Series 43: For the Love of Conversations | Episode 03
For the Love of Conversations: Jen and Kelly on Beliefs, Truth, and the Things We Hold Dear
Welcome back to another episode of our For the Love of Conversations series with one of Jen’s best loved friends, author, speaker and podcaster Kelly Corrigan. Both Jen and Kelly have seen strong beliefs give way to new beliefs, and old beliefs be tested by time and experience. It’s a wonder to learn as you move through the world, even if those lessons are hard won and hands down, a ton of them are. It’s a beautiful and redemptive thing to take a step back and level the playing field you are on–in whatever season of life you’re in–and see if everything that makes up “you:” all the stories you tell yourself about your life and other people and what happened to you and even about your own self–that composite of what you believe. And take heart in knowing that your beliefs don’t have to remain the same forever– they can grow and change with us. Jen and Kelly go deep into what beliefs they hold dear, how the truth that binds us might look a little different than it used to for all of us, and the comfort they find in a community that lives with a sense of curiosity and how to keep that alive for every phase of our beliefs.
Hey, everybody, Jen Hatmaker here. Welcome to the show, you guys. We are heading into our third episode of this wonderful compilation of conversations we had over on Kelly Corrigan’s podcast, and we’ve added some new thoughts and takeaways from those amazing discussions. We’re calling the series For the Love of Conversations with Jen and Kelly because no surprise here, Kelly is one of my favorite people on the whole planet.
Gosh, does she have a warm and smart and big hearted way of looking at the world. I want to be Kelly Corrigan when I grow up. So if you’ve been with us for the first two episodes of the series and by the way, if you haven’t immediately, go back and pick up both. These are just such good conversations. Of course, we’re hearing back from you. We know that you love them, too. Like don’t miss any here because you’ve got to hear us wax about change in the first episode and all that comes with that. And then friendship was the topic of our second episode, how we need it, how we maintain it, shift with it, grow it, especially in adulthood. It’s been really, really good stuff. And as it happens, when you have some ongoing conversations with deeply thinking people like Kelly, things tend to get even deeper. And that is the case for this episode, for sure.
She and I are going real deep, actually, because in this episode we’re talking about the things that we believe and the truths we’ve learned as we’ve moved through the years and which ones we hold dear. It’s a beautiful thing to gain experience, isn’t it? I wouldn’t go back for a million years. It’s a wonder to learn as you move through the world, even if those lessons are hard won and hands down, a ton of them are. I think it’s a beautiful and redemptive thing to take a step back and level the playing field you are on in the season and see if everything that makes up you, all the stories you tell yourself about your life and other people and what happened to you and even about your own self. Does that work, that work of examination, of evaluation, of self honesty that makes you a more integrated person.
And I, in my experience, that’s a muscle that gets easier to flex the older that you get. Oprah was right, y’all. She was always right. Life is a classroom where beliefs get tested and retested, just like a scientist tests a hypothesis in a lab. Like, is this what I know about myself and the people around me and the people across the world and throughout history? Is that true? Is there a different lens I could use to look at the situation? Is there a different perspective? Chances are, yes, there is, because life is a kaleidoscope. And turns out, I mean, turn it sideways just a little and it turns into something else, something just as beautiful, maybe even more beautiful. I loved what Kelly and I talked about in this conversation. I did. I loved what she had to say about not being the smartest person in the room and what she’s learning from her beautiful 18 and 20 year old daughters, even as she rolls her eyes at them sometimes because kids are dumb and they haven’t had as much experience as us, and someday they’ll be rolling their eyes at their own children. And this is called the circle of life. But out of the mouths of babes and all that, they do have so many things to teach us. That’s been true in my life too, our babies having a pretty unique and special way of looking at the world in the generation that they are embedded in. And I actually love hearing their hot takes, even if I know they’ll change their minds on some of this, but also even as they’re helping me change mine more than anything.
I came away from this conversation feeling hopeful. When I am reminded of the North Stars that guide us, like the truth that binds us and shows the way forward, even if it looks a little different than it used to for me, I’m comforted by that. I’m comforted that there are smart, kind, curious, and humble people in the world. Even when everything appears to be a dumpster fire. It’s not, at least not completely. I’m grateful for the ones who, even if their impulse is to give in to a snap judgment, they choose to go with curiosity instead. This is a concept I am obsessed with about being not so much a certain person in this life, like one who just walks around in complete certainty all time, but one who walks around in curiosity. And I’m noticing that those are the people I’m most drawn to that are open handed when it would be more instinctual to be closed handed. I feel safer with people like that.
And then when I find myself reaching for that impulse, it makes me more expansive because I’m able to let in new people, new ideas, new concepts, new ways of thinking, new experiences that I might have just shut myself off to a decade ago. I admire women who have blazed a trail before us and shown us how to be a kick ass old lady who gives much, much fewer f’s than she used to. And how thrilling that is. I’m reminded that vulnerability kicks shame to the curb. It does. It is the antidote. And it binds us together, honestly, almost more than anything else.
These are little snippets from this conversation, so I’ll stop. But oh, did I enjoy this discussion with Kelly. It just filled me up so much. And I think it will you too. So don’t forget this. Beliefs are who you are. They matter because you matter. They will change and grow and shift with time just like they’re supposed to. Right? You’re not the same person you were and you’re not the same person you’ll be. And that is wonderful. You’re right where you’re supposed to be at this moment. Anyway, I loved this conversation with Kelly. I hope you do, too. So with that, let’s take away Kelly Corrigan, everybody.
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XO – Team Jen