Ep #181: Happier Holidays for Widowed Moms Q&A

The Widowed Mom Podcast Krista St-Germain | Happier Holidays for Widowed Moms Q&A

The holidays are drawing near, and this time of year can be an incredibly challenging one for widowed moms.

I received so many questions after our Happier Holidays for Widowed Moms online event last week, and while I can’t get to them all, I’m addressing some of the most commonly asked questions here on the podcast.

Your holiday season can be joyful, fun, and full of holiday spirit, even without your person. So listen in to hear what other widowed moms just like you are worried or anxious about as the holidays approach, and what you can do to make this time of year the experience you truly want.

Listen to the Full Episode:

If you want to create a future you can truly get excited about even after the loss of your spouse, I invite you to apply for Mom Goes On.


What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why you can’t avoid negative emotions, no matter how you choose to spend the holidays.
  • What you’re actually afraid of when the holidays roll around. 
  • How to navigate feeling resentment towards your family members during the holidays.
  • Why it doesn’t serve us to believe that the holidays aren’t supposed to include loss.
  • What creates your joy or any other emotional experience you want.
  • The importance of asking for help. 
  • What it means to let your emotions flow through you.


Featured on the Show:

  • Interested in small-group coaching? Click here for details and next steps.
  • Join my free Facebook group, The Widowed Mom Podcast Community.
  • Follow me on Instagram!
  • If you are a Life Coach School certified coach, I’m working on an Advanced Certification in Grief and Post-Traumatic Growth Coaching just for you. If this sounds like something you would love, email us to let us know you want in on the interest list to be notified when it launches!
  • I send out several pick-me-up emails each week including announcements and details for free live coaching sessions. Enter your email in the pop-up on my home page to sign up.
  • If you’re looking for an easy way to remember the most important memories you shared with your person, you need Memories that Matter, a digital journal with 100 prompts for making documenting your memories simple.

Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome to The Widowed Mom Podcast, episode 181, Happier Holidays for Widowed Moms Q&A.

Welcome to The Widowed Mom Podcast, the only podcast that offers a proven process to help you work through your grief, to grow, evolve, and create a future you can truly look forward to. Here’s your host, Master Certified life coach, grief expert, widow, and mom, Krista St-Germain.

Hey there, welcome to another episode of the podcast. I’m recording this on Halloween day, excited to have trick or treaters coming to the house tonight. Looks like it’s going to be good weather and made me smile quite big when this morning my daughter texted me to ask if she could Facetime and watch the trick or treaters. She’s in Costa Rica doing her freshman semester and they don’t celebrate Halloween there. And so I think she wants to get in on the trick or treater action which I just thought was so sweet and I miss her so much.

So this episode actually started as just kind of a follow-on. We did our Happier Holidays for Widowed Moms online event last week and it was amazing. There were so many questions that I got emailed to me, posted in our Facebook community. And I couldn’t answer them all but I wanted to do an episode of the podcast to at least answer some of them. And so I strategically picked some that are representative of the types of questions I get asked on a regular basis. And I really hope it helps you because the holidays are drawing near.

By the time you listen to this episode thanksgiving won’t be very far away if you live here in the United States and I’m thinking of you. We can do this, ladies, we can do this. So I hope this episode helps you and also, hey, listen, would you help me? If you haven’t left a review of the podcast would you write a little review? It only takes a couple of minutes and there really haven’t been very many reviews written lately. And reviews are so important to the algorithm. This is what helps get the podcast in front of other widows and there are 11 million of them in the United States alone.

I want more to hear the podcast and so I would so appreciate it if this podcast has added value to your life, if you would just take a couple of minutes because I do put a lot of love and heart into this podcast, and money, frankly. But it would mean the world to me if you would leave a review. Rating the podcast is great too. That’s just where you give it some stars. But leaving a review means you actually type some text and tell people why the podcast will help them and what you like about it. And that will encourage them to listen and that would be amazing.

Also I want to tell you, for those of you who have been thinking about joining Mom Goes On, now is a really good time because I have decided that anyone who decides to enroll during the month of November will get seven months for the price of six. And I’m doing that because I know that the holidays are a time when we need more support, we want more support. And I also know how busy we are and that it can be hard to prioritize participating in a program like Mom Goes On which has a lot to it.

So I want to give you the benefit of both worlds. I want to give you that extra month so that you know you have a little bit of cushion, no added pressure. You can really truly dive in when January gets here and the holidays are over. But you don’t have to wait until then and you can get the benefit of the support, and the community, and the coaching during the entire amount of December. So if you join in November we’re going to offer you that seventh month at no additional cost to you.

Alright, so I encourage you to go apply, go to coachingwithkrista.com, click on the Work with Me tab and you’ll see all the details there. You can fill out the application and we’ll take it from there. Alright, so let’s jump into this Happier Holidays Q&A. I hope it’s really beneficial for you, alright, here we go.


Okay, so had such an amazing time during our Happier Holidays for Widowed Moms online event. And I got a ton of amazing questions submitted by podcast listeners and by event participants. And so there’s no way for me to answer all of them because there were just too many. But what I decided to do is to go through and pull out some of the most common themes that I’m seeing and I’m just going to answer as many of those and provide as much value to you as I can. So let’s jump in.

I received this question, would it be better to try something new like travel to a holiday event than to stay home and feel the hole in trying to do the traditional thing? And I wanted to answer this question because what it implies to me are two things. One, it implies that the person asking this question probably thinks there is a right or a wrong way to do the holidays which there isn’t. I want everyone listening to this to feel empowered to do what feels right to you this holidays and only you know that.

I can’t tell you what feels right to you because what might feel right to me would be different than what feels right to you. So I want you to lean into what feels right to me. And secondly, knowing that no matter what I pick I won’t be able to avoid negative emotion. Negative emotion is going to be part of my experience because I’m a human and especially because I’m a human experiencing grief no matter what I choose. So if you know that negative emotion is going to be part of spending the holidays at your home or whatever you normally do, the holidays doing what you refer to as traditional things.

But you also know that even travelling to a holiday event will not preclude you from experiencing negative emotion then which do you want to choose for yourself? And that’s the answer I would go with because there is no right or wrong. And any way you choose there will be some negative emotion and you can handle it. So that’s how I encourage you to think about this question.

Hey, Krista, thank you for offering this workshop. My boys and I are actually afraid of the holidays this year. My husband’s and older son’s birthdays are a few days after thanksgiving and then the first year death anniversary is on Christmas Eve. My husband and I always went overboard for the holidays starting with thanksgiving. How do we hit birthdays, holidays, death anniversary and all the traditions we had? Will the holidays be ruined for us forever?

Again, thank you for putting this together. Another great question which is also representative of so many that I received. And here’s what I want to offer you. It’s not that we’re afraid of the holidays. The holidays are still the holidays. It’s that we’re afraid of the emotions we might feel. The holidays don’t cause the emotions but it’s normal ant not surprising that we would be thinking thoughts during the holidays that would cause emotion.

So I want you to consider how much different your experience of the holidays might change if you stop telling yourself that there was something innately scary about the holidays including each of the events. And I know this is the case for many of you listening to this, it’s not just the holidays. It’s all of the events surrounding the holidays, it’s multiple occurrences, it’s multiple days, multiple meanings. It’s the anniversary dates of a diagnosis. It’s the birthdays. It’s all the special days and by special I don’t necessarily mean days that you love, but all of the days with significance that are happening around the holidays.

And it’s really easy to think that the cumulative impact of that is scary, but it doesn’t help us to think of it that way. What helps us is to remind ourselves that the worst thing that can happen is an emotion. And then to decide that we’re willing to allow those emotions to flow through us, that the waves are coming and that we’re good at surfing the waves, and that the waves aren’t problems. The waves aren’t problems in the ocean, it’s just the ocean being the ocean.

And that’s the same thing with emotions and grief. It’s not a problem, it’s to be expected and we get to be the ones that decide how to respond and how to allow and let them flow through. And then the last part of this question was, will the holidays be ruined for us forever? And what I want to offer here is that you are the boss of how you decide to think about the holidays going forward. So the fact that your spouse died and that all of these other things happen around the holidays doesn’t have the power to ruin anything for you going forward.

You get to decide who you want to be, how you want to think, how you want to feel, all of it and nobody can take that away from you. And again if you’re feeling bad, it’s not that you’re doing anything wrong, it’s just because there are some optional sentences in your brain and you’re thinking that you’re always going to have to think those, not just this year but next year and the year after that, and that’s just not true. We can get very clear and decide what is the story I want to tell myself about the holidays and do I like it?

And each of us might choose a different story and that’s okay, but do I like it? Does it serve the experience that I want to create? Because I get to be the boss of what I think. And I may not be the boss of the thoughts that just show up in my brain but I am the boss of which thoughts I choose to give my attention and energy to with which thoughts I choose to keep thinking. And that’s what we want to put our focus on.

Okay, let’s see. One thing I would like help with this year is feeling resentful of all of my family members during the holidays. I noticed this last year and I’m beginning to have these feelings bubble up again this year. It makes me not want to attend any family gatherings. And honestly, there’s a large part of me that doesn’t even want to work on this. But I think if I dive into it it’ll be better than just trying to push it back through the season.

Okay, so feeling resentful of all of our family members, or feeling resentful of people in general. Again, nothing to feel guilty about. Thoughts cause feelings. We have a sentence in our mind, a thought and it creates a feeling in our body. So think about for you listener, what is the sentence causing you to feel resentful? They’re happy and I’m not. I should be happy. They have what I want. Again there’s nothing right or wrong about that sentence. Just notice that it’s the cause of you feeling resentful.

And I think so many of us start, especially when we’re feeling jealous or resentment, we judge ourselves for how we feel. And then we make a bigger problem than there even needs to be out of how we feel. We start making ourselves feel bad for how we feel. And that’s probably I’m guessing why you might not even want to work on this. Because if you are going to judge yourself because you feel resentment of course you’re not going to want to work on it. So we do ourselves a favor when we stop judging ourselves for the feelings that we’re experiencing.

When we stop making the feelings that we’re experiencing mean something about us then it’s so much easier to get curious about the thoughts causing them. And then when we start seeing those thoughts as the cause of our feelings that’s when we can separate ourselves from those thoughts. That’s when we can start to create some space around those sentences. That’s when we can start to see that we are not those sentences, we are not those thoughts, we are not those stories.

They are not us, we are the thinker, we are the one who gets to choose. And then if we don’t like the way we feel and we know that we’re not wrong or bad because we’re feeling it and we’ve identified the sentence causing the feeling. Then we can decide, do I want to keep believing this story that makes me feel resentment or not? Because I get to choose and resentment doesn’t make me bad, jealousy doesn’t make me bad, anger doesn’t make me bad, it just means I’m a human with thoughts that cause feelings.

And then we start to get some leverage, but of course if you’re noticing yourself not wanting to look at something it’s probably because you’re believing the judgmental voice that makes whatever you don’t want to look at mean something bad about you. And I just want to promise you that it doesn’t.

Alright, this one says, every Christmas my husband would fill my stocking. This past Christmas was my first without him. I have one teenager and two adult children so I still do stockings for everyone. I passed the stockings out Christmas morning and my son asked where mine was? Of course I broke down and I told him his dad always filled mine. I don’t want that to happen again this year. Should I just not hang my stocking? I’m not sure what to do. Thanks for all you do.

Okay, fill your own stocking, love. Fill it, go out, buy what you want. If you want to pretend it was your husband doing it and imagine the love he felt for you and cultivate the love that you felt for him and that feels good to you, do it. But why can’t we just fill our own stocking? This is what I did, I absolutely went out year one. Hugo had died in August and I filled my own stocking and I decided to give myself things that felt good to me, things that made me feel loved. I loved myself through filling my own stocking, why not, why wouldn’t we?

Why do we have to make it into yet another loss when we have the ability to do kind things for ourselves? So that’s what I would encourage you to do, just go fill it yourself.

Okay, my husband’s year deathaversary is December 11th, exactly two weeks before Christmas. The holidays are already tough because my dad died when I was 12, the week before thanksgiving. And my mom died when I was 10 the day after Christmas. How do I survive yet another loss during this time of year? Kind of builds off of one of the other questions we were talking about. But again it doesn’t do us any favors when we tell ourselves that the holidays aren’t supposed to include loss.

And I don’t want you to beat yourself up for this, you’re not doing anything wrong. But loss happens all the time, loss is not only a non-holiday experience, but we’re the ones that get to decide how he want to think about loss and when it happens. I remember it was really hard when I was in high school. My grandmother died on Christmas day and it was interesting for me to watch, that for some people in my family they let that ruin their Christmas, and I don’t mean just that year, of course it was very hard that year because we weren’t even expecting her to die.

So it was kind of a surprise, not that it makes it easier if you were expecting it but you get what I’m saying. So that year was just everybody was numb and shocked. But then years following that I watched some people let it ruin their Christmas forever. And then I watched some people decide that it was an even more special day. Now, for their own religious reasons, I watched some people decide that there couldn’t have been a more special day for her to pass, and that because she had passed on that special day that meant something magical and special about her.

Now, not good or bad, not right or wrong, but why did some people forever have an awful experience of Christmas day and some people forever had an even more kind of close experience with my grandmother than others? Simply because of what they chose to think. So it’s up to us, it’s up to you, but telling ourselves that people shouldn’t die during the holidays, it’s not true, they do all the time. So what if we just accepted that that is the way of it and that holidays aren’t tarnished because people have died around the holidays? It would just feel so different.

Alright, this next one says, I’m concerned about relying on my adult children for my joy in the holidays. This will put stress on them and I don’t want to do that. I’m most joyful when I’m around them so then that makes me want them around more. So I love this question or it’s not really even a question but I love this submission because it speaks to the very real experience many of us are having which is that we are attributing our emotions to something that isn’t actually causing them.

We think and this person thinks that time spent with their adult children is what’s creating their joy but it’s not that because if we could spend time with adult children and be thinking all sorts of thoughts that would make us feel lots of other things that don’t include joy. So, listener, you are the source of your joy in the holidays. The thoughts that you’ve been thinking when you are around your adult children are what have created your joy.

And I really want you to kind of sink into that or let that sink into you because if you can start to see that you are the creator of your joy and you can start to see yourself as more powerful than you currently do. Then you’ll see that you’ve never been dependent on someone else to feel how you want to feel. You just haven’t been giving yourself credit for it. You just haven’t seen that your brain, what you are believing was creating the experience that you wanted. And sinking into that and allowing it to sink into you will set you free.

Then you can have the emotional experience that you want to have, it was never your children, it was always you. Marinate in that, consider that, if your brain resists it, it’s totally okay but what if I’m right, that it was always you, and it is you. And you can feel joy no matter who you’re with or where you are because joy comes from within, you are the creator of your own joy.

Here’s another good one. My challenge for the holidays is finding the Christmas spirit I used to have. The day after Christmas was the start of the season and traditions. Since Vic’s passing, the joy is not there. My children and I have not had a family Christmas since 2018, the last that we were all together. For me it was the most precious time as a family. I used to start decorating, baking cookies and planning the Christmas party we had for many years. Christmas music was non-stop for six weeks.

Alright, what I highlighted in this question was the phrase, ‘finding the Christmas spirit I used to have’ because what it implies is that Christmas spirit exists outside of you. It doesn’t. Holiday spirit, for this person it’s Christmas, exists inside of you. It is something you create, again, you created it all of those years. And when we’re looking for something because we believe it’s outside of us, we’re so tiny compared to this huge universe. Of course we’re going to worry that we won’t be able to find it.

Of course, we’re going to struggle and we struggle less when we realize no, no, this kind of spirit, Christmas spirit, holiday spirit, it’s not something I have to find. It’s not out there, it’s in here. I have it. I’ve always had it, it’s in there and I can cultivate it. I can let it surface. I can let it show up in me, ooze out of me. I can be it. I can exhibit it because it’s in me, it’s always been in me. It’s in you right now.

What if you just let it come out, what if you removed whatever roadblocks are in the way? Which is just something going on in your mind, it’s just a story that you’re telling yourself, that’s it. So let it come out. Don’t go looking for it, cultivate it, bring it forth with your brain and then you get to experience it, because it didn’t go anywhere, it’s still there.

Okay, this one is a long one so I’m not going to read the whole thing. But the end question is, nothing is going to be fun like it was so why do it? Are you sensing a theme? Are you kind of feeling the flavor where the reason we struggle so much is because we think emotions happen to us. We don’t see ourselves as the creator of our own emotional experience. So this person, you can decide. You can decide you don’t have to do any of it, for sure.

And the question was about decorating, and holiday functions, and doing things when there’s not going to be a lot of people around because it just doesn’t feel, you know, it’s not going to be fun so why do it? You can decide not to do it. It’s not better to do it than it is not to do it. It’s just a choice you get to make and you can feel really good about not doing any of it if you want. So that’s an option. You don’t have to make yourself feel bad for not doing any of it. It doesn’t have to mean that there’s anything wrong with you if you decide not to do any of it.

But you’re making an assumption that it’s not going to be fun as though fun is something you don’t have any control over. You bring the fun. We bring the fun. Fun doesn’t just happen, we bring it. It’s like boredom, boredom just happen either. When we think boring thoughts, we create a boring experience. When we decide to believe that we are the fun and that we bring the fun, and that things are fun when we do them because of us, that’s when things become fun. We create it, we bring it.

We kind of let it flow through us but it’s not because things are innately or inherently fun or not fun. We just have to decide we’re the boss of that. So again do what feels right to you, decide that you like your reasons for doing it. But don’t believe that something just isn’t inherently fun anymore. You create your fun and if you want to have fun go create some fun, make it fun, you’re fun if you want to believe that. I see this a lot too, when we tell ourselves that the fun parent died. What?

No, maybe that parent saw themselves as fun and maybe you’re choosing not to see yourself as fun, but why, why choose to see yourself as not fun? What would it be like if you actually saw yourself as fun, if you identified as fun if that’s important to you? We all have that available to us.

Okay, I’d asked the questions about, what emotions are you not wanting to feel? And one of the answers that I received was, the emotion I would like to avoid the most is feeling overwhelmed because when I feel overwhelmed it makes me anxious and then I feeling anxiety on top of feeling overwhelmed. And I hear this a lot and this is often how we experience it but I want to break it down a little bit so that you can feel a little bit more powerful, listener.

So when you feel overwhelmed, allowing overwhelm to pass through will create a very different experience for you than thinking thoughts that create anxiousness on top of the thoughts you’re already thinking that create overwhelm. We don’t have to pancake it on ourselves like that. We don’t have to layer it on ourselves like that. We can say, “This is the part where I start to feel overwhelmed. This is the part where overwhelm is in my body.”

And we can accept what we’re feeling in our body and let it pass through without making it mean that because we feel overwhelmed that now we have to believe a story that makes us feel anxious. So it’s really easy to get caught in these kind of downward spirals and blame the emotion. But we can always, I call it interrupting the model, if you’ve heard me teach about the self-coaching model or the thought model, the CTFAR model. We can create one feeling with our thoughts and then interrupt that model and stop basing future thoughts from that one emotion.

We don’t have to let it stack up on us like that. So, listener, what is it that makes you feel anxious after you feel overwhelmed and what if you stopped believing that story? What if you just let the initial overwhelm pass, flow through you and then you told yourself a different story. You’re just a human.

I feel overwhelmed in the holidays sometimes too because of the thoughts in my brain but that doesn’t mean it has to lead somewhere. I can go, “Oh, yeah, this is the part where I feel overwhelmed. Alright, let that flow through, now what? Now, who do I want to be? Now what do I want to think?” And then I can create something on purpose from there.

Alright, I got a few different questions that lined up with this one. So this one says, what worries me about the upcoming holidays is having to make a Christmas turkey dinner for 11 family members without my late husband’s help. I got actually several emails about this. And here’s what I want to say, ladies. Why are we not asking for help? Ask for help. Just because you used to do it the way that you did it when your person was here, does not mean now that one person has to do what two people used to do. Ask for help.

Tell your family members you need them to kick in. Give them some assignments. Cater the event if you need to or make it smaller. But just because it’s the way we used to do it and the way that our family members are used to us having done it, does not mean that’s how we need to keep doing it. Ask for help. Tell them you’re not going to do it that way this year. And if you’re uncomfortable with that, ask yourself why. Are you worried that they will be disappointed? And if so, why? Why would their disappointment be a problem for you?

Why is not okay for them to feel disappointed? You didn’t cause that disappointment, their thoughts did. Some of them might actually feel excited to help you, and excited to be part of it, and excited to step in and play a more significant role in holiday preparation. Maybe before they’ve always been bystanders, they’ve always been beneficiaries because you did all the work. Maybe it’s time for them to start doing more work. Maybe they want to do more work. Maybe that’s the next evolution for them as they step into more of a leadership role in the family.

Why not give them that opportunity? Why not be honest about your capacity, that’s how I see it.

This next one was again along the lines of what emotion do you not want to feel? And someone wrote in and said, so many emotions I don’t want. But I guess the biggest one would be people feeling sorry for me. And first of all, people feeling sorry for you isn’t an emotion that you’re experiencing. So I would ask yourself when you think that someone feels sorry for you, what do you make it mean? So let’s say that they are feeling sorry for you and that in their body because of their thinking they are experiencing pity, they feel pity for you. You don’t feel their pity, we don’t feel it. We think we do.

We might sense it, we might be aware of it, we might suspect that they feel pity but we’re not actually in their body so we don’t experience the result of their thinking. We experience the result of our thinking. So what would you be making their pity mean? And then what is that sentence causing you to feel? And again it’s not because you’re doing anything wrong, it’s because if you always think that their feelings are problems then you will need to change their feelings so you can feel better. Or you will need to avoid them so you don’t have to know what they feel because it will seem like that’s the answer to your feeling problem.

But the answer to our feeling problem is never outside of us. It’s always inside of us and this is really good news because if it’s always inside of us and everyone thinks and feels differently about us and our situations then we’re free. Then we don’t need them to change. We just need to understand, wait, okay, I have noticed something bothers me when I sense that they feel pity. What am I telling myself that that means? Why am I making what I perceive in them a problem for me and what if it isn’t?

What if the only thing that their pity means about me, is nothing, what if the only thing that their pity means is that there is a sentence in their mind causing them to feel pity? What if the only thing it means is that they are a human with a thought causing an emotion and I am perceiving it? What do I want to think and feel when I notice someone else might be experiencing pity? And truthfully unless they tell us we don’t even know what they’re really experiencing, we just tell ourselves we do.

But what do you want to think and feel when someone else might be feeling pity? Do you want to feel love for them? Do you want to feel unaffected? Do you want to feel compassion for them? Do you want to feel compassion for you? What do you want to feel? Who do you want to be? How do you want to think? Because that’s what’s in our control. Who cares if people feel pity for us? It’s not about us. It’s about what’s going on in their mind. Pity is not a problem, it’s not contagious. Whatever the story is in their mind, just because it’s in their mind doesn’t make it true, it doesn’t mean it has to be our story.

So get real clear, their pity doesn’t bother you. Your thoughts about their pity bothers you. What are those thoughts? Do you want to keep believing them? You be the boss of that.

And a lot of the questions I got had to do with crying, crying in public, breaking down. And so this one is a good example. What worries me about the holidays is that it’s hard for me to be around groups or family gatherings as I can break down in silent tears or get emotional without notice. And this just feeds that narrative that emotions are problems, emoting is a problem. And why do we want to keep believing that? Why does it need to be a problem?

And listen, I have experienced it as a problem for me too. So I don’t want you to hear me saying this from some sort of preachy high place. This is just us collectively challenging the narrative. Who cares if we’re crying in front of other people? Why is that a problem? Do we want to think of that as a problem? I don’t want to think of that as a problem because when I think of it as a problem then I can’t be my authentic self in front of other people. When I think of it as a problem I want to go and hide.

When I think of it as a problem I judge myself for not only the idea that I’m crying but for how I’m thinking and feeling. And none of that actually helps me, none of that moves me toward the experience that I want to have with myself or with other humans. I want to feel okay. I want to believe that however I think and feel is not a problem. I want to believe that how I emote is also not a problem. And imagine how much more relaxed you would be going into the holidays if you allowed yourself to express how you were feeling. If tears were there and you allowed them to flow and you didn’t judge yourself for that, imagine how much easier it would be.

I don’t think we understand how much additional pressure we put on ourselves when we say, “It’s not okay for me to cry, I don’t want to cry. It’s not okay for me to feel this way. I don’t want to feel this way.” Because we do feel that way and we very well might cry, and there won’t be anything we can do about it. So instead of trying to figure out how to not cry or not feel, can we go back a few steps and solve the problem at the root which is what we make it mean when we do? Can we be our own champions about emoting?

Can we be our own champions about what emotions are okay to experience, and to what extent, and for what duration? And when we can lighten up about those things because we have permission to show up as who we are authentically, and we’re okay with letting other people think what they think about it. That’s when we take the pressure off of ourselves. And it gets so much easier. Why don’t we just do that? Can we just do that? Let’s just do that. Who’s in? Are you with me? Let’s do that. It would be so much easier and so much more authentic.

Okay, two more. I got a lot of varieties of this question. How do I handle being the third wheel if I accept an invitation to a social engagement? Okay, first, stop thinking of yourself as the third wheel. You are not the third wheel. You are a human showing up to an event. You used to be in a partnered relationship and now you aren’t. That’s it. You’re not a third wheel, stop telling yourself that. When you tell yourself you’re a third wheel, remember the bouncer in your brain then starts looking for evidence of how you don’t belong.

You literally disconnect yourself from humans you want to connect with because of the story in your brain that you’re a third wheel. And I get it, we could pull all the widows, we could all get together and we could be like, yeah, yay verily we are third wheels. Many of us would agree. Many of us have had that third wheel thought and so many times that it’s become a belief. But listen, don’t believe it anymore, it is a move away from the experience that you want.

I am teaching you to choose moves that are toward what you want, a move toward what you want is where you find how even though you used to be partnered and now you’re not, you still have lots of things in common with these people and you love them and they love you. And you’re still humans on the planet, and you all have pain, and you all have highs, and you all have lows, and you all have dreams. And many of you have had dreams that didn’t work out because that’s what it’s like to be human on this planet.

Yes, maybe those people have not lost their spouse and maybe you have, but that’s only one part of the human experience. And when you tell yourself you’re a third wheel, you just create disconnection at a time when what most of us want is connection. So just don’t believe that in your brain. We all put our pants on one leg at a time, no third wheel thoughts.

Alright, and the last one. Someone said, a common theme I’m seeing is letting emotions flow through you, that the feelings can’t hurt you. If I did that on a regular basis I’d be right back to where I was 10 years ago after my husband died, sitting in my room, slamming hard booze and crying all day and night long. That’s certainly not a sustainable lifestyle. So maybe I’m interpreting what you’re saying incorrectly. My question is, what exactly do you mean by letting the emotions flow through you?

And without doing a full class on emotions I’m so glad that this person wrote this question because this is what often has us afraid of allowing emotions, is that because we haven’t had the experience of letting emotions flow through then of course we don’t have any reference point for what that might be like. And so we go back into other times in life and we assume that what we did before was letting emotions flow through. And we’re like, “Wait, but then I was slamming hard booze and crying all day and night. I don’t want that.”

Well, of course not, of course you wouldn’t want that. But that’s not what it looks like to let feelings flow through. That’s what it looks like to react to feelings. That’s what it looks like to let your feelings fuel or drive your behavior. That’s what many of us are struggling with because it’s what we were shown. We have seen how to react to our feelings when we’re angry. We have seen our parents slam doors or yell, that’s reacting to, that’s letting our emotions fuel us. Allowing anger for example would be to just notice what it’s like in our body as it passes through.

I want you to think about it like digesting, we have a story in our mind that creates an experience in our body, an emotional experience. Chemicals are released in our brain and we notice the impact of those chemicals somewhere in our body. And we’re just letting them flow through, we’re just letting them be digested, get processed. We’re not taking that emotional experience and then letting it drive our behavior, that’s reaction.

So let your heart not be troubled. You can allow the feeling to flow through and it will have zero to do with your behavior, people won’t even know because it happens inside of you. It’s really just you thinking about the emotions you’re experiencing differently, allowing them to be with you as you go about whatever behaviors you want to choose for yourself which is very different than reacting.

Okay, I don’t want to make this too long. I hope that addressed some of the most common questions that we got in the event. I just loved doing this event with you. Thank you so much to those of you who participated. Remember that if you upgraded to VIP that inside of your portal is quite a few different tapping exercises that I recorded. If you’re new to tapping and you have any questions of course reach out.

But I really want you to make sure that you know that as we go into the holiday season you have those tapping exercises that you can use any time. And that’s a great way to help yourself, allow a feeling to flow through you. And if you have other questions you’re always welcome to email them to support@coachingwithkrista.com. And we might not be able to address them immediately but I love doing Q&As like this and then even turning them into episodes of the podcast. Alright, I love you, you’ve got this, take care and I’ll see you soon, bye bye.

If you like what you’ve been hearing on this podcast and want to create a future you can truly get excited about after the loss of your spouse, I invite you to join my Mom Goes On coaching program. It’s small group coaching just for widowed moms like you where I’ll help you figure out what’s holding you back and give you the tools and support you need so you can move forward with confidence.

Please don’t settle for a new normal that’s less than you deserve. Go to coachingwithkrista.com and click work with me for details and the next steps. I can’t wait to meet you.

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About your coach

I created a new life using small, manageable steps and techniques that made sense. The changes I experienced were so profound I became a Master Certified Life Coach and created a group coaching program for widows like us called Mom Goes On. It’s now my mission to show widowed moms exactly how to do what I’ve done and create a future they can look forward to.

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