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Ep #253: Of Course They Did: A Tool for Dropping Judgment and Finding Acceptance

Feminist Wellness with Victoria Albina | Of Course They Did: A Tool for Dropping Judgment and Finding Acceptance

We are smack-dab in the middle of the holiday season, which for many of us means time with family. Whether you’re with your family of origin, your partner’s family, or your chosen family, there’s one thing families are known for doing: pushing our buttons.

To help you navigate the holidays with more acceptance and ease this year, I’m sharing one of my favorite tools for dealing with your beloved button-pushers, and it’s called Of Course They Did! If you often find yourself wishing the people in your life were different, even though they’re doing exactly what they’ve always historically done, this is the episode for you.

Join me this week to learn what Of Course They Did entails, and how it gives you a moment of pause to breathe, ground yourself, and remember how you want to think, feel, act, and be in this world. I’m sharing why we expect other people to change, why this is unkind, both to them and yourself, and how using this tool to access acceptance will help release feelings of annoyance, frustration, or resentment.


Are you interested in learning more about somatics? Check out my free webinar all about it here!

What You’ll Learn:

How “Of Course They Did” is a tool for cultivating acceptance for the people in your life exactly as they are.

Why wanting other people to change gives your power away.

The reason we expect other people to bend over backward to keep us happy.

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Ep #20: Expectations and the “How-To” Guide to Other Humans

Full Episode Transcript:

This is Feminist Wellness, and I’m your host, Nurse Practitioner, Functional Medicine expert, and life coach, Victoria Albina. I’ll show you how to get unstuck, drop the anxiety, perfectionism, and codependency so you can live from your beautiful heart. Welcome, my love, let’s get started.

Hello, hello, hello. I hope this finds you doing so well. The holiday season is, well, we're in it. We're in the midst of so many holidays, and for many of us, that means time with family. Could be your family of origin, could be partner’s family, friend’s family, even friend family.

And one of the things that often comes with spending time with family is having your buttons pushed. What's that old saying? They installed your buttons so they know how to push them. That's true, huh? Yeah.

So, this week, I want to share one of my absolute favorite tips for dealing with those beloved button pushers. That tool is, of course they did. It's been incredibly helpful for me, for my clients in Anchored, for my friends, even for my family, who I know have used it with me. “Ugh, of course, she did.” And there's nothing wrong with that because, of course, I did. Right? Not judging.

I'm excited to share this tool with you. I hope it is supportive, and helps give you really that moment of pause. Because that's so often what we need, what our nervous systems need, so that we're not just reacting out of old, habitual, unintentional patterns and scripts.

It is that pause, that moment that allows us to breathe, to ground, to find our feet, to connect with Pachamama/Earth Mother, whatever moves you. And, to remember who we are, how we want to think, act, feel, and be in this world. When I pause, I know I'm a much more loving, much more kinder, gentler, more compassionate, curious, caring animal.

One of the tools that really, really helps me is to say, “Of course, she made that comment about my weight, that's what she does.” I don't have to sit here in abject shock, I can just breathe into love. Okay, well, I'm giving away the punch. I totally do that. Of course, I do that. I'm excited about the topic., of course, I do that.

So, I'm going to hush my little buttons. I'm going to share this really helpful tool. I want to remind you of a quote from Ram Dass, who said, “Think you’re so enlightened? Go spend a week with your family.” It's a good reminder.

Our families, oof, challenging… are here to help us grow, to see the places where our shadow work lies, if that's a framing that works for you. Yeah, just to show us where we can still grow. That's me being generous. Be kind to you. Be gentle with you. Do your best to be loving and compassionate with others.

And listen, if they're still crossing your boundaries, I want to just be a voice here reminding you that you can leave. You can go to a hotel. You can go to a friend's house. You can get in your car and drive home. You don't have to stay anywhere you're not being respected. Okay?

All right, take good care you. You're perfect and wonderful and lovable. And you were born perfect, no matter what you might have heard growing up, might have heard in the world, or might be hearing right now from family. You are perfect. And I know I don't know you, but I sure do love you. All right, all right. I'm going to hush. Kisses. Ciao. Felices Fiestas - Happy Holidays. I'll talk to you soon.

Hello, hello my love. I hope this finds you doing so well. I am excited for us to travel back in time together for a moment. So, back in the mid-1990s, which seems like yesterday but is also a very, very long time ago, my sister Maria Eugenia; we are all Marias, thank you South American Catholicism.

She goes by Genie. So, Genie and I came up with this super helpful way of navigating the world together. We didn’t realize we were coming up with an absolutely brilliant coaching tool but we were. So, this tool, that I’m so excited to share with you today, is a way to live in true acceptance of the people in our lives exactly as they are.

This tool is so simple, so easy, so life changing, and it goes like this, “Of course, they did.” We started doing this about the mean girls at school. There’s this group of sisters who lived near us who seemed to kind of go out of their way to be, let’s say, less than kind to my sister and I whenever possible. So, when one of the sisters would do something typical of the sisters, we chalked it up to, “Of course they did.”

Let me give you an example of this in actual usage. I would walk into my sister’s room and I’d be like, this gal, let’s call her Julie, “Said something mean about our mom’s accent.” And Genie would turn to me and would say, “Of course, she did. That’s what Julie does.”

And what she was saying with that, is that; that’s what she does. That’s what she’s shown us time after time, again and again, that’s the kind of thing she does.

So, when a teacher would snap at one of us and we’d be upset, we’d report it to the other one, who would of course say, “Of course, she did. Mrs. Mack does that.” We did it with our parents and with other kids’ parents too, and now we do it all the time. Like, when the orange Cheeto was president, I don’t say his name, Genie would call and be like, “45 did this horrifying thing,” and I’d say, “Of course, he did.”

The reason this tool is so incredibly powerful is because it realigns our brains away from judgment and allows us to drop directly into acceptance, by stating that of course someone did the thing that they usually do. There’s no reason for drama, for shock, for incredulity. Of course, they did, because that’s what they historically do.

It’s a way to remind our brains of our own habit, so typical in codependent thinking, which is fantasy thinking. We so want other people to not be themselves, to be different because we wish, will, and want them to be. We want them to live by the how-to guide we have for them; and Episode 20 is all about this. Because we believe that we will feel safer or more okay if they aren’t themselves.

And that, my love, is not only not kind to the other person, it’s not kind to you. It’s just giving your power away. It’s saying, “I will feel safer if they are different,” versus choosing to source that power internally, from your own thoughts that create your own feels. You get to choose that regardless of anyone else’s anything.

And so, we give ourselves a different option. To remind ourselves that other people’s actions are the result of their own thoughts, not ours. Because in the moment we jump to disbelief that someone has generally, historically done the same thing in the same way, like being the mean girl at school, being unreliable, showing up late, forgetting to call, whatever it may be, the truth is that this time is no different.

So, there’s no need to live in the fantasy that they will now do life any differently just because we wish they would. Expecting people to be different and then being hurt, disappointed, frustrated, annoyed, or sad when they are who they have shown you they are, is a one-way ticket to, you guessed it, Resentmentville USA.

And let me tell you, that whole train ride, that station, just sucks. There’s not even a Dunkin there. And it’s one I avoid by getting real; of course, they did. Instead of getting on that train, you get to live in reality and stop fighting with what you know to be true.

Which again, we love to do from our codependent thinking. We’re so focused on meeting other people’s needs, people pleasing, keeping other people happy in their lives and with us, that we bend ourselves over backwards to try to manage other people’s moods, energies, feelings.

And so, because this is our internal norm, there’s a part of us that expects everyone else to literally do the same. We spend a lifetime wishing people were different, wishing they responded differently, or had treated us differently, or they treated themselves differently. But it’s not reality. And of course, they did, helps us to remember that.

To quote the ever-amazing doctor Maya Angelou, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Which is the opposite of what we habitually do.

And so, this tool gives us an easy way to remind ourselves of the actions people have shown us they habitually take, what their boundaries, limits, preferences, choices, and ways of being in the world are. It takes the shock out of someone literally being themselves.

It’s like our brains are so primed to chameleon, to try to change ourselves to make others happy that we’re shocked when a snarling dog bites us, or stunned when the mean girl is mean. We are beside ourselves when the chronic over drinker is drunk at noon.

We want reality to be different so badly, that we forget that other people are themselves because that is who they want to be. It’s a set of choices they are making, and that they will behave exactly how they want to because their think-feel-act cycle is running in their mind and their bodies, just like it’s running in ours.

Not recognizing ‘Of course, they did’ leads us to have the chronic thought, “I wish they were different,” which is an energy suck for you, keeps you and your life, your everything, focused on them. And not on the one thing you can control, which is your response to them.

It makes you feel disappointed, frustrated, angry, sad, so you take the action of spending your precious life, your precious time, your precious energy, ruminating, complaining, telling everyone who will listen, “I’m just so shocked this person behaved exactly how they always have.”

Instead of simply saying, “Of course, they did. Of course, they were late. Of course, they forgot to bring a present. Of course, they didn’t return my car on time. Of course, they did. Because they are themselves and they have shown me this clearly.”

In this life, we have two options. We can step out of the codependent thinking fantasy that other people will change because we so want them to. And from there, can accept the people we love exactly how they are. Or we can create additional suffering for ourselves by wanting others to want to behave the way we want them to. It’s frankly just that simple.

From acceptance, which isn’t condoning or saying someone else’s behavior is always okay, not at all, it’s just about getting real and saying, “Of course, they’re themselves.” And so, we can step out of judgment.

When we step out of judgment, we can get clarity about what we want and need. We can ask ourselves: Do I want to be in a relationship with this person who shows up exactly the way they do? The way they always have? Or is it time for a clean break, for a change, for a shift, to set some boundaries, or step out of this relationship entirely? Can I love them for exactly who they are, unconditionally?

Meaning, without condition. Meaning, without my stories about how they should be behaving, should want to behave. Can I step into a deep understanding of ‘of course, they did?’

Or do I want to continue to fight reality? Do you want to continue to not love them fully by wishing they were different? Which, to me, is not really loving someone. It’s loving the fantasy you have about them. Baby, my love, that’s not kind to you or to them. It’s not honest.

So, the next time your BFF forgets your birthday, the next time your colleague doesn’t submit their work on time, the next time your mom makes a comment about your weight, start with, ‘of course. they did.’ Release the annoyance, the frustration, all of it.

And do the next right thing for you, and your life from there. Put your focus back where it belongs, on you and your own think-feel-act cycle, my love. Because of course, you did. You put you first, everyone else second, with so much love.

Let’s do what we do, my beauty. Put a gentle hand on your heart, attune to your breath. Remember, you are safe. You are held. You are loved. And, when one of us heals, we help heal the world. Be well, my beauty. I’ll talk to you soon.

Thank you for listening to this episode of Feminist Wellness. If you want to learn more all about somatics, what the heck that word means, and why it matters for your life, head on over to for a free webinar all about it. Have a beautiful day my darling and I'll see you next week. Ciao.

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