Shame is my default

One of my earliest memories, if not THE earliest, is of my Dad carrying my mom to the shower and throwing her in.

Looking back at it now, I think he was probably trying to sober her up.

But at the time, it just scared me. I loved my mom so much. I was thoroughly devoted to her. In my 2-3 year old mind, I didn’t understand why my Dad was trying to hurt her.

Being already pre-disposed to shyness and fear, I learned to be afraid of my Dad. He was big and mean and loud.

Don’t get me wrong—I know he loved me. We had lots of great times together. But his relationship with my mom was confusing to young child me. They were supposed to love each other! Why were they always hurting each other?

But I digress.

Today when I am afraid, I know that is my default thinking. From such a young age, I was afraid of everything. I couldn’t even trust my own parents who were supposed to give me an atmosphere of love and safety. The whole world was scary.

Our brains want an explanation for everything. It wants to place blame so that it can then solve the problem. For many people, they so desperately don’t want to be the one to blame that they blame everyone around them.

But for me, blaming others doesn’t seem to come as naturally and I wondered why. My default was blaming myself.

I think this is why:

I can control myself. I can change myself.

Everyone outside of me was unpredictable bordering on volatile.

So it makes sense to me that even as a young child my brain found refuge in blaming me. It felt more safe. If I could just stay quiet and unnoticeable, they everything would be ok.

But that no longer serves me. In order to serve the people around me I have to be willing to be seen and heard. I can’t blend in.

The interesting thing is that there really is nobody to blame. My brain is to blame. And not even really to blame. My brain is responsible. Responsible for keeping me safe as a child and now for keeping me small.

In order to overcome it, I have to be willing to feel the discomfort of feeling vulnerable so that I can do my work in the world.

From Love Instead of For Love

Do you ever get frustrated because you can’t seem to DO the things you want to accomplish? I am right there with you!

Gretchen Rubin might call you an obliger, a personality who puts your own expectations last on your to-do list. Your personal goals or resolutions never come to fruition because you don’t stick to your plan. Then you get frustrated or discouraged and give up. But inevitably your drive to always be improving and striving leads you to restart those goals or new ones. And the cycle continues.

This has been the story of my life, and I just recently realized WHY. Another coach showed me how the root of this problem is that I don’t trust myself. I blame or deflect all results to something outside of me. I’m always looking for answers outside of myself. I don’t trust myself to make real decisions or know the answers… because if I fail, well then it would be my fault and THAT would feel like shame.

I’m constantly using willpower to accomplish what does get done. These tasks are usually fueled by a sense of obligation, not love or joy.

All of this because I can’t trust myself, because (let’s face it) I don’t much LIKE myself. I’m always trying to prove my worth by PERFORMING, but I can’t fully perform because I don’t trust myself to do what’s “right.” I’m on a mission to heal my trust with myself. I want to invite you to join me on this mission if any of this resonates with you.

What if— all this time— you have always been totally, completely enough… and there is nothing to prove? What if everything you do could be FROM love instead of FOR love? Imagine how much you would accomplish when there is no self-loathing. What would you spend your time on instead? We would be able to do our true work in the world instead of always overcoming ourselves!

👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻
I am ALL IN on that! Are you?

Everything in Life is an Exchange

We pay money, we get a product or a service. We devote time and in exchange get a relationship or knowledge. We give effort and in exchange become someone new.

Tonight my almost-teenager was frustrated about her growing acne even though she washes her face twice a day. (Poor girl!) I told her it might be because of something she’s eating… like sugar. She looked at me and said, “I’d rather have pimples and eat sweets than not eat sweets and have no acne.” As long as she knows she’s making that exchange.

Awareness of these life exchanges is where all your power lies. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like an exchange but a choice. For example, I want to get a new job, but I’m scared I’ll feel stressed all the time. But right now I need money. So do you want to feel stress or in bondage to your money? It’s just an example, but might help you make difficult decisions.

Just remember that it’s always an exchange. You are almost never giving something for nothing.

To Know Him

I had a little disagreement with my husband last weekend over division of responsibility of household chores. The age-old “I want you to WANT to do the dishes.” 🙄🤮 But as I dug deep to figure out WHY I wanted to feel appreciated in this particular way, I journaled, “It says ‘I know you.’” And “It would mean I am noticeable, special, unique…” I think this is something every human wants to know: that they are loved and treasured.

Fast forward to yesterday when I attended a bible study class my stake hosts. It’s one of those classes that I’m always grateful I attend after the fact, but try to talk myself out of going beforehand. But every time I attend, I feel the Spirit telling me this is how God is speaking to me and I need to be there.

Part of the discussion centered on Christ’s intercessory prayer and how he wants us to have eternal life “that they might know thee, the only true God…” (John 17:3). And the teacher had us read this quote by Bruce R McConkie: “It is one thing to know about God and another to know him….[W]e know [him] when we enjoy and experience the same things [he does]. To know God is to think what he thinks, to feel what he feels, to have the power he possesses, to comprehend the truths he understands, and to do what he does. Those who know God become like him, and have his kind of life, which is eternal life.”

And then the💡 went off for me: I am asking my husband and my kids to know me the way God wants us to know him…. but I don’t always do that. I don’t always even know myself! How can I expect them to do it? I am walking around this world with a very self-centered point of view, yet I am asking the people I love most to NOT do that very thing.

Needless to say, I was humbled. The Spirit again reminded me why I should be in that class every week: Heavenly Father knows EXACTLY what I need and meets me there in that class. And isn’t that the ironic thing? I don’t even need my family to know me intimately because Christ does. He already experienced every pain and frustration I feel. How do I know? There have been too many “coincidences” to be anything else.

Your Highest Contribution

“Only once you give yourself permission to stop trying to do it all, can you make your highest contribution towards the things that really matter.”

Greg McKeown, Essentialism

Do you find yourself busy but unproductive? Stretched too thin? Overworked and underutilized? 🙋🏼‍♀️ I’m re-reading Essentialism by Greg McKeown. The “way of the essentialist” is to learn to tell the difference between the trivial and the truly vital things. It’s not about getting MORE done but getting the right things done.

I don’t know about you, but I am ready to put that into practice! I suppose my whole life I’ve been thinking that I am prioritizing the vital few, but really I’ve just been going through the motions because I never really had a NEED to be more productive in less time. But now that I have both a family and a business I love, I want to be more effective with my time. I want to love every minute of my life. I want to feel like I am using up this one precious life in service to others and toward growing myself.

I think this will even make me a better wife, mom, coach, sister, and disciple of Christ. Here’s to an essential 2020.