episode 52 When Life's storms hit, what are you going to do

When Life’s Storm Hit, What Are You Going to Do?

#052 – When life’s storms hit, what are you going to do?

Sometimes life looks a lot different than you thought it was going to and it’s really easy to dwell on the disappointments or frustrations of things not being as you had planned. You get to determine what your experience is in your own life. No one else determines that for you.

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Full Transcript

Thank you for listening to Parenting Through the Detour. You’re listening to Episode 52 “When life storms hit, what are you going to do?”

Howard W Hunter said, “Your detours and disappointments are the straight and narrow way back to him.” Well, how are your detours going? Does it feel like everything’s gone wrong, and you don’t know what to do now. I’m Tina Gosney, a life and relationship coach for LDS parents, with adult children. And I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I’m going to help you find your footing again through those detours and disappointments. And when you find your strength, and your courage to navigate your own detours, you’re going to begin helping your family through theirs as well.

Welcome to the podcast today. I’m so glad to have you here. Now, there are some changes that are coming to the podcast soon. And I also have a new workshop that I am working on that I am going to be telling you about also really soon. So stay tuned in the next few weeks for the changes to the podcast and for more details about the workshop. Because I’m really looking forward to sharing both of the details of those with you.

For now you can sign up totally free for my three secrets to repairing your family relationships. masterclass, I’m delivering that live on June 30, July 14, and July 21. So go check the show notes to get signed up. Because if you’re wanting more peace and connection, authenticity, and confidence in your relationships, this is the right masterclass for you. If you find yourself thinking that somebody else has the ability to control how you feel and how you think, or if you feel like you’re on an emotional roller coaster, if you find yourself arguing and getting really defensive in your relationships.

If you’re feeling disconnected, maybe you’re like living a parallel life with someone that you want desperately to connect to. This is going to be a great masterclass for you. It’s totally free. Just sign up and show up. And when you show up, make sure you’ve got pen and paper and bring your questions. Any questions that you have, I’m there to help you. You won’t want to miss this class. While it’s totally free.

About 10 years ago, I learned about the Hiawatha trail. Now, if you don’t know what the Hiawatha trail is, can it give you a little bit of a description, but I suggest that you go and ask Google what the Hiawatha trail is because you’re gonna find out tons of information about it. And it’s super cool. But about 10 years ago, I heard about it for the first time.

And as soon as I heard about it, I was like, someday, I want to go do that. And my husband, I decided that this was the year that we were going to go ride the Hiawatha trail. It’s literally the only thing that we have planned for the summer. But this was the year that it was going to work out for us to go. And so we had been planning this for months. And we went earlier this month. And we were super, super excited. We watched all sorts of YouTube videos. And we talked to people that had been on it, and everybody was telling us how great it was.

We were super stoked, just super excited to go. And it’s about seven hours away from where we live. This trail is a bike trail, and it used to be an old train track. It borders the Idaho Montana border up in the northern part of the state both of the states. And it used to be an old train track that they have now converted into a bike trail. Well, this bike trail is about 15 miles long, and you’re gonna go through eight tunnels.

As you go through this bike trail. It’s actually almost all downhill. It’s a really, really slight grade downhill. So it’s not a super challenging bike ride. If you’re looking for a challenging bike ride, this is probably not the one that you want to do. But it is a really beautiful, scenic, gorgeous bike ride. And all the YouTube videos were just we just were getting so excited about going and looking at this beautiful scenery and anticipating what we were going to experience as we did this Hiawatha bike trail and you have to make reservations for it. So we were we had committed to be there on a certain day.

So this is what happened. We drove the seven hours that it takes to, to get from our house up to the trail. We were watching the weather before the few days before, there’s been a lot of rain up in that part of the country. In the last few weeks, we’ve been watching what was happening. And it looks like the day that we were going to be riding was going to be raining. So we decided, okay, we’ve driven seven hours, we It doesn’t matter if it’s raining, doesn’t matter if it’s 50 degrees, which is what it was, we’re still going to do this, because we’ve driven seven hours we’ve prepared, we we’ve been waiting for this all this time, we’re just going to go and do this.

And that’s what we did, put on our rain gear, got all of our waterproof stuff on. And we knew that just part of us was going to get wet. And so we were just prepared. So what happened was, we got there, we put all of our rain gear on, we got our bikes ready. And it was raining and it rained the entire time. It had been raining actually for days.

So the trail was already really muddy, and really pretty well saturated. And there was a lot of puddles on the trail. It wasn’t really what we had looked forward to, or what we had planned. Because all of the people that we talked to, none of them said anything about if it rains, and maybe none of them went through it in the rain. And all of the YouTube videos that we watched that talked about the trail, it was always showing sunny and warm. But we didn’t get sunny and warm.

We got rain, cold, and mud, we could have decided not to go. But we really didn’t want to do that we really just wanted to go through with what we had planned. And I’m sure that people that had planned to be there that day that many of them probably changed their plans, when they saw that there was going to be rain, we could have totally decided not to go. Because we wanted what we were planning on what we thought we were gonna get was sunshine and warm weather. But that’s not what we got. We we decided to do it anyway.

So we rode the trail, and we saw other people along the trail. Now it wasn’t super crowded, I’m guessing that a lot of people did decide not to go. Or they maybe were just going to come later in the summer because this was the first part of June. But there was some people also on the trail and we saw some people that were really unhappy that were very unhappy about the rain, and they were complaining about the rain and and talking about how how muddy and wet and cold they were.

And just having that grimacing, very angry look on their face, sometimes as they rode bias. And some people who rode that trail, I’m sure they were like, trying to get through it as fast as possible. And it was almost like they were saying with their body language, they were saying, I don’t want to be here, I’m just going to do it as fast as possible. And I don’t even care if I enjoy it. I’m just going to do it. We saw all of those things. We also saw people that were really enjoying themselves. We also saw that the trail wasn’t really crowded, because again, we think people probably decided to not come. And we saw actually we saw some kids that were crying.

Their parents were trying to encourage them on sometimes a little forcefully, sometimes really nicely. But we saw kids that were crying that we’re kind of miserable along the trail. But we also saw some people that were stopping even in the rain. And they were stopping and they were enjoying the scenery and they were taking pictures. And you know what, the scenery looks so much different. When it’s not sunny. It looked different than it did in all the pictures that we saw before we went it was still beautiful and gorgeous.

And we were actually up in the clouds. We felt like at times we were level with the clouds. And we saw scenery that we would not have seen if we had gone when it was really sunny. And there’s really these, these tunnels. Some of them are pretty short, but there’s one that’s almost two miles long. It’s 1.7 miles long. Now when you go through a tunnel that is 1.7 miles long. Here’s what happens. It’s super dark. You can’t see anything.

So when you ride the Hiawatha trail It’s required that you have a light on your bike or you have a headlamp, because it does get pitch black in the dark tunnels. What also happens in those tunnels is they’re cold, they’re really cold, it was 50 degrees outside the tunnel, it was probably 30 degrees inside the tunnel, there was water that was running in and it had been running and for years. And it smelled pretty bad. It was really dark, it was really dank, it was really smelly. And there was a lot of puddles that if you didn’t see them, it’d be really easy to slip and fall and just land in the mud. Now, this almost two mile tunnel happened at the very beginning. In fact, you just start right out on the trail. And there you are right into that first tunnel.

And that is the longest tunnel. And I remember going through this tunnel feeling like I think that we’re close to the end. I think that I see a light up there. And I asked my husband, I said, Do you know where we’ve gone? He said, Yeah, we’ve gone maybe a quarter of a mile. I was saying, Are you kidding me? It feels like we’ve been in here for a really long time. It feels like we should be through it by now. And he said, I know just seemed like a long time.

But we’re not even close to halfway. It was so interesting to me that my perception of it, I want it to be at least halfway I wanted to be close to the end. Because that going through that tunnel, though it was kind of cool. It was not a super fun experience to be in. Again, it smelled bad. It was super cold and wet. And it was so dark. Now, I’m not telling you this just to tell you about the trip that we took. And now it was raining. But I had this whole experience come to me as we were riding our bikes through the Hiawatha trail that life often is so similar to the Hiawatha trail, we often yx plan and expect something that we’re looking forward to in our lives for a long time.

And when it gets there, it turns out to be a very different experience than what we thought we were gonna get. But you know what, when we talk to everybody else about their experiences, when they got to that do that thing that were looking forward to doing their experiences were in the sunshine, their experiences were in the warm, and in the sunny and in the happy times. And when you get there, what do you get? Sometimes you get the cold and the wet and the rain. And in the mud too.

Sometimes you get the mud, and everybody else got the sunshine. And it’s really easy to feel robbed. When that happens. It’s really easy to to look around and compare yourself to everybody else and say, Why don’t I get to have this experience that everybody else did? Why does everybody else get to do that? And have it be such a great, wonderful experience. And I’m here doing it in the cold and the wet in the rain. It’s so easy to compare.

And we go through these tunnels, it feels like sometimes we get thrown into this tunnel, right? Where we feel like everything is dark. Everything is just closing in around us. We don’t like how we feel the things that are going on around us just feel cold and dark and isolating. And we wonder am I even halfway out of this, I’ve got to be like I’ve been in here for so long. I’ve been in this dark place for so long. I’ve got to be close to the end. But we don’t really know how far the end is in life. We don’t know when that end is coming. We can guess we don’t really know when it’s coming.

Because although we knew that tunnel was 1.7 miles, when we get thrown into the muddy, wet, cold, dirty times of our lives. When things aren’t going the way that we want to and it feels like everything’s falling apart when we get thrown into that. It’s really hard to think about how long do I have to do this? How long is this tunnel going to last? How long am I going to be in here? Sometimes if we knew the answer to that, we would just check out if we knew how long it was going to be. We would say I can’t do that and we would just stop.

But I think it’s a blessing to not know because we just keep going and we keep going and we and we are sure that that light is coming. We’re going to be out of this tunnel really soon. Even though it feels really long, we know we’re going to be out of this tunnel soon. And so we just keep going until we see the light at the end of the tunnel. And that’s the way it’s supposed to be, we’re not supposed to know when the end of our tunnels are coming. We just gotta keep going.

And keep riding a bike and keep putting one foot in front of the other until we see the end of the tunnel. And we go back out into the daylight again. Now, the way that you tell the story about your tunnels about your bike ride in the rain, and the mud and the cold, is going to determine how you experience your life. How do you tell your story, remember, I said there was a lot of people, we saw a lot of different people on the trail. Some of them were just trying to get through as fast as they can. And we could just see like, they were just trying to go as fast as they can get it over with, I don’t want to be here. Yeah, I came.

But I really don’t want to be doing this, I’m just gonna go and like zip through it as fast and I’m not going to enjoy anything along the way. And then there was people who were, you could just see on their face, they were not happy to be there. They the kids especially I remember the face of a couple of kids that were like tears streaming down crying. And these were small children, these were like under the age of 10. But just crying and the parents saying you can do it Come on, you can go not very much farther, we’ll take a break up there.

You could experience it like that, too. You can just hate every minute of it. You can also be like the other people that we saw, and you can stop, you can appreciate that the things that you’re seeing the scenery along the way. Isn’t the scenery that you thought you were gonna see, but it’s still beautiful. And it doesn’t matter if it’s the same as everybody else’s, you get to determine how you will look at that scenery. How when you get thrown into these dirty, muddy bike rides of life? How do you look at the scenery around you? How are you looking at the things that you’re experiencing?

Even if they’re different than somebody else’s? And you always thought your experience was going to be like theirs? But it’s not? What story? Are you telling yourself? How are you looking at that? A lot of people this is what happens to them is they just check out. They start buffering. And I’ve done an episode on buffering before. But I just want to remind you what that is. Buffering are things that we do to avoid the emotions of our life to avoid the hard things of our life.

And it’s a way of numbing ourselves because our emotions are too hard and too painful to feel. So we just check out we check out by emotionally eating by shopping, spending money, because we get a little hit of dopamine from shopping. Sometimes we just go back to bed. Like it’s just hard to get out of bed. And I’m just going to sleep. If I sleep more, I won’t have to feel this feeling anymore. Sometimes we just zone out with video games or Netflix or social media. Sometimes we over exercise, we just work our bodies to the core. Because that feels like something we can control.

And it’s a numbing exercise. And it’s a numbing activity to just go after that, and ignore the things that are going on the muddy, the muddy, dirty bike ride. That’s what buffering looks like. In fact, the two most common buffers that we’re going to find in this world are overeating, over drinking. And overworking How many of you keep yourself super busy, because that just lets you avoid the things that are going on in your life? Well, when you do this, it’s like living on the outside of your life. It’s like you’re not allowing yourself to experience the 50/50 of life. You only want to experience the positive and you’re going to numb yourself with the negative. But actually the negative has more negative effects on the other side. So you’re compounding the negativity in your life when you do this. Instead of just allowing that negativity to be there without fighting it.

Another way to handle this that some people do A lot of people do is they just get angry. And they start taking it out on other people. You take it out on other people around them. Have you ever heard the phrase, hurt people, hurt people, people that are hurting inside, tend to spill that hurt out onto the world. So when you are looking at your dirty, muddy cold bike ride, this experience that you’re having in your life that you don’t want to be having, and you’re angry about it, and you’re hurt about it, and you’re comparing yourself to other people, you’re going to let that spill out onto other people, you’re gonna start hurting other people in the process of you trying to deal with your own pain.

By the way that you’re looking at that experience, when I was thinking about this anger piece about how hurt people just turn around and hurt people, I was reminded, we just watched the 2017 version of Jumanji just recently and, and how the dad whose son disappeared years earlier, just went to a really dark place. And he was known as that really mean guy on the block.

And no one even wanted to walk by his house. And they showed his house and it just looked so dark and uninviting. And, and just like an angry place to be. And he showed up on the sidewalk and talked to one of the lead characters, and was not very nice. And he just looked like he’s so hard.

Like he was just angry. His son had gone missing years before and he was just angry about it. Well, that’s what it’s like. That’s who we start to turn into. When we just look at the pieces of our life that we wish were different, that we wanted to be different, that we’re not happy about that everybody else gets to do it that way. And I have to do it this way, we start to turn into angry people. And we just let that anger spill out into the world. Now sometimes that anger is directed inward, it’s not directed outward, but it goes in inside of us, and we hold on to it.

And we start dwelling on ways that we have failed and our past mistakes and our past failures. We start second guessing our own decisions. We don’t even trust ourselves anymore. Because we have so much anger towards ourselves. And we’re not valuing ourselves or the life that we have. And that anger directed inwards or outwards can be very detrimental to your health, when you hold on to it, and you don’t let it go, can start causing all sorts of health problems for you.

So what do you do, when you have this thing that you’ve been looking forward to for so many years and you and you find that your situation, you get to do it in the cold and the wind and the rain, and everybody you know, got to do it in the sunshine and in the warm? Well, this is what it looks like. You start accepting where you are. You start thinking things like, this is not what I wanted, but it’s where I am. And that’s okay. And you let yourself feel the emotions that come with that new reality.

Whatever those emotions are, you let yourself feel them instead of reacting or numbing them. And you give yourself some time to regroup. You push ahead when you have the strength and you take a break when you need it. You listen to your own body, you and your own spirit and you honor what you need for yourself. And when you’re in the middle of that tunnel, and you can’t stop and you just have to keep going.

You have that little flashlight that just gives you just tells you where the next step, just the next step, where do I need to go. And you just keep going the next step and then one more step. And then one more step till you get to the end of the tunnel. But at the end of the tunnel, you find you’re still in the cold and the wind and the rain. You have to sometimes you got to just sit down and take a break, which is what we did on the Hiawatha trail. We got through one of those tunnels and we were like, Okay, I just need to breathe for a minute. And that’s okay.

And another thing you do is you look for things that you appreciate and that you’re grateful for along the way. There was a there was a time that we were grateful that it was only sprinkling and it wasn’t pouring. We were just so grateful to not be in the pouring rain and just to be in this sprinkling rain. That felt so good. There was a time when we pulled off the path and we went and looked at this beauty canyon with the clouds that were right there. And we’re like, this is so gorgeous. If we had been here in the sunshine, we would not have been able to see this.

Because those those people that did in the sunshine, they didn’t get to see that, we got to see that. Another thing you do is, you decide on purpose, how you want to tell the story of your own experience. Because you are the one that gets to decide that you might not have a choice as to whether to ride your bike in the sunshine or the rain, you might just get thrust into the rain. But you can still decide how you want to think and feel about that bike ride. It is not automatically decided for you, you get to decide that when there was very different people riding that trail with us.

There was a lot of different stories going on in people’s heads as we rode that trail, we could see it on their face. We knew what story they were telling and how their experience of that trail was going as we passed them. Now, if you’re like my clients, you might be saying, Okay, so I’m in the wind and the cold and the rain and the mud. But I’m just telling the truth, like this is not okay, this just stinks. And I don’t want to be here. And these people are treating me terribly.

And so my clients, usually what they say is I’m just telling the truth as how it is. I’m just telling it how it is I’m just being a realist. And this is what I tell them, I say, Well, you get to decide what your truth is. Because not everybody that’s in your same situation tells the story just like you. So how can that be an absolute truth? It’s your reality. It’s not somebody else’s reality. Every everyone has their own version of truth. So just think about an absolute truth versus a relative truth.

And to say that something is absolutely true means that is is independently true for all people, even if they don’t know or recognize that to be true. So the opposite of absolute truth is relative truth. And that just says that something is relatively true means that it can be true for one person and not for another that you could we could see that directly on the Hiawatha trail.

One person’s truth was they were absolutely not happy to be there. Another person’s truth was, this is the best thing ever. I love this. They got to decide what story they told what was their truth. You also get to decide what your story is and what your truth is. Because everyone has their own version of truth. And what you tell yourself about an experience is the relative truth. It’s not an absolute truth. Other people see it differently than you. And you’ll get to determine how you see the experience. You get to determine how you’re going to ride your bike ride through the rain.

Are you going to enjoy the scenery? Are you going to find things you’re grateful for? Are you going to take a deep breath and give yourself the time that you need to regroup when you need it? Or are you going to be trying to rush your way through it and grimacing and crying and angry all the way through. Now we looked forward to that Hiawatha trail for 10 years. But when the time came, it was a very different experience than we had wanted it to be, or that we expected it to be.

There were there were a couple of times that we got kind of enveloped in big groups that were riding past us. And it was so easy to get separated in those times we got kind of crowded out, we weren’t riding next to each other at that point. And those groups were loud and they some of them were laughing and some of them were complaining. And it was really easy to listen to what was going on around us. It was really easy to listen to the laughing and get caught up in that it was really easy to listen to the complaining and let that influence us. But it would have been super easy to allow ourselves to be influenced by them.

Don’t let the crowds voice drowned out your voice. Don’t let it drowned out what you want to hear. Decide on purpose, how you want to think about your bike ride. And don’t let someone else’s voice be louder than the voice in your own head. And you decide on purpose. What that voice in your head says no one else can determine that for you. You get to determine what that voice in your head says and how you interpret the truth of what You’re going through.

Because every experience in your life has something to teach you. And what you focus on is going to grow larger in your life. It will go to grow larger in your brain. Are you focusing on something that you want to learn from and something you want to be grateful for? Or are you focusing on something that’s going to lead you into a bitter and angry road?

Don’t ever let your experience of something be bigger than what you learned from it. The story you tell yourself will be what you believe. So make sure that the story that you tell yourself is a story that you want to live.

So that’s what I have for you today. If anybody wants to go write that Hiawatha trail, I had a friend tell me that she thinks that all the passes are sold out for this year, but maybe put it on your bucket list. And then when you go and write the Hiawatha trail, email me a picture I want to see it. I want to see what your weather was like that day and how your experience of the trail was.

But before you do that, go sign up for my free masterclass three secrets to repairing your family relationships. Like I said, I’ve got three dates coming up July, June, June 30, July 14, and July 21. So go to the show notes, go click on the link and get signed up for that.

And I want you to remember that your detours and disappointments do not define your family and they do not define you. Have a great day and I’ll see you next week.