Takeaways & Reflections | We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know


When you find yourself the observer of a situation that brings up some emotional dis-ease for you, it may be helpful to say the following to yourself: “I don’t know what I don’t know.”

This helps me to feel better when I have felt wronged in some way or when I find myself raising an eyebrow at a situation that may or may not involve me.

Society isn’t short of judgment and criticism these days. I think there’s plenty of it to go around the world a few times. However, each of us can help change that and intentionally, instead, pause and take a moment to reflect and attempt to be empathetic, even if it doesn’t come naturally to you.

Some may say we need to be more sympathetic, but even that can come across as pity. Maybe it’s just easier to say that sometimes, our opinions are best kept to ourselves.

Whether you believe in the afterlife or don’t, or think every mother should fight tooth and nail to keep their children with them, I hope this episode leads you to listen to both Episode 64 with Kristjana and 65 with Sirry because, they couldn’t be any more different but yet, the common theme comes down to how we don’t know what we don’t know.


Today, it’s a takeaways and reflections episode, about Episode 64: A Mother’s Heartache and Sacrifice with Kristjana Hillberg, and Episode 65: The Spirit World Walks Among Us with Sirry Berndsen. A perfect example of grief that hadn’t yet been represented on this podcast, which I do like to share all different types of losses, just to give people a different perspective. Because you may know somebody who has been in the situation, or you may know someone who is going through something similar, and maybe you want to support them. But you’re not sure how, or maybe it’s you, and you find yourself in that Griever’s story. Regardless of the loss, regardless of the story that comes to this podcast, we can all find a little bit of ourselves in the stories, especially if we’ve experienced a lot of loss in our lives. And through that stories, and the different perspectives that I bring to you is an opportunity for you to reflect on. Well, what would I do in that situation? How would I respond? What do I think about that? What do I believe about that? Those questions that help us really grow into who we want to be, who we desire to be, and maybe even have some more compassion towards those who have a different life experience that we may have judged, or had some criticism around. Because those are often too a result of our upbringings and our experiences. And we see other people’s situations through the lens of our own experience. So I do appreciate when people give me their time to share their stories with my listeners, because it is a service to us all, we can all learn something from each and every one of them.

A Mother’s Choice for What’s Best for Her Child

When I first heard about Kristjana’s story, I knew I wanted her on the podcast because she shares a very different perspective of divorce and child custody. As a mom, it’s natural for us to feel like we want our children to be with us. But for Kristjana, it wasn’t as simple as that. She was living five hours away from her husband, so that she could be with her daughter that she shared custody with from a previous relationship. And this worked fine for quite some time, over a year, until she found herself expecting with her new husband. And she knew that this decision was going to have to be made to either go be with her new husband, or in the same town or area as her daughter. And just think about that. What would you do? Now with that natural instinct of wanting your child to be with you? Kristjana had the emotional awareness and really tried to put herself in her daughter’s shoes and knew that there was so much love there for her in this large extended family with her father. And she felt tormented on pulling her away from that. But she also felt tormented or not having her daughter with her. So what would you do? I’ve never known anyone in the situation before Kristjana. Probably three to five years ago, if I would have heard of this situation, I probably would have passed along some judgment or criticism because that is a natural thing for us when we don’t find ourselves in that similar situation. For really, what would you do? When you know what’s best for your child, it’s not always the easy decision to make. And Kristjana by no means has an easy decision to make. And so she really put it off for quite some time. Until one day, the answer came to her, almost like a lightning bolt and washed over her in a moment of peace, She’s described it as she had realized what was best for her daughter. And in that moment, she felt peace with that decision. And she knew what she needed to do. And that was to leave her daughter behind and work on us shared custody arrangement that would be in the best interest for their daughter. And that would also serve and nurture her marriage as well, and new family to be, and not not necessarily a new family, because their daughter was very much going to be a part of that. It just would look different than what she imagined.

We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know

And so I really encourage you to listen to Kristjana’s episode, because aside from the difficult decision, and all the thought process that went into making that, and the unhelpful and hurtful things that people said to her. The helpful things that she learned along the way of what she needed for herself. We talked about boundaries, we talked about values, we talked about how she came into her own knowing of what was best for her and her family, regardless of what anybody thought of her or their situation. And here’s the thing, because no one knows your situation as well as you do. People hear stories, or they make assumptions, but no one really knows. Unless they ask. And so I think I’ve mentioned during the episode, and I try to remind myself of this is, I don’t know what I don’t know. And that is the message that applies to both the episodes that I’m talking about today, because whether we’re looking at someone else’s situation from the outside, or were trying to wrap our heads around, something like the afterlife, we don’t know what we don’t know. And we can have these thoughts and feelings about the afterlife, which become our beliefs, or which are our beliefs. But if we can be open to what we don’t know, we can allow ourselves to receive new information, we can allow ourselves to receive messages.

There Are Things That Death Cannot Touch: Love

And that’s what I loved about the episode with Sirry, in that she shared so many tips and ways that people who have lost a loved one can keep that relationship going in a positive way. Because regardless of what you believe, when someone dies, the relationship doesn’t end. There, you may have an unfinished business with that person. So even if that person is no longer on the physical plane, you still have a relationship with them in your heart, you still may have emotional residue from maybe an argument that you had right before that person passed, or maybe the relationship was less than loving throughout your life. And there were things that you could never communicate or never share, because you didn’t feel safe to. Or perhaps it was something that you knew was coming or the person was going through a terminal illness, and you knew it was coming and you had the time, the luxury of time. And you took advantage of that time to make it an impactful learning and deep experience with that person to help you gain insight into what they were feeling, what they were experiencing at the end of their life. But so many people too are afraid to ask those questions, those deep questions. They’re really thinking about that person, leaving them of no longer being there. And that gets in the way of this opportunity to have that deep connection with that person.

Those We Love Never Truly Leave Us

And Sirry had shared how helpful working with a medium has been for so many Grievers in her practice. And she’s also a certified grief recovery specialist as well, which really adds to her professionalism and to her ability to really help a griever have the best experience possible for connecting with their loved ones. I personally had a session with Sirry it was unexpectedly amazing. It was the only session I’ve ever had with a medium or of any kind. I learned a lot about with my children because not only was it a spiritual connection session, it was also intuitive guidance as well. And so I learned some things about my I practice as a Reiki professional. But her professionalism and her strong desire to help me as a griever, who had only recently in the last couple of years really addressed the relationships that have left me feeling conflicted in my life. It’s really hard, I think for many of us to wrap our heads around the idea that we are supported in ways that we can’t even imagine that our loved ones are truly watching over us, guiding us bringing things to our attention, if we only would pay attention. I remember as a kid, I’d be walking down the street in the winter, the snow would be falling and it was my favorite time to go for a walk. I hate the cold but there was something about it when you hear the church bells in the night, and you could hear him across town dead silent. I’d hear the church bells and the snow would be falling and I’d walk under the streetlight and I would go out, and that’s happened to me many, many times, or the light would just go out, it would happen when I’d be driving, a light would just go out a streetlight, and I don’t know, he could say I made it up in my mind, but I felt like that was my dad, he was watching out for me just making sure I knew getting my attention. Because the light coin out is going to get your attention, a street light at that will get your attention. And it did, it did many times.

We Are Not Immune To Grief

Talking with Sirry, I recognize that is something I can ask for. I can ask for that as a sign. I just really encourage you to listen to Sirry’s episode with an open mind and an open heart as you listen, even if you feel like that isn’t something that’s for you. I hope you listen to her tips to help you personally connect with someone who has your heart, but they’re not here. Both episodes offer so much wisdom through their stories. And I’m just really floored at the quality of people who I have drawn to this podcast, everyone has a story. And I don’t care if you’re a celebrity, or I just I don’t care who you are, we all put our pants on the same way, right? We all grieve someone or something and we are not immune to grief. Regardless of who we are, we will all meet death at some point. And stories like Kristjana’s and Sirry’s help bring another perspective that we all can learn from, as I mentioned before, and there’s so much more I could probably say, but honestly, it’s beautiful outside.

We’re having some unusually warm weather here in the Dakotas and my spirit is calling me to the outdoors. And so I will leave this episode there. All the goodness is in those two episodes. I just don’t know that I have anything else to add to the conversations because the tips were that good. It’s important for us to always remember that we don’t know what someone is going through the depth of it. We don’t know what we don’t know.

much love, victoria

P.S. If you want to listen to more takeaways and reflections episodes you can click here. And if you find this helpful please share it because sharing is caring. And remember, when you unleash your heart, you unleash your life. Much love.

Share This