Sometimes, we all need a little bit of tough love to help us get out of our own way. On this episode, Lorissa shares an experience receiving some tough love from her mother that helped her re-write the story she was creating about her life.
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TRANSCRIPT OF THE SHOW
Hello, my friends. Welcome to Made For Greatness, a podcast for Catholic moms. I am your host today, Lorissa Horn. And as always, I am so excited to be here with you today. Now I’m gonna kick off this episode by sharing a story with you. This happened to me when I was in my early twenties. I had recently gone through a pretty difficult breakup and not only was this like a very devastating time in my life, a devastating breakup. I had been dating this guy that I really, at the time I thought I was gonna marry him, but things just weren’t working out. We ended up breaking up. I was heartbroken, devastated, terrified that I was gonna be lonely for the rest of my life. All of that. And then, not only that, but you know how it is. It seems like a lot of times in our lives when one really difficult thing happens, another difficult thing happens, and it just feels like everything spirals out of control.
Well, this was what was also going on in my life. Not only was I going through this really difficult breakup, but things at work, I was having some major issues with some situations at work that were incredibly difficult, challenging, painful, all of that at the time. And here I am, just this young adult trying to navigate these really big emotions and situations. And I was even, this was probably the first time in my life that I ever experienced. What I would say was depression. I went to a counselor and I started seeing a counselor for a little while and he said to me, cuz I’m not really someone that’s ever really struggled a lot with depression, but he definitely said that the symptoms that I was displaying were very common with what he called situational depression. So I, very much, was really in a place of deep, deep darkness.
I was having a hard time sleeping. I was really having a hard time functioning in a lot of areas. And for me, kind of in this place of darkness, I really want you know, I kind of turned inward. I stopped going out, I stopped going out with my friends, hanging out with people, talking to people, reaching out. I just really went inward. And although I still was holding onto my faith and trying to pray and stuff, again, I felt like I was in this deep, deep, dark hole. I was having a really hard time pulling myself out of it. And I certainly, at that time in my life, I didn’t have the tools that I have today that would’ve been so helpful. And, and this is a thing that all of this that we teach in masters and, and teach on this podcast, if I could go back to my young adult self and, and teach her these tools, that’s like the one gift I wish I could go back and give myself is because I know how helpful these tools would’ve been in helping me in my early twenties and even in my early thirties once I did get married and started having kids.
But anyways, here I was kind of in this dark place trying to get out of it not really knowing how, and I remember just feeling pretty hopeless. I felt a lot of despair, a lot of sadness. And with that came a lot of negative self-talk. I kept thinking to myself, if only I was prettier, smarter, skinnier, you know, if I was better than maybe this relationship would’ve been better. Or, you know, I was really afraid that now that we had broken up, that like, what if I am lonely the rest of my life? What if nobody else wants to be with me? What if I never find the man that I’m supposed to marry? And so there were a lot of fears around loneliness. And again, the fears of not being good enough, not being enough. And all of that was settling in.
I kept replaying a lot of those thoughts over and over in my mind. And that at the time, of course, I didn’t understand how our thoughts drive our emotions. Now I do, now I can look back and see exactly what was happening to me, that I was having all of these negative thoughts, and I was creating the fear and I was creating the sense of loneliness in my life. And I was creating in a lot of ways, the darkness that I was stuck in. And I kept thinking, God, I, I just need to get out of this darkness. But at the time, I didn’t realize how much I was creating that darkness myself. And so anyways, I remember, you know, I would occasionally maybe talk to some friends here and there. I really kind of stopped going out. I really just became a homebody and stuff.
But I do remember one time visiting with some friends. I think we were at one of my friends’ houses. And again, I was in this really dark place and I was just kind of just wallowing really in my misery. I was just like, oh my gosh, you know, I’m heartbroken and I’m going through all this pain and all this stuff, a work’s happening. And it just felt like I was drowning under all of this pain and terrible things that I felt were happening in my life. And then I started telling my friends the story, the story of why I’m not good enough and why no guy is ever gonna like me, and why I’m probably gonna be alone for the rest of my life, and how it just feels like my life has no meaning or purpose, and I don’t know what I’m, what I’m doing or what I’m supposed to be doing.
And I would kinda just share this really, like looking back at it, a very sad story of my life circumstances. And of course my friends were great, great friends, and they did what great friends do. They consoled me, they hugged me, they cried with me, and they were like, no, Lorissa, you’re beautiful. You’re amazing. You’re, you know, you’re not gonna be alone like some guy is. You’re gonna meet some guy someday and you’re gonna be happy and you’re gonna fall in love. And you know, they said all the right things that friends say, but this is the thing in my own mind, I was like, yeah, yeah, yeah. I kind of blew them off. Like, of course they’re my friends, they’re supposed to say that. And I certainly didn’t believe it myself. I really was starting to replay these thoughts over and over in my mind that I was almost 100% convinced that nobody would ever wanna date me again.
That I, my life would just continue on this path. And I was destined for sadness and darkness and misery the rest of my life. And it’s funny now, like looking back and telling the story, I remember it so vividly and it felt so real and felt so strong and it felt so painful. And yet I just think, oh my goodness, that story that I was telling myself, the story in and of itself was just a really, really sad story. And then I remember going to lunch with my mom about a week later after talking to my friends. And again, I was just in this darkness. I hadn’t taken a shower in several days. I hadn’t done my hair. I liked wearing sweatpants and an oversized frumpy shirt. And I went to lunch with my mom.
And if any of you know, my mom, like Linda, is amazing and beautiful and really put together and just, she’s an amazing woman and an amazing mom. And we are at lunch together. I’ll never forget, I can remember like where I was sitting in this restaurant, we were both sitting kind of by the window at this table and we’re eating lunch together. And I started telling her this miserable, sad story. I was really quite embracing this story of how I was gonna be miserable and unhappy and sad and lonely the rest of my life, and how I would never meet anyone. And as I’m telling her this story about how I was feeling and how my life was so filled with despair, I was really expecting her to react very similarly to my friends. Like I was ex I was saying these things because I wanted this consolation from my mom.
I wanted to hear my mom say, no, Lorissa, you’re beautiful. You’re amazing. You, someday you will meet a guy and you won’t be lonely and you’ll have a great life. Like I, I wanted at that moment for my mom to tell me this. And I didn’t get that reaction from her. In fact, she set her fork down and she looked me straight in the eyes and she gave me some tough love at that moment. The kind of tough love that only a mom can give her kids because she can be brutally honest and still get away with it, right? Because that’s kind of what we depend on our parents for at times. And so she looked at me and she was, and she said to me, of course you’re gonna be lonely and miserable and no guy is gonna wanna date you if you keep acting like this. ,
I remember being stunned, like what? Like it felt like a little bit of a punch in the stomach. And then she continued to call me out a little bit. She’s like, look at you, Lorissa. You haven’t showered in days. You aren’t doing your hair, you didn’t put on any makeup, you aren’t taking care of yourself. You don’t look great. And then of course, here you are just beating yourself down and telling yourself that you’re not good enough and feeling bad about yourself. She was like, that is not going to help you have the kind of life you want. Like, she literally called me out in the moment. And of course it stung, right? It felt like a little bit of a punch in the stomach, but, and I, and I remember sitting there and she was like, come on Lorissa, this isn’t who you are.
Like, where is my daughter? Where is this vibrant, hardworking, committed, amazing young woman? And she said, I want you to think about the kind of guy you would like to date, the kind of man you would like to marry and think about what he’s gonna be attracted to. Is he gonna want to date a woman that doesn’t care about herself, A woman who’s not trying to show up as her best self or who takes care of herself or is happy and joyful and fun to be around? And she said, because Lorissa, right now, you’re pretty miserable to be around, like who’s gonna wanna be around you when you’re like this ? And it was so brutally honest and in the moment it was so painful to hear. And I remember just kind of sitting there stunned. I didn’t quite know how to respond, but I went home
That afternoon after lunch and I sat on my floor in the bedroom stewing, and I sat there and it was this like pivotal moment in my life where part of me, I just wanted to climb into bed and just wallow and cry in my misery and just continue to think that I wasn’t good enough and that my life would just continue on this dark, dark path. But then part of me knew deep down in the depths of my soul that my mom was 100% correct and that I knew that I wasn’t showing up the way I wanted to, and that I had so much in me to offer, and that this was not the life that I wanted to create. This was not the story I wanted to write. And I think that by having lunch with my mom that day, she in a way showed me how powerful our thoughts are, even though I couldn’t have articulated it at the time.
My mom was really in that moment acting as my life coach. She was basically pulling me out of that story and saying that I could write a different story and that I didn’t have to just fall into those self-loathing and certainly limiting thoughts and beliefs that I was starting to create about myself. Now I can certainly look back and see how those thoughts that I was having about myself, those were the thoughts that were actually causing me even more pain than the actual circumstances of my life, which were the breakup and the, and the struggles at work and all of those things. It was actually all of the negative thoughts that I was holding onto and believing about myself. Those were the thoughts that were so incredibly painful. Those were the thoughts that were leading to so much darkness. And in fact, I can see now that those were the thoughts that were causing problems in my life.
The situational depression that I was going through, those were the thoughts that were keeping me stuck in bed all day and not wanting to get up and go and to experience the fullness of life that I had been given. And so as I was sitting there on the floor, I thought to myself, I think my mom is right, even though it’s stung, even though it was painful, she was right, , Linda was right. She’s always right. It’s like the way she is. She just knows things and she understands things so well. And so I was sitting on that floor still feeling pretty down, feeling pretty dejected, but I knew I had a choice at this moment. I could continue down this path and the thoughts that I was having about feeling miserable and looking terrible and not being pretty enough, or never having anybody ask me out, I could stay in that story and it would probably end up creating that reality in my life because now I know, like if you put those types of thoughts into the model and you play it out when you feel terrible about yourself and when you feel unattractive and when you feel, you know, like you’re not good enough for anyone or anything, then you isolate yourself.
You turn inward, you block people out, you put up walls and you make it really difficult for people to reach out to you. And people aren’t attracted to that. They’re not drawn to wanting to hang out or to be around people like that. And so I was creating the darkness in my life, I was creating that reality and I didn’t wanna create that anymore. And so sitting on that floor, I opened my closet and I pulled out my tennis shoes and some workout clothes and I put those on and it, it’s been the first time in months that I put on some workout clothes. And I got in my car and I went to the gym and I worked out, I worked out really hard that day at the gym. And about an hour and a half later I came home and I took a shower, and then I got dressed.
I did my hair and makeup for the first time in weeks, and I looked in the mirror. And for the first time in a long time, I felt beautiful. I looked at myself and I liked the reflection that I saw. I had a sense of hope and I knew that I was starting over in a way, and that this was gonna be an opportunity for me to kind of recreate who I wanted to be and really step into the woman that I wanted to be. And I knew at that moment that, alright, I don’t know who I am supposed to marry. I don’t know what my vocation is per se, but I did know that I was pretty sure that I wanted to get married. And I started really taking my mom’s words to heart. I started to think about what type of man I wanted to date.
What was the type of man that I wanted to marry someday? What were the qualities that he had? And I started to think about that. I started to think, you know, I wanted to date a man that I could share my faith with, who was strong in his faith, who was fun to be around, who was happy, joyful, who loved life, who loved to laugh, who was excited to do new things. Like those were the things that I knew I would be attracted to in someone. And so I also knew that if that was the kind of guy that I wanted to live my life with, the type of man I wanted to marry, then I needed to start working on those similar qualities in myself. Was I gonna be someone that, you know, really liked, loved God and that my faith was my top priority, and that I wanted to be someone that could have fun and who loved life and that was excited to do, to do new things and to put myself out there, all of that.
And so I started to focus more on trying to be her, trying to be that woman that would attract that kind of guy. And I certainly knew that I needed to work on my self-esteem, my self-worth, my self-confidence and believing in myself. And I also knew that those types of qualities would also help me in these work situations and the challenges I was having. And even just being a young adult at the time, those were the types of qualities I wanted to really start working on, which I did. And it really changed the trajectory of my life. I am so thankful in a way that my mom was bold enough and honest enough to speak the truth into my heart that day, even though it was a bit painful, and there’s still time today. I remember even just a couple months ago kind of falling into a little bit of a funk.
I could feel it like for a couple weeks I started to feel that same darkness. It kind of started to come on a little bit. I was struggling with some things and the doubt started creeping in. And some of those negative thoughts came back. Even though I’ve been working on those for the last many, many years, and I have come so far they started creeping back up again and I could still, I could start to feel myself really begin to spiral down into that darkness a little bit. But the good thing is, I had this memory from my past, and I also now have all of these amazing tools that we utilize every day. I knew that I could look at these thoughts, I could do some models on them, I could explore them a little bit. I could sit with them and just observe them from a place of curiosity.
And I could also look at them and say, no, no, no, no, no. This is not the story of who I am. Yes, sometimes we have bad days or bad weeks. Sometimes we have bad months, even bad years, but it doesn’t have to define us. And that’s not the story that we have to create. That’s not the path we have to go down. And so I was thankful that pretty quickly I was able to say, no, I’m not doing this. I’m not gonna believe those thoughts. I’m not gonna go down this rabbit hole again because I know where it’s gonna lead me. It’s only gonna lead me to darkness and I’m gonna feel more isolated. I’m gonna disconnect from the people in my life that I love and it’s not gonna serve me in any capacity. And so in that, in that moment, I kind of went back to the tough love, but not so much like going to my mom and, and having her speak that tough love to me again, it was more of me speaking that tough love.
Like, come on Lorissa, you’re better than this. You know where this is gonna go. If you keep entertaining these negative thoughts about yourself, you’re just gonna create that reality. And who’s gonna wanna be around you in that reality? You’re just gonna push people away. You’re not gonna be able to help or serve the people that you wanna love and serve in your life, and it’s not gonna make you better or happier or anything like that. And I kind of had that moment again, like, okay, Lorissa, let’s do this. This is not the path you wanna go down. Put on your tennis shoes, get your workout clothes on, go workout, go for a walk, start praying, get it together because you are creating the life that you’re living and you’re creating the life that you’re living with, the thoughts that you’re choosing to entertain and believe.
Because as we know our thoughts that create our feelings and our emotions, they drive our actions and our actions lead to the results that we have in our lives. And my sisters in Christ. This is what we’re doing in masters this quarter. We’re focusing on our self-worth and our self-esteem and our self-image, how we look at ourselves, how we talk to ourselves. Because every day we have thoughts about ourselves, hundreds, thousands of thoughts about ourselves. And those thoughts create stories and those stories, we start to believe them. And so if we get to choose what we think about ourselves, then why would we choose thoughts that are unkind or self-loathing or thoughts that hold us back or keep us stuck or keep us plain small when we have every opportunity to think and to practice thoughts that are filled with the truth of who God made us to be.
Thoughts that build us up, thoughts about qualities or characteristics about ourselves that we actually really like and admire thoughts that make us feel good when we wake up in the morning and make us want to just jump into this beautiful life we’ve been given and to show up in powerful ways. Listen, we can sit in misery and despair and darkness and fear and loneliness, and we can wallow in all of it. But I’m here today to s with a little bit of like this tough love of like, come on, you’re better than that. You deserve better than that. You deserve to create a life that you love to live. And it all starts with how you speak to yourself, how you treat yourself, and how you talk to yourself. Think about the people that need you to show up in your life. They need you to be a woman who has confidence, who believes in herself, who sees herself as a gift and a blessing.
Why? Because when you show up like that, you are capable of giving of yourself in ways that are extraordinary. And there are people who are looking at you right now, and I know you may not even realize this. There are women and people and kids and families and your husbands that are looking to you right now wanting you to be able to see the gift and the blessing that you are and the light that you bring to so many. Because when you show up, bringing that kind of light, my goodness, that light is contagious and it’s filled with so much goodness and so much love, and it spreads in ways that are like you can’t even imagine. I can’t even imagine it fully. And so I want you to spend a little bit of time this week thinking about the story about you, the story of your life, the story that you are creating, and is this the story that you want to be creating?
Are the things that you tell yourself, are they, do they help you? Do they make you feel better? Do they make you feel beautiful and amazing and extraordinary? Because the thoughts that you think on a day-to-day basis don’t make you feel better about yourself, then maybe this is an opportunity. Maybe this is a little bit of tough love telling you to stop it. Stop those thoughts. They’re not serving you, they’re not helping you, you and your family, your loved ones, everyone in your life deserves the better version of you, the better version of you that thinks better about herself. And I am telling you, my sister’s, in Christ, there’s an urgency to this. There is a calling that we all have. We have a finite amount of time here in this life, and there’s an urgency to it. We don’t know how long we’re here, but every single day that we spend putting ourselves down or not thinking highly of ourselves or telling ourselves a story that doesn’t serve us anymore, that we’re not good enough, smart enough, capable enough, pretty enough, all of those things, like that’s just a story.
Those are just thoughts that aren’t true. Those are thought errors. They’re corrupted thoughts that just aren’t true, and they don’t help us and they don’t serve us. And now I want to empower you to just have this moment of like, yes, I am going to start writing a new story for me. I wanna write a story of being a woman that is deeply loved by God, who is loved by her family and friends who has many gifts and talents, who is confident in who she is, who sees herself every single day as a blessing and who shows up giving her best, even though her best is never perfect. And even though she falls short and makes mistakes, she’s doing the best that she can. I wanna be a woman who’s writing a story of self-compassion and self-love and self-worth, that I am creating a life that inspires others and gives others permission to shine because I wanna be a woman that’s not afraid to shine either.
And I want to dream some pretty big dreams. I already have these dreams in my heart and I just really want to continue to step into them and to continue to allow God to dream in and through me. And I want to be the woman that he’s calling me to be. This is the story that I wanna create. And I know that the negative self-talk and the negative thoughts, like that’s, that’s a different story that it has an end. That story has come to an end. And I just wanna invite you, if you are wanting to work on these things, if you’re wanting to really up-level your belief in yourself, uplevel your confidence, uplevel your self worth, if you want to start maybe creating a new story or maybe you’re just like, yeah, I kinda like my story, but now I wanna like, create maybe a new chapter of a story or I wanna like step into a new adventure in my life and try new things and continue to walk in the truth of who God has made me to be.
Then I want to invite you to masters to come and check it out, to continue with us in this journey of understanding and embracing our sacred self image. Can you imagine if all of us women were really, truly waking up every day embracing our sacred self image, knowing that we’re made in the image and likeness of God and living from that truth and living the truth of that story? Wow, I can only imagine the light and the joy and the beauty that can come from all of that. So this is it. My sister’s in Christ. This is my podcast episode. Mom, if you’re listening to this, thank you, thank you for all the ways that you’ve loved me so well and spoken the truth to me in those times when
I needed, needed to hear it the most. You’re amazing and you are a rock in my life. I’m so grateful for you and for all of you that are listening, just know how loved you are, how amazing of a gift you are, and how you’re not alone. We’re all in this together and we’re letting each other up in prayers. Please be assured of my prayers for you because remember mama, we are not made for comfort. We are made for greatness. God bless.