Stop The Bullshit

Translating Breakup Speak: what it really means

Broken_heart.svg copy copyYesterday, in my post called The Breakup Talk we took a look at the most commonly used breakup lines. Today, let's look at the meaning behind the words. Though these simple phrases have been used by the dumper over and over again to end relationships in a way that creates a soft landing for the dumpee, they're not as kind as they may seem. Here is what he/she is really saying when he/she says:

"I love you, but I’m not in love you." Translates to: "I don't like you."

"It’s not you it me." = "It’s you!"

"I need space." ----- "Go away so my space can be filled with someone else."

"I don’t want a girlfriend." Means: "I want a different girlfriend"

"I can’t do this." = "You’re too scary."

"I want more." Means: "You're too poor."

"I can’t give you what you need." = "You’re too needy . . . go away."

"I’m married." ------- "I’m glad I’m not married to you."

"I’m not ready." Means: "I am ready to leave."

"You deserve better." ------ "You’re not good enough."

"I got issues . . . with you."

"There is no us . . . because I don’t want you."

"I’m still hung up on someone else." ------ "I want to hang up on you."

"I thought we were just having fun." ------- "I’m with a whole bunch of other people, you idiot!"

"I don’t want to hurt you . . . " ------ "It hurts to be with you."

"It’s over." = "I don’t want you under me."

Anyone who has dumped or been dumped by another knows these breakup lines are code for something else. It's a way to say what we mean and mean what we say without really saying it. I live by the STOP THE BULLSHIT philosophy so I think it's important to expose the code and reveal the truth behind Breakup Speak. 

Maybe we should simply: "Tell the truth . . . it's just easier."

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The Breakup Talk....

Broken_heart.svg copyThere is nothing original about the breakup talk. The reality is that there are only a certain number of phrases we use to move out of a relationship, if we have the balls to say anything at all. Never calling back or doing a disappearing act is always an option. But when the talks begin, you can almost guarantee that one or more of the following phases will be the theme of the conversion.

"I love you, but I'm not in love with you."

"It's not you, it's me."

"I need space."

"I don't want a girlfriend (or boyfriend, wife, husband -- just fill in the blank)."

"I can't do this."

"I want more."

"I can't give you what you need."

"I'm married."

"I don't want to hurt you . . . anymore."

"I'm not ready . . ."

“You deserve better.”

"I got issues . . ."

"There is no us."

"I'm still hung-up on someone else."

"I thought we were just having fun."

"It's over."

It's always the same and we've all heard it before. So breaking up is not hard to do, it's easy . . . just use these phrases and whoever your talking to will know. But wouldn't it be great if someone came up with a more original way to breakup? That is my challenge to you. Next time you need to end a relationship, find an original way to say it.


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How to measure Success

Art People measure success in many ways. Often, in our culture, it is related to how much money we make, or what kind of prestige we have, or the respect we've earned (i.e. our standing in the community with which we associate ourselves). Success is often attached to the approval of other.

But is that really success?

Can't we measure our success ourselves? Can't we measure success by our own yardstick?

If we weren’t influenced by the standards of others, what would we do to know that we had succeeded? How would we know that we’d "made it"?

I think we’d know it by the joy we feel, by the pleasure we’d have in any given moment and by the freedom we’d experience in our lives. At least that’s what I consider success. It doesn’t have to be something lasting. Like anything, our successes are fleeting but that doesn’t make them any less precious.

For example, I had a relationship once (of the traditional variety) that ended. But I don’t believe that the fact that a marriage ends constitutes an unsuccessful relationship…just a short one. I don’t think the length of a relationship is an accurate measure of its success. Yet, many people said, with great empathy, when it ended -  “I guess it wasn’t meant to be,” I disagree... it was a success, it just wasn’t meant to be -- forever.

If, for the majority of time we were in that relationship, we successfully created an arena for love and tenderness; a place that was safe and warm; moments of sheer joy of our shared experience. So, how can it not have been a success?

Why because it doesn’t last beyond a moment, do we dismiss something of value in our lives as not successful?

People associate being successful in business with making a certain amount of money or achieving a certain status in the corporate world. Yet, some of the most successful people I know are those that follow their hearts. They choose to work for themselves, create their own work or live life without the security of a steady job.

I’ve had success in a conventional job; a career that put me in a well-respected position in the field that I chose. I won’t argue that I was not successful. But that success was not due to my attaining a level of status it was due to the fact that, in that line of work, I connect with people and was moved.

Yet, at the end of the day, I feel that I’ve achieved more success now since left that world and entered one that was closer to my spirit. And though I may make less money as a creative (and definitely have less prestige), the level of gratification is ten fold in my life. And so, I believe, is my level of success.

No one but you can truly measure your success. So, take a moment and stop trying to live up to what we’ve all been told makes us worthy, and measure your success by your bliss.

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Don't be a Pretender

Thcarnaval098To congruently express who you are through your actions and behavior, that's the trick!

How many of us pretend to be something we're not so we can have something we wouldn't have otherwise?

It's easy to say, "don't pretend" but if your find that by giving up pretending, you lose the very thing you love the most...what choice do you make?

When you fear that expressing who you are to others will either hurt them or hurt you (or both), do you find yourself pretending, rather than being truthful? And what do you gain by that?

When I say, “don’t be a pretender” I mean: Don't put a mask on for those around you in an attempt to get their approval or love. But what I'm consumed with now is the kind of pretending we do because we are -- afraid. Maybe it comes from insecurity, but we often pretend because we believe that it’s the best (or only) option under the given circumstances. We do it in order to protect others (or more accurately - protect ourselves from the reactions of others).

Sometimes, life seems too complicated to manage with honesty -- especially when we don’t trust that those around us are strong enough to handle the raw truth, or we fear that we won’t get what we want if we don’t pretend. But when you pretend, you run the risk of being seen as someone or something you're not. It then becomes impossible to know if those that surround you really know you or just love who they think you are. Even when we think we are getting away with pretending... others can always tell, even if we fool ourselves.

So, I believe that it's important to know who you are and what you stand for; to know what you believe and value. And yes, I believe that being able to express that with consistency is essential. Because if you don’t, it’s confusing.  It's a tangled web - one which we've all been caught up in at one time or another.

But, I've realized of late, that there is no circumstance so complicated that we cannot choose how we deal with it honestly. Nothing is beyond our control when it comes to how we present ourselves to others. Sometimes, it may seem that we are required to appear be something other than we are (like an undercover agent - let's say) and we find ourselves doing things differently than we otherwise would because we feel it's in the best interest of others.  But this often has unforeseen consequences - because it puts us in a position of dishonesty.


I believe that being true to yourself, no matter what others make of it, is the best choice. I do it myself...mostly. Seriously, how many of us are really living the life of an undercover agent? Those of us who believe in truth and trust ourselves, don't usually have a legitimate reason to be (or pretend to be) anything other than what/who we are. Unless... we're actors/actresses on the stage - or children playing make believe.

Don't get me wrong, I know that discretion is called for from time to time. And I am a good secret keeper. And when it doesn’t serve the ultimate truth to fully disclose who I am in a given situation, I'm great at pretending. It’s simply a fact of life, there are times when keeping myself to myself is the smarter decision. In circumstances where telling the truth puts others in harms way; or when one is compelled to confess a transgression purely for the sake of clearing one's conscience - pretending might be a better choice. Ironically, honestly is not always the best policy. However, just because there are finite times in life when it is more respectful to be less than honest, pretending as a way of life is not a good choice - because that just makes you a lair.

Think about it...Is it really fair, to you or those you love, to live the life of a pretender? It takes such an effort; the energy to keep up false appearances draining. So, if you find that you're in a situation where you're have to pretend that you feel differently than you do; or that you are satisfied when you're not; or that you are complete when you deny an essential aspects of yourself...honestly, think about it. 

The more authentically we live, the closer we are to getting authentic responses from others.


I have, when I've cared deeply about another, found myself pretending to a point of being compelled to disregard some truths about myself. It's a easy trap to fall into because when things go unacknowledged, we can more easily ignore them. It's easier to deny the impact of things (or to deny that certain events occurred at all), if we pretend something is insignificant. Humans can live with almost anything because of our ability think our way out of things. And when the truth is too difficult to assimilate into our way of thinking -- or too painful to face without a way to guard against it -- we all pretend. 

But, pretending doesn't change the truth, it only help us hide from it - or hides the truth from ourselves, or others.

Denying who we are (even if it seems justified), ultimately, doesn't work -- because we humans are wired to be congruent and consistent. Pretending is only effective for a limited amount of a time before we are forced to face the reality of any situation if we are going to live genuinely and freely.

Psyche-temple-love I think we all know this on some level - it's why certain situations (one's that require more pretending than truth) make us anxious or uneasy. We can all lie to world. We all have the capacity to put on a show that makes us look good, but ultimately, we cannot lie to ourselves. Eventually, that catches up with us and wears us down, making things that are real seem very far from our reach. 

Pretending, when left to the stage and to children it is a brilliant gift that inspires imagination and dreams. It can open up a world of possibilities; it's imagining and believing in our remarkable potential as creative beings. But this kind of pretending is not what I'm talking about when I discourage the idea of being "a pretender".

Because being who we are - front and center - is the most effective way to know that we are appreciated (and the best way to appreciate ourselves), when we stop our presences, we stand on more solid ground. Pretending can result in life becoming just a series of tasks, rather than a world of wonder. So, don't cheat yourself. People may not always like who we are, what we do, or the choices we make - but at least we know exactly what we're dealing with and where we stand with others.  For me, that's the easier path in the end.

Don't be a pretender, especially with yourself.


Never Settle


No matter what the situation or circumstances in life, most of us are taught to compromise in order to get what we want (or what we are told we can have). We’re encouraged to be satisfied with the way things are. If we not, we’re labeled as ungrateful or entitled. We're seen as expecting too much.’ We believe that good enough’ is the best we can expect; we make due, because we think that to want more is unrealistic.

I do not think that wanting more is unrealistic, but I do believe that we often convince ourselves that it is. 

When we believe that we shouldn't expect too much, we protect ourselves from disappointment by lowering our expectations. So, we settle for things that are not completely fulfilling. We tell ourselves that anything more - is impossible. Thus, generating a life of mediocrity. By not allowing ourselves to expect more, we relegate ourselves to a life in which ‘having it all’ cannot happen. 

What we expect, is what we get. We stay safe by closing ourselves off to a better option because we’re afraid it's not available to us or that it may not exist at all; or that the path to get to it is, well - too wrought with strife or too difficult or too - whatever...unreachable. 

I don’t believe that living life halfway is what life is about. For me, that is not enough.

It’s not that I’ve never lived by the rules, or believed that I’m asking too much to want more. It's not that I've never been afraid to hope because I might face disappointment or pain. We all get drawn in to this mode of thinking at times. But I found that putting up with things that are good’, but not good enough’, is not a life I'm interested in living. I can have something more -- something better. So, I refuse to accept anything less than the possibility of everything.

I’ve risked everything in my life to live beyond the status quo… and I have no regrets.

I don't settle in my aspirations, or my relationships - because I'd rather have a life full of failure and loneliness, than a life without hopes and dreams. I may not get everything, but I can never complain that I did not live a life filled with rich experience that moved me, challenged me and enriched me.

By not settling, I’ve made room for opportunities I didn't even know were there and created a life that is beyond anything I could ever have imagined.

Open yourself up to things you never thought possible, things that others may call pipe-dreams, and you will be amazed. There are no guarantees that you will get everything. But I can absolutely guarantee that if you settle, you'll never know the endless possibilities of a life without limits.

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The Value of Patience

Waterhouse_theSouloftheRose-How many times do people tell us to be patient?

Apparently, patience is a highly regarded trait. And the fact that I'm not patient has been brought to my attention by others as a defect. I disagree. I don't see patience as something to aspire to. Yet, it is generally considered an element of good character. One which we try  to instill in our children. But what does being patient really mean? And is patience actually something we should possess in order to be happy and healthy?

I don't think so. I do not value patience, because I see it as something that justifies a belief-system that dis-empowers. So, I'm here to challenge you to reconsider patience as a virtue.

According to Dictionary the definition of Patience is: Bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint or Good-natured tolerance of delay or incompetence.

So, having patience is the ability to tolerate unbearable circumstances without complaint, and to allow injustice and incompetence to thrive, by keeping an attitude of indifference. As I see it, when someone says, "be patient" what they are saying is, "shut up and put up". And it concerns me that such a thing is considered a virtue.

By encouraging this quality, we create a condition where acknowledging discomfort, or speaking up against it, is discouraged. It sets up an environment were lack of action becomes a legitimized excuse for not making changes to better ourselves or our world. How can this be a good thing?

Seeing patience as a good quality, blinds us to the role it plays in creating and continuing the bad situation by giving credence to feeling righteous in ignoring an unhappy realty -- silently agreeing to living dishonestly by not acknowledging the problems.

Continuing to endure the unendurable by keeping silent, creates victimization. I'm not saying that there are no circumstances where good people are victimized by bad people. I remember 9/11 and I have had crimes committed against me. What I'm saying is - we participate in our own victimization when we patiently stand by. And we give psychologically credence to this by calling patience a virtue.

A person who willingly stands by (practicing patience), puts themselves in a situation where they become the victim of circumstances or, more accurately, a victim of themselves. By emotionally disengaging from their dissatisfaction in a given situation they become unresponsiveness and numb to their discomfort - unable to engage in life fully. Ignoring discomfort, weighs heavily on self-esteem and cultivates a way of thinking that determines behavior. Because, when we ignore our needs, we ignore ourselves and our value - diminishing our self-worth.

The belief that taking action against something painful (or even expressing dissatisfaction) is the wrong thing to do, sets us up to act as if things are okay, when they are not.

I'm impatient because I have little tolerance for putting up with bullshit.

I value myself and each moment of my life too much to waist time on being patient. For me, the ability to silently contend with a bad things seems like a cop out; a justification for standing still in a very uncomfortable place; a way to feel good about being a victim; and a set up for an unsatisfying, unhappy, unhealthy life. Quite the opposite of a virtue, I think.

As I've said before, patience is not a virtue, it is a weakness.

Going through the motions

False-Mirror Being able to choose how we live is such a gift and living in a world where the possibilities are endless is the envy of those who are less fortunate on this planet. Even so, people live halfway, just going through the motions, doing what's expected and allowing life to live them.

It’s not necessarily that they are unhappy with where they’re at, it’s just that they’ve forgone things that they want because they’re seduced into a way of life that doesn’t embrace that. So rather than living life, they do what’s in front of them.

To some extent it’s how we’re raised. People want to fit in and people want to do what’s right. And sometimes it’s just easier to follow directions and go along with what’s been done before. I’ve done it. I’ve lived a regular life; one that fit within the expectations of what most consider a well-adjusted adult lifestyle. I was ruled by social standards, doing things as expected, willing to settle for what I thought was the best I could get. 

But one day, I had an epiphany…stemming from events in my life (the details of which are unimportant) and I woke up to the reality that life truly is what we make it. I don’t have to just go along for the ride, I can choose my direction, create my future. And I can do it from nothing, if that’s all I have.

So it’s not without empathy and understanding that I express surprise when I come across those who have had life experiences that bring into focus the brevity and preciousness of life, yet still insist on merely living – without risk, slogging along. Those that have had a wake-up call and continue to deny their dreams –  that is a real tragedy. 

For many the event that gets them moving towards the life they want is a near death experience – a heart attack, accident or some medical crisis that jerks them into the realty that life is short and should be treated as a gift. For others, it’s the loss of a loved one that hits home the truth of our limited existence. And for some it’s falling in love that triggers the urge to experience life fully without reservation. No matter the specifics,  it amazes me that many people who have such experiences say out loud – “Wow, this really changes things. It’s a wake up call for me to really live my life as I want to.” – but remain exactly where they’ve been and continue to forsake desires that would bring meaning and richness to their lives.

Solnedgang So, although for me it seemed that life circumstances brought me to this new outlook, I’m not convinced that it has to be a dramatic event that pushes one forward, maybe it’s just a decision.

A conscious decision to refuse to miss out while you can enjoy the wonders of life. I remember making that decision. And although the decision came after certain events changed my life situation, perhaps it was the decision that pushed me forward - not the events. 

Either way, once I woke up, even knowing the fear and risk involved, I couldn’t go back to just going through the motions. No matter how safe it was or how easy it seemed, I couldn’t go back to sleep. 

Please do not sleep through your life; do not wait until you’re near death, or you loose something dear, to make the decision to live fully. You don’t want to look back on your life and wish you had.

Stop going through the motions. Instead, make the mistakes and take the chances. And live without the regret of playing it so safe that you miss it all together.

Wait a Minute

Do you ever feel like you spend a large amount of your life waiting?
Waiting for the train, waiting for the weekend, waiting for right time. . .waiting for life to begin.

Waiting_in_repose_with_texture_3 Well, stop waiting! If you don't than you look back on your life and feel like you missed it. Remember life is happening right now. In front of you, beside, behind you. . .
All around you.

Join in!

I recently found myself looking forward to spending time with a particular person and found that much of my day (though busy with activities and fun, productive tasks) was spent daydreaming about the time we'd get to spend together once the day was over. And when all the waiting was for naught -- because at the end of the day, the day was over. And we didn't get together -- I felt desperately let-down.

But it made me think about what I would be doing with my creative energy if I wasn't just waiting. I'm not a waiter (I don't serve you food) and it's generally in my nature to take an active role in determining where I want my life to go. And take the necessary steps to make things happen. 

While I was waiting, I realized that I had been letting life live me, instead of deliberately living my life.

I'm not saying we shouldn't day dream - greatness comes from imagination, dreams and visions - I'm just saying don't miss the opportunity to move your life forward. You don't want to be left behind because you're waiting for something better. Use those daydreams to make each moment a magical experience.

Although there are times it's restful to simply let life take it's course, resting for long creates lethargy and a feeling of being trapped. It makes us forget that we have the power, the control to determine every detail of our lives.1994e

So, remember you're in charge of your life direction. You can have and do anything you put your mind to. If you don't believe me than try what I do and see if I'm wrong. . .

Stop waiting and live a deliberate life.

Stop the Bullshit!

Bullshit If you don’t like it change it, or at least enjoy the discomfort.

No one is really a victim because we have the power to change everything with a look, a smile, a touch or a word.

Everything counts and yet nothing is counted against you.

I believe that each hardship I come across is a beautiful chance to experience another part of the human adventure and it often give me and opportunity to confirm what I already suspected. 

And if not  . . .  I can always use it in my work.