61. When You’re in a Mental Seesaw

Ever feel like you’re on a mental seesaw?  Maybe you think you’ve made peace with something in your mind, but then it keeps coming back up.  It might be because your brain likes to go to shame and when shame doesn’t feel good, it likes to go to blame.

In this episdoe you will learn:

•The clues of how to know if you are stuck because of shame and blame

•Which areas of our lives and missions we often find the mental seesaw

•Why our brains want us to stay stuck

•How to hop off the mental seesaw and start moving forward

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Mentioned on the Podcast:

Better Than Happy with Jody Moore: Episode 230 – The Shame, Blame Trap

Better Than Happy with Jody Moore: Episode 369 – How to Help Your Missionary with Jennie Dildine

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 61. When you’re in a mental seesaw, I’m Jennie, 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. Hey, everybody, and welcome to the podcast. Thanks so much for hanging out with me today. I love that you’re here. I love that you’re listening. I love that you care about your missionary or that you’re a missionary yourself and that you care about your mental and emotional well being. Thanks for being here. This is important work that we’re doing here. And I just am so excited to get the word out more to more missionaries and families and missionaries. So it’s so awesome. I wanted to remind you that recently I was on a podcast with my friend and mentor Jody more her better than happy podcasts. And if you have not checked it out, you 100% should go check out her podcast. On that podcast, we talked about how this podcast can also be accessed on Facebook. And at the time, when I recorded that podcast with God, you could. But then Facebook decided that they weren’t going to host podcasts anymore. Totally fine. Facebook gets to do whatever they want to do. And I’m totally happy with it. But it kind of left me in a little bit of a bind, because I really want to get more of these tools out to the missionaries that are currently serving. So if you have a missionary that’s currently serving a mission, I’ve decided to put this podcast on a Google Drive for them. So if you want your missionary or if you are a missionary, and you have a companion or someone else who wants access to this podcast via Google Drive, I just want to do that for you totally free. So all you got to do is send me an email Jenny with an IE at Jennie dildine.com. And I will make sure that you get access to that Google Drive for the podcast. What is going on in our lives, we are just headed straight into school, school supplies, all of the fun things my kids are trying to eke out every last drop of summer that they can. Because we’re heading into school. I don’t know about you guys, I don’t have strong feelings about like, summer’s the best or schools the best or whatever. What I kind of always feel is that about the time that the kids are getting bored, we’re ready for a little bit more routine. We go back to school, and about the time that we’re kind of sick of the routine and sick of the events. And all of that is When summer comes I feel like it’s actually a pretty awesome balance. And I like that a lot. So that’s kind of where we’re at my kids start school on Tuesday, I’ll have a senior in high school, a sophomore in high school, and then my daughter is going to be in fifth grade. Other than that my two oldest boys are down in Provo with their wives. We’ve got some nursing school, we’ve got some gent generals that they’re studying. Lots of fun and exciting things always happening. So I love it. Today, I want to teach you a concept that I learned from Jody Moore. And I first was introduced to this concept.

4:16 I think on a podcast. I’ve been working in her program as well as having my own clients for over a year now. And I know that I knew this concept way before that. I went through her faith based coaching, advanced training. So I can’t remember exactly when I learned this concept. She has a podcast about it. It’s called the shame blame trap. And I was as I was thinking about this concept, and I’ve seen it start to come up a lot with some of the clients that I’ve been working with. I I have this picture you guys maybe will start to notice that I like I’m a very visual person. So I have lots of analogies and ways that I see things in my head. So I came up with this concept of maybe that we might be in a mental seesaw. And one of the reasons that we might be in a mental seesaw kind of going back and forth, or sometimes it feels like we’re at war with ourselves or with at war with our brain, is because of this thing called the shame blame trap. What the shame blame trap is, is there’s two ways that we can think about a situation. Well, there’s way more ways that we can think about a situation but we’ll know if we’re in a shame blame trap, when we kind of bounce back and forth between the feeling of shame about ourselves, and the feeling of blame for other people. So this is why I kind of thought of one of those seesaws is that one end of the spectrum, we have a thought that sounds like something is wrong with me. Like this, and I’m gonna give you tons of examples, but something is wrong with me. And that’s the way I’ve the reason that I feel the way that I do. But on the other end of the spectrum, is something is wrong with them. Like the other person that’s involved. So something is wrong with me causes shame, or something is wrong with them causes blame. Okay? And what ends up happening is we end up bumping back and forth between the two. Now, as you know, I don’t even think see houses are legal anymore, are they on playgrounds, I remember when I was little, my grandma Swinson used to teach third grade, and we would go to the seesaw at her place. And it was so long that if someone like decided to just like, push down and stay down, I would be stuck in the air and pretty high. Okay. So until that person was willing to give a little bit then I could go down. But often that this kind of see sighing back and forth, like it’s their fault, it’s my fault. It’s their fault. It’s my fault keeps us stuck. It’s this idea like, either I’m holding myself back. And there’s something fundamentally wrong with me. Or they’re holding me back. And there’s something fundamentally wrong with them, or the way that they’re handling the situation. So why do we do this? It’s like so many other things that we talk about on this podcast, is, it’s because of our lower brain, it is a tactic to keep us stuck. Now, why is it a problem at all that we get into this shame, blame trap, because what happens is when we think something is wrong with me, and we go into shame, shame feels terrible. It feels really, really yucky. Have any of you experienced shame before? Yeah, it’s not it’s not the most favorite feeling to feel. But and so that feels terrible. So our brain doesn’t like that emotion. So ping pongs it back over seesaw, is it back over to blame. But then when we’re in blame, that doesn’t feel very good either. Because I think all of us sort of, especially if we have any awareness at all, or, you know, we know these tools at all, we know that we want to be autonomous, we want to make decisions about the way that we think and feel. So it kind of feels uncomfy to blame someone else. So then we just pop back to shame. And all of this is a problem because of the way it makes us show up in our lives. So shame, usually equals hiding.

9:15 And blame usually means delegating. And what I mean by this is shame is hiding from an emotion or from a situation or from confronting ourselves. Blaming is delegating our experience delegating our emotion, delegating the way that we think to someone else. Both of those feel terrible. So here are a couple examples of where I’ve seen this shame blame trap. Okay, I’ll give you the first example. Is maybe just as like a mom, who’s dealing with Kids and all the thing you know all of their activities and all of that, I’ll always remember, when my kids were a little bit younger, the three that are still at home now, when we would drive home from the middle school every single day, they would fight. Okay, and so I would just have I blamed them every day for like the bad mood I was in when they got home from the middle school, because they would fight every day on the way home from school, I would blame them. I would think like, I was annoyed, I was frustrated, I was irritated because of them. But then blaming them didn’t feel very good. So then I would go to shame, which mean, which sounded something like, Well, I must be a bad mom, if I can’t figure out how to get them to stop fighting. It first one’s like this is about them. And one, the other one is, this is about me. So I’m going to give you a couple more examples. One of my clients who is not a young adult, she’s married and has her own children. She was telling me about this situation with a woman who kind of came at her in the classroom last year with all the COVID and stuff, a parent kind of showed up unannounced, I can’t remember if it was after school, showed up unannounced and kind of came at her and started accusing her and telling her, you know, all of the things that had gone wrong so far during that school year. Well now is that school year is getting closer. Her brain is she’s feeling kind of worried about the school year, she’s worried about the parents are gonna think she’s worried about how she’s going to show up if she’s going to show up. Not the way she wants to. So what I noticed, as we were talking about it is she would say things like, well, she that woman, she did it wrong. She shouldn’t have attacked me that way. She shouldn’t have shown up that way. She should have been on my side, she should have just, like understood where I was coming from. Right? Do you see the blame? Then she was kind of bumping over to shame. She was like, but you know what, I really should have handled it better. I can’t believe I showed up that way. Really, I maybe didn’t do that good as a teacher during COVID. See, there’s the shame. So notice how that’s either something was wrong with that woman, or something is wrong with me. Okay, I have another example for you. Sometimes we get into shame, blame trap with our past, we can get into this mental seesaw. I hear people say things like, well, because of what happened. You know, in high school, I can’t have the kind of self confidence that I want to have. Because of these people, and what they said to me and the way they treated me in high school, I can’t like myself. Okay, so that’s kind of blame. But then what happens is that feels kind of terrible. And then our brains will pop over to, well, guess what? There, I guess there’s something wrong with me. Because I should have been able to handle what those kids said in high school, I should have been able to show up as myself, regardless of what however they were behaving towards me. So notice, again, it’s something’s wrong with them, or something’s wrong with me. Sometimes, we get in a shame blame trap in our relationships. And I shared one already about my kids. I have another one of a missionary who decided that all of the emotion that she was feeling was because of the way that her district leader was showing up.

14:14 So she was like, I wouldn’t be so stressed if my district leaders did an ABC. Right? That is blame. That’s delegating our stress to someone else. But then what would happen is that blame doesn’t feel good, so then she’d ping pong back over seesaw back over to shame. And she would be like, actually, there’s something wrong with me. I shouldn’t feel so stressed. If I would only just be more confident. If I would only just be more calm, then I wouldn’t be stressed. So you could see this also in a relationship with your boss at work. My boss just makes my life so miserable. We’re blaming Seeing the boss for the experience that we’re having at work and for the emotions that we feel, or we ping pong over to like shame. Well, you know, what’s actually probably true is that I’m the worst, I probably could be showing up so much better. And if I could just get myself together, I’d be able to show up better at work. The last way, and I’m sure it’s not the only way that we use shame, blame. But another way that I’ve seen is in our relationship with God, which is super interesting, right? Is we’re like, blame God for the struggles that we’re having, or for the way that we feel. But then that feels terrible. And so we pump back over to shame, which sounds like this must be a me thing. I’m not enough, I’m not doing good enough. I’m not spiritual enough. I’m not showing up in a certain way. So this is my thing. What tends to happen, when we bounce back and forth between shame and blame, we just get stuck. Our brain loves it, we just bounce back and forth, and back and forth, and back and forth. The other example I have for you, I just thought of one more is when we break up with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Okay, we want to blame them for the way that they behaved for the way that they showed up for the person that they were for how they treated us, which feels terrible to blame them, because we kind of know like, we’re, we get to be in charge of our emotions. So instead, we bumped back over to shame, which is like, Oh, I bet the reason we’re not together is because of me. Because I’m not a good person, because I’m the worst because I’m not good enough. Okay, so that’s just another good illustration. But let me tell you how to get out of this stuck feeling, or this mental seesaw, or this shame blame trap. And I was thinking about this. If we got to the point on the seesaw, do you know what I’m talking about when someone when someone’s trying to get off, what we don’t want to have happen is if the person that’s on the bottom part of the seesaw, if they just hopped off all of a sudden, then the person who was higher up in the high position would just like crash to the ground. Okay, so I was thinking about this as I was a kid. And what we both have to sort of do is we’d sort of have to like move a little bit to the middle, we’d like, kind of go over the handlebars a little bit, if we could, we’d move to the middle. And then we both tried to sort of get off at the same time. That was the only way really for us to get off of this seesaw without someone completely crashing and burning or without getting stuck or kind of trapped up in the high position. What does this middle area represent this kind where we kind of scoot to the middle, where we kind of both get off at the same time. In the middle of the seesaw is acceptance of our humaneness. And there’s

18:36 so what this sounds like for my client, who was the teacher, she still is a teacher. What that sounds like for her is like, Oh, I see that that woman’s lower brain was kind of freaking out. She had a bunch of thoughts that created a bunch of feelings and drove a set of actions. And that’s how she showed up. She was having a human experience. Same with me. I was having a bunch of thoughts. In fact, if we kind of think about it, her brain felt very threatened, almost like a tiger was coming after her. So it made a lot of sense that she was showing up as a human as well in the way that she showed up. The second thing that we can do is we can not only just accept their humaneness, but we can surrender to it. Sort of like oh, this is the part where we all get to be human together. So let’s take the example of the breakup. Okay, so boyfriend, ex boyfriend, being kind of a jerk, which is a human thing for us to all do. From time to time, right? Sometimes, maybe I’m a jerk to totally human. Let’s just surrender to being Humans and just love it all and be okay with all of it. The third thing is to understand that all of us are doing it a little bit right? And a little bit wrong. So let’s use the example of these district leaders. Is the truth is, is the district leaders? Probably were doing it a little bit right? And totally wrong. But what’s also true is this sister missionary was probably doing it a little bit right. And a little bit wrong, too. And it’s totally fine. We all get to do life a little bit, right, quote, unquote, and wrong, quote, unquote. It’s all good, you guys. And I don’t even like to use the word right and wrong, because what what that district leader sees is right and wrong is different than what that missionary saw is right and wrong. And so they’re both, quote, unquote, right? And they’re both, quote unquote, wrong. If we can get out of blame, if we can get out of this delegating, we step into what’s called Emotional adulthood, which is where we take complete ownership of every experience that we have, instead of blaming the district leaders or blaming that woman that comes into the classroom, or blaming our past, or blaming our kids, or blaming our boss or blaming God, or like, Oh, I know, I’m always the Creator. Always the creator of my emotions, is sort of like when I realized that my kids on the way home from the middle school couldn’t make me annoyed. The only thing that was annoying me was my thoughts. You know, my thought was, Kid shouldn’t fight. Okay? So that’s called Emotional adulthood, when we accept complete ownership, for every emotion that we’re feeling. The way that we get out of shame, is we just accept that we’re a 5050. Person. Sometimes we’re amazing, and it’s awesome. And sometimes we’re not. And that’s okay. We’re not supposed to be really, it’s in the like, not so awesome. 50% where we find the most growth actually, and those change, and the most transformation. So it’s all totally good. Okay. So if you find yourself in this little bit of a mental seesaw, they’re wrong, something’s wrong with them. Something’s wrong with my mission, something’s wrong with my circumstance. And we’re blaming, or then you ping pong back to something must be wrong with me or I wouldn’t be having this experience or this emotion at all. I want you to go to the middle of the seesaw. Where we create acceptance, where you create, like peace, abundance, and when we get out of the shame, blame trap. We accept their humaneness and ours. We surrender to their humaneness and ours. And we understand that all of us capital A ll all of us

23:38 are always doing it a little bit right. And a little bit wrong. And it’s totally fine. All right, you guys. I hope you have the most amazing week. Thanks for hanging out with me. We will see you next time. Thanks so much for joining me on the podcast today. Listen, if you’re 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 orient anxiety, 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’re involved in. Just know that Jennie 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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