44. Stay in the River of Misery

On the podcast today, I’m sharing one of the concepts that I teach my clients.  Maybe you have a goal of serving an LDS Mission, or completing a college degree or maybe you see yourself married with a family someday.

All of these goals are completely yours for the taking, so long as you learn to stay in the River of Misery.

In this episode you will learn:

•What the River of Misery is

•When and why some people want out

•How to navigate the River of Misery with confidence

•How to harness the power of the River to get you to where you want to go.

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0:00 Hey, what’s up everyone, it’s Jennie Dildine, the LDS mission coach and you are listening to the LDS mission Podcast, episode number 44. Stay in the river of misery. I’m Jenny, the LDS mission coach. And whether you’re preparing to serve a mission, currently serving a returned missionary or a missionary mama like me, I created this podcast just for you. Are you searching for epic confidence? Ready to love yourself and to learn the how of doing hard things? Then let’s go. I will help you step powerfully into your potential and never question your purpose. Again. It’s time to embrace yourself. Embrace your mission, embrace your life, and embrace what’s next. Hello, everyone, and welcome to the podcast. I hope you had an amazing Easter weekend, I know that for me, there was quite a bit of variation in what I experienced. We had our millennial choir concert as well as a run through plus kind of a tech logistics run through anyway. And then we had our big concert downtown. Two of them, by the way, which was an amazing experience, as I’m involved with the youth and kind of in leadership, they’re helping get a whole bunch of kids often on the stage at the right times. It’s super fun, and super rewarding and an amazing organization. But I will tell you that after the concert, I crashed. So I pretty much ran around like a crazy person for three days. And then spent the next two days Saturday and Sunday on my couch. I think my daughters and I watched a few movies and a few making of movies on Sunday. On Easter, of course, we went to church and all of that, and that was nice. But that was about all I could do just a note to self and a note to you like you can’t push yourself forever and not eventually crash. So make sure you always take time to rest. When we don’t take time to rest we burn out. So I definitely had three days of crazy running around work. And then two days of rest Monday was a little bit slow as well. But here we are. And it was an amazing experience. I have been thinking about how many of you are getting your mission calls. And so I would love for you to share this podcast with one of your friends, that is also going on a mission this summer, tons of missionaries leave during the summer, right? That’s kind of in between semesters and all of that good stuff. I hope after listening to this podcast, you’ve started to understand that the tough part of the mission is not that your shoes get worn out. It’s not that you get the door slammed in your face. It’s not even that maybe you aren’t going to be able to baptize anybody. The tough part of a mission is the mental part. It’s what we make all of those things that happen outside of us mean. And that’s why I created this podcast is to give you guys mental and emotional tools. And I really do think that we can change the trajectory of missionaries of their mission experience just by learning these tools. And so will you please share, and maybe you just share it on your Instagram story or on your Facebook story or something tag me at Jenny dot the LDS mission coach so that I can thank you. Let’s get more mental and emotional tools out to more missionaries. And I don’t want to leave my RMS out my return missionaries. Same deal. The fact that you aren’t going on dates is not what’s hard. You sort of think that that’s what’s hard. Or the fact that you had tests this week is not what’s hard. And I know that you sort of think that’s why your life is hard. But what is far more challenging than tests and not going on dates is the mental and emotional pressures, the mental and emotional challenges that we experience around these events that happen in our lives.

4:20 And so share with your own friends as well. I do one on one coaching with return missionaries. You can go to my website, Jennie dildine.com, and get a one on one just even free strategy session where I can help you as return missionary, rediscover your purpose. I know a lot of return. missionaries are lonely. They’re suffering with social anxiety, they’re suffering with depression. There’s a lot of stuff. Stress is a big one as well. So I can help with all of that. So just reach out, sign up for a free strategy call and we can chat about that. Okay, let’s move on to what I was going to talk about today. Today I want to talk about staying in the river of misery. Doesn’t that sound fun? The River of misery. And I want you to stay there. I’m going to explain. I’m going to give you some examples so that you know what I’m talking about. When I present this concept to my clients, we always have a good laugh, because I’m like an in between where you are now and where you want to be, is the river of misery. And they laugh. And I laugh, because to me, it’s very Princess Bride esque, you can sort of picture it echoing through the canyon, it’s like the ARO us is the river of misery. echo, echo, echo echo. Where you want to be in the future can be results based kind of like a goal you’re setting like, I want to be married, I want to graduate from college, I want to be this certain weight. But it can also be just something that you’re working towards to become a new version of yourself. So it can be sort of meta meaning. Maybe your goal is I want to walk off the plane after my mission me proud of who I became while I was there. And what we’re gonna find as we talk about this more when we set those results based goals, those goals that we have a definite way to know if we accomplish the goal. When we do those goals, like losing weight, or getting married or graduating from college when we do and go through the process of achieving those goals. Along the process, we become new versions of ourselves anyway. I’ve actually been using this analogy of the river of misery for a long time. But just a couple of weeks ago, I was talking with one of my clients, she’s a returned missionary. And this analogy became even more clear to me, she began to tell me how since she got home from her mission, she’s sort of had dates here and there, and done a little bit of it and dabbled in it and kind of been rejected a couple times, or ghosted a couple of times. And there’s guys that she sort of likes, but they’re not really as into her. She’s had a couple of dates that have gone pretty well. But a couple of dates that were just terrible, she felt miserable all the time and awkward. And so I asked her, I said, Okay, so you’ve been sort of dating? What is it that you want in the future? Why are we dating, and she said, Well, I, I want in the future, I want to be married and have a family. So this is her goal. And we don’t know when that’s going to happen. We can’t tell the future. But in her mind, she knows that this is something that she wants. What she told me next, though, was, but I feel like it’s just not really working for me to do this and to be on the dating apps and just stayed a little bit. So I’m thinking I’m going to just kind of quit pursuing it. I’m going to kind of quit going on dates, I think I’m already in the process of removing all the dating apps from my phone. And I’m just gonna let it naturally happen. Like if it’s meant to be and I was supposed to be with someone that will just naturally happen. And I said, Wait, hold on,

8:30 you want to stop dating? You want to stop with the dating apps? And you just want to let it happen? And she said, Yes, it just feels too stressful. I’m just not sure that I can keep it up. And then what she told me is that when things don’t go, well, then she gets frustrated, and she doesn’t like herself. So what she said is she’s like, Oh, I just think it would be best if I took a break. And I said okay, well you can if you want to. But let’s just talk through it for a minute. And what I could see as her coach was that she wanted out of the river of misery. The River of misery is all the stuff we have to think about ourselves that maybe doesn’t feel so good. All the feelings, we’ve got to feel all the actions that we got to take. And she was just wanting to let the marriage her future just sort of happened to her. Listen, when you get out of the river of misery when you decide to hop out and be on the shore. That River can’t take you where you’re wanting to go. So when I used to teach this to my clients, I used to put like, where you are like picture yourself a little stick person and where you want to be another little stick person on the opposite side of the page. And I used to teach this to my clients that the river of misery kind of ran in between, like picture one side of the Mississippi versus the other side of the Mississippi, okay. But after talking to her, what I decided is, the river of misery doesn’t run in between where we are now. And where we want to get to the river of misery is the only way. So picture, your two little stick people at the top of the river of misery, like in the Great Lakes in the United States. And the future version of you is the stick person at the bottom of the Mississippi River towards the Gulf of Mexico. That River is designed these experiences, the dating apps, the going on dates, all of these emotions are designed to carry us down to where we will end up, like for sure, if we stay in the river of misery. And what she was telling me is she’s like, well, I just don’t feel like it’s working. So I think I’ll just hop out. And what I’m saying is no, you got to stay in that thing. Like we got to keep feeling the feelings we got to keep on the dating apps, we got to keep getting ghosted by people, we got to keep having awkward dates, for as long as it takes. This is one thing I was thinking about is maybe right now we’re at the top of the Mississippi even clear up in like the Great Lakes area. And I know I talk a lot about weather, podcasts, and how much I don’t like being cold. So picture you’re like, up in the Great Lakes area, it looks like the datings not working, okay, it’s cold, we’re lonely. We’re just up there doing our thing. And we’re kind of miserable. And we want to get to the Gulf of Mexico down at the bottom of the river. That sunny, warm beachy spot is where we want to end up so we get in the river for a minute. We let it carry us and we’re cold and it’s kind of miserable. And sometimes we get stuck. And sometimes the rivers moving super fast. And sometimes we get splashed in the face. Sometimes the rivers moving slow. Sometimes we can’t even see our progress because the rivers moving so slow. But instead of just being like, Okay, we’re gonna stay here and let the river carry us down the river, we decide to hop out. The reason that we decide to hop out is because we don’t like the swirling thoughts. We don’t like the emotions. We don’t like not liking ourselves, we don’t like feeling frustrated. But listen, I’m all for surrender how she was like, I just want to let it happen. That’s great. As long as what you’re letting happen is your journey down the river. And it’s called the river of misery because it doesn’t feel good. Listen, anything that’s worth doing and worth accomplishing, is gonna give you some kickback is gonna give you some negative emotion.

13:18 Now, what most of the world does is the most of the world is like, okay, I guess this isn’t right, maybe I’ll just let things happen naturally, they give away their power, they step away from the river. And they end up just quitting. But listen, if you’re getting married is at the bottom of the river is on the Gulf of Mexico or whatever your goal is, if it’s finishing college, if it’s being proud of who you are at the end of your mission. If that’s at the bottom of the river, if that’s your beach on the Gulf of Mexico, you got to stay in that thing. You got to stay in the river. And I don’t care if sometimes you’re like swimming, and sometimes you’re in like a nice sailboat. And sometimes you’re just like doggy paddling. Or sometimes you’re in a canoe, like going down some rapids, you got to stay in. You got to let that river carry you. Now, there’s a couple of things that I want you to know with this analogy. Number one, sometimes it makes more sense to get out of the river and get in a different River. If the river is not getting you where you want to go, or if the river is causing too much harm. I don’t want you or anyone listening to this podcast to mistake what I’m saying. saying that we should stay in abusive relationships, or that we should stay out on our missions when we’re in a mental crisis. Like when things are really dicey. That is not what I’m saying at all. I don’t want you to drown In the river, it’s not what I’m saying it is the river of misery, but I don’t want you to drown there. If you are drowning, I say get some help have someone throw you a life preserver, whether that’s a life coach, or a therapist or whatever you need. And they’ll help you get to the side. And then we just need to get in a different River and a different river might look like I do a service mission or a different river might look like I come home from my mission, or a different river might even mean I leave a marriage or a different river might mean I leave this guy that I’ve been dating forever, because it’s too harmful. I’m drowning in the river, that is not what I’m talking about, I don’t want you to stay in the river. If that is the case, what I am talking about is all of us who just don’t really like to feel uncomfortable. Like, when you go, we’re gonna go to Disney World in a couple of weeks, with my whole family, and my son and his wife, and my other son and his fiancee. Anyway, I keep thinking about Kylie river rapids and how it’s the worst, when you try to plan you try to predict who’s gonna get drenched, and you can’t, it’s always so random. And then if you’re the person that gets just totally drenched, for any of you who haven’t been on it, it’s like a rapids kind of ride over an animal kingdom. Anyway, I always wear a poncho, because I don’t want to get drenched. But if you’re the one that gets drenched, it’s uncomfy. And we kind of want to get out, and we kind of want to be like, Okay, I’m not going to date anymore. But instead, if it is just you not wanting to feel uncomfy, that’s what I’m talking about. Because that’s your brain is trying to keep you stuck, it doesn’t want you in the river. It’s too hard, is what your brain thinks. So that’s what I’m talking about. Please don’t mistake what I’m saying. Secondly, if you don’t believe for certain that you will get what you want at the Gulf of Mexico, you’ll be tempted to get out of the river, you’ll get to St. Louis, on your journey down the river. And you’ll be like, I don’t know, this isn’t working. I’m out. What you have to start with. And this is what I started with my client is I was like, what if I had a crystal ball? And I knew for sure what if I decided, I have already seen the end of the movie client. And you’re married and happily married with an amazing human, and you have a family? Like, if we knew that that was possible that that is for sure. The result that we’re gonna get? Are you willing to stay in the river.

17:53 So you just have to fully decide and believe that it’s always working the rivers working, it’s taking you where you want to go. And that result is inevitable. For sure you’re going to graduate from college, don’t question it, believe in it wholeheartedly. For sure, you’re going to end up with the perfect person for you. And the marriage that you’ve always wanted. Don’t doubt it, just believe it know that it’s on the horizon. Because when it gets uncomfy, we can lean back on that, like, Oh, I know, this is where it’s going to take me. So let’s just stay in it. Let’s just keep going. Now, the last thing I need you to know is that our brain kind of tells us that once we get to the beaches on the Gulf of Mexico, that it’s always going to be perfect. Like once we’re married, or once we’re home from our mission, or once we leave the mission or once we’re graduated from college, and once we have a job, we’ll listen. What you need to know is your brain, that brain that is 50% positive and 50% Negative is gonna go with you down the river, and it’ll be with you at the Gulf of Mexico on the beach. And you’ll have other things to worry about when we were up in the Great Lakes area. We were kind of cold, we needed a jacket. We were shivering, maybe it was hard to find food, I don’t know whatever it was up there. We have a different set of things to worry about on the Gulf of Mexico, we got to worry about sunscreen and we have to have a completely different wardrobe. And by the way, if we’re in a warmer climate, there are bugs, it will be muggy there. So don’t let your brain trick you into thinking that life will be better at the Gulf of Mexico. It will be better but there will also be challenges there. The reason I like to think about it this way is because then we can just let go We aren’t desperate about getting to the Gulf of Mexico quickly. We’re not desperate to get married quickly. We’re not desperate to serve our mission quickly. We’re not desperate to just hurry and be done with school. We’re just like, Okay, well, this is what it is. Let’s keep going. There’ll be some good and bad when I get there to the river of misery is aptly named, because it feels absolutely terrible. Sometimes, like, there will be moments on your mission, where you just don’t like yourself, where you’re where you feel insecure, where you feel lonely, because you don’t know the language, there will be times in college afterwards, where you will feel that social anxiety where you will feel discouraged, where you will not like yourself, because you aren’t reading your scriptures, or whatever it is. It doesn’t feel great, it’s good for you to know. You are gonna be in some rapids, you’re gonna get maybe some sea sickness, because it’s so tumultuous, there’s times when it’s going to be moving so slowly this process, that you won’t even be able to see that it’s working at all, you’re gonna get splashed in the face. And most of the world’s like, Okay, I’m done with that. Let’s get out at St. Louis. What I want to say is like, No, you got to stay in, let the surrender happen, let things happen. But you got to stay in the river. Most of the world thinks that when the river gets tough, it’s time to get out. But I want to be like we but you didn’t get to the Gulf of Mexico, you didn’t get to the beaches. If you are down for the river for the highs and lows and the swirling and the sea sickness, I don’t know would we call it reverse sickness maybe. And for like the confusion and for the swimming and for the easy sailing. Sometimes if you’re down for all of that, which just represents your thoughts, your feelings, the actions you’re taking, the river will change you. This process of going down the river surrendering to it will make you a new version of you. Let’s say you never get married. I think you will. And it’s something that is totally available to you. But even if not, you will be a different human for having gone down the river

22:45 for having stayed in the river. These hard feelings, these difficult things. These challenges are what change us. Now listen, when you get to the Gulf of Mexico, you’re not going to be a better version of you. He’ll just be a new version of you. I like to think about it like Jennie to point out. When I get that goal that I’ve been working towards. I’ve been in the river of misery all the way down. I’ve seen it all the way through. I’m not better, because I’m married, or because I graduated. Because they finished my mission. I’m not better, just different. Kind of like a new version of your iPhone. Jennie 2.0. So here’s what I have for you guys. Get back in the river. If you’ve gotten out whatever it is that you’re trying to accomplish. If you’ve gotten out of the river, get back in, be willing to do the hard things, be willing to feel those feelings. Be willing to stay in the river of misery knowing that for sure it is the way to carry you to what you are meant to be. So here’s to the river of misery, it is the only way. So go ahead. Stay in. Keep swimming. start navigating your boat however you want to navigate it. And just keep going. Let it take you where you’re meant to be. Okay, everyone have the most amazing week. We will see you next time. Thanks so much for joining me on the podcast today. Listen, if you are learning a lot from this podcast and you like what you’re hearing, you will absolutely love hopping on a free strategy call with me. That’s where you and I meet up one on one and talk specifically about what is going on for you. I love teaching young adults the mental and emotional tools that they need to overcome worry and anxiety At serve the successful missions they’ve always dreamed of and navigate their post mission experience with confidence. So go to Jennie dildine.com and click on the work with me link. I would love to meet you. And I would love to get you some helpful tools and strategies to help you fully embrace whatever is next for you. And in the meantime, no matter which part of the mission experience you are involved in, just know that Jenny, the LDS mission coach is thinking about you every single day.

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Hey! I'm Jennie - The LDS Mission Coach.

Preparing for, serving and coming home from an LDS Mission can present countless changes and transitions. I’ve seen these changes put missionaries at the mercy of their emotions and questioning their abilities. With the tools I teach, young adults empower themselves to navigate every moment of the mission experience with epic, unwavering confidence.

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