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I Survived My World Turning Upside Down and You Can Too: Jen Flips The Script

Episode 01

Kicking off our Flipping the Script series is none other than our venerable host, Jen herself. In this solo episode, Jen transparently talks about the changes in her life in the last year–the days she thought she wouldn’t survive, and the days where she could finally see hope dancing around the corner.  Jen walks us through key times throughout all of her life when she flipped the script of her existence in several areas; spiritually, as a woman, and in her view of her body.  She shares how we all are inclined to resist change and how easy it is to adhere to the script that is handed to us, and how we’ll even create our own script of lies to ourselves to stay and be accepted within certain structures. In the end, Jen acknowledges that flipping the script can create a disturbance around us–within our families, within our friend groups–but that listening to yourself and believing that your instincts and hearts are good are worth the upheaval, and becoming unstuck will lead to the most rewarding days ahead.

Episode Transcript

Hey, everybody. Welcome to the For the Love Podcast with me, Jen Hatmaker. I am so happy to be here with you today. 

It’s a big day for me and the whole For the Love Podcast team, because we are kicking off a brand new series. This is always exciting for us. Anytime we kick off a new series, you can rest assured we have been talking about it and working on it and brainstorming it and workshopping it for months and so we’re always excited when we get to bring it to you. It’s ready. It’s developed. Today, our new series is called For the Love of Flipping the Script. Let me tell you what I mean by that.

After a season of, basically, putting everything on hold, so many things that we’ve been accustomed to in the deep freeze, such a year of just turmoil and upheaval and disruption. We are going to be taking a look at how it’s never too late and things have never even been too hard to change your life. This is going to run the gamut for us during this whole series, so whether it’s quitting the job that is sucking the soul right out of you, all the way to growing and evolving in your beliefs and your ideology. We are welcoming guests from all walks of life and those guests are going to take us through how they have flipped the script in their own life, in a lot of different buckets. I think what you’re going to discover is you can relate to virtually all of them. I know I have. So guess what? Guess who our first guest is? It’s me. Hi, I am your host and your guest, Jen Hatmaker, never done this before. This is a first in the four-year run of this show and Laura, the podcast producer, this was her idea.

She said, “Jen, nobody that we can think of has flipped the script in such a dramatic way.” Well, that’s not really true. I’m sure somebody has a more dramatic story, but she said, “You’ve done this, you’ve done this. You have flipped the script. Some of it, you chose. Some of it was chosen for you and you simply had to then live in that new script. Why don’t you consider kicking off the series with your own story and what you have learned and what you’re still learning and set the table for the tone of this entire series.” I said, “Yeah. Yeah.” I think for, I’m guessing, for so many of us, it’s just super easy. We default into our routines. I’m reading a lot of books right now on neuroscience and the biological composition of trauma, of change, of growth, of recovery and it’s very, very fascinating.

One thing that I have learned is that our brains are wired, literally, created to resist change, that we have a neurological signal to our bodies that says, “This is unfamiliar, therefore dangerous,” right? “This is unfamiliar, therefore, abort, abort.” Our brains naturally crave familiarity. They naturally crave patterns, predictability, a known path, and so it’s no joke. When people say they hate change, they really do. They really do. We have to make some pretty conscious choices to override our operating systems, rather too, maybe just let’s just start here, think about change in a positive way. Maybe that’s the very first step, which is to say, “Self, change is not bad. Change does not mean something’s wrong. Change does not mean you were wrong. Change does not mean this is a bad idea.” Sometimes those things are true, of course. Sometimes we were wrong. Sometimes, things are bad, but also, there’s this huge category of change that exists in a positive light that looks like growth and possibility and innovation, and discovery.

Those are good changes, but our minds resist all change, so that’s really what we’re wanting to dial into on Flipping the Script, this deliberate, intentional work to embrace change, because every single one of us prefers homeostasis. We’re meant to. There’s nothing wrong with us. We’re meant to. That was an original design to keep us safe and secure and in a predictable environment so that when new things come in, we need to be alarmed. But in the modern day context that you and I are in, not only is that not always useful anymore, it can be really harmful. It can keep us stuck. It can keep us lying to ourselves and others. It can keep us silent and sad and really missing out on life, kind of sleepwalking through life. So where do we start here? That’s exactly what we’re going to be doing in this series. Where do we start? Do we just kick off transformation after something has impacted our lives? Do we change things overnight? Do we change things over the course of time?

I don’t think there’s one right answer here, spoiler alert, but we are going to look at all those possibilities. All the possibilities of ways in which we can embrace and lean into the work of change and why we should. So to kick it off, beloveds, I am going to talk for a little bit about my life and the ways I have permanently changed over the past few years, kind of a long view, last few years, a little bit of a shorter view, and then finally, primarily in this last calendar year; the most recent and monumental changes in my life, what I’ve learned, what I got right, what I got wrong, what I’m hoping to take with me into this next phase. I thank you for letting me talk through this with you transparently. That is one thing I know I can count on, obviously, from my community is the permission to be genuine, to be authentic with you. I have definitely walked through sorrow, my personal sorrow with you over the last year, so you’ve watched it in real time.

What you have enforced in me is not that, “Oops, Jen. You knew it. You shouldn’t have shared. It backfired. People used it against you.” This weird little narrative I have in my head that people are going to use things against me, like I’m in the CIA or something, like I’m a spy. What does that mean? But rather what your loving embrace and response to me this year has confirmed for me is that this is a beautiful community and that generally, we value authenticity, even when it’s really hard to hear or say. That we can hold a lot of room for one another as each of us walks our own path here. So just upfront, I want to say, I’ll just never get over this community and I mean that so sincerely. Thank you for the millions of ways that you have encouraged my own personal growth and flourish and recovery instead of impeding it.

 


Books & Resources Mentioned in This Episode

 

 

Undoing The Shame of Our Body Image Struggles with Dr. Hillary McBride 

 


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