This episode is all about your relationship with you. So many of us are so hard on ourselves and we just think there is no way to change that. Especially when it comes to the loss of our babies. We are so good at blaming ourselves. But you can change your relationship with you just by recognizing the thoughts you are thinking and deciding if you want to keep them. You are amazing, worthy and whole, just as you are. Let’s learn how to love ourselves so we stop suffering and can use our talents to bless the rest of the world.
To watch the video about healing after the accidental death of his son: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SyN-EeYTBU
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Music provided by ZingDog / Pond5
Keywords: miscarriage, stillbirth, infant loss, grief
It’s episode 19, loving You, and I am so excited to talk about this subject if. I love all the subjects, but learning to love ourselves I think is so incredibly important.
And I’m gonna touch on just a few points today, and we’re gonna talk lots more about this because I think especially as women, this is a message we need to hear over and over. And for myself, I realized last week I said I was listening to my own podcast because. I check it and go over it and edit it all myself, and I missed that.
I said that I got married before I was 20, but I did get married 10 days before I turned 21, so I was not a teenager, I was 20. It’s still very young to some people, but it was the perfect time for me and my husband, but. It wouldn’t have been very long ago that I would’ve been mortified that I said the wrong thing on a podcast and I put it out into the world and it wasn’t right, and what would other people think and all of that.
But doing this work on myself and just learning to love myself no matter what I do and say, and supposed mistakes that I make, it’s been amazing. And really, I was just like, whoops. I. Totally said the wrong thing, and I’m sure I’m gonna say lots of things that people might disagree with or make mistakes and maybe even fail in front of everyone.
It’s okay, uh, because I have done a lot of work to say that I love me. All of me, all the human, Amy, all of it. And I hope that this will help you learn to be able to say the same thing. So if I asked you to tell me about yourself, What would you say? A lot of us would start with these small talk kind of answers, where you’re from, where you grew up, your family, where you went to school, maybe what job you have, things you like, things you don’t like.
All of us have these stories that we have practiced for a long time, and even when something in our life changes, we often just keep going back to this same story for the most part because we’ve just told it for a long time. And today we’re, we’re really gonna talk about this relationship with ourselves.
It is the most important relationship in your life. So there’s three key areas we’re gonna touch on today. The first is your identity and then what self-love really means. And then I’m gonna tell you a few ways you can improve your relationship with yourself. So this first one is your identity and.
That’s what we’re talking about when I say what would you say about yourself? And as lost moms, many of us go through a little bit of an identity crisis. We have our past life before and we would say, oh, I used to be like this, this certain way. I used to act like this and, and do these things. And that’s our before.
And then we have our loss and. We seem to lose who we are for a little while, and our grief and our baby are on our mind always, and we lose our footing a little bit. For some of us it shows on the outside, but for a lot of us, we just keep on doing. Our thing being the mom, going back to work, staying busy, but inside, that’s where we’re a bit of a mess.
And compounding this struggle is that we think that we should be different. We think we should know who we are. Right. Have any of you guys ever felt that you’re just kind of in that fog and that. State where you just don’t quite know who you are anymore, but what if that’s how it’s supposed to be? What if getting knocked down and broken into a million little pieces allows us to rebuild in an even better way?
Right? If we can allow for evolution as messy as it is and as long as it takes, what would that be like? If we weren’t pushing ourselves to be who we used to be or to know who we’re gonna be in the future, what if we just were us? So often as humans, we want to label things and people, and when we are grieving, it’s really hard to fit into any sort of box.
A lot of these boxes come from our past and from labels that other people have put on us, and we adopt them often without even thinking. But you are the one who gets to decide your own identity and you don’t need any proof or anyone else’s approval to do it. If you could be anyone you wanted to be, who is she?
I really want you to think about this. Who would you be if you could just be anyone? Because we have the model in our lives. We know that we can create any result we want. It often takes time and effort, but it also can change just by changing your thoughts. I was just listening to a story by my friend Cara.
And she was telling about how she had this whole thing about how she was not photogenic and she’d had it like for a huge part of her life where she just felt like she wasn’t photogenic and, and maybe she thought she looked okay in person, but in pictures she looked terrible and just all the. Flaws she saw in her body and why she did not look good in pictures, and she really believed this story, but.
She was at a retreat where they had a photo shoot and she got professional hair and makeup and she went to go do pictures with this great photographer and they started in and the photographer said, wow, you are so photogenic. And she said, this is the first time she’d ever heard someone say that she was photogenic and.
Because she was a coach and she had done a lot of work on this, she realized that yes, she is photogenic. She realized she could believe that about herself because she was allowed to believe anything and she was photogenic and she was feeling great and, and everything was working. And from then on, She has gotten lots of pictures taken and she’s had so much fun with it, and she’s owned that new belief, right?
So that didn’t happen overnight for her that that was a, a long, drawn out story. But in that one second where the photographer said, you are so photogenic, and she believed it for herself, then she changed her whole experience. She changed her whole story. Right. She didn’t have to hide from cameras anymore.
That’s life-changing in and of itself. Right? Because before she said, even at family gatherings and things, she would just try to not be in the picture and she just hated herself in pictures. And I think a lot of us can relate to that. And that is really good work to do is on our body image. And I, I definitely am gonna do.
An entire podcast on that, but, but what are your thoughts about how you look, how you look in pictures, how your body is, all of that becomes part of our identity. I once had a date ask me to pick three words to describe myself. Now, this was a really interesting first date question and it was really hard, especially when there’s, you’re kind of feeling pressure like to say the right thing on this first date, but I want you to try it.
How would you describe yourself in three words? And it had to be three words, not three phrases. It’s tough, but, but think about it. Try it, write it down, and then look at what you came up with. Are those words facts, or are they opinions? For some of you, you may say something like a personality test result.
Or that you are shy or loud, or you’re disorganized, or you’re a perfectionist. Those really seem like facts. It just seems like you’re telling me the truth. But guess what? They’re actually thoughts, and you may have tons of evidence to back these ideas up, but they’re still thoughts, and that always means they’re optional.
You get to choose your own identity. I would offer to you to pick some words or some descriptions that serve you and empower you, your past, and the people around you. Do not define you. You do. I see so many mamas and probably many of you listening. You’ve been an angel mom for a while. It served you well in the early days and months and even years of grief to identify that way, but you’re ready for something new except you don’t know what that even looks like, and you don’t wanna leave anyone behind.
I see this a lot on Instagram and with my clients where people will write this whole thing where they’re almost apologizing for. Changing, growing, moving into something new. And that’s okay, but you don’t have to apologize for growing or for moving forward. A lot of times if you’re pregnant again, after loss it, it moves you into a different phase and maybe you can’t be so involved in the baby loss community right then, or you have your living baby and you’re.
You’re feeling healed and you, you want to move forward, but you feel guilty for leaving all your friends behind, or that’s what you believe, that you’re leaving people behind, but you can’t leave them behind. And if you. Are right now in this stage and you’re a bit unsure about how to navigate all of this, jump on a consult call with me together.
We’re gonna talk about you and your goals and your future, and I’ll show you how to make this transition without all the guilt and thinking that you’re leaving your baby behind or your people behind. You healing is a good thing. You wanting to shift where you’re putting your energy is always allowed.
You don’t even have to have any other reason except you want to. So what is self-love and self-acceptance? I’ll tell you what it isn’t. A lot of people think that investing in you or loving and taking care of yourself is selfish. As women and as moms especially, we are taught to give and give and give some more.
We don’t spend time or money or effort on ourselves. That’s what a good woman does. That’s what a good mother does. But the truth is when we are miserable and resentful and depleted, we are actually much more selfish. We spend so much time thinking about ourselves and our own pain and our flaws and hating ourselves and our lives that we have nothing to give anyone else.
But when we learn to love and care for ourselves, we actually think about us so much less. We can go through our day focusing on things that matter most and be the person we want to be. We free up the mental energy to do so much. Good. A really simple example of this is if you’re having a bad hair day or maybe back in high school when this was like so important, how much time did you spend thinking about you?
When you believed you were having a bad hair day, what were you able to focus on? Maybe you couldn’t pay attention to your work or your classes or your anything versus days when you were feeling confident. When we are insecure or were worried about what other people think, it’s so self-centered. When we’re having a day where we think we’re a bad mom, for whatever reason, That’s all we can focus on, right?
Instead of our kids. Like we think that if we just keep telling ourself that we’re doing a terrible job, that somehow it’s gonna make us better, but it totally has the opposite effect and we end up creating the result that we most don’t want. We also think that if we just love ourselves, we would be lazy and unmotivated, but the opposite is true.
When we have a good relationship with us, we want to better ourselves. We want to help those around us and use our gifts. When we love and trust ourselves, we make much better decisions. So I had a client who was waiting for her husband to approach her about a pretty big issue in their relationship. She wanted him to be as invested in it as she was.
But instead we ended up coaching on it and she realized that she could actually take care of her own needs because she is the best one. She thought she needed her husband to do something so she could move forward and feel better, but she was wrong about that. And guess what? We are the best ones to take care of us because we know exactly what we need.
Self-love means we let ourselves be human. And we love us for it. We don’t waste time and energy beating ourselves up or second guessing or blaming. If you are listening to this, you are probably interested in self-improvement. When we love ourselves, we get to believe we are worthy just as we are, and we also get to do things to become better, to have more fun, and to challenge ourselves.
We know that we are capable and we are open to everything. We love learning for its own sake, not because we need to fix something that’s broken inside of us. How do we do that? And is it ever really possible? We all have brains that are wired to look for problems. That’s a part of being human, and it served us really well when we were looking all around for tigers or other dangers outside of our cave.
But as long as we are aware of it, we can choose to redirect that primitive part of our brain. When you see your brain going into those default thoughts, just pause and question them. Are they true? Now they’re gonna feel really true, but I want you to dig a little bit deeper and then ask yourself, are they useful?
Do they serve me and are they loving? Remember, you get to choose. The thoughts you wanna keep thinking about yourself and our relationships are just the thoughts. We think if it’s in a marriage, it’s the thoughts we think about our spouse, and if it’s about us, our relationship with ourselves. It’s really just the thoughts we think about ourselves.
So why not keep the nice ones? Why not be kind to ourselves? We’ve all heard that we shouldn’t talk to ourselves in a way we wouldn’t talk to our friends or our daughter. And I think that’s a great way to catch yourself if you can repeat those words and put your best friend or one of your children’s names in instead of your own.
It shows you how mean you can really be. And a lot of us do have that inner critic, that inner mean girl, and. We really have to catch her and tell her to stop, and it takes practice when she’s been running wild inside of our brains for so many years, and especially as lost moms. We are so supportive and loving and nonjudgmental of other people’s stories.
We lift each other up every day. But then we blame ourselves and we carry guilt and shame, and we tell ourselves lies about what we should have done differently. We blame our bodies and our body parts and we hate them. We blame ourselves for the hospital we chose, or the food we ate, or just our crummy genetics as if blaming someone will take away some of the pain.
But it only makes it worse when we do this. We don’t take care of our bodies. We don’t advocate for ourselves. We don’t get help when we need it. Listen to me, it’s not your fault. There is no upside to continuing to think all of those things. I heard a story of a man. Who was cleaning out his garage with his family on a Saturday morning like so many of us do.
As he backed his truck out of the driveway, he accidentally ran over his son who ended up dying. His son was everything to him. He fell into a dark hole and it was hard to even breathe. You can understand this feeling. You could say that actually was his fault. Maybe you had to make decisions about your baby, and so you blame yourself too.
But is it useful to continue hating yourself to wither away in pain for the rest of your life, to punish yourself forever? Would you blame this father, or does your heart just break for him and with him? Don’t you wanna see him heal and move forward? And he has, it still hurts tremendously, but he has done so much good in honor of his son.
And I’ll link in the show notes to a little video that tells more about this story. Definitely grabs some tissues if you’re gonna watch it. Um, but it’s a really special story and I. I think for us, many of us, we don’t have answers. We don’t know why our baby died. Some of us we do. Some of us we did have to make choices for that and when our baby was gonna die and what was gonna happen.
But again, even if you could say you made those choices, is it useful to blame yourself? It takes practice and work to let go of these thoughts. But I’m here to tell you that it is possible you can learn to love yourself fully. You can stop blaming yourself. You can let go and decide to just let yourself be who you are, and you don’t have to hate yourself for how you are Grieving self-love means letting yourself feel all the feelings.
You are exactly where you are supposed to be in your grief. Grieving is not a problem. Being emotional is not a problem. Wanting a rainbow baby is not a problem. Being done is not a problem. Crying, you know, I’m gonna say that that is not a problem, but adding on a bunch of self-hatred and extra pain on top of your grief.
Girl, you know that is not necessary. Whether you have a not perfect house or you never finished college, or you forget people’s names, or you have a human body that has carried babies, no matter how briefly, or you sometimes yell at your living kids that you are so grateful for, you are exactly who you’re supposed to be.
Last week we talked about manuals and we have them for ourselves too big time. Recognizing those and learning to let go of them will be so freeing for you. How do you want to tell your story and do you want to identify yourself and what would be different in your life if you gave yourself permission to love you just as you are?
Will you try it and then send me a DMM on Instagram? It’s Amy Smooth Stones Coaching. If we as individual women can learn to love ourselves, there is nothing we can’t do on our own. And especially as a group, I truly believe that. And specifically for us, baby lost moms. We can lift each other by showing others that it’s okay to love ourselves even more than that.
It’s amazing and it’s possible, and we are going to completely change the dialogue, and that is one of the goals that I have and the beliefs that I have. I have no doubt that we can make a change. It’s gonna be so fun to watch. If you wanna come with me, don’t forget to subscribe and.