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The work I do in my coaching practice is to help my clients become the next version of themselves. We go through this life as human beings and some of our growth and development happen naturally as our brains and bodies mature, but the road of life is paved with opportunities to grow and evolve into that next version of ourselves. And how we understand pain is a huge part of that.
When the people around us are in pain, there is always a part of us that wants to solve their pain immediately. And that makes total sense on some level. It would make them feel better right away, and it would make us feel better that they’re not experiencing that pain anymore. But I want to pose today that this is never the solution and, instead, we should mourn with those who mourn.
There’s a lot of pain going around at the moment, so tune in this week to understand where pain comes from for you and your role in the pain of others. I’m playing a game of true or false with some common beliefs about pain, and while some of the results might be uncomfortable, heeding these lessons will be an amazing opportunity for growth, both for you and those around you.
Don’t forget to grab the Podcast Roadmap if you haven’t already! It will walk you through the episodes that will get you up to speed on everything that I teach here.
What You’ll Learn on this Episode:
- Why we naturally strive for growth as human beings.
- The losses being mourned by so many people during this pandemic.
- Why you or anybody else experiencing pain doesn’t mean anything’s gone wrong.
- Your role in the pain you and the people around you may be experiencing.
- Why the Lord doesn’t send relief from pain, but what he does send is so much better.
- What the scriptures have taught me about pain on Earth.
Mentioned on the Show:
- When you’re ready to take what you’re learning on the podcast to the 10X level, then come check out Be Bold.
- Untamed by Glennon Doyle
I’m Jody Moore, and this is Better Than Happy episode 250: Mourn with Those Who Mourn.
Welcome to Better Than Happy. I’m your host, Jody Moore. I’m a mother to four children. I’m a huge Taylor Swift fan, and I’m a master certified life coach. I’m here to teach you how to manage your brain and manage your emotions so that you can create a life that’s even better than happy. Are you ready? Let’s go.
Hello, my friends. Welcome to this week’s podcast episode. I want to talk about mourning with those who mourn. There’s a scripture in the Book of Mormon in Mosiah that talks about mourning with those that mourn, and comforting those who stand in need of comfort. It’s a really powerful scripture and a powerful concept about how we operate best as human beings.
The work that I do as a coach is designed to help my clients, which I hope it’s clear that I’m always my first client, because I’m in need of all of this as much as anyone else, but it’s designed to help my clients become the next version of themselves. That’s how I really think about it.
I think about it as we go through this life as human beings. We have some growth and development that just happens as we mature and as our brains develop and evolve, and then we have lots of opportunities beyond that to continue growing, and that is the goal, is to continually grow and evolve into the next version of ourselves.
Kind of like the iPhone. It’s not a great analogy, but it’s the closest one I can think of. My iPhone is amazing. It does so many great things. I love it, I appreciate it, but then they’ll come out with the next version of the iPhone that will be improved in certain ways. It will have more efficiency. It might have some new features. It might have some additional capabilities that the previous one didn’t have. Sometimes those features and things are things I didn’t even know I wanted.
I’m not talking about becoming the next version of you because something is wrong with the current version of you. I’m just saying that what you’re capable of becoming is beyond what you can even imagine. Because the ultimate version of all of us that we are capable of becoming, but we can’t even wrap our brains around, is becoming like God. We are capable of becoming like Him.
Now, we won’t achieve that in this lifetime, nor are we supposed to, but this life is an experience that is designed to help us progress in that direction. That is why we actually all strive and seek for progression. We strive for growth. If we’re not growing, we feel it. We feel like something’s wrong. We feel stagnant. We feel the pain and the discomfort of stagnation.
Now, growth can feel painful as well, but it’s a useful kind of pain. It’s the kind of pain that gets us somewhere as opposed to stagnation that just feels like something’s wrong, like we’re not experiencing our life in the way that is available to us, the way we internally desire and seek to.
So, growth is your birthright, my friend. Evolution is your birthright. It is available to you. It is one of the main reasons you are here on earth as a human and being, having the experience you’re having. The things that I teach and the things that I offer to my clients, and the things I show them about themselves are all designed to aid in that purpose. It’s mental health and emotional health, but not only health, but progression.
Part of this is understanding pain. It’s understanding discomfort, and not only our own pain, but also discomfort and pain for other people, for people around us, for people that we love. We’re seeing a lot of pain right now. There’s a lot of people mourning because there is a lot of loss happening in the world right now. We have people losing their lives. We have people losing their loved ones to illness or death.
We have jobs being lost, finances being lost, dreams and goals being lost, plans being lost, our way of life being lost. All of this loss causes us to choose to mourn and grieve. That is a healthy, natural response. So, it’s okay if you’re mourning it. It’s also okay if you’re not feeling that loss because you may not personally be missing some of the things that have changed.
You might be actually embracing some of the change. It might be causing space or room for some changes that you desperately needed and maybe didn’t realize until then. I’m not here suggesting that there’s a right way to feel. I’m just saying there is a lot of loss and a lot of mourning happening. Completely natural and makes sense.
I want to talk to you a little bit about your role in your own pain and your role with regards to the pain for the people that you love in your life. We’re going to play a little game here called true and false. We’re going to talk about some things that are true and some things that are false with regards to pain.
I want to start by talking about things that are false, things that are misunderstandings or myths when it comes to pain. The first one, the big one, the main one I hope that you hear me say, is that pain equals failure. This is false. This is a myth. Pain does not equal failure. Pain does not mean turn back. Pain does not mean something has gone wrong.
Pain is a natural part of our human experience, and I think that it’s only been in the last maybe couple of decades that I feel like I’ve understood that myself and started to hear that message. I feel like prior to that, we thought, “Choose happiness. Happiness is the best way. If we’re not happy, then we need to figure out why, and we need to solve it.” Or at least this was my understanding anyway of the world.
If I’m not happy, I need to change something until I get happy, or maybe it means I’m not doing something right. Maybe it means that I’m not reading my scriptures enough, or seeing my prayers enough, or that I’ve, in some way, distanced myself from God, or that I’m just not living the life I meant to live if I’m not happy all the time. Now, we know that is not true at all. We know that pain is an appropriate part of life. It’s a necessary part of life.
Another thing that’s false is that if you were doing it right, you’d be happier. This is not true, my friends. This doesn’t mean you’re necessarily doing things wrong. It just means that you’re a human being having a complete human experience. Another thing that’s false that a lot of people are walking around thinking it or believing on some level is that good parents should be able to prevent or fix pain for their kids. That’s false for a lot of reasons.
First of all, it implies that pain is something that needs to be fixed. It doesn’t need to be fixed. It implies that pain is something that should be prevented. It shouldn’t necessarily be prevented either, and it certainly doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent if you haven’t been able to prevent or solve for the pain of your children. It doesn’t mean that at all.
Here’s the other thing. I want to take it a step further. A lot of people that I coach tell me, “Okay, but I don’t want to do something that might cause my kids pain. If I’m a good parent, I’m certainly not going to be the source of their pain. Maybe I can’t solve it for them or prevent it altogether, but I certainly shouldn’t be contributing to their pain.”
What I say is, “First of all, you can’t cause pain for other people,” we’ll talk about that in a minute, “but you might do things that they interpret in such a way that then they feel pain.” You’re, of course going to. I don’t mean that you’re going to do an intentionally. I don’t mean that you are harming people and that you have a disregard for wellbeing or safety.
I just mean the best parents on the planet are going to do things that their kids are going to look back and say, “I wish you wouldn’t have done that, mom, because it really caused me to wonder, or question myself, or struggle, or stress, or I really hated it when you did this thing.” That is 100% going to happen. It’s supposed to. So, this idea that if I was a better parent, I wouldn’t do anything that my kids would dislike. Totally false.
This is true with spouses too. Here’s another false statement. Good spouses make each other happy. If I was a better wife, my husband wouldn’t be upset. If I was a better husband, my wife would be happier. Happy wife, happy life. These kinds of statements that can be coming from good intentions at times are completely false. You cannot make your spouse happy. Have you tried?
I want to talk to the person right now that’s sitting back going, “Okay, this is crazy. She’s really lost it now. This sounds wrong. This sounds selfish. This sounds.” All the things that you’re thinking. I want to talk to you if you’re thinking that. It’s okay if you’re thinking that. Just stay with me.
Have you tried to make your spouse happy? Why is it not working? If you desperately want to, and you believe that you’re able to, then why hasn’t it worked? It’s because you can’t make your spouse happy if your spouse doesn’t want to be happy. If they’re not going to choose happiness, there’s nothing you can do to change that.
This is also false. If I was a better friend, I’d just know what to say to help her feel better. I feel like it’s my job as a friend to help her feel better. That is not your job. Your job is not to help your friend feel better, and if you were better, you wouldn’t necessarily know what to say. None of that’s true. That’s a totally misguided way to think about it.
It would be better if this just wasn’t happening. It would be better if my child wasn’t going through this challenge, or if my friend wasn’t struggling in this way, or if our world wasn’t going through this thing. That is false, my friends. It wouldn’t be better. It would just be different. Pain is a useful part of our human experience. We’re going to talk about that in a minute.
We’re going to talk about what’s true, but I want you to just try on the idea that it’s false. This idea that it would just be better if these things didn’t happen. Here’s another false statement. You should just be grateful for what you have because some people are a lot worse off. You shouldn’t be disappointed. You shouldn’t be struggling. You shouldn’t be suffering because it could be so much worse.
Now, we talk about that to keep things in perspective, which I do think is useful at times. I think it’s useful to keep perspective on your life, to recognize that some people have it so much worse, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be in pain. It doesn’t negate your own suffering. It doesn’t mean that your own suffering and pain isn’t valid and real. You should feel however you’re feeling is the truth regardless of what’s happening outside of you.
Another false thing. Other people can hurt your feelings. If people say something really unkind, and they judge you and criticize you, then that might hurt your feelings. A lot of people believe that. If you’ve been listening to me for very long, you know that I don’t believe that at all.
I know that’s not true at all because somebody can say something “mean” to one person, and they have a certain reaction, and they can say it to someone else who might have a completely different reaction altogether. How could that be? If that person’s words are hurtful, then it should impact everyone the exact same way. It doesn’t at all. We only hurt ourselves.
Again, we’ll get into some truths in a minute, but to piggyback on that, this is another false statement that we say all the time. Be nice so that you don’t hurt her feelings. Just like other people can’t hurt our feelings, we also can’t hurt theirs. Only they can hurt their feelings with their own thoughts, and you can be nice.
I try to put really useful, helpful messages out on this podcast, and some people say, “That was so powerful. I loved it. I felt so inspired when I heard it.” Other people will hear the exact same message and say, “I was really offended when you said that.” So, I can’t try to be nice so that I can control other people’s feelings. That doesn’t work because other people have different opinions, different ideas of what’s nice, different ideas of what’s useful.
I have to be nice only if I want to be nice because I’m a nice person. I be nice because it feels good to me to be nice, because it feels good to me to try to be the most Christ-like version of myself that I can. I have a long ways to go, but I try because that’s when I feel my best, when I’m being kind. Not because of how other people are going to feel. Some people are still not going to like it.
Some people are going to think I’m being fake. They prefer that I be more real. They prefer that I be less whatever. People are going to have their own opinions, you guys, of you, no matter how you show up. So, be nice because you want to be nice, not because you don’t want to prevent yourself from hurting someone else’s feelings. That’s not even a thing.
Here’s another false statement that we tend to walk around believing, is that once we get to a certain point, or a certain thing happens, or we achieve a certain goal, then we’re going to be happier. Once we’re a little bit thinner, a little bit richer, a little bit prettier, a little bit more well rested, our houses look better and cleaner, and our kids go back to school, and we achieve these things we’ve been trying to, then we’re going to be happier.
Isn’t that what we believe? That is false, my friends. Again, your experience when things outside of you change will be different, but your human brain will come right along with you. So, whatever negative emotion you’re used to creating, you will probably continue to create for yourself. Whatever positive emotion, you will probably find a way to do that as well at some point. Those things are all false.
Let’s talk about what’s true now and counterbalance what we just talked about is false. Here’s what’s true. Other people’s pain is created by their thoughts just like our pain is created by our thoughts. We all are the creators of our own pain.
Now, I know some of you are scratching your heads like, “Huh?” Just stay with me. It’s the truth. I promise you. Now, here’s what else is true. We want to create pain sometimes. We need to create pain sometimes for ourselves. That is our full human experience. Again, when I say we all create our own pain, people think I’m saying, “So, just think positive thoughts and be happy all the time. Done. What’s next?”
That’s not what I’m saying. We don’t want to. We don’t want to create positive emotion all the time. We don’t want to have happy thoughts all the time. That’s weird. Go back to the episode I did on being perfect robots. It doesn’t create the right experience. It doesn’t create a true human experience for us.
Here’s what else is true. Each of us individually has within us everything we need to work through our pain. We do. We have it within us. We have the ability to connect with God and feel the spirit in our lives, but each of us individually is the best source of the answers and the way through our pain. I don’t want to say solution because, again, I don’t think pain is a problem, but the way through it lives within each of us.
Nothing wrong with asking your friends and asking for advice, but the real answer lives within you. Your amazing brain starts adjusting, and calculating, and adapting without you even telling it to. It desperately wants to adapt to get back to a 50/50 experience where 50% of the time you feel happy, and 50% of the time you feel something negative. That is your brain’s goal, and it is desperately trying to do that.
We sometimes block it and prevent it by resisting reality, resisting what is, resisting that we are the true source of our pain, but your brain is capable of it if you relax into it and let it go to work doing the amazing job that it will do. Here’s what else is true. We become the people we want to become through pain.
Who do you want to become? Who do you want your kids to become? The same is true for them. They become who we want them to become through pain. We want them to be brave. We want them to be kind. We want them to be respectable. We want them to be Christ-like. We want them to rely on Christ and turn to Christ. We want them to be responsible, hardworking.
None of those things come from ease. None of those things are necessary when we just have an easy life, when we have no challenge, no problem, nothing to figure out or deal with. Those things come through pain. So, you see why pain is so necessary. You see why pain is not a problem. Pain is just the thing that we push back against, the opportunity that we have to move through in order to develop all of those attributes that we want.
Let’s talk again about mourning with those who mourn. This is also true. We want to feel pain sometimes, many times, when the people that we love are in pain. We want to feel pain about their pain. Sometimes we want to feel pain side by side with their pain. This is how we mourn with those who are mourning.
Now, feeling pain side by side with them is not the same as believing that their pain is the source of our pain. It is not the same at all. It is simply they are experiencing pain because of their thoughts about a particular circumstance, and we are experiencing pain because of our thoughts about them. They are our circumstance, but many times, we want to.
When my loved ones are in pain, I want to feel pain alongside them. Feeling pain because the people we love are in pain is very powerful. Mourning with those who mourn and offering comfort to those in need of comfort. That’s what the scripture say. Notice it doesn’t say in the scriptures that we go in and we fix and solve for their pain. It simply says that we mourn with them, and we offer comfort to those who need comfort.
What does that mean? What does it sound like? Here’s what it sounds like for me. I’m hurting over your hurt. I’m hurting for you, and I see you, I hear you. Your pain is real. Your fear is valid. Your pain is valid. It’s not weakness. It’s not a problem to be solved. It’s an experience to be had, and it’s your experience.
My pain is my experience, but your pain is all yours, and I believe in you. I’m here for you. Go towards the hurt. Lean into it. Take a deep breath and open up to it. Glennon Doyle has a new book out called Untamed that is beautifully written. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a book to read.
She says to her children, “I see your fear, and it’s big, but I see your courage, and it’s even bigger.” I like to think about it this way. These aren’t necessarily the words that I’m saying, but this is where I’m coming from in my head when I’m mourning with someone who’s morning. I know that they get to keep the jewels that will come from the lump of coal that they are right now.
I know that the Lord will not rob us of our own exhaustion against pain because it’s necessary. He knows that’s where the diamond is, and he also won’t forsake us. He will mourn with us. He will send angels to do the same, to do his work. Have you ever had an experience like this? I have.
I was living about 10 years ago in Huntington Beach, California, and I was in a great deal of pain, and not very many people knew it because it was a private pain, and I kept it to myself. On the outside, everything seemed just fine, but I was in a great deal of pain. A group of four women in my ward who I kind of knew, but not very well, just reached out to me randomly.
These were four women who were all at different stages of their lives. Some of them had older kids, high school kids. Some of them had younger kids. One was a little bit younger than me and had just little kids and was still having babies. So, we were all at different stages, but we all connected. We all were like-minded in the things that we enjoyed, and a lot of our views on life in the world.
Again, they reached out to me and said, “Hey, for a long time now, we’ve been doing a weekly girl’s night out. It’s just us four. We don’t really open it up because we want it to be a small, intimate group, but we just all felt like we should reach out and invite you to join us.”
Again, these women had no idea about my pain and my struggle. They had no idea how lost I was, but we went out every Tuesday night. That’s right, you guys, every Tuesday night. We laughed. We got dressed up cute. We went and ate good food somewhere. Oftentimes, we would go to a movie afterwards. We would pick up snacks at 7/11 first and go to the movie.
Many times, we would stay for a second double feature movie and not get home until 1:00 in the morning. We talked about life, and people, and TV, and our dreams, and our fears, and our kids, and our husbands, and we shared our pain with each other, and we shared our joy with each other, and we held space for each other, and those women carried me.
I never told them about the deep, private pain that I was in at that time. To this day, they have no idea, but those women carried me through my pain, and the Lord doesn’t take pain from us, but he will send angels to carry us through it.
So, how do you be that to your people? How do you mourn, and comfort, and not take on all of their emotions, and think that they’re yours to solve, and think that this is a problem to be fixed, and let it overwhelm you? You know how you do it? You stay in love and acceptance. You stop trying to control them. You stop trying to solve their problems.
You stop trying to force them to hurry up and be happy, and you just allow them their experience. Allow them to be hurt, and upset, and angry, and scared, and afraid, and unhappy, and negative, and feel any of those emotions alongside them that you want to. Here’s the key.
Even if they believe that you are the cause of their pain, you can love them. You can empathize, and have compassion, and be curious, and fascinated. You can even choose some pain over their pain, but ultimately, you have to remember that you’re the creator of your experience, so that we don’t have to change them if and when we decide we want to feel better.
I want to share one last experience that really is what prompted me to do this podcast. A couple things prompted me, but one in particular. We just launched, a few weeks ago, a missionary transition program. Maybe you’ve heard me talk about it. I don’t know if I’ve talked about it here on the podcast. Probably. I’ve been talking about it on Instagram and things.
We created this program because I coach a lot of women who are members of the church. In my coaching program, as all these missionaries were getting sent home from their missions, and stay-at-home orders even where they are out serving, and so they can’t go do the work that they normally would be doing.
I just kept hearing from their mothers and a few fathers. They kept saying, “Our missionaries. We’re so worried about them. They’re struggling. They’re so upset. I’m so worried about them coming home. They’re so heartbroken. They’re so lost. There’s so much suffering.”
So, my team of coaches and I decided, “Well, hey, let’s help them. Let’s give them some coaching. Let’s give them some tools.” Here’s what happened, is we’ve had some missionaries participating in that program, and my coaches and I just met today and talked about how is this program going?
It’s brand new, so we want to assess it. We want to adjust it where necessary. We want to do what we think will best serve these young people. All of us agreed on that call that these missionaries don’t really want our help. I don’t mean they don’t want to learn from us. They do. They like what we’re hearing, and some of them are coming, and they have great attitudes about it, but mostly what we’re getting from these missionaries is crickets.
Mostly, it’s their parents saying, “Go to this program. Go to this call. Watch this video. Go through this thing,” and the young people themselves are in a space of needing to struggle. They don’t want to feel better right now, many of them, and I don’t know that they should. I don’t know that our tools even will be the way for them.
I think they have the knowing within them to work through it, and that they need to struggle, and that this struggle is happening for them. This is not sad and tragic. This is an amazing gift. While it’s hard in many ways, it’s exactly what they need to go through. I just felt that even just a little bit of interaction I’ve had with them.
My coaches have felt it tremendously, and we just all sort of had this moment of, “Huh, this is interesting.” Their parents said, “My kid is struggling. I need to help them,” and we said, “Oh, we can help,” as though their pain was a problem that needed to be solved. We bought right into it. We’re just as much to blame.
Now, we’re realizing, “Oh, no, wait. This is not a problem to solve.” Yes, we’re going to teach them some things. We’re still going to give them great tools. We’re still going to offer them all the help in the world because some of them do want it, but so many of them just need to struggle right now.
It’s just part of growing up. We can’t take it away from them. We don’t need to. We’re just going to mourn with them and comfort them, and then we’re going to let their amazing spirits and brains sort all of this out.
So, I’m trying to remember that for my own kids when they struggle. I would offer it to you as well, and I would offer that you give yourself the same grace and compassion. All right, I love you. Have a beautiful week. I will see you next week on another episode.
Who is your life coach? If you don’t have one, I would be so honored to be your coach. I created a virtual coaching program called Be Bold that I want to invite you to join me in. We can address challenges, we can work on goals, and we can do it in so many different ways.
We have group coaching, individual private coaching, and online chats along with hundreds of hours of courses and content that I’ve created just for you. When you’re ready to really take what you’re learning on the podcast to the 10x level, then come check out Be Bold at JodyMoore.com/membership.
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