When I was 25 years old and nearing the end of my first year of law school, I told my girlfriend at the time that even though I would be around to hang out with, I would no longer give her any part of my emotional self. Essentially, I broke up with her. I did this because she had decided to study abroad that summer, a decision she seemingly made without an ounce of deliberation.

After about a month of staying physical, but emotionally distant, I changed my mind and wanted her again, letting her know how I felt. But she was preparing for her trip, and wanted nothing to do with me. I was a human dildo.

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During this stage of our “relationship,” many hidden truths came out. Sometimes this happened out of anger and spite for our failed relationship, and sometimes just from detached honesty to satisfy one another’s curiosity.

There was one particularly honest exchange that changed my life, but not in the manner anticipated at the time. She told me that she had always been attracted to large men, that at six feet one inch tall and one hundred sixty five pounds, I was by far the smallest guy she had ever seriously dated. She went on to tell me that if I were to gain twenty pounds that summer, she would be interested in dating me again.

I was inexperienced in life and with women. She was my first true girlfriend, and at the time, I thought the love of my life. We had on many occasions discussed marriage, children and the future. I felt abandoned when she decided to plan her trip to Europe, and to say I was hurt that summer would be the understatement of the year.

However, with her honesty about my size and her lack of attraction, she unknowingly unleashed a chain of events that would forever change my life profoundly.

Summer

When she moved out of her apartment which was ten feet away from mine and left for Europe, my life was more empty than it had ever been. I had no real friends and was alone in the city I had moved to for law school one year prior. She had been my life, and I had no confidence that I would ever find a girl as attractive, smart and cool as her ever again in life.

So that summer, I poured my heart and soul into gaining those twenty pounds of muscle she had dangled in front of me as the price for her heart and loyalty when she returned. Outside of work and classes, I did nothing but eat, train and rest. My entire summer outside of my obligations consisted of cooking food, eating food, lifting, and watching Game of Thrones with my new roommates for the summer.

I had been a serious athlete for years, but I had never had the objective to gain massive amounts of muscle. Performance and aerobic endurance had been my top priorities. I was ripped, and liked to stay that way.

But that summer, I had a goal to achieve, and I applied all my nutrition and kinesthetic knowledge into strength training, and continuously taught myself more. I even taught myself to eat more than I ever thought possible.

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By the summer’s end, I had achieved my goal. By drinking a gallon of milk every two days, eating massive meals, and training with the intensity and passion of a crazy person, I did it. I put every ounce of frustration and anger I could manage into the weight room. I had lifted for years, but that summer I took everything two orders of magnitude higher.

Solely through my dedication and strength of mind, I achieved what I thought would be impossible, and I was the strongest man around almost everywhere I went.

Her Return

When she returned from Europe, I picked her up and we went out for tacos. We walked around downtown, and suddenly I felt her place her hand in my hand. We walked around for a while, and once we were in a quiet area, we sat and talked on a bench.

Before we knew it, we were making out and it was on. A few days later, after helping her move in, our physical relationship returned. I thought I had succeeded, that all my hard work had paid off. That she could not help herself, that she was mine again.

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I was wrong.

Although I had suddenly gained massive amounts of muscle, and was the strongest man around, I was mentally weak still.  I had gained the weight, the muscle, the strength all for her. She must have instinctively known this, and was turned off.

The morning that I left her new bedroom after moving her in, she walked me to the door, with a genuine smile on her face and without any clothes on, wished me a good day on that first day of classes for our second year of law school. I did not know it at the time, but that was the last time we would ever be nice, open and kind to each other.

Over the course of that semester I was a beautiful wreck. Although she had only been the third girl I had slept with in my life, I slept with six new girls that semester.

I finally had to face the pain of rejection on the most fundamental and real level a human can experience. I had shown her every aspect of my physical, mental and emotional self the year prior. And she wanted none of it. In her mind, I was a loser. If I was not, I would not have spent my entire summer doing something for her.

Action And Reaction

During the course of that semester, I never consciously realized how easily I was finding attractive, sexy girls who wanted to sleep with me.

I was too focused on my pain my ex-girlfriend had left me with, but the reality was that I was now finding it easy to have casual sex, or even form relationships with other girls—girls of high quality who had many guys chasing them.

That semester, I stopped caring about chasing women. Nothing mattered to me if I could not have my ex. And that is how I swallowed the red pill.

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Looking back, I can see how much I got my shit together that semester. I did it because I knew instinctively what I needed to do to be successful. I did it because nothing I did mattered to me, so I figured out I might as well do the rational thing while I wallowed in pain. I had no hope for fixing anything like I had during the summer.

I spent the semester accepting reality, accepting my own shortcomings. It was real. Everything was suddenly very real. I saw everything from a cold, detached, and clinical perspective. I saw cause and effect. Action and reaction. That summer had taught me that. My ex-girlfriend made me force the reality of my rejection. There were no lies I could tell myself.

From my new perspective, emotions were nothing but the ripples that emanate from the gap between expectation and reality. I learned that the immense pain I was experiencing was me adjusting to the laws of cause of effect. I learned that if I had understood how people, society, and the world worked exactly, then my actions would produce exactly what I wanted.

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All I could do was improve myself, or let myself decay.

In my mind I accepted that I would never experience those feelings I had felt with her ever again. So, I set about like a machine, constructing an even more powerful mind and body, and making plans for the future. Not for any particular reason any longer, or with any motivation. I did it because sitting around decaying was boring and not very interesting. I had done that after graduating from Arizona State University, and I knew the only place that path would lead to was homelessness and eventually, a premature death.

Women were not even a small priority to me. They were playthings I interacted with when I was not working. I realized all I had to do was continue not to care, to dress well, and to carry myself confidently, and women would flock to me. My appearance and inner reality were contradictory, and that is what seemed to make all the difference. I became a mystery to people, a puzzle to solve.

People only judged my appearance though, and treated me based solely on the image I presented. Nobody knew or cared about my feelings, only my appearance and demeanor. After gaining twenty pounds of muscle, and learning to dress well, grown men of all stations of life gave me respectful eye contact and nods everywhere I went. Women wanted to spend time in private with me.

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Nobody knew the real reason I had gained the size, and nobody would have even cared. I was a man without a care to the outcome of my actions, but a man who on the surface took all the actions necessary to achieve success in all aspects of life.

Masculinity

The truth is that people judge a man by his looks, style, size and strength. It is all we have to gain an idea to the interior, to gain a glimpse of a person’s mindset and emotional state. My ex-girlfriend unknowingly gave me the ultimate gift. She rejected me mind, body and soul. I was forced to take the red pill and become a man.

To this day I don’t care about anyone’s opinion about me. Being rejected so completely forced me to either move on with or drop out of life. I could have gone either way, but I chose to dress well and execute behaviors that would give me rewards, which in turn made me carry myself with confidence.

I know pain, failure and rejection. And I know life goes on regardless of success or failure. When I say I don’t care, I know it is true because I am as zen about successful outcomes as I am failures. Taking the red pill is about feeling something and then letting that feeling go.

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It is about letting pleasure wash over you, and it is about letting pain wash over you. But never remaining attached to either.

Emptiness

Zen is the middle ground of stability, of not needing anything.

Red Pill Zen is knowing that experiencing pain and pleasure are equally the meaning of life and therefore life is all one truly needs.

Red Pill Zen is understanding that all purposeful action leads to growth while inaction leads to decay.

Red Pill Zen is taking the path of growth for no real reason other than an intellectual curiosity to align with the laws of the universe through trial and error. To learn the laws of action and reaction. Because lifting the veil over your eyes to see the truth, to see beyond the matrix of appearances which guide everyone else is power. That power of experience is the essence of masculinity, and if it does not resonate with you, try resonating with femininity instead.

Read More: Does Building Muscle Get You Women