In this episode, I discuss messages I received about money. I offer two tips on how to think about your own money shame.
P.S. Coming soon– digital downloads for each episode!
You. Are. Enough.
No. Hear me: You are enough! Right now, exactly the way you are.
You are enough for the job, for the calling, for the kids, for the husband, or for whatever else is going on in your life.
You have done everything “right.” And you still feel a lack in your life.
It’s because what you DO doesn’t determine how you feel.
You kept the standards of the Church. You served the mission. You never say no to a calling. You got married in the temple. You had the kids.
And now you don’t know what you want or who you are.
It’s because you were doing all those things for the wrong reasons, and now you are tired of chasing your happiness.
You thought that if you did what everyone told you, you would feel better. You would feel good.
I know– the way our Church leaders talk make it seem like that’s what will happen. They say that if you are obedient, blessings will come. If you have the Spirit, everything will work out.
They aren’t wrong, and you aren’t wrong.
It’s just that you took their words and made it mean that you should DO certain things. And certainly there are certain actions that qualify or disqualify us.
But it matters with what energy you check all the boxes.
Stop focusing on the actions! Stop trying to go to the temple every week or show up to every single activity even when you don’t really want to. Stop going through the motions of your calling and wondering if it’s really worth it. Stop putting on the make-up because someone might see you. Stop dwelling on what you said or did that you shouldn’t have.
Stop it all.
And start believing.
Believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of the world. Believe that the doctrines of the Church are true. Believe that you are blessed and that more blessings are coming. Believe that the one blessing you reeeeeeally want is on it’s way. Believe that you are exactly where you need to be on the path that will eventually bring joy and fulfillment. Believe that you can feel joy and excitement and fun NOW. Believe that your desires are not bad and don’t make you bad. Believe that you are enough exactly the way you are.
When you truly, madly, deeply believe these things (and more), you will start to FEEL them in your body. That’s how you will know you believe them. And then what to DO will become clear.
When your mind is in the right place, your actions will be too. You will keep the standards of the Church for the right reasons or not at all. You will do the calling or go to the temple or read your scriptures because you love the Lord, not because you are trying to “get blessings.”
The Lord wants you because He loves you. But he isn’t going to force or chase. You have to come to Him for the right reasons. If you feel like he is ignoring you, maybe he is just waiting for you to truly love him first. Maybe the blessings you have already received match devotion you have already given.
God is asking us to raise the bar, to lengthen our stride, to be more committed. By necessity, that means that some people will be left behind. We are in a refining time in our Church. We are at a turning point. And it feels uncomfortable. It’s supposed to.
The question is: what do you really want to believe? Not because it will bring blessings, but because it feels right to you?
I hope you want to believe you are enough. Jesus Christ made you so with his sacrifice.
If you want help with your unbelief, let’s have a conversation together. This is why I’m here. I promise I won’t try to get you to think or do anything. I am only here to help you discover who you are and what you want. But I am the perfect one for you, because I have lived with the Gospel and without it. I understand both ways. And I don’t think there is a right or a wrong way for you. I just think there is a way. Figuring it out is your work. I can be your loving, gentle, non-judgmental guide.
You are only one click away: calendly.com/denitabremercoaching
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.
I see you there.
I see how you are trying to do it all– be a good wife, mom, sister and daughter.
-Teach your kids well.
-Stay close to your husband so that your marriage is strong.
-Be there for your siblings.
-Accommodate your parents, even when it feels exhausting.
-Remember to pray, do scripture study and get to the temple “regularly.”
Relationships are important! Families are forever!
But sometimes you just want to hide or run away. (Not for real, just in your fantasy.) It feels like a heavy burden some days.
“People should be more important that stuff.”
And people are more important, you’re just forgetting a really important person in the equation of people and stuff.
I know– that feels selfish.
We are socialized so hard on not being selfish, that when we do something for ourselves, we think we are being selfish.
Is it selfish that your daughter wants to keep doing gymnastics?
Or that your son enjoys baseball?
Or that your husband trains for that tough mudder?
Is it selfish that your parents want to take a trip for their anniversary and you won’t be celebrating with them?
Is it selfish that your sister and her husband are taking a trip and leaving their kids with you again?
No! None of these things are selfish. They are just preferences. Desires.
So how about it?
Your desires and preferences and needs are just as important as everyone else’s.
If you are feeling resentful, it is because in your mind, you are putting yourself as not as important. And because that isn’t true, it feels terrible.
So make yourself important.
It’s already the truth, you just gotta give yourself permission to start living it.
So what is it you would do just for you? (And let’s just pretend you don’t have to worry about money in this situation, ‘kay?)
Make time to write? Hire a house cleaner? Get a massage? Get back to dancing?
Dream big! Be honest!
Okay, so how can you do it? What’s getting in your way?
I know, you don’t have money for it. That’s the biggest complaint.
There’s a difference between making a temporary sacrifice and restricting your life.
I mean, what’s the purpose of your money if it’s not to pay for things that make life a meaningful life?
Sure, there are “necessities” like food, water and heat. I get that.
But if your finances are able to pay for anything beyond necessities, but you are miserable, then what’s the point?
And what if, by spending on that thing that will make you come alive, you can actually CREATE money for your family?
I know it might seem absurd, but when you are happy, you have less need for other things.
I just want you to think about it. What if you could afford it?
And the same holds true for time.
What if by taking better care of yourself, you actually create time in your life?
It could happen.
First, believe that you can find a way to make it work.
Second, love yourself enough to do it.
Third, go do it.
Go on. Don’t wait for me! Go be YOU!
Your life coach
I had someone reach out to me and tell me about their sexual experiences and how they are struggling. One thing stood out to me, because I can relate.
“I’ve never had a good example of what a healthy sexual relationship looks like. I don’t know what it feels like…”
I too, never had an example of a healthy sexual relationship.
My parents were teenagers when they got together. I was the result of an unplanned pregnancy that my dad hoped would help my mom love him more if they kept the baby. My mom turned 17 ONE MONTH before I was born.
Now, I am sure plenty of people have been able to have kids in their teens and turn it into a good experience. But my parents were not such an example.
They were never married because my mom never wanted to make that commitment.
My parents fought non-stop. Their relationship was hot and cold. There were times they were very affectionate, but other times they hated each other, or so it seemed.
My sister believes she has heard my dad rape my mom. My opinion is that rape is a strong word. I think my mom was often just a reluctant participant, but did ultimately give her consent.
Their relationship was co-dependent at best.
Other couples I was close to also didn’t have the best of relationships. My aunt and uncle definitely had an abusive relationship that I witnessed on many occasions. That same uncle sexually abused me and my sisters. My grandparents were married over 50 years but they were cold to each other and slept in separate rooms or beds as long as I knew them.
Basically, I also did not have any good role models.
Beyond examples of loving marriages, sex is often not something we see modeled anyway. (And when you do, you wish you hadn’t seen it!)
All this to say: you don’t need an example of a healthy sexual relationship to be able to create one of your own.
In a way, NOT having an example opens you up to all the possibilities and lets you design the sex life you want.
What if there is no right or wrong, only what you want and don’t want? Only what feels good and what doesn’t?
It may take you a while to get there. If you come from a dysfunctional family like I do, it takes work to unravel the messages and beliefs you were handed about sex, marriage, relationship, men, love, etc.
You may even find yourself fighting against a good relationship because it conflicts with your self-image. I know I tried to get my husband to leave many times because I felt like he was too good for me. I was comparing myself to so many broken women that I couldn’t see the me he saw. I leaned on his belief in me for so many years until I could believe it myself.
And deciding what kind of relationship you do want may take some trial and error. It’s not all going to be rainbows and daisies. There will be hard days.
The first step is recognizing what you already believe and think about your relationship. I recommend journaling them all out. There is something about writing that is cathartic and gives you distance from your thoughts. If writing is not your style, though, try using the voice memo app on your phone.
The second step is testing each of those beliefs. Are they true? Do they get you the result you want? When you think them, how do they make you FEEL?
The third step is dreaming about what might be possible. If you find yourself having a hard time even going there, ask yourself what are you protecting yourself from? If you are capable of a healthy, sexual relationship, but your brain is not offering that option to you– then why? What are you afraid of?
For many of us it is this: if I try for a healthy relationship and fail, then there is something wrong with me. We just fail ahead of time by not giving ourselves the chance to go there.
Sometimes highlighting what you really don’t like about your relationship will tell you what you do want. So what bugs you the most about your husband? What is the opposite of that?
For me, I hate that my husband can be condescending. He owns it and tries to be careful not to come across that way. But when he is condescending I just feel so stupid. I want to feel like my opinion is valued and valid.
See? Do that for everything you dislike in your relationship and you will have a good starting point for the relationship you want.
Of course, you can do this on your own. I will continue to provide value here on the blog to help you. But it will take a lot more trial and error and time. But if you want results faster, I invite you to sign up for a free consultation call with me. I can show you where your blind spots are. I can guide you to what you really want and why. Time is the most valuable asset you have; why waste another day feeling like you can’t see the way out?
Last Sunday, we arrived at church early so I could make some copies. Turns out the copy machine wasn’t functioning properly, so I made my way to the chapel 10 minutes before the meeting was to start. My kids were arguing about who was going to sit where in the pew. My girls were being very mean to each other despite my pleading with them to be kind, so I grabbed my stuff and left.
As I was walking down the hall, I felt immensely sad. I was sad that my 15 and 12 year old girls can’t be nice to each other at church. I didn’t know where to go so I went out to sit in my car. I felt myself at the brink of tears, but I didn’t want to cry and walk back into church with red, puffy eyes. #resistingemotion
As I was sitting there in the car, I was searching my brain for why I was feeling so sad. My kids are mean. They’re old enough to behave better. I must be a terrible mother. It’s just sad. That’s where my brain was going. But WHY? Why did I feel like it was so sad? Eventually I arrived at the thought This is not how I wanted them to turn out.
And then I remembered something I had heard recently that has stuck with me: Don’t be attached to the outcome. And I am so attached to the outcome with my kids and it is causing me suffering. When I find evidence that the “outcome” might not be the way I had envisioned, I am sad, disappointed, and sometimes angry. And they haven’t even arrived out their outcome yet!
What if they are just on their own journeys and arguing and being mean at church is just part of their learning experience? What if them being mean to each other has nothing to do with me or my ability in motherhood? What if this is totally normal behavior and my brain is thinking that it is unreasonable?
I think the reason we should not be attached to the outcome, whether it is in parenting or business or anything else, is because we don’t have 100% control over the outcome. We only have control over the effort we put forth toward the outcome. In the case of relationships, another person’s agency is at play, so we may have very little control over the outcome. When we are unattached to the outcome, our only job is to decide how we want to show up. What kind of person do we want to be, regardless of the outcome?
I did return to the chapel, just in time to sing There Is Sunshine in My Soul. There was not sunshine in my soul, but I knew it wasn’t because of my kids or their behavior, but because of my thoughts and my subconscious attachment to how they would turn out.
In what way are you attached to an outcome in your life that is causing you suffering? I would love to hear about it in the comments!