I think it's really important that you get why we do such a thing. It's about bringing whatever's in the background into the foreground. It's about bringing up that which you typically push down, and starting to see for yourself why your life is going the way it is. All right? It's not a mystery. Your life isn't some kind of, you know, something to be solved. It's pretty obvious if you think. If you actually just investigate a little, you'll see that life is going in the direction that you're pointed. It's not going in some other direction. Like, "No, no, I'm pointed for like love, "and success, and--" No! You're pointed the way that it's going. So, it's no mystery. And I'm relying on you, whether you're online or even here as part of the audience, that you're brain drain is kind of like this no holds barred kind of deal. What's staring back at you is, yeah, this is really what it's like. These relationships don't work, or it's toxic, like this relationship is toxic. Let me put this in...
here, actually. If you've ever found yourself talking about another human being like they're toxic, you want to really check yourself. Like, what is that saying about you when you're using language like that? Right? You're talking about other people who might be dealing with things. And I know it's become very popular just to, "Oh yeah, I'm cutting the toxic people out my life." Well, somebody might be talking, and they're talking about you saying that. But you wouldn't. So, anyway, a relationship can be toxic. That is the content of it, the language that we're using in it. It's not healthy, it's not inspiring, it's not uplifting, it's not empowering. But when you start to refer to other human beings that way, you should be starting to get really concerned for what that's doing to you in using that kind of language. You're creating a big disconnect between you and people. It's very, very common these days, and it's something in the industry that I'm in. I'm up to break it up. I want to break that up. I want people to start relating to each other like other human beings. You might not understand where they're at. You might no get that. You might disagree with that. You might vehemently disagree with that, and you're still talking about another human being. And then, the other side to that is sometimes you're talking about human beings who are literally dealing with their mental wellbeing. So, you've got to really find a little bit more compassion in your own heart when you're talking about other people and how things are going between you and them. Okay? So, I just thought I'd put that in to keep us all on the right track. So, for those of you that are in the course, you know, you've picked your five items. What I want you to do, though, now, is pick two that jump out at you for this next section called The Reality Check. So, you're gonna pick two that jump out with you, and what it's gonna take for turn those relationships around. This is more a question I want you to ask yourself than answer on that piece of paper right now. The question I'd invite you to ask yourself is, who am I really in this relationship? Like, who am I really? And there's this thing that I often say. I say, people live lives of intention. Which took a bit of thinking for me to come up with that, I'll have you know. I probably spent six months pondering that. Anyway. People live lives of intention. That is, they say and do things, but they had something else in mind. So, where I really first discovered this was with my children. Like, I found myself disciplining them in the name of showing 'em how much I love 'em and how much I'm committed that they turn out. But if I step back and look at myself, I can see that I'm being a bullying asshole. I live a life of intention. My intention is that you would learn something valuable, but I'm realizing the vehicle that I'm using for that is completely misplaced. That maybe I should just tell them I love 'em and I'm really committed to 'em, and then let 'em know where the line is. It doesn't say I need to turn into a bullying asshole to do that. And that's what I mean in life. We are people of intention. We've got something else in mind. Like, let me point out to my spouse where they're going wrong. Which, we're like, you know, "I just want things to work!" But you gotta ask yourself, is the vehicle I'm using for that working? Because people just get what you're doing. They often don't get the intention behind it. They don't get that you're really committed or really love them or really, they just hear you being an asshole. And that's the direction you're life's pointed. And you're life's going the way you've pointed. So, it really is important, again whether you're watching online or you're here with us in the room right now, that you start to get really straight with yourself about some of that stuff. Like, who I am in relationships. Like, am I judgemental? Some of you feel sorry for people in your life. Like somehow that empowers them. But I want you to get, like, it actively keeps 'em small. "I feel sorry for you." Some of you relate to your mom and dad like dad was a powerful one and mom was a servant or something, or she just acquiesced, so therefore now she's weak. Or the other way around. So, the people in your life live inside of that set of judgments that you came to. And again, people live lives of intention. Now, you say and do things that if you look from the edge of the room and just watch what they were saying and doing, you won't get any of that intention. You'll just see what they're saying and doing. You'll just think, "Well, they're just being jerky!" And that's how it is for the people in your life. They just see you being jerky. They don't get that you have a big heart, or you're caring, your loving, you're compassionate, or maybe even that you're afraid. Or that you're out of ideas. "I don't have anything else! "I can't! "I'm at the limit! "Not like I'm making that you're problem, "I just want to be in communication with you about that!" Does that make sense, you guys? (audience murmurs) All right. So, people live these lives, like I call, these lives of intention. And if you set aside all the thoughts and the emotional states, and all the internal opinion that's going on, and you focus just on the actions, "What am I actually doing in this relationship?" Some of you aren't saying anything, and you're just leaving it up to the wildness of their imagination rather than being obvious about how you're feeling. So, sometimes we see the people in our life like they're being judgmental, when in fact it's-- (audience murmurs) I love some of you, like, "Yeah, it's us!" (audience laughs) (audience murmurs) Yeah, like it's me. I'm being judgmental. And there's a lot of power to be had in acknowledging stuff like that. "You know what? "I am judgmental. "I judge people!" Oh, my god. See, now I can do something about it. But if I live in the la-la land, "Not I. "Not I!" Then I don't get to do anything about it. Anything that lives in the darkness runs you. But when you look and you dig and you scrape and you bring it into the light, you run it! You now have something called a choice in your life. Consider that, you're seeing them hard to get along with. Consider what you're talking about is yourself. I struggle to get along with them. I don't find this easy. It's like hard for me. You understand? Like, "You're hard to get along with." They think they're fine! (laughs) Or we view them as disconnected. I often have heard this in my career. You know, people saying, "My mom never really showed me emotion." Or, "My dad didn't show me emotion." Look back. Watch yourself. See what you did. And you'll find the absence of you expressing your love. Living a life of intention. You thought you did, but if you look, you'll see that very idea of saying to yourself, "They didn't show me love or emotion" is an observation and an automatic disconnect. Right there. So, we disconnect ourselves from the people we love, and we do it all the time. I guess one of things I wanted you to get about that is it's okay if you have done that in your life, or you've really struggled with that in your life. But at some point you gotta start breaking it up. You gotta start having your intention be obvious to the people in your life. Like, "Let me make this obvious for you. "I love you, and currently, "I am losing my shit." (audience laughs) "And I'm frustrated, and I don't know "how to get my point across in such a way "that you and I can work this out." Or, "Every time you go away for the weekend, "I just get gripped by fear. "But I don't, I just complain about you not being there. "But really I'm afraid." Because the person in your life's just left with that you're a complainer. You're dominating. Not that you're afraid. Like, "I'm just afraid." So, I'm gonna put the lid on my wonderful water bottle there. Anyway, so. In the words of, if you haven't guessed by now, I do love the Stoic philosophers. Marcus Aurelius. "Whenever you're about to find fault with someone, "ask yourself the following question: "What fault of mine most nearly resembles "the one I am about to criticize?" This stuff's been around a long time. I love it when people say, "I read this book. "There was nothing new in it." I never said there was. (chuckles) All right, so. Who would be willing to work with me to deconstruct their relationship and uncover what's at the heart of it? And I want a relationship where you feel as if, it might be one of the two that you put on your reality check page, that you feel as if isn't going anything like the way you have tried or given effort to, or you've given up on. And I really want to hear from somebody who feels like this relationship is stuck the way it is, and I've tried and I've given it effort, and I don't notice any difference. And la-dee-dee-di-di-di-di-di-dow. All right, let me hear from Jessica. Can you stand up and grab a microphone, Jessica? I guess I'm very interested in finding out about your plans and strategies. (audience laughs)
Uh, well, okay.
Right, so, who's the relationship with?
How many children do you have?
Okay, do you have a favorite? (Jessica laughs uncomfortably) Yep, okay, so. (audience laughs) It's fine. It's very normal, actually. It's very normal for a kid, too, to have a favorite. Like, they like mom or their dad better than the other. It's very normal. You gotta stop resisting this stuff. It's not a competition. Right? It's not a competition. Mostly the ones the parents love the most is the one that gives them the least hassle.
Yeah, that's good.
It's not set in stone.
All right, so as a group, you are challenged? Or is it one or two in particular, or--
No, just my whole relationship with them in general.
All right, so what's your relationship with them in general? How would you describe it, if I was to ask you?
I would describe it as strained.
What's strained about it?
I don't feel as connected as, I don't feel like I'm the mom I thought I should be.
I just feel guilty about literally everything, even coming here, but then it's an excuse to not put back into work or other things that are fulfilling to me, but then I become resentful, and then it just perpetuates itself.
So, is your experience it yourself that you're not getting your job done as a mom?
Yeah, I feel like a failure all the time.
Yeah. What's that like?
Um, it's disheartening and discouraging.
In what way does "I'm a failure as a mom" tie in with your opinion of yourself?
Almost all of it.
How's your relationship with your mom?
Wonderful. (laughs) She's the best mom in the world.
What about your dad?
Greatest dad. Had a wonderful childhood.
I have nothing to complain about.
Well, we are a product of our childhoods, good and bad, so people think, you know, "If I suck as an adult, "it must have meant I had a crummy childhood." It doesn't work that way. It doesn't work that way at all. Would you say that you're trying to live up to the standard of your parents?
Yeah. Big time.
That's why I've committed my children have sucky childhoods. (audience laughs) All right, I'll say this. (audience laughs) If you're a parent, you're screwed. You're just screwed. You got no shot. Because, you know, you do the best you can and then they make shit up, and then believe it, which is what you did. So, you feel like you're failing in comparison to your parents.
Yeah. I mean, I don't think I ever heard my mom yell at us, or get frustrated, or any of that. So, anytime I do feel that way, it just brings on so much guilt. So much guilt. And they're the only ones I can't strategize against. They're the only ones I can't negotiate with to get them to, and it's not, they love me. It's the way I feel my relationship is with them. They don't feel strained with me. They love me, and I know that it's a typical age to go through different phases. But at the same time, I'm still left with feeling not even close to good enough.
Yeah. But that's consistent with an overall life experience of yours.
All right. Like I'm just, fundamentally there's something about me that doesn't hit the mark.
Okay. Is that in your career, too?
Yeah. All right, is there an area in your life where you feel as if that's not the case?
My marriage, actually.
Yeah, so do you feel as if you hit the mark there?
I do. But then I feel I have so much guilt, because how do I feel so fulfilled from my marriage and not with my children?
Yeah, yeah. All right, so, you can hear somebody like with this, blinkered, one-dimensional approach to the future. Where does this take you? Where do you end up, then? Let's get a crystal ball out, say, "Okay, where does this take me?" How does this all turn out for you?
Neurotic, on a rocking chair, probably. I'm not sure. (laughs) It doesn't sound positive, but it's--
It's not. It doesn't seem, this isn't positive. This doesn't go well for you.
Yeah. This is like a straight jacket. It's gonna keep getting tighter. This'll eventually have you by the throat, not the arm. You're getting more worried, more anxious, more, and every time you feel like you fail or you aren't keeping your shit together, it's getting worse.
You're like the little duck on the water there, trying to pretend it's all calm, but the legs are going like crazy.
But I'm waving. Like, "Hey, guys!"
So, in relationship to your children, you can hear though what's really at play is your relationship to yourself in your children.
Like, "I'm not okay." Yeah. What do you think that leaves them with?
That they weren't good enough?
Well, it's certainly leaving something in the water. Does that make sense? I think it's leaving something in the mix. And you know, you guys, I said this at the beginning of the course, I look at people ontologically. I look at them in terms of their ways of being. Like how they be in life. I mean, you observe somebody's way of being, their logic makes total sense. Everything they do makes sense. Like, if I live my life like I'll never be as good as my mom or dad. You see that just rung her bell right there. 'Cause that's what's in the background of her. Her way of being is completely inhibited. She doesn't get to be herself. She gets to measure herself. And you want to look for yourself, like, "Who am I an relationship? "Really, who am I?" "What's it really like for the people in my life "to share life with this person "who doesn't think they're good enough?"
It would devastate them if they saw this. Because to them I don't have to do anything, you know?
Yeah. All right, you ready for the bad news? (Jessica laughs)
Yep. (Gary hums Looney Tunes Theme)
There's always bad news. Because you would really be very compassionate for Jessica, and you're heart's bleeding for her right now sitting in your chair, isn't it? I mean, come on! She's a shyster. (audience laughs)
This is part of the game. (laughs) No, I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding.
Oh, yeah, like I planted you there or something? (audience laughs) I can't afford actors. I'm Scottish, I wouldn't even spend the money on them. I can get them for free. (laughs) It's cheaper to do the real thing than pay for actor. They just shout at you. They'll cry on demand. Yeah, but, see, there's something that you're actively avoiding. And it's here right now. You don't have to be on the hook for it. And you get to explain it. You get to explain why you are the way you are, but you're never on the hook for something else, because you've got this awesome explanation to explain it. Like, this insight, "Oh my gosh! "I live my life in the shadow of my awesome parents. "You're the reason why I suck." (audience members laugh) (Gary laughs) "Why were you guys so awesome? "You ruined me!" There's one obvious thing that you don't get to, I mean, look. As human beings, we are in this kind of state of avoidance. You can't really see it. You know, you're so busy like driving to work. I don't mean avoiding traffic. You're avoiding how you're life's going. You're avoiding the notion that it's you, and you're able to explain it then. So again, my favorite German philosopher Martin Heidegger. People would rather intervene, people would rather explain their life than intervene with it, sorry. They'd rather explain it. Just right now, what are you present to? What is your state of being right now when you start of think about this life and this sadness, and what would you call this state? Being what?
Um, I actually feel pretty enlightened at the moment.
All right, good. So, we're getting you there. (Jessica laughs) Not there yet, though. I'm gonna give it to you, all right? I normally don't give people this. Usually I make them squirm a bit. (audience laughs) What, I've gotta get some pleasure out of this. (audience laughs) (Gary laughs) I'm kidding. I don't mean that. No, what I really mean is, I often don't give people it because it really amplifies it when you see it yourself. All right? And it kind of really has this kind of booming effect through your subconscious. But when you're like, "I'm a failure, I suck, "I'm not enough, I'm not as good as them, "I'm not" di-di-di-di-di-di-dah, there's something you get to throw your hands in the air and say, (claps) "And that thing? "That's not up to me." And what is it you don't have to be on the hook for?
No, you're all checked out. It's not being present. Being present's really hard. (chuckles) You're not on the hook for your joy. And she's even sad about that. (audience laughs) (Jessica laughs) (Gary laughs) Like, it's not your job. You don't make it your job to be joyful, and awesome, and grateful, and a contribution. You just get to say that you suck and cop out. And then the people in your life have got to deal with that. (water bottle clunks) You don't make joy your business.
It's not like you don't have happiness or joy in your life. I'm not saying that. I'm saying, if you look at this undercurrent, this kind of background hum in your life, you'll see it gets you off the hook for something. Does that make sense to all of you? You all seeing this? And again, for those of you at home, you really want to look in your life and the state of your relationships and why they're not going the way they're going, and you'll see in all of those relationships, you get to throw your hands in the air and explain it. Which, in that moment, absolves you of how it's going, even if I'm blaming myself! "I don't know why this doesn't work! "It's a mystery! "So, let's just keep the mystery there." Or, "No, I know why this doesn't work. "They're a jerk! "That's why this doesn't work! "This would be awesome if they were somebody else." (audience members laugh) So, you get to explain the absence of joy in your life, and how you explain it is, "I had awesome parents." (laughs) "That's why I'm not happy!" (audience members laugh) And for those of you sitting there going, "Hold on a minute. "I'm miserable and my parents were terrible." (audience laughs)
Yeah. Because we, one way or another, get to look back to our past and explain our present. And that explanation at some level has to get you off the hook for it. Good or bad. Here's why I am the way I am, therefore I can just go along with the drift of my existence, because the alternative takes too much work and effort. I mean, what if you had to be on the hook for your joy, it's like, "Oh, for the love of. "Joy, ah, come on. "I can't even! "It's easier just to say I suck!" And I really want you all to get that. Look, if you're watching online right now, and you're watching this course and you're watching me making fun of this lady, (laughs) (audience laughs) I want you to get the absurdity of your own bullshit. You live an absurd life. An absurd life. And you call it reality. And it's at the end of that life that you get to see the complete absurdity of it. What was I doing? What was I thinking?
It felt paralyzing and now it's just hilarious.
Right, yeah. (audience laughs) I know! Because part of this, being in this audience, is you get to do like a vocal brain drain. You actually get to see it in front of yourself like, "Hold on a minute, what am I doing? "I suck because my parents were awesome." (Jessica laughs) "Hold on a minute, let me get that straight again." (audience laughs) Yeah. And I'm telling you, look, if you look back in your own childhood, you can't get over your past, good or bad, until you see how you've justified yourself by using it. And that's hard for people to get. We're in an era in a kind of, like, positive psychology. You know, like, you can do it! You! You can do it! I don't. I say you're an asshole. (audience members laugh) What are you doing? Stop doing that. Cut it out. Do something else.
And even this, my mom brought me here. She came down with me. She knows this is gonna be a wonderful moment in my life, and she's so happy that I'm here. Just quit being so good all the time! Like, I get it--
All right, no--
You're an awesome mom.
Can you hear the little, like, (clicks tongue) The little thing with the parent, like, "Love my mom, but--"
She needs to back off. So, some things, I used to travel all over the world doing these kinds of programs, this kind of work, if you like. And often in certain parts of the world, there's this real avoidance of criticizing your parents. Not in this country. (audience laughs) Just so we're clear. But in some parts of the world it's seen as really, but they do resent, but they can't say it. So, even with great parents, you can be really challenged. Because this is the same for all your pasts. I don't care what happened. What has the biggest difference, and makes the biggest difference, and has the biggest impact on you is what you did with what happened.
How I experienced it.
Right. And how you internalized it and came to whatever conclusion you came to and then ran with that little dandelion all the way down the pathway.
Yeah. (audience member chuckles)
So. Can you see how, like, your relationship with your children is really more about your relationship with yourself. Right?
And how you justify it all. This is one of the reason, I'm a big fan of existentialism. You're completely irresponsible with who you need to be in life. And in the places where you're least responsible for who you need to be in life, you get to explain. You guys get that? Like, you're not being responsible for how great you could be.
You're too quick to cash in your chips to asshole town. Like, you're too quick. You don't hold yourself to some greater you. You get to explain you rather than, "Listen, I'm committed "to having joy in my life here. "I'm committed to being joyful with these children. "And when I see the impact of who I've been "with these kids, "oh, this has got to stop. "I'm done living my life like that anymore. "I am not gonna do that to myself or them." Now, I know a lot of people would say, "Well, there's some deep underlying issue," and da-da-dah. Good luck with that. Have fun on your little journey of adventure that you'll never solve. It all begins with owning your own wiring. You gotta own it. Like, "Yeah, that's there for me as an experience. "That's there for me as a trigger or a hook. "That's there for me." And start getting the other people in your life off the hook for that. Set them free. Does that make sense?
Like, set your parents free. Set your kids free. Like, "It's not up to you guys. "Some things I give myself a hard time. "Sometimes I blame myself. "And I'm choosing not to do that right now." And there are other times when you're in the middle of it, and you're just in the middle of it, and that's it. It's not there for you to try and get rid of, because it'll be an experience that'll be there for you often in your life. Especially in the face of failure, when you do suck. Because there are times when we suck. And we do fail. It doesn't go our way. And it exposes all our worst fears about ourselves. Like it comes, "I knew it. "I knew it." But you gotta embrace that about yourself. You're a human being. And the more you try and control that being, you'll turn yourself into a basket case.
I know you know! (audience laughs) You can't control being. Some of you are like, love the idea of being in control. Hah! (audience laughs) Have you ever seen a tsunami? And you think you're in control? Are you kidding me? You can get hit by a bus tonight. I love it when people say this stuff, you know, that the universe has your back. No, it doesn't! It doesn't fucking care! (audience members laugh) It's universal, not you-niversal. (audience laughs) If the universe had your back, no one would get hit by a train. What happened to that guy? "Yeah, the universe has my--" (imitates horn honking) (audience laughs) The universe has my back, and that train just took me out and I'm dead. Well, you want to consider the notion, consider the idea. Like I said earlier, you're going, your life is going in the direction you're pointed. And you're pointed in a direction of disappointment. You're pointed in a direction of failure and anxiety and worry, and your attempt to keep your shit together is absurd. You're making this shit up ever day as you go along like everybody else in this room, including me. You're making it up. And that's one of things that you need to start telling your kids. Mom doesn't have her shit together.
I think they know. (laughs)
There's nothing worse than pretending to your kids that you know what you're doing. (laughs) You have no idea. Like, "Oh yeah, what do we do when this happens, Mom?" "Well, let me tell you, this is what we're going to do." Yeah, it's very challenging being a parent. But when you give up the notion that you know what you're doing, it kind of frees you up to be with 'em. Like I remember, you know, this is a number of years ago with my oldest son, and he'd done something at school. My oldest son's like, he's like a prince among children, you know, he's just this awesome kid. He's beautiful, gentle, loving boy. And he went to school one day, and he was a little jerk, you know. He's said something back to his teacher, which he never does. It was really unusual. So, anyway, my wife calls up and said, "Oh yeah, he said this to the teacher." It was something like, "I'm not doing that," or something, you know. So, I called him up and I'm like, "What did you do?" He said, "I said I'm not doing it." I said, "All right, well, there's consequences "to that kind of behavior. "So, you'll be going to your bed right after this call." And he said, "Okay." (audience members laugh) "Excuse me?" "Okay." "Well, there'll be no PlayStation this week either." "Okay." (audience laughs) "Well, I think you'll just be grounded "for the rest of the week!" And then I caught myself. I'm trying to get him to cry. I'm trying to get him to cry. So, I'm like, all right, cut this out. This is ridiculous. And I said to him, "All right, look." I think he was eight at the time. I said, "Do you know how you're still trying to work out "how to be eight?" And he's like, "Yeah." I said, "Well, I'm still trying to work out "how to be a dad." And he said, "I know." (audience laughs) I swear to gosh. And I said, "Well, you tell me, "what do you think we should do?" He said, "I should go upstairs. "I should write a letter of apology to my teacher, "and then go to bed." I said, "Good enough, goodnight." What did I get there? I got that sometimes in life, you have to let your guard down a little. You have to let people in, and you have to treat your children like they're people too, and that the greatest example that you can give them is that you're a human being. And that doesn't mean to say you need to be a drama king or queen. It doesn't mean you can say, "Oh, woe is me!" and rip down the curtains and make yourself a dress and set fire to the house. (audience laughs) You don't have to do that either. But at the same time, you can be vulnerable with the people in your life. So, if you look at your life right now in some of those relationships, you don't get to be vulnerable. You don't get to be on the hook for joy. You don't get to, you just get to explain, explain, explain, explain, explain. Does that make sense to you?
Yeah. All right, but what do you get from getting that about yourself? I mean, what does that make available to you?
I think in being able to, I think in a lot of ways, I didn't know who I was, and so being able to constantly explain or verbalize was an attempt to put pieces together of who I was, because I thought I just was always going to be this wonderful, terrific mother, and stay at home, and do all of these things. And then when I wasn't fulfilled by that, and I had a career that I loved and wanted to explore that, it didn't match up to anything that I had thought that was supposed to look like, and so then I just would keep talking and try different things on, try different experiences on.
Would you say there's any element in your life like you feel as if there's some part of life you're missing out on because you're a mom?
Um. Yeah. (Gary pretends to hack)
It's called a fur ball. (audience laughs) (coughs and hacks) Gotta hack it up. Like, yeah. Totally get that.
Totally, do you guys that? How many of you have had that as an experience? Like, you've sacrificed? Raise those. Give me those sacrificial arms! Oh! Oh! Oh! The sacrifice! I could have been awesome. (audience laughs) I'm not. But I could have been. It was all there for me. You're a jerk. You gotta cut that stuff out. You chose the life you have. These beautiful children. You get to be this amazing woman. You didn't get your career. (hums) So what? You get to be a contribution and make a difference. And grow people. Like make adults out of them.
Like amazing adults that contribute and are authentic and real, and responsible for their own joy, instead of pointing to some other thing to explain the lack of it. How many of you can see, like you give up the responsibility for your own joy? How many of you can see you do that? Like, you give it up like it's, yeah. Like, I don't have enough money, therefore no joy. (audience members laugh) Who the hell made that up? Or, I'm too fat? (audience member chuckles) How many of you do that? Raise those chubby arms. Come on. (audience laughs) I know. I know that feeling. I mean, I am there, too. What am I talking about? But it's got nothing to do that. And I'm not saying love yourself, or something. I'm just saying, look. At some point there has to be just an acceptance of yourself. But not like an acceptance like I'm settling for something. It's like, there's at some point where you accept that it's raining. It's wet when it rains. You might want to consider an umbrella. You might want to start working with life in a way that you can still have what you want. That I can still be fulfilled and enlivened and be somebody who's up to something. Because there'll be a point when they're all older and out of there, and you'll have this big magical runway for your career, and you'll come up with some bullshit line so that you don't have to do it.
It's too easy an excuse. It's just too easy. Like, you know, I would have been awesome but I had kids. (Jessica laughs)
Well, then I was tired, and then I was cranky, and then I was guilty, and then I was--
Yeah, you're like a patchwork quilt. (audience laughs) Like, let me get the whole spectrum of emotional states. At the dinner table today.
Those little mats with the "How are you feeling today?"
Yeah, yeah. How many of you got something valuable for yourself out of Jessica's sharing? Like, you saw something for yourself, the way you do things. And you don't have to have the same life as her, but you can really get her humanity, right? And then your own humanity, and dealing with what you deal with, and your own ways of explaining why your life is a certain way, or your emotional state is a certain way. You get to talk about other things rather than, "But what if it's me?" What if it's just plain, old-fashioned, I don't want to be on the hook for my success? I don't want to be on the hook for having money? I don't want to be on the hook for being healthy? I don't. I want to just be able to be the way I am, and then explain it, and then die. Pretty much.
All right, let's acknowledge Jessica for her great sharing. (audience applauds) All right. So, now you can see, though, there's an opening for you to go home and start to get yourself on the hook for something. Does that make sense?
All right. And that's what's important here, that you start to uncover, "What do I need to start getting myself on the hook for "in these relationships in my life?" Rather than just being in them and explaining, them-them-them-them-them-them-them. What do I need to get on the hook for here? Because what's going on in this relationship is not an example of who I really am. How many of you have done things in relationships, you look back on it, and you just wish you could take that back. Right. So, being an asshole's not new for you. (audience laughs) Right. And that's the straight of it. That's the straight of it. And there's not a person who's done something in a relationship that you wish, "What was I thinking? "That's not who I am. "That's who I am when I'm at my worst!" "That's when I'm at my worst!" And you'll find in those relationships that don't work right now, what if you were being your best? You'll look in those relationships that don't work. What if you were being your greatest you? Your most joyful? Your most forgiving? Your most accepting? Your most patient? Your most understanding? What if you brought your A game? Because it's easy to do the A game when you feel like it. It's like, you know, "I just got a big bonus! "I love everybody! "You're all awesome! "That's money in the bank! "You're awesome! But that time when you're running out of money, and the bills are late: "Leave me alone! "Don't talk to me! "I'm having a tough time of it!" But that's just somebody who's unwilling to interrupt the drift of who they've become. They're unwilling to generate something, to bring something to the table, to actually be responsible for your experience of being alive. And we don't do that. We explain our experience of being alive. Some of you are avoiding being in a loving relationship. And you explain it. Too busy. Haven't met the right one. Not in the shape I want to be. I'll get into one when I lose 25 pounds. In the meantime, let me have that slice of that apple pie. We do these things. We do these things in life. So, once you start to kind of plot this out for yourself. Your reality check should show you items from your brain drain that you're going to focus on, so if you're doing this course at home or in your phone, this'll have the top five items. The top five relationships that you're saying, "These are the ones I'm gonna get "the biggest bang for my buck with. "These are the ones that, "if I took on a relationship to my dad, "it would never be the same. "If I took on a relationship with my sister, "it would never be the same. "If I took on a relationship with my wife or my husband, "or one of my kids, my life would never be the same." And it's funny, because in relationships, we seem to think, you know, "Well, I'll do this, "and then maybe they'll be different." You gotta approach this with like, "I'm gonna do this, and they're not gonna change a bit. "They're gonna keep being that way." Why? That's who are, and it's their life, and they're choosing to be that way. But I can accept that. I can get that's where they're at. I'm not gonna make 'em wrong for it. It's just how that is. What's important is that you start to get on the hook for your experience of being you, and stop blaming other things for you being you. Does that make sense ? It's about you being you, and you being your greatest you. There's no on-off. You're either gonna be your greatest you, or you won't. And you can talk about your worry, your anxiety, and your la-la-la-la-la-la-la. You're gonna have to take that along with you. You're gonna have to take your self-doubt. You're gonna have to take some of those more suppressed states that you get in. And some people say, "Well, that's not easy, Mister Bishop!" I know! I know! I struggle with being vulnerable. I got it! Go be vulnerable. "Well, I struggle with forgiveness." I got it. Forgive 'em. "But I struggle to accept--" I got it, accept 'em. Accept it. Why? Because the alternative is what you have. And that's what you're choosing. This or something else. So, somebody might even say, "Well, why should I be responsible "for the state of that relationship? "It's supposed to be 50-50!" (audience laughs) And that's the problem right there. You can't look over there for the quality of the relationship. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. It's not a measuring game. It either gonna be your greatest self there, or not. You're gonna be your greatest self, and they're being their worst. You're gonna be your greatest self, and they're being their greatest self. Are you choosing to bring yourself forward? And that's the thing with responsibility. People look at their lives and they say, "Well, I'm not responsible for that." But you see, responsibility's a choice. So, if you say that you're not responsible, you need to get that that was a choice of yours. To not be responsible. Which is another reason why I love some of the existentialists, 'cause, you know, responsibility's, as Heidegger would have said, you were thrown into this life, and that's where the responsibility beings. It's not what happens, it's what you're gonna do with it. And that's where we give up our responsibility for being our greatest selves. And again, you guys, you now gotta boil it down, okay? So, we wanna get to the one relationship that you're saying cannot survive this process as-is. And when I mean this process, I mean, it's no longer okay for you to be who've you've been. And it's not okay for you to be who you've been in that relationship. Like, it's not okay. And here's the bad news. And it's okay for them to continue to be who they've been. (audience members laugh) And that is the lump that we don't want to swallow. That's where we get to absolve ourselves from ourselves. You can't expect to have a great life in sucky relationships. Really. So, does everybody have a relationship that you're saying you're gonna take on? Hello?
All right, good. That was kind of weird, 'cause, you know, I asked you a question and some of you just looked at me. (audience laughs) That's kinda what happens when we get a group of people together. You know? Imagine I came to your house and asked you a question, and you just looked at me. So, do you have an item? (audience chuckles) (audience murmurs) All right, good. So, here's the question you need to ask yourself. What is it that has to change in that relationship about you? (chuckles) I know some of you are wishing you did the relationship course where we talk about other people. (audience members laugh) And that should be on your reality check. You should start to get straight about yourself about, "All right, what is it about me "that needs to change here?" This can't go on. I can't keep doing it. Who do I now need to be in this relationship? What is it about myself that I'm going to have to just own it, and start stepping up to the plate in the game of having the life that I want? And break my addiction to explanation? And by the way, once, some of you are gonna produce phenomenal breakthroughs in this area, and see once you get a little glimpse of this, like, that you can do it. You'll be like a magician in relationships. You can see like, "Wow, this really is down to me. "It's not down to them." Does that make sense, you guys?
Like, I lived my entire life up until I was 40, which was, I haven't had that birthday yet. But anyway, so. No, up until I was 40, I explained the way I turned out by talking about my childhood, and particular talking about my mother. And in my book, she was to blame for it all. Like, she blew it. Somewhere in this process I realized, who am I that I'm saying that? Who have I turned into that it's her fault? And I realized, like, I mean, I moved out of the house when I was 15. So, I'm just gonna choose that 15 years in my life and have it explain the rest of it. Good job, Gary. So, I really noticed though, that the thing that I said was that she was never very loving with me. She just kept telling me where I was screwing up. And then it hit me. That's how she does it. The love thing. She tells you where you're screwing up. If she didn't love me, she wouldn't tell me that. And I just settled for myself once and for all that love in my relationship with my mom was up to me. It wasn't up to her. So, she could just keep doing whatever she's doing. So, I started this revolution in my family. As you guys know, I'm from Glasgow, Scotland. We don't do the love thing too much. I mean, we do, but we do it in less obvious ways like we're nice to you and do something for you. But don't expect us to say it. So, I started this little revolution in my family of saying I love you. Freaked them out. They were all awkward and like (imitates gagging) Yeah. Good. (audience laughs) And they were all, I swear you should have seen some of them. They were like (imitates gagging) (audience laughs) Let me get you a cup of tea! I couldn't. They couldn't be with it. But the more that I did it, I really took it on, like a personal revolution of mine. But I'm not just gonna say it. Like, I'm gonna look you right in the eye and tell you that I love you. Which, I swear they thought I was delusional or something. They thought I was, they were saying stuff like, "You've been in America way too long. "You need to come back!" (audience laughs) "Clearly you're gonna end up "like those demented Americans." Right? I'm like, "No, no, I love you. "I really want you to know that I love you." And I really felt the freedom to let the people in my life just be the way they are. But that I was gonna bring love to the table. Like, I was gonna get myself on the hook for that, for having love in my life. It's not up to them. I don't rely on my mom to provide that for me. It's not her job. She's too busy being 82. Like, I'm committed to have love in my relationships with my family, so I got myself on the hook for it. Guess what I've got in my relationships with my family? Love! And it got kinda addictive. They're all doing it now. (audience laughs) "Love you, too." Well, this is good. They're all kind of doing the love thing. Well, I love you! And it was awesome! It was like a liberating experience in myself, because we'd never been these kind of people that we'd expose ourselves like that. And now when I go to Scotland and I'm leaving, like, everybody's actually crying. Like they mean it! (audience laughs) "I really am gonna miss you, for the love of God! "It's just all coming out!" (audience laughs) And I really got committed to having real love in my life, and who I would have to be. And I would have to be that loving man when there's little evidence for it. That it's up to me. It's not up to them. And that I'd made love as an important part of my existence. And then I just got off of that whole addiction to blaming them for it not being there. My mom, my dad, my sisters, my nieces, my nephews. It's not up to them. They can just be awesome, and be the way. So, I went (laughs) I went home to see my mom. I hadn't seen her like two years. She didn't know I was coming. So, I got this flight into Glasgow, rented a car, and showed up at her door on a Monday morning, at like 8:30. And she was in one of those controlled entry buildings, you know, you have to press a, but it was open. The postman had left it open. (claps) Awesome. I'm gonna go knock on her door. I go over and knock on her door. And I was right in the middle of my love revolution at the time. You know, I was like ringing the bell for love. This is awesome! (audience laughs) (laughs) I knock on her door, the door opens, and I'm like. And my mom says, "What do you want?" (audience laughs) (laughs) And right there was all the brain patterns. Here we go again. Like, it was right there. But I stopped myself, and I reached out and I put my arms around her and I said, "I love you." And it was awesome. Then she made me a cup of tea. Why is it important? Because I let her off of the hook. It's not her job. I'm not making it her job. I'm making it my job. And that's the point of this relationship course, is for you to get that it's your job. It's not their job. It's yours. You don't have love in a relationship? You're not bringing it! You don't have understanding or compassion. You're not bringing it. If they're not listening, you're not listening! It's you! You're the problem! But if you get you're the problem, it's like, oh, well, duh! Now I can do something about this. Now I can actually give up the idea, somehow, that I'm powerless.