What I see in the mirror isn’t “right”

Yesterday, I looked in the mirror and I thought, “It doesn’t match what I see on the inside.” For basically my whole life I’ve thought I was ugly. But yesterday I realized ‘ugly’ wasn’t the right word. I don’t know the word for it. It’s just what I SEE isn’t “right.” Maybe the problem is in my physical-ness. I could straighten those teeth (again), finally cure that rosacea, get the right haircut, do my eyebrows, etc, etc.

Or maybe (likely) the problem is in HOW I interpret the data coming in at me. That’s the work I’ve been doing for a while (3 years? 1 year? 15 years?) I no longer think I am ugly— we’ve come a long way from that, but I’m still not “satisfied” so to speak.

Maybe this journey will never be done, but I do know that I am on a mission to love myself fiercely in every way.

One thing I notice is my pretty recent craving for bigger earrings. {Do you like these new ones from Estes Park?} Sometimes I want bright red lipstick. Sometimes I think about dying streaks of red or purple in that virgin hair. I’m 40, and it’s not a mid-life crisis, but a mid-life awakening. All things that I *think* might close the gap between how I look and how I feel. Because every day that passes I feel more like a strong, powerful, confident, smart, leader and coach. Every day that passes I gain a stronger desire to be loud— in one way or another.

What do you think? Does my look match my vibe? How about for you?

If you are ready to match what you see on the outside to what you feel on the inside, download my free Starter Guide to a Shame-proof Life here.

I give thanks for the hard stuff

I am practicing being grateful for the stuff that’s hard. The stuff we don’t normally give thanks for.

I give thanks that my mom died when I was 20. It shaped who I am today.

I give thanks for not having close relationships with my family of origin. It makes me even more grateful for the ones that are in my life daily. And it has forced me to create family by choice.

I give thanks for not being popular in school and having to face my own shame and disappointment consistently. That helped me figure out who I wanted to be.

I give thanks for not going to church when I was an older teen and young adult. It helped me see I really wanted to be there, and to return for the best reasons.

I give thanks for feeling depressed and lonely during the year we lived in Germany. It led me to life coaching and THAT is the best ever.

If you are ready to learn how to give thanks for the hard stuff, download my free Starter Guide to a Shame-proof Life.

Our hearts determine what we will become

Our hearts–the sum total of our desires, affections, intentions, motives, and attitudes– define who we are and determine what we will become.

David A. Bednar

You can totally reverse-engineer this one: who do you want to be? That will tell you what your desires, affections, intentions, motives and attitudes should be.

Tell us- what is one of these specifically you would like to develop in order to become the person you want to be?

Me? I want to develop my desire to be heard and seen for the benefit of others. I tend to believe that I don’t have much to add that is helpful. And I hide and stay small by default.

I have some stories to share about that, but for now, just ponder what you could decipher in yourself. And then come comment to make it a real intention.

If you need help figuring out who you want to be, I would love to help you. Download my free Starter Guide for a Shame-proof Life here.

The Knowing Within

It’s nothing short of a miracle that I turned out to be a fairly functional person.

My parents were teenagers when I was born. And alcoholics, drug addicts and high school drop-outs. Although they were both brilliant in their own right.

There was very little money. I remember my parents getting into a fight because I wanted a tennis skirt. (But of course always money for beer and weed (and sometimes speed or cocaine.))

We lived in the middle-of-nowhere-town where opportunities were limited.

I was sexually molested by an extended family member.

I was bullied and teased by both classmates and even a teacher.

And yet. Here I am. Living the “American Dream.”

So many people in similar situations never make it out. I often ask myself how I did it.

I doubted and shamed myself, lived in constant fear and insecurity, but SOMEHOW when it came to the big important things, I was able to listen to the knowing voice inside of me.

Instead of giving into the sex-and-drugs culture I was raised in, I always knew that wasn’t the life for me. My buffer wasn’t alcohol, pot, attention from boys (well maybe a little!), crime or self-harm, but over-achievement. It served me well for a long time. I was driven toward college, even though my parents supported me in anything. I took the “hard” route.

When my mom died before I graduated from college, I didn’t give in to the blaming and family drama and depression. The knowing voice kept me strong and putting one foot in front of the other.

When my husband and I had to figure out what a good marriage looked like without any models, we both turned to the knowing voices within.

When I had the seemingly perfect Christian suburban life, yet I was desperately unhappy still, I didn’t allow myself to give up. The knowing voice within told me it was possible to be happy and fulfilled. And I kept searching until I found the answer.

Listen. If it’s possible for me, it’s possible for you. The odds were stacked against me, so I know no matter how steep this mountain looks, you can climb it!

If you want to live the American Dream, let me help you. Sign up for a free consultation call here.

My dad lost his job and I thought it was my fault for 30 years.

When I was 5 years old, my dad lost his job.

I was awake, watching Looney Tunes, when I heard his alarm going off.

It continued for several minutes, so I carefully walked into my parents’ room where they were both passed out in their bed.

I remember standing there next to my Dad’s side of the bed, looking at him, looking at the alarm clock and not knowing what to do.

I remember thinking “Should I wake him up? His alarm is going off. But he’s an adult, so maybe he wants to sleep through his alarm? But then why would he set an alarm?”

It was an internal battle of not knowing what to do.

Then suddenly, my Dad’s eyes flew open and he looked at me, then looked at his alarm. He jumped out of bed and got dressed and out the door faster than anyone else I know.

I remember him asking me “Why didn’t you wake me up?”

I didn’t have an answer. I may have been perceptive, but I wasn’t yet able to put my thoughts and feelings to words.

He lost his job for being late one time.

Now I know he didn’t mean to blame me.
Now I know that it’s not a 5 year old’s job to wake her Dad up.
Now I know that my parent’s financial struggles had nothing to do with me.
Now I know I couldn’t have prevented any of my mother’s depression or my parent’s relationship problems.
Now I know none of it was my fault.

But for 30 years I thought it was my fault. For 30 years I thought I could have done something differently that would have changed the entire trajectory of my parent’s life and my life. For 30 years I was carrying guilt and shame that I didn’t need to carry.

Because nobody told me.

If you are carrying any guilt or shame from your past, I am here to tell you: it’s not your fault. Your choices wouldn’t have changed anything. It was all supposed to happen exactly that way.

If you have a life better than you expected, more than you dreamed of, you even have the Gospel of Jesus Christ, yet you still feel miserable, it might be because of guilt or shame you are unnecessarily carrying.

It’s time to put it down.

You’ll be better for it, I promise.

I’m launching a group coaching program January 27th. If you want to do the work of letting go of the shame, I invite you to schedule a free shame assessment here.

My real reason.

You see that woman second from the left?

Everything I do is for her. She is my reason.

You thought I was going to say that these people are my why.

They are too, but I’ve realized that it has to be for me first.

Selfish? Maybe.

But salvation is an individual matter. Even if I wanted, I can’t do the work to get them into heaven. They have to do that on their own. And I have to do mine on my own.

Anything I do, I do it to grow her, to help her become the next best version of herself, to do the work the Lord intends for her.

And that’s what I want for you, too.

When you grow yourself, you grow everyone around you. So selfish? Maybe not.

What fulfilling your purpose really is

When we say, “I want to fulfill my purpose,” we often mean, I want to figure out what my purpose really is, and then act on it.

This implies that you don’t know what it is already, or that you don’t yet have a purpose.

Let me just make this really simple for you: Your purpose is to return to live with God someday. That’s it. That’s all. Are you doing what is necessary?

Awesome. Now what?

If you look up “purpose” in the topical guide, the first thing is says is “See also, Desire.” It also lists “Will” as an alternative to look into.

This makes me think that our purpose is just our desire, aka, our will.

Huh.

Then if you check out all the scripture references below Purpose in the topical guide, desire can be replaced for each one, and it is enlightening:

Every desire is established by council.
A time to every desire under the heaven
This is the will that is desired upon the whole earth.

I could keep going, but you can check it out for yourself here.

I have heard it said by my coaching mentors, there are only two reasons why people hire a life coach:

  1. Because they know what they want (their purpose), but they need help doing it, or
  2. Because they don’t know what they want. (their purpose)

I love that I get to help people discover and live out their purposes, their true desires.

And I love that it always starts with my faith.

If any of this resonates with you, I encourage you to meet with me for free. Let me help you figure out your purpose or how to live it. You’ll leave this free 60 minute session with a deeper understanding of yourself and some next steps. Sign up here.

In the meantime, go think about what you really want.

To all the LDS ladies: You are enough. Really, you are.

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.

Wrong.

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

Negative emotion never comes from God.

While I was listening to this podcast today, (it’s so good, go listen to it!) I had a bit of an epiphany:

All positive emotion is from God.

All negative emotion is from the adversary.

In my opinion, these thoughts line up with this scripture:

For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

Moroni 7:16

Kurt Francom suggests that God is never disappointed in us in the podcast I mentioned. He gives lots of great evidence why this is. So I thought to myself, “Where does disappointment come from then?”

My first thought was that it comes from ourselves. But as I thought more, I came to the conclusion that the person who is ultimately the most disappointed is Satan. He must be living in disappointment from not keeping his first estate. And for centuries, he has seen how he missed the boat.

So what if God really never has any negative emotion toward us? What if he is just cheering us on, encouraging us, listening, loving?

I like to think of him watching us as if we are mice in a maze. He might be amused, but He is still also being our fan.

And what if, because of the principle of opposition in all things, Satan is the only one discouraging and confusing us, tearing us down, and making us feel bad?

I used to think there was a place for negative emotion such as guilt if it compels us to make positive changes. But now I see that guilt is just a mis-match between our personal values and our behavior.

Of course, it is human to feel negative emotion. It is part of being here on earth. We are in a fallen state.

I like to think that the mortal part of us naturally listens to the adversary. And our spirits naturally listen to the Spirit.

If we are never confused that the Spirit will only offer us positive emotion, then if we are feeling “bad,” we know that is coming from the adversary.

So, who do you want to listen to? And can you give yourself permission to learn from the negative emotion and listen to the positive?

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.