Relationships are the foundation of human society, but many of us struggle to maintain healthy relationships. If that’s something that bothers you and makes you lose your sleep, then you are not alone, and the majority of the world is with you on this. The fear of being alone gets to the best of us because we value relationships and find them integral to our happiness and success
There’s another side to this: There are those, too, who have given up on relationships because of unpleasant experiences and pain. But isn’t that what life is all about? Our past experiences don’t determine our future entirely; we do. What matters is how we learn from those experiences and continue to grow and transform and make ourselves stronger, smarter, and more resilient.
Gabor Mate said, “The attempt to escape from pain creates more pain.” To add to this further, I would quote David Richo, who said, “Our wounds are often the openings into the best and the most beautiful part of us.” So how can we do this whole relationship thing? How can we not only find the right partner but also maintain a healthy, long-lasting, and immersive relationship? How can we move out of our pain and give a fresh start to ourselves?
I have a feeling that your questions are going to be answered in this episode — I mean, who would be better than a world-renowned licensed marriage therapist to lead this conversation? Today, our guest is Dr. Siri Sat Nam Singh, a reputable psychologist who has been studying human behavior and relationships for decades. His observation and knowledge of the topic might help you in many ways.
But before we begin, I just wanted to squeeze in a short note. If you watch the podcast, you might notice a communication breakdown at the beginning of the conversation between Dr. Siri and me. I acknowledge that there was a misunderstanding on our part where we booked two guests simultaneously, a situation that has never happened before on The School of Greatness. Dr. Siri had to wait a few hours in our building before we were able to interview him. As we began our conversation, he started sharing his feelings about the situation that happened, and you will see how we navigate through the uncomfortable discussion that unfolded.
But moving on from the unfortunate start, I am excited for you all to be learning from the brilliant Dr. Siri Sat Nam Singh. You will find the conversation useful in learning about finding a healthy relationship and enriching your existing relationships. Before that happens, let’s get to know more about Dr. Siri Sat Nam Singh.
Dr. Siri Sat Nam Singh is a licensed marriage family therapist (LMFT) who holds a BA in psychology, an MA in clinical psychology, and a Ph.D. in depth psychology. The title of his dissertation was The Phenomenal Study of African-American Men Raised without their Biological Fathers.
Dr. Siri was also featured in Viceland network production’s, The Therapist, where he sat down with musicians like Katy Perry, Waka Flocka, and many more from the world of rap, rock, pop, dancehall, and EDM. The purpose was to unfold what lies underneath these celebrities’ public personas.
His latest book — The Pocket Guru — was recently awarded the 2020 Walden Award for excellence in mind/body connection and healing. For anyone interested in some guidance and mantras for spiritual awakening and emotional wisdom, then this book is for you. Some of Dr. Siri’s articles that presented a holistic perspective on well-being have appeared in Whole Life Times, Alternatives, and Awareness magazines.
Dr. Siri has also worked for various social services agencies as a supervisor, facilitator, therapist, MAT (Multi-Disciplinary Assessment Team) assessor, and clinical director. Through these endeavors, he has often worked with substance abuse individuals, people with HIV/AIDS, gang members, distressed couples, children at risk, people with incurable diseases, as well as perpetrators/victims of domestic violence.
Dr. Siri’s knowledge and decades of experience are highly inspirational for me. We can all use his guidance to understand relationships and learn how to deal with pain, feelings, and forgiveness. Let’s find out more about relationships and effective communication from this phenomenal man.
Dr. Siri has done a lot of incredible work with couples, specifically married couples. So to reward my curiosity, I asked him the biggest reason why relationships fail. I have always wondered whether there is a common underlying problem that plagues all relationships.
Dr. Siri acknowledges the importance of each individual to identify with both the masculine and feminine principles in a relationship. By nature, you may be inclined to focus more on masculine energy over feminine energy or vice versa. Still, it becomes essential for you to be able to tap into the emotional range of the other.
“This assumption is actually correct — … if your masculine energy is high and you are unable to sense the feminine energy inside you, then you can’t understand the feminine energy that is outside. … Both the genders must embody both these energies.” – Dr. Siri Sat Nam Singh
One of the best ways to better understand your partner and to have a thriving relationship is through therapy. Contrary to the popular opinion that therapy should be sought when things are already bad, I want to encourage you to try utilizing therapy from the start of your relationship. Why wait for it to fail when you can strengthen the roots right from the start?
Self-Awareness and the Ability to Express: The Foundations for a Strong Relationship
The ultimate goal for anyone in a relationship is to feel happier, healthier, and whole. While balancing our masculine and feminine energy does help us in finding solid ground, there is more that goes behind strengthening a relationship.
“The key is self-awareness — to be aware of your life, dislikes, triggers, deal-breakers, and [most importantly] loving oneself. … If you love someone but are far away from self-love, then you won’t be able to receive love. … [Your relationship] can get imbalanced, and you will miss the opportunity to become whole.” – Dr. Siri Sat Nam Singh
While self-awareness and self-love are important, what is equally essential is the ability to express one’s feelings and emotions more freely. This is something I also talked extensively about in my book, The Mask of Masculinity. To project a certain image to the world, people tend to hide and numb their pain instead of expressing it.
“You can accept someone else only [when you fully accept yourself and everything about you], especially the bad and the ugly. And if you don’t express the hurt, it turns to anger.” – Dr. Siri Sat Nam Singh
I experienced internal pain and suffering for many years because I was unwilling to address it. But things really started to shift when I began to open up about my pain and shame. I quickly learned that I could process this and integrate it into my life and undergo a healing process. And one thing that really helped me through it was therapy.
Many of us view therapy more from a damage-control perspective. We only seek therapy in times of extreme pain or loss when nothing else seems to be working for us. But one can as easily start going for therapy when things are already good and have the scope of getting even better. This works well for relationships too, and Dr. Siri himself supports the thought that the best time to get into therapy is when you have found the right person for you. This way, you can use the therapy to open up and strengthen your bond. In the end, it’s all about effectively communicating and managing your pain and transforming that into a beautiful outcome.
Why You Should Listen to This Dr. Siri Sat Nam Singh Podcast Right Now…
Guys, I hope this episode helped you understand more about what goes behind having a successful relationship and how you can use your pain as a catalyst for transformation. Dr. Siri and I spoke about many more things I could not cover in this post, but you can click on this link and watch the rest of the episode.
To know more about Dr. Siri Sat Nam Singh and his decades of experience, you can check out his website here. You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter for more regular updates on Dr. Siri’s life and work.
If you found this episode with Dr. Siri to be helpful, then please share it with your friends and family and help someone who might need to hear this conversation. I would also be grateful if you tag Dr. Siri, @drsirinow, and me, @lewishowes, on Instagram with a screenshot of this episode and your greatest takeaways from it.
I talk a lot about greatness, which is why my podcast is also called The School of Greatness, and it is customary for each guest to leave us with their definition of greatness. Here’s Dr. Siri’s take on it:
“Greatness is to live in harmony with oneself. I think we all are great because we are created by unseen greatness. … We come from great divinity … and so to live in that is great.” – Dr. Siri Sat Nam Singh
You have a beautiful gift, my friend, and I would like to remind you that you are worthy and you matter. It’s time for you to go out there and do something great.