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Modern Renegades with Ashley Kelsch | No More Excuses

Ep #78

No More Excuses

Have you ever noticed how your brain can hone in on a partner’s subtle actions and turn them into very big life problems? Maybe they leave a glass of water in every room. Maybe they don’t fold towels exactly how you want them. Even though it’s a small thing, it drives you absolutely crazy.

Love and relationships are complicated; we have logic and emotion, and the two don’t always align. Often, we are dating and loving subconsciously, until we aren’t. We wake up and see ourselves and become aware. It’s what happened to me recently.

In this episode, I’m sharing a recent realization I had about my 90 days of celibacy and exploring why as human beings, we must show ourselves compassion, kindness, and grace when something doesn’t go as planned. Discover how to embrace your drama and internal mess and love yourself through that, because Renegades, this is how we learn.

What You Will Discover:

  • The realization I had recently when it comes to my own love life.
  • An update on my 90 days of celibacy.
  • How I learned to lean into my relationship and let it be.
  • Why it’s okay to stop doing something you committed to.
  • The importance of having your own back and keeping it simple.

Resources Mentioned:

  • If you’re enjoying the tools and concepts I’m sharing each week about your brain on dating, you won’t want to miss out on working with me one-on-one. I’ve just launched my program, Wake Up Before Another Breakup, where in just 8 weeks, you won’t question if you can trust yourself to date or why you can’t find the one. Click here to learn more about it and how you can work with me.
  • If you want a behind-the-scenes look at my 90-day challenge of no men and celibacy, click here to join my private group.
  • Susan Piver
  • Ep #77: Saying What You Mean

Enjoy the Show?

I’ve been taking French classes the last few weeks and let me tell you something… my brain is like wtf is happening here.

If you’re familiar with the process, you know or can probably just imagine all the shit that is going through your mind - for example, the instructor is speaking to us in French and you have no idea what they are saying- even when looking at the words, you can’t really pick anything up. Then God forbid, they ask you something - my first responses were anything but French. Then they are talking about putting you in breakout rooms and I find I’m panicking while trying to write down and translate all at once. I end up in the zoom rooms with strangers totally verklempt. But you know, it’s new and they continue to reassure us that this is normal.

All that aside, the part that stands out the most is while learning about French verbs and nouns my brain is like, wait, is that a verb in English? Or nouns. Have nouns always included ideas.

How is it, that I’m learning French and English at the same time? I live this language and yet, if you tested me, I’m not sure I’d be able to tell you every adjective, noun or verb without stopping and really thinking it through. My ability to speak is nothing short of memorization of learning what I heard. Understanding sentence structure has little to do with what and how I speak.

And it got me thinking…. It’s not unlike my brain when it comes to love and relationships.

I know the motions, I know what I was taught I know, what I’m learning and I know I can talk about it, but to see me structure it for myself is to find me in a break out room looking to my notes, slowly sounding out every letter, referencing what I logically know and trying to reconcile it with my own experience, wondering if my brain will ever get it right. Basically, me panicking and wanting to break out of the room.

Which is what I did when I declared my 90-day sabbatical from men and sex and orgasms.

At the time, it really seemed like the right move for work, the place I was in and my goals. There was just one small caveat.

My lover. Who you’ve heard me talk about here and three over the last year. And honestly the man deserves more than a reference of being my lover.

Mark, that’s his official name only 2nd to marky mark has been.

And what I mean by been is that he has been steady, supportive caring and consist while I’ve been like one of those humans birthing out a slime bag in the matrix.

It’s been very uncomfortable for me. While I’m learning this new way of being in relationship and loving it’s bringing up the systems of love that I grew up seeing and witnessing and it’s showing me how much I mess I’ve swimming in.

Which is exactly what it’s supposed to do. Regardless of the amount of personal development and work that we do individually, it will never be finished. And when you are faced with another human, you can count on all your drama rising to the surface.

But instead of leaning into that, I’ve run.

My kids need my attention. I want to focus on my work. I’m not sure what I’m doing when I empty the nest. This love, our love can wait.

If it’s meant to be it will be.

And I’m calling myself out. They are bullshit excuses.

You should see the excuses I’ve cultivated in regards to the way we operate… My brain will watch the way he hangs up a towel and if he doesn't fold it just right, I question if I’m spending time with a monster and how could I be alone with someone who doesn’t double fold? I know I’m not alone in these thoughts. For some of you it’s the dishes, others the trash… maybe the way they leave a glass of water in every room. Our brain hones in on these very subtle actions and turns them into the big life problems.

I have this reoccurring thought, when I’m dating someone…. They are bothering me. I’m bothered.

I keep thinking I’ll meet someone who doesn’t bother me. I was telling my friend josh this belief because I had seen it written in several journals over the years. I’m bothered. He’s bothering me. Later that night I was listening to Susan Piver who teaches how to practice love through Buddhist philosophy and she literally said, the person you are with will annoy you. There is no way around it.

I laughed out loud. Alone in bed.

There is no way around being madly in love and experiencing ultimate happiness with this person AND them making you absolutely mad and experiencing frustration.

And like I mentioned earlier, how you grew up seeing love and being loved set systems in place and you are operating from them these deeply embedded patterns and beliefs.

Often, we are dating and loving subconsciously until we aren’t. And we wake up and see ourselves. We become aware.

Much like I did this last week. Mark and I agreed that while I took 90 days away that we wouldn’t talk or see one another with one rule; if real life stuff happens, we communicate. What is real life? I guess that is up for interpretation but I I felt zero hesitation to reach out to him Saturday morning when I heard about a shooting on the 6th street knowing he was there the night before. Seems trivial to mention how I knew he was there when we are talking about something as serious as a shooting but for the record, my friend texted saying she saw him. And I didn’t do anything with that information besides manage my emotions. But hearing about that very real incident had me calling both my friends without hesitation. Tell me you’re okay.

Up until this point, I had been missing him but not in a way that seemed unbearable or unreasonable. We have spent the last year together. Of course, I miss him.

But this combined with one other real-life moment he experienced days later posed the question

It was at this time where I found myself thinking, how can I not be here for this man when he has a loss?

How can I support him as a friend and honor my process of no dating etc.?

I pondered this for some time… when it hit me; you love this man. Like love love him. And you want to be there for him. With him. In all the ways. And to think that this was a good goodbye was short sighted and probably immature on my part.

This is ridiculous. I’m here for so many people but not the person I am in love with. What the fuck am I doing? Seriously Ashley… you have to grow your ass up. When I made this decision, I didn’t consult him. I just did it. And I’ll say he supported me 100% but also shared with me later, you know there are two of us here and it’s a bit unfair that you didn’t consider me.

He’s not wrong. It’s sort of the Ashley show as I’m sure you can imagine. As you tune into listen to my show.

After I had this realization and we had a conversation about it I sat with.

I’m in love with this man and I shut it down.

I shut down love, the very rare and unique human experience that happens to us how often?

And now what the fuck am I supposed to do?

Love him and not be with him because I said I was taking 90 days off?

Love him and talk to him and see him and not say anything?

This whole town knows about my challenge.

I felt embarrassed. Started to feel like I was failing my clients. I felt shame that I was thinking about quitting for love.

Every way I looked at this felt wrong or deceitful until I arrived to this.

I’m done with the challenge.

It’s not aligned with my truth. Who I am. Or who I want to be. I’m definitely not going to put up a front for the community just because I said I was going to do something and not be in integrity with myself. I’d rather face the truth of I didn’t do it than pretend it's anything else.

I’m not doing the 90 days because I love this man and leaning into that truth was the challenge for me.

So with that…

I’m going to lean into my relationship with him and let it be.

I’m not going to try and control the outcomes.

I’m going to bear witness to my drama - the drama that I create on my side of the street for both of us and not react.

I’m going to let it be.

I’m going to do my work. Because I’m worthy of this work. We all are.

I’m not going to ever again recommend no masturbating… in my defense I didn’t recommend not but the fact that I suggested a break from it goes against everything I believe about my wellness program.

Here’s to the power of Pussy.

I would never recommend to my clients to walk away from love because they are uncomfortable or because it feels uncomfortable. I will always cheer for you to navigate through the river of suck - especially in the name of love.

I will always encourage that they keep doing their self-relational awareness work and see where it goes.

And I will do the same.

Believe it or not, a lot of good has come out of this for me. I was head deep in some work by Dr Alexandra Solomon - which I give credit to how I tapped into some of this clarity - and decided to reach out to her.

I will be interviewing her on my podcast in the next few weeks about communication - how women can better advocate and men can improve upon. I’m beside myself.

This wouldn’t not have happened otherwise.

Next week I’m going to share some of the lessons I’ve learned from her work that created the self-awareness I needed. When we stop focusing on how someone isn’t hanging up the towels properly, we start to see how we actually don’t fold two towels the same.

For all y’all that had money on this, drinks are on you. We will toast to the summer of love.

In case you’re wondering, I technically went 19 days.

I could do no sex, but the no orgasms is a deal breaker.

This might be tmi, but I had writers block until the morning after. The words are flowing my friends.

Here’s the other side, renegades. When we decide to do something, we need to know that it doesn’t mean life will be better on the other side. And if you decide to stop doing it’s okay. You don’t have to beat yourself up- look at what you learned

And let it the fuck go. Keep it simple.

I’d like to think this is me learning to love, having awareness, being in my integrity and do the work. Love and relationships are complicated. We have logic and then we have emotion and the two don’t always align. This is where we want to have compassion, kindness and grace for our human selves. To open and embrace our drama and internal mess. This is how we learn.

Here’s to hair triggers, 51 ways to leave your lover and daily orgasms.

Those are inside jokes. If you know, you know.

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