S.O.F.T. and Strong: Brave Enough For Love

Episode 52: The Antidote to Loneliness: Love (the kind that conquers fear)

January 09, 2022 Bernice McDonald Season 1 Episode 52
S.O.F.T. and Strong: Brave Enough For Love
Episode 52: The Antidote to Loneliness: Love (the kind that conquers fear)
Show Notes Transcript

Love yourself and others with the same zest you feel when you approach a bowl of jellybeans.

Jellybeans may not be able to fill up the cavern of need inside that we each have to be loved but, in this episode, we talk about what WILL fill that cavern. And it will light you up.

Remember: You are a heart walking on a Path call "life". You get to decide who you are and who you're going to be in the last chapter. It's never too late to find that person inside - the one you REALLY are.

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Bernice McDonald is a Mindset Coach who  inspires women beyond 50 seeing their dreams disappearing off into the distance as they age. She gives them new eyes and a new fire inside as they step into their purpose, find the courage to make bold decisions and grow to fully love this next phase.

(00:00):

But I wanna start a new club, a new club called I refuse to get old. The, I refuse to get old girls club. How does that sound? Because this is it. If you refuse to get old, I'm gonna tell you the antidote for dealing with that feeling of not being loved. This is what will take it away. This is the podcast that walks you down the path from not enough to brave enough for love for life, for making a difference in this world. However, that looks for you. This is the secret inner hero society is alive and well, and you are going to be inspired by the stories of women who are doing it. Being brave enough to love again, to live this life with courage. I'm Bernice McDonald, and I am excited to have you here. So get on in here and let's do this.

Bernice McDonald is a Mindset Coach who  inspires women beyond 50 seeing their dreams disappearing off into the distance as they age. She gives them new eyes and a new fire inside as they step into their purpose, find the courage to make bold decisions and grow to fully love this next phase.

(01:11):

I want someone to look at me the way I look at a bowl full of jelly beans. I just read that recently and I loved it because, actually I think it said the way I look at a chocolate cake, but I'm more of a pure sugar kind of person. I am truthfully a self-professing sugaraholic. I go to sugar in response to everything in my life. Whether I'm having fun. If I'm bored, if I'm with family in a, you know, a reunion, a get together a fun time if I'm anxious or fearful, I turn to sugar. It's my go-to. I'm not proud of this. I struggled with the battle of the bulge as a result of that all my life. And I know my brain suffers. This is truly an addiction. It's an addiction I'm working on, don't worry. <Laugh> 

Sugar. It fills up some of our holes inside. At least we try to use it in that way, right? We all have these empty holes inside of us. I kind of picture them like bowls... Or deep caverns, depending on how long it's been eating away at us. No pun intended. How deep it goes. Your cavern that's empty, longing for something to fill it up can be very deep. And often that one deep cavern can be the longing for love because in every human being on the planet, including me, including you, one of your heart needs is this deep intrinsic need to be loved.

(03:14):

Now we're looking, right, like "the bowl full of jelly beans, look at me in that way kind of love. Over the moon, never leave me no matter what I do, no matter what I say, no matter what my quirks." That's the kind of love we're looking for. But often that kinda love is scary and it's hard to find. So we settle for the next best thing, which is connection. Just to be connected, heart to heart, to other human beings. We need that so much. In my observation, in my own heart, as well as watching all the wonderful people in my life who have aged and either passed away or are in the process of getting older. What I see is that cavern, that longing for love, becomes deeper and more prevalent as we get older. We feel it more. Maybe it's because we're not as busy anymore.

(04:28):

You know, we're, kind of sorting out our priorities looking towards retirement. You know, we're living in a home without kids anymore. Maybe it's because aging makes us step back and really think about what life is about. We're coming into that last quarter. And we know this is all the time we have, and we see that path ending. I wanna remind you again, you are a heart. A beautiful, incredible gifted heart. Walking on a pathway, a pathway you enter when you're born and a pathway you leave when you die. And you are an individual. A person all on your own that is special and unique and different from everybody else. You are a heart alone on your path. And suddenly, when you're looking ahead to the path ending, it starts to get a bit scary. It starts to get real, as they say these days.

(05:42):

And suddenly you realize that you can't do this alone. You don't want to do this alone. You don't want to be alone. Now, whether that's the longing for a companion, a husband, somebody to share the rest of your life with you, or whether it's just wishing that your kids were closer to you, that they weren't so busy and recognize the fact that your needs are escalating a little bit, and you are longing for their love and their attention a bit more. 

How many elderly people do you know who go through this exact thing or have gone through this exact thing? You just have to look inside of a nursing home or a home for retired people and you'll see lots of them. Lots and lots of loneliness, lots and lots of longing for that connection, longing even more for that unconditional love. It's an epidemic in our society.

(06:50):

And it's an epidemic that actually ends lives. I had two aunts who were both older, getting into their eighties and nineties, and they both became very sick. And to be closer to family or to put them into a better facility, both of them in different areas. They weren't in the same area, but they were both moved to temporary places or a place where they would be nearer to family but the surroundings were strange to them. 

And I think one thing it might have done is increase that feeling of isolation, of being alone. Even though their kids could come more, visit more, they were in a strange place. Both of them passed away within a very short time of being moved into a place that they weren't familiar with.

(07:52):

I think it says something. Feeling alone leads to all kinds of stories that we tell ourselves, sometimes without even being able to help it. And especially the stories we tell ourselves are our automatic go-to stories. Like my story about jelly beans filling up my need for love. Jelly beans are my go-to. 

We tell ourselves stories about things and what they mean to us. When it comes to loneliness and, and being alone on this path, sometimes those stories can sound like, "it's because I'm not lovable" or "It's because they don't care." Or "I'm just a dried up old shoe that nobody wants anymore."

(08:46):

Those are the stories that can pop into our minds and cause us to go into a place where we send our heart into hiding. Now, often our hearts are already on their way into hiding. Remember the story of Sleeping Beauty who pricked her finger on a spindle of pain and a curse was put on her and she fell asleep. That's what I picture our hearts doing. When we allow the pain to permeate us so much, we fall asleep. 

We put our hearts to sleep. As a result, this thick wall of thorns grows up around our castle and we don't let anybody in because we become too fearful of what might happen if they leave or what might happen if we allow them in. We say, "Nobody's getting in there". The problem is that you end up missing out on love, the most precious in life.

(09:58):

And we really have to think of it, ladies, at this stage as we walk on this path. If we're longing for love and we come to the conclusion that nobody loves us, we're just an old shoe. Then we are going to close our hearts down or are gonna end the last chapter in our lives thinking that we're unlovable and thinking, feeling sorry for ourselves, even, because nobody loved us. Those are the stories that are going to, that you're going to pass away with going through your mind. Is that what you want?

(10:39):

And that is the key question we have to always be asking ourselves: "Who am I? "Who Do I want to be in this last chapter of my life?" For me, I say that's not who I am. I'm not that person. You know what? I'm going to propose that we start a new club. Yes, we've had the Secret Inner Hero Society but I wanna start a new club. A new club called "I refuse to get old". The "I Refuse To Get Old Girls Cub". How does that sound? 

Because this is it. If you refuse to get old, I'm gonna tell you the antidote for dealing with that feeling of not being loved. This is what will take it away. The antidote is to give love away. To decide that love is going to be greater than the fear - to become fearlessly. Loving.

(11:49):

Now, the way you do this is to look around you. Stop the fear. You shrink it from a Fiery Fear Dragon to this little toy animal that's so fuzzy and cute. And you name him 'Fred'. And then you take Fred, the fear of not being loved, and you put him in the corner and you say, "Thank you very much for wanting to protect me, Fred, but I have something more important to do. It's not all about me. I'm not on this journey alone. It's how I see myself and how I see others. 

And if I'm feeling this way, then others must be feeling this way, too. What can I do to help in some small way? So someone else isn't feeling unloved, someone else isn't telling themselves the story about being an old shoe. Someone else becomes my jelly beans.

(12:46):

<Laugh> my love for jelly beans. I'm seeing them. And I care about them as much. If they were a bowl full of jelly beans. They become my antidote to not feeling loved because the only way to cure not feeling loved is to give love away. How can you do this?

Look around you and see who is lonely in your circle. 

  • Who is feeling all by themselves. 
  • Who stays in their house and never comes out? 
  • Who doesn't answer their phone sometimes? 
  • Who do you know of your friends that are struggling with feeling valuable? 

So what could you do to lift their spirits? Could you bake them some cookies? Could you take them a bowl of jelly beans? Just to say, Hey, you are sweet. 

Could you paint them a picture? 

Could you just paint a picture in general to help people who are lonely to feel better about themselves to express that from your own heart?

(13:56):

How about sewing something or writing something?

How about just showing some sort of kindness - scraping their car windows, putting something under their door,  just to cheer them up.

How about just listening?

How about inviting them out for lunch or coffee and just having a conversation to get them out into the fresh air.

Those are the things that you can do. The best way to end your own suffering is to end the suffering of others. Is to shift the focus of your love from what you're lacking to what others are lacking and how you could possibly fill that need. Now you could do this if you are 50, if you are 60, if you are 70, if you are 95, you can find some way to cheer somebody else up.

(15:00):

The question is, again, "Who am I? Who do I want to be as I age?

Do I wanna stay hiding with my heart, locked away, feeling bad about myself and my life? 

Or am I someone who sets fear aside, my own fears aside, and focuses, grows the fearless love
I have inside to fight for the hearts of other people? To bring them some light, to bring them some love, some cheer, something that is gonna let them know they are not alone. And they're connected to other people.

(15:50):

Season 2 of Brave Enough for Love: S.O.F.T. & Strong, the podcast, is coming up in February. And in that season all the next 12 months, I am going to be talking with you about how to define who you are. How to recreate your identity going forward into the last quarter of your life. Into becoming the person that you're proud of, that you really want to be. It's gonna be so much fun and looking forward to hearing how you're growing and seeing your hearts come alive. So for the time being, I will see you in the next podcast.