ajaHowdy, Michael C. Bryan here and welcome to another episode of The Michael C. Bryan Hour- where nothing is taboo. Disclaimer: things might get provocative. Discretion is advised.

Unconditional love – not needing anyone to do shit for us.

I made that definition up. It doesn’t exist anywhere, but it should. The idea of unconditional love came around at the end of my conversation with this week’s guest, Aja. While we did talk about racism, education and all things feminism, the end of the call came to the place where, I suspect, most of my coaching and/or interviews on the podcast are going to come, and that’s to the question of how much we do, or do not, embrace the idea of unconditional love for ourselves. Not for others; for ourselves.

Fucking Jerry Maguire movie. Screwed everything up for most of us when it comes to dating.

It’s like what one of my favorite spiritual teachers once said – there ain’t no way you can have a happy ending without a happy journey. Inadvertent pun intended. And being of service first to others, and not ourselves, is a recipe for an unhappy journey. That’s not to say we don’t help others. It means if we help ourselves first, we can’t help but help others.

Cue the music and let the confetti rain.

Aja understands this. She understands she’s already this thing she’s trying to become. It’s the same for all of us. I’ve had coaching clients tell me in AA there’s talk that they’re broken and need to be healed. I’ve never been in AA so I don’t know how valid that is, but if it, it’s fucked up thinking. None of us are broken. We’re fine as we are. We’ve just forgotten that somewhere along the way because we believe what people tell us.

What I loved about talking with Aja was how she’s the new breed of forward thinking people who are driving forward the idea of radical inclusion. In the call it was so refreshing to talk about the mixing of genders and races which is the Oneness of our world. I know I capitalized Oneness and made it a noun. It’s not obnoxious, I promise. It’s the truth. It’s what Einstein was talking about. The thing we’re all reaching for. The emotional understanding that we’re all connected and always have been.

Which brings us back to this pesky idea of unconditional love again. Fucking Jerry Maguire. We don’t need anyone to complete us. We are complete. But then perhaps that’s the point of movies like fucking Jerry Maguire. To drive us towards that rush of radical independent love which we only know we want by watching silly movies about needing someone to complete us.

See what you did Aja? You got me going on this and I’m afraid I won’t stop for days now. Damn you.

More about Aja:
Aja Martinez always knew she would teach, she always knew she would write. Never one to play “house” as a child, she would line up her stuffed animals and her baby brother for “school time”. When tasked with “show and tell” in the first grade, Aja didn’t spend time deciding on her best toy to bring to school; she instead wrote a book and read it to her class. A professor of rhetoric and writing, Aja is a lifelong student and is most alive when she is learning from and engaging with brilliant students, colleagues, or her daughter. As a momma, Aja and her teen daughter love to travel, try new food, and play video games. They, along with their giant ginger tabby cats, Jack and Bruce, live a pretty charmed life.