2/14/20: You Deserve Better
The Morning Mantra is available on iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, Youtube, Soundcloud, Spotify, Youtube and pretty much anywhere podcasts can be found. Transcripts forthcoming on the blog at www.coachedandloved.com
I think we should ALL fall in love with our problems. Maybe then they’ll leave without saying goodbye before we wake up.
Hi! This is Coach MK, and THIS is The Morning Mantra.
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Hi, my name is MK Fleming. I'm a run coach based in Denver, Colorado. But this isn't a podcast about running, exactly. Don't tell my clients, but *whispers* we're never really talking about the running. When you know a crap-tastic event is coming it helps to have a mantra to keep you centered and focused as you move through it. You don't have to be an athlete to be hashtag #coachedandloved by coach MK. And if you are here, then you are hashtag #winningatlife.
Today's Mantra Is: You Deserve Better.
If you are a people pleaser, CONGRATULATIONS! That is one hell of a coping skill you developed in the emotionally barren home that failed to meet your most basic human needs. I’m gonna take a minute to validate you- that part of your personality was absolutely nurtured. You aren’t born this way. You were rewarded for following rules, for being vigilant and compliant...and more often than you may realize, for suppressing yourself and making yourself as small and needless as possible.
In extreme situations, like with a narcissistic, bipolar or abusive parent, people pleasing can be accompanied by intense anxiety. ASK ME HOW I KNOW! :) Terrified people pleasers see danger before it emerges. This makes them good at strategy, like chess players, but quick to self-sabotage, “I’m going to CONTROL this by ruining it before it hurts me.” Love is something we’ve had to earn, and we don’t trust its lasting realness if we don’t feel that fear with it.
Which makes it a little awkward to center your business around a theme of being coached AND loved. Can you ever trust a coach you aren’t a little afraid of? Who gives you an A for effort? Who isn’t pointing out your flaws and CHALLENGING you to overcome them? Who doesn’t demand your best all of the time? Who just shows up because you did? That coach sounds like a doormat to a people pleaser. She’s really nice but is she GOOD? You need a real coach, someone with emotional distance. Who can be objective, who isn’t afraid to be harsh when that’s what’s best for you. Who can see you for what you REALLY are. You want to earn the approval of someone more like that emotionally distant parent. THAT is the only approval worth having...right? The one that wasn’t free? The one you aren't always sure you have? The one that isn’t always...nice?
But we aren’t talking about the running….and we aren’t talking about you, right? (hm)
Romantic love can be hard for people pleasers who have been raised to mold their desires and behaviors around the people upon whom they depend. In our world, something we are told is love is anything but; it’s a reward we earn by being what others want us to be. Once we leave home, that coping skill creates a gaping wound we don’t know how to fill. That pattern of subverting yourself in order to please an emotionally distant person is called codependency. “I want to feel safe, so I want to be loved. In order to be loved I must make this person happy, and if I make this person unhappy, even for a minute, the love will vanish.” It’s the opposite of safety. It’s like walking on eggshells. It’s terrifying. The presence of that fear though, that familiar fear, is what validates this cycle as loving. It’s anything but. You did everything right. You did everything they wanted, you didn’t ask them for anything or inconvenience them in any way. They never had it so good. You made it so easy AND THEY STILL LEFT. IT ISN’T FAIR. YOU SHOULDN”T HAVE TO TRY THIS HARD.
Take a deep breath. I know this is a lot. It’s called anxious attachment. And yes, this could also be linked to any feelings of perfectionism, or not being good enough. It isn’t you. It was never you. The problem...was how you were treated, the lies you were told- that this is what love is and how it feels and how it works.
You are a wonderful person. You were perfectly made. You know how I know? Because you are cringing when I say you had a selfish parent, a selfish caregiver who didn’t deserve you. You would never call them selfish. You are a survivor. You are smart as hell and you found a way to survive a bad situation.
I don’t care what you think is wrong with you. I don’t care what you think your flaws are. I want you to hear me now: NONE of that matters. You are easy to love. You deserve to be loved. Love is kind, love is always present, love is boring and predictable and it’s always there, like your favorite sweater, and it’s still there if you make mistakes, especially really big ones, and though relationships require give and take, love doesn’t have to be earned. Love is right here, for you to accept, not to earn and by the way if you have to earn it then it probably isn’t love.
I say this, knowing you may not believe it, or trust it, or be ready for it. But I love you. I have so much love for you. It took 20 years of therapy to get to a place where I understood what real love was and looked like and felt like and that it doesn’t take a piece of you, the people pleaser in me does. It is eager to give parts of me away, to prove how much I have to give and how worthy I am because that’s the environment I survived, and I protect myself FROM myself by using this podcast: direct communication from me at a distance that is safe, for me. Because, you see, people-pleasers attract the sorts of people who have been raised to take. Who don’t think twice about manipulation. And I don’t always see the manipulation at first when it is veiled in a request for help. This is how these patterns form and stick.
If you are stuck in a cycle you don’t understand, if you feel unlovable, I see you. I love you. I hope you get a good therapist and can break these cycles like I did, like I am still doing. I want you to hold space in your life for real, lasting love and direct the energy you expend towards healing yourself, because you deserve nothing less.
So, the mantra: Today, of all days, if you find yourself a little anxious, a little terrified, maybe holding your breath or holding back tears at this point in the podcast, I want you to hear my voice in the back of your head every time that fear re-appears: You Deserve Better. This Valentine’s Day, let’s try to accept the things we cannot change, and run the fuck away so we have energy left to change the behavior patterns we’ve lived with. You already have the wisdom, you already know the difference, but I promise...the work to get here is easier than the work you’re doing right now, trying to earn something that was rightfully yours from the day you were born. People who think love hurts...have no idea how to give it...or receive it.
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You are Coached. You are Loooved, and you ARE winning at life. And you're definitely winning at life if you subscribe to my Nuzzel Newsletter, follow me on Facebook or follow me on Instagram. feel free to do all three!