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Expectations vs. Hope

This short episode is packed.

We encourage you to listen, then let it all settle in and listen again.

Josh and Kit unpack a lot on the big topic of Expectation vs Hope in a little amount of time. There’s a lot to process here on the definitions of both concepts.

When you were little, you were probably taught a happiness equation suggesting “Life’s going to be great as long as you (fill in the blank).”  But, that equation subtracts the realistic bumps (or worse) in the road. 

This conversation challenges that idea while exploring Expectations and Hope in relation to your contentment.

Change the narrative and invite God into life, whatever it brings.

Highlights:

Things are going to be challenging and things are going to go in ways you don’t expect. God will meet you there. What if you were told that as a young person?

Hope in God is not in the specific end that I might expect or anticipate or be working towards; but it’s in a Sovereign God.

It can really be helpful to seek to hear God with somebody else who’s got a little more experience in discerning God’s voice

Homework:

Pray and LISTEN for what God has for your life. Pray with these questions:

What does Hope look like in my life?

How do You want me to be thinking about the expectations I have in my life?

How do You want me to be thinking about Hope?

Click for Full Podcast Transcription

Kit 0:04
If you work in the field of relational sexual restoration, like the work we do at regeneration for very long, eventually you run into and usually it doesn’t take very long you run into the issue of trauma. Because trauma that people have experienced in their lives, whether in the past or in the mirror past, deeply impacts somebody’s capacity to self regulate, to build healthy relationships, to walk through present day difficulties, and so much more. And so whether it’s past sexual abuse, divorce, or the loss of a parent, whether it’s a present day trauma of discovering that a husband or wife has been unfaithful, and you didn’t know about it, all of these things can deeply impact somebody’s ability to become more whole. And so today, we’re going to talk a little about trauma. And, and specifically, we’re gonna talk about the role of self compassion and self kindness when it comes to really healing some of the deep wounds of trauma. So, Kitt jump in here, and just share a little about about what that means WHY, WHY self compassion, why kindness, and I know you have some categories, specifically, that we’re going to talk about to, you know, the concept of self compassion is a very vital part of healing. You know, and when we talk about trauma, we can often find that the trauma that we see with people we work with is childhood trauma, not always, but often. And so the idea of compassion with ourselves actually has been shown to strengthen our nervous systems. And it gives ourselves attachment repair. So this is really important, you know, so there’s physiological things that happen, emotional, spiritual things that happen as we learn to be self compassionate to ourselves in our places of wounding. So let me let me jump in for a second, because I think when you talk about repair,

for those who don’t know much about trauma, I think it’s been, it was kind of a new thing for me to learn that trauma, even even emotional trauma. Whenever there’s there is a trauma somebody experiences, it actually is an imprint on the body, it’s not just a memory that somebody has, if something bad had happened, it actually imprints itself on the body. And there’s a, it impacts that the nervous system in some ways that are, you know, beyond my paygrade to understand, but and so, so you’re talking about when we’re talking about compassion, self compassion, self kindness, we’re really talking about something that that that has a capacity to repair something bodily, for somebody who’s experienced trauma,

yes. And emotionally and spiritually. And you know, there’s so much variability, Josh, and trauma, you know, there’s little t trauma, there’s big t trauma, there’s all kinds of variability. But I think people are surprised when they tell their story. And they talk about incidents that they had as a child, how that was traumatic, that impacted you mind, body spirit in a way that’s affecting you, even now, you can reflect on the fact that, oh, I can tie this back to them in some of these things we’re talking about today are ways, you know, thoughts and attitudes that can repair some of those wounds.

Yeah, so if you’re listening, we really want to encourage you, I think what you what you just said in regards to small t trauma, big t trauma, the reality that there’s their traumas that happen all at once, you know, a bomb was dropped, and it was a sudden and violent experience for somebody. There’s also trauma that happens. It’s a lower grade experience that happens over a prolonged period of time. Even even the pandemic that we’re living through right now, this is a traumatic experience. There’s an imprint that can take place in somebody’s life as we live day in and day out hyper vigilance and have that kind of scenario. So so we can’t get into all the different ways that trauma impacts somebody. But as you’re, as you’re listening today, we’d encourage you just to consider things that you might have considered in your past as Yeah, there was a wounding experience that was a difficult experience. Begin being curious about was that a traumatic experience did that was there something that kind of moved upon me in a way that that actually is left an imprint? But can you talk about these, some of the, the the statements of kindness that and let’s talk about that a little bit.

So one is I am capable. Okay, another one is, it’s okay to disappoint people. This one I really think is important to talk about. I have choices. Right? I can set boundaries. I am loved no matter what. I’m valuable. can ask for support. It’s okay to need help. My emotions give me information. This is really important. My body supports me another really important one are body. So my body supports me gives us information. I’m responsible for only myself, which that can be, you know, a tricky one for us to fathom. It’s okay to take care of myself. This emotion is temporary. And I am Beloved. And I read that list Josh, it’s so met me personally, I thought I need to really ponder these things. And I thought of so many people that I work with, and how I wanted to share it with them as well. Hmm.

What is it strikes me about that list? Is those those affirmations and this this comes from the book try softer by

Chinese softer by Andi kolber. And we’ll have that in the show notes. I highly recommend it.

Yeah. So she’s she talks about this as these are affirmations that help with attachment repair. And one of the things I noticed about this list is that it’s they’re all i statements and my statements. And I think for for those of us who experienced trauma, it can it can feel that can count feel counterintuitive, like Wait, what if this is relational? If this is relational repair, attachment repair, then then, you know, why is it so I centered? I know for me, that’s been a growth point to recognize Well, actually, because your, your half of the attachment, your half of the relationships you need, you need to have repair and your capacity for attachments. If you’re going to have healthy relationships today, you’re going to experience comfort, love, validation affirmation from other people than then your ability to attach needs to be repaired. Yeah. So we’ll get you you point out a few in there that stood out to you. Yeah. One that stood out to me that, I think is so awesome. And you you actually highlighted two is my emotions give me information? Yeah. Let’s talk about that.

Yeah, you know, I think a lot of times, you know, we they respond to emotions as Oh, they’re too much, I’m just gonna shove that down. I’m just going to get rid of that. Or, you know, oh, I’m just going to let this emotion carry me it’s going to, it’s going to be the, you know, the way I live through life, I’m just going to follow it wherever it wants to take me. And in rather, this, the idea of my emotions inform me, they give me information. What am I What is this emotion telling me about what’s going on with me? And how do I understand it and use it rather than, you know, run with it? Or, you know, deny it, that there’s something in between that can be really helpful?

Yeah, yeah, it gives me information. I think the other the other piece about it that we want to stuff at most are hard sometimes, I mean, especially, you know, one of the realities of trauma is that when somebody experiences trauma as a, as a young kid, they can have difficulty regulating their emotions, as they get older, and actually be crippled and their ability to regulate their emotions to, to calm themselves to, to have any any sense of like, I can, I can control the volume on this emotion. And so when some of those emotions come, it can it can, it can be like, I just want to get away from this, I just want to disassociate from this emotional feeling is too painful. And that’s where we get into addictions, like sexual addiction.

Yes. Right. A good point. That’s exactly right. That’s part of the like, caution is when we do that, this is what happens. So we don’t want to do that.

Yeah. And, and it’s and so when we say my emotions give me information, it’s it is, instead of trying to get away, which is dishonouring, to the emotion that’s come, we want to learn to honor the emotions, like I may not understand this, it may feel out of control, the volume may feel like it’s way too loud right now. And this emotion, it may be disruptive to my ability right now. But I want to honor that it’s trying to tell me something. And that’s counterintuitive, because if we’re if we’re trying to get if we’re trying to get away from it dishonouring the emotion that actually does not help us to learn to regulate our emotions. But if we if we learn to honor this is trying to tell me something this matters, that actually can begin to help us in this attachment repair to them, lean to learn how to regulate our emotions, and I’m, I’m a novice at this in some way. So this is, this has been really good for me was another one stood out to you.

Well, let me just say and along with that, so leaning into an emotion like fear. And that’s where, you know, God comes in because we can be like, Oh, I’m afraid of fear. I just want to, you know, deny it, minimize it. But when we lean into that emotion with God It changes it like, okay, that this emotion can give me information. And God can meet me in it too. And so along with that is that my body gives me information because a lot of times our bodies are our first source of, you know, something’s going on, we feel something in our, our gut, our heart, you know, in something’s going on. And we can be like, okay, something’s going on what’s going on and our bodies can be a good clue to what we’re feeling. And then we can begin to try to understand that so it’s paying attention and giving ourselves permission, rather than just head down muscle through it, you know, pay attention, what’s going on with our bodies.

I remember talking to john and tristin Collins about this is the reality that their connection and that was the first time I’d heard anybody kind of explicitly say that we actually feel emotions in our bodies, I’d always kind of relegated Well, yeah, emotions are the thing of the heart. But the truth is, like, that’s not how we’re breaking apart, like our bodies actually are, where we feel emotions. And yeah, that that, which is a new thing, and all of this, like you talked about leaning into Jesus with all these things, leaving God with these things. Like, I think when we talk about the reality of what our bodies bring to the equation, it just, it highlights the importance of the incarnation, we actually need a god to save us bodily. Our bodies are not afterthoughts to this whole equation. But what do you mean by lean into God? Like, so I’m a person. I’m feeling anxious, it feels painful. All I want to do is like, you know, turn on the TV or the radio or, or, you know, drink some vodka did not feel the anxiety for me right now. And you’re saying leaning to God with that? What’s that look like?

So, literally, it’s like, okay, God, I am, I know that panicking. Shutting down, is going to increase whatever is going on right now, if I have fear. So I know that you’re here with me, God, I know that I’m safe, because you’re here with me. So with you, I’m going to lean into this, I’m not going to let it frighten me. dismantle me, paralyzed me. And until you do it, you won’t really know what this is. But when you lean into that fear with God, he meets you. And it begins to dissipate, because he is God and His Spirit and his presence are powerful.

Yeah, I appreciate that. I want to just throw in one little pushback, maybe caveat to that just for people listening cuz I think you can almost misinterpret that just like the other affirmation is emotion is temporary, I think we can misinterpret that. And actually end up slipping back into this emotion is actually a negative thing we should get rid of, as opposed to an ally trying to give us information. Yeah. And so. So what you’re describing, done, done well is, you know, certainly, we can be honest with God about like, God, this hurts. I don’t like feeling this. I don’t want to feel this. But at the same time, we want to learn to honor what we’re feeling, we’ve got to learn to honor what our bodies are trying to tell us what our emotions are trying to tell us. And, and so recognizing that, that it goes away is not the bad thing has gone away, but rather that that God has met us in the emotion that was that was serving something. And that’s where that kindness comes in. I think as we, as we sit with that, as opposed to run into porn, as opposed to masturbating as opposed to drinking some vodka or turning on Netflix, to binge watch mindlessly. I mean, I think as we as we honor these experiences, and and allow ourselves to be with them, and to maybe even invite others invite God into them, then we can we actually, in some inexplicable way grow to have more compassion and kindness for ourselves and for other people, too. Absolutely.

Absolutely. Yeah. Yes.

So any of the other ones that stood out to you?

Yeah, it’s okay to disappoint people. I shared this with a client of mine. And she said, I don’t want to disappoint people. I don’t like disappointing people. And so it seems so counterintuitive that it’s okay to disappoint people. And the reason that this, I think is so powerful is we will disappoint people, and they will disappoint us. And it’s okay. It’s a part of what happens. And so when that happens, we don’t have to be like, because we’re not going to be, you know, we’re not going to be perfect people all the time. We can accept the brokenness in our selves and in others, and so when it happens, we can forgive ourselves and forgive other people. We’re going to disappoint each other. And it’s okay.

What do you think it is about people who’ve experienced trauma, that they need to hear this, that there’s this impulse to not disappoint other people?

Well, I think that’s a great question. If we have been, if we’ve been wounded and we’ve been bad things happen, and if you’re really good

I’m not kidding. Sorry, you actually cut out there for a minute. So I don’t know where we are in the recording, but I’ll let Matthew know. So. So can you start again with? That was a good question or everyone?

That’s a really good question. I think when we have grown up in situations where we have been wounded are, we may begin to believe, Well, I better please people, I better, you know, keep it together all the time, I better be nice, I better do good things. And so we learned never disappoint people. And so then we live from that, and it’s a that’s a very heavy burden to carry, because we will, but we learn some of these things out of our wounding ways to that we try to accommodate and cope.

Unknown Speaker 15:49
Josh?

Unknown Speaker 15:53
Oops.

Kit 15:54
Oh, there I am. Sorry, I needed myself. Okay. All right. So I’m, I’m back, I’m just going to respond to what you just said, Okay. So I really wish that one because in my experience, as a child of divorce, experiencing, whether my parents meant to or not experiencing abandonment, rejection, in the midst of all that, the idea of disappointing someone meant that being left alone meant a repeat of the trauma. And so even even this last week, there was I was having conversation with somebody, and I disagreed with them. And, and, and there’s a person I respect and I just saw I just as a, as a discipline to, to remind myself of this truth I just laid out, like, yeah, I disagree with you, I think it should be this way. And then I just stopped, and I didn’t say anything more. And that’s kind of my normal tendency is to, is to go on and kind of add some pillow to it, you know, cushion it a little bit, you know, like, I understand your point of view will, you know, said it, but instead I was like, you know, it’s like, I’m just gonna, I’m here, this relationship is going to be okay, I don’t need to try to hold it together. It’s okay to disappoint this person, you’re having a different perspective. And then they can deal with me and I can deal with them. And we’re all right. So,

yeah. Which kind of corresponds to another one, which is I can ask for help. I can ask for support, you know, when we’re when we we can be so down on ourselves when we disappoint people, or we do any of a number of things, you know, and we just think I’ve got to do this myself. And, you know, a very powerful affirmation is, I can ask for support, I can, it’s okay to need help. You know, I, that’s a big one for me, that I just felt like, I should be figuring this out myself, you know, I shouldn’t depend on other people, because I couldn’t depend on other people when I was growing up. And so to learn that it’s okay, that it is absolutely healthy, to ask for support and to need help.

Yeah, it’s interesting. One of the things I’ve been learning through through some reading and interactions with with Jay stringer and his methodology, and we’ll have a link to his book in our show notes as well, but is how frequent it is for people who have been traumatized to blame themselves. And he actually went so far as to say that, that oftentimes, victims don’t actually see themselves as victims, they, because they blame themselves on some level for what happened. And I know when we’re little kids, just psychologically speaking, you know, we are kind of the center of our own universe. And that’s, that’s developmentally appropriate. But when something bad happens in that context, then we can also tend to then assume Well, I must have done something wrong, that maybe That must be why dad laughter That must be why mom hit me or, you know, whatever. And I think that’s the it’s okay to need help is, again, that attachment repair to come back and say, what you experienced back then that you are on your own, you need to figure this out on your own, and you need to figure out, you know, how to how to make sure that other people don’t do these awful things, or how to survive those things. You need to figure that out on your own. This is the it’s a congress to that it’s a it’s a, it’s thumbing your nose at that as an adult and saying, I’m not going to live with that agreement anymore. And I know and Patrick Carnes work with dealing with sexual addiction. He said, one of the faulty beliefs, the core faulty beliefs of many women who are sexually addicted, is they, they believe they they can’t rely on anybody else. It’s really up to them to meet their own needs, period. And guess what that leads to, you know, obviously, he’s talking about in the realm of sexual addiction, what that leads to is addictive behavior, because if I if I have to rely solely on myself, I’m going to reach a point where I can’t and so I’m going to have to turn them to some other agent in my life, some other drug of choice to to make this all work for me and then then it’s just an ugly cycle downward.

Yeah, and underneath that then is released to our combine a couple but then underneath that, then is to get in touch with the fact that We are love no matter what. And it’s okay to take care of ourselves. And so in those, just those things that you were just describing, rather than go to these other things, like, just in trusting ourselves to this reality that we’re loved believing that, that, that God did create you, and you are loved, and that it’s okay, then you are lovable, it’s okay for you to take care of yourself. That’s not selfish. And we talked a little bit about this. Before we started recording that growing up in a Christian world, we, we can misunderstand what it means to take care of yourself, you know, because we need to care about others. Taking care of yourself is not selfish. When you take care of yourself and receive the love that God has for you, you become a person who cares and loves better. So I think that’s those are important.

So I want to I want to wrap this up, because I think that’s so important. We’re talking about love, we’re talking about attachment and relationship repair, or the ability to attach attachment repair and, and how that’s going to help us with relationships today with God and others. I started off by asking the question, just kind of pointing out the the frequency of the word I in my in these in these 15 affirmations. What I want to close with is this, this tension in this reality, when we’re talking about being beloved people, or it’s okay to need help. One of the one of the default modes that a lot of us who have been traumatized can can get into is either completely disconnecting from other people trying to do on our own, or always depending on other people to affirm for us that we are loved, and that we are beloved and that, that our emotions are okay. And, and what she’s writing about here is really, she’s talking about affirmations that you make to yourself. And, and there is a unique and important role in that. And in my experience, the reason for it is because if I am not willing to make these affirmations to myself, then I’m still living under the faulty agreements, the vows the promises that I made to myself, when I was young, I can’t depend on anybody else. I or I can’t trust myself or I, my emotions are bad. And I can have other people in my life say those things to me over and over again. And and that’s good and important, too. We need people in our lives who can say to your beloved, we need to hear that outside of ourselves. Yeah. But we also need to grow and build the muscles up inside that say, and I agree, you know, this is me talking. Now. This is my voice who used to say something different because I was echoing or mirroring another external voice that was telling me something faulty. Now my voice I’m reclaiming my voice to say like, it’s okay for me to have needs. Not only is it okay, it is good. I am Beloved, this emotion is temporary. It’s telling me something my body is good. It’s telling me something. And that’s, that’s been a, an important and growing piece for me, as well. And I’m, that’s one of those places where I feel like I’m kind of on the on a brand new journey in my own Christian faith.

Unknown Speaker 23:03
Mm hmm.

Kit 23:03
And when I think about the life of Jesus, he actually several times says things about himself that that were very, very positive. You know, like, the father and I are one, there were lots of voices around him saying, That’s not true. You know, he had people in his life saying, like, You’re, you’re crazy. You’re not who you think you are. And he was not ashamed about saying the truth about who he was. Hmm. So really, all we’re talking about with these affirmations is, is just agreeing with what God believes is true about what God says is true about your human being. You have choices, you can set boundaries, you can disappoint people you’re capable, doesn’t mean you’re perfect. It just means these things are just as true of you as they are of anybody else. So anyway, that’s just a closing thought that I think it’s important for people like me, at least to who might wrestle with the whole idea of self affirmation. Yeah, that’s great. So Well, Jesus, thanks for loving us as much as you do. And thanks, Lord, that even though trauma from our pasts might want to continue to be a dictator in our presence, Lord, Lord, we know that that the way that the body and the mind respond to trauma is a survival technique. And we honor that and thank you for that capacity that we have but Lord, we also pray for us and for anybody listening, that Lord you would heal those wounds and and we’re on board. We want to be a part of that healing. So that we can become more fully the men and women you create us to be relational, whole, free, joyous, validated people of honor, or rather than people who are who are stuck and repeating our central patterns are isolating patterns or detaching patterns. So, bless you, Lord. Lead us on this journey. We pray in Jesus name, amen.

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Original music by Shannon Smith. Audio engineering by Gabriel @ DelMar Sound Recording.

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