Todd and Cathy discuss how co-opted therapy speak can make “love” more like control. They specifically discuss Jonah Hill’s ex-girlfriend sharing texts where he says he is enforcing his “boundaries” when he is actually giving her rules and ultimatums. They discuss how life is messy and everything is nuanced, and how Maya Angelou taught that love liberates, it doesn’t hold. For the full show notes, visit

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Time Stamps

(00:00:00) Introduction

(00:03:32) Three things

(00:05:16) Tournament of bad

(00:11:35) Cathy’s ZP Moment

(00:20:30) Jonah Hill

(00:59:15) Avid Co DuPage County Area Decorating, Painting, Remodeling by Avid Co includes kitchens, basements, bathrooms, flooring, tiling, fire and flood restoration.

(00:59:15) MenLiving – A virtual and in-person community of guys connecting deeply and living fully. No requirements, no creeds, no gurus, no judgements

(00:59:46) Todd Adams Coaching

(00:59:46) Zen Parenting Book


Ask Us Anything




Love is Not Control

In this episode of Zen Parenting Radio, Todd & Cathy delve into the complexities of relationships and the role of control within them. Throughout their discussion, they emphasize the importance of open communication, self-understanding, and liberating love. Their insights shed light on the intricacies of parenting, the significance of setting boundaries, and the power of creating safe spaces for authentic expression. Here are the key points from their thought-provoking conversation, highlighting the wisdom and practical advice shared by the hosts.

Todd and Cathy kick off the discussion by exploring the concept of control and its impact on relationships. Drawing inspiration from the movie “Braveheart,” they differentiate between inner control and attempting to control others. They caution against using self-awareness and therapy language to manipulate and exert control over loved ones. Instead, they emphasize the importance of cultivating self-understanding, which contributes to the well-being of both parents and children. Listeners are invited to explore resources such as the Zen Parenting Radio YouTube channel, the Team Zen app, and Cathy’s book to deepen their understanding.

The hosts move on to a more casual conversation, reflecting on their recent experiences and emphasizing the messiness of life. They challenge the notion of viewing life in black and white terms, urging listeners to embrace the paradoxes and imperfections that make us human. By resisting the urge to categorize everything as good or bad, we can navigate the complexities of relationships with greater compassion and understanding.

Todd and Cathy emphasize the importance of open and supportive conversations with children. They acknowledge that parenting is not about perfection, but rather creating an environment where children feel safe to share their thoughts and feelings. The hosts caution against misusing boundaries as a means of control and manipulation. They distinguish between boundaries that promote personal well-being and those driven by egoic needs. By fostering open communication and active listening, parents can build trust and connection with their children.

The hosts discuss the concept of liberating love within relationships. They share personal stories about supporting loved ones during challenging times and allowing them the freedom to be their authentic selves. Emphasizing the gray areas in relationships, they highlight the importance of open communication and negotiation. The conversation touches on manipulation, control dynamics, and the ethical responsibility of therapists. They encourage revealing true feelings in relationships without resorting to blame or victimization.

Todd and Cathy delve into the notion of setting others free in relationships. They underscore the significance of supporting and honoring loved ones while also prioritizing self-care and voicing concerns when necessary. The hosts address the issue of co-opting language to impose control, citing examples of manipulative texts and messages. They advocate for ongoing conversations and multi-layered awareness in relationships, stressing that liberation is a continuous cycle.

The hosts share a touching story about Maya Angelou and her mother, highlighting the importance of creating a safe and non-judgmental space for children to express themselves freely. They emphasize that liberation in parenting involves allowing children to have their own experiences while maintaining an open line of communication. Todd and Cathy acknowledge the complexity of love and the significance of words and language in defining it. They question societal norms and traditions, urging listeners to understand the historical context behind customs such as wedding ceremonies.

In this enlightening podcast episode, Todd & Cathy offer valuable insights into nurturing relationships and embracing liberation. They emphasize the power of open communication, understanding, and creating safe spaces in parenting and intimate partnerships. Through their discussions, listeners are encouraged to let go of control, embrace life’s messiness, and cultivate liberating love. By adopting these principles, individuals can forge deeper connections, promote personal growth, and create harmonious relationships built on trust and respect.


ZPR#718 – Love is Not Control Full Episode Transcript – DOWNLOAD

Todd: We go. My name’s Todd. This is Cathy. Welcome back to another episode of Zen Parenting Radio. Hi. This is podcast number 718. Why listen Zen Parenting Radio because you’ll feel outstanding and always remember our motto, which is the best predictor of a child’s wellbeing is a parent’s self-understanding. So, I’m gonna share a few quick things and then also talk about your Zen parenting moment for a second.

Okay? Sure. But first, why don’t you tease the main topic. 

Cathy: Do you have any, like William Wallace, like clips where he says freedom? 

Todd: I don’t, I but what’s the opposite of freedom, sweetie? Non-free control. Right? Control. Okay. That’s good. All right, so this, it’s funny cuz we’ll have a quick discussion about this clip, but Okay.

I’m sure, I’m hoping you’ll know what this is from.[00:01:00] 

Cathy: Control. Control. You must run 

Todd: control. So that’s, that’s, see, that’s a very nuanced choice. I know, because Yoda is telling him to be in more control. Correct. And what we’re gonna talk about is how certain behaviors of humans, they over 

Cathy: control so they, no, they try to control other people. Yes. That’s cuz the freedom.


Todd: Luke needs to learn, control, inner control. And Yoda is saying, and and we’re saying, actually, why don’t you loosen the grip a bit? No. Well, 

Cathy: and that’s the, that’s why these conversations, I love these conversations. Like, I don’t, I don’t like to shy away from these nuanced conversations where it’s like, control is good, control is bad.

Which is exactly what my own parenting moment was about. Life is messy. Life is messy. And the thing is, is con what we’re gonna talk about is, The mo the most pop culturey reference right now is over the weekend after Jonah Hill got [00:02:00] called out by a girlfriend or an ex-girlfriend that he was very emotionally abusive and you know, you hear that, you kind of read through it, whatever.

But then she shared a lot of texts demonstrating what this looked like. At least through text for her. I’m sure she had plenty of experiences that we’ll never hear or understand and they, they are very. I think for a lot of women, maybe men too, they feel very we’ve seen these things before, either in our own lives or in our friends’ lives.

This desire to control the person that we love. And then the, the step further, and we’ll dive deeper into this after you’re done with your first things, is then we use clinical speak to like co-opt. Like we, we co-opt therapy speak to make it sound like it’s okay. 

Todd: Said in another way. And I actually had this written down in preparation of today’s podcast, the weaponization [00:03:00] of self-awareness.

Cathy: Correct. Which is my, is this gonna sound funny to say? It’s my sweet spot. But I write about that all the time. I actually tried to write a full book about it that didn’t work out. But this taking of self-awareness and hijacking it for people’s desire to Use it corruptly. You know, they corrupt the system and it’s a lot of, there are within a system like self-help or self-awareness or mindfulness, there’s so many good people trying to do good things and then bad actors get in there and mess it all up.

Okay. So go ahead Todd. So 

Todd: three things in. In an effort of promotion. One is we have an amazing YouTube channel, so like, subscribe and comment on our YouTube channel. Number two we have Team Zen. So we have an app on a phone. It’s kind of a v i p or an insider’s track to everything that is Zen Parenting, which includes Cathy’s women, Cathy’s Women’s Group.[00:04:00] 

We send out swag. We have micro communities. We have. I think over 150 Zen talks, and it’s a live Zoom thing. So that’s the second thing. And I do wanna thank Mary from Elmhurst and Emily from Gurney, our most recent additions to the Team Zen platform. Welcome. And then lastly Cathy’s book. Okay. You have a book called Zen Parenting.

I do parenting in our parenting ourselves and our children in an unpredictable world. Those three things will be in the show notes. Just scroll and click. 

Cathy: Sometimes people will say, I need to get somebody, a parenting book or a friend, a parenting book. What should I get? And it’s weird for me to be like mine.

But it is, I, the reason that I like Zen parenting and that I’m glad that’s a book that’s out there just for me personally, is I feel like it’s an encapsulation to the best of my ability of this show. Like these are the things we’re trying to talk about. So if you feel like there’s someone, either yourself or someone who is a reader, And you’re trying to explain, there’s these ideas that I’m interested in because [00:05:00] remember, nothing Todd and I talk about is absolute.

So it’s more about processing your own ideas as you’re reading. But the book is a good way to, and you know it’s won of few awards. It’s been having a good year. Yes, it has. It becomes like its own little. Thing. It’s it’s own little person and it’s having a good 

Todd: year on its own. It is. And I hopefully it’ll have a good year next year too.

But this year you’re enjoying wonderful success. Thank you. And don’t forget about this turn in a bad 

Cathy: termin, in a bad 

Todd: termin in a bad, this is something we used to do in our early days as end parenting. It was just an opportunity for me to complain about something. So I was at a restaurant with my family last week.

And wonderful food. I’m not gonna name who it was or where it was wonderful food. Got the bill and I noticed there’s a 3% charge on it, Uhhuh, and I forget what they called it. I should have taken a screenshot service. A service charge like 

Cathy: Ticketmaster does 

Todd: it too. It’s like a convenience fee, yeah.

 For the restaurant. And I was just kinda wondering like, what’s up with that? Like, why don’t you just raise your prices by 3%? I feel like it’s a sneaky way to keep [00:06:00] menu prices on, menu items a little bit lower and yet still gain a little bit of revenue. And it just bothers me. Does it, putting it in the tournament to, in a bad, well, 

Cathy: and again, this is like a.

Maybe a naive and not a fiscally thoughtful way to look at it, but because the restaurants we tend to go to are, you know, ones that we like. And we’d like them to keep going. I’m kind of like, okay. It’s just, just a weird 

Todd: way of adding revenue. That’s all I’m 

Cathy: saying. I know, and you’re right. Like when it comes to something like Ticketmaster where you’ve just spent a thousand dollars on tickets, and then they’re like, oh, and by the way, here’s another 500.

I mean, come on. You know, like, that’s insane because it’s hidden, you know? But they, it was upfront. It did. They did say upfront. 

Todd: Well, they said it at the bottom of the receipt that you Oh, okay. So in relation to that. Okay. Restaurants that don’t give you, just put the ketchup on the table quick.

Giving me these little containers of [00:07:00] ketchup. Now I am a ketchup. Freak you 

Cathy: are, you are a ketchup lover. 

Todd: I love ketchup and I feel like an idiot asking for eight little baby 

Cathy: things of ketchup up. Cameron has to do that too. Just put the ketchup on the table. Well, I would love if somebody here is a restaurant owner or somebody who works in a restaurant let us know what the thought is behind that.

I’m assuming it’s to save money, because, you know, if you put the whole thing on the table, then you’re going through it a lot faster. So there’s a reason. But it also is, then you’ve gotta buy all those little containers. It just must be a pain. I don’t 

Todd: quite understand it now. Fancy restaurants.

I get it. They are trying. They’re going for ambiance. But if you’re at a sports bar or at like a microbrewery that serves food. Right. Just gimme the bottle of ketchup. Yeah, and let me decide how much ketchup I 

Cathy: want. We talk about that a lot just because you and Cameron love ketchup. And 

Todd: then the last thing in the tournament a bad.

Is this 

Cathy: sweet?[00:08:00] 

Todd: I have no idea. Oh, here they 

Cathy: come. They’re just propping us.

Todd: Exciting. And if you’re a Gen X, just think about where you were When you’re watching this show, we are expecting,

so don’t ask me why, but Cathy and I woke up and I decided we were just talking and I decided to. 

Cathy: This is why. Yeah, why, how do we get, I was talking about hiring a bartender. Oh and then you and I at the same time did the Isaac thing to each other, the figure, the figure guns. And so then I was like, Isaac, I wonder, you know, but we started talking about Isaac and we started talking about Gopher.

And then all of a sudden Todd is like a YouTube person. Like he’ll just pull anything up on YouTube. And we found, we thought we found like the greatest hits, [00:09:00] right? But it, but it was actually a full 

Todd: episode. It was a full episode and it roped us in and we couldn’t turn away. It was awesome and terrible.

It was all at the same time. 

Cathy: Listen, here’s the feeling I had watching the Love Boat, which I have been talking about for the last 24 hours. It’s not ju the song is one thing because, you know, we’ve kind of heard that on and off people play it as a joke. But to go into a show and to watch these people walk onto that boat, you remember the staircase?

It’s so Julie with her clipboard. Julie’s got her clipboard. It’s so soothing because of the age I was when I was watching that. Like there was, I had such fond memories of watching that, that it took me back and then Todd and I just had a ball because everybody who gets on that boat is famous. And we had to like figure out, remember this person, Mrs.

Brady showed up. Mrs. Brady, Florence Henderson was there and she was like, she was kicking it with a, with Bill or Bert Convi. Yeah, something like that. And they, you know, lot 

Todd: out Vera from Vera from Alice showed up. 

Cathy: Vera from Alice and Tanya Tucker and Mel [00:10:00] Tillis. Is that Mel Tillis? Yeah, they Julie and Vicky because they’re, you know, Vicky’s, the captain’s daughter, they are like in charge of all the entertainment on the boat.

And they had a jamboree, you know, theme. So they had all these country singers and that was the whole thing. And the mom from Arrested Development was on it. Oh 

Todd: lucia Lucille, whatever. 

Cathy: Lucille. Lucille one, Bluth. Yeah, Lucille Blue. So anyway. The, the plots left something to be desired. We kind of, the plots were awful.

And they were not politically correct at all. Not at all. That’s one thing I will say is there were so many, there were, the jokes were inappropriate body image jokes, body image stuff. Female, male. Control power. That’s what, which we’re gonna talk about today. Different time. But we kind of had fun.

Todd: It was fun. I would be, we didn’t know it was a two part episode. I 

Cathy: know. I was like, now we’re not gonna find out what happens to that brooch 

Todd: and I don’t think we’re going to, I think there was 

Cathy: a brooch. Oh George Jefferson was on it too. Oh and he was kind of phone in it, in, I [00:11:00] was like, George Jefferson is such a good character.

And Sherman Hensley, is that his name? I don’t, he’s a great actor. Right. And he’s playing this like, It, you just see that the 

Todd: exaggeration 

Cathy: of a human being, you just see that a lot of these people who go on this, it’s kind of the eighties version of Dancing With the Stars, or maybe I’m, that’s not kind.

Maybe it’s it’s like it’s the next, they’re like trying to do another thing. Like, you know, they’re like, I’m not on TV right now. I need to get back on tv. And they, I think they’re not psyched. They’re kind of like here. 

Todd: Yeah, okay, I need a paycheck. Let’s do this. So they’re kind of, let’s 

Cathy: go.

The Lobo, they’re kind of phoning it in a 

Todd: bit. Next, next week, stay tuned for Fantasy Island. I know we’re gonna watch Fantasy Island in the review. So Cathy has his end parenting moment. It was titled Life is Messy, and I’m going to play a teeny clip from one of my favorite movies called Parenthood. Oh.

And just goes round and round. You’ll know why. Do a lot of 

Cathy: things. I mean, baseball’s the least of them, and in all those things, sometimes they’re gonna miss, sometimes they [00:12:00] won’t. Sometimes they will, 

Todd: sometimes they won’t. Sometimes 

Cathy: they will. What do you want me to give you? Guarantee these are kids, not appliances.

Life is messy. I hate 

Todd: messy. It’s so messy. Here comes grandma. You 

Cathy: know, when I was 19, grandpa 

Todd: took me on a roller, so I’m not gonna play that clip. That grandpa, you not gonna play the rollercoaster story. Well, it’s another hour and a half. Another minute and a half. I know, 

Cathy: I, but it is, it’s a wonderful scene if you wanna YouTube the Grandma Parenthood scene because you want her inspiration.

But I didn’t, I didn’t remember that. They actually said life is messy. Yeah, it’s the 

Todd: rollercoaster story by Grandma on Parenthood. It’s wonderful. But, so anyways, so I’m just gonna, so the quote that you led this one is from Tara Brock. There’s something wonderfully bold and liberating about saying yes to our entire imperfect and messy life.

Yes. I highlighted a few lines from your blog. So you could either just share whatever you want or I Oh, good. You say 

Life is Messy

Todd: every decision and discussion contains nuance. Life is messy. [00:13:00] Less definitive and more constantly forced to wrestle with the paradox of opposing expectations. You’re perfect as you are, but keep improving.

Relationships can offer fulfillment and happiness, but relationships can never truly make you happy, be wise, but keep making mistakes. You on to say the internal world of all human beings, regardless of age, is paradoxical and undoubtedly messy. Anything you wanna share beyond some of those 

Cathy: quotes?

Just, I think the, you know, I think the first couple lines I write about that we like life to be metaphorical, like it’s black and white or you know, good or bad. And we’re like, you’re either good or bad. You’re either my friend or you’re not. And it’s funny, we’re gonna talk a little bit about that with friendships too.

That’s one of the things, but. It’s like nothing is like that, everybody. Right. And I know it takes age. Like I, I’m from a very privileged position right now being the age I am to kind of see the trajectory of life and recognize that nothing’s like that. But I think there was, I know there was times in my life, it doesn’t even matter about me personally, but I, I knew [00:14:00] that I.

You know, like when you’re talking to someone and they’re like, well, now I’m gonna cut you off because you did this thing. Or, I don’t like this person anymore because they don’t like the things that I like. Or I made this mistake as a parent, therefore I’m a bad parent. Or my kid had a successful week, therefore I’m a great parent.

Like it’s that these cut and dry things are not true. You are all the things. And that understanding, while Todd just said you lose a little control. Then because you don’t have your certainty and your black and white thinking, it’s also how you can be resilient through hard times because you don’t see them as definitive characteristics where now everything’s bad.

 You actually are like, yeah, like the, you know, I think I’ve said this before, but something that I, I know that my kids know and if they don’t know it, they’re gonna, when they experience it, they’re gonna be like, oh, mom used to say this all the time, is when things are not going well. Yeah, that’s.

Part of the whole thing. Now, if [00:15:00] you’re having consistency where you keep hitting walls, keep hitting walls, things may need to change shift. It may be you, it may be something that you’re putting out there, but the idea that things go wrong doesn’t mean 

you’re wrong. Well, we’ve had some of our, you know, all three of our children have had super duper big time struggles.

And there were times in those moments I’m like, how did I miss this? Or how did we miss this? Or how did we let it get to this point? And that’s no indication on how good of parents we are. Just sometimes. Stuff happens. 

Well, e even that sentence as a parent, how did we let it get to It’s their lives.

And they are having an experience that sometimes there’s things, there’s forces that are outside of our, outside of our home that are contributing that they couldn’t predicted. Like, that’s like saying how did we, you know, not catch the coronavirus before it affected our whole world. Like it’s very, yeah.

And life is unpredictable. 

Todd: And for me it’s like, There’s parts, there’s an egoic part of me that’s like, as long as I do this and this and this, then that’ll, safe. Our kids will be this and this and [00:16:00] this. And the bottom line is that’s not possible. But what we’re trying to do is minimize the odds of our kids being terrible people.

Yes. And 


Cathy: or and that, so when we’re talking about nuance, that’s the thing is that we’ll go back to Yoda at the beginning about control. Control. You must have control. There are parts of being a parent that necessitate our attention. They ne it necessitates structure and boundaries and. You know, everything I’m writing about now is conversations.

You have to be willing to, to process through something yourself first, and then talk to people about how you’re feeling, what’s needed, what’s being missed, and listen, listen, listen, listen. It’s not all about lecturing, it’s about listening. But maybe as the adults, not even maybe as the adults, I think it’s our responsibility to open those doors.

I don’t think we wait for our kids to come to us and say, you know, you could have come to me. Are we opening those doors where they know a conversation is going to be a safe? Non-judgmental, connective place, or they look at a conversation as being the greatest judgment, fear of retribution, fear of [00:17:00] consequences, fear of losing respect.

They’re not going to talk to you about things. Sure. So we have to be thoughtful about you. That balance of, you know, where we are drawing the line about things and where we are also opening doors to things. 

Todd: So it’s more like, it’s not that Challenges won’t happen to us and to our kids. No. But what we are shooting for, our goal to begin with the end in mind is that not if, but when these things happen, that we have created a space for conversation of support, conversations, dialogue, relationship, building.

 Well, and 

Cathy: the, one of the last lines in there, and your sister and I were, she was talking about it with me last night cuz I think she liked this line, was that sometimes we think the change. Is gonna kill us, but it’s actually the thing that saves us. Is, and I’m going into kind of a fall of that, meaning the fall of the autumn because I have a daughter going to college and she loves, like, she, it’s like [00:18:00] if you like what’s happening in your life right now?

Going to college doesn’t necessarily sound that exciting. Right? Do you know what I mean? When you’re like, I like my friends, you know, I like my partner. I like what my job, I like where I am. It can be a little daunting to be like, oh, and now I’m gonna go start over. And then I have another daughter who same thing is likes her college, likes her friends, likes her partner, all that stuff, and is gonna go abroad.

Now, I’m not, these are. Wonderful things like pr, you know, they’ve worked hard for these things. These are things that a lot of people would love to do. But there’s also the nuance is that there’s also a goodbye and it’s also hard and change is hard. And when you go to college and you go abroad, you’re, you change, your life changes and it’s, it’s it will be difficult for me.

So, Even though I know I’m, they’re doing what they want to do and I’m supportive of all of that, but it is hard. And then I have a third daughter who’s gonna be a sophomore next year and she’s gonna be doing all these different things. She’s gonna be driving in [00:19:00] September. Todd and my life is changing.

We’re, our lives are changing dramatically. Big time. So these are difficult things. They’re beautiful. They’re everything we work for. And those of you that like have little, little kids who are like, oh my God. You know, I remember Todd conversations we would have where we’d be like, can you believe that someday we’ll just be able to go out to dinner without, you know, making plans.

And now we’ve been doing that for, what, four or five years? And you 

Todd: know what? It hasn’t gotten old. No, it hasn’t. We’re like, we’re like, you know, like we’re five years into, you know, Skyler is 15 and it’s been a few years where we can just like not think and say, Hey, we’re going to dinner. Like, whereas before, it’d be weeks in planning and people of younger kids know 

Cathy: exactly what we’re talking about.

Oh, or, and the babysitter who cancels. So you can’t go. And 

Todd: it’s not, I, I have not become used to it. Me, me neither. I’m still appreciating the fact that there is this newfound freedom. 

Cathy: Freedom, that’s what we’re talking about. And that we, you know, we’ll, like on a Friday, be like, do you wanna do a date tonight?

Like just the, just the ability to have that flexibility. And then there’s always, you know, the kid who’s like, oh, my plan’s [00:20:00] changing. And we’re like, well then come with us. That’s great. But we don’t have to change our plans. It’s not about we don’t wanna be with them. True. I would love them around, but we don’t have to be at the mercy of everybody else’s lives.

And but that, for those of you that have young kids, it’s like, that feels so far away. I’m, you know, say the most cliche thing in the world. It’s not that far away. And you do what you do in your time and then all of a sudden these little things start to change. Right. And all of a sudden, you know, so.

Anyway that, that’s, thank you for sharing that. Zen Parenting moment and if you wanna subscribe to Zen Parenting Moment, it comes out every Friday and you can just scroll 

Todd: down. Boom. So you have to so we’re going to use the Jonah Hill thing that came out this weekend as a vehicle of discussion for control and weaponization of you know, self-awareness or therapy and among other things. But can you frame this for people who have no idea what we’re talking about? 

Cathy: Absolutely. And I’m gonna try and, you know, this week it just happens to be Jonah Hill, but it’s not just him. Right. And that’s something we have to remember [00:21:00] is he’s also part of a cult culture that is like we are, that is normalized this kind of behavior and that we view this sometimes people like.

Categorize this as like loving. You know, and so we’re, he’s just now in the, the hot seat. We’re, we’re focusing on this. But basically what happened is, as I said at the beginning, his girlfriend, I think on Friday or Saturday spoke out and said that she had been in, in an emotionally abusive relationship with Jonah Hill.

And so of course people were asking questions, why, why? Why? Or how, what did that look like? And so she shared some texts that he had sent to her and she had, you know, sent back and just for a little, You know, just to kind of give you the overview, she is a professional surfer and so she is, that’s how he found her.

He actually dmd her on Insta because she’s posting all these pictures of her surfing and obviously that there’s a whole community in surfing, men and women, and obviously the clothes that you wear in surfing are bathing suits. Okay, so. These are just logical [00:22:00] understandings, but I don’t know at what point where they were in their relationship, but what the texts basically said were Jonah telling her what pictures were gonna be okay for her to post, and that she needed to take certain ones down because she was showing her body even though, and she would say, but this is a swimsuit.

This is what I do, and these, this is my profession. And he’s like, well, this is my boundary. And I respect you if you don’t want to do it, but then goodbye. So, and there was a lot more than that. He actually sent her a list. 

Todd: It’s quite a few different Text. 

Cathy: Yes. And he actually sent her a list of things of saying, these are my boundaries, which I kept saying to Todd, let’s change the word boundaries to rules to date me.

Like, these are the rules. Like he, this is the co-opting of therapy speak, where he has, we have normalized the word boundaries as a positive thing, which it is. But what, what he’s doing and what a lot of people do is they hijack these words to make them fit their agenda. [00:23:00] And so instead of saying rules, he’s saying boundaries.

What boundaries are or are for our own internal wellbeing. It’s basically the, the best definition is it’s okay. The these things are okay and make me feel safe, and these things are not okay. Now you may say, well, that’s what he’s doing, but. He’s, he’s taking his own insecurity. 

Todd: It’s not b boundaries.

I might be oversimplifying. Keeps one safe. And these rules that Jonah expressed were to keep his ego safe. Thank 

Cathy: you. I beautiful. I couldn’t say it better. That was trying to keep him from having to deal with his own feelings, his own insecurity, his own judgment, his controlling behavior. Because this behavior probably, he used different words for it early on.

 And then now he has the word boundaries. And to say, oh, I respect you if you don’t wanna do ’em, obviously. You don’t. Like, there’s again, the language manipulation and this is what happens. You know, as I, I went through a big phase last year, people [00:24:00] listening will remember that. You know, I talk a lot about cliques and cults, and this is what they do to make, to bring you in is they start to use language to manipulate your thinking.

 I really recommend Amanda Montel’s book called Amanda Montel’s book called Look It Up. Something, I can’t remember, but it’s one of my favorite cult books because she cultish. Cultish. That’s it. Because she talks about how language is really what’s used to manipulate people. It’s not the people, so it’s a vehicle we have.

It is, it’s not a strong arming where someone’s actually physically manipulating you. They are using words in two ways. Number one, to make you feel guilty, bad, ashamed, and then number two, to make you feel special. So, you know, they will use language like you are. Well this is the easiest. They’ll use language that other people don’t understand.

Interesting, like therapy speak where only certain people know this acronym or only [00:25:00] certain people know this language and we use it, you know, the best community, just one that I was part of is yoga, you know, where people use a lot of yoga language, a lot of mindfulness language, which I have also used and I still use it.

But it’s used to kind of push other people out and to make other people feel special. Like, you don’t know what I’m talking about. So anyway, that’s the, that’s the plot point that Todd and I are gonna focus on. Yep. But it’s not just him. 

Todd: No, it’s a, it’s a culture. It’s a culture. 

Cathy: Yes. 

Todd: So there’s so many different ways that, you know, cuz when you and I were talking about this over breakfast yesterday through a very limited lens.

You can use all this speak to say, well, I’m just gonna be restating what you just said is like, no, no, these are my boundaries. You can, if you wanna go, like you can defend these his behavior based on, hey, These are my boundaries, and if you can’t deal with them, then we’ll just break up. And I’m just being honest, like lens, I [00:26:00] know honesty.


Cathy: know. And well, the use of the word honesty. Yeah, 

Todd: Right. It’s like I’m just being honest. Right. So it’s, it’s a, and there’s so many. Radiations of it, you know, it could be so small. And then there’s something so obvious, and this is on the more obvious, like he’s telling her what she can and can’t post.


Cathy: Exactly. So for those people that are like, well, that is his boundary, and I don’t know if a lot of people listening believe this, but let’s go to a deeper level. What is love? In a relationship, what is love? Because this is, are you gonna play the song? What is love? Maybe go ahead. As I say things and I realize they have pop culture references to them, I watch Todd and all of a sudden he like starts typing something and I know he is gonna do it, but what is the definition of love?

And this is where I wanna bring in after Todd plays this song. 

Todd: What makes you 


Cathy: I’m gonna play a song? I just watch you on the board producing. Oh, that’s 

Todd: not it. [00:27:00] This is now what is Love having some technical issues, sweetie, if you want. There you go. What is love, sweetie?

Deeply. Eric’s here. 

Cathy: What is love baby? Don’t hurt me. Is basically it. Actually, there’s a few more. There’s some there. Okay, go ahead. Sorry. Okay. So one of my favorite definitions that really I think hits at the core of what love is, is Maya Angelou. And we, we’ve probably done shows about this in our first five years of podcasting, cuz I remember it was a masterclass that Maya Angelou did for Oprah Winfrey’s channel.

So this was a long time ago. But her definition of love was love liberates. Love sets us free. You know, Todd, if you wouldn’t mind, would you play the clip that is at the very, it’s at the end. It’s the one that starts at four minutes and 40 seconds. Oh, sure. So I gave Todd this clip so she could explain it cuz it’s her quote.

 And here we go. [00:28:00] Okay. 

Todd: You were a piss 

Cathy: poor mother of small children, but you were a great, great mother of young adults and if you need permission to go, I liberate you. I went back to my house and something said, go back. I was in my pajamas. I jumped in my car and ran, and the nurse said, she’s just gone.

You see? Love liberates. It doesn’t bind. Love says, I love you. I love you. If you’re in China, I love you if you cross town. I love you Van Parlin. I love you. I would like to be near you. I’d like to have your arms around me. I’d like to hear your voice in my ear, but that’s not possible now. So I loved you.

Todd: Go.

Cathy: There we go. And where, so she started out talking about when her mom was dying, you [00:29:00] know, she said, she was saying to her mom, you know, I’ve heard that some people need permission to go. And you know, 

Todd: oh, sorry, I was just getting ready for the 

Cathy: next one. So, you know, and Todd and I both had that experience.

I said to both my parents, when, you know, and I don’t. At the, at the point we were, you don’t know how much they hear, but you do say to them, it’s going to be fine. You can go, you can go, you can go. And that’s what love does. Love doesn’t stay, get well, you know, it doesn’t say like, stay here, don’t leave me.

It’s like, this is, we, we, we love you and so this is what we do. We liberate you. This is what we do as parents. We don’t hold our children and say, child, you’re gonna do this sport and you are gonna get straight A’s and you are gonna be this person. You are gonna dress this way, and I’m gonna do your hair this way.

That’s not liberating our children. That’s telling them who to be. Now every, you know, everyone may say, well, but what about there’s, there’s nuance in there. You know, maybe for certain occasions you’re like, you will wear a dress. Maybe some mornings you do comb their hair. I’m [00:30:00] not saying we don’t participate in their lives.

I’m saying we don’t hold their lives. We don’t control their lives. The big thing is, I think that Todd and I wanna talk about was with your partner. What you know, I really am. I do have a lot of experience prior to Todd, and I’ve been telling him this for the last three days, cuz reading those texts are not unfamiliar to me.

I, I Mo until Todd, all the people, not, maybe not all, but majority of people that I was maybe somewhat serious with, it was a controlling thing. Okay. Not all the time. Like not every second. Well, that’s, and that’s the confusing part. That’s the confusing part. Right. This is what, again, this is what groups do and cliques do and cults do, is there’s good in it too.

Abusive relationships. You know, when they get to that point, they’re not all bad. There’s bad moments or bad experiences or occasions or just the fear that lives inside of it. Nothing is all bad. It’s again, you gotta go ba. [00:31:00] It’s not black and white. It’s the gray is really difficult. We were, what were we just talking about, Todd?

Where it’s so, oh, I think we were talking about it’s so easy in a marriage to be like, this is the best marriage in the world. We love them so much, we ne nothing ever goes wrong. Or that’s one end of the spectr or this person is awful to me. They’re abusive. I’ve, you know, they are off, it’s so obvious.

They’re abusive, and so the decisions are easy. You’re either gonna stay or you’re gonna go. Most are, some are in the middle, and so there’s a lot of like figuring out and negotiating and, and growing and being willing to learn. So Todd, for me, and it’s not about that, Todd has done, done everything perfectly.

No, go ahead. Keep, keep going. It’s good. What I have, what I knew about Todd when I de when we started dating was I knew he was a nice person and a good friend. I had watched him with other people. He did. It didn’t mean that I, I could’ve been surprised and he would’ve been a controlling person, 

Todd: which also sometimes [00:32:00] happens.

It does in relationships, because when going into a relationship, we tend. To show the best version of ourselves. Correct. And then a year into a marriage, a year into dating somebody. Then all of a sudden, you know, the snow globe is now resting. The 

Cathy: latent misogyny kicks in. You know, certain, certain things happen.

It’s like the culture. That lives inside of you. Starts to come out. And I’m not saying that happens to everybody, but No, there’s pieces that happens a lot that are underneath that were like, oh, I didn’t know I felt this way. It happens to us as parents, right? When we’re like, I’m never gonna do this.

I’m never gonna do that. And then all of a sudden we’re saying these words that we thought we never were gonna say lives inside of us. And so I, what I will say about, and again, I’ll just focus on Todd, is that. One thing he does for me, and, and he, and sometimes it necessitates a conversation so he understands why I need it.

But he sets me free. Sets me free. He sets me free, sets me free. And I don’t mean in like a relationship where we’re like swinging with other people. 

Todd: I, or, or like, you [00:33:00] know, you’re like, You know, it’s you, you’ve never, and this has happened too, where a partner will be like, you know what, I, I need a break and I’m gonna go on vacation for three weeks.

Like if you said that to me when we had three kids that were all in their adolescents, I’d be like, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. We’re partnership. Right? Like, that’s not freedom. That’s like, there’s some responsibility here that we, so like, all this stuff is new. That’s disregarding 

Cathy: of me. Right.

Like, and that’s, again, that’s why this is such an interesting conversation because there’s no, like, there’s no absolute rights or wrongs and every relationship is different. And there are, you get into a relationship for a certain reason for what your needs are, and then you’re constantly, if you stay together in a monogamous relationship, you’re constantly negotiating what that looks like.

Or you know, maybe even those things shift. So, 

Todd: Well, it’s fine. It’s, I’m kind of thinking of like values, like you and I are not into swinging. There’s plenty of couples out there that are into swinging and all that. Absolutely. But for you and I, our value is like, we’re gonna be monogamous. And I, I feel like what Jonah Weaponized Yes.

Was like his [00:34:00] values are, my girlfriend can’t show herself in a certain way in a bikini, even though she’s a surfer and she should have every right to pitch whatever to post any picture she wants. And Jonah’s saying, well, these are my values. 

Cathy: And he’s saying, you’re disrespecting me. And he’s also saying, another one of my values is, You listen to me 

and you do what I tell you to do, which sends like a chill up my spine because that is where it gets, that is abusive. Where you’re basically saying, I will control and manipulate you. I will tell you what to do. And then I’ll also tell you I love you and, and I, I don’t know this for a fact with him.

But I will talk about relationships that often end up this way. It begins with so much love, like something we call love bombing, where you just really, you just give everything you have to this person. You connect them to you, you make them need you, you make them want you. You may even separate them a little from their friends because they’re so connected to you and then you start doing these things.

So these are not like stupid women. These are [00:35:00] experiences where it is intentional. There is a manipulation process that is going on. So going back to liberating, what I mean is I will, one of the best liberating things that we have in our relationship is the, the ability to talk about everything.

 So, you know, I just see so often with women I know and women I work with, where they’ll bring something up and their partner will be like, I don’t wanna talk about that. Or, you’re bringing that up to hurt me. Or why are we talking about this again? Or get over it. And there’s no respect for the conversation in itself.

Todd: Well, and this, this Jonah thing, I just see it as such an easily resolved thing like Jonah’s obviously into therapy. Like if you’re struggling with this part of your relationship, talk about it in your therapeutic session or bring her in to the therapeutic session so you can have an honest conversation about it.

All this happened on text, like what an awful [00:36:00] way to resolve. 

Cathy: Conflict. Well, an interesting part of the texts were, there was some alluding to without, and I’m gonna say alluding to cuz we really don’t know the full story cuz it’s a pop culture story. But that his therapist, cuz we were talking about, we hope this isn’t stats, which is the therapist he did the, the whole, yeah, he did the whole podcast.

A podcast. But there was some alluding to the fact that his therapist said this was okay. And that she had a therapist that was like, this is manipulation. And because he said at one point, I think it’s so funny that your therapist hates me. Or something. And then she also had a friend that she was texting with that the friend was like, this is not okay.

Like there was a lot of like these outside, and I’m saying this because there are therapists, that don’t do a great job with these kind of things. 

Todd: Because therapists are human beings. They are. And there’s ones that have intention of being good who end up being really bad. Exactly. 

Cathy: And if they feel, if they’re in a relationship, and again, let’s pretend it isn’t Phil Stutz, [00:37:00] cuz I don’t like that idea.

Let’s pretend it’s somebody else. They can sometimes be so enamored with their client. Oh that they are like, whatever you feel. Whatever you say like that happens. These are human beings. 

Todd: Well, and I’ve said to many of my clients, because I talk a lot about revealing your honest truth to your partner in a very conscious way.

Yes. But I’m also very careful to say, listen, revealing and dumping are two different things. Revealing from a conscious place means, Hey, I’m as part of this as you are. Dumping is blaming, being in victim consciousness, and just saying whatever the hell you want. And, because I say to my guys, I’m like, dude, just because I’m inviting you to reveal from this place doesn’t give you permission to just dump all over your partner.

Right? Because you’re like, cuz yeah, I’m, I’m inviting you, my client to share your vulnerable feelings. But if they show up from this really restricted, controlling manner, That’s not [00:38:00] revealing. That is you just vomiting on the other person. Correct. There’s no connection that happens in those moments. 

Cathy: And you know, it’s interesting to switch it off partnership for a second.

There are some conversations we’ve been having with our girls and some of their friends about things that this happens in friendship a lot too. What you just said of this dumping on text. And then you need to listen to me, or Aren’t you my kind? 

Todd: And they say, well, I’m just being honest with you.

Correct. Like, no, that’s not, it’s not. If you wanna be in relationship with somebody, That’s not the way to do it. 

Cathy: Correct. And there, And so, you know, even the idea of love liberates has, you have to have an understanding of what that means in the relationship you are in, because like Todd said, we could be in real, you and I could be in relationship with other people and have a different value system.

 And when I say values that’s a, that’s a strong word. We may have a different, an agreement. Because values tends to be more of an internal guidance. But we may have different agreements, but because you and I are together, We have to come up with agreements with each other. 

Todd: Well, and I’m guessing Jonah [00:39:00] didn’t say on their first date, Hey, just so you know, I’m going to be modifying, monitoring your posts.

Right. And dictating to you what I think it’s okay that you share or not share because, and I’m just making this up because I’m a big famous person and I’m under bigger scrutiny and I don’t want to deal with any pushback or whatever. I’m guessing that did not happen on day one. 

Cathy: No, and I think, like I said before, I think there were, he.

Was, he’s probably a love bomber. Because anybody who starts to really control people, they can’t do that until they, until this person is, until they fill them up. Until this person feels dependent on them, they, you know, I don’t know these specifics, but they could be living together. They could like share a dog.

Like it’s not as, sometimes we’re so flippant about, well then they should just do this. 

Todd: And I think it’s important to note like, I’m sure if there’s a video camera taping the relationship between these two people 24 7, there’d be tons of evidence of how Jonah is a loving and compassionate. That’s the hard part.

And that’s the thing like, but that, that’s why it gets so confusing. I remember always, we always talk about the burning bed because, 

Cathy: got [00:40:00] it. Todd loves the burning bed 

Todd: little kid and you know, physically abusive husband is just, completed abusing Farrah Faucet’s character. And he would always say to his kids, I love your mama.

And I’m just like, 

I know. And that’s because, and again, this is why I wanted to dig into the word love. It was your understanding of the word love that made it confusing to you. 


Todd: he His understanding of the word love was controlling a person and have someone be subservient to them. 

Cathy: He’s like, I love I, 

Todd: he should just.

Put the word love away and say, I love to control your mom. Right. I love to have ownership over your mom 

Cathy: He, his, 

Todd: his definition of love, and that’s why words are so important. 

Cathy: Because what, again, you know, 

Todd: going back to what Maya Angelou said, what does love do? Love is really about the valuing of another person so much and honoring them that you want them.

To feel [00:41:00] joy and happiness in their lives. Well, you are not focused on what you need from them all the time. 

Cathy: Of course. In relationship, hold on one second, sorry. In course 

Todd: in relationship you want to have your needs met, but that the big overall goal is that you want this person to feel good about who they are.

We were at a wedding this weekend, Uhhuh, and my friend Sean, who gave the toes cuz he was the father of the bride, talked a little bit about the. I’ll call it my judgment, the ridiculousness of the traditional version of a wedding ceremony. And one of his friends said something like, are you excited to give your daughter away?

Oh, yeah, yeah, I remember that. And he’s like, that’s so absurd. Like, she’s not mine to give, to give, give away. Or do you take this man to be, it’s, I thought it was just a really interesting. Part of his toast and I’m, I might end up stealing some of what he shared because I totally believe [00:42:00] that like my daughters are not mine.

And the fact that that language resides in a marriage, in a wedding ceremony is the most, and I know it predates to when women were property and all the ridiculousness of it, but it still kind of seeps into our 2023 

Cathy: culture. Well we love, tradition, ritual, and sometimes we don’t. Realize what we’re saying and where it came from, and it’s part of the reason why, you know, sorry to go down this track, but I’ll just be quick.

It’s part of the reason why it, why we need to understand history, right? Is if we’re just gonna be like, Nope. Let’s just do today. Who cares where it came from? Who cares why we have that statue? Who cares why we say these things? Then we’re missing, what the intention was behind it in the first place.

And sometimes that’s not a good thing. Sometimes the history behind things carry a heavy, negative energy. And we, and that whole idea of do you give, you know, I’m gonna give her away. And [00:43:00] again, I get it. Like I, it, it was probably said at my wedding. It, it’s not a judgment of people, it’s just that really means she was my property, now she’s your property.

 And so these are conversations that we may say, you know what, I know what it means, but I like the tradition. We’re gonna go with it. Great. You know, you get to decide that. And I, I think that was said at my wedding. 

Todd: Well, when we, we started out talking about messiness and control and now we’re talking about possession.

Correct. And it all is connected, intertwined with all this. 

Cathy: And that’s the thing is I think as Todd and I watch, you know, our girls have relationships and be in friendships and we even watch friends of ours get remarried and repartner. These, these issues, they keep, they’re, they’re ongoing. They’re, they’re forever conversations.

And what does it mean? You know, the bottom line is what is, because I, I started the podcast by saying, freedom. Can we see that? Setting people free. In a conversation in like the smallest level, like allowing them to share, setting them free when they’re like, you know what? I [00:44:00] wanna change my career. Setting them free when they start about how they dress or, or who they are.

It’s a way of loving them. You know? It’s a way of supporting and honoring, and then, The place where we then speak up is we also have to honor ourselves in the process. If those things that I just referred to are hurting us in a way that our partner doesn’t understand, we also need the freedom to vocalize that.

 This is a very circular thing. It’s not a one-sided thing. It’s not a love your partner and forget about yourself, and it’s not only think about yourself. It’s a constant cycle. Of awareness and I just think that one thing that I know. You know, with my children, and, you know, they’re becoming adults and it’s even more important that I set them free.

But when they were little, you know, when they were done with a sport, when they were ready to try something new, when they wanted to wear their coat backwards or wear two different [00:45:00] shoes to set them free, like just be like, okay. You know, and even for those middle schoolers who are like, I’m not gonna wear my coat to school cuz it’s not cool.

Okay, go, go, go freeze. So you know, like it’s, and to instead of control and tell them what they need to do because it makes you feel more comfortable versus allowing them to have their life experience. And every conversation I feel like, you know, cuz Todd and I do Team Zen, which is our Team Zen Team Zen app, and we have live conversations every month.

You know, a few of ’em. And parents will always bring us examples, you know, live examples of something that’s going on in their lives where. This is a very nuanced situation. They’ll say, well, I wanna set them free, but this is dangerous. And I’m like, okay, well then this is different than setting them free.

You also need to have some conversation about how this is dangerous. So do you see how it’s very multi-layered? But the, the, going back to the initial conversation about these texts, [00:46:00] those, that to me is a very clean cut version. Of co-opting language, mainstreaming therapeutic language, and then imposing it on somebody to justify your control.

 And that may have been a one time, one weekend conversation. But I think we, if you’re listening to this in this, 

Todd: well, we’re gonna, we’re gonna use it to help teach. 

Cathy: That’s all. Can we use it? And if you’re somebody who receives texts like this, it could be from your partner, your friends, whatever, or you send them to your children or your partner, whatever.

It, what, what’s going on? You know, like what is the, I. What is the thing you’re fearing? What is the control? Why are you exerting this kind of control? 

Todd: And, and sorry to keep going back to Jonah, but it’s He might say it through the lens of keeping her safe, when in fact he’s keeping his him safe, his own ego safe.

So it’s always about what’s underneath it. Like if you wanna say something, if you believe something, it’s about the [00:47:00] exploration of like, why am I doing what I’m doing? And I’m guessing that this was not a, I, you know, it’s funny, I, I thought about. Like, if so, because I said something to you like, well, it kind of sucks that this was a private conversation between these two people and we’re all not talking about it.

And there’s so many layers to that cuz like, I don’t know how to describe this without sounding like I’m patting myself in the back too much, but, if the social media were interested in what my texts were, which they’re not, but if they were, I really don’t think there would be much there for me to be embarrassed about.

 So that’s the one thing. And then the other thing that you said that was interesting to me, which I now understand, is if she didn’t share these screens, he has the power. Absolutely. He’s more famous. He’s got the Academy Awards, she’s a surfer. And it would, we wouldn’t be talking about it, it would go into the ether and be like, well, it’s a, he said she said that.[00:48:00] 

Cathy: Well, because Todd said, you know, and, and I get this again, this conversation is an open conversation. There’s many different viewpoints, and he’s like, you know, He’s like, I, I don’t think you said, I wish she wouldn’t have done this, but you’re like, it’s kind of personal that she’s sharing all these texts.

And, and your, in your inference was she should have done this another way. And I said, what should she have done? Like this is the very, like, and I’m gonna use the word patriarchal idea, is that people shouldn’t do this, they should do it another way. And I’m like, what’s that way? Call the police.

Tell, tell your friends who are gonna be like, well, he’s more powerful than you, so what are you gonna do? And even if you do, and when I say go to the police, This is not that kind of situation, but in a situation where you are physically harmed and, and then you go to the police and you don’t get help anyway.

Well, because you know the idea of you’re, you’re questioned about your, your experience. You’re told that you’re lying. You’re told that you’re being dramatic. Like there’s this belief system that there’s this way that solves things for women. 

Todd: Well, and I’m trying to think what’s her name? The, his girlfriend?[00:49:00] 

I don’t know. 

Cathy: No, honestly, I don’t, 

Todd: God, I forgot 

Cathy: Kate. I think she’s a surfer. I think her name’s Kate. 

Todd: Oh, and even to Kate. What was her intention of sharing this? My hope is, and my expectation is probably she wants to share her experience so that other people who start getting manipulated can empower themselves in such a way to be able to do that 

Cathy: and free herself 

Todd: to, if she’s doing it, to get back at her.

Right. Ex-boyfriend. That’s probably less. 

Cathy: Oh, her name is Sarah Brady. Sarah. So it’s not Kate. 

Todd: Sorry, sorry Sarah. It’s all about what’s her intention of sharing this, and my guess is it’s to help and not to harm. If she’s just doing it out of vengeance, and I’m not, I can’t say what’s in her brain, but my hope is she’s doing it to empower other people that have been in this position well, so that they can empower themselves.

Cathy: She actually says so he’s by the way, in a different [00:50:00] relationship right now and just had a child so. Okay, so she said, it says, starting July 7th, Brady began sharing these Instagram stories about Hill’s alleged emotional abuse, posting dms and texts that were, she said, were sent by the 39 year old actor.

She said, sharing this publicly now. Because keeping it to myself was causing more damage to my mental health than sharing it could ever do. And, and again, that was where you were like, well, I think you were like, you didn’t love that. And the interesting thing about, and, and this gets a little messy, I’m not saying right or wrong, good or bad, but.

What we know about traumatic experiences is the ability to share them and write them, change everything. I, there’s a, you know, we had Sarah and Nippy from a little bit culty, their podcast. They were on our podcast too, and we were on their podcast. And they talk to people who are getting outta cults, you know, every week.

And I was just listening to one this morning and they were talking to all these people who get out of these experiences. Someone always inevitably writes a book and it, and their [00:51:00] therapist inevitably recommends it. Because when you’ve gotten out of an experience, there’s two things you really wanna do.

Get it out of your body and get it all on paper so it’s not living inside of you. Then number two, you want to share your perspective of it, because other people have their own story about it, and it’s not about winning or losing, it’s about feeling like you got your story up. That’s why I write, yeah.

I, these, these Zen parenting moments that I write, they don’t, they’re not for you, everybody. They’re for me. It’s something I’m struggling with and so me getting it on paper helps me like find the language to like find a place to put it. You know, some people paint, some people sing, some people dance.

I write. And so. For her, there was obviously, she’s been dealing with this for a while. She’s in therapy and there was a decision she made. Everybody can have their own opinion about if it’s right or wrong, good or bad, but to. To not, it, it, it must be interesting, and this is totally true with Harry W or Harvey Weinstein and all those other people too.

When you are [00:52:00] going on and you’re struggling and you’re suffering after a breakup and that person is thriving. Sure. That must be really interesting. And I guess we in our own experiences have that where if you’ve had a breakup or something like that, or a business partner and then you’re watching them and you know how bad they are 

I don’t know. I, I, I don’t really even wanna comment on good or right or wrong. Sure. Because I don’t have enough 

Todd: information. So there was one more quote you wanted me to play for Maya, and we’re getting close to the end. Okay. 

Cathy: So I think this last one, the reason I liked it is because I, it, it’s, it’s about kids.

But just to give you a teeny bit of background before Todd plays it, Maya Angelou and her mother had a really difficult early. Childhood experience. Maya Angelou’s mother, what you kind of heard this from the last quote did not, was not very supportive and loving. Supportive of loving. When Maya was young, and you may know her story from reading Maya’s books, but when she, when Maya was an adult, she was amazing and they became very close and very connected.

[00:53:00] So this is a story where Maya was young. She had just had her first child. She was living with her mother, and her mother was helping take care of her, and she told her mother, I’m leaving. 

Todd: All right, so tell me when to cut it off. Okay. 

Cathy: She asked me, you’re leaving my house? I said, yes, ma’am. And you’re taking the baby.

I said, yes. She said, all right. Remember this, when you step over my door sill, you’ve been raised. You know the difference between right and wrong. Do right. Don’t let anybody raise you and make you change. And remember this, you can always come home. I went home every time life slammed me down and made me call it uncle.

I went home with my baby. My mother never once acted as I told you so she said, oh, baby’s home. Oh my darn. And mom’s gonna cook something. Mother’s gonna make this for you love. [00:54:00] She liberated me to life. She continued to do that. 

Todd: That’s good. All right. 

Cathy: And I just, that’s something that I believe in very deeply, and I know that there are, I’ve worked with families where there have to, because of addiction and certain things.

Oh there’s had to be certain decision making where you can’t do that. And I get that. And, and there is, this is not an a catch-all, but if we have relationships with our children where we feel like you know, there’s not that issue, I love. Tell, you know, I love when my girls go out in the world and then come back.

It’s like one of the best things ever. Like, and they’re, and, and it could be a little thing, like a choice they made just for the day and then they come back and our decision to not. Judge to not say I told you so, to not be like, well, you wouldn’t have had to go through this if you would’ve listened to me.

All that’s our ego of needing to win. Yep. Versus being a safe [00:55:00] place where our children, where we, we give them all that, like, what I love about that quote is she starts by saying, the mom’s like, okay, you’re raised then if you’re leaving, you are raised, but when you know, and so she’s setting that boundary of you’re now an adult.

But every time Maya came home she was like, yay. And that’s how, I mean, I get goosebumps cuz that’s how I feel like that’s the enjoyable part of having adult children. I lo like jcs traveling this week. She’s been gone for a week and she gets home like tomorrow or Wednesday and it’s so fun. To have the kids like go do life and then come back.

And even if we’re, if they’re going to do something crazy where we’re like, oh, geez, you know, just to come back and be a place where they can lay it all out, 

Todd: lay it all out, share their experience, refuel. Yep. Because when when we go outside, there’s, it gets, we get depleted. 

Cathy: We get depleted. So, and to share the positive and negative, they may say, you know what, I shouldn’t have done that.

And here’s what I learned. But that’s so valuable. And I don’t. You know, just like Jonah [00:56:00] or us as parents, don’t have such an ego stake in it. It’s not about you. Our ability to just be like, I. I hear you where you are. I’m glad you’ve learned this. I understand. Or they’re just beaten up and you know, life has beating them up and be like, I will take care of you.

Todd: You know. Well, and, and maybe closing thoughts on the whole Jonah thing, cuz that’s what we’ve been talking about most is the one piece that I don’t think we shared specifically, but we have been sharing it generically in this whole sh the show, is does he have any idea the impact to his girlfriend?

Right. Like if love, you know, it’s free, it’s freedom, it’s every control. But if I’m dictating to you, Cathy, as my wife, that this is what I need you to do and have a complete disregard of how it’s landing for you. Or what I need. Or what you need. Like we didn’t say that. We kind of said it in so many words, but I just think it’s important to remind myself that whatever I do has an impact.

Yes. Positive or negative. Yes. And. [00:57:00] Jonah’s experience, at least through this very limited lens, is your, the impact was not healthy on your girlfriend. It was my way or the highway.

Cathy: I mean, it’s like you’re either gonna follow my control or goodbye. And he used words like, and I’ll respect you.

You know, which, that’s not respect at all. Right. And so yeah, Todd and the, and this impact that we, you know, when we are telling the people we love, whoever these people are, that they must do things. If they are going to get love from us, then that’s control. If we use love as like a bargaining tool mm-hmm Then that’s not love.

That’s control. 

Todd: It’s funny, we had a Zen talk last week and there was a mom on there that was struggling cause her son was not making really good choices and sometimes love does look different. And we can have a whole nother show on that. I’m not about to open up that can of worms, but sometimes we need to do uncomfortable things through a lens of [00:58:00] love.

Because our kids are going off the rails.

Cathy: Well, and it was interesting. The story she told was so amazing cuz she and her husband, they were very concerned. And so they came up with a plan, here’s what we’re gonna do. They sat him down to talk. And he was so open and vulnerable and sharing that they didn’t have to do any of the things.

All the punitive, 

Todd: all the punitive things that they thought who, those guidelines that they were about to impose. And 

Cathy: so the irony was, 

Todd: And, and she even said, she’s like, you know what son? I actually had some other things planned for this conversation. Right. But because you seem to be really engaging and open to this conversation, we’re gonna just put that on the side and we may never have to revisit it.

Cathy: And he knew he could do that cuz they had liberated him. For his whole teenage years. They have had so many conversations with him that he felt liberated to share, which kept from those punitive, kept the punitive, you know, consequences. And all the, those kind of rules. They weren’t as necessary.

And so sometimes we’re just, again, so black and white about it. It’s either here or there, right or wrong. And there’s so much gray in [00:59:00] between and, and it’s ever changing. 

Todd: So, hopefully that helped everybody. We do have our three things like subscribe, comment on our YouTube channel, the Team Zen, and then finally Cathy’s book, hopefully.

And it’s all in the show notes so you can revisit that. And I also wanna say thank you to Jeremy Craft. He is our partner since day one. So if there’s anybody in the Chicagoland area that does painting or remodeling in their house that they need some help give him a call. 6 3 0 9 5 6 1800 or just go to his website, avid

Anything else, my darling? 

Cathy: No. But if you really wanna feel inspired today, go to YouTube. Look up Maya Angelou Love Liberates on and watch the whole thing. And it’ll give you that. That sense of foundation that you need for the day. Keep trucking.