When You Need a Cheerleader

One time I was in a marriage seminar where they said, “You should be your spouse’s cheerleader. There are enough critics out there; you don’t need to be that for your spouse.” Which I think is super great advice IF you’re using it for you and how you want to be. However, on this particular occasion, I thought, “Yes, I just need Steve to be my cheerleader.”

I remember talking to him so many times, trying to explain to him how I needed him to be my cheerleader and how to do it. Guess what, it never worked. This is not because he is inept at being a cheerleader. It’s because I didn’t believe the positive things he said about me, so I hardly even heard them. AND I became very critical of him and his efforts. Ironic.

Then one day I decided to be my own cheerleader. Since, apparently Steve couldn’t do it right (or so I thought), I would have to do it myself. Guess what, I always knew exactly what I wanted to hear. I didn’t believe it at first, but I kept at it, and eventually, I started believing the things I told myself. 

THEN I noticed that Steve WAS cheering me on. He had been cheering me on all along. I just couldn’t hear it because my self-doubt in my head was louder.

Be your own cheerleader first. Then if others happen to be cheering you on, you can enjoy that. But it always starts with you.
P.S. If you like these posts and are interested in getting some more personal help with your struggles or seeing your amazingness. I’d love for you to sign-up for a free coaching session. You don’t have to come prepared or have anything necessarily to say. I will ask you questions and guide you the whole time. I’d love to meet you!

One Way We Add to Our Suffering

During my darkest days, I remember distinctly an evening when I was having an argument with my husband and he said to me, “I’m not going to talk to you if you keep talking the way you are. You’re being disrespectful.” I honestly was shocked by what he had said. I didn’t think I was being disrespectful at all. I felt like I was just stating the facts. I thought and thought on this for a few days. Finally, I tried to see it from his point of view. It was quite humbling. I realized, I thought that because I had thoughts and feelings, it was fine for me to tell them all to him without editing.

I realized that I hadn’t even thought of how he was feeling. I was so engulfed and overwhelmed by my own thoughts and feelings, that I couldn’t even consider his.

I know I was just being human when I was so engulfed in my own problems, but I’m grateful that my husband was willing to say something to me. It must have taken great courage, as I know he loved me and was concerned for me.

I love this quote by the apostle, Elder David A. Bednar, when talking about the character of Christ:

Perhaps the greatest indicator of character is the capacity to recognize and appropriately respond to other people who are experiencing the very challenge or adversity that is most immediately and forcefully pressing upon us. Character is revealed, for example, in the power to discern the suffering of other people when we ourselves are suffering…

https://www2.byui.edu/Presentations/Transcripts/ReligionSymposium/2003_01_25_Bednar.htm

It can be tricky to know how to take care of ourselves while still recognizing we are not the only ones suffering. But I wanted to share this with you in case you are increasing your suffering by blaming others for not taking it away. When we blame others, we are disconnecting from them, which increases our own suffering.

P.S. If you like these posts and are interested in getting some more personal help with your struggles or seeing your amazingness. I’d love for you to sign-up for a free coaching session. You don’t have to come prepared or have anything necessarily to say. I will ask you questions and guide you the whole time. I’d love to meet you!

Free House Cleaning Anyone?

Very often, people equate positive thinking with mental wellness. Positive thinking is a very important aspect of mental wellness, but they are not synonymous.

I like to think of a house that has a lot of rooms with closets and furnishings. Positive thinking is like decorating these rooms and straightening them up so they look pretty. It’s making the bed, closing the closet doors, opening the blinds, putting up a nice picture or putting a pretty plant on the table. It really makes the room pleasant to look at and be in.

On the other hand, thought work pulls everything out of the closets, from under the bed, the piles of papers on the desk and the countertop and puts them in the middle of the room. Has anyone seen Marie Kondo? Then it goes through each item and decides if that item needs to go into garbage, recycling, donated, or if you want to keep it and put it back in the closet, or put it on display. It decides whether an item is useful or not useful.

All of the things in our proverbial house are thoughts. Learning to have positive thoughts is really helpful and nice. But it’s not enough if you never go through everything stuffed into closets and under beds. A room can be beautifully decorated, and still not pleasant to be in if there is stuff all over the floor, or spilling out from under the bed or out of the closet.

A coach is like a house cleaner or home organizer who comes in and helps you go through everything. She tells you all of her tips and tricks to getting things cleaned and organized. She doesn’t decide which things you should keep. She just listens and helps you recognize what is useful and what isn’t. You know what you want the environment of your home and mind to be like.

You can do it yourself. But it’s more fun, efficient, and sometimes more effective with a coach. Above all, though, mental wellness isn’t a one-time job. It’s a continuous work. You don’t do the whole house in one day. You work on it little-by-little. Along the way you’ll create some lasting and helpful routines that help you keep up on it.

P.S. If you’re curious what it would be like to work with a coach, be sure to sign-up for a free coaching session with me. It’s like having a house cleaner come to your house for free! It can feel very vulnerable at first, but know that I do this all of the time. There’s nothing in your house I haven’t seen. And I LOVE when it’s a mess.

Love Is Not Blind

My friend shared this quote with me:

Love is not blind

It sees more, not less

But because it sees more

It is willing to see less

-Julius Gordon

Isn’t that how it is with people when we really feel love for them? Sometimes we don’t feel love with the people most important to us. We start to nit-pick. We see everything they’re doing wrong. We FOCUS on the 20% we don’t like, and DIMINISH the 80% we do like.

My mom told me another quote: Have your eyes fully open before marriage, and half-closed after marriage.

Of course, this can be applied to any important relationship. Just be sure when you’re eyes are half-closed that you direct your gaze at the positive. You can see it all and you know it’s all there, just choose to focus on what you do like. There are more steps to this. But this one step can make a huge difference.

P.S. If you like these posts and are interested in getting some more personal help. I’d love for you to sign-up for a free coaching session. You don’t have to come prepared or have anything necessarily to say. I will ask you questions and guide you the whole time. I’d love to meet you!

The Difference Between Positive Thinking And Thought Work

Just wanted to clarify something here…thought work isn’t positive thinking. I’m all for positive thinking. To me, positive thinking is to your brain like eating nutritious food is to your body. It’s a really helpful practice.

Positive thinking is feeding your brain helpful thoughts to think. However, positive thinking doesn’t replace noticing your thoughts and emotions and examining if your thoughts are helpful or not. That’s what thought work is. It’s uncovering what is really going on. It doesn’t mean you have to change it either. Feeling good all of the time isn’t the goal of thought work.

The goal is to truly be in tune with your thoughts and emotions so you can get the results you want. You may think the result you want is to feel good all of the time. But do you WANT to feel good when someone you love passes away, or your child is being bullied at school, or someone is screaming at you? How DO you want to feel? What would be USEFUL? That’s what thought work is…to help you have useful emotions, on purpose.

If you’re wondering what would be a useful emotion in your circumstance, sign-up for a free mini-session with me and I’d love to explore it with you.