Takeaways & Reflections | Preparing for Love & Tragedy



I share my favorite takeaways and reflections from Ep. 52 with Staci Bartley and Ep. 53 with Tina Ginn, exploring the importance of learning from the past and having the forethought for preparing for the future.

Life is messy, and we can learn from our messes, and we can clean them up, too. If we could learn how to re-frame the challenges of our lives by asking ourselves better questions, I do believe we would spend far less time emotionally suffering. Staci, through early teen pregnancy and three marriages, she’s learned this the hard way. And, perhaps that is the way? The mishaps, hurdles, and pivots that we find ourselves in are a part of the journey. But, I guess the better question is: Why does it take so many of us so long to get the memo?

Just as it takes us a while to realize that messes are a part of life and that we are capable of learning and cleaning them up and preventing future ones, so too, it takes us to learn a little too late how ill-prepared we are for tragedy or disaster.

Whether you want to learn how to prepare for love, tragedy, or disaster, the last two episodes are for you, and this episode includes my highlights.



And this week, I will be reflecting on my conversation with Staci Bartley, which was Episode 52 broken hearts and broken dreams. And Episode 53 with Tina again, preparing for the worst. And I want to start out by saying this is season two. And thank you for your support for sharing. I would absolutely love it if you would take a moment to leave a review, or a five star rating. If you love this podcast, if it’s beneficial if you’ve gotten something out of it, if it’s helped you in any way, it just helps more people find it. And that is the goal to spread the message of hope to share people’s grieving voices. And to let people know that they truly are not alone.

Messes Are Different Than Failures

I want to start out with Staci’s episode. And I got connected with her through actually her brother in law, David Bartley, who was on the podcast a while back, he spoke about his story around planning to attempt suicide and talked a lot about suicide prevention in the two episodes. I was actually one episode and I broke it up into two parts because it was such a much needed good conversation. So I will actually link in the show notes to that episode just because suicide prevention is so important. David connected me with Stacey. And right away, we hit it off. And if you haven’t listened to her episode, I highly recommend it. If you’re in a relationship with someone, lover otherwise, I think there’s something to be learned from what she shares. And I just want to highlight a few of the things that have that stuck out to me. There was one point where she said, How is this situation going to add to my life in the future? Who is it that I am becoming? And when you find yourself 16 and pregnant? That’s a big question to ask yourself. And I’m not sure anymore at what point she asked herself this but I imagine many times over as I have to, like, what is this situation going to add to my life in the future? And who is it that I’m becoming? Because if we you know like to admit it or not every situation or experience that we find ourselves in is an opportunity to learn from I like how she said that messes are different than failures.

Because I think so often we can look at things that we’ve done in our lives or decisions that we’ve made or ambitions or goals or things that we’ve wanted for ourselves that we just don’t see come to fruition and we look at that as a failure and we can feel like a hot mess in the process. But if we are in a situation where we ourselves are just really struck, we’re on the struggle bus right you can be on the struggle bus and there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s just a part of learning. And I think that’s the difference in looking it’s really a good reframe, when we think about failures is how about we think of them as just messes and messes. You can get out of messes you can clean up and failures you can learn from too right there. It’s it doesn’t have to be this all or nothing mentality when it comes to taking a risk or taking a chance or trying. The mess of it is in the train. And I just really liked how she kind of talked about that. Then she says like, there is no such thing as failed relationships. They don’t exist. It’s just messy. It’s just messy relationships. And I think that’s a good reframe again, because it’s not pointing blame. It’s looking at it from a bird’s eye view, like, what’s my mess? What’s your mess? And what is this mess that we’ve created together? Right?

Love Is A Permission

In my grief recovery work, there’s a client that is realizing that, you know, we all bring our messes, I brought my mess, she brought her mess. And I can look at that with compassion. And I can look at that, like, well, everything that happened, it wasn’t all my fault. Because it’s really easy to for some people to take on the responsibility to take on all the blame in the relationship to make excuses or minimize the other person’s culpability or responsibility. But it does take two to tango, right? A relationship does take two people. And so when you have two people who have messiness in their lives, and you bring them together, it’s just one big messy pot, right? So she says to a relationship are attracted into our lives, and they help show us the places inside of ourselves, that contrast that work and don’t work that we’re shutting down, putting up with going along with not showing up, constantly nudging us. And I just think that’s so beautiful, that is so true. And she said that relationships are the best personal growth vehicle on the planet. And I would agree that they are definitely a personal growth vehicle. But the best? I don’t know about that. I think, personally, Parenthood.

And I know she’s a parent, too. But parenthood has been a huge personal growth vehicle for me. But again, those are those are relationships too. Right. So I guess at the crux of it, relationships, no matter what kind they are, are the best personal growth vehicle. So yeah, I guess she is right, you know, I do agree. And she says love is also permission. And I think that’s so true permission to, if you really love someone, you will let them be who they are. Let them feel what they feel. And let them share what they need to share, and be open to hearing it. And, you know, my husband and I have been married, it’ll be 18 years, and we make a good team. And good friends first, before anything else. And I think that was the foundation that we’ve built our relationship on, was a strong foundation of friendship, and just that kindness to one another. And, you know, it can get hairy with kids and responsibilities and obligations and moves and job changes and all the things. But at the end of the day, you know, when I climb into bed, and I reach for his hand and he reaches for mine, because we do we hold hands as we fall asleep, that is my piece, at the end of the day, to know that at no matter what life throws at us, no matter what we experience that I have his hand in mine in mine is in his that we’re there for each other as a good friend would be and as a partner would be.

And and it’s that permission along the way to be the to venture and to be the best version of ourselves to be supportive of the other’s growth and be supportive of just that nurturing really, it’s the nurturing and kindness of the other person just like you water of a flower. Or you plant a flower from seed and you have to water it and you nurture it and you pick the weeds and it’s like that in relationships too. You have to be willing to do those things for each other and sacrifice and give and give and take. I say to like we have two hands one forgiving and one for receiving it can be really hard for some people to receive. And it can be really hard for some people to give. I just really enjoyed this conversation, she’s learned the hard way, how to navigate the mess of relationships. And she says emotional. It’s like emotional weightlifting in the gym, you have to learn how to own your emotions, be a demonstration of support, and coming back to supporting the other person’s growth is who are we to tell anyone, they had to be a certain way or do a certain thing. And so, I know, sometimes I’ve seen this happen where one person outgrows or outpaces the other person and, or can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink. It’s kind of the same idea. It’s like, you know, if one person’s on this journey of self discovery, and you know, and we each have our own experience that we need to work through, and process.

Lease Option For Love

And I think if we find ourselves in situations that grow us, and we put ourselves in the way of challenge that will grow us. It can happen where you outpaced the other person. And I personally choose to lead by example, in that way. And I can tell you, when it comes to grief, my husband’s learned a lot. He hasn’t had experiences like I have, but he’s learning a lot about grief, through me, and through how we talk to the kids, when it comes to different situations and things. But me doing my work. My personal work has made me a better spouse, and how I communicate because it wasn’t always that way. And so you make a mess, you clean it up. That’s what I tell my kids. That’s what I often have to remind myself when I mess up. And I think to a big thing in my personal relationship with my husband is that we are not afraid to call each other out on our shit. When I’ve messed up, he calls me out on it, and vice versa. And we talk about how, you know how that made me feel or how, what I can work on. And it’s still, after 18 years, it’s still a process, it’s still, that doesn’t end.

I think sometimes people just get tired of the work get tired of the work it takes to clean up messes in relationships. But if you don’t really learn how to do that, you’re just always going to be cleaning up messes. And yeah, she says, take out our emotional trash and leave it there. Right? There was one line to she said, You can’t hurt me. That’s my job. And I think, personally speaking someone who’s their own worst critic. I don’t know that my husband could say anything to me, that would hurt me. If I really think about it as much as I probably hurt myself with what I tell myself. You know, so it is my job. That’s my job to hurt me. And it’s also my job to fix me. You know, we don’t if you’re going into a relationship with someone for them to fix you, you will be sorely disappointed. There was one line to where she said that when it comes to her when it came to her grief. And what she learned was that you stay in motion. Her mom had said the son doesn’t have to shine outside in order to shine inside. And that was when her father had passed away.

Oh, and I want to circle back actually to how she found her way to love again was something she came up with called a lease option contract for love. I thought it was absolutely brilliant. Because for someone who’s not ready to dive into the whole potential of another marriage or relationship again, what’s the next step? Like what’s a stop over to that and she came up with a solution of the lease option for love. I just think it’s brilliant. So much goodness in her episode talking about grief talking about the relationship, messes that she’s endured and and made it through and being a single mom several times, and I just admire Staci so much. And I just really highly recommend listening to her episode.

Preparing For The Worst

My conversation with Tina, again, was equally enlightening and actually quite inspiring as well, because she brought up many examples of why we are so ill prepared for tragedy, whether it be loss of a friend to cancer, which was her experience, a car accident, losing her job, divorce, estrangement with her children. But it’s these things that happen that we often can’t, don’t have a lot of time to prepare for. That we end up having to address at some point, right? These, the logistics of our lives, and how we realize how ill prepared we are for these experiences when they they hit us. And she said, you know, you end up with these should have could have whatevs. And you’re no better off. And you end up having to have the stress and the frustration, especially when it’s a loved one who passes? Or what do you do if their social media accounts? What bills do they have? How did they pay their bills, you’re having to navigate all of that. And when that person is ill, or sick and can’t respond or can’t share that information? It’s really challenging. But even more important than that, instead of having to have those conversations, you could be connecting with them and having really rich conversations that could be a better use of that time that is so fleeting.

Do you really want to be talking about the bills that need to be paid, and what day the garbage man comes. So all of these things Tina shared in her episode in and why she’s so passionate about the work that she’s doing. And in creating the app, your backup plan, she’s also has in the works, it’s called the emerging blueprint, which will be available at the end of July, or in July, some time 2021. If you’re listening to this at a later date, through our conversation, I realized how ill prepared I am, you know, I have my, you know, passwords and all of that in a place that my family knows. But aside from that, they have no clue. When does my podcast go live? How does that all work? Like I have a VA now? What’s her email address? They don’t even know like, I’m not sure what my family would do. If something happened to me, it would be absolutely. really stressful. It’d be incredibly stressful for my family. And so I really have given it some thought, since my conversation with Tina, how can I prepare so that it whenever it does happen, whenever something does happen to me, and I don’t have to die, that’s the thing too, like, I don’t have to die, I can end up in the hospital for three months, you know, you just never know. And so it’s that just never knowing when or what will be that we have an opportunity to have that for thought, like take this opportunity to have the forethought to think about how you can make the lives of your loved ones easier. By simply preparing, preparing for the inevitable, preparing for tragedy, preparing just for the worst. That’s what the episode title is preparing for the worst.

Take The Opportunity To Plan & Prepare

I’ve actually said to my husband to it’ll be an absolute nightmare if something happened to him too, because I have no idea where like, he has stuff written down but like the different accounts and what happens with this or what do you want, like what do you want to happen with your things? like where do you want these things to go like, Special Collections or you know, like these items and things and so I think we always wait for these conversations until it’s too late. And that was really the whole message of Tina’s of our podcast of our recording is that you know, we have the opportunity to plan and prepare. So we best take it, address the logistics before something happens. Because you really lose out on time for connecting and I think that Whereas she really brings a lot of the passion into what she’s doing right now with this app, because, you know, losing that friend to cancer, having a car accident that ended up ultimately, she ended up losing her job because she couldn’t function the way she had due to concussion and just physical limitations that she was having. She realized the importance of time.

And there is no time like the president, we’ve all heard that right. And when things happen, it’s like they happen in the blink of an eye. This is her passion. And this is what she brings to this app. And I look forward to digging into the emerging blueprint once it’s available. And I will come back to the show notes and put those the link in there for that as a resource. And again, don’t wait until the person is dying. At that point. It’s too late to prepare, as Tina had shared, you don’t want to should have could have would have all over yourself.

much love, victoria

P.S. If you are enjoying the podcast, please consider leaving a review or a five star rating. If you want to listen more inspiring grieving stories you can visit here. Or you can visit www.theunleashedheart.com for more information. If you have grieving stories that you wanted to share you can message me at [email protected] and you can also find me in Instagram and Facebook. If you find it helpful please share it because Sharing is caring. And until next time, give and share compassion by being a heart with yours. And if you’re hurting know that what you’re feeling is normal and natural. Much love my friend.

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