Welcome to The Widowed Mom Podcast, episode 131, Valid Reasons and Love as a Compass
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 before Thanksgiving. But you have already had Thanksgiving. So, how did it go? I hope it went well. I hope, more than anything, that you loved yourself no matter how it was going. And I’m kind of wishing I had recorded this episode of the podcast actually so that it could have aired before Thanksgiving. But that’s okay because it is going to be helpful to us now, as we get through the December holidays.
However, coming up, before we even launch into valid reasons in love, is a compass. I want to remind you of the live private training that I am doing on December 2nd. If you have not already applied, so you can get your invitation—I want to send you an invitation, but you have to apply first. Go to coachingwithkrista.com, click on the work with me tab, and you will find the application. You must, must, must come to this training if you are a widowed mom who wants to genuinely love her life again.
Because I will be teaching in a way that I have never taught before, and I have spent so much time on this training—my four-part framework for loving your life again, even after the death of your spouse. I want you to come away from this training, whether you choose to work with me in Mom Goes On, or not. I want you to understand exactly what needs to change so that you can break through a grief plateau. And genuinely love your life again.
If you are in the place where you are barely functioning, and you are struggling to meet your basic needs, you’re probably not ready for coaching. But if you are in that place where you’re plateaued, where everybody is telling you how strong you are. You are not feeling so strong. But you are getting the things done. You are functioning. But you want more for your life, you are in that plateau, and you don’t know how to bust out of it. That is what this training is for.
All right. So, coachingwithkrista.com, click on the work with me tab, and you will see the application. That way you can get the invitation. We have to make sure that you qualify first. Because I am only inviting people I genuinely believe I can help, I only know I can genuinely help you and that you are ready for coaching after you fill out the application. It will take you less than five minutes. It’s three questions and your contact information, and let’s go, okay? I can’t wait to see you there; I am excited.
All right. So, valid reason in love is the compass. I have coached on this idea many times. But it recently came up inside of Mom Goes On. When someone requested coaching- One of the members inside the group had applied to a conference, kind of a big deal. She wanted to be a presenter, and her proposal was excepted. Then after her proposal was accepted, she wasn’t really sure she wanted to do it anymore. She kind of wrapped herself up in this confusion about should she do it or shouldn’t she? Getting angry at herself if she backed out, but also worrying if she decided to do it that she would be anxious. She just didn’t really know if she wanted to do it.
So, one of the questions I asked her was, do you like your reasons for not wanting to do it? And this is a question, by the way, that I used to not understand. I used to take this question wrong. I used to interpret this question when it was asked to me to mean, are your reasons good enough? Have you looked at your reasons, and are they good enough? So, that, therefore, you like them. Are they valid? So, I used to do this too.
But her answer to me was, yes, and I have some valid reasons for not doing it. And I want to offer to you that valid is not a useful metric. It is the wrong metric. I looked it up to see what the actual definition of valid was. And what I found was, having a sound basis in logic or fact, reasonable. So, something is valid according to this definition. If it has a sound basis and logic or fact, and it is reasonable. Is that the litmus test you want to use to decide how you want to live your life? Who cares if something has a sound basis in reason or logic if it’s not serving us if it’s not what we want? If it’s not what we prefer. If it’s our one precious life, why do we need to be making our choices based on what we think, or perhaps what we think other people think, is valid.
I want to offer that we don’t. So, my response to this widowed mom was no, no, and all reasons are valid. It’s not about validity. You can decide that you want to do it, and you can decide that you don’t want to do it. And both of those choices are valid. And any reason that you have for wanting to do it or not wanting to do it is totally valid.
The better question, though, is where is it coming from? Right? Is it coming from love, or is it coming from fear? That’s a much more helpful way to think about it. Can we use love as our compass? And I mean self-love. I like using love as a compass, as a guidepost. If you are acting from self-love, would you do that because that is what feels most like love? And in her case, that would be to give the presentation. That may be uncomfortable, but it would feel like love, perhaps. Because, you know, future her would look back and be happy she did it. Or would love to feel like saying no because she was taking care of herself? Right?
What would feel like love? And only you know what feels like love to you. And you don’t owe an explanation to anyone. And it is not about validity; it is about what feels like love, and what do you want for your life? Needing no approval from anyone outside of you, including your coach, by the way. Right? Which is what I used to think when I was getting coached; I kind of thought, this is a trick question.
Do you like your reasons? Well, are they valid? Are they good? Are they bad? What do they mean about me? No, no. Notice how we don’t do this with music preferences. Right? We don’t say, well, my reasons are valid for liking pop music over country. No, we don’t do this with foods. Like my reasons for liking asparagus are valid over broccoli. What? No. We just have preferences. It’s not about validity. It’s not about right, wrong. It is not about logic. It’s about, what are my preferences?
What’s the life I want? And so, as we go into the holidays, some of what happens when other people start making requests, and we start trying to figure out when our desires differ from their requests. And we start using validity as a way to process what is happening. We kind of get ourselves in trouble. I don’t want you to do that.
If someone is asking you to spend the holidays in a way that doesn’t feel like love to you, you do not need a valid reason. That is reason enough. It does not have to be based in logic. It can just be based in what feels like love to you. If you are parenting in a particular way and somebody else doesn’t agree with it. You don’t have to explain yourself to them. And have a valid reason. You can do it in a way that feels like love to you. And that might be different from how somebody else does it.
And I don’t want to see you get wrapped up in this idea of, are my feelings valid? Are my actions valid? Are my thoughts valid? Because it isn’t helpful. It just doesn’t matter, right? I hear this a lot too. Sometimes people will say, oh, that’s a totally valid feeling. No, that’s a totally valid thought. Wait, what? Thoughts cause feelings. So, any feeling is not valid or invalid; it’s simply proceeded by a thought that created it. That’s not a useful question to be asking yourself, is it valid for me to feel this way? No. Why do I feel this way? I feel this way because of what I am thinking.
Now, is that a useful thought? Do I wish to keep that thought? Does that thought serve the life that I want to create? Because my values and my vision for my life are my own. And I don’t have to justify or explain them to anyone. But I can look at the thoughts that I am thinking and the feelings that those thoughts create, and the actions that those feelings inspire. And I can decide if they take me toward the life I want or away from the life that I want. And I can use that as a reference point.
Does it help me love my life? Or not? And the answer will be different for each person because each person has a different vision for her life. This is why in coaching, I never have an opinion on your life. If I have an opinion, I keep it to myself. Because my opinion is about my values and my vision for my own life, and I don’t know what’s best for your life. And nobody else does either.
And all those people who love you and they think they know what’s best for your life. They don’t. But you do, and you don’t need to explain your reasons for what you want or the choices that you make. They don’t need to be valid. You don’t need to tell yourself that your feelings have to be valid if that’s what you are feeling. You just need to know your thoughts cause them. And then you can decide if those thought-feeling action patterns are ones that take you toward the life you want or away from. Okay?
So, if you are caught in that pickle of is it valid? Are my thoughts valid? Are my feelings valid? Are my actions valid? Are my reasons valid? No. Don’t let your brain trick you. Not relevant. What would love to do here? What would feel like love to me? Self-love, does this take me closer to what I want or farther away from what I want? All right. That’s what I want you to start thinking about. And, to the client that brought this up, you know who you are. You know I love you dearly. Thank you for, you know, just reminding me that it is something everybody needs help with. Right?
Because sometimes what is loving means we tell people no. We go back on commitments that we made. Right? Sometimes, what is loving, means that we do the thing that is uncomfortable. And we get out of our comfort zone. But only we know that, and it has nothing to do with validity.
All right, everybody, I love you, and you’ve got this. Go apply for my live private training on December 2nd, and I will see you there. All right. Take care, and I’ll see you next week. Bubye.
If you like what you’ve been hearing on this podcast and want to create a future you can truly get excited about, even 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 what you deserve.
Go to CoachingwithKrista.com and click “Work with Me” for details and next steps. I can’t wait to meet you.