Episode 42 – Show Notes
Not dealing with the uncomfortable or painful events or circumstances in our lives keeps us stuck. It limits the growth that is available to us if we just take the chance to learn and grow from them.
Start asking questions. Start healing, learning, growing and changing your results in life.
TODAY ON EXPAND YOUR LIFE PODCAST
5 questions to start you out:
- What can you learn from this circumstance?
- What are some positives?
- What could I have done differently?
- How could I have acted or reacted to the situation differently?
- What can I do not to repeat this in the future?
Welcome to expand your life podcast. This is Jc Jones and you’re listening to episode 42.
Welcome back everyone. I hope you’re doing well today. We’re going to talk about learning lessons from circumstances in your life or experiences that you go through. Why is it important if something sucky happens in your life, why can’t you just ignore it or pretend it didn’t happen? Why is it necessary to process it and deal with it? I’m going to share an example with you today that is a little bit on the extreme side, but it well help you get a better feeling of the different outcomes that can occur based on how you deal with situations that come up in your life or anything that has happened in your past. Any kind of trauma, any kind of experience that was highly emotional or hurt you. So when I tell you the story, it’s only to help you to better understand how not dealing with things and not processing them, and not trying to figure out the lesson in it can really have a negative impact on your life.
The story I’d like to tell you is about three girls. All three of them were abused when they were young. They weren’t given the chance growing up to get help, to deal with the abuse that they had lived through. And so they had to figure it out on their own.
The first girl, she didn’t like how she felt. She had a lot of anger and a lot of rage towards those that abused her. And so she began to write, she constantly wrote all the anger down, all the rage down, trying to figure out all the why’s behind everything that had happened to her.
Why would anyone who is supposed to love you, treat you this way? Why, why, why she would ask.
What’s wrong with me that someone would be okay, treating me this way?
What did I do to deserve this?
Those are all the questions that she kept writing. And she continued to search for the answers to those questions for years. But the writing helped. She was able to feel the pain. Get rid of the pain. Process the pain, and purge a lot of the anger along with it.
As she grew older, she started reading different books and things to help her understand the psychology behind abuse and the different ways that people deal with it or don’t deal with it. She tried to incorporate some of those things into her life. She had a desire to get past the affects that she was having as an adult, because, you know, anytime you’re abused, it, it affects who you are, affects how you show up affects your decisions and your life.
She wanted something better than that, so she sought for answers. She actively went out and questioned herself. Questioned until she realized that there were some really great questions that you can ask about any circumstance in your life that are helpful. That can help you put the past to rest and to realize that it happened, and it’s sad that it had to happen, but there are things that you can learn from it. There are people you can help from it. There’s always a positive that you can find in it.
Now, girl, number two, as she grew to be an adult, she also had a lot of anger. All three of these girls dealt with a lot of anger, but girl, number two, stuffed everything. She didn’t want to deal with any of it. Even when she had the chance to get some therapy, she chose drugs Instead. She didn’t want to think about it. She didn’t want to feel the pain. She didn’t want to, or wasn’t able to at that time handle dealing with it. So she chose to take drugs to numb herself and to dull the pain. This led her down a really rocky road, where she ended up losing her children, her family, her friends. And the more things that happened to her, the more she went down, down that spiral of self-destruction. She blamed all the bad things that were happening in her life on the events of her past. She became a victim.
Girl number three. To the outside world, she looked as though she had it all together. She was the person that you would think, man, she’s just got it all. Everybody looked up to her. She had the perfect marriage, house, cars, kids. From the outside looking in, you would think that she had the perfect life. People looked up to her. People thought that she was funny. She was strong. She could deal with anything. But what people didn’t see was what was happening behind the scenes. She used many different things over the years to cope with the feelings or to push them back. She would read prolifically to tune out, to not deal with things. She would keep her mind busy with reading novels about people that had better lives, better, you know, situations. She lived vicariously through them in her mind. She used food as comfort. To comfort her and to make her feel differently. And as she got older, this progressed into using alcohol to cope with her day or to change how she felt. It was a slow process over many years where she went from one thing and used it as long as it worked. And then when it no longer helped her feel okay with her life, she would move on to something different. And as she got into her mid-thirties, the alcohol helped. And as she neared her forties, it didn’t help so much. She became angrier and angrier as time went on. She was more open to talking about the situation than girl number two was, but she still didn’t want to deal with processing her emotions and how it was affecting her life. Up until this point, like I said earlier, she looked from the outside as though she had it all together. But there came a point where she couldn’t hold it in anymore and started spewing it out on everyone around her. She couldn’t hold it in. She couldn’t hold it back. It just spewed out of her. It affected her relationships, her marriage, her children.
So these three girls, they were all sisters. They all were abused growing up, but their results were different based on how they dealt with the events and the circumstances that happened in their life. And the reason I share that is because, well for a long time, I really wondered why three girls from the same family can, would handle the same situation and seemingly three different ways.
But I think that we deal with things the best we can with what we know. But as we learn more, as we know more, as we gain more knowledge, it’s up to us to do something different. And my goal of talking about this today is simply to one show you that there are different results that you can have depending on how you deal with situations or circumstances in your life. There are different outcomes that you can have. You can be unhappy full of anger, full of rage, blaming everyone around you, possibly on some sort of substance to help you deal with the pain and the anger, or you can choose a different path.
You can deal with it. You can process those emotions. Get yourself some help. Start questioning those events, ask questions of the circumstances and events that lead you to a positive outcome. And this is, this is good for anything. It doesn’t have to be abuse. It could be a marriage ending or a serious relationship ending. It could be someone treating you poorly at the grocery store aisle.
All of those things create hurt or pain that is best dealt with. And there’s a lot of learning in it too. So I’m going to share with you some of the questions that I go through when I want to deal with something in my past, or even in my present, you know, once the, once the grieving is passed, then you can look at it a little more objectively and ask these questions.
The first thing I ask myself is what have I learned? There’s so much that can be learned from anything that we experience, but try to focus on the positive things. Because there’s always a positive. Like I said earlier, even if it’s the ability to have understanding and empathy for others that are going through those same circumstances and to be able to help others, that’s a huge positive.
Sure. It would be better not to have that, but it can also be viewed as a gift. Once you’ve been abused, you can’t change the past. You can’t change the fact that you were abused, but you can move forward from it. You can help others through it. You can help prevent others from being abused.
So the first question is what is it that you’ve learned? You’ve learned how not to treat others probably. You’ve learned how not to turn a blind eye to how your children are being treated by your spouse or other family members. You’ve learned to be vigilant as a parent to know what’s going on with your children.
And question number two is what is, what are some positives? Like I was talking about earlier, that was question number two.
Question number three. What should I have done differently?
That one is a little easier if it’s something more recent, like a failed marriage. There’s always things that we could do differently. And those things aren’t to beat yourself up about. They are simply things that you can become aware of about your own character and your own reactions to events that maybe you can learn from and change in yourself to be a better person in the future and in future relationships. We all have done or said, or been something we’re not proud of. But taking ownership of that and not being in denial over it is key. Then doing something better next time. Perhaps making reparations for the things that you’ve done might be in order. It depends on the circumstances.
But let’s look at the girls who were abused as children. That question, what could I have done differently? That one really doesn’t apply in this situation. At least every time I’ve asked that question, I’ve never been able to figure out a reasonable answer for it. I think any child who is abused is no matter what they did as children or how they acted or, or how bratty they were. It doesn’t matter. There’s absolutely no excuse for abuse. So that question is geared more towards adult situations.
Now, as an adult, of course, if you’re looking back on how you dealt with abuse, you can use that question. And in that circumstance, how could I do things differently? If you have a long history there, like these three girls who have, you know, 20, 25 years of, of time between the abuse and their lives now. They have a lot of time there where they could have made different choices and could have done things differently. So they could look at their past and ask that question simply for a better way of being in the future or in the present.
This is another one that applies the same way. How could I have acted or reacted differently? I don’t know about you, but I know with me in my life, it’s been more my reactions to things that I have regretted. Some of us are action takers. Some of us are reactors. So look at some of the things that cause you to act or react to things that you do in a negative way. Ask yourself how you can change that.
Becoming aware of these things is the first step to any kind of change. In order to create any kind of change in your life, you first must see what needs to be changed. You must become aware of it. So these questions are simply to help you gain awareness on the changes that you can make for your life to have a better life, to have more freedom. Emotional and mental freedom.
And the last question. How do I not put myself in that position again? If you find yourself repeating the same mistakes over and over and over again, this is a really great question for that. What can I do right now to become someone different that doesn’t keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again?
I just recently went through all these questions again in my life. I’ve had to use them quite a few times, actually in my life. And this last time it was after a relationship I had ended. They are amazingly healing. But the choice is yours. You can do nothing. You can stuff it. You can use things to change how you feel. Food, alcohol, drugs. It only changes how you feel for a minute though. And then you’re miserable. Just the not dealing with the things that you know, you should is depressing.
It’s scary to deal with some of these things. But it’s also very freeing. So when you start feeling afraid at the thought of getting help, getting therapy, talking to a coach or trauma therapist for some of the more serious issues, you’ll feel afraid. Feel afraid to feel the pain and the anger and the heartbreak. But it’s so freeing. I really encourage you to just take that leap of faith and to do the work. And once you’ve processed those emotions start doing the work of growing into your future. Letting go of the past and start asking some of these questions.
Well, that’s it for today. I could probably talk about this a lot longer, but I hope I haven’t been too all over the place with it. I hope it has helped someone. I hope it has helped you.
Be sure to check back next week. We’re going to talk about the concept of hurt people, hurt people. I’ve always had an issue with that statement. And I think it’s because it’s not really been looked at or explained very well in the past when I’ve heard it. So I want to talk about that and my views on it.
Be sure to subscribe to the podcast so you’ll get updates and notifications when new episodes are released. Have a great week, everyone. Bye for now.
THANKS FOR TUNING IN!
Thanks for tuning in to this weeks episode of Expand Your Life Podcast. Join me again next week where we will be discussing: The concept that hurt people, hurt people.
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