In this episode, we are going to explore the topic of letting go of the thoughts that we think sound nice, like "I'm a naturally happy and optimistic person" because they no longer serve you.
It was my birthday this past Sunday, and I want to share with you my journey over the past 10 years of having a major u-turn, getting sober, and becoming a personal development junkie.
I've learned some important lessons, but I still struggle with some heavy stuff. It's important for you to know that in the midst of achieving your dreams you can still experience a nightmare of emotions that scare you so much you will want to run back home and hide under the covers.
That's why today we are going to talk about:
This is a really personal episode and it's hard to share some of this stuff publicly, but I believe that if I am honest about my hardships, it creates more space for you to be honest about yours as well.
Make sure you subscribe to the Podcast because the next few episodes are going to be epic.
We are going to talk about committing to dating and taking action whether it's online or in the real world, and I have a very special challenge for you that will help you start seeing some major progress especially if you've been struggling to get the ball rolling.
Plus, I will be talking about interracial relationships, this is an episode I will probably invite my husband to join us for, but I would love to start that conversation now. Please join me in our Facebook community and send me a message if you would like to discuss this topic. I've got some funny stories to share and some really helpful insights you won't want to miss.
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If you're ready to take the next step and commit to doing the work as long as it's in alignment with the will of God, I can help you start a healthy relationship, transition through the various phases, and ultimately enjoy a Christ-centered marriage. You can be a Godly wife and I want to help you succeed.
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I’ve been a self-improvement junkie for about 10 years now.
I just enjoyed my 35 birthday and I figured this would be a great opportunity to talk about some of the lessons I learned over the last decade, why this year is going to be my best year, and how you can ensure that the next 12 months are your best ever too.
What I want to share today is going to be counterintuitive for most people.
It certainly is for me. Especially because I consider myself to be a “happy person” and I want to explain why me being a happy person is a mental block I am working on dismantling so that I can have my best year ever.
We’re also going to dive into what exactly that means: best year ever. How do you define that? So I’m going to share what it means to me, and encourage you to either borrow my definition or be very intentional about crafting your own.
I’ll also give you some steps on how to do that.
This is going to be a really great episode, and if you like the work I’m doing through the Forever Love Podcast, the kindest most loving thing you could do for me for my birthday would be to leave an honest review for me on Apple Podcast.
I love creating this podcast for you, but the only way it can make a global impact the way I believe it can is through the grace of God and you. You sharing it with other women who will be blessed by the encouragement, inspiration, and practical how-to style advice I love to share for honoring your desire for love and marriage and becoming a Godly wife.
Welcome to the Forever Love Podcast, I’m your host and Christ-centered relationship coach, Lily Mtongwiza.
It was my 35th birthday this Sunday, and I had a really great day…
and I want to share with you that I’ve been really struggling with some heavy stuff lately.
Questions about what I’m doing, where I belong, and if I’m actually making a difference.
I am now the kind of person who likes to set goals, slay all day and make an impact. I like to be able to throw myself into a task and just push through until I get it done.
But lately, that hasn’t been working. And I’ll be honest, it’s really frustrating.
And I’ve been struggling with the invitation to surrender.
Now, cognitively, I know that surrender is sweet and I can trust God. I have no problem surrendering when my head hits the pillow at the end of the day, - and that in and of itself is a huge improvement.
There were huge periods of my life where I would lay awake for hours into the middle of the night, completely incapable of shutting down my overactive thinking brain.
So I thank God that now, on most nights I can roll over and go to sleep in less than 30 minutes.
But surrender during the day is a whole other story.
And through my own coaching journey, I’ve discovered that one of the mental blocks that I am working through is being able to surrender the outcome and still take action.
I’ll give you an example.
Because I’m sure you’re wondering “what does this have to do with me Lily?”
But don’t worry, I can guarantee that there are dozens of parallels between my life as an entrepreneur, wife and mom, and yours as a single woman.
Because we both have God-given desires that we are trying to honor and fulfill in a broken world using technology and resources that aren’t alluded to anywhere in the Bible.
And we are both constantly struggling with the questions of “Am I doing this right?” Am I 100% sure THIS is what God wants from me? And my favorite “What if I screw this up?”
And those questions are scary.
Of course, we want to have confidence, but we also want to be humble, or at least I do, and say “I don’t know”
But is “I don’t know” real humility? Or is it just fear wearing the cloak of humility.
Because sometimes we do know, but we pretend we don’t because we’re not ready to let it go, or we’re too scared to go all in.
So we stay in that place of indecision. Which is the death of faith.
You know, it was James, the brother of Jesus who said “faith without works is dead”
And I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately, especially in relation to The Life Code.
It makes perfect sense.
If we adopt the mind of Christ, that thought will produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit as fuel for action, and the action will be good works.
But the key here is to not just “think” a good thought.
You have to fully believe it.
This is why affirmations, regardless of how scripturally based they are, will not produce any change in your life until you actually believe it.
This is also why Jesus also discourages us from using “vain repetitions” because if you don’t fully believe what you’re saying, you’re actually reinforcing the underlying thought that is arguing against it.
If you repeated to yourself 1 million times a day “ I am going to fly to the moon” no amount of repetitions is going to get you to the moon.
Why, because there’s no desire there or intention to take action towards actually getting there.
The more you repeat, “I’m going to fly to the moon” the more your brain replies, “ugh, no you’re not, that’s stupid, there’s nothing on the moon for us, why would I be going there, this is stupid.”
The thought “I’m going to fly to the moon” doesn’t spark passion, excitement, or anything that fuels action, instead, it sparks disbelief. And you will dig in deeper to your disbelief the more you say it.
So be mindful of how your words actually make you feel.
We’ve talked before about the power of words, and how much life is in them, and I’m going to share with you why I have had to stop the thought “I’m a naturally happy and optimistic person”.
Even though that sounds like a great thought, “I’m a naturally happy and optimistic person” and it has been useful in the past, it no longer serves me because it’s now arguing with my reality.
Because let me be really honest with you.
Living as an immigrant in a 3rd world country isn’t easy.
And some days, nothing seems to be working. And I know that I am a privileged white lady and even on a bad day, I still have it better than about 95% of the people around me, somedays it still sucks. And I don’t like it.
So when I’m feeling really frustrated, and homesick the thought “I’m a naturally happy and optimistic person” feels like a punch in the gut.
It makes me feel like there is something terribly wrong with me like I’ve made a terrible decision to be here and that I should flee as quickly as possible.
I told you earlier in the show that I’m continually being called to surrender, and that seems really scary right now. I tend to think that I need to work as hard as humanly possible to make sure that nothing bad happens to me or my family.
Because let me tell you something I’ve learned from living in both Canada and Zimbabwe.
The biggest difference is that in Canada, there is the illusion of security.
Now the truth is that security comes from Christ alone. Nothing can save us when it’s time to go, and nothing can stop us when God has a plan for our lives.
But, our human brain doesn’t know that.
So we look at the world through this veil of security, and for some people, the veil is very thick and they feel like a superhero, nothing can stop them.
And for others, it’s very thin and they are hyper-aware of all the dangers.
I talk to single women all the time who think that if they had a husband, they would feel safer. They believe that if you’ve got a man in bed next to you, then you’ve got nothing to worry about.
But let me assure you, as one who has a very strong man sleeping between her and the door and the bad guys, that nothing could be further from the truth.
I still got plenty to worry about.
Like, how devastating it would be to see him get killed. Or to see him, losing me.
Seriously, marriage doesn’t solve anything when it comes to our fear-based brains. It will just give you a whole new set of things to worry about.
And I’m not saying it’s any better or worst, it’s just different.
The reason I’m sharing this is that I am committed to having my best year ever.
And for the past couple of years that has meant,
-I’m going to accomplish my goals
-I’m going to have more fun
-I’m going to make amazing memories
And this year it means
-I am going to fully experience the growing pains.
-I am going to get really uncomfortable.
-I am going to stop trying to be so damn happy and start being human
-I’m going to feel like everything is falling apart half the time and learn to be okay with it.
That sounds like fun, right!!!
I was coaching today, and one of my clients is ready to take the next step in her journey towards marriage. She has spent the last couple of months working on her mindset and belief, and now it’s time for her to put her faith into action.
And she was debating whether she should commit to online dating or meeting someone in the real world.
So I gave her two options, which I am really excited to share with you in the next couple of episodes, but I said
Option A- online dating, but you have to commit to being in conversation with 10 men for 30 days. That means you keep connecting with men until you have a circle of 10 who you are actively talking to and making plans to meet up with. When one of those men falls off the radar, you have to immediately replace him.
Or, Option B. Spend 10 hours each week in the real world with no distractions. This also includes taking a 30-day break from all social media, putting the phone away, and spending 10 hours in public interacting with people and the environment without any headphones, screens, books, etc to hide behind.
I told her to choose the one that sounds like the most fun, but know that either way you’re going to have to confront discomfort. You’re going to feel scared, awkward, stupid, uninterested, all the negative emotions are going to come up. And it’s by allowing them to be there that you will start to make progress towards your goals.
So, make sure you have subscribed to the podcast, and get yourself on my mailing list so that you don’t miss these next couple of episodes because I’m going to go into a lot more detail of how you can do this on your own.
For me, my best year ever means, the year in which I experience the most growth. Spiritually, emotionally, mentally. I want to always be growing and learning, and that comes with growing pains and a lot of failures.
Most people are trying to avoid failure. We don’t want to lose money, we don’t want to waste time, we don’t want to feel rejected, we don’t want to experience shame.
But in trying to spare ourselves from these emotional experiences we make our lives really small.
And I don’t want that for myself.
I told you that I have been having some struggles adjusting to life in Africa, and there are days when I don’t like it.
I see the streets full of trash, and the kids with no shoes asking for money, I see my bank account going down, and bugs in the house, and think “I don’t like this” and I feel disgust.
I was getting coached on this yesterday and I told my coach, I feel like puking. Like there is this dark tar blob in my stomach and my throat feels all wretching, and I honestly wonder if this is an emotion or a physical illness because it so strong.
And the way that I know it’s an emotion because it comes up when I’m thinking “I don’t like this”, or variations on that, and subsides when I change my mind.
Now when I am thinking like this and feeling disgust, my impulse reaction is to get out of there.
Like, if you really don’t like it, then leave.
And I really don’t like it, you guys!
But I also don’t want to leave.
I like my reasons for being here.
And the truth is I don’t want to live my life running away from my emotions.
My best life means, that no matter where I am in the world, no matter what kind of situation I am experiencing, I know that my emotions are okay no matter what they are.
And If I am willing to sit with my uncomfortable feelings and feel them all the way through, I will create space to really enjoy the emotions that I enjoy more.
And before I let you go, I want to share that when I asked myself where I’d rather be, my answer was Walmart.
I want to be at Walmart. I want to be in there going up and down the rows, touching the towels, smelling the candles, looking at frying pans, wandering around the clothing department.
That’s my comfort zone, right! A coffee cup in one hand, a grocery cart, a little bit of money to spend on my debit card. That’s what my brain wants to go back to.
And I wonder, what’s your comfort zone?
Where does your brain think you should be?
Because the truth, capital T, truth that sets me free is I don’t really want to choose Walmart for my life. Walmart is not the answer, even though my brain really really wants it to be.
The truth is, I like my decision to be in Zimbabwe 60% of the year. I like that I will be going back to Canada, but not yet. I like that we are living our dream even in those moments that feel more like a nightmare because I know deep in my heart that if I don’t quit, we will get to the other side and it will be…
Wait for it…
Yep, when we achieve our dreams of a home we built ourselves, and a farm with an orchard and organic garden, and a backyard garden with a gorgeous view of the night sky, it will still be 50/50.
Totally awesome sometimes, and there will still be days when “ I don’t like it!”
But you know what makes it worth it, is the growth that I will experience along the way.
I will become someone with resilience, and perspective. Someone who has practiced surrendering, failing, and getting back up.
And that’s what I want for you too.
I want you to commit to your God-given desire, not because marriage will make you 100X happier. Not because it will solve your problems, or make you feel better.
But because of who you will become in the process of pursuing a worthy goal that is based on the desire for Christ-centered love.
And the way to do that is to show up for the whole experience. Put some skin in the game, invest in your dream whether that’s by working with me, or finding some other mentor or accountability partner. Showing up for all the dates. Being interested in people. Falling in love and getting your heartbroken. Experiencing the butterflies and the rejection.
It’s all of it.
And if you’re not willing to go there yet, just ask yourself why?
I want you to be really honest with yourself about why you think you can’t.
What are you afraid of feeling and why?
I promise you that if you can learn to feel any emotion, that’s when you become unstoppable.
That’s when you can start to see momentum in your life because no matter what, you know that your security comes from God, and he has already accounted for all the issues you’re facing.
He knows the circumstances you’re dealing with. He knows your history and the trauma you’ve faced. He knows what kinds of men you’ve had in your past. He knows all of it, and he has accounted for it.
He’s not surprised or determined by any of the things that we think are really good reasons why something can’t be done.
As a coach, I love listening to our very rational reasons why we can’t do something. But no matter how “true” they are, when we look at them from God’s perspective, they are excuses.
Because when we start to put our faith into action, we figure stuff out. We take action and we let those failures teach us something, and we discover God’s mercy and goodness all along the way.
Some of you don’t want God’s mercy, you just want him to tell you exactly how to do it so that you can follow his plan, do it perfectly, and avoid any discomfort, but that’s not how it works.
There’s no perfect plan that you’re supposed to know and follow.
There’s just human life on earth, full of valleys where we feel the shadow of death and learn to fear no evil because he is with us in the midst of all of it.
So I want to leave you with this question, get a journal and really write it out and look at your own beliefs around this.
What does “your best year ever” mean to you?
I’ve shared with you mine, that it means growing and really showing up for my life and allowing myself to experience whatever emotions come my way. I want to grow and that means a commitment to experiencing the growing pains along the way.
And maybe 10 years from now, I will have a different definition, but for now, this is what I want for myself and it’s what I want for you too.
I want you to embrace life. All of it. The good, the bad, and the ugly and go after the things that light you up. And if one of those things is a Christ-centered marriage, and you’d like me to personally walk with you on that journey as your private coach, please take the next step and book a coaching consultation so that we can set that up.
All you need to do is go to Proverbs2426.com and go the get coached tab, select a time that works best for you, and then we can have a conversation about your relationship goals and how I can support you in achieving them.
That’s proverbs2426.com, there is a link in the show notes, and I can’t wait to meet you and help you through this process. I know it sounds scary, but you don’t have to do it alone.
Make sure you come back next week because I’m going to share with you my two strategies for dating both online and offline and you’re not going to want to miss either of those, so subscribe and if you know someone else who would be blessed by what I’ve shared here with you today, please get this message to them. Share it on social media, email it. Trap them in your car and play it on the speakers.
Because I honestly believe that if we change the way we approach love and marriage, we will have healthier relationships that are truly Christ-centered, allow us to live in alignment with our faith, and be a glowing example of what is possible.
I can’t make that change happen on my own. It will take the grace of God and an army of women like you to help me spread this message and make a difference in the world.
Thank you so much for joining me here today, I love you, You’re amazng. and until next week, God Bless You.