small reality. It sucked. And then it did not, because as I really gathered inside of myself and I looked there and felt there and lived there, rather than avoiding it, it made all the difference in the world, all the difference. Because simple pleasures, yeah, I could have those where they were sort of unicorn moments, but when they just became my life, then I was feeling this feeling of connection without it being amazing craziness, I finally arrived. It wasn’t like that. It’s like, oh, I’m living my life. And that’s why I speak to this, because I lived for decades like this. I lived looking for my damn unicorn.

So, wisdom nugget. Chasing unicorns will keep you chasing as a life pursuit. Be in your reality now and accept all the feelings and love yourself now. Now, as I said, I know, easier said than done. You have a universal right. You have a universal right to be a unicorn chaser and keep looking for what does not exist, or stop ignoring yourself and be your own damn unicorn. There’s an idea. So the wrap up is this. Wrapping this up, you can continue to be afraid of the deeper truths. Yes, you can. It’s okay. But you have a choice. If you decide to do something about it, that is a choice. And that takes you digging into the disconnected emotional crap and seeing your desire for fantasy. “Oh my God, I won the lottery. Oh my God, I’m famous. Oh my God, I’m with someone who’s wealthy. Oh my God, something’s perfect. Oh my God, somebody finally gets me, even though I don’t get myself,” and so on. Right? Yeah. You can let it go in small steps.

But remember, the choice is yours. To participate in life, you have to be in reality. And reality is not as ugly as you may feel it is. In a side note, by the way, you can have goals. You can have dreams, but don’t live in a fantasy about it, ignoring reality. I can stay focused on a goal, but I’m still here in the moment. I’m still creating my life, moment to moment. All right, we have two related podcasts. We have number 235, Journey of Attachment, Fantasy Feelings and Unhealthy Relationships. And number 255, Journey of Attachment, the Fantasy of Someone Else’s Life. So if you have any questions, happiness@tracycrossley.com about topics or anything like that. If you want to get some help, email and set up a discovery call. All right, everybody take care. Bye-bye.

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