Suppressing your emotions doesn't work. It's okay to not hide behind your smile.
This conversation is an absolute gift. Bianca is a powerhouse of wisdom who talks honestly about the hidden pain that both motivated her and almost got the best of her. She shares about the moment she passed out on her dorm room floor from carrying so much hidden pain—and how she began to face the fears that drove her.
You do not want to miss her encouragement for listeners with mother or father wounds and the commitment she made to herself to “die empty."
We discuss these topics and more:
1. Will I struggle with feeling pain forever?
2. Why trying to “just be happy” doesn’t work.
3. How her first trip to counseling was a bust
4. How fear can motivate us in both positive and negative ways
5. The burdens of generational trauma that can add to our pain
6. The pressure she put on herself to heal so she wouldn’t pass on pain to her own children
7. How she learned to advocate for herself and “staffed” herself accordingly
Hidden pain keeps you stuck in fear-based pressure and productivity.
Releasing that pain sets you free to be the confident, wholehearted woman God made.
Question for Reflection:
What fear does [Insert your name here] need to share with someone today?
- Connect with Bianca at www.behindtheconfidentsmile.com or on Instagram: @biancancotton & @behindtheconfidentsmile
- Check out Bianca's latest book: Captivating Confidence: An 11-Step Guide to Develop a Healthy Relationship with Yourself and Own Your Inner Greatness
- For more on racial trauma, see Healing Racial Trauma, by Sheila Wise Rowe
- For more on managing overwhelming emotions, see Boundaries for Your Soul: How to Turn Your Overwhelminng Thoughts andd Feelings into Your Greatest Allies by Alison Cook and Kimberly Miller
- Resources for support
- Episode Transcript
- More Episodes
Episode Nine: The Best of You Podcast 29th June 2022
Guest: Bianca Cotton With Dr. Alison Cook
Alison: Hey everyone. Welcome back to this series on Real People Overcoming Real Problems. I am so excited about my guest today. Bianca Cotton, a new friend of mine. She is a hope dealer who smile radiates the room and that is absolutely true.
She is a wife, mom of three, the author of five books, and the founder of Behind the Confident Smile, a movement where women and girls are inspired to walk in love, live in hope and be healed from past hurts.
In her newest book, Captivating Confidence: An 11-Step Guide to Develop a Healthy Relationship with Yourself and Own Your Inner Greatness. She talks about this theme that is throughout all of her work of not suffering silently, and she equips you with tools to be a healthier you.
So thank you so much for being here with me today, Bianca, to talk a little bit more about some of the pain, some of the fear that has been behind your smile.
Bianca: I'm ready. Thank you for having me. This is a pleasure and an honor to see you.
Alison: Oh, I'm so thrilled. Well, all right, I want to go back in time just a little bit too early Bianca, maybe your early 20s, maybe your teens. What were you hiding behind your smile back then maybe without even realizing it at the time?
And, by the way, I borrowed that question from you. I don't ask that to all my guests. But I thought that was such a powerful question. I wanted to turn it on you because that's what you ask your guests.
"What are you hiding behind your smile?"
So I'm taking that question just for your interview, to say let's hear from you.
Bianca: Yes, now, I appreciate that, and I'm willing to share. And I took notes, too. So without realizing it, in my teens and early 20s, I was having depression and deep sadness. And this stems from my earliest memory as a child at the age of three years old, crying and hiding. And I've talked about this and my latest book about childhood trauma, and how it impacted me into my adulthood.
In my late teens, that's when I start to say, "You know what, maybe I don't have to live forever with pain." Because I had reached a place of hopelessness. Like, "Will, I be in pain forever?"
"Will I be experiencing emotional distress forever?"
"Will I be triggered forever?"
Without knowing those words like I understand those terms now.
Bianca: But then I was just trying to understand pain and why pain existed? And will I struggle with the same things that I struggled with forever.
Alison: Oh, wow. So, Bianca, you're talking about kind of your teen's self where you knew you were in pain and you were wondering, Will I have to feel this way forever? Is that right?
Alison: So there was an awareness of the sadness, and maybe an awareness of was there even a possibility of not feeling that way, is that right?
Bianca: Right. I didn't know. I didn't know if I would not feel that way.
Alison: Fill me in a little bit on that journey of getting curious about that question. "Do I have to always feel this way?"
Bianca: Right, so it started when I went away to college. I felt like that was a way that I could start a new, start fresh. And I started talking to one of my older cousins, like, "Hey, this is how I'm feeling. I'm trying to shake it, what do I do with this?" And he was affirming me, that me just talking about what I was experiencing and opening up was the start of that journey. And, so, I would say at the age of 17 or 18, that's when I just started talking to myself about what I had experienced in my childhood.
Bianca: And then later on, in college, that's when I started journaling regularly, and that became my way of processing trauma. Processing my day-to-day feelings, things that I had suppressed for years because I just wanted to show up, and be strong, and appear a certain way without even being so conscious about that I was doing that. I just wanted to be happy and joyful, but that's not how I always felt inside.
So I tried going to the counselor on my college campus, and it wasn't a good match so I didn't go back. And I kept writing and writing, and as I began to write I started to feel healing. I started to feel burdens lifting off of me and I would write prayers too. And I felt like God was meeting me exactly where I was. When I didn't even know what to pray He met me in how I felt.
Alison: So, Bianca, what you just said, there's so much in it, so I want to pause for a second. You've got some pain, from some of these lingering wounds from your childhood that you're carrying. And one way that you've learned to cope is just to try to be happy. But it wasn't working, right?
Alison: That wasn't working, you knew enough to know that and you talked to somebody. Now there were two things you said, one, you talked to a cousin, and that did help. That did help. There was something about that, that made you feel more seen. There was something about journaling, talking to God, that made you feel more seen, I love that. So I want to highlight that.
And then there's something really interesting you said, you said "I tried a counselor and it didn't work." Now you kind of blew past that, but I want to honor you that something inside of you, whatever it was in that session, was like "This isn't going to work." And you honor that, is that fair to say?
Bianca: It's definitely fair. I see that moment, right now, I can describe that I went to the counselor, it was a White male.
Bianca: And I went to a predominantly White institution for undergrad. So I had already been experiencing overt racism while being there. So by the time I get to the counseling center and I'm sitting with this counselor, and I'm looking at him, and he's looking at me, and we're talking and I was like, "I don't feel the connection." I didn't feel that he could relate to my pain, and, so, I didn't go back.
Alison: So you knew inside, based on these experiences, "Ah-ah." And he didn't do anything to kind of help.
Bianca: I didn't feel comforted. I was like, "Mm, no, this is not working."
Alison: Yeah, I love that. Thank you for being so honest about that. I think that is so important for people to hear, Bianca, I really do. That for whatever reason, in particular, what you're saying like, "This person is not going to be able to get me." You have no obligation to try to make that work.
Alison: And I just want to really commend you and I want listeners to hear that. If there's anything inside of you that says "This doesn't feel safe." And you had, had an experience of safety with your cousin and with God. So you knew a little bit about what it felt like to be heard, and you knew what it felt like when it didn't feel right.
Alison: And that's just so important, I think, for people because of that pain inside of you, you protected yourself.
You protected yourself in that moment, so I love that and, so, just to keep going, you knew you had this pain. You knew talking to someone who might get it helped, journaling helped, talking to God helped. We know a little bit about what didn't help.
What were some of the fears? Tell me a little bit about, as you went through college and your journaling, what came to the surface? You talk about this idea of there was some fear attached to the pain. What was that about?
Bianca: So I have a couple of examples. One, is growing up and my family dynamic and my community, sometimes, I will see teen parents.
Bianca: And one of the things that I was trying to steer away from was not being another statistic. I was like, "I'm already black, I'm female, I don't need to add anything else to myself." And this was my thinking at the time to be a statistic and become a teen mom. So one of my fears was, "I don't want that journey." And not knocking anyone else's story, I just knew that I'd seen the struggles through others' eyes.
Bianca: And another fear of mine, at that time, was not dying empty. What I mean by that is I've been to my share of funerals over my lifetime, in different age ranges, different family members, close friends, and knowing that this person died with their gifts inside, or with potential. And truly not wanting to go to the grave with anything left in me.
Because of that fear it lit a fire under me to become a high-performer, an over-achiever, and operating in perfectionism. Because I was like, "Nope, I need to die empty. I don't want to take anything with me to the grave. I know that there's a lot in me and I'm not going to let anything stop me."
And also understanding, I was just talking to my husband about this just before recording today that I started writing down, "How do you know you healed?" And I'm in this place right now where I am experiencing joy like I've never experienced before.
And I know that I'm healed from different areas in my heart because I'm not waiting for another shoe to drop. I'm not awaiting another bad thing to happen. I'm just living in the moment. Living in the present and that is what I learned that trauma had done for me. It caused me to want to plan out my entire life.
Bianca: And not trust God that He has me. That He has everything planned and ordained, I would only trust Him with certain parts.
Alison: Okay, man, this is just so powerful. So let me tease out a couple of things and you tell me if I'm hearing you correctly. What I'm hearing is that part of the pain of your own trauma of seeing people die, as you said while with their gifts still inside of them. That is such a powerful way to put that, Bianca.
Part of that drove you or lit a fire in you in a positive way, "Well, I'm not going to let that happen." So there was a positive, like, "I'm going to use my gifts. I'm not letting that happen. I don't want to become a statistic." All the things, right?
Alison: But then what I'm hearing you say, simultaneously, is that was true but also it led to a perfectionism. That was also painful in its own way, is that right? Am I hearing you correctly? There was sort of two things going on, one, was, it was good, it propelled you, it motivated you.
Alison: But then there was another side to it that also became its own sort of perfectionistic, am I hearing that right?
Bianca: Yeah, you're hearing it right. And I would also say that, at that time, I was carrying burdens without even realizing it. And, so, what I mean by that is one of my grandmothers she was born down South, in the Southern states, and she used to pick cotton. Due to the circumstances of Black people, in America, she did not graduate in the way that we graduate on time.
Alison: Knowing and understanding my grandmother's story, I felt a need to break generational curses in my family, and be a beacon of light and do the things that I had never seen before. And, so, I took on that burden, I carried it, and really it wasn't until, maybe, I would say three or four years ago. Some of my friends were, like, "Bianca, do you realize what you're doing to yourself?"
Bianca: "Do you realize that you are carrying weight that you don't have to carry, that it's not yours to carry?" And that was another level of uncovering for me because I've been running for as long as I can remember.
Alison: There's so much depth to what you're saying. It's not lost on me that we are recording this, it won't come out, but we're recording this on the day that we observe Juneteenth.
It was technically yesterday and I just want to thank you so much, Bianca, for sharing that part of your story with my listeners, with our listeners. That this burden, not only, that's a whole another level what you're saying.
I just want to see if I'm hearing you, again, there's this whole other level of this legacy that, "It wasn't my fault, I didn't create this environment in which my grandmother had to suffer at all, but I felt this burden." Is what I'm hearing you say, "To make up for some of that." Is that right?
Bianca: To make up, and, also, understanding my parents' story. So I'm a big proponent of expressing gratitude to the generations that have come before me. I would not be able to sit here and share my story without my grandparents, my parents, my great-grandparents. Without every ounce of what they have done, and the seeds that they have sewn, and the gifts that they had, that they've passed down to me.
Bianca: But I also saw the challenges and I became hyper-focused, like, "I don't want to struggle and I don't want to pass on struggle to my children." I made a conscious effort and a conscious decision in college, late teens, early twenties, that I needed to heal.
Bianca: Just in case I decided to marry, just in case I have children, this is not passing down.
Alison: Wow, man, I mean, I'm just so struck by the weight of what you put on yourself and in beautiful ways.
"I don't want to harm my children."
"I don't want to pass this down."
Just all of this weight that you put on yourself that, in many ways, is really beautiful and really powerful and also weight, right?
Alison: Also weight that you carried. So tell me a little bit about how you, as you moved to the college, you're aware of these kinds of burdens that you carry.
Alison: You're aware of wanting to heal. You're aware of the pain of that. How did you begin to get more and more of the healing that you needed to feel, maybe, more and you give me the right words. You give me the right words that feel right to you, but maybe to live more freely from who this beautiful soul that God made you to be, that's carrying the weight of generations of trauma. That your family, your ancestors, have gone through, let alone your own personal pain. So that's a lot. This is a lot.
Bianca: It's a lot.
Alison: It's a lot. So what are some things that began to come into your life to help you carry some of that weight?
Bianca: Yeah, I would say my relationship with my mother. I shared everything with her growing up, like, "This is how I'm feeling about this." She would be the only person that I actually talked to. So my relationship with my mother. Prayer, there are a couple of Kairos moments that happened in my life that showed me that God heard me. That God was with me, that He wasn't going to let me fall.
Bianca: So there was a time in my junior year, I think, it was my junior or senior year of high school. And I was starting to apply to colleges, and my parents shared, "Unfortunately we aren't able to assist you financially to go to school."
Bianca: I remember one time in church, I was born and raised a Baptist church.
Bianca: And this one Sunday our pastor has said, "Sow a seed and write whatever it is that you want God to do for you on the envelope." And I think, maybe, I had a dollar or two, literally, and that's all I had in my pocket. I put it in the envelope and I said, "I want to go to college for free. I want free education."
Because I knew my parents couldn't do it and I was filling out scholarship applications. And I had an aunt that helped me get scholarships, too, and Lord and behold, I graduated undergrad debt-free. And, so, but another layer to this, when I started getting all these scholarships and it was covering the cost of everything. Including the cost of me traveling back and forth from school to home during breaks, and even down to if I needed a coat they would buy me a coat, just different things like that.
Bianca: And I was so stressed my freshman year. Because one of the scholarships, that was a large sum of money, I had to maintain a certain GPA.
Bianca: And my first semester was so hard, for me, not just academically but also family-wise. My mom and a couple of other family members were in a really bad accident. And that happened around the same time that one of my cousins passed away, who was six months younger than me, and her and I were really close.
So it's my first semester. I have a cousin where we were raised very closely and tight passed, I'm going to her funeral. There's a huge car accident and I come back from her funeral, and I pass out in my dorm room. And I didn't even know what was going on because going back I was emotional suppressor.
Alison: So I was suppressing all this, like, I got to maintain a certain GPA, keep this money, and all this stuff that's going on. And I don't, really, trust to share what's happening with the people I just met because this is my first semester in college. Like, "Who do I talk to?" And all of this just bottled, and I passed out.
When I woke up I had a bump on my head, I had a scar, a bruise on my arm. And let me tell you this, and I wrote about it in my book, too. To share how important it is to have a healthy relationship with yourself, I still went to class.
Alison: Oh, Bianca, oh, my gosh.
Bianca: I still went because back to those fears, right?
Bianca: Back to the fears of, "No, I need to show up." And I'm in class my head is throbbing, so after class, I go to the nurses' station and tell them what happened, and they looked at me crazy because I went to class. They send me to the hospital. They were like, "We can't help you here, we going to send you to the hospital."
Bianca: I'm in the hospital for three hours. They do all types of tests, and they were like, "We can't find anything wrong with you."
Bianca: "Are you stressed?" That's what the doctor asked me. And I was like, "Well, maybe like this." My, again, emotional suppressor, I'm used to carrying weight.
Alison: That's right.
Bianca: So I said, "Maybe." I was like, "I just got back from my cousin's funeral. This has happened. This has happened. This is happening." And he was like "You're stressed." And I was like, "So what do I do with that?" I mean, because the person I would normally talk to is now laying in the hospital bed.
Alison: Oh, my gosh.
Bianca: And I didn't even tell my mother at that time, I told her years later. I didn't even tell her that I passed out because I didn't want her worried about me.
Alison: Mm-hmm. When you look back at this younger version of you, what would you tell her now? I can just see it in your eyes, there is this marvel at this strength of this young girl, and yet also should she have had to have been that strong, right?
Bianca: Right, that part
Alison: Yeah, that part.
Bianca: That part.
Alison: What would you say to her now? What would you want her to know now?
Bianca: Hmm, I would want the younger me to know that it's okay to cry. Because I cried so much in my adolescent years that I stopped and I was like, "Crying is not helping me. Crying is not easing the pain. Crying is not alleviating how I feel." And, so, I stopped and I bottled those tears up, and just let them sit there.
So I would tell her that it's okay to cry. It's okay to share what you're going through. It's okay to not hide behind your smile. It's okay to allow other people in your space, and I started to do that eventually.
Alison: That's what I want to hear about.
Bianca: Yeah, eventually, I started to have close friends through my undergraduate years, and we started to share our stories with each other. And I started to find ways to start coping and I had a mentor who was a therapist, and I would go and talk to her, sometimes, and that helps. So I started to open up to a select group of people and that helped me carry through.
Alison: How did you learn to trust? From your first encounter, going to the White male therapist that you were like "Ah-ah, no." How did you learn to open up and who you could trust? How did that evolve for you?
Bianca: Yeah, they first showed themselves friendly and start to open up to me, and start to tell me how good of a listener I was, that, eventually, they were like, "Bianca, what about you?" And, so, because they shared I felt safe to share.
Because they modeled how to express your emotions because I didn't always see healthy ways, growing up, of modeling. I saw a lot of folks pack it in suitcases or just express anger and rage, so I didn't have a big emotional vocabulary.
Bianca: Besides, "I feel angry." Because a lot of times I was angry, and that's an emotion I knew and understood all too well.
Alison: Mm-hmm. So through the process, I love this, through the process of just other people being real, showing their own vulnerabilities to you. Something in you watched that, noticed that, and then they started asking you that allowed you to slowly let people in. Is that right?
Bianca: It is right. I admired their ability to just say it. To say like, "Oh, such and such hurt me and I'm upset about that."
Bianca: Because, in the past, I would just move on even though I felt it, I didn't always acknowledge how I felt.
Alison: Mm-hmm. And there's something really powerful, I believe, that happens when we share with safe people, though, has to be people who are safe. When we really can share the depths of what we're feeling. God didn't design us to live in isolation with those emotions that's unhealed.
I believe the trauma, really, is the being alone in it, carrying that heavy weight alone. And when even just a few other people can come alongside of you and carry that weight with you, it eases the weight a little bit when they're safe, really it changes us. It changes something in our neurobiology and I just love that you experienced that.
I'm curious, I'd love to hear, maybe, as you moved into being a mom and you moved into all this work that you're doing. I mean, you've got a podcast, you've written several books, you're an entrepreneur, and you're doing so many things.
How do you stay connected to yourself, to God? How do you continue to stay grounded? So you're not in that survival mode of, "I'm going to make it happen." As we all still carry those ways to work, but also you've got those checks on yourself. How do you keep that going in your life now?
Bianca: So, right now, I would say, let's go back to around the time the pandemic first started. I felt God speaking to me that I needed to staff myself. And what I mean by staff myself is what does Bianca need? Because Bianca pours, Bianca gives, Bianca does, period, that's what I do.
But what does Bianca need? Where is she trying to go? So I had a spiritual life coach, I got a spiritual life coach and did some spiritual life coaching for a couple of months. I went back to therapy. I'd seen a couple of therapists, but this therapist I've been with for two years, now. So the most consistent therapist I've had.
So I started staffing my life with what I needed. I met, now mentor, then a lovely woman, I was like, "Who is this woman?" I met her through one of my friends and she was like, "Oh, that's my mentor." I was like, "Is she accepting more mentees? Because I need her in my life." And she accepted me into the fold.
So I have another mentor for areas of my life, and she understands exactly how I am managing my life is to feel myself burning out or like I'm taking on too much. I acknowledge it now. I don't ignore it and keep going. I will slow the pace I will ask for help. I will say, "Hey, can we rearrange this deadline?" I'm advocating for myself in new ways to ensure that I remain in a healed place.
Alison: Mm, that idea of staffing yourself, I just love that. I am staffing myself, I love that. You are advocating for Bianca because you know, Bianca will pour out, I love that. I love how you just nailed that, like, "I know myself. I know what I'll do, so I got to put these things in place."
The wisdom in what you are saying, it's like you know who you are. You know you're not going to show up at 20%. You know who you are so, therefore, you have to get the correct supports in place, I love that.
Bianca: I would like to add something, I feel led to share this. So for those listening if you have mother or father wounds, and what I mean by mother or father wounds is maybe your relationships with your parents weren't what you wanted it to be.
And, so, I had challenges with my relationship with my dad, and the area of wanting him to be emotionally present with me, emotionally available. And as I started to learn more about my father's upbringing, I started to understand his trauma.
Bianca: And further understood why some behaviors were what they were and part of that was traumatic for me. Because as a kid you don't understand that, you just want what you want. And as I got older I started to see my parents, especially, my dad as a human
Bianca: Not only my father but as a human. But what God did, for me, I have two older brothers and I have super loving uncles who surrounded me. God placed what I needed in my life. So if you're not getting or haven't gotten what you think you deserve, or what you needed from your natural parents. God may have sent other people to be that for you.
Alison: Love that, that's a good word. That's a really good word, look for where those people are. It may not be what you thought you wanted and deserved, but you still can find it in other places.
Alison: I love that. Tell us a little bit about what you're working on now. I know you're an author you've just put out a book. Tell us a little bit about where people can find your work, and what your passions are, and what're putting into the world now?
Bianca: Yes, so Captivating Confidence is my fifth book and my latest book. It just released about three weeks ago, I think, and it's, An 11-Step Guide to Develop a Healthy Relationship with Yourself and Own Your Inner Greatness and this book is geared towards women like myself who are go-getters, high-achievers, and visionary women but have suffered.
Bianca: And may not even talk about it. They may be hiding it and put all of their attention into achievement. Because that's what you know how to do. You know how to be a doer, you know how to get stuff done. But learning to sit with yourself, learning to develop a healthy relationship with yourself may not be something you ever thought about, right?
"Oh, why do I need to talk about how I feel?"
"Why do I need to check in with myself?"
Because it's critical to not only the external success but the joy. Living in contentment, being able to rest, being able to turn your mind off. Being able to usher in peace into your life and into your home.
So you can find that at behindtheconfidentsmile.com along with my other books, it's also on Amazon as well. And my next project, that Dr. Alison was a part of is season two of my podcast, which I'll be launching really soon.
June has been a packed month of celebrations in my family. So the podcast's season two is coming soon and you can find that at Apple, Spotify, Google, or Anchor. And is called Behind the Confident Smile and really brings in real people to talk about what's behind their smile. To share how they got to where they are. To talk about their fears and, so, that you can know that you're not alone on this journey.
Alison: Amen, I love it. There is so much conviction. I mean, I think, Bianca, what just stood out to me about you, when we first met when I was doing your podcast, was this is hard-earned wisdom. This comes from every part of who you are. There is nothing, you're like, "Ah-hah."
Bianca: It's no stone, what they say no stone unturned. I was thanking God, maybe a month ago, I was like, "Nothing is wasted."
Bianca: Nothing has been wasted and, sometimes, I felt like that in the past, like, "Man, why did I have to go through that?"
"Why did I pass out in my dorm room?"
Or, "Why did I experience racism overtly?"
Nothing is wasted.
Alison: Thank you, you are a voice that I'm going to keep listening to. You're bringing so much goodness into the world and again, even thinking of your list that you just said, let alone these generations of racial trauma.
Ah, man, Bianca, you're bringing a really powerful message, and I'm really grateful. I'm really grateful for what you've allowed God to do through you. As you've honored these gifts, you're not dying empty.
Alison: Dying empty. And I wanted to add you can also find me on Instagram, behindtheconfidentsmile, @biancancotton everything gets in my handles, and links, and things. But I wanted to share this because I had a fear of sharing my story. When I first started writing books and my first book wasn't even supposed to be a book, it came out of my journal.
Bianca: And, so, it was raw and real poetry. And what I want to say about fear, if we continue to allow fear to stop us from operating as how God created us, we are someone's solution. We are someone's answered prayer, but if we aren't walking in it how can they be free?
There are people in my family who approach me after reading several of my books, and start to share things that they have never shared with anyone. And, so, what it has showed me is that, and these are all ages, that what's in you, what's in me, people need.
Bianca: People need it. So if we are fearful of writing the book. Going for the job, whatever it may be that God is calling you to do in this season of your life, it can be holding up somebody else.
Bianca: Because somebody helped you, right?
Alison: Yeah, that's a word. Your freedom, you're sharing freely of your own story frees other people. The more we heal ourselves, the more we'd experience that freedom and we share about it, we give other people permission in a way, like, you said with your family to come forward and get free themselves. And that's what this is all about, I love that so much.
So when I ask you two questions that I ask all of my guests, the name of this podcast is The Best of You, what or who brings out the best of you?
Bianca: I love this question so much. I would say God. Being seen for who I am brings out the best of me. My husband does, he's the fun, humorous portion of the two of us and that's what I need. Because as you all can have heard me, during this time, I'm a very deep thinker.
So I need that in my life, I need that laughter. And when we first met, I wasn't even that aware of it at the time, but I was like, that's what I need, fun. Because if you had experienced trauma or just had been on the journey of unpacking it for so long, the joy, the laughter is needed, so surround yourself with that. I would also say loving relationships and, for me, what's critical is time alone to recharge.
Bianca: I need it. It's not even a want, it's a need just like breathing air.
Alison: I love that list, very clear. It's very clear you know what you need to thrive. You've already kind of answered this, but the second question is what needs and desires are you working to protect?
Bianca: My desire to be my fullest self as I was created. What I continue to work on protecting and also my need to rest. I'm learning, again, going back to being a doer, I've learned, I would say in the past three years, that it's okay to rest in different ways. I'm a napper, but beyond napping, it's okay to sit down. It's okay to not have a to-do list or nothing on your calendar immediately after the other thing.
Bianca: It's okay to just enjoy.
Bianca: So my need to rest, I protect as I continue to learn what that means for me and my life. Protecting my mental and emotional well-being, is ever so critical for me.
Alison: Mm-hmm, I love that. Bianca, I'm curious what your Enneagram is?
Bianca: Is the Eight.
Alison: Okay, as I was listening to you, as a Three, I was like, "I'm relating to this." It's this idea of rest is a deep one, for us, what does it actually mean? I love that you're protecting that. I love just the complexity of what that means, even though it's so simple.
So thank you so much for your time today, I've learned so much. Like I said, when you had me on your podcast, I was like, "Man, I feel like you got to come on mine because I need to hear from you." So much wisdom, so much goodness, I loved having you on today and thank you so much for being here.
Bianca: My pleasure. Thank you for having me and I just pray that those who listen are blessed, and know that you're not alone, and it's a journey. Living life is a journey. Take it from a person who formally did not like process I just like to get to the goal.
Alison: You can do it. Engage the process and you will find your way to a better place. Take it from Bianca, right here, living proof.
Thank you again. And we'll look forward to seeing you next week on The Best of You.
OOOOOOHHHH Jesus!!! I am going through a healing journey after a trauma three years ago shook loose a lot of childhood trauma and “stuff” that I’ve been packing and peddling around for all my life. Thank you Bianca for sharing! Your life story sounds exactly like mine, all the way down to getting money for grad school (got a full ride to a top university) and the White therapist who just wanted to get me OUT of his office LOL. After a lot of denial about stuff going back to childhood I am now about reparenting myself and just cutting myself some slack from being the perfectionist and getting my joy back, and God is working it out for me. I have a lot of giftings and love and encouragement to share, but I haven’t been very kind to myself over the years in terms of offering myself grace and mercy and forgiveness. I’m going to look over this transcript again because it really spoke to me. Much luv!
Bianca Cotton says
Thank you for sharing your journey. Thank you for choosing you and prioritizing your healing! I am proud of you. May you continue to care for yourself well as you reparent yourself. I am happy to know that listening to my journey helped you. That is a gift for me.