BW 054 -Halloween Masks Widows WearNov 06, 2023
The Transcript is below.
Think about when people say things like, put your game face on.
Or when people say fake it till you make it in life in general, even for people who are not widowed, you know, we put on masks when we go out into the world, we put on this persona of how we want to be perceived of how we want other people to see us. Think about when you go, maybe on your first few dates, you're putting on your best.
You're putting your best foot forward. You are projecting this image of who you want to be seen as. And so in a very simplistic way, we're going to call that a mask. And I have 10 of those
as examples of what, when widows tend to do. And we're going to talk about what to do instead of. Wearing one of these masks.
Read the book or go through that grief recovery method program.
"We don't live there all day, every day, for the rest of our lives. But it's okay to dip down into those depths every now and then."
"Living in the past, though, It is a dangerous thing because it keeps you in the past and it is possible to move forward in life."
The Brave Widow Community is a place where you can connect with other widows, find hope and healing, and begin to dream again for the future. Learn more at bravewidow.com.
Hey guys, I’m Emily Jones
I was widowed at age 37, one month shy of our 20 year wedding anniversary. Nathan and I have four beautiful children together. My world was turned completely upside down when I lost him. With faith, community, and wisdom from others, I’ve been able to find hope, joy, and dream again for the future. I want to help others do the same, too!
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Emily Jones: [00:00:00] Hey, welcome to episode number 54 of the Brave Widow show. Today's edition, Halloween. And don't worry, I won't frighten you too much. This episode is not going to be too spooky, although it is just going to be you and I today. No, no interview, no guest appearances, just Me talking straight into your ear.
You're welcome. But first, before we get started in today's episode, I wanted to share a bit of good news with you and ask a simple request. So, the first part of good news is that a few weeks ago, I posted in a few different widow and widower Facebook groups asking for volunteers to come on the show, to share their story and to give some advice or words of encouragement for other widows and widowers out there who may be struggling.
And I do this every few months, maybe. [00:01:00] And normally I may get five or six volunteers, a few people that are willing to come on and tell their story. That's how I've met many of the people that you have heard so far on the Brave Widows show. But this time, this time I was absolutely inundated with people who were interested.
I had well over 200 people comment. Message me, say they wanted to be part of the show. They were interested in being part of the show. And I had over 50 people sign up to be recorded and to come on the show. Now, for some of you who are really good at math, which that's not necessarily me, but Hey, some of you are really amazing at math.
You might be thinking to yourself, wow, over 50 people scheduled a time to be recorded, signed up, and many of them, at the time I'm recording this, have been recorded and scheduled already. But,[00:02:00] right now, this is a weekly podcast, and so 50 plus episodes, that's the next year's worth of podcast, which is crazy.
There's no way that I would make someone wait a year or months to get to hear the story that they were so open and vulnerable with in sharing with me and here in the near future sharing with you. So, starting in November, we haven't decided yet if we're going to do two a week or three a week, but just brace yourself, you are soon going to see More episodes of the Brave Widow show over the next at least few months where widows and widowers have bravely come forward, have openly shared their story, and hopped on Zoom with me to record.
Their amazing story, and I would love for you to help get the word out about the Brave Widow [00:03:00] show. Help their stories be heard by as many people as possible, and there are a couple of ways that you can do that. I only ask you to choose one. If you are watching this video on YouTube or somewhere else where this video may be seen, who knows?
Please comment on the video. Now, we know on YouTube, you can like, you can share, you can subscribe, you can hit that bell to get notifications. There's all sorts of things you can do on YouTube. I only ask that you at least comment on the video. That really helps drive engagement and awareness. For people on YouTube, if you are listening somewhere else, like an audio version on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google, uh, many other places where the show is available in audio form.
If you could leave us a review, a five star review would be amazing and that would really help get the word out [00:04:00] about the Brave Widow show and about some of the incredible stories that you have heard and are going to continue to hear right here on the show. So. YouTube, comment on the video, if you're listening to this in audio form, please go leave a review, that would really help us be able to continue to share the amazing things that we talk about here on the show, the amazing stories that people come forward with, and to help fewer people feel that they're walking alone on this journey.
All right, so today we are not going to talk about Halloween skeletons, or creepy spiders, or... Werewolves, though I did contemplate that one. Um, we're gonna talk about masks that widows wear whenever we're grieving. And who better to talk about masks than me? Why, you may ask? Well, if you're familiar at all with Myers [00:05:00] Briggs, which is a personality test.
I am an INFJ. And if you're familiar with it, it's immediately going to make sense. If you're not familiar with it, you're going to be thinking I'm speaking a different language for the next. 30 seconds, but as an INFJ, we are very familiar with masks that people wear and facades and are often highly skilled at seeing through those masks and through those facades.
And sometimes we may have masks layered upon masks like inception level skill here. Okay. So when I talk about masks that people wear. I know what I'm talking about. Now, for you people totally unfamiliar with personality tests and couldn't care less about INFJ is, well, here's what I'll tell you. Think about when people say things like, put your game face on.
Or when people say fake it till you make it in life in [00:06:00] general, even for people who are not widowed, you know, we put on masks when we go out into the world, we put on this persona of how we want to be perceived of how we want other people to see us. Think about when you go, maybe on your first few dates, you're putting on your best.
You're putting your best foot forward. You are projecting this image of who you want to be seen as. And so in a very simplistic way, we're going to call that a mask. And I have 10 of those
as examples of what, when widows tend to do. And we're going to talk about what to do instead of. Wearing one of these masks. All right. So the first one number one mask is the stoic mask and this mask is one of strength and resilience of quiet [00:07:00] and solitude of A ship proudly sailing through the sea, rushing towards whatever may hold it, hold, I can't even talk, whatever the future, whatever may be waiting for them.
in the future. They do not want to show their grief. They do not want other people to worry about them. They feel that being a widow and having this grief is their burden to bear, and they are going to just soldier through it. Without saying much of anything, and so it may be very difficult to truly understand how this person is feeling, what needs they have, and how you can best support them.
So that's the first mask, is the Stoic Widow. A second mask that widows often wear is being super mom and as a mom, whether you want to say as a mom or as a woman, [00:08:00] or as someone who's a natural caretaker of other people, many times we have a tendency to put everyone else first, especially. Our kids and often we put our grief to the side, we press pause on our grief, or we feel very conflicted about how we're supposed to grieve and really allow ourselves to let go while also taking care of our children and making sure that they're grieving and they're fed and they're.
They have clothes that fit, and they're doing all of the things, and they're not seeing mom or dad cry with that pit of despair that comes from your stomach, and you don't want them to feel like, You know, you've lost it as a parent and you're not going to be okay. We feel like we have to rush around and make sure that our kids are taken care of.
That's our number one priority. And maybe at some point in the future, we will be able to grieve and process, [00:09:00] but we can't think about that right now because we're busy running around and trying to take care of our kids. Now, for me, uh, of course, I prioritized my kids and I tried to make sure that they were okay, and I also made sure that I had time to process, I had time with a therapist, I had time where I could carve out space and talk about and what I was feeling and experiencing, and also dedicate time to my healing, because I have understood That until I, as a person who's hurting, take care of myself, I'm only going to be partially effective in taking care of my children.
Mask number three, the people pleaser. And this person is often someone, again, who's a caretaker, who's maybe a nurturer, or maybe someone who really hates and avoids conflict.[00:10:00] And my heart really goes out to this type of person. This is not me. I, in the past, maybe have been a people pleaser in a lot of ways, or maybe put a lot of expectations on myself.
The people pleaser is also someone who will suppress grief. Who won't bring up their loved one because it might upset someone else. Who will bend over backwards. I cannot tell you the stories. That I have heard from widows of how the in laws want their late husband's ashes or all of his clothes or things that were sentimental to them.
And because they were in this people pleasing mode, they gave all of this stuff away just almost immediately after their person died and they come to mourn that. Weeks or even months later, like why did I do that? I had to do it to just keep [00:11:00] the peace and now I don't have any of those things that I really wanted and that Were really important to me.
I've even had widows Tell me they gave up their wedding rings their engagement ring back to their in law because maybe that was a family heirloom or whatever let's just call it that the family came up with To get what they wanted back from the person that's in so much pain and is hurting. So that is often what happens when widows are wearing that people pleaser mask or that people pleaser persona.
They are often putting the needs and really just the wants of others in front of their own needs and wants.
Mask number four, the avoider, and this person is someone who will suppress grief. They'll delay grief. They never want to face it. They often distract themselves. And we've talked on other episodes [00:12:00] about the grief recovery method and those short term energy relieving behaviors, which is a super fancy acronym and term for basically behaviors that we do.
Not in moderation that causes distraction from grief and prolong and delay the healing process. So in a simplistic way, think about things like drinking alcohol, exercise, weight, exercise is supposed to be good, right? Well, not if you throw yourself into it to escape your grief. Not if you're exercising hours and hours a day and using it as a way not to focus on your pain.
And yes, there are people that do this. Eating food, under eating, over eating, shopping, we call it retail therapy. It sounds super cute until you've spent a ton of money that you didn't really have in the first place to buy stuff you really don't need. So [00:13:00] all of these behaviors are things that people do outside of normal moderation.
That cause us to be in this avoidant or avoider persona and mask. Um, this is something that's easy to do, something you may not even realize that you're doing it. I was doing more shopping than I normally do online, and for some reason, I just found myself really compelled to... Look for jewelry, you know, I had really invested in some key jewelry pieces for myself a few years earlier.
And for whatever reason, I wanted to find another piece or 2 and I was just constantly on eBay. I was on all the different websites, just shopping, shopping, shopping. And sometimes I would put stuff in the cart. On a various shopping website, but I wouldn't actually buy it, but it was like just putting it in the cart and going through like the browsing phase somehow was something I kept feeling compelled to [00:14:00] do, which is not normal for me.
I'm not normally this big shopper. So as I reflected. And as I thought about, kept asking myself, why am I doing this? Why am I just so compelled to find this thing? Then I realized it was a way of distracting me. And it was something that I could do to not think about what had happened or to not dwell on what I was missing, what I would never have again.
Nathan has picked me out some beautiful pieces of jewelry. The necklace I wear, this horseshoe is something that we picked out together. It's something that I love to where you'll see, see it on me almost every day. And I don't know, it was just something that I was doing and something that I was doing to avoid the grief and pain.
So be careful of that. The recluse, mask number five, the recluse. This is someone that may [00:15:00] pull themselves into isolation. Someone that doesn't want to go out, they don't want to interact with family and friends, they don't want any social interactions, they may completely avoid others altogether. And I will say for me that this is my tendency as an INFJ, if you're keeping up, that we like being alone, okay?
We like our downtime, we like being alone, we like being in our own minds many times. Doesn't mean I don't like being with other people. At times I do, but it's also exhausting. So, when You know, people would want to come over when they would want to do stuff, when they would want to call and talk. That was like the last thing on my list I wanted anyone to do.
I would tell people constantly, no, I just want to be alone. I just want to be alone. I want to be able to process and work through. My emotions, I want to figure out this new life and having other people around is too [00:16:00] distracting. It makes me feel like I need to host and I need to entertain and I need to make sure they have all these things.
And I really just want to be in my sweatpants and just not think about anyone else other than my children. However. I was going to work after almost a year, I started going out to new groups. I started networking. I started joined a real estate investment group that I've shared many times on the podcast here.
I started going to various concerts and conferences. I started taking myself out on dates by myself, just. Really trying to get myself back out there. I was not a full on recluse, however, I can fully understand why someone may want to wear this mask. They may want to be in this persona because especially for people who are introverts and they need downtime and they need quiet and they need solitude.
It's hard, really hard [00:17:00] to want to get out there in social situations or to have people over.
Mask number six, the overachiever. Someone who seeks self worth and validation through their accomplishments. This may be work. This may be personal projects or hobbies, and sometimes this can be used to avoid dealing with grief. Well, first things first, I am an overachiever. I was just born one. I don't know.
I can't help it. It's just. Mediocrity is not something I'm very familiar with personally when it comes to my life. Whether it's personal, whether it's work, whether it's, uh, whatever it is, I just have always, always been an overachiever. And this is really hard. That first six months to a year as a widow was super
hard for me to put in boundaries and minimize expectations of myself because I always believed. [00:18:00] That no matter what I could get it done, like whatever it takes, uh, no matter the number of hours, no matter, you know, what hoops I have to jump through, no matter if no one even knew, if no one knew how hard I was working or how hard I wanted to clean the house and make sure that it was okay for people to come over, I just took personal pride in it.
Really overachieving, so that was a lesson I had to learn, especially that first year in that I can't do it all. I shouldn't expect myself to do it all. It was everything I had just to survive. Just to keep my head above water on a daily basis. And so I started soon after those first few weeks to put boundaries in place to lower expectations of myself to give myself much more time to get things done than I normally would, because.
Whether I was [00:19:00] putting together a shop vat for the first time, or I was trying to figure out how to use the pellet grill outside, everything took way longer than it normally would have because of brain fog, because of overwhelm, because of all those crazy things that happen. So if you wear the mask of being an overachiever, or you take on that persona, I feel you, right?
You're my spirit friend. I feel you. Uh, that's, a personal difficult one for me.
Mask number seven, the eternal optimist mask. This is someone who's always looking on the bright side. Who's always trying to cheer themselves up, who believes that they're doing the right thing in by constantly trying to look for the silver lining and the clouds. While at the same time, Not giving themselves the space to truly grieve and process what has happened to them.
And sometimes I'll talk with [00:20:00] widows and I hear a lot of at least statements, right? So, at least this or at least We had kids, or at least we didn't have kids, or at least I got to experience this time together, or at least this or that, and while yes, we don't want to live in our lives where we're in despair, and we're negative, and we never have any hope, and we never look to the future, sometimes it's okay to say, this really sucks, this was a bad thing that happened, my heart hurts, and I'm struggling right now.
Now, we don't live there all day, every day, for the rest of our lives. But it's okay to dip down into those depths every now and then. And you don't have to have this mask of everything's fine, I'm fine, it's gonna be fine, it's, it's gonna be [00:21:00] okay, It's okay to admit that what you're going through is tough and hard and that it may take some time to get through it.
Mask number eight. I'm fine, or the I'm fine mask and this person is overly concerned with making sure everyone knows that they're fine. They don't want to admit any weakness. They don't want to admit struggles. They don't want to. Ask for help or appear weak or needy or any of those things and admittedly, I have worn this mask a few times.
Okay. Maybe more than a few times, but I'll say it's very common. Very common for many widows that I talked to that. 1st of all. They have a really hard time receiving help. If someone's offering to help or someone asks how they can help, they have a really hard time receiving help. And number two, it's almost [00:22:00] impossible to get them to ask for help.
So as a widow, if you may know you need help, you may feel overwhelmed. You may feel like you're drowning, but you are not going to ask for help. And if someone offers to help, you are going to turn them down left and right.
I know. Listen, the only people that helped me, I think in the early days, like forced to their help on me in the kindest way and said, we are going to do this, or this is the day I plan to show up. Does that day work for you? Um, because otherwise, yeah, I would not be. Really able to ask for help, and, um, I will say my family, my in laws, my dad, some very, very close friends.
I eventually learned to be okay with asking for help, and I haven't yet figured out why it is so hard [00:23:00] for us to ask for help. But I am going to figure that out. I think it's partially a pride thing. I think it's, uh, Well, but that task is so simple. Why can't I just do it type of a thing? But it's hard even when you're hurting and you're overwhelmed and you truly do need and would appreciate the help, it is really hard to let people know that.
So if you wear or have worn the I'm fine mask, I get it. I have been right there with you.
Mask number nine, the self blamer. This person takes on the burden and the emotions of guilt. They get really caught up in what they could have done differently, and what they should have done differently, and blaming themselves for what happened. And grief, guilt and grief is very heavy.
And living with that is a horrible burden, [00:24:00] uh, but it's very common in grief that guilt is associated with that and that people will blame themselves. And when you're wearing this mask, this is something that you're frequently blaming yourself. You are running through all the things that you could have done differently and I've shared this many times on the show, but I'm just going to reiterate it again because it is so good.
That the grief recovery method, even if you just read the book, the grief recovery method handbook, it's on my shelf. If you see my video, it's that purple book right there. It is so good at helping people with guilt and an understanding that what we interpret as guilt, what we say is guilt, like I feel guilty or I was guilty or I'm guilty, is really not guilt.
That guilt. Is indicative of malicious intent and for 99. 9 percent of people who will ever hear or see this, you did not have malicious intent with your [00:25:00] spouse. So, therefore, you do not need to feel guilty. Okay, so what is it that you're feeling if you're not. Do not need to feel guilty, do not need to carry that burden and say that you're guilty and have all of that with you.
What is it what we wish for? Are that things were better, more or different with that person. That is what we are wrestling with. And this was so true for me. And it's so true for many, many people that I talked to is when I helped them work through this, they, it's like a light bulb goes off. Like it did for me when I felt guilty about the way I saw Nathan in person for the last time, the way the EMTs, you know, Rolled him out on the stretcher and what I did or didn't do the way that our relationship was when I thought about it, I wasn't guilty.
I didn't do anything [00:26:00] wrong, but there were things that I wish were better between us. There were things I wish I had done more of, or that I wish he would have done more of. And there are things that I wish. We're different in what happened, but that doesn't mean I should feel guilty or that I was guilty of anything.
And the same holds true for you. So if you really wrestle with guilt. In what happened or what could have happened or what should have happened. I highly, highly recommend that you read the book or go through that grief recovery method program. It is absolutely amazing. I recommend it a thousand percent.
And I think is something that you really need to seriously consider. It will help you release a lot of that. It will help you feel lighter and you can let go of all the guilt. It's okay.
All right, mask number 10, the ghost of the past, not Christmas past, but [00:27:00] the past of your loved one. So this is someone who is stuck in being able to move forward. And when I say forward, I don't mean on, because as widows will tell you, we don't move on. We move forward. And for some of you, that may not make sense, but for the majority of you, if you're widowed, you will get it the instant that I've said it.
Living in the past, though, It is a dangerous thing because it keeps you in the past and it is possible to move forward in life. And to bring the spirit and the essence of your person with you. In fact, I did a whole course on this. You can get it for free brave widow. com slash free ways to honor your loved one.
There's 10 different ways. And there's like 60, 50 or 60 Pacific ideas of what you can do to keep your person's spirit alive, to keep them with [00:28:00] you, to honor them in everyday life so that you don't have to feel like you're going to forget them, that you're leaving them behind, that your people expect you to just pretend like they didn't exist.
You don't have to live that way. You can still have a relationship with a person that you love. And you can move forward in your healing journey and in your life. You don't have to live stuck in the past. It hurts my heart to hear from widows that are 2 years out, 5 years out, 10 years out. And they are still in that pit of despair.
Hurts me to my core because I know what that means. And I... Prayed many times for God to rescue my heart and pull me out of despair because I knew I couldn't live that way. I knew suddenly what it meant when a widow [00:29:00] dies of broken heart syndrome after losing their person or a widower dies after losing their person.
I saw how that could be possible because I felt so. Desperate, so lonely, so in so much pain that I knew physically my body would not be able to maintain that long term. So how people are able to do that for 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, I, I can't even wrap my mind around what that would be like to maintain that for so long and physically how even your body can handle the stress.
And the wear that it leaves on your body physically, those things that are in your heart and on your mind. So I encourage you, if you are wearing this mask, if you have taken on this persona, if you are struggling with living in the [00:30:00] past and part of it is guilt or part of it is because you feel like you're going to leave them behind or part of it is because you feel unworthy of.
Being able to laugh again in the future or to have hope or to try to create a new life. You feel like you should just take on this sobbing, widow, sad persona for the rest of your life. Please. Please. Work with a therapist. Work with a coach. Work with me. Join the Brave Widow community. Look at the, the course that's out there for free on ways that you can honor your loved one and you can keep their spirit with you as you move forward in life.
You don't have to live in the past. You shouldn't live in the past. It's only going to hurt you in the long term.
Alright, so we've talked about the 10 different masks that widows wear and I'll just... Recap them for you quickly. The first one is the Stoic Widow. Number two is Supermom. [00:31:00] Number three is People Pleaser. Number four is the Avoider. Five, the Recluse. Six, the Overachiever. Ding, ding, ding, me. Seven, the Eternal Optimist.
Eight, I'm Fine. Nine, the Self Blamer. And ten, the Ghost of the Past. So what do you do? If you don't want to wear these masks all the time, or you don't want to become one of these personas, personas for the rest of your life, how do you navigate this crazy world and overcome some of these things? And, um, how do you let down your mask?
And I will tell you as someone who's.
Self proclaimed proficient in masks and personas that it is possible to let your mask down to reveal who you are without feeling that you're one of [00:32:00] those sob stories that people see or people hear that in your mind is just dramatic and pathetic and not what you want to be part of. So. What I did early on that was helpful to me is that I was honest with people, but in a way that wasn't raw and I've heard this shared, I cannot remember who shared this, this concept, but it wasn't me.
Okay, I'm not trying to take credit for it. And... Essentially, it was from the standpoint of sharing from your scar, not sharing from your wound or sharing from your scab. And what that means is that you can be open and vulnerable and real and talk about things, but not in a way that's getting on social media [00:33:00] and bawling your eyes out on camera and just.
Sharing so much of the rawness and the pain and the realness. If you're feeling super raw about something, then heal that and work on that and Once it becomes less of an open flesh wound and less of a scab, and it's really more becoming a scar and you can talk about it without having all of those open emotions, without having volatility and how you talk about those things, then that's the place from which you can be very open and honest and real with people.
So for me in the early days, because everything felt super. Scabby and painful and difficult to talk about is that I would be open and honest with people, but not in a way that made them feel like I was going to go jump off a cliff tomorrow, or that I wasn't going to make it, or that [00:34:00] I was just going to walk out one day and no one would ever see me again.
And in some cases, that meant that I. When I was working with my organization, I sat down with some of the key leaders, or I would have a what I want conversation with them, and I would say, I'm sorry if it seems like I'm not the person I was before I left. I do feel like I've changed. I do feel like a different person.
I'm doing the best that I can. Some days are really tough for me. So if I come across irritable, if I'm more forgetful than normal. If you're not feeling as supportive or you think that I've just woke up cranky that day, then tell me, like, let's have a conversation. And I was always this way with my leadership team.
I wanted them to feel like they could, uh, tell me pretty much whatever was on their mind and feel safe to do that. [00:35:00] As long as it was done in a respectful, professional way. And I would have leaders. Occasionally, not very often say, Hey, are you having a bad day? Hey, is everything okay? Is there anything I can help you with?
So I was open with the fact that I wasn't pretending that everything was perfect, that I was fine, that I hadn't changed. I was exactly the same person as before I left. I mean, how could I be? The same person in how much I had changed and how that had impacted me. I was open about that, but I didn't get on a conference call and sob my eyes out every day.
I didn't tell them about, you know, all my. Cooking mistakes when I was trying to learn how to cook for the first time, or share just all my personal frustrations, but I was authentic and genuine in how I was trying to communicate with people that I'm okay. I'm going to be [00:36:00] okay doesn't mean that everything's perfect.
I'm struggling some days I have ups and downs. It's normal. It's part of it. And I think that's okay to say that, you know, when people say, how are you doing? Like. I'm going to be okay. it's hard. I have my hard days, my hard moments, but overall I'm going to be okay. And it's just, you know, sometimes takes time to get through that process.
So I want to encourage you, however, you're struggling, whatever mask you find yourself consistently wearing, that you find a way to be open and honest, especially with the people who care the most about you and you have to find it your own way. Your own voice, your own words, but I believe that you can do that and you don't have to feel so alone and so isolated because you feel like no one really understands you.
The thing about wearing a mask and the thing about [00:37:00] maintaining a different persona is that in the moment. And in that relationship, it's comfortable, you're fine, you're getting through it, it feels like you're surviving and everything's okay, but at the end of the day, it leaves you feeling like people don't understand you, they don't really see you, they don't get what you're going through, but part of that may be Because you're not opening up, you're not sharing how you really feel about things.
And again, you don't have to overshare, but you can open up a little, you can let the mask down a little, and you can be upfront and honest with some of the things that you're struggling with or some of the things that are on your mind. In fact, I'm going to tell you one more story. Before I end this podcast and, uh, I am currently in a romantic relationship for those of you who may have missed it or not known that, but it almost didn't happen and [00:38:00] I'm not going to go into too many details, but I will tell you my personal coach.
One of my coaches I have. Several coaches and mentors that I use for different things. But one of my good friends and one of my personal coaches, Alexandra was, was talking with me about this, um, Robert is his name. Hello, Robert. If you're listening to this. We were talking, I was talking about Robert and we had gone on our first date and I told Alexandra, like, I just don't know.
I'm just, he's super nice. We'd already been talking over the phone, you know, for a couple of weeks, two or three weeks. And, For hours, right? Like, it was just easy. It was natural. We had a lot of things in common, a lot of values in common. Like, everything just seemed easy and seamless. And we went on our first date and, you know, many of the things were there, but...
I was talking to her the next day, like, oh, I'm just, I'm really struggling. I don't know if I'm fully feeling this big [00:39:00] emotional connection. And it just, seems a little bit difficult for me. And I don't know that he really sees me. And For some of you, when I say I don't feel seen, you may understand right away, others of you may have no idea what I'm talking about, but, um, I really wanted to feel seen and be understood and Alexandra challenged me, you know, here, I was thinking she was going to side with me and she was going to say, well, if there's not an emotional connection, then, Oh, well, There's more people you can talk to and, um, potentially date, just hold out.
Right? Like I thought that's what she was going to say, but no, it's not what she said. And she said, well, how much of yourself have you shared so that he can see you? She's like, Emily, I know you're a reserved person. You tend to keep things kind of close to your chest. You are more reserved. You're a little hard to get to know in the [00:40:00] beginning.
So how much of you, have you really shared with him so that he can see, so that he can make those emotional connections? With you, or are you being professional, Emily, and are you putting this persona out there and just at the end of the day, struggling, like you don't really have that connection. And I just sat back when she said that, like, Oh, ouch, okay, that's fair.
I have not really been super vulnerable and I haven't been. Open and probably volunteered up a lot of information. Um, obviously, Robert is very curious and does ask a lot of questions and is interested and is an amazing learner, but I'm also quite adept at redirecting conversation or not being vulnerable and open, especially in an environment where I'm not [00:41:00] yet comfortable.
And so, in my discussion, With Alexandra and Alexandra, we thank you so much for this conversation amongst. A few other people I might have talked to, I took ownership for that and when the opportunity came, then I was more open about how I felt about certain things and I could not be more happy because it has blossomed into such a beautiful relationship.
And companion and someone who's now my best friend and someone that I just love doing life with and doing things with. And I couldn't imagine it being any better. And if I had not been open and honest and authentic in some of those conversations we had after my coachings, then. It may not have ended that way, and we may have eventually parted ways.
Who knows what [00:42:00] would have happened? So, I say all of that to say to you, if you're feeling lonely, you're feeling isolated, you feel like no one gets you, no one understands you, no one sees that you need things, no one... Knows that you're not really okay. How could they not know that when I say I'm fine? I'm not really fine well, it's because you're saying you're fine and you look like you're fine and People don't want to be pushy and people want to respect you and people want to help you let them help you so if you are struggling with any of these masks or personas Then try to step out of them.
Try to drop the mask a little bit. Try being open and honest with people and letting them see the real you and letting them understand that you are on a journey. There's no switch that's going to flip and you're going to be perfect one day and you're going to be all healed up and there's no more.
Difficulties, there's no more grieving, there's no more [00:43:00] challenges, they don't know because they've not gone through it and you are not sharing it with them either. So just like I needed to take ownership and accountability for not being open and authentic with Robert and with other people in my life when it comes to asking for help or when it comes to needing things, then also you must take ownership and accountability.
And being open and honest with people, and it doesn't have to be everyone and it doesn't have to be everything, but give them a glimpse, give them enough so that they can understand you and they can jump in and help you because I promise you there are people that want to help you and they just don't know how.
All right, so that wraps 10 masks that widows wear and what to do instead. And as a reminder, please help us get the word out of the Brave Widow show and some of the amazing upcoming guest speakers that you're going to get to hear from and see, and some [00:44:00] of the amazing and incredible stories that they have to share.
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Emily Jones: hey guys. Thank you so much for listening to the Brave Widow Podcast. I would love to help you take your next step, whether that's healing your heart, finding hope, or achieving your dreams for the future.
Emily Jones: Do you need a safe space to connect with other like-minded widows? Do you wish you had how-to for getting through the next steps in your journey, organizing your life or moving through grief? What about live calls where you get answers to your burning questions? The Brave Widow Membership Community is just what you need.
Inside you'll find courses to help guide you, a community of other widows to connect with, live coaching and q and a calls, and small group coaching where you can work on what [00:45:00] matters most to you. Learn how to heal your heart, find hope, reclaim joy, and dream again for the future. It is possible. Head on over to brave widow.com to learn more.