you're listening to the Rise up and Shine podcast with Claudine and Ashley as an empty nester and a mom with young kids. We have both shared very similar and very real struggles from chaos to coaches. We now help other women live an authentic and meaningful life. So tune in weekly for girl talk and tips on how you too can rise up and let your light shine bright. This is the rise up and Shine podcast. Welcome back listeners today on episode 1 59 we're going to talk about do you want to get well and I'm gonna start us off with a scripture. It's in john five verse 3 to 7, It says here a great number of disabled people used to lie the blind, the lame, the paralyzed one who was there had been an invalid for 38 years when Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time.
He asked him do you want to get well sir, the invalid replied, I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred while I'm trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me. So actually you and I have talked about this before and we see so much of this in our coaching and in our conversations, but really this is powerful. I know when I first saw this through a new lens many, many years ago, it was so impactful to me because here is someone that had a legitimate um circumstance right, but jesus looked at him directly and said do you want to get well right? And I think that's such a powerful question that we need to ask ourselves and our clients and our friends and our closest relationships when circumstances are tough or um the situation doesn't seem to clear up, do you want to get well? And that's what we're talking about today because honestly, I think some people don't really want to get well and that's we're talking about today is the victim mentality and also learned helplessness.
And we'll talk about why that happens um how it can impact our lives negatively. And of course we're gonna share some practical on how to get well right? Yeah. Yeah. I remember when I was going through my healing process with therapy coaching, just even my own research and work work on myself in my mind. Uh and when I read that scripture, you know, I read it so many times before, but I just had a different lens that I was reading it from and when jesus asked that do you want to get well, I read it almost with like a sarcasm, like I was reading it to myself, well do you want to get well? And I took it so personal, I'm like oh my gosh, how much of my life have I just been sitting and waiting for a fix, right, like or to be fixed or the quick and so um and also at the same time someone to kind of heal me, just fix me, make me all better and yeah you you do it, I don't know I can't change anything and when I look back I realize oh my gosh, there's so many big and small situations of my life that I did that right?
I kind of I had that victim mentality like I'm just waiting for someone to tell me what to do and I'll do it or I'm waiting for someone to just fix me or you know have this magic potion that will make it all go away and um at the same time sometimes I think we have this quote unquote acceptance, you know that well this is just what it is, it's never gonna change, but really it can be a false acceptance, it's more of a giving up and a settling rather than uh you know being empowered and feeling you know I can change something or this is really an impossible situation that will, you know just won't ever change. But there's so many different ways that we look at it. But I just remember reading that I thought wow that just opens up this whole new world and how many, you know I use it in very uh specific situations like I said big and small, you know if I'm feeling irritated about something, what is something I can do to change myself for the situation like what is more in my control.
So I think we think there's so much out of our control which there is but there is also a lot that is within our control that we can easily overlook. And that's why that that question that jesus asked was really crucial because when we really introspect right when we look within ourselves and ponder that question in our own lives we could probably start seeing some areas that you know I might be able to have some power to change the situation right? Yeah and it's interesting because the invalids response he didn't say well yes of course I want to get while he made excuses. Well every time I try to go down someone else gets in front you know he it was powerlessness it's like I'm a victim, it's like I try but something always gets in my way and um that's part of that victim mindset because when we get to that place and really it it has developed from many people as a defense mechanism and I have to say you know it's funny because victim mentality really rubs me the wrong way like I love helping women, I love coaching women, I love mentoring women but that victim mentality really rubs me the wrong way which interestingly enough I struggled with for many years as well.
I thought look at what life is doing to me right look at what people are doing to me like what my husband's doing to me like what my kids are doing to me instead of accepting any personal responsibility for the circumstances that might be going on. And even if I had no control like you shared, there's certain times we don't, I still was responsible. I was response able, I was able to have a response through my thoughts managing my mind and um choosing what emotions I wanted to feel about the situation instead of just being poor me, woe was me and I did that for a long, long time. And like you, I got to the point where I was like Okay, something's gotta change. You know, I didn't want to keep doing this for another 38 years because he was laying there and the scripture says 38 years. That's a long time to be a victim, right? Like and we hear stories, we can have friends or people that we know and it's been like decades like true, we live in a fallen world and bad things are gonna happen and we are all sinners and we hurt each other's feelings all the time.
But how many decades do we want to allow past hurts and transgressions to keep us from living life to the fault, which is what jesus says, he came to give us and yet we allow this victim mentality to keep us from living life to the full from really rising up and shining as God would have us do. Yeah, just like what you were saying, you know, living life to the fall. That was a huge thing for me when I started my journey of healing and um my own thought work that I just remember thinking, I know like we have this promise that there is abundant life, but why am I not feeling it? Where is it? How do I find out what's going on? Like why what? There's something missing, something is missing that I should be experiencing this and I'm not, you know, I'm feeling the exact opposite of all those things. So what something's got to give, like what is it? And it could be hard in the beginning, it could be, I mean, we really could feel helpless.
Powerless, hopeless and all those things discouraged. Like there's no way that my life can get better. And even without perhaps the circumstances getting better. And just like we talked about last week on our podcast is about joy finding joy despite our situation's changing, right? So if we want to get well we have to really take a look at what control do I have. I mean for one we do not control other people unfortunately. I mean, especially if you're a parent, you know that very well or married. Yeah, or married. Uh yeah, we don't control other people darn if I wish I could just, you know, hit a button and make you happy. Yeah, or click a button and make you like me or whatever. You know, I know it's all kind of funny games, but on a serious note we do, we really wish that we can control our circumstances, other people and there's definitely an acceptance factor there, but at least within ourselves, you know, I think we all have that thing that's just nagging us that we just wish would change, whether it's our finances, whether it's a relationship, whether it's our weight, whether it's rather depression or anxiety, you know, our own mental and emotional health, whatever it might be, we all have something that we wish would just be fixed, I mean, and we would love for it to be this grand miracle, like jesus turning water into wine, you know, just click your fingers and he but that's not what happens.
But if we can really look deep and understand what is that thing that's been nagging me for you years and years that I just wish would be different, but I've learned that helplessness, that this is what it is, it's just never gonna change then listen to it because things can really change, you know, even if again it's not the situation, we can change our response, we can change our perspective, We can change, you know, a whole lot of things on our own part, like you said, write a responsibility and so I like you broken apart response ability, you know, we are able to choose our response in our life circumstances. So what would that be like, jesus asked him do you want to get well you've been lying here for her so many years now. Time flies. We all know that right? I mean how many times have we like, gosh, it's been three years, three years since the beginning of the pandemic, right?
And it's like even thinking I gained covid weight and wow, it's already three years like wishing I could lose it all or the baby weight, right? But there are yeah, that let's just let's dig a little deeper and see what part can I play. Let's try to feel more empowered, right? And that's the point of this, right? Because we want to help women feel empowered to really rise up and shine and live life to the full. So I have a couple symptoms of victim and tell in case you're listening to this and you're wondering, well I'm not, not quite sure or the impact of it. So here's some of the things that if you are struggling with this, this is what you'll see. So some of the struggles with this will think the world is out to get you. I've actually spoke to someone recently that was really negative about a situation and I said, you know, I'm gonna choose until I get more information. I'm gonna choose to believe the best until the facts are laid out because we didn't know any facts yet.
And she was like, well everything always goes wrong. So I just have to prepare myself. So that's kind of that mentality that the world is out to get me, People are out to get me right, you can be overly critical of yourself and others you can see the world is unfair. I definitely definitely felt with that when that was big for me. Like I thought everybody else gets this wonderful life but mine I didn't get the good, you know I didn't get dealt a good hand so I I definitely struggle with that ruminating over past hurts and wrongs. We know healthy Yeah and we know how healthy that is and in trading entrenched neural pathways that's going to help us feel better, right, difficulty with trust and intimacy. So when we struggle with victim mentality it's very hard to develop close friendships for two reasons why you have difficulty with trust and intimacy because you're thinking the world is out to get you and people are out to get me and no one wants to be best friends with the victim.
You know my best friend when I was going through these struggles, she had low patience with me, you know it's just kind of like I mean she loved me and she was a good friend but at the same time was like okay that's enough of that and then it can lead to anxiety, depression, low self esteem and social isolation again tied to that. So when we're in this victim role, this mentality, right? This learned helplessness, these are some of the symptoms of it. But I do believe that why that's why that question that jesus asked, do you want to get well because I do believe that some people are very comfortable in this role, they actually enjoy being the victim and why would they enjoy being the vic because it's safe, right? No accountability, nothing's ever your fault, It's always someone else's fault. You don't have to do any of that inner work, Right? It's just it's it's somebody else's fault. So I therefore am absolved of any responsibility. Um Some people just want sympathy that wasn't mine, mine was probably I didn't want to take any accountability was way easier to blame other people than to look at myself.
And then lastly, you know, it's you stay small, you stay small, it's very safe to stay small. You don't have to really go after anything. You don't have to do much. You know, you just stay small and safe because you're a victim and it's a big bad cruel world out there. So I'm just gonna stay indoors, stay safe and and that's metaphorically, but I'm sure for some people as well literally it is it's it's much easier to stay there in that space where we've been for years, you know, like you said it's a defense mechanism that we built over the course of our life and because of that or that resulted from life situations, life experiences even through childhood, you know, we learned about the world and is it safe? Is it not safe? Who can we trust? Can we trust, you know, what role do I play in this world? What how do you know, how are my relationships with other people, friendships? Maybe if you experience any kind of abuse any of those things? I mean it creates that defense mechanism that we use in child in adulthood and it's our just our way of service and that's what we forget, we are trying to survive, our brain wants to survive but we do it the safe, familiar, comfortable way less scary, right?
It's just easier, it's it's much harder to do the work to look inside of ourselves and really be vulnerable and not just with other people, but even with ourselves it can be really hard to be honest with ourselves where we're rarely at and what we really believe about ourselves and about the world and for me that started really changing me is when I was taking that courage really and looking deeper into well how do I really view the world and how do I really view myself, what is the story that I've been telling myself? What is the story I believe? And I really feel like with The the invalid you know at the pool that Jesus knew he knew, you know, he knows, so he knew exactly where this guy was at, he was trying to ask him so he can see where he's at and he wanted him to look within and really question his story that he created over those 38 years.
Well look, there's another person that went by I tried right. How many times have I done that in my life? Well, I really tried and but this person keeps you know, whatever, whatever it might be like not treating you well or not accepting, you know, me or whatnot are hurting me and all those things. I mean we we try to kind of what I gave a little effort that should be good enough and that, but that's comfortable. It's familiar and it's much scarier to do the big hard work. Absolutely. And it's funny and that's so much of what coaching is, is asking questions and helping people come into touch with their beliefs and stories that for so many of us are subconscious right? I think I didn't start growing and and really rising and shining, you know, and overcoming these things until I got the help to help me examine these thoughts that had become um default thinking.
You know, subconscious, I didn't even know and these beliefs and stories that were so deeply entrenched that they affected everything in my life. And so coaching is that's what we do, right? We help others see these thoughts and beliefs and stories examine them and then see if they still want to hold on to them. Are they really true, is it I think of that scripture. Is it pure isn't nobles praiseworthy is trustworthy? I know I don't have them in order. But you know when we examine our thoughts and our stories and our assumptions, sometimes we make assumptions too. I think about especially when we blame other people, someone's hurt us. You know, we always see it just through our center, right? We have no idea what the other person was thinking or going through at the time. Maybe they were really hurting. I always say that hurting people, hurt others and we can only see it from our perspective and then we'll carry we'll build this whole story around it and carry it for decades. But yeah, we don't really even know all the facts on the truth. We just have one side of it our side, you know one perspective on it, ours.
Yeah. I was thinking about how for myself personally, you know growing up there well as an adult when I went through counseling and coaching as well, I learned that abandonment was a big part of my life in various for various reasons. And so because of those abandonment issues I had my victim mentality was to wait to be rescued. So like you said, I would be small, that was kind of the role I took in. You know took on in the world. I was playing small waiting for somebody anybody to come. Yeah, come to my aid. Come save me, come rescue me because because of those abandonment things, right? So abandonment leaves you feeling helpless and unimportant and sometimes invisible. And so I felt like, well if I just kind of keep going along, someone will find me, someone will rescue me. And that kept me in that stage so long.
I mean, I was very insecure, I was depressed, I was anxious, you know, I I just was like he said, not rising up and shining, you know, I was not living my best life, that was to me, that missing piece of feeling, that abundant life that jesus promised us. It was because I was relying on humans to meet that need when only jesus can. And so when I realized when I was doing that work and taking that power back, bringing that power like, hey, I can change certain things. I can change what I focus my thoughts on, I can change my beliefs about myself and the world. I can change the story I tell myself on a regular basis. I can change those things and I can change that belief on who really can save me and rescue me. And that's jesus, right? And so that really helped through just all of my journey, you know, my healing journey and just keep coming back to if I want that piece and that joy and that patience and that, you know fulfilled life that was promised to us, I have to do the work, I have to take that power back, it is part of my responsibility, it's just not this you know like christmas wish list that some someday will be given to me, it is there, it's accessible, I had to do the work within myself to access that and so that was where again that empowerment comes from, hey, I can change those things, I can't change other people, I can't change people, you know like people are still gonna hurt me because we're all human.
I I can have my boundaries, I can go to the right source, I can really be intentional about my own thoughts and focus. Yeah, well you hit something really deep there, what you said Ashley, it's so powerful. I mean really as christian women, there is zero reason for us to be victims, right? We have been given every good gift from God, we have a savior, we have the gift of the holy spirit, we have the fruits of the spirit, love joy, peace and so when you were sharing, it was similar for me, I got to the point where one day I was reading the bible and I'm like wait a second, my life is not reflecting the scriptures, jesus said he came that I could have life to the full and obviously he meant full of joy and love and peace and all the fruits of the spirit and mine wasn't and I knew it was like in that moment I knew I had to just go wait, this is on me. It's 100% on me. God has already shown up.
He's already given us everything. So it's like you said, we have to access it from within. We have to just look within and stop looking on the outside of us for people to fix us or fix the circumstance or change it and we can't change the past anyway. But yeah, I finally it finally connected and goodness I was, I wanna say my mid forties before I connected All the dots. So I spent a couple of decades also in the victim mentality. But I'm glad I figured it out before 38 years. So so glad I figured it out. But let's share some practical with our listeners. So number one accept personal responsibility. And we've talked about this a little bit, but until we own our part in it. And again, there are very few. But there are circumstances which really we're not any of our doing. There are things that happen to us, right? So I don't want to take away from that, but we can take personal responsibility for our response.
We can take personal responsibility for our thoughts about it, right? Because if we're ruminating over those past hurts and wrongs were creating a slew of negative emotions that we don't want to feel and then our actions are going to come out of you know, not a great place. so, and that is a recipe for depression, that yes, a 100% and in order to start taking personal responsibility, have to stop making excuses blaming, making excuses. That's what was so interesting to me about that passage that here he is in front of jesus and jesus asked us if he wants to get well, and he's just making excuses. Very defensive, right? It comes from that defensive position, like, well, I've tried, so it's not my fault, right? Like I've been trying, but people keep getting in my way and if you're not well, if you're really struggling with something today, the blaming and the excuses have to stop in order to really rise up in china in order to get well that has to stop, and that takes that introspective, you know, you have to look within yourself and start identifying in situations when you do that, you know, kind of catch yourself, Oh, I did it again, just become aware first, you know, and this also leads into the next point of self care and self compassion, so have compassion on yourself and Grace on yourself.
This was huge. Self care became a big passion of mine because of my journey, you know, and going through my healing process and going from depression multiple times and feeling hopeless and discouraged and you know, I mean, all the things having the compassion, it's like it kind of seems it kind of sounds selfish, you know? Well how can I have compassion on myself for self love, right? And I've actually had conversations with women that believe self care. Self love is selfish and that's this big stigma and it's not we we need to have that God wants us to have that God wants us to love ourselves enough to change us and live a better life. That's what he desires for us. He wants us to live a fulfilled life. He doesn't want us to live a miserable life, you know? Oh my gosh! So realizing that I can have grace on myself, I can have compassion on myself, you know, especially as you're learning and becoming aware of these things, if it's if this resonates with you, that is a start to having that personal responsibility and feeling more empowered to change the things that you really want to change that you really desire.
You know? And self care is huge. We cannot show up well for others if we are not caring for ourselves. And I lived that especially as my kids were younger, I was depleted and defeated and exhausted and you know here and always thought I was doing everything wrong and never thought I was doing anything well and all those things. And so that's what I was giving to my family. I was just giving scraps unintentionally, but I was burning myself out, I was not my best. And so I could not show up as my best and that's that's not what our life is intended to be like, I wonder if people that think that self care is selfish, think that self care is just like spa treatments and manicures and pedicures and such, you know, because to me self care certainly there are times for those I like to care for my body but I also see it self care. Yeah, it's just one aspect.
The other aspect is spiritually like what are you feeding your mind and heart with? You know our times in the morning our quiet times, what are you feeding your body? Self care is properly feeding it nutritious foods and water. Exercise. Water, Yes, you're really good at water and exercise. You know, and our heart, how are we self caring for our heart? And are we allowing thoughts in our minds that really create hurtful feelings in our heart? And even boundaries is a is an example of size, knowing when to say no and knowing how to share your boundaries. So funny today, I had to talk to one of my Children about something pretty important and my husband was in the same room and he kept he was in the background saying, say this, say this and I said some of them, but I had a conversation that I would have with my child and then I got off the phone, he goes, you know, you're you're so soft and you're this and you didn't say this. And I said, well that sounds like a conversation you want to have with your child.
And he's like, but I'm always the one I go, those are the converse As you desire to have. I had the exact conversation I wanted to have with my child. I felt like it was just what was needed and I hit the points and all of that. But and I just looked at him, I said, you know, stop putting your expectations of the conversation you wanna have on me, that's your conversation to be had. Even if it is the 10000s time. And it was really good because he acknowledged that he was like, yeah, I mean that's what he was doing. He wanted to have a conversation, he wanted the conversation to be had, he didn't want to do it. He wanted me to do it and just the exact way. And I'm like that's just not how it turned out, but self care and this and I share this because this is so big for me to be able to communicate effectively with that emotion. Like it wasn't a fight, it wasn't an argument and I said it just sounds like this is a conversation you want to have or you want had, but that's not the conversation I chose to have.
So it was really good and and when you say self care and like, you know, I've really grown in that. It's a skill I've had to learn. It is a skill, it's not selfish and it it protects our relationships, it protects everything right or well, everything. Yeah. Well in my coaching focuses on all that, what you said self care. Self care socially, emotionally, mentally, physically spiritually, um all those things, I mean exactly what you said, like I know being able to say no was really difficult for me yes for years. And when I was able to learn that, that was okay and it wasn't selfish. That is was a big form of self care for me and it might look different for everybody, you know, some people, it's really easy for them to say no. So it's not as much of a focus for them, but it might look different. But yeah, that's really good point. Yeah. When my Children were young, I needed your program like a great program for moms with young Children and shameless plug for mind over chaos dot com.
Head over there if you need to learn how to practice self care and be the best mom you can be alright, practical number three, reach out for help. Now you and I both had to do that, right. We both got to a point mine was with my first coach. Um she, she noticed I was sinking downhill quite quickly. It was a friend and my husband also talked to her. So she pulled me aside did private work with me, which was great because at the time she wasn't doing private work, but she really helped me learn some of the tools and processes that you and I now both share with our clients. So in a way she came to me but she saw that I needed help and then I was like, yes, I want to get with you, I need to get with you. And I would drive far, like she didn't live nearby and I would go to her home and we would do the work. I had to do all this in her work and it was hard, it's hard to look inside and take personal responsibility. It's not easy. And that's why I do think it is really important to reach out for help because this is not something that's easy to do on our own.
So you can reach out to your pastor, you can reach out, I would reach out not necessarily to my friends because my friends are always going to be supportive and like, yeah, of course you, you know a lot of them, you know, they empathize with us and not help us take personal responsibility, but someone that is trained as we are as coaches or pastor or professional counselor that can really help you take that personal responsible and look within and learn how to practice self care and and really it's just gaining an outside perspective, right? Getting an outside perspective because when we're in it, it's very hard to see through a different lens. We need that support, we need that help and the tools that they can offer to help us through our conversations and over time to look at situations in a different way to challenge our beliefs and our stories and our thoughts, right? I mean like that scripture, think of all things true and noble and lovely that I love that scripture, that is a form of self care, you know?
But I also needed support and help with that reminder that hey really be intentional with what your thoughts are thinking because when we're deep in it, we are beliefs are so true to us, you know, and I remember this disconnect between my head and my heart, it's like, well my head knows but my heart does not believe it and having that support to walk with me and give me the tools and the accountability as well. And the check ins that really helped my heart and my mind align and that was super crucial because when if we're left to our own devices, we're gonna stay there, we're going to stay with that disconnect, you know, we're not going to be able to believe what we know in our mind to be true. And so if we, if our heart doesn't believe it right, it's like the heart is deceitful above all things, you know, beyond cure, who can understand it all those things.
The heart is the wellspring of life, all this stuff about the heart. Well if we don't challenge those beliefs that we really feel our true, we're going to continue our life that way. And it could definitely be missing out on the fruits of the spirit, right, that abundant life. And do we want to still be there in 38 years? You know? So yeah, I'm like I better get this going, I'm going to leave us with a quote. It says blaming, puts other people in charge of your happiness, accepting responsibility, empowers you to create your own. So my friends, if you are ready to get well, Ashley and I are here to help you can check out our free resources as well as our coaching programs at Mind over chaos dot com and Claudine Sweeney dot com. And we wish you all a life to the full till next time. Take care. Alright, everyone, thank you for joining in on our conversation today here on the Rise up and Shine podcast.
If you haven't already, please take a second to hit that subscribe button so you never miss an episode and while you're at it, share this episode with a friend who you know it can bless today if you want to visit us as well on our websites, you can catch Claudine over at Claudine Sweeney dot com and Ashley at mind over chaos dot com. Our links are in the description. We also have some free resources there for you as well. So remember, ladies, no matter what you are facing in life, it is never too late to rise up and shine and live your best life.