[00:00:42] Amanda: Hey guys, welcome back to the podcast. I am Amanda.
[00:00:45] Laura: I'm Laura
[00:00:46] Kendra: And I'm Kendra
[00:00:48] Amanda: and I wanted to thank everybody who has left a nice review. This one is from One Fall Gal. Thank you for creating a podcast that is an easy listen. I have listened to five shows and they each had something insightful and encouraging.
[00:01:01] Amanda: Thank you so much One Fall Gal. That helps us to reach other doctors that need to find this podcast, the more reviews and ratings that we have. So thank you guys for doing that. Today, we're going to talk about authenticity in relationships. Kay, take us away.
[00:01:16] Kendra: Okay. So, super excited about this. I think this is one of the, maybe a little underestimated topics when we do talk about relationships.
[00:01:26] Kendra: Authenticity is something that I think most of us strive to be, although uncomfortable at times. And so in Brene Brown's books, we love Atlas of the Heart. You've heard us talk about that multiple times on the podcast. But also the gifts of imperfection and I love this book because really it is the authenticity manual or handbook, whatever you want to say, it just really gives that vulnerability language and also creates, I don't know, a comfortableness or something about just knowing that we all kind of struggle with this and at any given time, things that seem to create feelings on the inside of us, Really stem from vulnerability, but we may have not been so comfortable, so it just sits in discomfort and so we label it as maybe a negative emotion.
[00:02:15] Kendra: And then it goes from there. So we grab some wisdom from the book. She's like, I said, really great at putting things out there, making them relevant and accessible and really empowering. with the language and the words to put through what we go through. And so as we kind of talk today just encourage you to grab a nugget that will be relevant to any relationship really with your significant other kids, colleagues, family, really can be applied to anything, coworkers.
[00:02:45] Kendra: So we're going to talk about love and In her book, she quotes an emotions researcher, Robert Fredrickson, and out of all of the definitions for love, it's highly debated because is this a verb? Is this a feeling? Is this an action word? Or is this just an emotion? I mean, it goes back and forth when you read any article.
[00:03:10] Kendra: Books on the topic. It's just really debatable. And so the consensus though, it is actually an emotion or a feeling. And so Barbara Fredrickson says the preoccupying and strong desire for further connection, the powerful bonds people hold with a select few and the intimacy that grows between them. the commitments to loyalty and faithfulness.
[00:03:34] Kendra: So, as you can see Brown kind of further goes into say that. Not only is it the desire for connection, we were made for connection, but it's also the process of growing in that intimacy. And so it's a nurturing process. It's not a process we're born with. We talk about being born worthy and knowing that you're worthy of love and that we are.
[00:03:57] Kendra: Made for connection, but really, it's the process of nurturing a relationship into that authenticity and really that bond that, you know, people hold within a certain relationship. That's important. And then as it grows, that commitment to commitment to loyalty and faithfulness. So. There are some misconceptions if you've grown up in a legalistic household or, or something that you've kind of been taught that, you know, you don't get love unless you give it maybe there was conditions attached to the love and, and we just want to offer up that, you know, honestly, this is something that can be nurtured.
[00:04:32] Kendra: It, it isn't something that can be bought or stolen or anything like that. It, it really is a process of Learning what it's like to not only have self love and to trust ourselves, but also nurturing a relationship with someone else that is built on that foundation of trust and loyalty. So here we go. The next step is trust.
[00:04:52] Kendra: So one definition she uses of trust is choosing to risk making something you value vulnerable to another's action. And Once again, that word vulnerability comes up. And yes, that is ultimately one of the most uncomfortable words, especially for us ER physicians or any of us that like to live in our left brain.
[00:05:13] Kendra: Vulnerability is kind of that unpredictability. Not sure how it's going to be received. Actually, and sometimes where I felt like I didn't even know what that felt like. Vulnerability to me was a scary place. And so I chose to like, Shut it down. And anytime it even tried to come up, I was like, Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, that's not safe.
[00:05:32] Kendra: That is not a safe place. So I'm going to put the wall up, hide behind it, call it something else, and move on. So it's really, when we're talking about trust, it's really building a self trust and that comes with knowing what that emotion that comes up, naming it, allowing it and then choosing. We talk about this all the time.
[00:05:56] Kendra: Brené Brown uses BRAVING it's an acronym, B R A V I N G, and we'll actually get into another podcast, because we believe that this could be a whole nother podcast, talking about self trust, and she, the acronym BRAVING that she uses is wonderful, and it really is succinct and gives excellent meaning to what it means to have self trust, but 1 of the capacities in which we meet with clients and figure out kind of where they're coming from is really that self trust.
[00:06:26] Kendra: The 1st casualty of making a mistake or a failure, we just lose our own self trust. And so, when that happens, it doesn't allow us to. Really understand what it is to trust others as well. So being able to be vulnerable with yourself and. Naming, allowing, and deciding when that feeling comes up in the realm of vulnerability is also one to apply when we're choosing to nurture relationships in love that we're cultivating trust.
[00:06:58] Kendra: So, that's kind of the foundation.
[00:07:01] Laura: Yes. Absolutely. And it's so interesting. These seem like these are just basic, obvious. Principles. But so much of love just gets more complicated for us, especially when we have self love issues ourselves.
[00:07:16] Laura: And she talks about how love and belonging are essential to human connection.
[00:07:21] Laura: And that again, seems obvious, but the feeling of belonging is a feeling of being safe. It's, we don't feel like we're going to be cast out for mistakes. We know that we can be ourselves with this other person or these other people and trust them with our weaknesses and our, our failings and that we'll be safe and be given a safe place to work on ourselves and grow.
[00:07:52] Laura: We have to be able to believe in ourselves first and believe that we have worth and that we have innate worthiness.
[00:07:59] Laura: Then we can give love and accept others as we are, if we are hating on ourselves, and this is a hard thing to hear for a lot of us, I know, because we are very, many of us are very, very self critical, especially physicians are very hard on themselves, but when we're that hard on ourselves, that is coming through in our relationships with other people. We cannot offer the highest level of love and connection to other human beings. If we do not value ourselves, we can't accept other people. As they are, if we are not accepting ourselves, all of this is connected to the fact that we are innately worthy of love.
[00:08:47] Laura: Now, we have goals, certainly, especially as we're going through our medical training, as we're going through life, we have goals and to become a physician, we have to achieve certain goals. The problem is when we as physicians tie our worthiness of love, our worthiness to be on this planet with achieving those goals.
[00:09:12] Laura: So we got into medical school, not because we were worthy, we got into medical school because we met the requirements. We were always worthy. Of love and opportunities to learn and grow, because that's what we're on this planet for is to learn and grow and create these relationships with other people. So that's something that as physicians, we must be able to uncouple our worthiness as human beings with our success in our careers.
[00:09:45] Laura: They are not the same. They are, you know, your RVUs do not mean anything with regard to your worthiness as a human being. There's no prerequisites. And we talk a lot about babies in the newborn nursery and how they clearly are so infinitely lovable just where they are. And don't do anything except pee, poop and cry and eat, and they are lovable and we are every bit as lovable and worthy now as we were at that time.
[00:10:17] Laura: So when we, and I love how Renee talks about living wholehearted, this is her, like this is her goal is to live wholehearted. When we live wholehearted, we believe that we are worthy of love and belonging. Just as we are, and we believe that others are also worthy of love and belonging. No change required.
[00:10:42] Laura: Belonging requires us to be who we are, not, not change who we are. And when we are changing who we are, To try to belong. That's trying to fit in. We don't, we don't have to do that to create belonging and certainly not to create worthiness. Although our brains like to tell us if we don't fit in, if we don't match, if we don't do.
[00:11:07] Laura: The same things that other people who are successful are doing our brain will like to try to tell us that we're going to be cast out and we're not going to be safe. It's not true. And we can learn to control our brains and, and console our brains and say, Hey, it's okay. It's okay. We're on our path.
[00:11:25] Laura: They're on their path. When we want to have true belonging, this only happens when we can be. And what that means is sharing our imperfections with other people. And this is where it's like a two way street. We provide safety for other people to share their imperfections, and then they provide safety for us.
[00:11:47] Laura: This is where true connection occurs, and this is where it's so sad in medical culture is that it's just not okay a lot of times to be imperfect. If, and our brains learn this early on in our training, we go into medicine as high achievers. And then shortly afterwards, we realize, or our brains start getting the story that we're going to be cast out if we're not perfect.
[00:12:16] Laura: And so we become maladaptive perfectionists and this does not foster connection. It does not foster a sense of belonging. When we can feel safe to be our authentic imperfect self, then we feel belonging and we can create belonging for others by sharing our authentic and perfect self and showing that it is safe to do so when we can do that, there's never going to be a higher level of connection than when we can present ourselves as our whole beautiful, imperfect mistake, making amazing selves, and we can never feel more belonging than the level of self acceptance that we offer ourselves.
[00:13:02] Laura: If we do not accept ourselves. We're never going to feel that sense of belonging because ultimately, ultimately, it's us and us. It's ourself with ourself. And if we don't accept ourself, how, how are we going to be able to feel that acceptance from other people?
[00:13:21] Kendra: Yeah. I like that. That's good.
[00:13:23] Amanda: Brought up a couple things that I was thinking about when when you all were talking though the first one is that that is the travesty of people pleasing is that when you are presenting yourself as whatever the other person wants you to be is they never do have the opportunity to know the real you and it is damaging to your sense of belonging when you're constantly trying to earn their love.
[00:13:47] Amanda: And again, you are worthy of love as you are. But not being able to be the authentic version of yourself. Doesn't give people in your life the chance to know the real you and and be themselves as well like we might be trying to people please each other and neither one has ever presented the actual real version of themselves, which on now you know like what's so bad about being ourselves and also, being authentic lets you find the people who really are your tribe.
[00:14:20] Amanda: Mm hmm. The last thing, the other thing that we were talking about, love and trust at the beginning, and I came across this quote, and I think about it sometimes, I haven't, you know, I like to think about things from a lot of different sides, but it's from George MacDonald, and it says, To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.
[00:14:39] Amanda: And I did think about, like, you know, I've got pets that I love with all my heart, and you can love a character on a movie. But to be trusted, to be somebody that people are able to trust does require a level of authenticity that's more than just trying to get people to love you. And I also wonder, too, with, like, celebrities and stuff that, that their whole lives revolve around needing to be liked, You know, who are they really?
[00:15:06] Amanda: You know, I don't know like that's just something that I think about because I think about weird stuff sometimes.
[00:15:11] Kendra: Well, and I think you're right though. Trust is cultivated. Trust is like, investment in a relationship that takes time. So, and we talk about this all the time, like anything of value is not just given to you.
[00:15:25] Kendra: When, if you truly value something, it's because you put some blood, some sweat, some tears and you hold it a value, because you've invested some time in that and so while I would tend to agree a little bit with that statement, it's rooted in the fact that you have cultivated, that you have nurtured that and you've got done the work And the journey of trusting self first, because if you don't trust yourself, it's really hard to truly trust others.
[00:15:54] Kendra: Right. And that's, I think where we see some of this like guard up in people or, or people talk about, you know, building a wall, just let your guard down, let your, like, truly, I think that's like, Hey, can I see the real you? And like, who knows where the level of this relationship could go? If I could just see the real you, people are begging for it.
[00:16:14] Kendra: And, you know, We could we've talked about scarcity and abundance, but I do think that is a little bit in here. Like it's it's a lack of feeling that I there's one of me and I'm a unique person with a unique purpose on the earth at this time to do whatever I'm called to do and no one else on this earth was is called to do the things that I am called to do and being confident in that. And so why not offer that up as your real self, because like you said, Amanda, you never know who that could lead you to, you never know what that tribe that calls you to or what purpose or whatever that, that, that has for you, but until you can really be, have words for it and cultivate your own self trust, yeah, it, it takes a little bit of time.
[00:17:05] Amanda: So this kind of leads us to Brene's three truths. The first one is that love and belonging will always be uncertain and that is something that we don't like because we tend to stay away from stuff because Yeah, we prefer safety.
[00:17:21] Laura: Yeah, that's all the more reason to create it for yourself and to get that relationship with yourself.
[00:17:30] Laura: Where it needs to be so that you don't have to go around feeling unsafe based on what other people do or say.
[00:17:36] Amanda: That's that's so important. Yeah, love and belonging from others will always be uncertain. But if you always if you make a pact with yourself that you're always going to have your own back, that's something that's a deeper level when you can truly love yourself.
[00:17:53] Amanda: And to know on a deep level that you like who you are is amazing. But love and belonging from others, we tend to shy away sometimes because we do like the safety, certainty, and clarity, but being vulnerable and tender is how you find your real people. Number two, love belongs with belonging. It's an intentional knot.
[00:18:15] Amanda: The absence of these, love and belonging, leads to suffering. And then number three. Is a deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible human need from the moment we are born until the day we die. And unfortunately we do have examples of babies that maybe didn't get the tenderness and love and touch that they need.
[00:18:36] Amanda: Their brains just don't grow. In the same way as those that do get that. And if we're thinking that that ends after infancy, that's where we're wrong. We do need connection. We do need community. We do need to be authentic and authentically love and be authentically loved. Number one is our relationship with ourselves.
[00:18:59] Amanda: Starting to do that for ourselves teaches us how it can be.
[00:19:04] Kendra: Yeah, I love that. What in the chapter of the gifts of imperfection that talks about exploring the power of love belonging and being enough. It spoke to me big time, because I think I've expressed this before 1 of the things that I struggled with in just. Being in that vulnerable space was feeling enough.
[00:19:22] Kendra: I had just some limiting beliefs and some narratives running through my brain of always feeling that I had to prove myself or that I was never enough. And so I always did the extra thing or showed up, worked harder. Showed up early, left late, all the things until I literally drove myself into the ground and never fully felt enough, right?
[00:19:42] Kendra: So, in the beginning of the chapter, she always has a quote, and this one's from Diane Ackerman. And she says, love is the most important thing in our lives, a passion for which we would fight or die. And yet we're reluctant to linger over its names without a supple vocabulary. We can't even talk or think about it directly.
[00:20:03] Kendra: So I hope today that we're just able to give you some vocabulary to give you some words to help you understand that true feeling of vulnerability and that you can experience love or give love, but that starts with, you know, sitting with yourself. Building that trust within yourself and also being able to just feel what it feels to be vulnerable and give it some words and then get to decide, like, how am I going to show up in this situation and feeling comfortable showing up as your authentic self?
[00:20:34] Kendra: in that relationship will only cultivate that trust with others as well. So thank you for joining us today. And we're excited that you listen. If you want to join our email list, if you haven't already go to www. thewholephysician. com to get more information. So until next time you are whole, you are a gift to medicine and the work you do matters.