We often hear the saying “There are many fish in the sea”, but what does it really mean? There’s scarcity in our relationships. There’s never enough people out there or love or interest or money. It’s about the viewpoint that there’s not enough. We talk about getting off your couch, out of your phone, put down your laptop, go and connect with real people to be real. Be connected in that intimacy. And then we have fear of letting go. What is that fear? What is that motivation to hold on? It just really comes back to our old friend scarcity, because in this world there is belief that there’s not enough of anything in this world. People are scared to death to let go when they find someone. And this is a very strange thing. It’s like we find someone, we invest a month, six months, a year, three years, four years, and then things start to go awry. If you want to learn how to overcome this fear of scarcity, just take a listen! It will be worth your while.
We’re talking about the issues at hand, things that matter. This show is called Many Fish in the Sea. It’s about the viewpoint that there’s not enough. There’s scarcity, there’s not enough people out there or love, interest or money, that scarcity runs our lives. We talk about getting out of your couch, out of your phone, put down your laptop, go and connect, do a meetup, be real, be connected. In that intimacy, there’s so much more possible. We then go up to Canada to talk to my friend, Steve, about his grand venture to moving into the relationship of dating men, his own feminine, his own relationship with his mom, how it’s keeping him stuck and frozen in fear, and how we confront that part of ourselves. If we love our parents and love those dark, deep icky parts of ourselves, we can have more and more in our life.
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Many Fish in the Sea
We’re here to talk about the issues at hand every week, talking about what needs to be talked about. I want to let everyone know that officially I feel like crap, physically and mentally. I want to give you an update for those who listened to last week’s show. My dad had a stroke and he went to the hospital. To see your father and to see your family laid out like that is an emotional thing. I’m not particularly that connected to my dad per s, but still to see someone who’s been in my life all 46 years and beyond laid out like that was a pretty emotional thing. There were a lot of feelings around it.
He’s much better now. He’s much more stable. He was in ICU for a week and now he is definitely finding his breath, his heart rhythms, and all things are definitely getting more to the status quo. It was such an emotional thing. We had some intense conversations. Things change when you face death. Death is theoretical, “I will ride into the fire of doom and it’s a good day to die,” all these theories we have about what death is and how we’re going to face it. When it comes down to it, it’s different. It really is different. I saw a change in him as he faced his own mortality and his fighter came out and it was pretty impressive to watch. Things are better.
I flew back from San Francisco, supporting my mom and my family, and then spent the whole day working and then did the webinar with Ken Blackman on Straight Talkers. I woke up this morning and I was like, “Fuck this show. Fuck being on. Fuck being witty and smart,” and then it’s like, “No.” This show is here for me to spread the word and I can’t. It’s my responsibility and so just know that. I’m grateful for the show and grateful for my listeners and I would love for people to keep spreading it. This is my life’s work. It’s compressed in these shows I do. I don’t get paid for this. I do accept donations but it’s my way. If you want to help, subscribe on iTunes, give me a review on iTunes and spread it around. Pick your favorite show and post it on your wall if you like. Brag about it say, “This changed my life,” or whatever. Do as you desire.
First we’re going to be doing a rant. I’m doing a topic called Fish in the Sea about relationships and scarcity. Then we’re going up to Canada, my new friend, Steve, to chat about some issue to see how we can change his life here on Tuff Love. This concept of Fish in the Sea was inspired by a friend of mine. She is an attractive woman. She was in a relationship with this guy a while ago. I don’t give too many details, but she was a relationship with this guy for years and then it broke up four or five years. What happened was that they broke up and they were distant for a while and they got back together and then they had a hot and heavy romance for a couple of months and then he is being distant again.
I was talking to her. I could feel inside of that her fear of taking the step to migrate from this relationship, which on some level has been her foundation. I’m not here to judge the power and the healthiness of the relationship, that’s not my role, but the dynamics around it. This is what I see. People are scared to death to let go when they find someone. This is a very strange thing. We find someone, we invest a month, six months, a year, three years, four years, and then things start to go awry, then we have fear of letting go. What is that fear? What is that motivation to hold on? It comes back to our old friend scarcity, because what we have in this world is belief that there’s not enough of anything in this world and if you find someone, you need to keep her.
I was doing some research on fish in the sea and I found there was a poem, 1896, that was the motivation for fish to the sea or something similar. “There’s more than one pebble on the beach,” is what this guy said. If you think about it, how many grains of sand there are and how much there is available? How many fish there are in the sea? How many people there are in the world? How many people are desperately lonely, looking for someone to spend their lives with to connect with and be intimate with? There’s an extraordinary amount, but there’s something that happens once you get someone. Is this person or not a keeper? It comes down to this foundational belief that there’s not enough. What is the cost? What is the cost when you’re in a relationship that you don’t truly believe in? What is the cost when you’re in something that you feel is your foundation? How do you move from the foundational piece of who you are with that person to who you are with yourself?
This ties into the last show on self-love, because it is the most important thing to do. Your belief in yourself, your belief in who you are, and your belief that you have enough by yourself is the most powerful thing possible. Without loving yourself, it’s my belief that you can’t love another person. You have to start with this self-love. The connection to it is if you’re in a relationship that’s not healthy, if you’re in a relationship that’s not expanding you, if you’re in a relationship that you can’t be honest and truly who you are, then I believe what’s happening is that you’re making yourself smaller and smaller and keeping yourself in a slowly, shrinking place. It’s what we do time and time again.
Relationships can also be more than romantic. It could be your work relationship, or it could be your love relationship. My point is, look at your place and look who you are. I was thinking about this and I was like, “Why does this apply to me?” I’ll go through my history. I was thinking about the topic of crushes. I did a Quora, it’s a cool website like Reddit, on the concept of crushes. On that answer I said, “I’ve had thousands of crushes in my life and I continue to have crushes.”I would tell Morgan about a crush last night and they just arise inside of me. You meet someone and you feel this desire for someone. What happens is that person either is in your life in a constant way or it’s a drive-by crush. You meet someone at a party, it’s a drive-by crush. You hold onto this feeling. You hold onto the past and then you hold onto your memories of that person, how you felt around them. You attribute all these feelings you have to them. Guess what? The feelings you have about that person is your feelings. You’re choosing to take all this love, all this desire, all of this feeling, all this hunger and all these things that we make fun of and push on society, or you’re wanting lust. You’re a lecherous lust. You have that inside of you, your ability to feel them and what you do is you put them on someone else. When you can’t have that person, then you think, “I’m not worthy,” and you beat yourself up. You think yourself that you’re not attractive enough, you’re enough.
Your feelings truly are your right. They’re part of your human dynamic. It’s like your blood flows through your brains. You breathe in and out, you have respiration. You’re taking the O2. You let out CO2. The same thing happens with you with your desire and your lust. Your lust is right. Your desire is right. What we do is we take it and put it on someone else. When that person doesn’t respond to us, then what happens is we go into misery. We go into this depression. We go into our room and write bad poetry. We listen to bad music, like Smiths songs, and live in the misery of the darkness or whatever the music is of this era. I don’t like the music of this era. We live in the misery of it.
There are many fish in the sea. There are many places to put your attention. There are many places where you can put your love. We think that this person is the thing. It’s not the thing. The thing is who you are and who you are in relationship to the world. “These are great theories, Rob. What do we do with it? What do we do to live a more full life? How do we live in a place where we can stand?” The first thing is, again, it’s right back to the same thing. Show and show and time and time again, work on your self-esteem. Work on your own self-love. Know that the thing you want inside of you is right and be willing to pursue it. Be willing not to make compromises on the way.
I see this a lot in relationships as people are making compromises. They’re compromising their self, they’re compromising what they truly want rather than being honest with their partners and with themselves. This concept of many fish in the sea. There are many constants out there. People are going to flow in and out of your life, but who you are is the connection to it. You’re the constant. You’re the thing that’s going to be there time and time again. Your ability to love yourself in that process is the key. Morgan hates when I talk about her on the show, she’s like, “Aren’t people sick of hearing about Morgan?” I’m like, “No, we’re going to keep talking about you because you inspire me, you teach me.” This is the thing that she’s taught me is there’s a difference between wanting and desiring and manifesting versus avoiding.
I don’t know a lot about the Law of Attraction. I don’t know if I even believe in the law of attraction. I haven’t put enough time and energy into it, but I do know that where you put your attention, things happen. There are a lot of people I know and a lot of people I coach who are wanting someone to avoid something. They want to avoid feeling lonely. They want to avoid feeling listless. They want to avoid their own self-defeating attitude about who they are. They don’t want to confront that, “I wanted to be with a person so I don’t have to feel ashamed.”
Your ability to move towards what you want and how you want it is the most powerful trick you can have. What happens is if you’re focusing on what you don’t want, what you’re avoiding, what happens is that part of you grows. When you put your attention on what you want to look forward, that’s where you get what you want. A lot of people think that, “No, I’m not avoiding loneliness. I’m not avoiding sadness. I’m not avoiding regret. This rebound relationship, I’m not avoiding pushing away.” It’s a dangerous thing not to confront this piece. A lot of my experience of the last year of my business was me avoiding the feelings of losing my primary business. I did a lot of self-work and a lot of therapy to realize that a lot of the choices I made were avoiding feeling the feelings. I had to recreate the situation. If you want to confront, grow, expand and move past these places where you feel stuck, confront the feelings of the pain first before you go searching.
Back to the fish in the sea. I’m amazed in today’s society how things are changing. Things are changing a lot to do with social media. Here we are, I’m on Facebook live, I’m talking to Ireland, I’m talking to California, I’m talking to New York, I’m talking to London, I’m talking to all these different places. I think I have Texas on there. I’m talking to all these places and what happens is I’m able to connect. I go to my Facebook and I’m connected to different tribes and different people. I’m watching social media and I’m watching all these pieces and there’s some part of us that feels like that’s enough, that we feel connected enough through the social media or we have our ubiquitous phone. We feel like we do the phone and we have enough connection. What happens is we avoid confronting that we need to go out in the world. How much of us would rather focus on our phone than we would connecting to another person? How often would we rather stay in and have to be on Facebook than to go to a meet up group to actually meet someone?
For all the lonely people out there, know there are thousands of other lonely people sitting at home waiting to meet you. I’m not talking about just romantic relationships. I’m talking about friendship, intimacy, men’s groups, women’s groups and clans. There are all these people out there. In our world of isolation, we’re moving into closer and closer and more and more isolated. Your ability to go and step out of your comfort zone to put down the damn phone, sit down, go to a café, and talk to someone. Put down your laptop. You go to a Starbucks. There’s 80% of the people, including me, are hacking on their laptops rather than connecting to the rich world that’s out there. In your willingness to go and to put down the laptop, to put down the phone, that’s where the fish in the sea are. They’re swimming around you. They’re so close and connected to you. If you want to be connected to someone, it’s to go, feel, notice, and be true. The last thing I want to talk about is this concept of intimacy and how it helps. Men come to me and say, “How do I find a girlfriend?” They say to me, “I want a girlfriend.” They’re like, “Please, what do I do? What do I do to meet women?”
I often say this simple thing that challenges them, “Go find women friends. Go find women to be around to be friends with. Don’t be around them to find a girlfriend. Go around them so you can feel intimate and connected to people.” In that connection, there’s so much strength and availability for you and what happens is you’re around people. The fish in the sea, everyone knows someone. Everyone has a friend, “My friend Rob, he could use a date.” Make sure that there are possible connections, but for you to have that connection, you need to get out of your comfort zone, into the world, and into connection. If you’re whining about, “There’s no one out there. I’m never going to meet a good guy. I’m not going to meet a proper guy,” then that’s on you. That’s on you, unwilling to do the work, to clean up your own shit, connect, be real, and to see other people.
I was a very nerdy guy. It’s hard to see with the dashing, charismatic man I am now. I was extremely nerdy guy until I got scooped up by this woman and then I met other women. From the attention of men and women showing me who I am, I found my own strength and my power came out of it. Look around and be willing to connect with those who want to be connected to. That, my friends, is this episode’s rant.
Let’s bring Steve on the line. Steve, how are you?
How are you doing?
Good. What’s happening?
I’m in a transition right now with a bunch of different things. I’m slowing down in one business and starting up another one. I also ended a relationship with a woman and now I’m interested in men right now. A lot of stuff is coming up and I’m getting a little bit confronted. I’m getting moody and all kinds of stuff. Can I tell you about a dream I had last night?
You remember Star Trek Next Generation?
Beverly, in my dream, she is looking in the mirror. There was some episode where she goes in those holographs. You know how Beverly was always hot but she never had steady love interest. Whenever she would meet a man, it would always be this fleeting thing. Beverly, in my dream, she’s looking at this man. He’s this tall, dark, handsome character. He’s romantic. He’s mysterious more than anything else. She’s swooning at him, but then in my dream he literally turns into a mirror and she’s resisting this the whole time. She’s like, “No, I don’t want my fantasy be crushed.” He turns into this mirror and she’s wincing and she can’t deal with it. That’s pretty much the dream. I don’t know what you think about that, but I can tell you what that means for me. My interpretation of that was I have been longing for a powerful, dominant guy to come into my life and to explore my sexuality with someone like that. I have this image of that but at the same time in my life, I also need my own power to be active right now. I’m starting a new business and I feel a little bit torn between being masculine out in the world, going and creating, and then being feminine and receptive. There’s this tension and I’m wincing. I’m not at ease.
There’s so much we can work with. What I’m hearing is you’re a dichotomous mind. You’re hearing either or, “Either I am feminine in the relationship to receive a dominant and powerful man, or I need to be masculine so I can be out in the world creating.” My belief in you and anyone is that you can have both. You are brilliant, complex and flexible enough to migrate between your masculine and feminine from work to home. I will give you a warning because this is happening often in the world. A lot of women are complaining to me and in social media and the world that they are out in the world, their masculine is rising. They need to be masculine in the boardroom as they get more empowered positions. They’re having trouble transitioning from masculine out in the world to feminine in the bedroom. My friend, John Wineland, who I respect a lot, does a lot of work with this and it does a lot with clarity and does a lot with David Deida stuff. Your fear is real and true and at the same time you are able. You’re possible and you are capable of doing both. Do you believe that?
Yes, I do believe that.
The practice you have is just to know that. Here’s the question. What does feminine mean to you in the world? What does feminine mean to you in relationship? How do you perceive that?
Feminine means being in the flow, being emotional, being receptive, allowing things to happen, not trying to control the situation but rather allowing the situation to unfold, and being attentive to what’s going on in a 360 degree view. Masculinity is focus, single-pointed. Femininity takes it all in. It doesn’t have anywhere to go and nowhere to be. It’s open.
Do you think you have the ability to do that?
It’s growing. I have resistance to it, for sure.
Which piece do you have resistance to?
Always going somewhere and being somewhere and pursuing. There’s an anxiety that I’m 34 and I’ve lived the vast majority of my life as a straight man and have often got my self-worth out of accomplishing things and being masculine.
Your mind is very masculine. Your presentation of this problem is very masculine. Just so you know that. I’m not saying this is good or bad, I’m reflecting back what is. You do have definitive boxes of who you are and what you are. Have you ever been in relationship with a man?
Sexually a couple of times, but in a relationship, no.
I don’t know if it’s so much the masculine, feminine. My feeling is not so much the masculine and feminine. It’s who you are, the changes in you. I think you’re nervous. You’re solid and you’re a good guy. My interpretation of you from the two times we’ve met is you’re quite solid, sweet, and powerful. In this new role of being in relationship with a man, you have both a portion of fear of who you are going to become and excitement, and those are revving up right next to each other. We can talk about excitement for a long time, but let’s delve into the fear. Who do you fear becoming in relationship to a man? What’s your worst case scenario?
The worst case scenario is I lose my directionality. I lose my ability to be powerful. I lose my will. My worst case is I become depressive and withdrawn, and I suppose dependent upon another man’s soul or energy.
Do you have any examples of that in your life?
Sure. My mom.
We’re coaches. We’re coaches and it always comes back to the parents on some level. I know the answer before I asked the question. It’s a coaching trick. Your feeling around your mom is all those things you said. On some level, entering into this new world, which for a 34-year-old, this is a brand new experience. This is not like you’re fourteen or fifteen, still growing, expanding. You’re pretty set in your ways. The main example you have of being feminine in the relationship is with your mom.
What’s your viewpoint of her side of the relationship? Not your dad’s side, but your mom’s side. How did you perceive her? How did you feel she was as a person?
That she wasn’t willing to take responsibility for her emotions. Happy or sad, it was always somebody else’s problem. She didn’t take care of herself, so she didn’t do what she needed to do to be present, grounded, available, and content. She often complained to the world. She would complain about people not meeting her needs, and that she would be often abandoned. There was a continual abandonment theme with her friends, with other extended family, with myself as well and dad.
Let’s presence this. Let’s acknowledge this. Let’s honor that this is the driver of your soul. Whether you want to consciously agree with it or not, this is the formation in your mind of what it means to be feminine in your relationship. You’re going to have to confront not only your own fear, but you’re going to have to confront that this is your training. This is on some level your belief system. Here’s the hardest part. You’re going to have to love your mom in order for you to love your feminine.
Thank you. That sounds very true. That feels true.
That is no easy feat.
Yes. I do love her. I have a good relationship with her in spite all these things I just said. I’ve moved through a lot of resentment around her and I recognized that I still have ways to go.
Again, this is a masculine. You’re viewing your relationship to your mom’s feminine into your own feminine, with your masculine mind. “I have a long way to go.” This is a masculine viewpoint because the masculine think there’s some path to follow in life. There’s no path to follow, my friend. You’re building a bridge to nowhere. You’re improvising your life. That is the magical piece of it. I have to confront my relationship to my dad when I confront my relationship to Morgan, my lady, if that makes sense. I have to look at all aspects of my viewpoints against my dad, who he was as a man, and the parts of him I didn’t like. I didn’t like the way he related to my mom, the whole ad infinitum. If I ignore them, then they run me. If I confront them and love him in that, then I can love that part that was installed inside of me, if that makes sense.
Your mom has been your teacher who you’ve been the feminine. What you have the opportunity to do in real life practice is take the best elements of your mom. The parts of you that raised such an impressive young man like you, a warm, connectable, beautiful man that you are, you’re going to have to confront those best parts. The parts that don’t serve her or you don’t perceive will serve you, you’re going to have to say, “No, thank you.” It’s not like, “Fuck you.” That’s our natural inclination. “Fuck you whiny. Fuck you dependent.” We want to beat those parts that we don’t want. You can’t do that. You have to pull it in and love it and say, “No, thank you.” That’s mastery. This is easy for me to say on the show for fifteen minutes, but that’s the practice. That’s your mastery in life, is for you to engage and be real in this.
On point. I have nothing to say but yes.
You’re helping a lot of people. We all have wounds around our parents. I can tell you I just saw my dad and we got into a heated discussion about the time he withdrew his love flat out. He flat out admitted. “I didn’t like who you were. I wasn’t going to be involved in this relationship. I bailed.” My father bailed on me. I have to live with the reality that my father, when I was 30, bailed on me and withdrew his love for me. I can hate him for that, which is the status quo, or I can love him for who he is and say, “No, thank you,” to that attribute. It’s a practice like any other.
Question for you. The masculine part of my mind is of course is like, “How do I do this?” Give me the ten step program to loving my mom and my father too, because of course there’s different wounds. A similar dynamic is at play where I’m like, “I can accept and honor these parts of you, but these parts I have a little bit of fuck you energy around.”
Let’s pick one. Pick a fuck you for your mom.
A fuck you for my mom is the victimhood story. The attachment to being a victim.
Here’s how you love it. Here’s how I love it. You can look at the motivations of what caused her to be a victim. Do you have a clue? What do you think that is?
Her parents withheld love. They didn’t know how to express love, didn’t accept her, and didn’t have any space emotionally for her to be a little fucked up in any way. She was, whether whatever. Their struggle with depression and all kinds of mental illnesses threat her life, that’s a tough go for any human.
When you said that, I felt your empathy, I felt your understanding of that, and I felt your belief in her and who she is. If you can go back to that place where it’s not your mom, it’s just a person, and you feel the motivation and you feel understanding, then you can have empathy. Not having empathy for someone doesn’t mean you excuse it. It’s not like you’re saying it’s right or wrong. It’s you understanding it, the motivation of who she was and how she became it. When you understand people’s motivation, it’s hard to be mad at them. This is often an argument when you’re arguing with your partner and you’re really mad at them and like, “You did this,” and then once they reveal their motivations, then what happens is the tension tends to wipe away. It was like, “You were scared? You were lonely? You were bored? I understand your motivation,” and then connection can occur.
Go back to the motivations of whoever your mom was and then look at that. Here’s the most important thing. You are not your mom. Create that separation between the two. If you look at your mom and then you look to your victimhood and then often look at your victimhood, look at those places that are inside of you that feel victimized and abandoned. If you love your mom there, then you can love your part. Once you love your part, then your mom’s victimhood isn’t as powerful.
My grandmother was nuts. She was bipolar, I didn’t even know what it is. She’s just manic, ADHD or whatever that fucking analogy of the thing is. She would put plastic covers on everything. She would put plastic on floors, she was afraid of dirt. My grandmother was nuts and my grandmother really withheld love from my dad. I could look at my dad’s motivations of who he was and it totally makes sense to me. It doesn’t make it easier to feel the feelings, but it makes me understand it. It enables my love to come up and out. Look at her motivations, that’s the first thing. The second thing is to know that you’re not your mom. You are your own, separate, beautiful being.
The area in my life where I run a victim story is around money. I wound up with a lot of debt after school. It wasn’t just because I pursued school, it’s because I spent half of my 20’s being suicidally depressed. I’m living under a rock more or less. I’ve managed to get myself into a position where I have a solid income now. I make good money and the future is rosy. I make good money but my expenses are high because I’m servicing an enormous debt and I will be for some time. It can feel like a sentence. I was listening to your self-love podcast and you were talking about a debt that you were experiencing. I was like, “This really sucks. How do I love this and accept this and recognize that there is a lot of lessons for me from what I’ve been through and not let this be a woe is me story for the next five years while I pay this off.”
One, look at the benefit of the “Woe is me” story.
The benefit is it’s like somewhat soothing. It’s like, “You had a tough go. You had a tough go in your 20s. You moved through a lot of shit and you’re stronger for it now.” It garners sympathy from myself and from other people sometimes, although I don’t share that story much with other people.
The first thing is look at the benefit. Maybe you want to continue it or maybe you want to feel something else. I have a large debt. I made some mistakes in business. I hate paying it. I hate paying it. I don’t want to pay thousand dollars for this debt per month. I want to buy Morgan some shoes. I want to go on and have adventures but that experience of the business, that twenty months changed the rest of my life. Now I know at 46, and we’ll live another 40, 50 years, whatever it’s going to be, I’m never going to put myself in that situation again. I’m grateful that I had that experience. This debt is my penance for me learning the lesson. It’s my cost.
Some people go to college, some people open businesses to learn these experiences. You were suicidal, those vibes, it feels like they’re gone. That’s your cost for moving through that, the childhood wounds you had to move through it. Every time you pay that off, you can think, “I’m grateful I’m not in that suicidal place anymore. I’m grateful that I have an income.” When you switch your attention to what you do have and be like, “That was what happened.” That’s what I do. What I do is just be like, “I’m grateful for that experience because it changed my life for the better. Now I can make decisions and I personally think I’m going to make back that debt in the next year.” That’s my viewpoint. I made six figures from my consulting business. We’re running two businesses. I’m going to make double that maybe with our friend’s help. I totally believe that’s going to happen. Maybe change it from, “This is a burden. Woe is me,” into, “This is motivation to pay this fucking debt and double my income.” It becomes a game of your masculine. There could be something there. The more energy you put into woe is me, the less there’s creativity. What I do is I switch and I’m like, “How do I get creative to pay this off and keep sane?”
Thank you. Yes, that’s helpful.
That’s all the time we’ve got today, Steve. Thank you so much for being on the show. I really appreciate it. I look forward to where our friendship goes and look forward to hearing about your tales and your new relationship. I’m excited for you. It’s a wonderful time.
Likewise, thank you. I really appreciate your support.
Thanks so much for being on show. That’s it. If you’d like to make a donation to the show, please visit us at PayPal.me/KandellConsulting. Thank you for your donation. I appreciate that. Go forth, get off your damn phones, get off your damn laptops, be well, get off your damn couch and go out in the world. You have to get your shoes on. That’s right. Go to the pub, meet some cool people. As always, if you’re getting some nookie, think of me because I’m always thinking about you. Take care. Have fun. Peace out. Bye.