Jen Vertanen is a coach, mentor, speaker, and writer who is encouraging people to share the hard stories and start to heal the places that hurt. Jen knows the power of telling your story (hers stems from an emotionally abusive childhood) so often that the shame starts to fade away.
Jen is also the creator and host of the podcast Going There with Jen Vertanen where she shares intimate conversations with people working to heal the places that hurt. She reminds people that we are never alone even though it oftentimes feels like it.
Known for her candor, willingness to go there (especially when it’s uncomfortable), humor, and openness, Jen is often thanked for asking the hard to answer questions and exploring the dark bits – even when (especially when?) it’s awkward.
Here are a few of the big topics we talked about:
Kelly introduces Jen and asks her to describe what loneliness is to her.
The story of Jen’s loneliness; how she identified it and how she began to overcome it.
Jen explains why it can be so hard to reach out to make connections when we’re feeling lonely.
Shame often plays a large role in loneliness.
Jen remembers the post she put on Facebook that spoke about her loneliness and began her healing process.
Jen’s support network and how they help her.
What it means to mirror for someone.
Jen talks about how she went from thinking she wasn’t good enough to have a network to honoring who she really was.
Why we need to take time to mother ourselves.
Self-Compassion - by Kristen Neff
Jen shares some of her self-mothering practices.
Jen describes what loneliness can lead to if not “treated.”
It takes digging and excavating to get to the root of what is causing the loneliness.
Jen uncovers how she learned that she was worthy.
The not so pleasant parts of our life, that shape who we are, Jen calls Silver Linings.
Jen shares what her Inner Voice is telling her to do.
In Jen’s Voice:
“Loneliness is filled with shame. It's filled with embarrassment and heartache. Who wants to say, ‘I have no friends?’ Who wants to say, ‘I feel isolated. I don't feel connected?’”
“It's hard to say, ‘My heart feels broken and lonely.’"
“I think it was a moment of bravery or just putting it out there of like, ‘Hey, I suffer from loneliness. You'd never guess it, that's okay. My guess is there are others that are lonely. Either comment here or privately and we'll go from there.’"
“It's knowing that I can reach out and say, ‘I'm not doing okay today. I would like some lifting up.’ And knowing that the person receiving it is not judging but wants to help lift me up, and that I will do the same for them.”
“I'm very good at reading people. I think that comes from an emotionally abusive childhood. You have to become good at reading people for survival.”
“I would attend retreats and I would be with groups of women and I had no clue. I was able to hold tremendous space for them and they mirrored that back to me, that I was in this very safe, very comfortable, loving, space for them to share openly.”
“Loneliness is isolation and not feeling connected. I question how on earth can you be a good mother, a good friend, a good partner, spouse, employee, employer, all of it. If you're thinking that way you are fooling yourself and it's exhausting.”
“One ginormous silver lining is that I am now able to have more empathy, more perspective, more understanding, more of everything so that I can go forward and try to help someone be and feel less alone.”