Close the Chapter Podcast with Kristen Boice

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Close the Chapter Podcast Episode 130 - How Radical Ownership Changes Your Life

by Kristen D. Boice
October 13th 2021

In this episode, Kristen the first step of healing after we find awareness, by taking full responsibility for our thoughts, emotions, actions and inactions.

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Welcome to the closed the chapter podcast. I am Kristin Boice, a licensed marriage and family therapist with a private practice pathways to healing counseling through conversations, education strategies and shared stories. We will be closing the chapter on all the thoughts, feelings, people and circumstances that don't serve you anymore. And open the door to possibilities and the real you you won't want to miss an episode. So be sure to subscribe. Welcome to the closed the chapter podcast. I am thrilled you are joining me this week. Thank you so much for sharing this with family and friends and co workers. It is so heartwarming to get your feedback and to hear how this has transformed lives and relationships. There is nothing more meaningful than hearing the impact that these are making on your life and what you're learning and how you're growing and expanding.

So thank you so much for the reviews and subscribing and you want to be sure to join the mailing list at kristen D Boice K R I S T E N D B O I C E dot com forward slash free resources. I am working on an online course that will launch in 2022. That will have a select number of people join. And it will be some foundational principles that will transform your life that will help when you have emotional triggers, how to work through those, how to have deeper connection with yourself and others and live a life of freedom, authenticity, vulnerability and the less shame and the ability to be yourself ultimately. So that is coming. So you want to be sure you're on the mailing list because you'll get a sneak peek and be first to know? And I'm gonna be sending out some questionnaires and we'd love your feedback on it.

So it's going to be about closing the chapter on your past so you can live more fully in the present. And that is the segue into today's important topic. It developed from several client sessions I've had over the course of the last several months about how we find healing and what is the first step besides awareness. And so this episode is going to be talking about the radical awakening of owning your issues. I mean this is what it's all about. And so I'm going to be offering you up and inviting you into some deeper work, some coping strategies and the way it can change your life and the power of it. Let's jump into what radical ownership is exactly. And what isn't it? So radical ownership is taking full responsibility for our thoughts, words, emotions and action or inaction.

What it is not is being responsible for someone else's actions towards you behavior or any type of abuse that you have endured. You're not owning any any aspect of someone else's choices upon you that has caused you harm. So you're not owning any sexual abuse, verbal abuse, physical abuse at all. You are only owning how you heal that, How you tend to that, What do you do with that do projected on other people? Your hurt and pain? Are you taking full responsibility as an adult to radically own how that has impacted you not what was done to you, how you're healing that, processing it and moving through it to get to the other side. So once again, I want to make it really clear, I am not taking responsibility for what other people have done to me that was beyond your control.

You were a child, you were little or perhaps you've gone through a trauma that you had nothing to do with. This is about owning. What are you going to do with that? How are you going to hell that? So we don't put that on somebody else when we don't want to re traumatize somebody else. So if we don't heal the hurt, we don't heal the pain. It becomes a leaky boat unconsciously and we can unintentionally hurt somebody else, which is what we don't want to do. So when you decide, you are going to take responsibility and show up and deal with that, feel it and heal it. Your life will change. So let me give you an example. I work with a lot of couples and infidelity and one of the pieces and parts to the healing process is taking radical ownership for how the person that's had the affair and their choices has greatly impacted cause pain and hurt for not only the partner and if there's Children involved for the Children and anybody else that might have been impacted and what that looks like is if we go back to our apology podcast from last week, we are saying, I am so sorry I have caused you pain and shame and fear and I know that has caused you so much pain in your soul and for that, I am so sorry and I am going to work on deconstructing why did I go outside the marriage not to blame you to gain some insight.

So I can do some deeper healing work. Because my theory is often times affairs are birthed out of attachment wounds, meaning we had an attachment sever with a primary caregiver early on or and or trauma and neglect. And so if we can identify that deeper wound that has caused us to go outside of a relationship, to try to heal and fill that hole in our soul rather than having a conversation with our partner about what we like and what we don't like. What's hurtful. What's helpful in doing my own deeper work. That's just one example of the conversations I've had over the course of the last couple of weeks and repairing trust in a relationship and repairing hurt and pain in one of the most important pieces of it is taking radical ownership instead of making excuses, minimizing blaming and turning the tables on the other person.

If what if both people in the party take radical ownership for their own feelings, thoughts in actions, actions and childhood traumas and wounds. What if we all owned that? It would change the world. It really would. Again, I want to make it clear that I'm not owning what my parents might have done to me or what someone else, how someone else might have victimized me and owning. What am I gonna do with that? I'm owning, taking responsibility as an adult of how I'm going to heal that wound. If you heal your own wounds, you seek a support system, that could be a 12 step system. That could be a group, a therapy group, that could be accountability group, that could be whatever that looks like for you? A circle of love of friends, therapy. There's so many modalities now to healing. Maybe you do your own E. M. D. R. Work, which is a trauma treatment Brain spotting.

However, that looks for you. You're reading books, podcasts or taking courses, you're making a conscious choice to deal with the hurt, the pain, the fear, the grief, and how it has impacted you in this moment right now? How has it impacted your anxiety, your depression, how your body feels when you decide you're going to tend to it and heal it and get help where you need it. Your life starts shifting. Is it easy? Absolutely not. I'd be doing a disservice if I said, oh yes, you're going to go to therapy and it's going to be super easy. No, because we're actually pulling on all those wounds. We are processing the pain, we're connecting to the sadness and the anger and the fear and the grief instead of bypassing it instead of numbing it instead of blaming shaming instead of placating and performing and perfecting and pretending we are actually accepting the reality of what happened to us.

So radical ownership means I'm accepting the reality of what I've gone through and trauma. That's really hard. It's really hard because Mhm. We didn't want that to happen to us. We didn't ask for that and we're not taking responsibility for that piece other people's thoughts, feelings, actions, I'm taking responsibility for healing it. Yeah. For empowering myself for gaining my voice back to hell, how my body feels to tend to my emotional reactivity to tend to my triggers without blaming shaming, minimizing rationalizing or numbing them without putting that armor on. So I don't let anyone in without listening to my body's response or what might be coming up emotionally. I'm tuning in, moving towards that discomfort, moving towards those emotions and body sensations so I can free myself of the stuck wounded parts that never got tended to.

So if I don't process something when it happens. And oftentimes as Children, we weren't allowed to do that. I can emotionally be frozen in time. You can be frozen in time and stuck emotionally At the time of the trauma. You look like you're an adult but you're not functioning like that. You're functioning like an eight year old, you're functioning like a 13 year old because you didn't get to process the emotions, the beliefs, the body sensations, the sensory pieces to the trauma or the neglect you went through and so you are functioning from the wound rather than functioning from the healthy part of you. We all have looms. This is the other piece. I want to make clear. We all have looms. What are you going to decide to do with your wounds? Are you going to continue to numb them? You're gonna drink your wine at the end of the day not to shame anybody because that's not what this is about. We often get the survival mechanisms or you're gonna be on your phone and scroll for hours.

I'm guilty of that guilty as charged or you're going to scream and yell at your kids. Perhaps you'll decide to work all the time. You become a workaholic a shopaholic. Perhaps you chase relationships and chase love in all the wrong places and you don't really heal because you repeat patterns. So this is really important because if we don't identify, how do we take, start taking rental radical ownership. It'll feel too scary because oftentimes people are afraid that they take ownership. It's going to come back on them and be used as a weapon of mass destruction. And if that is the case a boundary needs to be set and you can go back and listen to the episode on boundaries. So we're going to outline, I'm going to outline some steps to begin changing your life. So here's an example of small little example of me taking radical ownership.

So we're in the car and it's a school zone and you know, we're in a hurry a lot of times because I've got to get point A to point B again, radical ownership is me taking full responsibility for what time I leave plan accordingly. Follow the speed limit. I know this sounds radical, but it's how we got to. We have to deconstruct this, you know, I So the kids getting them ready. So this was probably eight years ago, maybe seven years ago. So I'm in the car in a school zone, I'm over the speed limit, sirens come out, I've got the two kids in the car seat behind me and I'm thinking, oh my gosh, I pulled over, OK, take a deep breath because that's the first step too radical ownership itself. You've got to regulate yourself, you've got to self soothe so it doesn't transferred to them. So I'm working super hard to know I'm triggered because I'm honestly limit and I'm gonna get a ticket.

So I take a deep breath Uh huh, roll down the window, he's coming towards the window and the girl's like mom, mommy, it's like what happened. And I said army was speeding. And so the police officer was doing his job to keep us safe to roll down the window, asked for license and registration and he said, do you know how fast you were going? And I said, I am so sorry, I wasn't paying a bit of attention. I, I totally own that. I went over the speed limit and wasn't paying attention and I am so grateful you pulled me over. I have two Children in the car. I'm in a school zone. I absolutely want to keep people safe. And this was a wake up call for me to pay attention and to Be considerate of others and I am so sorry I own I completely own this and I want to do better next time, he the officer looked at me like I had 10 heads.

I mean that's what radical ownership looks like. I don't have to go into blame and shame of myself. I can just own it. And the good news is I get to make choices moving forward. How do I want to take this experience that just happened and take responsibility and do some deeper work that I was sleepwalking through my life. I was unconscious. I was in a hurry and not paying attention. I could have rationalized all that. And what I decided to do was take ownership because that's empowerment. What did we want from our parents? What did, what do you want from other people to own their stuff, own the reactivity, own there emotions own their stories instead of making excuses and bypassing and rationalizing. We want people to own it. We can then connect it feels safe. That's how trust is built, I'm owning it and then I make a behavior change. So it's one thing to own it.

Say you're sorry and do the same thing over and over and over and over. Never really do the work of healing those wounds and making a behavior change. We have to take action and that action looks like me being more organized and prepared when I leave the door, me staying in a calmer state by taking my deep breaths and self soothing me taking radical ownership of what I'm saying yes to and what I'm habitually just offering help to and they feel overwhelmed because I said yes to things or maybe I offered help which is often interpreted as commitment to other people. Then I get overwhelmed and then I'm just in a mad rush how many of us are in that? So I want to circle back to the story. So the officer went back to his vehicle. The girl said they were old enough, they're still in their car seats, but they said, well mom, you took responsibility for that.

I said yeah because I I broke a law. I'm not, I didn't do anything bad, I made a poor choice and that was here to help teach me and he came back, gave me a warning, gave the girl stickers and said just pay attention and basically do better next time. And that was such a powerful lesson. My girls still remember that. They still remember me going, I own it, this is on me, I wasn't paying attention. They remember me owning it and then see me owning things consistently to make repair. So if I get dis regulated, if I overstep boundaries, if I fall short on my commitment or my word, I'm owning it, I'm owning it. Now. I want to give a dissertation on why that happened, why I had to cancel something or what happened. And when I say, I am so sorry, I know that was hurtful.

How did you feel about that? There's there's nothing more powerful taking your power back. If you feel powerless and that's often the result of trauma. You start feeling empowered. It's not self loathing. I'm not going into self deprecation, that's not what this looks like. It's clear and specific of what I'm owning and then I'm looking at what do I need to do to tend to that and do some more work around it. So first of all, you're taking a deep breath. Second of all I'm identifying what am I taking ownership for and I'm naming it specifically. So in that example, I'm owning my over commitment to everything and everyone and trying to please everybody which created overwhelmed and mismanagement of my time that I needed to take a look at it was a much deeper dive than it looked on the surface and that's for most things. Things that are triggers for us need a deeper dive. And that's what the online course is going to be about helping you deconstruct that so you can free yourself and move through it and get to the other side.

So you're not like a leaky boat for your family and your relationships and yourself. It's not just spilling out all over the place. You're not triggered right and left. We see it all the time and family systems. Mhm. So when I'm taking a deep breath to I'm becoming aware and identifying what am I radically owning three? I'm getting curious about it. I'm starting to hold space and feel safe enough in my body to do this. Work to take a look at what is underneath this, what is underneath this. And if you have a fear of radically owning things that needs to be explored. So ask yourself what am I afraid of? If I own my own thoughts, feelings, opinions and behavior and in action. So if you make a lot of excuses, you have a lot of rationalizations you're not taking around local ownership. What's that about for you? That's a defense response. You're trying to self protect from blame, shame and judgment. You've got to take a look at that. So if you rationalize, you minimize you have an excuse for everything, chances are you're going to feel very disempowered and very stuck.

We can all get in a season or a time of that. If we don't take a look and own that, that's a pattern, we won't change it. And so you have to decide if you want to do this deeper healing work, you've got to take a deeper dive into family system. The patterns involved, the trauma that was there that never got spoken of. So you can find your voice and when you find your voice, you're not going to feel threatened by owning your own emotional responses. You're not going to feel threatened by owning specifically what you need to take responsibility for. It won't be a threat. It will be empowerment. If you still experience that as a threat, there is a lot deeper dive there to figure out why do I feel threatened? What is that about for me? When did I first feel threat? Go back to the first memory. This is some deeper work that you'd want to do with a therapist unpacking. When you feel threatened when you feel unsafe. And if you're stuck in that spot, chances are you're going to project that onto other people.

You're going to be in a survival state. And that makes sense as a child. Of course you are doing that and that was a gift to you now it can come it can become maladaptive and inhibit you from creating deep connection. You'll feel very lonely in hyper vigilant and that needs attention. That's where E. M. D. R. And brain spotting come into play. And I highly encourage you to take a deep breath as you're listening to this. Because I know it can bring up some triggers and that's okay. That means you're growing. That means you're willing to lean in. That means you're evolving. And so when you notice your trigger in your body, when you notice your emotional reactivity, good we're making headway from you being asleep and numbing it. We're making progress at that point we're gonna take progress over perfection. So once you kind of identify the body sensation and the emotions and floating back to where it began your fear.

You can start leaning into processing that connecting to those emotions. And then we can get into naming specifically what you're owning, what you want to work on. So one of the things I'm working on owning. So I'm going to go and share vulnerably. So I can give you an example of what this looks like in real time. Because I'm all about doing my own work. And as a therapist it's critical that we are doing our own work. So we can be attuned and present with the client. We can't take a client as far as we have gone. And so I'm passionate about working on my own emotional my own emotional triggers and owning them. Especially when I have dis regulated teenagers sometimes, and I want to go, well, you're dis regulated. Instead of saying, let me take a deep breath. So I stay regulated. When you're dis regulated and own my own regulation, they can't regulate me. I'm the parent. I need to stay regulated so I can help the whole system regulate. I'm not responsible for regulating everybody, I'm responsible for regulating myself.

And if I match them when they get dis regulated, we have two teenagers in the room rather than one parent and one child. Now, someone can look regulated on the outside and not be regulated on the inside. So one of the things I'm radically owning and working on is my regulation to stay regulated. So I'm putting my feet on the floor. I'm taking my deep breaths. I'm re parenting myself. I'm nurturing myself. I'm pausing before I react so I can respond in a grounded centered way. Very hard to deal. And one of the most important journeys I'm on as an individual because it requires me to be so self aware and take radical ownership of my own reactivity of my own emotions, of my own body sensations instead of blaming rationalizing excusing story writing about why I feel that way. Yeah, that's not gonna help me shift. That's gonna keep me stuck because the more I rationalize minimizing it and make excuses for it and blame somebody else and offloaded on somebody else, then what happens to me is I stay stuck.

There's no processing in that I'm fixated on the other person. And if there's something that I see often in couples and family systems as they want to pick somebody as they identified patient, they want to pick someone. That's the problem. And oftentimes that identify patient or someone that's the problem is the carrier of the dysfunction. Especially Children are the carriers of the dysfunction of what the parents don't want to feel and deal with. The child ends up absorbing all of that and becomes what the parents aren't dealing with. So if the parents aren't dealing with their own wounds and their own reactivity and their own emotions, how do you expect your Children to take ownership for their stuff? How do you expect your Children to learn how to own their own reactivity? We have to walk the walk. And that means authentically doing this work, not practicing not pretending I'm actually walking the walk. And so if we triangulate emotionally triangulate someone into a dynamic.

So for example, if I'm upset with my husband and I pull, one of my kids into it and I say, oh, your dad is so angry, don't you think, are you just so tired of it? I just pulled my, my, my kid into an emotional dynamic that's between my husband and I between Mark and I, that is what creates unhealthy family dynamics. So that would be another example of what to try what to take radical ownership of Keep keep what is meant to be between two people, the two parents between the two parents. And again, no shame in this game. It's to help you because what will is to help you take responsibility to make family change. If you get into shame, shame says there's something wrong with me. I'm a terrible person, I'm a terrible husband, wife, partner, insert whatever that blacks you from radical ownership because you will stay stuck in the shame spiral of how terrible you are.

You're a bad person which taps into your childhood stuff which doesn't allow you to take radical ownership. It takes you into the dark abyss and there's no transformation. So if you get into shame, the antidote to that, as we know through Dr Byrne a Brown and Kristen dr Kristin Neff's work is self compassion. Self compassion is critical to taking radical ownership. So I'm not dependent on somebody else acknowledging me making me feel better. I can do that for myself and own my own need for validation for empathy for compassion. I can give that to myself. That's radical ownership. It's another example. So the last piece of this is coming back to center and deciding that you will be present in each moment to look at your reactivity to explore what is yours to take responsibility for and do deeper work around.

There is such a gift in doing this work. I cannot explain how transformational this has been in my own life. Radical ownership has been a key to my healing now, I'm not owning all the childhood stuff. I'm owning my own emotions, I'm owning my own emotional reaction that's very different. I'm holding myself accountable in that way without shaming myself or judging it, staying open to what this is showing me, that needs to be healed, that needs to be tended to and nurtured. If I go into shame, that's a signal that I got some work to do in that area, we all go into shame. We all have shame. It's built into family systems and it can prevent us and block us if not attended to from doing this deeper work. So I thank you for your willingness to stick with me all the way through to hear what radical ownership is, how it can change your life and transform your relationships and family, your family and how when you practice it, it will change you on the inside.

So, my takeaway for you today is one, I want you to pick one area of your life that you want to work on, that, you know, needs improvement. So maybe it's your co dependency in your relationship, meaning you feel good about yourself if your partner shows you attention or really meet your love language or based on their mood. Maybe you want to work on that co dependent piece. Maybe you want to work on triangulation, You don't pull a third party into the mix when you need to have a direct conversation, a hard conversation with whoever you're have the upset with Or you need a process in therapy. No three, I'm giving you examples. Maybe another example is your reactivity and your intensity instead of wanting someone else to rescue you from that, you're willing to take radical ownership of that and heal that wound those wounds that are underneath, that maybe you need to get better at communication and instead of shying away from communication, you need to lean in with the I feel statements, you can binge listen to this podcast, it will help you so much on how to have hard conversations and instead of of waiting them and then blowing up, maybe you need to work on your anger and your rage, maybe you need to work on the shame stories that you tell yourself, that you're convinced that somebody feels a certain way and you've made up a story about it, but you're convinced that's true.

Maybe you need to work on your shame stories, maybe you need to work on taking better care of yourself and owning your what you're putting in your mouth, what you're putting in your body what you're drinking when your sleep is if you're moving or not, maybe you need to radically own the way your parenting. So if you're highly enmeshed, which was two episodes ago and your whole world operates around your Children and you don't have a separate sense of self then you're not differentiated. And maybe you need to work on healing that component, which is some deep inner child work. Again, no shame in this. I'm giving you some examples of what you could radically own. Maybe you're a workaholic and you've numbed big using work to escape. So pick one and those are just some examples because sometimes we need examples to know where to start and maybe it's just something even more simple than that. You're going to own some of the ways you numb and you're not gonna get on your phone as much.

So you can connect to emotions. You're gonna journal every day or and don't make it so much that you're not going to be able to fulfill. What about this? Taking radical ownership for yourself? So if you're not gonna be able to journal every day, maybe it's you're going to work on journaling once a week. So you're going to work on your deep breaths every hour, taking that deep breath in through your nose slowly out through your mouth, like your cooling a cookie. So you can handle you can develop more window of tolerance into taking radical ownership and again I am all about therapy is of course as a therapist and support systems super important in doing this work. So share this episode with somebody that you want to do this work with or maybe you're accountable accountability partners with and they can't do the work for you not their job, they can't hold you accountable, you have to hold yourself accountable or otherwise, you're not practicing radical ownership, but you're on this journey together and you can have these deeper conversations about the work that you're doing.

Oh what if we all did this? It's so exciting to me. I want us all to step on this path to empowerment, to finding your voice to being your authentic self. We can only do that when we work on our wounds. We can only do that when we take radical ownership of how we show up in the present moment, our energy, our emotions, our thoughts, our actions or inactions. What comes out of our mouths, We can do this. I promise you we can do it. Thank you for listening to the whole way through. I'm cheering you on in this work and I am super grateful that you're willing to take the deeper dive to transform your life and others Until next week, let's keep going. I would love to hear how this is going. Feel free to tag me at Kristen D Boice on instagram or facebook or share and the close the chapter private group on facebook and I'll see you next week. Thank you so much for listening to the closed the chapter podcast.

My hope is that you took home some actionable steps along with motivation, inspiration and hope for making sustainable change in your life If you enjoyed this episode, click the subscribe button to be sure to get the updated episodes every week and share with a friend or a family member For more information about how to get connected, visit Kristin. K r i S t e n D B o i c e dot com. Thanks and have a great day.

Close the Chapter Podcast Episode 130 - How Radical Ownership Changes Your Life
Close the Chapter Podcast Episode 130 - How Radical Ownership Changes Your Life
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