This is an unedited series from our coach forum. Our coaches found it helpful, so Meadow asked me to publish it.
Hey coaches -
After our call on Thursday – I did a whole bunch of self coaching and I want to share with some of the work I've done.
On the call, (in typical Meadow fashion), I got mad and irritated about being coached. I do this all the time with Brooke. Once I even hung up on her. She just laughs.
When she laughs – I get even madder.
And she still laughs.
And I know that it's probably funny. Somewhere inside of me knows this. But when I'm in my story – I want her to take my story seriously. And when she doesn't. I get mad.
But she never does. She never gets mad at me for acting like this. (She thinks it funny.) She doesn't apologize for asking me questions. She doesn't retreat. She doesn't get scared.
No matter what I throw at her: I tell her I hate her. I tell her to fuckoff. I tell her she can't be my coach anymore. (and then immediately withdraw that threat… seriously – not smart). I tell her that she's mean. I tell her all kinds of stupid stuff.
And she just laughs. And reminds me that I'm a pain in the ass to coach.
And then she giggles and says "you're funny."
OOOOOOoooo. Angry eyes.
The reason why I'm telling you this is because your clients will do this. They will be mad at you, they will want to hang on to their stories. They will want to hang up on you. They will want to threaten you with angry eyes. They might even yell at you. Tell you you're a horrible coach. Walk out of the session. And blame you for their feelings.
If you can hold strong. And just laugh. And be patient.
They eventually run out of steam. They get no resistance from you – so they are just left with themselves and their crappy story.
How do I know this?
Because for the past two weeks – I've been doing this with Brooke.
SOOOOO irritated about anything she even slightly coaches me on.
And after Thursday's class. I was just left to my own shitty-ass thoughts.
I pulled out one of the worksheets (Primary Programmers) and started to do the real work that I have been avoiding for the past two weeks.
Work on my dad.
I started to write within seconds tears by the bucketful started and didn't stop for an hour.
All this hostility was just masking some pretty intense grief and sadness about work I need to do on my dad.
If Brooke had apologized, or backed off, or consoled me. I wouldn't have done this work. She remained consistent. Kept at it. Let me be mad at her. Until all I was left with was me and my work.
I couldn't blame.
I couldn't be mad.
I had a piece of paper in front of me. And some questions to answer.
The Primary Programmers Worksheet is now covered in sloppy blue ink – smudged with lots of tears. And I went on to fill up the Letter to My Pain Causer worksheet.
If you have not done this worksheet… (I never had until Thursday)… do yourself a favor. This one is amazing. Life changing.
I'm going to type what I wrote – because (even though I'll probably get mad) I need coaching on this.
* * * *
I'm angry because you didn't work harder to earn more money for our family. I'm mad because if you had made more money mom wouldn't have been as mean and wouldn't have hurt us.
I'm sad because I feel like you just didn't love us. I feel like if you had loved us you would have protected us from mom, or at least had money for us and she would have been happier.
I wish that you had just had a normal job and we didn't stress about the money. And that mom would have just been happy.
I am sorry that… reading this I am sobbing. I am sorry. So sorry that I didn't realize how childish these beliefs were. And that we did have a lot. A nice house, yard and that you did provide so much for us. I'm sorry that I thought you didn't love me. And that I still think that.
I love you because you gave me a beautiful childhood. Freedom, fun, laughter, music, playing outside, lots of friends and family. BBQ's. You walked out of the church with me – and had my back. You protected me and you loved me enough to give me freedom and allow me to think what I do about you. I love you because you're my dad. You gave me music, self-help, creativity, owning my own business, thought inquiry, family, questioning authority. And… my name.
* * * *
Meadow Wrote: I want her to take my story seriously.
Your clients will want you to do this. They don't just want you to take it seriously, they want you to believe it.
This is what it is like when someone believes their story….
Meadow: THERE IS A HUGE GREEN, PURPLE MONSTER IN MY HEAD DOING THE RUNNING MAN.
Brooke: I know. You told me.
Meadow: SERIOUSLY, IT MATTERS. IT'S BIG. IT'S DANCING.
Brooke: It's not real.
Meadow: FUCK YOU. HOW WOULD YOU KNOW? YOU WERE RICH GROWING UP. YOU HAVE A HUSBAND THAT LOVES YOU. NOT EVERYONE IS LIKE YOU.
Brooke: You will feel so much better if you stop believing the monster is real. The moster is not real. The monster is funny, not scary. The monster makes no sense. The monster is green, Meadow, and he's doing the running man. That is not real.
Meadow: I AM NOT LISTENING TO YOU. THIS IS NOT MAKING ME FEEL BETTER. I DO NOT THINK THIS IS FUNNY.
Brooke: I can't feel sorry for you because you are choosing to believe in this monster. I know you have thought it was real for so long-but there is nothing you can say that will ever make me believe in this monster in your mind. Ever. I believe in you. And this is not serving you.
Meadow: But if the monster isn't real, then that means I have been wrong. I have been scared and upset about nothing. It means my whole life I have thought of myself in relation to the monster and if the monster isnt' real I can't make sense of that.
Brooke: As a child you couldn't make sense of that. As an adult you can. As a child it served you to believe in mosters because that is how children think and survive. As an adult, you can let go of the monster and it doesn't mean you wasted any time believing it. It doesn't mean you were wrong. It doesn't mean you did anything wrong. It just means you had a story about a monster that got you to here, and now you can have a new story that feels better and is better for you in your life now.
In this case, the story is the monster. Not your dad. Your dad was never the monster. Your story about him was only that, a story.
You can let it go.
You can let yourself love him.
You can let yourself believe he loves you.
Without the apologies, guilt, explanations, or healing conversations. No drama needed.
You. Without the story that makes no sense and has no upside.
Will take different action.
But you won't even need to try or do.
You just will.
Without the story. Without the monster. The anger turns to sadness and then to love.
And you might even hear a little bit of laughter.
Because you, without your story, are like that.