Hey Sister, Is Life Getting You Down?

Episode #2

Are the situations in your life kicking your butt? Do you feel like life just isn’t going as smoothly as you’d like? Are you seeking more peace in your life? Well, it may not be your circumstances that are the problem. In today’s episode we talk about finding joy and peace regardless of what life is handing you and the real truth behind what might be keeping you stuck, overwhelmed, or frustrated.


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EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:

Ashley
Welcome to rise up and shine. We are two women at different stages of life who have overcome feeling stuck, and are now living life fully with peace and joy. Join Us Weekly for a real raw and faithful conversation about our trials and triumphs, bringing hope, insight and weekly tips that you too can rise up and let your light shine bright. Today, we’ll be diving deeper on the topic of circumstances and our power to rise above and experience joy and peace no matter what comes our way.

Claudine
Yeah, this was huge for me, I had always thought my emotions were caused by my circumstance. And one of the biggest mind shifts for me was realizing that our circumstances are neutral.

Ashley
Yeah, that is so interesting. Can you share more about that?

Claudine
Sure. We attach a value either positive or negative to our circumstance. And we create emotions based on those values. For example, let’s take something as simple as rain. a rainy day in and of itself is a neutral circumstance, right? I actually love the rain, and I find it to be a positive event.

Ashley
Yeah, I know what you mean, when it’s raining. My kids and I will build a four will make hot cocoa will watch a movie snuggle up under the covers. My husband and I still like to run out when it’s pouring and just run up and down the street. It’s a really fun experience for us to.

Claudine
Right. But for other people, it’s really negative, it starts to rain. It’s like a rain, my day is ruined.

Ashley
My hair’s wet.

Claudine
That’s right, I have to drive in this pouring mess. traffic will be bad, right? But the rain itself is neutral. It’s just the value that we or others have attached to it. Yeah, I also love the example of a black dog. I remember preparing my notes for our workshop last year. And you saw my picture of a black dog and you said, Oh, how cute. Yeah. On the other hand, my son had a really bad experience with a black dog when he was little. And if he sees a picture of a black dog, he feels scared and tense. The dog is the same. It’s neutral. But the response is very different. Another circumstance that can see more traumatic is a job loss. Mm hmm. I remember when my husband I basically both lost our jobs. At the same time, I felt really fearful and stressed.

Ashley
So can you tell me more about your experience when you lost your job like because both of you, you and your husband lost your jobs? That’s got to be hard.

Claudine
Right? Well, it was actually two jobs, two businesses back to back. The first was when the real estate market crashed. Since both of us had real estate sales jobs at the time. And when the market crash, we basically both lost our jobs and didn’t figure that out for a while. And then after a couple years, we built up another business, we built up an eBay business. And that was really successful for a time we were both able to work together, make a good living, and before you know it with the economy where it was that that started to change, and our income plummeted, and they were factors outside of our control. But it was really hard to have yet another business loss back to back. And so what happened for me is, I started getting really discouraged. And I started going out after traditional jobs more nine to five jobs, I thought maybe it’s time for me to be a secretary, this might be a great time to just have benefits and a paycheck every other week. I thought this will solve my problems. I just need to change my circumstance. The problem was that I didn’t even get an interview, I sent out a ton of resumes and didn’t even get calls and I had all kinds of different resumes. So it happened with these back to back business losses. And not being able to get a job is I really started to feel really insecure. I started questioning myself worth I started feeling like I wasn’t smart enough. That wasn’t talented enough. And all of a sudden the story I was creating around my circumstance was that I was a failure that I had found that I couldn’t succeed. And the story got bigger and darker. And then my emotions took a tumble because of it.

Ashley
Yeah. You know, that’s interesting listening to your story because I went through a job loss as well. But it was a great experience for me in the sense where it gave me freedom. So the whole last year of my job I was teaching, I felt really depressed and down and it was a really tough year for me. And when I was called into the principal’s office, and he told me that he was not going to hire me back for the next year. It was this sense of freedom and this huge weightlifting it off, because of how my year was going. And similar circumstance, very different reactions, right. But it gave me just clarity and freedom. And I didn’t have to be in this situation anymore where I felt down, I felt not good enough, I felt kind of attacked by my authority. And it was a very negative experience that year. But once I walked into the principal’s office, and I knew that day was coming, I knew it was coming. And as I was walking, I was thinking, this is it, this is it. And then after we had the conversation, I walked out of there, lighter than air, I was smiling, I went to my classroom, I started typing up this thing that I sent to my family that I said, I’m so grateful for this day, I knew it was coming. But I wasn’t afraid of it. Because my experience that year was really hard on me. And it was really hard on my marriage, I felt very insecure, I felt that I was not a good teacher, I felt a lot of negative beliefs about myself and my capabilities. So when that day happened, it released all that it released me from feeling those negative things. And it’s really interesting, because we can experience a very similar circumstance, but our past our experience, our thoughts about it, our feelings are entirely different.

Claudine
It’s interesting and fascinating to me that you felt freedom at a job loss. And I felt trapped. So we had completely opposite responses to the neutral circumstance of job loss, right? And you’re right, it’s, those circumstances are neutral, but based on our beliefs, and our past experiences, we attach a value to it. Hmm, we make our circumstance the problem, when in reality, it’s not the problem. Like for me, it was all the underlying beliefs that I wasn’t even really aware of. But that would pop up the feelings of I’m not good enough. I’m not worthy. I’m a failure. Those were feelings that when things were going, quote, unquote, right, when my business was going, right, I didn’t feel them, because my circumstance was good, in my opinion in my eyes. But when things start going wrong, in my opinion, through my eyes, all of a sudden, these underlying beliefs popped up. And they created so much negativity for me that I really didn’t know how to pop my head above water, how to breathe, it was just overwhelming.

Ashley
Right? So how do you define a circumstance and keep it neutral? So it does not become the problem?

Claudine
Right? That’s a great point. So I define a circumstance by its facts, not by my opinions, or someone’s opinions or values of it. It’s usually something outside of our control, and is drama free. We add the drama when we create a story or a narrative around the circumstance.

Ashley
Okay, I get it. So recently, I was sick, and haven’t spent much time with my husband, because we’ve been really busy that week. So the narrative in my mind was that I’m not doing a good job keeping him happy. And then I felt guilty for being even sick.

Claudine
Exactly, you are sick. That’s a fact. It’s neutral, that happens to all of us. Next thing, you know, you’re not doing a job keeping your husband happy. And now it’s a problem. Do you see how you jumped from? I’m sick? to an in essence, I’m failing as a wife, and now you feel guilty, which probably didn’t help you heal? No, not at all. And that’s what we do. We take a simple circumstance, a simple situation, and we create a story. We have these thoughts, then we have these feelings. And before you know it, we have a problem.

Ashley
So in this example, the problem came when I started thinking that I’m failing at keeping my husband happy. This was the narrative or the story in my mind.

Claudine
Right. That was your story, your subjective thoughts on this neutral circumstance of being sick, while not fun or pleasant, being sick, still neutral? It should not be a guilt producing a bit on its own.

Ashley
So being sick didn’t cause me to feel guilty. My thoughts I chose to think led me to feel that way. So instead, I can think yes, being sick sucks, but it will pass and I can choose my thoughts about the circumstance. So this reminds me of Paul, remember when he writes from prison, and he said, I have learned the secret of being content in any and every circumstance, I want to know what that secret is.

Claudine
Right? It really didn’t make sense to me before, I didn’t know that I could do that. I didn’t know that I could be content regardless my circumstance. Now I understand that I can choose a thought that serves me, regardless of the situation. And I can create emotions that help me rise above the situations in my life and take actions that will get me the results I desire. This alone has helped me increase my joy levels, my sense of peace, and my resilience when trials and temptations do happen. This is the work I do with my clients, helping them define their circumstances and identify the thoughts that are creating the problems.

Ashley
Yeah, and so you’ve been helping me a lot with this. And I’ve been learning a lot, even when I went through my counseling, and this is the work I’ve been doing on my own to help me get to a place of healing, I realized I am completely out of control over the circumstances, like I cannot make things disappear. Right, you know, I am not in control of other people’s reactions, I’m not in control of their moods, I’m not in control of a possible job loss necessarily, I might not be in control of the weather, you know, unfortunately, I’d have it sunny all the time. But there’s circumstances that are just a part of life. And I have to accept that. And I realized that the thoughts that I think when those things happen, are really going to dictate how I feel, and it will keep me stuck or help me move through the situation.

Claudine
I totally agree. And it’s really the thing that’s helped me overcome, it’s the Help me live life to the fall and create the life that I’ve always dreamed of that I get to live now, no matter what happens. Some of the circumstances last couple years, haven’t been great. They’ve been painful. But I’ve also learned that I can choose thoughts that serve me during that time, I can feel the pain of loss, I can feel the pain of disappointment, but I can still choose thoughts that will help me rise above choose thoughts that helped me take action that will give me positive results, and continue me on my path to living this life to the full.

Ashley
Yeah, I like what you just said, choosing thoughts that serve you. Because it’s true. When we are choosing thoughts that are hurtful to ourselves, then we feel discouraged and we can get stuck there. But in our circumstances, we can choose to replace those thoughts. And next week, we’ll explore the power of our thoughts. Right?

Claudine
Right. Yeah. And we’re gonna look at that and the science back research about our thoughts, and where they originate and what happens in our brains, the physical changes that happens in our brains based on our thoughts, and we talk what I believe was Paul’s secret to be content through it all. It’s all in there. And I’m so excited to share that with everyone next week.

Ashley
Yes, me too.

Friends. Thank you so much for tuning in with us today. We hope this episode has brought you one step closer to living the life you love. Until next time, remember the world needs who you were made to be.