Nicole has been working with me for a while in my program and through our work, some things have been brought to her awareness. Out of the unconscious and into the conscious. And now that they are conscious, and she’s aware, it’s time to work on them and work on the feelings that they are bringing up in her body.
Amanda: Hi Nicole, welcome to the podcast. What can I help you with today?
Nicole: I have something that I’m hoping that you can help me with. A year and not quite half so a year and four months-ish ago, my husband admitted a betrayal to me.
Nicole: And that rocked my world and it sent me on a path of growth and learning and self-discovery and some things have come up in that process that, well one thing in the past probably two maybe three things have revealed themselves that’s extremely big and what it is is I think a really deep subconscious belief that men are my enemy. How I came to that process was actually working through your Embrace You! course. I was working on the 100 positive affirmation things for yourself which was really difficult for me.
Amanda: Yeah, it usually is.
Nicole: Yeah, and I got you know I got I think it did pretty good I got about 40 and then I just had to stop I had to just move on and, you know the thought came through my head. Well, you know maybe I could, I have a sibling chat, maybe I could ask my siblings what they would say about me or what they would say about themselves just to get ideas. And the thought came to my mind you know I could ask my husband and I immediately shut that down and this is when I first started recognizing this.
And I felt like he’s my enemy, I don’t want his help with this, I don’t want his input because he’s my enemy and that kind of was like whoa. Okay. I could see maybe where that came from because of the betrayal and some other things that have happened since then but it felt deeper than that. And when I first started this journey, a friend of mine who does some work, she um, does some grief recovery and we did grief recovery, I did a grief recovery course with her. And we didn’t do it about my marriage. She said you know if that’s too raw. It’s too. It’s too close but we did about my mom. My mom passed away about twelve years ago and so I did a grief recovery course on my mom. What came up from that is when I was about 14 I think, I was at a carnival and was inappropriately touched and kind of assaulted by a carnival worker. So I was 14, he was an adult. I used to think and I had you know that that was the incident, you know? That was awful and it shaped a lot of things but what I recognized when doing that grief recovery course is that it wasn’t about the event but how it changed me as a person.
Nicole: And so I started recognizing how those thoughts and beliefs, how my only value is as a sex object. I have no worth outside of that and how that just was sort of this underlying theme for my whole life. I didn’t date anybody in high school. And when I did finally date somebody. Like I had 2 relationships before my husband and they both cheated on me and so then the narrative through my head is like well that’s what I deserve because that’s clearly the people I’m picking and so I’m only valued as a sex object and when I’m not performing or doing you know then I’m just discarded.
Nicole: So this thought of my husband is my enemy coming up but then it changed. It was like no, it’s not just him so we talked about it briefly. We were talking about masculine and feminine energy and he would say to me frequently that I was in competition with Him.
He felt like I was competing with him. That if he did something, I had to do it better or more or something like that. I never felt in competition with him. I kind of thought, Well maybe that’s the masculine energy. I have been living in masculine energy for a long time because it was never safe to be feminine and so I thought maybe his masculine energy was um, he felt like I was competing with him because of that, even though that was never my intention I never once thought that.
And so that came up and then I came up, Well, you’re my enemy. I’ve said to him multiple times. It feels like a war zone in our house. I feel like I’m in constant battle, I’m stressed out all the time, there is no peace, no relief for me. We’re not fighting all the time, we’re just not communicating and it just is tense.
Nicole: And so this kind of all just revealed itself and I’m struggling with what I’m supposed to do with it. I don’t know how to … it feels like it even dates back before the incident with the Carnival Worker. I didn’t have a good relationship with my father. He was very emotionally unavailable. He broke a cycle of physical abuse so that, in his you know way, meant stepping back from doing anything with the kids and when anything was done. It was out of anger and my mom used to say, You just wait till your dad gets home so he was sort of weaponized in that way that he wasn’t a safe person. Neither of my grandfathers or anybody, they were scary to me and so now I’m in a situation of trying to make my marriage work. We have 3 children. But this belief that men are my enemy and my husband is my enemy has popped up and there’s absolutely no way, how am I supposed to be vulnerable? How I’m supposed to open up and try to make this work when this concept has been really deep seated in my subconscious. I mean now it’s emerged. I feel like maybe I’ve done enough growth that the subconscious is like okay you’re ready to deal with this now.
And it’s hard for me. It’s super scary and I just, I need some help. I don’t know where to go from here.
Amanda: Yeah. Okay. Well I think you’re exactly right, that you have started to do this work that is safe enough to bring this to the conscious level and now we get to work through it and it can definitely be worked through with some work, right. But I think we can definitely work through it. Um I think we need to do some somatic work with this, which means going into your body.
Do you feel safe enough to do that with me?
Amanda: Okay, so I’d like you to close your eyes and keep them closed as long as you can through this process. I’ll let you know when you can open them. But if it happens before that It’s not a huge problem, ok? But when we close our eyes, then we can kind of tune out the rest of it and you can just focus on my voice and tune into your body more. Okay?
Amanda: So I want you to think about this thought that men are your enemy. What feeling does it produce in you?
Nicole: Oh, anxiety.
Amanda: Okay I want you to go into your body and describe to me this anxiety, where you feel it, what’s happening in your body.
Nicole: Immediately it’s tension in my throat. I feel like a lump in my throat, in my neck and even into my chest and my shoulders and it’s like tingling almost like electricity. But um, it’s not comfortable.
Amanda: Okay, is it hot or is it cold? What color is it?
Nicole: Um, it’s hot and it’s red with flashes of orange. Sort of just like electricity. Like it just like a fire that’s sparking and…
Amanda: Okay. Okay, that’s great. That’s great that you’re describing it so well, you can really tap into that body and see what you’re feeling.
Okay I want you to just take a couple of deep breaths and just make space for this anxiety, this tension, this lump in your throat, the hot tingling, to exist and be there and I want you to go in to that space, to that anxiety and what you’re feeling and I want you to give it a voice. I want you to speak for it. Why is it there? If it could talk, what would it tell us?
Nicole: I am here to protect you, to keep you safe and it feels like it’s the only person that can do that or it’s the only way that, like I’m the only person that can protect myself. I’m alone.
Amanda: Okay, anything else.
Nicole: Um, it doesn’t want to let go.
Nicole: It doesn’t trust that I can do it. That I’m capable of taking care of myself.
Nicole: Because I put myself in all these situations. So I am not trustworthy.
I don’t have a voice. I didn’t stand up for myself. So It has to protect me. But protect me from myself.
Amanda: Okay, how do you feel about that?
Nicole: I’m frustrated. I just believe it’s true.
Amanda: Okay, so I want you to hold onto that feeling that you’re feeling, that anxiety, keep breathing. Know that it’s there because it’s there to protect you and keep you safe. That it’s the only person that can do that.
And now I want you to come back into yourself and I want you to talk to it and tell this anxiety that you’re feeling. How much you love it. How grateful you are for it. For the job that it’s doing because we tend to want to resist it and we don’t want it to be there, but it’s there for a good reason and I want you to just not resist it but really be so grateful and loving towards it and just talk to it in that way.
Nicole: Yeah, my knee-jerk reaction is to say just stop it and I know that’s not helpful.
Amanda: Right? That’s not helpful. We want to like it’s there, It’s doing its job. It’s been so good for you to protect you and so we want to express that gratitude and that love for it.
Nicole: Um, okay, that’s gonna be hard because I feel like it hasn’t been good for me. Okay.
I hear you and I’m grateful and thankful that you have protected me and that you have done such a good job of it. I’m grateful that you have done so for so many years and you did it without me having to ask for it.
Thank you for helping me to be strong when I wasn’t able to by myself and I’m grateful that you were able to protect me and to keep me safe.
Amanda: Okay, just keep breathing.
Has it changed at all?
Nicole: The lump has gone. There’s a little bit of tension still, but it’s almost, it’s like the electricity is diminished.
Amanda: What part of you is really powerful and strong?
Nicole: Um, I think I’m physically strong.
Amanda: Where are you physically strong? Where are you strongest?
Nicole: Um, so in my body, so maybe my legs?
Amanda: Okay, like your legs are really powerful and strong and they can support you and help you and so I want you to speak to this anxiety from the point of your legs and how powerful and strong they are and that they can protect you and help you and the anxiety can calm down.
Nicole: I am strong, I have power. I have the strength that I need to to take care of myself and to protect myself.
My legs have the ability to stand firm and they also have the ability to run away if it’s necessary. I have the power within me that I need to protect myself. Thank you for serving me for so long but you can have a rest now. The power I have and the power in my body and my legs can handle this.
Amanda: Okay I notice you want to move a little bit. If you need to move, move as you need to.
Nicole: I can just feel it dissipating. It’s sort of like that fire, that electric electricity is out and it’s like smoke is just steaming up off of it now I can breathe easier.
Amanda: Okay, keep take a couple more deep breaths and open your eyes when you’re ready.
Nicole: Um, okay.
Amanda: What do you think?
Nicole: Um, it feels good. It feels like a relief. It feels like something I’m going to have to work at though because it feels because I still there’s just like a string. There’s like a thread that I can still feel that…
Amanda: Of course this is not a one and done.
Nicole: I think it wants me to find my voice.
Amanda: Yeah I was just from what you described, so a lot of times when we have that tension that lump in our throat, that is a sign that we are not using our voice and it’s this anxiety is there protecting you to keep you from using your voice because it’s scared that if you use your voice then something bad is going to happen. But it’s actually that that is going to give you the power that you need.
Nicole: Right? Yeah, okay.
Amanda: And so using that voice when you need to is a really important piece for this.
Nicole: I have to learn how to do that.
Amanda: Yeah, so when you want to use your voice and you feel this lump in your throat and like you can’t, what’s happening in your brain?
Nicole: Um, ah, but it’s like it’s um, it’s just going a hundred miles an hour like it’s just it has so much that it wants to say but it’s almost spirals. I call them tornado thoughts like they just like spiral out of control and um and it takes work for me to settle all of that down to make things. Um. So they can be understood. Like what I’m thinking is understood and it’s also the feeling of for a long time I felt like I had to be in control of everything and I was responsible for everybody and I was responsible for keeping my husband happy and and all of that stuff and so a lot of it was just stuffing everything down and not saying anything because that was um the way of doing that, putting my needs and my wants and my desires and my thoughts and feelings aside to keep the peace and it…
Amanda: But it’s funny when we do that, we can try and keep the peace on the outside and we are anything but peaceful on the inside.
Nicole: Um, yeah, yeah, that’s why I’ve spent years not sleeping well.
Amanda: Right? Yeah, but learning to calm your mind and maybe like when those you know tornado thoughts come, take that time to journal and write, because if we stay up in our brain, it just keeps spinning but when we can get it on paper then it helps to clear things up and calm things down.
Yeah, when I was trying to do some work through this on my own once I just got confused. Like I just couldn’t keep anything straight. I just what am I trying to work on, what am I trying to find out? What am I and I had to stop because I was so frustrated because I was just confused. I didn’t, I couldn’t keep track of what was going on and I did try to..
Amanda: Were you trying to do it in your head?
Nicole: Ah yeah, and then I did write a couple things down. But at that point I was so frustrated that and and I was so overwhelmed that is like okay I think I’ve got a couple thoughts but then I completely was mistrustful of any of the intuition that I was having or any of the thoughts I was having because I had been spinning for quite a while that I wrote them down and I said, I will I have to address this later. I just, I don’t trust my answers anymore. I don’t trust this. See, it’s a problem, I don’t trust myself.
Amanda: Yeah, right? And so you let this part of you come up to overrun things because you’re not trusting yourself and that’s where we need to start to question the thoughts when they come and really tune back into yourself knowing and building that trust back with yourself and you’re not going to be able to do that unless you actually do it, right? It takes practice to build that trust back with yourself. So we have our true self, like who we are at our core.
You know, some people call it our soul, our spirit, whatever that is and that part of us is calm and peaceful and confident and they know what’s right? But then there’s these other parts of us that arise to support us and help us and keep us safe and protected and we usually try to resist those pieces and push them out of the way or we let them completely take over control and neither one of those is helpful like we want to keep our core self in control. But that means that we can’t resist those pieces. That means we have to befriend them and work to integrate them into us which is what we do a little bit through that exercise that we just did where we’re getting to know it and understand it.
We’re befriending it. We’re showing love and gratitude for it. But then we let it know that it doesn’t have to be there. And it’ll come up again for sure and we kind of just need to go through that process again and again.
And the more we do that again, not resisting but befriending like let me understand you what’s going on here. I like to you know, even call it give it a name or even just like high anxiety. Why are you here today? What can I help you with today? What’s going on for you?
Sometimes I’ll even put like my hand on my heart and be like, I see you, I love you, I’m here for you. What do you need to tell me today? What’s going on for you today?
Nicole: Um, okay.
Amanda: And just let it speak because it will tell you the truth if you let it speak, just like it did here today. And when we can just lean into that and go, Oh yeah, that’s hard but I totally get why you’re here. Thank you so much. I love you so much, but I’m okay. I can do this. I don’t need you to rise up and protect me because I’ve got this. And then that part can kind of calm down when we breathe into it rather than resisting it.
We breathe into it and create space for it to exist and then it can kind of go away as we love it and befriend it. But it’s there for a reason, but you have so much more power inside of you and you don’t need it anymore.
The more work you do here, the more powerful the more aware you’re getting so that you don’t need these other parts anymore to keep you safe because you can keep you safe.
Nicole: Yeah. Okay.
Amanda: Just like you said with your legs, you can stand in your power, you can run away if you need to.
Amanda: Because you are powerful.
Nicole: Um, okay, I don’t believe it yet.
Amanda: I know and it’s going to take some work. It’s gonna take time. This is not a one and done, like I said right? But it’s that reminding of yourself and going through this process over and over and eventually you’ll get there. And you’ll believe it.
Nicole: So, every time it comes up, I just take some time to just sit with it, feel where it is in my body and breathe through it and talk to it.
Amanda: Yes and understand it because what we want to do is resist it and get it to go away because it doesn’t feel good but that’s not helpful.
Amanda: So this belief that men are the enemy. It’s what this part of you came up with to keep you safe and to keep you protected.
Amanda: But it’s not actually true and it’s not helpful.
Nicole: Right. Yeah, okay…
Amanda: What’s going on?
Nicole: I just feel like it’s going to take a long time. This was like subconscious, like deep deep for so long, it’s just sort of like how do you deal with something if you don’t even recognize it?
Amanda: Well, you can’t but the thing is, now that it’s in consciousness, now you can deal with it and like yes it might take a little while but it’s probably not going to take as long as you think because it’s conscious now.
Nicole: Right. I mean it surfaced for a reason.
Amanda: Because it was ready to be done.
Nicole: Okay.So then how do I find my actual physical voice?
Nicole: Oh geez, okay.
Amanda: So when you notice that you want to speak and you don’t, then you go inside yourself and go. Okay, why am I not talking right now. What do I need to say? What’s important to me and I matter and my voice matters.
Amanda: And you’re going to get that sensation, that lump in your throat and stuff again when you know that you need to say something and you’re not and so that’s your signal because you’re bringing that into consciousness. We can’t change things that are not in our consciousness.
Amanda: So that’s why we work so much on awareness in coaching and bringing things to awareness because once they’re in awareness then we can change them. So you’re bringing all of these different things into your awareness so then you can work to change them and you will work to change them because they’re important to you and that doesn’t mean it’s going be easy, but what were you going to say?
Nicole: Well, I just imagine that the more I do that the more that I will trust myself and the less that anxiety needs to rear its head to protect me from myself.
Amanda: Yes, exactly.
Nicole: Okay, so it might be that I need to take time to settle my thoughts and like write them down so that they make sense. I mean that is the one thing that with everything that’s happened in the past year and a bit that I’ve started journaling and um it’s been helpful for me.
Nicole: And so I think maybe if I can do it a little differently, like okay here’s what I need to get out of my head and just like write it down and not just like this is what happened today you know blah blah blah.
Amanda: Right. Yes, like this is not your journal for posterity.
Nicole: Yeah, no.
Amanda: Yeah I mean I don’t care if you write it down and throw it away afterwards.
Nicole: Right. This is journaling to get my thoughts in order or at least to make sense of my thoughts.
Amanda: Yeah, which is why I call it a thought download. You’re basically just emptying your brain onto paper just for the purpose of bringing things into awareness so that you can work to change them, not to keep a permanent record of what’s going on.
Nicole: Yeah and with a thought download, I mean I’ve heard about them through your course. Do I take what I’m thinking about at that moment. Do I ask a question and write those things down? Can it be any of those things?
Amanda: Any of those things. So in the workbook that you have, there is a whole list of different ideas of how to do thought downloads and it could be different every time if you want it to be or it can be the same or you can go through a few different things. Whatever you want to do.
Nicole: I’ve been afraid to do them.
Amanda: That’s actually pretty common because our brain comes up with some really crazy stuff sometimes and so many times we’re so used to identifying our thoughts as us and so we don’t want to think these thoughts because we’re like I’m crazy. If this is what my brain is coming up with and my brain is me then I am crazy but you are not your brain.
Nicole: Right. My fear is that, like I have desire to improve, and I’ve been working hard at it and I think some of my hangup is that I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to keep it up. Does that make sense?
Nicole: So I think sometimes that hinders my ability to work and to push through some things is because I’m afraid that I won’t be able to, if I’m leveling up for lack of a better term, I’m not going to be able to because it feels like so much work right now I feel like it’s going to be so much work and will I be able to maintain that.
Amanda: Well, I mean, you’re learning a whole new way of being right now.
Amanda: But you’re changing things and it does seem like a lot of work at first. It totally does. I remember being there and it’s I mean honestly even I mean I’m five and a half years in it’s still work. But it’s work worth doing and I find that I tend to slack off and I find this with my clients as well, that if they don’t stay in a coaching mindset, they often do go back.
Amanda: Which is why I will never be without a coach. Listening to coaching and stuff so that I can stay in a coaching mindset and keep moving myself forward.
Nicole: Yeah, that makes sense.
Amanda: Because like we’re lazy as humans. That’s part of that 3 that motivational triad that I taught you in the very first lesson, right? Like we want things to be easy. We want to conserve energy but we can’t do that and keep growing.
Amanda: And so it makes sense that we will go back with complacency. That makes total sense because that’s the way our brain was designed to work. But again you are not your brain so you get to decide what it’s going to look like going forward and that doesn’t mean that it’s always going to be super hard. But it’s work to grow and change and progress.
Nicole: Yeah, yeah, it’s funny. I mean, I have a number of different people who say you know I’m so impressed with the growth you’ve had, but it’s super hard for me to even recognize that in myself because I just see where I want to be and it feels like Mount Everest still to get there.
And I guess I just need to take some time just to reflect how I used to be and to give myself some grace, like I am so not good at that.
Amanda: Yes, yes, be so kind and loving to yourself. Be your own best friend. Talk to yourself the way that you would a beloved daughter or sister or friend.
Amanda: And absolutely see the growth that you have had that doesn’t mean you’re going to stop growing but see that. Are you a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints?
Amanda: Okay so last week we had a lesson on Beatitudes and where Christ in the New Testament said, “Be ye therefore perfect.” What does that mean to you?
Nicole: Well it means something different to me now than it did before? For the longest time,
I was just doing everything I thought I was supposed to do and when that didn’t work, I’m kind of learning now that I just have to be the best person that I can be and knowing that the Savior is going to pick up my slack. And I won’t ever be perfect in this life because as a human being, as a mortal, you can’t actually ever be perfect in this life. It’s because of the natural man.
Amanda: Right? And perfect doesn’t mean flawless. It means whole, complete.
Nicole: Ah, yeah. Okay.
Amanda: It’s a future thing. I mean so I liked the little part in the Come Follow Me lesson and I’m going to pull it up really fast just because I thought it was really good.
There was a quote from President Nelson about it where he says, “The term perfect was translated from the Greek teleos which means complete. The infinitive form of the verb is teleano, which means to reach a distant end, to be fully developed, to consummate, or to finish. Please note that the word does not imply freedom from error, it implies achieving a distant objective.”
So you are working to complete a distant objective. One of the things that I talk about in lesson 12, is goal setting. I’ve set goals my entire life like that’s just kind of who I am at my core. And I set these crazy, impossible goals knowing that I will probably not achieve them but by working towards them, they are going to push me far beyond what I would do without them.
And so when I don’t reach this huge, lofty goal, I don’t look and say, I didn’t do it, I’m a failure. I think, Look how far I’ve come.
Nicole: Yeah I can see that. I like that definition of “perfect” better, being whole. Yeah.
Amanda: Yes, “whole” yes, not “flawless” because we’re never going to be flawless but you are whole now and you will continue to work towards wholeness and completion.
Nicole: Right, yeah. Okay.
Amanda: You are valuable. You are amazing and you are whole right now, just the way you are and what you lack is made up for in the Atonement.
Nicole: Yeah, that’s pretty amazing.
Amanda: The Savior It is pretty amazing.
So look how far you’ve come. You may not have gotten all the way to that end goal yet and that’s ok but celebrate how far you’ve come.
And if people are seeing it, it’s happening.
Nicole: Yeah, it must be because they’re noticing.
Amanda: I know sometimes, so I’d been in coaching for I don’t know, a year and a half or so and I said to my husband, What changes do you notice in me because I’m noticing changes, right? But I wanted to see from the outside perspective and he’s like, You just don’t have as many emotional breakdowns as you used to, which is totally true, but I also had people around me going, You just seem so much more calm and peaceful now, and I see that so much in myself that I can deal with my thoughts and my emotions and I don’t let them overrun me anymore. That doesn’t mean that I don’t feel things strongly sometimes because I really do but they don’t dictate my entire life.
Nicole: That was like learning boundaries for me. I mean, it took a long time, like ten and a half months, before my heart finally believed that I wasn’t responsible for the betrayal and it’s like my head’s cut off for my body. My brain knows all of this wonderful stuff. But my heart is like I don’t feel any of that. But just that one thing, just not being responsible for how he’s feeling, and his emotions and not trying to control them, that was so liberating to me. I mean I should just look at that going, that’s a huge step because…
Amanda: It’s huge! A huge step, Nicole.
Nicole: Yeah, I’ll focus on that a little bit because that was a big one for me. Like physically, later you don’t even realize that you’re carrying so much weight until you let it go?
Nicole: Yeah, thank you that was helpful. I’m a whole and I’m working on being more whole and I have done good things. Yes, thank you.
Amanda: You’ve done amazing things.
Okay so I always like people at the end of their session to just kind of recap what they’re going to take away from the session.
Nicole: Some of the big ones for me is I need to question my thoughts and I have to work on building trust with myself and when those thoughts and that anxiety and stuff comes up, I need to sit with it and let it have it say, and then I can take some of that control back and celebrate my winds.
Amanda: I love it!
Nicole: Yeah, Thank you. Thank you. I appreciate your time so much.
Amanda: Thanks so much for being here with me today.
I love working in these longer sessions with clients because sometimes it takes us awhile to get to the heart of the issue. It’s more of the thoughts and feelings being brought to consciousness and awareness so that it can be dealt with.
What might be going on for you that is not in your current awareness? I hope you will consider joining me in coaching to help figure it out. See you next time. Bye-bye.