There is a Podcast for That
“There’s a podcast for that!” I’ve heard myself say this so many times since I joined the Evoke team last September. It’s as though I am handing out an antidote to parental pain. And, I’m not just sharing the podcast with clients at Evoke. It’s Friends. Family. Strangers. Because I found something. And, I have to share it. Like when you find a song that sings to your soul, and you are certain that others not only deserve to hear it, they need toI joined the Evoke team anxious and excited to learn. Working in the therapy field, I was well aware of Evoke’s reputation. Evoke has paved the way for so many and is always evolving and growing. They are leaders in our field. More than that though, is the calm, confident and compassionate feeling I felt when I was around anyone who belonged to the team. They had something for me to learn. I knew it, and I wanted it. I just didn’t know it was going to be so many things! I didn’t know it was going to be songs I wish I’d heard years ago.
Along with working in Admissions and Outreach for Evoke, I am also a wife and a mother. A former single mother and now a stepmother. In all of these roles, I just wanted to be good. So badly. I empathize in my work role, listening to other parents who feel the same way. Many parents are anxious to know what to do, to know what is right. Wanting what was best for their child. Isn’t that what we all want as parents?
As I began in my role, I spent time diving into all of our resources, hoping to gain the insight I needed to be a good employee. More than that, I wanted to be a good person for parents calling in and asking for help. I wanted to be able to truly sit with them as they made such a difficult choice in starting treatment. I read our website, our blogs. I met with our team, trained and learned that this team was everything I knew it would be and more. Then I listened.
I tuned into our podcasts, and I have not been able to stop. My kids, when they jump in my car, and hear Dr. Reedy’s voice boom on our car radio, they say. “Oh, this guy again??”. With one or two new podcasts out weekly, and a library full of past podcasts, It is possible that I may be our number one listener.
Yes, in listening, I am learning about the amazing work we do at Evoke. It’s helped me understand our philosophy, the history of Evoke, and more about our program. It’s a valuable tool. And, I am also discovering “I would rather be whole than good.” I have worked in the social services field for years, and I really thought I knew what self-care was--knew the value in it. I am learning that now. Part of my routine is tuning into our podcasts. It's a refresher and a reminder of the journey I am on.
I’ve been lucky to spend time with Dr. Brad Reedy, as we travel to Parent Support Groups throughout the country. On of our visits, I said to him “It feels really good to just admit I don’t know, and that sometimes I am wrong.” My shoulders relaxed, and my heart pushed tears out my eyes. Inside I felt my heart say, “You don’t have to be good at everything..or anything. It is ok.” And, I imagined, if I could model this for my children, if I could sit with this and be okay with it, what would that feel like to them? If I could model all that I am learning. What better gift could there be?
Once, while driving to an appointment, I told Brad how I recognized when the scared, poor, single mother in me showed up in my life. I asked him about it, “Do I just need to tell her, that part in me, that I am okay now and I am safe?”
He answered with this reminder: “In part, yes. But first just sit with her and hear her. Show her the love you would show a young child. If you move too quickly, you might chase her away and she will reappear in greater disguise.”
With these podcasts, I am learning to sit with myself. I am learning to sit with my children. I am learning to sit with parents. I have been able to sit with others before but not with such a sense of not knowing the right answer. It some ways, not knowing how to solve or fix things, especially with my children, has been too painful to bear. I don’t always know the right thing to say or have the answers, but now I can sit with people in their pain.That is something these podcasts are teaching me and reminding me.
More so than ever, I am living in a way that is more about being whole. Not wanting to be good, and not wanting to convince them to be good. I am apologizing when I do wrong. I am admitting when I don’t know. I am sharing that I am taking care of me. I am learning how to have healthier conversations with my children. I am allowing them to see me. I am working diligently on seeing them. This is the song I found in joining this team. It is worth a listen.
After one of our long drives and listening to Brad, I told him that I had the feeling that I had done everything wrong. He responded by cheering for me. “That’s it. That is what it feels like when you get it. That is what it feels like to our clients and parents when they get it too.
I am not a good mom. That is okay. Instead, what I am is someone who is striving to be a Whole Mom. A Whole person. I am working on allowing space for my kids to become Whole too. When I fail at that, and I do, I have now learned to get curious, stay compassionate, and to remind myself.. “There is a podcast for that!”