When I met my husband, he had a small lump on the side of his jaw. He had long hair and a beard so you couldn’t really see it. I only knew it was there because I touch his face. He went to the doctor, of course. They did a biopsy and didn’t find anything concerning. There were several nerves that were either right next to or on top of the lump. The doctor didn’t recommend removing it because of all the risks associated with hitting one of those nerves.
So, hubby kept the long hair and beard, and no one was the wiser.
Recently, the lump started getting bigger. A lot bigger. It felt like it more than doubled in size practically overnight. He went back in and the doctor was very concerned. They did an MRI and found discolorations within the tumor. Between that and the accelerated growth, there was a good chance it was cancer. Surgery was scheduled immediately.
I’m sitting out in the waiting room right now while my husband is on the operating table. I feel at peace.
As I’ve been sitting here, I’ve had multiple family members and friends texting me. They want to make sure I’m ok. I appreciate their concern so much. But it’s almost like I’m consoling and comforting them. Their panic and concern has encouraged me to reflect upon what’s going on in my brain and why I don’t feel the same panic.
I’ve been pondering this experience as I sit and wait. Why do I feel so peaceful? How is it that this experience isn’t tearing me apart? I’ve come up with some ideas and wanted to take this opportunity to share with you how life coaching has changed my life.
The main reason I’m sitting here feeling at peace is because of my faith in God. I’ve always believed in God and had faith that He would see me through anything. My faith in God is my foundation, the rock that I stand on. BLC (before life coaching) I still would’ve had a lot of faith and a lot of peace but not like this. Life coaching has somehow maximized my faith.
So, what’s different now that I’ve found life coaching? As I’ve been pondering, I came up with four main areas:
- Choosing My Thoughts
- Making Peace with Reality
- Allowing Emotions
- Self Confidence
Choosing My Thoughts
BLC, I would’ve let my mind run around like a toddler with a magic marker. I would’ve had faith that everything would be ok, but I would still be thinking of all the things that could go wrong. What if? What if? What if? I now understand it’s my job to manage my mind. Those thoughts are going to come but now I simply acknowledge them and send them on their merry way. I don’t have to entertain them. I don’t have to believe them. I am the boss here. Those thoughts don’t serve me. There is nothing I can do from the waiting room. It’s just not useful. Preparing for the worst only means feeling negative emotion in advance, and possibly for no reason at all. There is no upside to worrying right now. There is no upside to feeling stress right now. I didn’t know that was a choice BLC. Now I do.
Making Peace with Reality
BLC, I would’ve said “I know God will help me through anything but…. I don’t want it.” I fought against reality on the regular. As Byron Katie says, “When you argue with reality, you always lose — but only 100% of the time.” Arguing with reality just isn’t useful. If hubby has cancer, we will deal with it. If he doesn’t make it off the operating table, I will deal with it. If he has cancer, saying he shouldn’t have cancer or wishing he didn’t have cancer isn’t helpful. If he dies on the operating table or later from the cancer, saying that shouldn’t have happened isn’t useful. Because of life coaching, I have learned how to make peace with reality; to stop arguing with it all the time. This is what is. I no longer resist it.
BLC, I was afraid of negative emotions. My biggest fear is loss. Just thinking about losing one of my kids will generate tears within 30 seconds. Here’s what it would’ve looked like BLC: a thought enters my head “What if he dies on the operating table?” Because I’m not managing my mind, I start spinning in my thoughts. I whip myself into a frenzy, in my head. I imagine what it would feel like to lose him. And because I’m afraid of feeling that way, I start to fight back, to resist the emotion. “No! It’s not going to happen! I can’t deal with that!” Resisting emotion actually makes it feel much worse. Sometimes it looks like another emotion: maybe I start to get angry and lash out at everyone who checks on me. Sometimes it looks like buffering: eating anything and everything in sight. But all I’m doing is trying to avoid feeling the grief my thoughts created when I thought of my husband dying on the table.
What does this look like now, after life coaching? My brain offers a thought: “What if he dies on the operating table?” I reply back, “yes, that’s possible.” I imagine the worst that could happen. I let the emotion come up. I’m not afraid of it anymore. I let myself feel it. I make peace with the possibility. And then I wave it on. I don’t resist the thought. I don’t resist the emotion. But I don’t embrace the thought either. I’m managing my mind. I’m choosing the thoughts I want to let hang around. The one I’m choosing is “Everything will happen exactly as it’s supposed to and it will all be ok.”
This is an interesting one because it came upon me without my realizing it and it made more of a difference than I thought it would.
When I was going through certification, we had a class on Self Confidence. Confidence comes from believing you can do something because you’ve done it (or something like it) in the past. When you rely on confidence you limit yourself to things you’ve already done. I’ve never lost a husband to death, so confidence isn’t going to help me much here.
Self Confidence, however, comes from believing you can do something because you know that you can feel any emotion and be ok. Self Confidence doesn’t require any evidence from the past. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never done it before. You know you can do it, not because you have evidence from the past, but because you know that the worst thing that can happen is a negative emotion and you can feel any emotion. In this case, to be self-confident would mean I know the worst thing that can happen isn’t my husband dying, it’s how I would feel if my husband died. And because I’ve been practicing feeling emotion, I know I can feel grief. So, I know I will be ok. I have Self Confidence.
I told my teacher that I already believed I could get through anything because of my faith in God. I knew He would help me through it. I wondered if that faith had possibly prevented me from developing Self Confidence. She told me not to make a problem where there wasn’t one, which I thought was a great answer. And I haven’t really thought about it since then.
But it turns out, through my training, and all the work I’ve done on my brain, I have developed Self Confidence and it has joined together with my faith in a beautiful way. I do know that God will help me through any trial that comes my way. And I also know that the worst thing that can happen to me is a negative emotion and that I know how to feel and process any emotion. BLC, I knew God would help me, but I also knew that it was going to be AWFUL! And that I didn’t want it! I dreaded it. I feared it. I resisted it. Self Confidence has helped me drop all the resistance and has made what was already pretty amazing, even better.
Yes, To All Of It!!!
My faith in God and in the gospel of Jesus Christ is my rock. It makes me who I am. It affects all my thoughts. And the thoughts it provides serve me and bless my life in ways I can’t even describe. The gospel of Jesus Christ gives me the What and the Why, but I often struggled with the How. For example: the gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us to love everyone and teaches us why we should love everyone, but I could never figure out how to actually do it. Some people are just hard to love, right? (This is not true by the way, just one of my devious thoughts).
Life Coaching has given me the How.
The gospel of Jesus Christ taught me who I want to be. Life Coaching has given me the tools to become that person.
There are multiple scriptures that tell us to watch our thoughts, guard our thoughts, and control our thoughts. Life Coaching helped me understand that concept in great detail and gave me practical tools that show me how my current thoughts are creating my current results. And how to choose different thoughts to create different results.
Life Coaching has taught me how to stop arguing with reality and make peace with what is.
Life Coaching has taught me to say YES! To all of it. Yes, to grief. Yes, to struggling. Yes, to failure. Yes, to loss. Yes, to the human experience. Because that’s what I came to earth for: the human experience. Life will include positive and negative. That is the human experience. And even though I knew that before, I resisted it. I knew I had to experience negative, but I didn’t want to. And the resisting of it actually created more negative.
And so I sit here in the waiting room. At peace. I have faith that everything will be ok. And I know that if my current definition of ok isn’t the same as God’s, that I will still be ok. I really know it. BLC, I would’ve tried to convince myself it was true, but I wouldn’t have really believed it.
Everything is as it should be. Everything will happen exactly as it’s supposed to. If the worst happens, I know I can process all the grief and pain that will come my way. And I know that God uses all things FOR me. If the worst happens, I know I will come out the other side stronger, not in spite of my challenges, but because of them. I will have more compassion, more love, more empathy. And I will be more capable of loving, serving, and helping God’s children.
Life Coaching has helped me clean out my brain of thoughts that weren’t serving me. It has helped me take the thoughts that were already serving me and amplify them. It has opened up my mind and helped me find new thoughts that will get me results I didn’t even dare to dream of before.
Life Coaching has taught me how to manage my mind so I can truly use the agency God has blessed me with. I can choose the kind of life I want to have. I can choose what kind of experiences I want to have. I can choose the kind of woman I want to be.
I have finally learned how to use one of the greatest gifts God has given his children: my agency.