The legendary Miyamoto Musashi, Japan’s greatest Ronin, retreated into the Spirt Rock Cave as his days grew short.
Dying of what is believed to be lung cancer, Musashi held sacred that “you may abandon your body, but you must preserve your honor”. Thus, as his body began to fail him, he must have pondered how best to preserve his honor. The one-time Samurai turned Ronin had spent his entire life defending that honor from the opponent after opponent.
The victor of over 60 duels, he was feared throughout the land on account of the ruthless efficiency with which he dispatched his opponents.
Born at the tail end of the infamous Sengoku period, shortly before Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu finally unified Japan, Musashi’s first recorded duel took place at age 13.
Quarterstaff in hand, he ruthlessly beat his opponent to death despite the latter having a Wakizashi (pictured below).
Needless to say, the rest of Musashi’s days were not spent quietly.
By age 61, he had spent nearly 40 years wandering through the verdant forests and between Japan’s many snowcapped peaks. As a Ronin, part hermit, part warrior, he had no permanent home, nor a traveling companion to watch his back.
He was deft with a sword, yet equally precise with a paintbrush.
He was a devoted Buddhist yet he curtly said “Respect Buddha and the gods yet do not count on their help”
He was a father, who saw his adopted son commit ritual suicide at the age of 23.
He had loved, yet he chose the way of the sword over his love of any one woman.
Thus, as he sat alone in the Spirit Rock Cave, the fullness and tragedy of his life surely must have come to mind. His honor unblemished, his possessions few, he made his preparation for death by giving away the one thing he did possess: his wisdom.
Dedicated to his favorite disciple, Musashi wrote what is today known as The Dokkōdō (The Way Of Walking Alone).
This short work was a collection of 21 principles through which Musashi had lived his disciplined and honest life.
The Dokkōdō is full of timeless wisdom, but there are 4 principles in particular that we’re going to talk about today.
They are (in order):
1: Accept everything just the way it is.
6: Do not regret what you have done.
7: Never be jealous.
21: Never stray from the way.
If all you take away from this article are these 4 principles, then I consider that a success.
Though I’m sure Miyamoto Musashi could never have foreseen his principles being used to cure heartbreak, somehow I imagine he would be happy to know his honor remains intact.
Now for you, my friend, I want to help you preserve YOUR honor in the face of the tremendous adversity that comes with seeing your ex-girlfriend in a rebound relationship. By the end of this article, I hope I can lift the dark haze you’re feeling by showing you how to apply these 4 principles to what you’re going through.
Because I know how you’re feeling. You’re fucking worried, and I know you’re tired of it. Enough is enough.
Some days you’ll miss her because you feel like she’s never coming back. Other days you’re angry that she betrayed you and still managed to “win” by getting into a new relationship. It’s maddening, isn’t it?
There’s nothing worse than feeling like you are so easily replaced.
Other than seeing her with her new guy, and feeling your stomach drop.
Principle 1: Accept Her Relationship For What It Is
Principle 1: Accept everything just the way it is.
Translation: Accept that she’s in a relationship (whether it is a rebound or not) because you have no control over her decisions.
It’s no accident that the first principle of the Dokkōdō is perhaps the most important of them all. Much of our pain and suffering is caused by our inability to accept the realities of life. You have to make peace with the way everything is, not the way you want it to be if you want to be happy long term.
So let’s get this out of the way as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Here is the reality you face right now:
- Your ex-girlfriend is in a relationship with another guy.
- No, you can’t talk her out of it.
- They are probably going on dates
- Yes, he’s fucking her, and she’s probably enjoying it too.
- She’s not thinking about you when she’s with him.
- It’s possible her “rebound” is not a rebound relationship.
- She’s not trying to “send a message” by dating someone else.
- Her relationship won’t magically end in 3-6 months just because you bought a $997 ex-girlfriend recovery program.
Look, the fact that you’re calling her relationship a rebound without being in her head already tells me that you’re struggling to accept what she’s doing for what it is.
By calling it a rebound, you’re implying that it’s somehow less serious and less meaningful. You’re deluding yourself into thinking that your ex-girlfriend’s relationship is going to end soon, because of your desire for revenge or your desire to get her back.
If you want to be able to move on with your life, and experience long-term, masculine happiness you need to accept the fact that she’s in a relationship, and there’s not a single damn thing you can do about it.
You have to accept that her getting into a rebound relationship is not about how she feels about you. It’s about how she feels about herself.
You only can control how you feel about yourself. You have no control over how she feels about herself.
If you’re struggling with acceptance, I want you to read my article on 6 steps you need to take to stop fantasizing about your ex-girlfriend. It will help you get over this important mental roadblock.
Once you are able to accept her relationship with sincerity and grace, you won’t be so fucking worried about it all the time.
But I understand, acceptance may not be possible without answers. I also understand you may have a lot of questions.
I’ll cover some of the big ones I get asked.
How The Hell Did She Move On So Fast?
Your ex-girlfriend moved on so fast because, for her, the relationship was already over when she ended it. Go read the linked article for a more complete understanding, as it’s one of the most important concepts I teach here.
Did Our Relationship Really Mean Nothing To Her?
If you were in a long, serious relationship, chances are your ex-girlfriend probably loves you. But that’s about all I can say with reasonable certainty. I’m not your ex-girlfriend, so it’s impossible for me to say for certain, what your relationship meant to her.
So you might be wondering, “But Jack, if she loves me, why doesn’t she want to be with me? Why does she want to be with him?”
As I’ve said many times before, just loving someone is not enough. Relationships are not simple. They require a lot more than just love.
Did I Really Mean Nothing To Her?
If you’re asking yourself this question, she clearly meant something to you.
If she meant something to you, then that’s all the matters. What you meant to her is irrelevant. Let me explain.
When do you question what you meant to her, what you’re really asking yourself is: Was I good enough for her? Was I enough? You’re making a judgment of your own value based on her actions, which as I’ve already established, you have no control over.
So let me ask you a question: why should a decision SHE made mean that you aren’t good enough?
Ultimately, questioning what you meant to her and then trying to quantify it is a useless exercise designed to protect your ego and inflate your sense of importance.
So here’s the truth man: you’re good enough just the way you are.
I Promised Her I Would Change, So Why Did She Pick Him Instead?
Fool me one time shame on you
Fool me twice, can’t put the blame on you
Fool me three times, fuck the peace signs
Load the chopper, let it rain on youJ-Cole, No Role Modelz
Talk is cheap. Action is what counts. If you’re only now promising to change, you’re too late. She’s already moved on.
Read this: The 6 Real Reason Women Leave You
Why Did She Throw Away Everything We Had?
When you ask this question, you’re making the mistake of assuming that she feels the same way. You see it as throwing away everything, she may see it as moving on with her life.
Again – if you are going to accept things as they are, you must accept that the relationship is over, regardless of her reasons for ending it. Accept that change is a part of life and that sometimes, something terrible can be a blessing in disguise.
Does This Mean There’s No Chance Of Us Getting Back Together?
Often I am asked: what are the chances we’ll get back together?
While I might be able to guess, even with my years of experience doing this, I never can say for sure.
Neither can you. Part of accepting the way things are means not wishing for them to be different. If you can find it in yourself to accept that right now, you’re no longer together with her, you can accept that the future is uncertain.
Plus, you may want her right now, but who says that won’t change?
Principle #6: Don’t Beat Yourself Up If You Messed Up
Principle 6: Do not regret what you have done.
Translation: What’s been done is done, there’s no going back. There are no do-overs. Find freedom in that – by choosing not to regret, but to learn.
It’s another thing to accept getting dumped and then watching her immediately move on while you stand there slack-jawed thinking what the fuck just happened here.
What does he have that I don’t? Why the hell would she want to date a guy like him? What does he do that I don’t?
Watching them immediately invites comparison – especially if you are at the point where you are beginning to understand some of the areas where you went wrong. If you are in my audience, you’re at the point right now where the puzzle pieces are starting to fit together. You’re starting to realize that chances are, you fucked a few things up.
It’s easier to accept those failures if she’s not dating someone else – because your brain wants to protect your ego as we talked about in Principle #1. Your brain convinces you that you can fix what went wrong and then get her back.
It’s a little bit different when she’s dating someone else, isn’t it? Suddenly your grand plans don’t seem as grand, do they?
The mistakes you made change from things to improve, to targets on your back as you point the finger at yourself.
If that’s you, wake the fuck up man!
I know it’s easy to see her with the new guy and beat yourself up. I know how easy it is to revisit everything you ever said and did.
But think back on Principle #1.
It should not matter to you if she’s dating someone new or not: either way, she’s not dating you. The gravity of your mistakes isn’t different in either situation.
I want you to remind yourself that no one is perfect. Especially if you are a younger guy, or haven’t had many serious relationships. It’s normal to fuck stuff up. You have to learn to be a good partner somehow!
Be real with yourself – if you’re able to accept what your ex-girlfriend is doing, you should be able to accept that you are also human and able to make mistakes. It doesn’t make you a bad person. It doesn’t make you a bad man.
Don’t forget that.
Principle #7: Don’t Be Jealous – Focus On Yourself
Principle 7: Never be jealous.
Translation: Jealousy is a waste of time. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, focus on yourself
The #1 reason you shouldn’t be jealous is that you have no idea. You have no idea if her new relationship is going well. You have no idea how she feels about him. You have no idea about how he feels about her.
You aren’t a fly on the wall, you don’t have complete information. For all you know, she might not be attracted to him at all. Or she might be very attracted to him. Either way. You don’t know for sure – and you can only guess.
Ask yourself honestly: why are you jealous?
Is it because you think he’s better than you?
Is it because you think their relationship is better than yours?
Is it because you assume they are happier than you?
Jealousy is another form of mental masturbation. You don’t know, so don’t assume. What you assume is often wildly inaccurate. Your worst fears very rarely happen. Nor do you hit the lottery very often.
Instead of wasting your time being jealous of what you don’t have, you can focus on what you do have: the man reading these words. If you want to get started, I want you to read this article on 8 ways you can work on yourself right now.
Principle #21: Pick A Course Of Action & Stick With It
Principle 21: Never stray from the way.
Translation: Choose how you wish to live, and never look back.
Your course of action are the train tracks that carry you forward even when you otherwise lack direction.
If you read all 21 principles in The Dokkōdō, you’ll understand that this principle is what neatly ties the rest together. Principle 21 is choosing your way forward.
To never stray from the way means making a commitment to accept your ex-girlfriend is in a relationship, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
It means dedicating yourself to understanding where you went wrong in the relationship, without comparing yourself to her new boyfriend.
It means taking ownership of the fact that your jealousy is an imaginary waste of time, and constantly reminding yourself of that even when you really don’t want to.
Choose your way forward.
Do you choose the clarity of humility, acceptance, freedom, and happiness?
Or do you choose the fog of denial, jealousy and self-blame?
The choice is yours.
Talk soon my friend,