Only Girl/Guy In the World

Yesterday I did a print job for Loreal. When you work in the industry, most of the day is spent sitting and waiting until it’s your turn to shine.

I meet a lot of people while I am in the wait mode. A woman and I were chatting yesterday about acting jobs and being on hold and then released. I said I appreciated an email when I was released or a phone call. She had worked in casting and said that it wasn’t necessary, which she then followed with, “Don’t be such a girl!”

I laughed at this. I’ve been a man for so long raising three boys into young men who see me as their pillar of strength, go to for everything from investing, saving, life lessons, how to treat a girl and how to tie a tie, that I have felt everything but girly. So being told I was “such a girl” not only made me feel amazing, it awakened a part of me that had been asleep for far too long.

I think it’s sad that a person would think there is something wrong with being too girlish or boyish. I like it when someone wants to help me. Am I a damsel in distress because I do? I don’t think so. In fact, I think it shows strength when a person can be vulnerable.

This newly awakened girl in me started to notice something very interesting. When I am on set I am treated exceptionally well. In my relationships with men, not so much. I realized yesterday that it’s because I have always made the men in my life feel like they are the only one in the world, but they have never made me feel that way in return. Perhaps you have felt the same way about your partners as well.

This aha moment of connecting the set world to the real world was inspirational and liberating. In order to have lasting relationships, we have to feel special, like we matter, our needs should constantly be met and when someone looks at us, they should be looking at us like we are perfection, just like when you are doing a production.

When you’re on set people are happy you are there, they talk to you freely, make you feel good about who you are and accept you just as you are and everything is easy. Relationships should be no different.

These are the jobs I attract as well as the people that come with them. So now that I am keenly aware of the correlation between that world and the dating one, men who get this concept, will show up.

Remember, your inner world attracts your outer one, and so, just like that…

I sat down on the crowded train home and a man I had never seen before sat across from me. Easygoing, talkative, quite plesant, charming, handsome and stylish. Could it really be that easy? Time will tell.

So now that you know the secret to manifesting real love that will last, don’t accept anything less than feeling like you are the only girl/guy in the world. Being made to feel any other way, is not only a big red flag, it’s a waste of your time.

Just Be

It’s incredibly hard for people to just be. Some people might even struggle with the term. Like they scratch their heads and wonder how can I “just be” when I don’t even know what that means.

It’s really hard to “just be”…until it isn’t. It gets really easy when you let go of having to know what is next and just allow what is meant to be next, to arrive.

That might sound a bit airy fairy, but I only write about what I know or do research on or have been through or have studied. I’m not a person who claims to be an expert, brags, boasts or quotes others without giving them credit or pretends to know more than I do. I find those characteristics rather disingenuous.

“Just being” is something that has to happen to you in order for you to appreciate it. It’s like you are thrown into an adult time out and have nothing to do but think. If you are always moving and filling every single hour of your day with some sort of activity, there is no time for reflection.

A lot of people do this by design. They don’t want to reflect. Reflection takes strength. It gives us time to really think about where our focus is, how we are presenting ourselves to others, how we are showing up for ourselves and what work might need to be done in areas of our lives to do better and be better.

If we don’t have down time, then we are just going and going and going. We are pretty much doing the same thing, which is fine if we like the way things are, but if we are being honest, most of us aren’t happy with the way things are, which means having time to “just be” gives us time to figure things out.

Nike says “Just do It!” I say, “Just Be” first. Then you can just do it, because you will be coming from a place of strength, knowing and discipline, not impulsivity.

Why We Say I’m Sorry When We Don’t Mean It

I’ve been saying I’m sorry since I was 12. Probably longer actually. Sorry for this, sorry for that. I didn’t even know why I was saying I was sorry, I just knew it was expected of me, so I did it, else I would be ignored.

Even now I still find myself saying I am sorry, even when I don’t know what I have done wrong. But I am also keenly aware of the fact that if I do not say sorry, then it will cost me relationships.

This love with conditions has hindered my and my relationships for most of my life. Even when I feel completely broken and down-trodden, I find myself apologizing for feeling that way, in order to keep people in my life.

I was taught, conditioned rather, that in order to get someone’s love, you had to hold back everything you felt. To “keep the peace” if you will. I wasn’t allowed to have emotions or a voice, so you can imagine how well it has gone over since I found a voice and refuse to play by these rules any longer.

It’s a rather strange dynamic when you stop playing by these unspoken rules. Those who still adhere to them rally around one another and find fault with anyone who doesn’t. People who play the victim and take no responsibility for their actions (no matter how heinous), will always find people to validate their feelings. It’s called co-dependency. There is no growth in co-dependence, only more judgement and ridicule of others.

I find it rather interesting that people who need to say they are sorry, seldom do. Is it because they don’t feel like they have done anything wrong or is because they know they have and admitting so would take them down a rabbit hole they may never surface from, so blaming others and projecting all of that unhealed stuff onto sensitive people is easier.

If you are sensitive, people who never say they are sorry know this. They also know exactly what buttons to push to make you feel bad, too. I mean, if you have been the punching bag your whole life and it has made others feel better, why would they stop punching you now.

They won’t, unless you make them. In order to do this, you have to stop saying you are sorry for their ill treatment of you. Sometimes setting boundaries with people is the only thing you can do, especially with those who take no accountability.

Think about what you are saying sorry for the next time you feel like you should say it. Is it authentic or is it conditioning in order to gain someone’s love? Remember, unconditional love has no conditions, love with them is overwrought with manipulation and control.

Where Are You Swimming and Who is it With?

“A shark in a fish tank will grow 8 inches, but in the ocean it will grow to 8 feet or more. The shark will never outgrow its environment and the same is true about you. Many times we’re around small thinking people so we don’t grow. Change your environment and watch your growth.”

It’s pretty scary to stand on the shore of the ocean and think about diving in and swimming all by yourself. It’s mysterious, beautiful, haunting, inviting and intimidating all at once.

We might be a bit intimidated by the enormity of it, but a shark thinks nothing of swimming there. It knows it thrives there and that it is at home.

But what of people who have outgrown their environment and the people in it? Where do they go? What do they do? It’s a real predicament because while they have become conditioned to swimming in a bowl, they know if they stay there, all that they desire and dream about will never be obtained. You see, it is impossible to dream big in an environment and with people who dream small.

People who fear this change will remain in the bowl, no matter how uncomfortable or unhappy they are. But those brave souls who feel called to do more and be more, know they have no choice but to leave because staying in the bowl is keeping them small when they have the potential to be really big.

If you have outgrown your environment or the people in it, you know you can no longer swim in the bowl. This is going to greatly upset those in the bowl who are content with the way things are. There will be questioning, backlash, and many attempts to make you feel guilty or responsible for them somehow, just to keep you in the bowl. This is by design.

Have you ever noticed that when you are doing well, someone comes along and distracts you? I recently heard this brilliant woman who has an Instagram account called, “The Quietest Revolution” explain it like this: one of the easiest ways to get someone to consistently and constantly fail, is to distract them. Who is always distracting you when you are doing well? I bet it’s someone swimming in the bowl that you have outgrown.

Love with conditions wants to keep you in a bowl you’ve outgrown. Love without them wants you to keep swimming and actually encourages you to. Love without conditions is not bothered by the changes in you, they are intrigued and maybe even inspired to do the same.

So if you currently find yourself standing at the edge of the ocean right now, with no one by your side, you must have gone through some pretty tough stuff. And while others may question what you are doing or try and stop you, you feel a sense of calm and you no longer feel the need to explain yourself to anyone.

This is freedom. Freedom from caring what others think and knowing that anyone who really loves you wants what is best for you, not what keeps them feeling comfortable.

You are not here to play small. And staying in the bowl with people who are threatened by your playing big is not only doing yourself a disservice, it is doing them and the world one as well.

So go ahead…dive into that ocean! Allow yourself to swim without barriers, boundaries and restrictions and watch with wonder where it takes you.

Bonds

I’m not talking about municipal, savings or corporate bonds, I am talking about the bonds between people and how they are created and maintained.

Have you ever noticed that when you have good news to share, no one reacts or responds to it the way you wished, had hoped, maybe even expected them to?

Think about it. When was the last time you shared some really good news about something you did and got the bare minimum of enthusiasm. But when you had some bad news, boy oh boy did people rally around you.

It’s interesting isn’t it? People love to bond over bad news, but not so much the good kind.

If you talk about the state of the world right now with a person who thinks all is gloom and doom and you share the same view, you will bond instantly with them. You’ll feel like they get you, they hear you, they see where you are coming from and you will both feel understood, validated even, in your opinions.

If you take the opposite view with someone who thinks all is gloom and doom, you will clash. They will probably disagree with you, argue with you about it, or dismiss you altogether. But that’s not your reality. Your reality is that things aren’t that bad and you trust that they will get better, so that is where your focus is.

But because you aren’t responding or reacting the way in which they expect you to, you will be seen as insensitive. Everyone who agrees with their view of the world being at a loss will be seen as a saint, even people who aren’t so saintly. They will bond all day long about this topic and you’ll probably come up in a conversation or two about how outlandish your beliefs are. But talking with others about people who don’t agree with your views or respond in the way you do doesn’t strengthen bonds, it severs them.

Why do we so easily bond over bad news? Does it give us an opportunity to make us feel good about ourselves? Is it because it makes us feel better that someone else is going through it this time instead of us? Are we able to find empathy because a person in need makes us feel more needed? Does it give us an opportunity to be there for someone when we haven’t been there otherwise?

And why do we find it more difficult to bond with someone who is doing well? Are we threatened by them? Do they make us feel inadequate? Jealous? Envious? Lacking somehow? We don’t want to feel any of these things, but somehow other people’s success can do this to us. We won’t admit this of course, so it’s easier to act like we care very little about their accomplishments and care far more about their failures instead.

If a person is doing well, often times they won’t even share their news with others. This is because they have shared good news before and didn’t get the response they had hoped for, so they save their good news for those who share the same passion.

Interesting isn’t it? A bad news bonder expects one reaction and if they don’t get it they are disappointed and a good news bonder expects another reaction and if they don’t get that, they are also disappointed. But neither of them will ever get it from one another. So how do two opposing bonders, bond?

In order to maintain a bond, they have to be willing to accept that not everyone is going to respond to their news the way they do and be okay with it. All that really matters, is that they come from a loving place and respond in the best way they know how or are capable of. If we expect more or find ourselves disappointed by their response, then instead of telling others about it, we have to be honest with them and let them know instead.

And if we can’t be honest with someone about what we want or need from them without it being met with backlash, anger, manipulation or find ourselves actually apologizing after expressing ourselves, then it’s probably not a bond worth keeping.

Truth

Nietzsche said that a man’s worth was determined by how much truth he could tolerate. So if we think about this in terms of personal relationships, how much truth can you tolerate when it comes to them?

I guess a simple way to measure this would be by how much you allow others to speak their truth to you.

If someone has something to say to you and you don’t want to hear it, maybe even refuse to hear it, become hostile, argumentative or ignore them when they try to express themselves to you in an effort to improve the relationship, then according to Nietzsche, because you cannot tolerate their truth, even though it may not be yours, you are not worth that much.

But what of the person trying to speak their truth to someone who does not want to hear it? What is their worth? Are they worth more or less?

I mean in reality we obviously know that no one is worth more or less, but we are talking about Nietzsche’s quote here and how much truth we will tolerate in our relationships.

The more you value yourself, the less you need approval from others. And while you may want to speak your truth to those you care about so that they can understand where you are coming from, if they are incapable of hearing, seeing or accepting the truth, they will simply refuse to hear you. Their truth will be that you are difficult, while your truth will be heartbreak, because you are so misunderstood.

So speaking your truth to those who refuse to hear it or see it, will essentially make you feel like you are worth less. Hurt people hurt people and are incapable of seeing their worth, which is why they do not see yours. Staying involved with them will keep you in a constant state of struggle because you are wanting to be seen and heard by people who cannot see or hear themselves, so your words and attempts at trying to express yourself and your truth will be seen as acrimonious.

Part of growing, evolving and loving yourself is knowing who to share your truth with and who not to. Some people would rather live a lie than live the truth and real healing comes when you understand this about others and simply move away from them.

Most people don’t want the truth. They just want the constant reassurance that what they believe is the truth, which is why they surround themselves with people who operate the same way. Taking no accountability is a tell tale sign that you cannot tolerate truth in any relationship, which means anyone who tries to speak it to you, will be met with rejection.

For the person on the receiving end it won’t feel good, but sooner or later they realize that rejection is actually protection from something or someone who could only continue to harm them, and they will move in another direction.

How much truth can you tolerate? Look at your closest relationships for the answer. If you feel like something or someone is missing, then you haven’t tolerated a truth or been able to express one.

What Qualifies Our Identity

When people ask you what you do for a living and you answer, at what point did you feel that you were qualified to identify with it? Did you reach some expert status, certain accolade, a financial level?

I didn’t call myself an actor for a long time. I would say I did acting, but never felt qualified to claim the title. I was always in awe of people I took classes with or who had done the same amount as work as me, who did. It wasn’t until I did a number of jobs that I felt qualified to call myself one.

And while some of us may struggle with identifying as something, there are people who identify with titles and roles who aren’t qualified at all. They just pretend they are or they are so delusional, they actually think they are.

Have you ever talked to someone who brags about how well they are doing, but you know it isn’t true? They try very hard to identify with being happy, but people who are happy don’t need to tell you they are happy; you see it, feel it and experience their joy when you are with them.

We may identify with qualities we admire in others, but if we haven’t done the work ourselves to obtain these things, then no matter how much we say we are that, we really aren’t, and it shows.

What we identify with and the quality in which we give to it or get from it, is very telling about what matters most to us. Are your relationships healthy? Are they loving? Are they kind? Are they giving? Are they fulfilling? Is work just work, a measure of your ego or do you actually enjoy it?

What do you identify with? And is it bringing you the quality of life you want? Cause if it’s not, you really need to think about what matters most. And what matters most, is love.

Love should be your inner driver towards everything. When everything is done from a place of love, the quality of your life only ever identifies with anything and anyone who operates from the same space. You attract jobs, people and situations that are only in your best interest.

Life is not hard. Keeping up a false identity is. And operating from a place of non-love not only makes your life harder, it is unsustainable. Look at your relationships for proof.