We all have dreams of how we want our lives to be, but sometimes creating that beautiful life means facing our pains and hurts head-on. In this episode, Rodney Flowers talks with speaker and life coach Misty W. Gilbert about how she was able to embrace her pains and move past them to really shine through and live a life of purpose. Misty walks us through the different challenges and trauma she had to endure, and how she eventually reconnected with God. Listen to this podcast episode as Misty and Rodney discuss how you can keep move past your pain, live authentically, and live the life you’ve always wanted.
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Creating Your Beautiful Life With Misty W. Gilbert
I have Misty Gilbert with me. She’s a transformational coach, writer and speaker. Her mission is to inspire and assist people to create the lives they want by living with purpose. Her powerful story through abuse, rejection, fear and authenticity evokes both pain and courage as she vulnerably shares her path to freedom. She boldly calls others to take the steps to overcome their own stories and shares how embracing pain is the key to leveraging the freedom they desire. She teaches living authentically, courageously and abundantly to embrace freedom to the power of choice by escaping the limiting beliefs around fear, shame, guilt and regret. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Miss Misty Gilbert. Welcome to the show, Misty.
Thank you, Rodney. Thank you for having me as a guest on your show. I appreciate the opportunity. It’s an honor.
It’s an honor for me to have you on the show. You have a wonderful story. I’m excited about diving into it. I know you have a TED Talk that’s out there. I want the audience to know about that so they can go check that out. First, I want to get into your mission and what you are all about, your contribution to the world. Do you mind sharing that with us?
I do not mind. My mission in that I’m about and my purpose is to try to be a ripple effect on people’s lives. To encourage, support and inspire them as my personal mission statement outside of a business. My vision and mission is to personally share my journey with you on how I choose to embrace my own pain and live authentically in freedom. By doing that, I do it by living intentionally. I feel as a society, we shy away from setting a purpose, being committed and following the path of our drains and being intentional about it. It’s easy to set a goal. It’s easy to say, “This is what I want.” We let life circumstances and the pain come along. We make excuses as to why we can’t or how it’s not possible. We don’t understand that this circumstance or situation is preventing us instead of turning that pain into power.
How did you develop this mission? What caused this to come about?
It’s with my own personal pain. My childhood was a very abusive childhood. It was manipulated and controlled in a foundation of a belief system that was very religious but ultimately a cult-based of many of the extremists out there. I was also raped at seventeen. The foundation that I had was to protect myself and not to get hurt again. Not to let somebody hurt me and not to be in a situation where I was controlled and without a choice. Consequently, I let my life be hidden from society out of my own fears of connecting on an emotional level. If you look at it from a dating standpoint, my dad told me at fourteen, he didn’t want me. He never wanted kids. The only reason they had kids is because my mom wanted kids. At twenty, when I left my parents’ home and move from California to Texas, I had a mindset of, “I don’t need men. I don’t want men. I can make my life great without them.”
One of the things I did to do that was to wear a wedding band on my left hand for sixteen years to keep men away. On a side note, not that it really does but it allowed me to feel that I was in control of my life and my choices. I didn’t have to have a relationship if I didn’t want one. The truth is, deep down I was hiding behind the pain. The pain of a father who didn’t want me as the oldest child. The pain of being taken advantage of. The pain of my parents not believing me and giving me a seven-year sentence to have to prove I was worthy to be their daughter. I now no longer was their firstborn daughter because of their beliefs that any type of sexual misconduct of any kind is the ultimate sin of all sins.It's easy to set a goal, but when life circumstances and the pain come along, we make excuses as to why we can't do it. Click To Tweet
Even though you were raped, you still had to live under the scrutiny of having sex.
I was seventeen. He was 28 years older than me. He had two twin boys, my age and was married. My parents didn’t believe that it was a situation of that. They looked at it as adultery on his standpoint and fornication on my standpoint. Because ultimately, if a man can get in your pants, if you will, under that terminology, you avoid that at all costs. It’s not possible you can prevent anything from happening. Knowing that mindset and knowing that I knew him, he wasn’t a complete stranger to me. He wasn’t somebody like a family friend but he knew where I lived. He came in the back door of my parents’ house. It was unlocked and he came in at 7:00 in the morning. I was not prepared for that.
It’s a situation where my parents feel I lost my birthright as their oldest daughter. I no longer could sleep with my sister in a bedroom. I had to share my own little room that they built in the dining room. They were scared I had AIDS. They made me go through AIDS testing every six months for three and a half years. They were scared that if I had AIDS, I’d contaminate their foods. They made me use gloves in the kitchen to protect the food. They wouldn’t allow me to have any, what they considered high-quality foods. No distilled water, no juice and no sugar or any fancy foods. I was served last. For all the reasons, the dinner table was extended to its furthest length, putting me at the other end to isolate myself.
I was not allowed to be alone with my siblings. They didn’t trust me is what it pulled down to. They changed all their bank accounts and credit card numbers that I had been privy to. They took away my driver’s license. They wouldn’t let me hang my bath towel next to my siblings because I’m contaminated. They took away all my clothes and no jewelry, no earrings. I didn’t wear makeup and I didn’t have any jewelry, any fancy clothes. I had five outfits, very plain, no print with solid colors. My life went to basically living in a prison. I was controlled and told what to do from 6:00 in the morning until 9:00 at night. I became the family slave. If anybody needed anything, sitting in the living room, needed a tissue or whatever, it was like, “Misty, go get it.”
You were seventeen at this time, right?
Yes, I was seventeen.
You were going through the distance, what caused you to change?
I didn’t change until about 37, to be honest with you. I left my parents’ environment 3.5 years into my seven-year sentence pretty abruptly. I came to Texas to visit my sister who left abruptly on her eighteenth birthday that year. It was September 1997 is when I moved. She moved July 1997. I came here to visit her and ended up only going home to get my stuff. It was not in my agenda or not on my plan, but it was the first time I had been away from my mom for a full week by myself. I had an overwhelming feeling I did not want to go home. Plans quickly changed, leadership. The church group that I came here, I’m a part of the same one I was affiliated with in California, encouraged me to extend my ticket to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.
I did that. I began the process of creating a resume, looking for a job and looking for housing. Two weeks later, I went home to get my stuff. My parents said, “You’re leaving without our blessing. You’re not welcome back in our home.” I decided to make that leap of faith. My journey did start at twenty, but I was still a part of the church group that my parents were a part of. That religious affiliation, women didn’t wear pants, you weren’t independent, you were controlled by leadership or a husband and there was a lot of religious beliefs around no Christmas, no TV, no movies, no dating, no Easter, no sporting events, no worldly entertainment and no fingernail polish. I could go on and on.
I lived a very secluded life in that group and we were not known as far as if you knew somebody that attended it, you would know who these people are. I’d say we were affiliation of a lot of the religions out there and the fact that we were a Baptist. We didn’t drink, smoke or dance. We were Pentecostal that we wore long skirts with no slits and with our hair up in a bun. We were Jehovah’s Witnesses. There was no Christmas. We pass tracks out if we didn’t do it door to door, which was our main method. We did do it on the street corners at large events passing out our information to get you to come to our association and a Mennonite as far as they have a deep community and connections. They help and support each other.
We didn’t have electronics as far as computers and microwaves. We weren’t completely ancient but women were suppressed. Their voice was suppressed. They didn’t have a place in the church. They couldn’t speak. We were supposed to be a Proverbs 31 woman to the nth degree to learn everything and be self-sufficient. Moving from California in September 1997, I was still part of that being here. Even though I initially have freedom, I wasn’t in the home with my parents, I wasn’t being controlled by their beliefs that they took of this religion to another level, over and beyond the majority of the group. I still was in an environment that was very controlling and very not life-giving. That transformation was seventeen years later. That was a step towards it.
True freedom began when my dad passed away in 2013. A couple of life-changing events happened to me around that time. While I was going to California for the memorial, my mom canceled it when she heard I was in town. I was flying home and going back out there the next week for the memorial unannounced because I knew that I had to. I wanted to go. I didn’t want people to feel I was angry at my dad. He had written me a letter three months prior apologizing for never wanting me, for never being a part of my life. I had written him a letter back asking him to move forward with his life and the abundance of God’s blessings with forgiveness, knowing that neither of us could redo my childhood. I wanted him to have peace and he passed away about six weeks after that. He fell and had a brain aneurysm.
That was a starting point to some awakening going on with me of making my own choices. When my mom canceled the memorial, the church group I was a part of was like, “Your mother clearly doesn’t want you. You shouldn’t go.” I felt that it was something I should do. I stood up for myself. A week after that, getting home back to Texas, I rear-ended a lady in Dallas. When I got out of my car, the first words out of her mouth to me were, “You were forgiven before this ever happened.” I burst into tears, not just from the emotion of having rear-ended somebody significantly, but very literally her first words, I’ve never been told something like that in my life.
For a complete, utter stranger to be like that to me, rocked my world. Not even 30 days later, I had a client situation that occurred where I said something and he took offense to what I said. He hit me in the head twice, which really was a rude awakening to me because it sent me into the trauma of my childhood that I had buried for years. The physical abuse that I could not talk about because my mom said if I spoke about it, she would physically kill me. When you ask, when did the transformation occur? It happened in layers, but these incidents were rude awakening to me of pain inside that I was ignoring and living with just to try to deal with life. Ultimately, I was unhappy with my life and I was like, “I want something different.”If you're doubting that what you're praying for is being heard or that it can come about, then you're going to struggle. Click To Tweet
You go through these incidents, these moments in time and there’s a progression as you go through these things. What’s taking place with you? Is this a conscious effort of change that you’re making or things just happening for you? Can you walk us through some of the work that you were doing during that time, if you were and some of the lessons learned?
I would say the work was I wasn’t going to avoid the pain that was showing up. I hadn’t, in other situations and choices, this was more personally related. The choice at twenty to leave my family and be disowned and decide I’m choosing freedom no matter what that looks like, it started the trajectory of my path for sure. Along the way, I succumb to other people telling me what Misty needs to look like, what’s an ideal world for Misty. As I began my entrepreneurship journey, they’re like, “That’s cool. That’s fine because you don’t have a husband but don’t get too independent because men don’t like independent women. Don’t make more money than he does and don’t work past 9:00 to 5:00.” They call these concepts. I still was playing small. I was playing to the box that they put me in.
As these incidents started happening, I started questioning my life. What did I believe and what did I want? As the pain occurred, like receiving a letter from my dad that I’d never, ever thought I would get in my entire life. You can choose to sit in regret and go, “I wish 37 years ago it had been a different situation or even 27 years ago or 17 years ago.” If not, I’m going to come at it with, “How would I want to be treated in this situation if roles were reversed? How would I want my daughter to receive me?” I knew the pain was intense. I knew that the methods that I had tried through the church group for the last seventeen years weren’t working. I decided to go get outside counseling, which again was a step outside of their jurisdiction because they believe you pray about it and you seek ministry help. You read your Bible and those kinds of things that people of that type of medical practice don’t have the skillset to truly help you, only God does. That began my journey of uncovering and sharing my story for the first time and doing the very thing I was told not to do.
I want to add something here because I’m a firm believer in God. I read my Bible as well. You can’t read it and think something magical is going to happen. You can’t pray and think something magical is going to happen. It’s the relationship that you have with God. I’m not saying that for you, personally, for someone that may be reading. I know there are lots out there about religions and God and it’s confusing to people. I don’t know if you went through any of that yourself but I know that in some of these groups, they’re not taught to have a relationship with God. They feel that they read a certain scripture and something is supposed to happen right then and there. It doesn’t work that well. You have to have a relationship with God and with spirit in order to get the effects of prayer and the effects of reading. It’s not even the reading. The reading is to build a relationship.
I don’t mind getting into it a little bit because I do agree with you that it is deeper than reading. I believe it’s even deeper than prayer because deep down, through my own life’s experiences, it boils down to faith. If you don’t have faith in your prayers and if you don’t have faith in somebody above you, that is God, you’re not planting the seeds for it to even work. If you’re doubting that what you’re praying for is even being heard, going to be granted or it can come about, then you’re going to struggle. Even deeper than that, Romans 8:28, “All things work together for my good,” it doesn’t mean everything is good. It means all things will work for my good.
I believe we conceptually have taught a lot of beliefs that it creates extreme discomfort, extreme confusion in people’s lives and not giving them the ultimate clarity. We tout the Bible where God is the source and the answer. We have not provided the tool and the path. It is a relationship, but my relationship with you or anybody else, there are multiple ways that that happens. Time together as one, but that’s not the only. I have to have faith in you. I have to believe in you. I have to be willing to hear what you have to say back. There are so many facets to a relationship and it’s not something that happens overnight.
I believe that God is the way, the truth and the light. The Bible is a tool in order for you to develop that relationship with Him. You learn through His life and the people that He’s called to deliver those messages that are outlined in the Bible on how to go about living in that way. A lot of people focus on the practice. They put all these parameters around the practice and you don’t have the relationship. You don’t have the faith. You might as well not even do the practice if you don’t have the faith. As matter of fact, you can have faith and you may mess up a little bit on the practice but because you have faith, it’s the faith that allows you to have that relationship with God, believe in God and get results.
I agree with you that faith is the key even more than the practice, that you have the practice perfect through that. Many religions teach that you have to start your day with God and you have to read your Bible first and I say then carry that over to marriage. That means I have to wake up first thing and tell you every morning, “I love you and I’m committed to you. I married you and I’m not going to forsake you for the relationship to work.” No, that’s not true. I should want to share with you that I love you and give you a hug and a kiss, but I don’t have to do it first thing for me to have a fabulous marriage. If you believe those things and you’re creating rules about how the relationship is going to work and everybody’s going to feel bondage and not freedom.
That’s not what God designed. Religion teaches so deeply. I’ve got to figure out God’s will for my life, for me to have a successful life and I believe that the plan that I have for you is that you understand love, forgiveness and freedom. That is the plan. The plan isn’t that Misty must marry this person, have these many kids and do all these things. That was never the plan. Is it God’s desire for certain things to happen for our life? I believe so, but He gives us the will and a choice to choose. We get so caught up in being timid that I have to seek God’s will for my life when He’s given us that strength and that power to choose. He’s with us in the journey.
He doesn’t care what job I have, not really. He doesn’t even care who I marry or how many kids I have. He wants me to love Him with all my heart, soul and might and to serve Him and find somebody that’s going to be compatible with me in the journey to do that. I don’t believe He’s got one person picked out for me. I did believe that. I used to believe that, but I believe that that creates a bunch of rules and a bunch of fear that makes people feel that they’re going to make a mistake if they don’t get the right job, the right car, the right house or have the right amount of kids, to pick the right school or everything. I think it leaves people in bondage.
In the beginning was the word and the word is God and that word is not the Bible. The Bible is an affiliation of the word but it is not the word. The word is God and a spirit that’s alive within you, stronger than anything else. It goes with everybody. It’s not just a book. Those are my beliefs and we could talk all day about my beliefs or someone else’s beliefs. Those are things I’ve had to uncover because the religion and church group I was a part of taught a lot of things that kept me in fear. That I would make a mistake and wouldn’t be doing God’s will for my life. It’s coming from a childhood foundation where I never felt good enough and straight As wasn’t enough. I had to work always to get back in good standing with my parents. It made me feel I had to do that with God too.
What have you done to create this new life that you’re living now? I’m looking at you, you’re beautiful. You’re still alive and you seem to be doing very well and completely contrary to what you described to us. What are you doing now to create this beautiful life yet?
I’m 42. I started this transformational journey at 37. I decided to face everything that was painful head-on. Do the very things that scared me, that created fear in me and that drove me to feel I had to perform for connection, for value, for acceptance, for approval and unravel it down to its deepest foundation. It’s been a very aggressive process and many times hurtful and painful, life-suffocating process but it is the very thing you are seeing in me. The passion you see comes from me facing my pain and continuing to do as it shows up in new levels. With dating, doing the very thing I was scared of doing to be alone with a man, to get to know people outside my church group, friendships and create relationships. Uncover who is God, what does God want for my life beyond what I’ve been told my entire life by my parents, the church group and even the Bible. I did a challenge to set my Bible aside for 30 days and connect with God outside my Bible.
Do I see Him, feel Him, and trust Him outside of this? He showed up in ways I could have never imagined because He’s alive. When you are dependent on believing that the Bible is your only source or connection to God, then you have a limiting belief of how powerful He is. He said, “You will do even greater things than I have done.” When I realized that I’m a replica of God, I’m made in His image, I am not flawed, everything in the Bible was His plan. The fall between Adam and Eve was His plan. If you’re going to go with that burst, that everything’s according to God’s plan, you can’t take that and say that wasn’t His plan. Unfortunately, religion likes to pick and choose and they like to say, “These people made and had choices.” If it’s all in God’s divinity and all universally His plans, it was His plan for all of that to happen or His lineage wouldn’t include Him because it included people messing a lot. I say like, “We need to unravel it a little bit deeper and remove the fear.” There’s this intense fear. It was not His idea.Faith is the key even more than the practice that so many religions teach. Click To Tweet
When you talk about embracing the pain, what are some of the things that you have discovered about yourself and maybe something that could help someone else that takes your recommendation to inverse the pain in their life?
Culturally we struggle being authentic and I know that’s a bit of a buzzword, but I believe being authentic about what you’re facing and where you’re facing it currently in your journey is the key and the power to success and the stepping stone to transformation. I am owning my story of what I experienced in my childhood, no matter what people said about me, no matter what they believe about me. In my TEDx Talk, The Art of Authenticity: How to Show Up as the Real You, I talk about, we hold everything close to us, to our heart, our vest because we’re afraid of, “How’s Rodney going to perceive me? Let alone receive me if I say this?”
If I tell you the traumas I went through in my childhood and I tell you I observed my mother burning my brother’s feet with matches three different times as a form of punishment. Visually, some people shut down when I described these things. They’re trying to wrap their head around it and then they’re trying to go, “You seem so normal.” How does somebody go through this and being normal when you’re sitting there and all that I can read in your energy and your body language as I’m trying to vulnerably share with you the trauma I faced? I don’t want you to go into, “I’m going to feel so sorry for Misty. She had such a hard life.” That’s not what I wanted, but I want the facts to share with you my experience.
Learning how do you communicate to people and share that and realize that me sharing and how you respond is your own stuff. We don’t respond because we want to be accepted, we want to be appreciated, valued and approved. We hold back because if we share these things, nobody’s going to relate to us or they’re going to put us on a pedestal or they’re going to judge us. We put these masks and we have Fakebook, what I call Facebook, where we can’t show up. When you begin this journey of being authentic, which I define as being open, being real, being raw and being vulnerable, you’re going to encounter people who cannot handle you. That process, I’m not going to tell you, Rodney, is easy. I got a text message from somebody and that’s very close to me who’s unfriended me on Facebook. They can’t deal with how I show up and share things that they feel should be private in my journal. That’s the very reason people continue to feel they can’t be themselves.
Why do you want to be so within yourself? I think it’s more than that. I don’t think you’re doing it for you. You’re doing this to be an example. What do you want people to get out of? What’s your message in your actions?
One, to lead by example and to be a ripple effect in your life because we become like the five closest people we hang out with. If I’m authentic and true to me, and you hang out with me, you’re going to be more apt to stick your toe in the water. I think as leaders and I don’t care who your gurus are, who you’re a big fan of, whether it’s John Maxwell on leadership. A couple of years from now, he’s going to tell you about an experience he’s going through that is traumatic, difficult and hard and the lessons he learned. Why can’t we do that now as leaders? Why don’t we have to be so much better than everybody else to have a following or to lead people? That we can’t be authentic and be open, real, raw and vulnerable about who we are and the struggle we have? It doesn’t mean you necessarily spill all your guts. I probable spill more than you’ve been. You and I are friends on Facebook and I’m sure you’ve seen some of my commentaries.
I do think that whether you’re Oprah. Oprah talks about it later too, like, “Why?” A lot of people feel we need to protect something because we have a business, we have revenue and it can create lawsuits and I’m not better than you. I might have gone through something and I can show and teach you something you haven’t, but I’m not better than you. I feel like when we feel we have to hide authentically of who we are right here, right now, we’re continuing to live behind a mask from ourselves, to connect to ourselves and love ourselves through the pain, the traumas and experiences we currently are dealing with. We’re also not letting people into our lives. The relationship you talk about with God. You’re not going to be open real with God, raw with God, vulnerable with God if you can’t deal with other people.
It’s a safety matter. People don’t feel safe and that’s one thing I do admire about you is you have safety and comfort within yourself. That’s what’s missing when you talk about the leaders or any human being that’s not being as open and as vulnerable as they could be is because they don’t feel safe. Let me ask you this. What is the comfort that you’ve developed that allows you to do that? If we get to the source of this in order to be vulnerable, they have to feel safer. How can they feel safer?
You have to unconditionally love yourself no matter what you’ve been through, no matter what you’re going to go through, no matter decisions you make. The 1 Corinthians 13:1, “Love is patient, is kind.” One of my friends asked me, “Don’t you feel you need to know all of God’s beliefs, standards and will for our life?” I’m like, “No.” If I took those 2 or 3 things out of 1 Corinthians, I’ve got a full load every day to be patient, kind and loving to people. Being not with myself, how can I be loving, patient and kind? What would I do now if I wasn’t afraid? Fear is the bottom line why we don’t move forward past our pain because we’ve become comfortable. It’s become a shell that we know. Even though I don’t like it, I know that. How do you get to feeling safe by doing the very thing that makes you feel unsafe? Comfortable by doing the very thing that makes you uncomfortable.
I started by telling my counselor my story. Her crying and having a hard time being able to even give me feedback because it was so traumatic. Doing a challenge with her that I would share my story once a week with somebody. I opt it to once a day at the grocery store, wherever somebody is like, “You seem so happy.” That means that they got my whole story, but they’d got a snippet where there was a 2-minute to 5-minute or something. They got something from me and then being more powerful and going here and speaking. It’s not that my story is in some ways so amazing, it’s because of what I’ve done with the pain to turn it into my power.
Whether you believe Tony Robbins that life is happening for your good and not to you or you believe the verse we quoted, Romans 8:28, “All things work for my good.” I don’t care what formula you use. The body naturally tells us when there’s pain. The more you avoid that pain, generally speaking, the more problems you have in your life. You can avoid a little small thing and it might not be a big issue, a little pebble in your shoe and you can do it all day and it might move to the front of your shoe and you’d be good. There are certain things that they get to a point long enough, they create an issue and you deal then with blisters and with a limp. It gets bigger and bigger if you don’t deal with the problem.
We tend to deal with the problem and because I believe deep down we don’t have a vision of what we want for our lives. We succumb to the emotional circumstances right here, right now and don’t move towards the vision of who does Misty want to be? Who does Rodney want to be? Do I want this pain to be my identity? It’s great to go to a physician and get a label of your condition, but most people then attached to that. I have PTSD, I have anxiety. I have depression. I’m an alcoholic. I’m a divorcee. I do not stand up and say, “Just so you know, I am a rape victim.”
I say, “I have been raped,” period. End of story. It’s a chapter in my book. I’m not going to try to remove it. I’m not trying to change the label, but it is not who I am. It’s affected me who I am. I hid from that and what it did to me. How it made me fear men, not be able to communicate with men, not have relationships with men, not trust men, not feel safe with men and not feel comfortable with men. All these things you’re talking about. How did I get there? It’s by going deeply into what was I really afraid of? What was I holding back and hiding and not being able to let people see so that they could want to date me?
The fact that you’re able to tell that story is so healing. Healing for you and healing for other people because we get stuck in those things, we get stuck in those labels, “I’ve been raped or I’ve been divorced,” or whatever the situation in it. We take that identity and we stayed there. What I love about you is that you’re talking about these things, but these are things that are not so much present in your life. These are things that you’ve overcome in your life. When you tell this story, it’s inspirational. It gives people hope. It gives them an indication of what can happen when you do face the pain because a lot of people stay in it and they don’t know how to get out of it and they don’t want to face it. It’s almost like they become defeated by it and join it, “This is just what it is.” You’re saying, “I beat this.”When you begin this journey of being authentic, you're going to encounter people who cannot handle you. Click To Tweet
There is a level of acceptance. You’re talking about where they own it. You do need to own it, this is your story and you didn’t need to accept it’s your story, but you don’t need to accept it. It’s got to live inside your house, your head or your heart. It doesn’t have to be your identity. It doesn’t have to define who you are. It affected who you are. It impacted who you are but it doesn’t have to be who you become. In my TEDx Talk, I list a long string of things. You may be shutting down and not being able to relate to me because you’ve not been abused or you’ve not been raped, but you’ve been through a divorce. You’ve been through bankruptcy, a miscarriage and drug addiction or alcohol addiction.
We all have been through something extremely painful that rocked our life. We got to rock bottom and didn’t see a way out. That’s where it was for me when this client hit me in the head. It was a rude awakening to childhood traumas. I kept stuffing in the closet and I’m doing another personal growth development conference. I read another good book and go to another church revival Christian camp retreat and get all pumped up about God and my faith. All that’s good but it wasn’t lasting because deep inside, I hated me, I didn’t love me. I didn’t love the little girl who had been hurt like hell. I didn’t believe she had value and she had worth. I was told I was valuable to God. I didn’t believe it in the core of me.
I believe somewhat the lies and curses that were spoken over me. “No man is ever going to want you,” my mom said after I was raped. The overcoming, whether someone has been in my shoes and been raped or rejected by your family and completely had to start over on your own or whether you’re going through divorce and starting over on your own or you went through losing a job and you’re starting a career all over. The choice is to begin that path and be willing to take that journey wherever it leads you knowing it’s all going to come about in the end for your good if you keep doing the work. The work from a caterpillar to a butterfly isn’t a piece of cake. Coming out of cocoon and in a dark space into bright light. Initially, that light is going to feel overwhelming. I guarantee you. You’ve been in a cocoon for a really long time. Do some people break out of that cocoon faster than others? They do but it’s a process, learning to fly, trusting your wings and going that journey. We each get that choice every day and you say, “My story is empowering because I’ve overcome.” There are still bubbles of rejection.
In August, I dated a guy that was black. Three weeks then, he told me that his religion doesn’t allow for interracial relationships. I burst into tears. I didn’t know how to deal with this. I said, “Is this your way of telling me the relationship is over?” “No, I still want to date you.” “Help me understand, this can’t go where I want it to go with where to work out and yet you still want to date me. What does this mean?” One of my deepest wounds is rejection. Even though I’ve had success, I still get to choose to face that pain of being rejected in a relationship because I’m white. Are we taught about people being rejected because they’re black? I was rejected because I was white. To be able to face that energy and that emotion and what does it make me feel like and why do I feel like this is so painful? I have to go there or I will not overcome it. I believe the lessons are long-term. It’s not just a onetime thing where you have some traumatic experience then you move past it but a choice to daily face your pain and turn it into your path.
That’s the process. You’ve got to get to that point where you’re embracing the pain, but it doesn’t stop there. Once you get that engine going, you’ve got to keep that engine going. You’ve got to turn that into a habit. Unfortunately, in this case with the relationship, it’s probably unfortunate because you want that relationship to go forward.
I also think that the more you understand that everything’s working for my good, the right relationship is not going to reject. Whether you want to say, “God, the universe.” He is telling me this is not the person for me. Yes, it’s painful. Yes, it hurt. Some people said, “If you were totally healed, you wouldn’t have this come up.” I don’t agree with that. There are so many elements having worked in the healthcare system for 24 years, I love to create analogies with the body. When military people come back from working overseas and maybe they lost a limb overseas and had to have part of it amputated. They have phantom pains in that limb, even though the limb is healed, even though they have a prosthetic.
Those pains that come up in our life, I look at this rejection to sustain is a phantom pain for me, but I can either choose to face it, go deeper, see if there is a root and sit with the feeling and the energy. “What is this making me feel like?” and not fight it. That rejection is going to be the power and the tool to my greatness and to me being more passionate and more open but most people shut down. It’s like the body, we shut down, we pull in and we hibernate. We want to go then to alcohol, food, social media, a game or a movie to distract our mind from sitting with, “Why is this hurting so bad? What is it that I really want? Am I going to drive my life towards what I want? Am I going to say all men are jerks?” Forget dating, dating is hard.
I even continually faced these stories inside myself. I’ve had a story, dating is a roller coaster ride. I was like, “Do I want it to be a roller coaster ride because whatever I say, it’s what I’m going to experience.” A lot of that goes to what words are we saying over ourselves, about the life we’re creating. This is all a little tangent from your original question, which is how do people get to a point of feeling safe and comfortable? It’s by anything else we do in life. We become better by doing it over and over and practicing it. Going into the dark places when a child is fearful of staying alone in their bedroom at night, there are monsters. You may initially turn on the light and tell the child, “See, there are no monsters.” Eventually, if you’re going to keep the light off and tell them to trust, there are no monsters. It’s the same thing with ourselves. How do we allow ourselves to sit in the darkness then realize and believe in the light even when it feels dark?
In your case, you got rejected, the faith that you know that it’s not the end-all be-all, it’s just another incident or process that you’re going through in order to get to that end goal. Faith gives you that assurance that’s going to happen for you, to keep going, to try again and to go on another date because it’s going to happen.
A lot of it is we sit deeper with that verse in Hebrews 1, “Faith is the substance, the essence, the complete character of things unseen.” We can’t fathom the depths of faith, not really. The degree that faith propels us forward. My faith and belief, there are good men out there. My faith and belief that I’m worthy, I’m valuable, I’m loved, I’m accepted for who I am. I don’t have to prove anything. If I’m trying to prove something to myself, if I’m trying to feel good enough to myself, then that’s what I’m going to create in the relationships around me. Our inner world creates our outer world. Anytime we see something in our outer world that we don’t like, I always say there’s something going on internally. A deeper question would be, “Where am I rejecting myself? Where am I fighting the energy of rejection because whatever you resist will persist?”
I feel like there’s a balance too, especially in your case, because you could be completely on. There’s someone not of the same energy, not in tune. We have to have that balance between what’s going on inside you and be able to discern what’s going on outside as well. I see a lot of people internalizing. It causes a lot. They start feeling like something’s wrong with them because someone rejected them out there. It could not always be that. It’s a good question to ask and it’s interesting what comes up for sure. I’ve seen so many people get down on themselves because of the actions of someone else and get that balance in that.
I don’t think getting down on ourselves at any point in time is a good thing. I do think that’s a hard thing when you do try to do the path and the journey of introspection to figure out what’s going on. I think sometimes it’s easy to go there. I like to use the analogies of the body. When you’re at the doctor, they ask you what you have been feeling, how long it has been going on and where do you feel it in your body. It’s good for us to be introspective. It removes us from going into a blame space and allows us to feel comfortable and safe. Even if you don’t have the answers. Comfortable and safe with rejection hurts and it’s okay for it to hurt. It’s not wrong for it to hurt. “What’s the story I’m creating around it or what am I doing to heal?” That’s the deeper question when you uncover the initial question is to delve deeper into your heart space and deal with the heart and not just stay in the head about it.
What would you say to someone who is going through shame, guilt, regret, fear or anything like that? What’s the first step?
The first step I would initially wonder is what are you doing to fight or embrace whatever it is you’re feeling? If you’re afraid, I would say, “How are you feeling the fear or what are you doing to work past the fear? What are the questions? What’s the story you’re telling yourself?” A lot of people are so entrenched in the feeling, they don’t even know where it’s coming from. In the personal growth development world, a lot of times they go so far back to your childhood. What stems from your childhood, it’s got to be something from your childhood. I don’t believe it usually does, but a lot of times, something right now is all the person can deal with.Our inner world creates our outer world. Click To Tweet
They can’t deal with something from their childhood. I don’t necessarily know all the times you have to go back to your childhood to figure out what’s going on. Most of the time, they’re afraid of dealing with the feeling. When you start asking that question, they’ll take a tangent off over here into another story, which is either an excuse or a victim mindset generally speaking. Instead of staying with themselves and the question, “What am I afraid of? What do I feel guilty over? What do I feel shame over? What my mom knows, what do you or my dad knows? My husband, he doesn’t know.” What you knew stays with you. The only person you can control is you. In you, what are you afraid of? What are you feeling fear, shame, guilt or regret over? Those feelings are normal but they’re surface emotions to a deeper feeling, a deeper need that’s not being met or expressed.
If someone wanted to learn more about you, maybe even work with you, how can they connect with you?
They can connect with me through my website, MistyWGilbert.com. They can contact me there, contact me on all social media forms with this same handle, @MistyWGilbert on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook. Contact me or send me an email and I will reach out and schedule a call with you. I do a 30-minute introductory call. If anybody wants to feel out where you are, what you’re looking for, what work have you done, where do you feel you’re stuck and what do you feel your biggest challenge is right now that’s not letting you create the life that you want. I want you to live intentionally and with freedom. I don’t want you to get stuck with this fear, shame, guilt, regret in a box, whether it’s religion or your parents like me or it’s some other story you’ve got going on. Legit story or legit experience. I want you to have freedom and I want you to be passionate about your life. Connect with me on any of those platforms and we’ll engage. I try to respond to all the people who follow me and leave comments or if you send me a direct message, you will get a response from me.
This has been wonderful. You have a beautiful, inspirational story and it’s amazing how you are sharing this story and helping people.
Thank you for giving me another opportunity to share it. I pray that it reaches somebody that needs it and that readers, all of them feel a ripple effect to look and evaluate their life. Are they living in alignment with their core values, their core beliefs about themselves? We create our lives from our beliefs.
You’ve given so many good nuggets. I’m sorry to ask you for more, but I do want to know, what’s the game-changing mentality message that you want to leave with us?
The biggest game-changer mentality message I could say is to look at now. What would I do now if I was not afraid? What would I do now that I can be committed to and accountable to and a choice in addition to what I want in my life that would propel me forward to live my greatest possible self, my greatest and best life? Live intentionally, create the life that you want that I talk about. We all desire a purpose-driven life. One of passion, one of hope, one of love and one of perseverance but what does that look like for you? Are you taking one small step now towards that? Generally, most people are sitting back afraid. I would ask you, “What would you do now if you were not afraid?”
It’s beautiful. That’s a question we can ask ourselves every single day. Thank you, Misty, for coming on the show.
Thank you, Rodney. It was great to connect with you.
Thank you. There you have it, people. It’s another great episode, another successful inspirational episode. Ask yourself, “What are you afraid of? Start now, today and every day. What are we afraid of? Then take it on with the faith that you can overcome it. Thank you for reading. I love you and until next time.
- Misty Gilbert
- The Art of Authenticity: How to Show Up as the Real You – Misty Gilbert’s TEDx Talk
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- Is Life Knocking You Down? Read Rodney’s inspiring story – Get Up! I Can’t. I Will. I Did… Here’s How! https://rodneyflowers.com/get-up-book/
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About Misty W. Gilbert
Misty W. Gilbert was born in Paso Robles, California and currently resides in Fort Worth, Texas. As a transformational coach, writer, and speaker, her mission is to inspire and assist people to create the lives they want by living purposefully. Her powerful story through abuse, rejection, fear, and inauthenticity, evokes both pain and courage as she vulnerably shares her path to freedom.
She boldly calls others to take the steps to overcome their own stories and shares how embracing pain is the key to leveraging the freedom they desire. She teaches living authentically, courageously, and abundantly to embrace freedom through the power of choice by escaping the limiting beliefs around fear, shame, guilt, and regret.
Are you ready to shed your past, rise above your present, and go confidently in the direction of your dreams? The first step? Decide. Choose right here and now to make a move. Set your intention. Then simply ask Rodney for help. https://rodneyflowers.com/mentoring/
Want an inspirational story and a magnetic personality plus interactive actionable strategies to transform your audience? Book Rodney for your next event. https://rodneyflowers.com/speaking/
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