#313 – Face Your Pain & Change The World With Amanda McKoy Flanagan

Thomas Green here with ethical marketing service on the episode. Today, we have Amanda mccoy Flanagan. Amanda. Welcome. Hi. Thank you so much. Well, thank you for having me. It is very much my pleasure. Would you like to take a moment and tell the audience a bit about yourself and what you do? Sure. Uh My name is Amanda mccoy flanagan. I am an author, a motivational speaker, um a podcaster, I co-host my own show called Soul Rising Podcast. I’m, I’m a blogger if you will, II I write uh of, you know, 400 to 500 word piece uh that goes up on my website about once a month. Um And I, I do it all. I, I do it all. My mission is to uh spread my healing message as far and wide um as, as I can. I’m, I’m very grateful to be talking to you on the other side of the pond today. Um I’m in the United States. I’m in the States. I live in Colorado. I’m originally from New York. Spent the 1st 35 years of my life there um decided uh we wanted to move off the coast and Colorado was just a natural place for us to go with the mountains and just how beautiful and spiritual it is here.

Um Yeah, I just published a book. Uh, well, not just back in May in 2023 and it’s called Trust Yourself to Be All In Safe to Love and let go. And it’s an inspirational memoir, um slash personal development or self help book. It’s not Sonic, it kind of, doesn’t, it kind of straddles a few genres because it’s not straight self help. It’s not like bullet point. And I, I do throw in some questions. It’s more of narrative and it’s more to get you to think about um how you view your own pain, grief, trauma, et cetera. And I suggest some tools that have worked for me uh through my telling you my story. Um The book is not like I have your answers, do this, right? Typical self help is like, OK, you wanna feel this way? You wanna get out of this pain, do this, this and that I don’t ever pretend to know what’s best for you. Um I can just tell you my own story. I’m also sober. Um I’ve been on a sober spiritual journey since 2006. I am the co-founder of the Castle Rock Clubhouse.

Um I live in Castle Rock, Colorado. Um And that is AAA space that uh it’s a location that runs space to 12 step groups. So I’m involved in self 12 step recovery. Um I, like I said that. So I think I said 2006. So I’ve been doing this for a little while. So I’ve been on a self discovery, self reflecting journey for quite a while. And I don’t know if that, if that’s enough, that’s, you know, sums it up. There was a lot to talk to you about there and thank you for the introduction. Um The uh one of the things I think we discussed uh before the episode in our messages is um your story. So, uh I think you got quite a compelling story and I think you covered that. Um uh it is partially in, in your book. Is that right? Yes. So my story in my book is not my entire life story. That’s why it’s different from an autobiography, you know, memoirs are kind of like snippets of a certain period of your life. Um And so mine sort of starts, um, when I got sober and I talk about the different um traumatic loss that I experienced.

Um, you know, well, I mean, I do, I do touch on a bit of childhood trauma. Um That’s not really the focus II I talk about um a sexual trauma that happened when I was five, another one when I was seven and things that happened in my uh family of origin, um my father cheating on my mother. Um when I was about 16, uh my mother had breast cancer at the time and he cheated on her with her best friend and he eventually left five years later. And so I, I kind of touch on those pieces of my story. It’s not the focus, but it’s sort, sort of to, um, let you know that I’ve been through it and that I, it kind of substantiates, I guess, you know, not that anybody has to ever substantiate their pain, but it shows you how I, why I turned to drugs and alcohol, why I suffer with trauma, why I have a very hard time um trusting people and that the book is called Trust Yourself to be All in.

And so through my experience, I, I tried to tell about um those, those experiences kind of legitimize um my psychology and why I, you know, uh eventually with the, where the story goes is my marriage starts to crumble after um well, started before my brother died. My brother overdosed over five years ago. It’ll be six years this March. Um and he died and at that point, um I decided I didn’t love my husband. Um I had an experience at, at a concert. Um I had a spiritual experience um that involved another person and it was never about the other person that was more of a spiritual awakening, right? That’s like why this, I believe souls and spirits come together to teach us lessons and to wake us up and that was the purpose of that. But at the time I really believed that I did not love my husband. I came home from that concert and I told him, you know, I mean, it had been years of being unhappy.

Um, he suffers from PTSD. He’s a 911 1st responder and I was a fireman and a, a transit police officer in the New York City subways. Um, he did the transit work when he was about 1920 21. Um, back in the late eighties when the New York City subway system was just terrible, just, just criminals, just bad, bad news. Uh, so the trauma for him started there and then being a fire, a fire, uh, fireman for a while and then 911 kind of sealed the deal for him with his PTSD. And that started to come out in our relationship about four years before everything blew up. Um, I kept asking to go to marriage counseling. I kept expressing my concerns. Um, and I was sort of the identified, um, problem in the relationship if you, if you could say that with my family history and my own trauma and, and then my brother dies and, uh, you know, I tried to again go, go to counseling and, and, uh, he just wasn’t willing at that point. Um, he’d only addressed and admitted his PTSD in 2016.

Um, you know, 911 was 2001. Right. So he’s living 15 years with all this pain, um, and start to affect my Children. Um I start to be, uh, resentful towards him because I see how, you know, my daughter spills a glass of water and it, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. You know, so she’s starting to get that sort of secondary trauma from just his reaction and my reaction too. I’m not innocent here. I had a ton of anxiety. I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. Um And, but we’ve kind of fed off of each other in that way. It was not very healthy. Anyway, Jeremy dies and uh at this point, I’m talking divorce. So that got him into the hot seat in therapy. And um I was surprised to hear that it wasn’t all me that it wasn’t just my, my issues that um I wasn’t the only problem, you know, it takes, takes two people, takes two to tango if you will. And um he did how to do his work. I had to do my work and then we did our work together.

So we spent a lot of time and money um on therapy. Um He did some E MD R work um to address his trauma. And um after that, he did that for about a year. It didn’t work great. Um It worked OK for him, but uh it wasn’t enough. And then he did something called uh rapid resolution therapy, which is a form of hypnotherapy and it’s not. And I I want to bring that up because, um, it’s sort of new, sort of, sort of like burgeoning, like on the trauma treatment, um, you know, in that world. And, uh, it’s, I think the word hypnotherapy kind of, you know, throws people off. It’s not that you’re getting sleepy therapy, you’re 100% conscious. It’s a deep meditation that rewire your neural pathways and it’s called rapid resolution therapy. It happened for him in three sessions and he is a changed man. And I thank him all the time for doing his work because if he had not done his work, we would not still be married. Um So the story in my, in my book really dives into, like I said, like this, this inability from a very young age to trust that people are going to be there for me.

I suffered some emotional abandonment. I talk about that in the book. Um not just from my father, but also, you know, from my mother, both, you know, there was a feeling of distrust that um you know, my feelings weren’t very validated. Um You know, and I, and when I talk about all of this stuff and I am very clear in my book, uh nobody’s to blame, nobody’s at fault. It’s the way things were my parents did what their parents did. We live in a time you look about my age, we live in a time of call it the evolution of consciousness and other people are calling it that too where we’re waking up and we’re questioning things and we’re seeing the effects of a family, trauma, generational family dysfunction um coming out, you know, tragically in drug addiction in suicide, which very often goes back to mental illness is sort of the underbelly, underbelly of all of that. Um And we’re saying no more, we’re saying we’re gonna do it differently because we have access to more information.

We are encouraged to heal, we are encouraged to seek therapy where back in the day it was like you’re crazy. You know, if you go to therapy, like you’re a wacko, you’re gonna go see the, you know, whatever they, the the derogatory term for the the therapist was, I can’t even think of it right now. But uh shrink and yeah, shrink. Yeah. Or there’s, there’s another one too. But yeah. So like you were judged and we live in a time where we have a lot more compassion, I believe for people and we just have a greater understanding of the effects of trauma and the effects of how things were. And we’re kind of not standing for it anymore and it’s creating a lot of upheaval. So ma and I believe that’s what’s going on out in the world. So the book essentially is not just here is my story and I, I hope it helps you. That’s all that’s of course one part of it, but the overarching message of my book is that healing our personal pain and our energy can help heal the collective. Because I believe, right?

If anybody’s, I’m sure you’ve heard of the law of Attraction and all that, we’ve been talking about these spiritual principles forever. What’s going on in there is a reverberation of what’s going on in here, just like, you know, if I want to put positive thoughts out, then I wanna attract positivity in my life. If I’m putting negativity out, if I’m putting unhealed energy and pain out in the world, what are we all gonna get back? We’re gonna get that pain and we’re manufacturing that on a mass scale as evidenced by all the war by all the pain and the suffering out there. So my book is sort of a guide or a pathway if you will to heal your own pain. So then we can go out in the world and shed light and shed love and be compassionate and practice forgiveness because I, I just, I just, I just believe that the chaos in here is, is why there’s chaos out there. Um So I tried to use my own personal story and experience to um guide you towards that if that’s something that people are interested in.

And I think a lot of people are. I agree and um thank you for the answer. There is a lot to follow up on. Um So I’ll, I’ll do it. I’ll attempt to do it in order if that’s ok. Um You can always feel free, feel free to jump in and start me whenever because I, I’m a long talker, so I apologize. No, that’s just fine for a podcast episode. Yeah, no problem there. Um You mentioned uh trauma at a young age and um the effects that, that had, uh I’m very sorry that you had to go through that. But um from the perspective of helping others, um you know, you have uh perhaps expertise in recovering from that. So if someone is in that position that you were in, they’re, they’re carrying it with them in their everyday life, um how would you or what advice would you give them? Um One of my main go tos is self compassion and self forgiveness. And before you can do that, you have to get honest, you have to get very, very honest with yourself about your pain and understand that it’s just pain and it’s not going to kill you actually avoiding looking at your pain and diving deep and getting very honest will in fact kill you.

It will come out sideways like we talked about in the drug addiction and the, the um mental illness, every everything else, your your relationships that are gonna suffer that’s gonna cause you more pain. So getting very honest, becoming very aware and you do this through I my go to is meditation. I I try to open myself up. Um as much as I possibly can on any given day. Some days I’m more open than others. And I seek, I seek some sort of wisdom from what I call high guides or master guides or whatever you wanna call it. Um, I do believe in God but God, to me it’s, it’s not, um, a religious God at all. I’m a spiritual person. Um, you know, you can call it whatever you want. He, she, it, they, it’s just a loving energy to me that I believe is um surrounding and is in the, the, the whole planet and um shows up in every different religion, just different religions tend to um uh interpret that what that means um differently.

But ultimately, to me, it doesn’t matter, it’s all the same. It’s just one loving energy. So I try to tap into that and then just be brave, um ask for courage, you know, to just be as honest with, with myself as I possibly can to see what shows up and when things show up or memories come back or I get a glimmer, a glimpse of an understanding of, of where the pain is coming from, the root of it, hold on to it and I try not to push it away. We were very good, especially people who suffer trauma at denial at our defense mechanisms because we needed them to survive as Children and they served us very well up until adulthood. When those survival traits no longer serve us. But when I talk about self compassion, I wanna honor everything that comes up as a part of me and not push anything away. In my book. I talk about it as like a field of, of flowers and weeds. And I talk about prickly and thorny ones and soft and beautiful and fragrant and velvety and, you know, all the, the good ones and the, you know, bad.

I do air quotes because I don’t believe that there’s anything bad. I think it’s all there to serve us in some way. It’s how we use that. But I try to embrace, I try to allow um all of these things to become a part of me and the things that I don’t love about myself that I’d like to change, which is keeping, you know, keeping me stuck in the pain and the trauma. Um I, of course, want, I want to change on some, on some level, but I don’t want to necessarily rip things out by the root, right? We’re very, very focused on change and changing ourselves and personal development and how we could be better and what’s wrong with us. There’s nothing wrong with you. Every part of you is serving a purpose. It’s just a matter of identifying how it can now serve you instead of hurt you, right? Like I take, for example, I talk about like um um hypervigilance, right? That’s a, that’s a key symptom of of, of trauma and I guess I need to know what’s going on all around me all the time.

And I used to call that being very conscious of like, of conscious of what is going on around me that I’m observant, right? I would call it observant and I thought that was a great attribute and it is so. But how I use that now today I use that more for connection. I use that more for a spiritual enlightenment. If you will kind of like a um tapping into other people’s energy um in a way that I can uh be helpful or that I can um not have to change or fix anybody but um be with them in it, right? So it’s not, I’m no longer looking for ways that I need to stay safe through my hypervigilance. I’m now looking for ways that I can connect and bridge that connection because ultimately, that’s what all my work comes down to. So I need to do that personally with one on one, with different people, with going on in my environment in my atmosphere. And I believe that if I can do that on like a micro level, if we can all do that, it’s going to heal, heal our own souls and our own spirit because we’re going to be living in love and selflessness and, and compassion and seeking that connection, which is I believe the heart of the problem in the world today.

So um meditate, get as honest as you can and go in. Go in, go in is there’s a book, a yoga book um by uh Dana Feld. It’s called Go In and In. And it’s go further than when you think you can’t go any further. Even when the tears are streaming, go further. Go a little bit, right? And then stop and then take a breather, right? Self compassion. Like I, like I said, back out a little bit, take a break, have a cup of tea, relax, go do something that you like to do, take care of yourself, but make sure you get back to it right. You don’t have to heal yourself overnight but make sure that you’re willing to go back to it. Thank you for that. Uh I do think it’s beneficial and uh the next part that I wanted to follow up on was um you talked about your dad’s behavior. Um And then ultimately, uh the divorce, I think that um adult Children of divorced parents, um I think that they give that meaning whether consciously or unconsciously.

And um I was wondering if you gave that meaning yourself and then also what advice you’d give to others about people who carry that around with them later on in life. You’re 100% correct, I believe. You know, there’s a, there’s a phrase um you know, the apple doesn’t fall far from the trait. And what that means is we recreate the same behavior that we see growing up. And unless you’re completely conscious of it and saying no, I’m gonna do it differently. It seeps in, right. The stuff that we go through, especially probably from birth to about 12 years old is just so imprinted on us on a cellular level that we recreate it unconsciously later in life. Like when I described that I had met this other person that is a generational experience. My grandfather, my father, me like that, I didn’t go as far as them at all more. Mine was like a feeling that like freaked me out that scared me to the point of like, wait a minute, no, like there’s something more here, there’s something going on underneath this.

But um we do unconsciously recreate the same behavior. And I believe the reason why it showed up for me was to break these chains of the generational dysfunction. My ears are kind of ringing. That’s usually my sign that I’m, I’m on to something. Um And um I, I had done that 12 years of self reflection before that. So I knew, you know, digging in recovery and stuff like that. I knew that there was something under the surface, but we do carry those experiences into our adult interactions. There’s a program called adult Children of alcoholics and dysfunctional families. And you know, there they talk about it in that program, how would they call it or they adult Children that we function as Children in our adult lives based on the experiences that we had as Children. Um, so I think unless you’re extremely aware and not even in the, the, you know, infidelity part, I mean, that’s part of it but just so many behaviors.

Right. Like, you know, oh, you know, I don’t like that about my dad or I didn’t like that about my mom and I’m never gonna be like that and then we become that. It’s just, I believe it’s just, I don’t know the scientific word for it. I haven’t done the actual, you know, research on it. I probably learned about it at some point in my, I’m also, I always forget to say I’m also a licensed master of social work. Um, so I’ve learned about it somewhere in the course of my studies. I don’t practice it, which is why I don’t think it comes to the top of my mind. Um, for other reasons. Um, maybe someday I will but I have stayed up on my continuing education and my license is valid. And, um, I’m sure I learned that there is some actual, you know, name, name for that. But to me it doesn’t really matter. I don’t need to get, I don’t ever get really scientific or research g, or have to throw out like, you know, names. My, my, I talk more from experience. But, um, yeah, it’s just those qualities, those attributes in us that we swear we’re never gonna be and we’re never gonna do and then we do it and I think it’s all part of the soul’s journey toward awakening.

I feel that I have to go into some sort of pain and discomfort or act in ways that I’m not proud of in order to see it and say no, I don’t like that about me or that’s, you know, I believe Payne is our greatest teacher and if I’m not going to see it and be aware of it, then I’m not gonna be able to change it. So I think it all serves us. I think I try, I think I picked my parents, I believe reincarnation. I believe that, you know, everything was exactly the way that it was supposed to be, even the sexual traumas, even the terrible things for me. Personally, I believe everything was exactly the way it was supposed to be in order to bring me to great healing, which is all our souls want to do is heal. Well, uh You also mentioned um your brother’s death, uh which I’m very sorry about. Um But again, it comes back to you having expertise that you can help other people with. Um So if someone is also in that position, they’ve lost a loved one.

What would you advise that they do? I could sit here and say Jeremy should be here, he shouldn’t be dead. It’s unfair, blah, blah, blah. What I get like immediately what I feel is like, who are you to say that? Who are you to say that? You know what’s in the best interest of a person’s evolution of their soul? Perhaps Jeremy needs to be there in order to then do his review and all that I believe goes on in the afterlife to say, you know what, I’m gonna come back the next time and I’m going to change this, this and that, right? It’s all a continuum. I, like I said, I believe reincarnation, I believe that when our soul crosses over, we’re only gone physically, we are still alive as energy. And I believe that there is an opportunity to then say, OK, yeah, I did this and this and this is what, you know, I said we used to call them soul contracts. I said I was gonna do this and this and I did that, but I didn’t do this, this and that. So maybe in the next life I’m going to work on that.

I’m gonna look at that. I’m gonna do that a little bit differently. So I, I just, I just believe, I trust, I just trust the process that everything is the way that it’s supposed to be. You know, maybe it’s not, maybe it’s just something I tell myself to feel better about it. But it’s a really great way for me to, to cope with um, you know, feelings of it’s not fair or my survivor’s guilt. I suffered from survivor’s guilt. I’m sober 17 years. Why is Jeremy gone? And I’m here, I’m his little sister. Right. And I was sober for 12 years before he died and I would try to help him and I would try to, you know, get, get him into recovery and he would dabble with it here and there. He had stints of sobriety a year here or two years there. Um, but, um, so it leaves me with the feeling of what, why, why me and not him. And you know, when I ask him this, because I do believe that I have a, a very clear connection and lying to him. He says, because you can do what I couldn’t, not getting sober. But now in life, writing and speaking and trying to heal others.

I, for whatever reason, that’s what I was put to do here. So my path led me to a spiritual experience in a spiritual journey which then helps me to try and heal others or help others to heal. And um it just wasn’t his, just wasn’t his path. So now I believe he uses me. I believe my whole issue, my whole spiritual ignorance around my marriage, breaking the generational dysfunction. I believe that I, when I tap into his spirit and I really listen and I try to discern what’s me and what’s him or what’s God, what spirit, whatever. When I get those messages, I, I trust them and I, and I, and I listen to it and I said, ok, what do you want me to do? I’ll do it. I’ve said that to him numerous times. You know, just tell me what you want me to do and I’ll do it. So I try to use my loved ones on the other side to, um, I asked them to use me, ask your loved ones to use you as a vessel as a vehicle for healing and for goodness in the world because the other side is just all abundant love and like joy and peace.

So if I can try to get a little bit of that, you know, steal a little bit of that, you know, from heaven and then put it out on earth. Um My daughters were listening to that Belinda Carlisle song, you know, heaven is a place on earth. I love that when I was a kid and I really believe that it can be if I’m, if I, if I’m courageous enough and, and um take the risks comes with a lot of risk taking and putting yourself out there and being vulnerable. So use the people on the other side to help you. Thank you for that. Um In your answer, you did mention the uh sobriety and the addiction. Um If someone is hoping or trying to get sober, um What, what would you tell them? I’m a big proponent in the, in the 12 step process. Um I would tell them if they are willing to go down that path. Um, that it is not a religious program. It gets a very bad rap from, um, religious people in the program.

I get really cringy when I’m sitting in a meeting and people start talking about Jesus and they start quoting Bible scripture and it really, really bothers me because it scares newcomers away and it scares people off who could use this life saving process. That’s all the 12 steps are to process, to develop a personal relationship with a higher power, whatever you want that higher power to be in the beginning. For me, it was the ocean. I lived on the shore and, and, and you know, I would look at the moon on the, you know, glimmering on the water and the sun and the birds and it was nature. Um And it, it still is very much so. Um But uh it has, it has grown somewhat but be open and if you go to a meeting and you don’t like what you hear, try another one. It’s not the program, it’s the people in that particular meeting that you’re in. So the bottom line is you want to get to the heart of your pain. That’s the bottom line, no matter what program you seek out. Um It’s the willingness to discover, um why you might feel un unlovable or why you might feel unworthy or unwanted.

Um which makes you uh want to escape those feelings. Um just investigate and find and, and think about what really resonates with you. Um And know that there is a solution, there is a solution. If you truly want out of your pain, it’s gonna, like I said, it’s gonna, you know, require a lot of courage and, and a lot of risk to feel things you’re not gonna wanna feel. Um but it’s not an everyday struggle. This is, this is, I see a lot of this stuff on social media about how hard it is every day, every day. It’s so it shouldn’t be if you’re in sobriety um or you want to get sober and you’re afraid that it’s gonna be this constant struggle or you’re in sobriety and it’s still a constant struggle. Um Something’s amiss, something um has not. Um There is either a lack of surrender um Or there is a lack of belief in uh your support group, helping you or your higher power.

I believe I’m beyond human aid. I believe no person can get me sober. I believe only a higher power can do that for me, my higher self. I like that concept too. I’m not all about like um I say in my book, so God or spirit, whatever you wanna call it is the director and we are co producers. So it’s not like I’m just taking myself and just throwing myself out the window and that’s it. And God’s gonna just do everything for me. No, I have to align my will. I have to use my mental faculties, my emotional nature, everything that my humanness I have to use that in conjunction. Sort of like this is my will. This is my higher power as well. And I have to kind of get them to go along, which is just self love and self worth and believing that I deserve good things in life. That’s really the ultimate, you know, answer for me. That’s when I’m on a, you know, and I could be not drinking and still be like un sober just because I’m not putting alcohol in my body doesn’t mean that I’m sober. Sober behavior for me is practicing the self care.

It’s um being willing to, you know, I call it my meditation cave. I have this little room where I meditate, get in the cave and do what I gotta do and do my writing. It’s that willingness if I’m not feeling that something is off spiritually and typically it, then my behaviors start to suffer and I start to place myself in situations which ultimately come back to hurt me. That’s my, that’s really my spirituality that I, that I unconsciously set up things in my life that are going to harm me or hinder me. Um not just physically but in many, many relationship wise or whatever. Um Well, thank you for the answer. Um There’s one more thing that I wanted to follow up on from, uh, your introduction and it was around, um, the, uh, marriage counseling and, um, how you felt that you were both unhappy or perhaps one of you were unhappy. And the question is around, um, if I think, uh, quite a few people are in long term relationship or a marriage where they’re Theresa dissatisfied.

Um, if, if you came across someone who actually wanted some advice and they, they looked to you as someone who’s Theresa been through it and gotten to a better place. Uh What would you say? Every relationship that you’re in every partnership, whether it be a marriage, whether it be a friendship, whether it be a parent, child, whatever it is a boss, whatever it is is you are drawing that into your life for a reason for healing. So your partner specifically in a marriage to answer your question is the perfect person for you to get that self reflection of what needs to be healed in you. You are unsatisfied because they’re either just not doing something that you want them to do. They’re not feeling some kind of need for you. The purpose of the counseling and what she helped us to see. And then we did something else called a Mago theory, which is therapy, which is kind of like the same thing I’m gonna describe. She said she was doing some of that with us in counseling when we brought it up to her but, um, it’s the idea that whatever I see in the, uh my partner that is unpleasant or is causing me some pain is an indicator of something within me that needs to change.

So, for instance, I struggled with emotional intimacy for a very, very long time due to my experiences growing up. Right. And what that comes down to and I didn’t touch on this before and it’s very important and I should, should touch on it. My marriage troubles stem from a fear of loss. My husband being sick. My husband being 12.5 years older than me. When my brother died, my brain said, Jim, that’s his name, Jim is next. And you’re never, we’re never gonna let you feel that pain again, that you’re that laying in bed for three months, crying, not being able to take care of your kids. Your children’s survival was threatened. You’re never gonna go there again. So you’re just gonna let’s just grieve Jim now, let’s just lose him now so that you can get it all over with. Right. That’s what my sick brain told me. So when we go to counseling and we do this work and we realize and identify a counselor told me back in 2009, also a therapist in New York that I had a fear of emotional intimacy. But she was talking about friends. I was, we were talking, we were talking about like making new friends and yada yada. And she kept, she said I keep chasing emotionally unavailable people, but I couldn’t really understand it.

I wasn’t ready for it at the time. But then again, now we’re in 2018, this is nine years later and this emotional intimacy thing comes up again. And, um, when my husband says to me, you know, I need you to, I need that from you. I need you to be more vulnerable or I need you to hold my hand or, you know, emotional intimacy is not physical, but that’s part of it. The simple act of holding a hand is a very intimate experience, especially for somebody who suffered sexual trauma, any sort of touch, you know. So, um it’s more just about sharing and being vulnerable and um letting, letting him know my fears or feeling safe to open up to him. Um, you know, based on previous responses I had gotten other relationships or from my parents, I didn’t feel safe doing that. So when he says to me, I need you to work on that. Are you willing to work on that? My initial response is I don’t, I don’t know how to do that. I can’t do that right? And if I stay there and I can’t do that, guess what’s, what’s gonna happen, we’re gonna get divorced because eventually he’s gonna say you’re not meeting my needs and I need to find somebody who can.

But by me saying, you know what Yes, I’m willing to do that for the sake of our family, for the sake of our relationship. Not only do I do it to serve and to heal that. Ultimately, I’m healing myself because I’m healing the part of me that fears emotional intimacy. So the relationships that you’re in that you think are not right or I picked the wrong person or they’re not capable of giving me this. If you do this work, it’s all about doing the work. I can’t sit around and wish for things to get better. Yeah, I believe in prayer, but like prayer followed up by action. Prayer only works when I get the message. And then I say, OK, guide me, direct me where I, who am I supposed to talk to? Who, what am I supposed to listen to? Show me where to, to learn how I can learn to take the action that’s going to bring the healing, right? Um So your relationships are your greatest teacher, not everybody is supposed to stay together. Let me make that perfectly clear. And if both parties are not willing to do the work, it’s not gonna work.

You’re pretty much wasting your time. But if you are willing, like we go to therapy and she tells us in like the first or second session, I, I heard she didn’t tell me anything. I heard, I’m gonna help you save your marriage. That’s what I heard. And when I went back the second time. And I said, I don’t care what you say, you’re not gonna make me stay married. She said to me because at this point, I was, at that point, I was dead set on this. She said to me, Amanda, it’s not my job to make you stay together. It’s my job to help you heal yourself so that you don’t bring this into the next relationship, whether you stay together or not. That’s what this work is about. It’s not about saving your marriage necessarily. That’s, that’s, that’s a good ben, that’s a great benefit if that happens, you know, but ultimately, it’s so that you heal and then you can bring a better version of yourself into your next relationship and stop recreating. It’s all about this emotional abandonment stuff, stop recreating this stuff in every relationship in friendships, in work relationships, right? If you heal the core things, it’s probably you probably have two or three.

I feel like every person probably has about two or three main issues which really come down to fear. You heal those things. I believe everything else in your life is going to get better because you’re manifesting these difficult relationships due to something going on within you. So it’s not them, it’s not them. It’s you. Right. That whole, it’s not you. It’s me. It’s actually true. Well, um, is a great answer and I think there’s a, there’s a lot there and it’s also a principle. I would add, which is uh it’s essentially taking responsibility or being accountable for what you can control. So, uh you said it in a, I would say more profound way, but it’s also a, a principle that I like as well. So, um the, I’ve asked you a lot of Theresa deep questions about um some of the stories in your book. Uh And the next one is just about, if someone were to read it, what would you like them to take away from it? Other than the, the things that we’ve talked about today, I would like them to take away a sense of comfort and a sense of hope and, um, a, a, a AAA self acceptance that you are exactly who you are supposed to be.

There is nothing bad or wrong about you. It’s how you choose to use the experiences in your life, how you choose to use your own characteristics and attributes. Um, I, it’s a difficult question because I don’t, like I said, like I don’t try to drive home any, you know, take this and do this and you’re gonna get better. It’s more very open. Like people have said, it’s a very conversational. They’ve said, like I’ve managed to write it in a way that it feels like we’re having a conversation and there’s no, this is what you need to do. It’s ex, it’s, it’s meant to, uh make you inquisitive. It’s meant to, um, open you up to investigating and exploring why you are the way you are. Um And to just sort of, I want, I wanted to ruminate with people. Um after long after they read it, I’ve had a lot of people say they highlight a whole bunch of stuff. They go back because again, it’s not just my story. I talk about how to be in these difficult relationships in life.

I talk about, I have a couple of different principles that I use in there. So about, you know, I call compassion, forgiveness and esteem, able boundaries. And I kind of some newer, you know, not 100% popular. Um Things that, that, that, that we hear today. It’s, it’s, it’s a challenge. I kind of challenge people to be as loving and compassionate and kind as they possibly can through a deep sense of self worth and self love. Because that I guess is the answer when you sorry, it took me a while to get there when I want people to walk away with a profound sense of self love and self worth that you are good and that you have a purpose and that you have a mission and that you are here for a reason and that you can help heal the world. And when you feel that you are less likely to encounter all these difficulties in your life because you’re no longer coming from a place of sort of self center fear and of um emotional selfishness where everything is about me.

Everything everybody says is about me and I’m offended and I’m hurt when I have this deep sense of self worth and self love. The things you do and say I know are not about me because I know I’m all right. So yeah, I can look at myself. Of course, I talk about self reflection, iii I entertain it. Somebody says something that I’m doing or whatever. I have to look at it and say, is that true? Because ultimately that’s gonna help me grow. But if it’s not, it’s like, ok, all right, take what you need, leave the rest. Ok? Some of it’s true. Some of it’s not, you know, but I’m not taking everything in and on as an indictment of my character because I’m in this place of self love and self worth and truth so that I can be out in the world thinking about myself less and thinking more about you. So that’s what I want. It’s a great message. Thank you. And um do you have a favorite chapter? Hm. Um Maybe all of me, I don’t think it’s chapter 10 or 11 and that’s when I talk about um that the field of flowers and all the I call it lovely and unlovely parts of myself and kind of harnessing all of that, bringing all of that together as, as my power, as my superpower, as all those parts of me are in me to serve the world and myself in the greatest way possible.

I guess that’s it. And allow. I like the last chapter, the last chapter is called allow. And that’s about just allowing the flow. That’s my word for 2024 flow. Just allowing the flow of love and goodness and good vibes and all that kind of stuff. Just just allow it to come and allow even the, the stuff that you don’t want to really see, allow it all trusting yourself. That’s why it’s called trust yourself to be all in. It’s not all in with others, it’s all in with you, trusting that you’re gonna show up in whatever is thrown your way, right? The healing that I’ve done in this book. And this is a great kind of end to this call is if you’re looking to end it is this idea of when I can really sit in who I am and trust and in my emotions and find comfort in all of my emotions, good, bad and different, ugly, scary, frustrating, happy, whatever it is. If I know that I have this deep sense of self worth and self love, I know that I’m gonna show up in whatever is coming down the pike. So say my husband does die early. He’s sick right now.

He’s been sick for three weeks. He’s just sick, he’s sick, he’s chronically ill. So I know that and don’t get me wrong. I definitely go into fear. I was talking to my friends the other night I was crying, you know, like, it’s not like doing this work and solves all of my problems and I don’t feel any pain. No, but I can be in it. I can be in whatever fear I can trust myself that. Yeah. You know, if Jim passes, you know, before his time I will end up as a puddle on the floor. But I’ll get back up because I’ve always gotten back up and I know the people to get help from and I, and I, and I trust in my spirit to be resilient. Um So that’s what allow is about that chapter, that chapter is about just allowing whatever is gonna come to you, let it come to you, let it flow through you, trusting yourself to show up for yourself. Sounds powerful. So, uh if people want to buy the book or follow you, where do they go? So I’m on Instagram at Amanda mccoy, Flanagan and that’s mccoy with A K. Um And the book is available on Amazon.

You can also get, get to, uh I always say all roads lead to Amazon. It’s like my new thing. Um You can go on my website too. Um There’s a book trailer that’s pretty neat. It’s about a minute long on my website. Um If you wanna learn more about it um and get sort of a feel of the book. Um That’s also at Amanda mccoy flanagan.com. So it’s all, all my name just put my name in and you’ll find it. Is there anything I should have asked you about today? Mm. No, I, I think you really covered it all. Thank you so much for your excellent questions now, I think. Yeah. Do you have any uh any closing thoughts for us today? I feel like I pretty much covered it all, you know, just trust yourself to be all in, you know, just, just know that you have everything inside of you to show up in, in, in the joy and in the pain that you’re gonna, you’re gonna be ok, you’re gonna be ok. If, if you’re just willing to keep digging and keep um loving really just, just be love, please just be loved out there in the world is a AAA meme sometimes I post and it’s just be nice, just be nice to one another.

Just let’s love each other a little bit more. People aren’t out to get you. They’re living in their own fear, it’s coming out sideways. So try to love yourself and others as best as you can. A good message. And uh Amanda, thank you for being a great guest today. Thank you so much. Appreciate it. Thomas. The Tom Screen podcast is owned and made possible by ethical marketing service. If your business is struggling with Google or Facebook ads, maybe you’re frustrated figuring it out or there’s a performance issue, ethical marketing service has worked on hundreds of accounts and we can help in this area if you would like to find out if we can help. It’s a free no salesy consultation call and the link is in the description.