The Woman Decoded w/ Sarah Flynn

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This is a podcast episode titled, The Woman Decoded w/ Sarah Flynn. The summary for this episode is: <p>This week on The Badass Women's Council, Rebecca talks with Sarah Flynn about attachment styles and how learning about these can help heal you and build stronger relationships. Sarah has her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology with a dual concentration in Health and Social Psychology. With her education combined with her faith in God, she helps others build and maintain healthy romantic relationships. Today, Sarah shares her story and gives us great information on attachment styles and how we can begin attachment healing. Listen now, and check out her TikTok, where she creates content on this very topic.</p>
Sarah's Story
06:08 MIN
How our bodies respond to emotions deemed unsafe
01:20 MIN
How Women Decoded came about
01:31 MIN
Ways to begin attachment healing
04:17 MIN

Rebecca: Hey Sarah, how's it going?

Sarah: It's going really well. How are you?

Rebecca: I'm good. I'm so excited to talk with you. I found you on TikTok, where my tagline is Where All Greatness Now Lives in the World.

Sarah: Yes, yes.

Rebecca: On TikTok.

Sarah: Yes. That's where the majority of people find me, so...

Rebecca: Well, and the way that I found you was God's perfect timing. I was in a four- and- a- half- year, on- and- off- again, weird kind of relationship. And I watched a video that you did on dismissive avoidant attachment style. And it was, what? It was a three minute video. And I watched it easily five times the first time just saying to myself," Holy crap, that's it. Holy crap. That's it."

Sarah: Right.

Rebecca: And then I sent into all my friends and I said," This is it, right?" And they're like," Yeah, that's it." I'm like,"I've got to stop doing this." They're like," Yeah, probably." And it totally changed my... A three minute video with really rich information has now changed my life. So thank you.

Sarah: Wow. You're very welcome. And I tell people, once you learn about attachment style so much about your relationships, and your life in general, makes sense. It's really solid science.

Rebecca: Absolutely. So now I should give a little bit of the credibility stuff. So you actually have a PhD in experimental psychology. You're an associate professor for a PhD program at a university. And you have your own relationship concierge business.

Sarah: Yes, I do. I do all of those things.

Rebecca: Love the sound of that. It's called The Woman Decoded. Tell us about you, how this all played out? What we do here is we tell stories. Tell us your story.

Sarah: Well, I have a doozy of a story, so.

Rebecca: Let's go.

Sarah: So I was married in 2008, and I have to give sort of a spoiler alert to the story up front. My ex- husband passed away in 2020. So when I speak about him, I want to honor him as a human being and just the fact that he's, he's not here to defend himself, right? So I try to be really careful in what I say, and in honoring him and his death. So to just put things in really general terms, it was a really, really bad marriage. There was a lot of conflict. There was infidelity. There was just a lot of really, really difficult circumstances. And I tried, to the best of my ability, to make it work over and over and over again. We have two little girls, they are now 11 and five, but we just couldn't make it work for a variety of reasons. And so I was not very emotionally healthy. And they say the doctors make the worst patients, and that's so true. It really is so true. When it's your own life, you can have a whole body of knowledge in your bank, but putting it to use when you're so close to the situation, or in the situation, is not easy. And so I knew these things. I knew the dynamic between us. I knew his issues. I knew my issues. But it was just, you can be so emotionally exhausted and so in the midst of raising kids, and working, and doing all the things that you just don't know how to do the healing work and self correct. And even if you do the healing work, you can't control someone else. You can only control yourself. And so the ending of our marriage was definitely the right choice for me. And so we got a divorce. He battled addiction, there was some addiction issues. And so we had sort of a rough go of the two years that we were divorced, sort of battling in family court, those kinds of things. I kind of spent all of my money I had in family court. And then he ended up passing away from his addictions in 2020. And so during that time, the two years that we were apart, I poured myself into trying to do a lot of psychological healing in therapy, on my own. And then when he died, one month before he died, my mom, who was the closest person to me and to my girls, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. And so I became her caregiver. And then at that same time I had been dating somebody for a pretty significant period of time after my divorce. And that relationship ended at that same time. And so I had these kind of three big whammies, boom, boom, boom. Death of my ex, ending of a relationship, mom being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and becoming her caretaker. And then shortly after that, of course I prayed," God, no more. I can't take it anymore." I woke up with a disabling form of vestibular migraine, which was a 24/7 disabling condition, because my nervous system had just collapsed.

Rebecca: Yeah. Yeah.

Sarah: And relational stress, I have learned, is sort of the number one factor that causes our bodies to shut down and to become sort of stuck in fight or flight. And I know that, as a social psychologist and as a health psychologist, I have those two concentration areas. And so my nervous system had just literally taken such a beating that it was done for. And vestibular migraine is really a disease of a malfunctioning nervous system. And so, of course, I was like, okay, I have to find a way to heal. I can barely function. I can barely do my job. I can barely take care of my kids. What do I do? And so I actually had an acquaintance that found me on Facebook, and she led me to this ministry called Be In Health. And I got the spiritual side of things straightened out. And that allowed me to do the healing that I needed to do to then be able to work on the psychological stuff. So I truly believe we're spirit beings first. I got the spiritual stuff, my relationship with Jesus, and that healed me enough to do the psychological work that then made a whole lot more sense when you take it first from a spiritual perspective. So I did the psychological work. And I figured so much more out about healing, and about attachment healing, and really being able to become securely attached, which was my goal from square one. I just didn't know how to get there.

Rebecca: Ah, I love this so much.

Sarah: And God brought me a ton of resources. And so I just started, I had dreamed of sort of getting out what I had learned for so long, but I had to master it in practice before I could get it out there. And so I started mastering it in my own life. I took a huge break from dating, and then when I was ready to start dating I put it into practice. And probably within two months I met my now fiance who is very securely attached, and we have an amazing relationship. He's an amazing bonus dad to my two girls and I'm getting married in June.

Rebecca: Oh my gosh.

Sarah: And I couldn't think of a happier ending to this story, but I mean all the credit goes to God. He redeemed all the years that the locust stole from me. So, when I get out there and I offer my coaching, I'm not shy about my faith, and I'm not shy about what I know psychologically. And so I offer clients both perspectives if they want it. I'm not here to push my beliefs, my spiritual beliefs on anybody. But if they say," I heard you talk about this on TikTok, sort of the Christian side of things." If they want that perspective I'm happy to give it to them as well. But most of my focus is on sort of the psychological healing because that's what most people identify with.

Rebecca: I'm the same way with my coaching practice. I will say, do we want to talk about the spiritual side of this or the neuroscience side of this in terms of behaviors and things that are happening with them. And I'm like you, it's all connected.

Sarah: Absolutely.

Rebecca: But God first is the way that it worked for me healing from my 18 year marriage as well. And now my ex- husband and I are good friends-

Sarah: That's wonderful.

Rebecca: ...and we do great things together. But I couldn't have done that without spending every single morning praying.

Sarah: Right?

Rebecca: Bible in hand.

Sarah: Absolutely.

Rebecca: Just trying to figure out me. Just trying to figure out me.

Sarah: You're right. It all makes sense after that.

Rebecca: And your message is so urgent, timely. I use a construct in the book I just launched about business as human. Most of my listeners are career women, and in business we're in this control, measure, optimize mindset. Go, go, go, produce, produce, produce.

Sarah: Right.

Rebecca: And we've just completely dismissed our human needs, which are personal, emotional, and social. And when we do that, when we emotionally disconnect, or when we just deal with that stress day after day, your body eventually will shut down. Mine was two months of pneumonia where I couldn't leave the house because I was so sick.

Sarah: Oh, gosh. Right.

Rebecca: So the connection is very, very real.

Sarah: Oh, it is very, very real. And one of the things that I learned in my journey was, and I knew this as a health psychologist, it's like, I knew this. I've had so much training in this area, but our bodies will always deem emotions as more, as scary, I should say, than any physical health problem that we have. So our bodies and our brains go to great lengths to protect us from emotions that they deem unsafe. And so if you have emotions that you have not fully processed, which all of us do because we have little t traumas, some of us have big T traumas, right?

Rebecca: Yeah.

Sarah: Your body will feel it for you. If you choose to either consciously or unconsciously repress your feelings and not fully process those through the body will feel it for you. And that's exactly what happened with my vestibular migraine. It was like, hey, you have so many emotions that are so unsafe we can't touch those right now, because if you go through those it's going to kill you to confront all those and process those through. So here's a whole bunch of dizziness, and head pain, and blurry vision that will distract you from really getting into your feelings and processes, so.

Rebecca: Wow. So the relationship side of things. So when you took all of this, you started healing, you've got all of this knowledge now around relationships, what was the shift that you went from the academic aspect of things to Women Decoded? What was that process like?

Sarah: Right. Well, it was like, God was saying you have all the pieces to the puzzle now. You have the human experience of being very insecurely attached, being in a horrible relationship, lots of trauma, and you truly healed from all of those things. And so you can merge what you know from the science, and your human experience, and that's going to allow you to really connect with people. I mean, I really truly felt like that was the calling. And so I didn't have any business knowledge. I was like, I know that I want to get this out there. So I was like, you know what? I'm just going to start putting this out there on TikTok and see where it goes. And sort of overnight had 100,000 followers. And I was like, okay-

Rebecca: That's also when you know God's in it.

Sarah: Yeah. And I was like-

Rebecca: When the content was great, but also God was like, poop, see, I'm right.

Sarah: Yeah. And so then it was like, okay, it's time to make this a legit business. So I got some people who had some business knowledge, and knowledge in other areas of running business and marketing and stuff that I did not have. And we kind of came together as a team and we started this. And I still, I give a hundred... It's funny that you mentioned sort of being a business owner and all the stress, because I still give 100% to my day job. They come first, I'm contractually bound to them first. And so this is still sort of in my spare time. And I'm realizing there may have to be more of me, because of the amount that we're growing. And I want to be able to serve both masters.

Rebecca: I was going to say, or there could be a shift to where you're calling is more about The Woman Decoded-

Sarah: It could be.

Rebecca: ...and less about the university. Who knows?

Sarah: I don't know. Right. I just, where I work, my day job, it's a wonderful place to work. It truly is. I've been treated so wonderfully there and they are amazing people. And I truly do enjoy that job as well. And so we'll just have to see. We'll just have to see where it goes. And yeah.

Rebecca: So I love that you're focused on relationships because when we talk about emotions, the good, the challenging, the ugly, oftentimes those emotions are attached to, pardon the pun to where you're going with attachment styles, but attached to a relationship of some sort, whether it's parental, or loved ones, whatever. You really hone in on this in a way that, like I said, your videos are so relatable, and so... Everybody needs to go follow you right now on TikTok, number one. Women Decoded.

Sarah: Yep.

Rebecca: But what was the attachment style theory? Tell us a little bit about that, because that's the basis of your practice, right?

Sarah: Yes, it is. I completely coach from the lens of attachment science. So attachment theory was developed in 1969 by John Bowlby. It was later developed and extended by Mary Ainsworth. And there have been literally thousands of empirical studies on attachment theory over the course of the last 40, 50 years. And so it's really solid empirical science. And basically what attachment theory is, is an idea that when we are little children, literally from the ages of zero to five, the interactions that we have with our caregivers are extremely influential, and those interactions can form subconscious imprints within us of sort of how do we relate with people? How are relationships supposed to go? And we can have great parents that do the best they can, but most people are insecurely attached. And so they pass on sort of those insecure traits to their children and how they relate with their children and the modeling and the relationship dynamic between caregiver and child. And so when it comes to psychology, I always say, it's not good to put people in a box because people are so different and everything's on a spectrum. And attachment theory, to some degree is also on a spectrum, but of all of the theories that I've ever I learned about, and all of my training, attachment theory really does a great job of putting people into one of four boxes. And again, like I say, once people learn about this, they're like," Oh my goodness, this explains so much about that."

Rebecca: You can't unsee it once you look into it-

Sarah: You can't unsee it.

Rebecca: ...because you're like, oh my gosh. Yeah.

Sarah: You can't, right. And so it's baffling to me that more people aren't talking about it. That therapists don't use it as often as they should. And as far as I know, I'm one of the only coaches that does one- on- one work through the attachment lens. A lot of coaches out there just give really generic coaching advice and relationship advice. And it's just not helpful, in the long run, to create a stable, lasting, healthy relationship. So based basically when we form an attachment style, this is sort of like the roadmap of like what a relationship is supposed to look like. And so what can happen is that two people with different attachment styles get into a relationship and they're looking at two totally different maps to get to the same destination. And so they're trying to navigate to this destination of happiness and bliss in a relationship. And they're looking at each other, and one person's on highway 65 and another person is on state route 24. And they have no idea why the other person is in a different place than they are. And they're describing where they're going, and the other person's like, I have no idea what you're talking about. Right?

Rebecca: Right.

Sarah: That's what it's like to be with somebody that has an entirely different romantic attachment style. The expectations of how people are supposed to relate to each other, how people are supposed to deal with conflict, how much space people should take in a relationship, what the core needs are and how those needs are shown and fulfilled, and how we reciprocate with other people. All of those things are predicted very precisely by a person's attachment style.

Rebecca: And I love that you said supposed to, because we believe the way that we believe is the way it is. Right?

Sarah: Right. Right.

Rebecca: So we just, isn't that the way everybody sees it, kind of process. Right?

Sarah: Right. And so when you get somebody like an anxiously attached person with an avoidantly attached person, they don't understand each other at all. At all. It just it's like, how can you behave this way? This doesn't make any sense. If you say you love me, why are you acting X, Y, and Z way. And to them it's baffling, because they have totally different roadmaps. They're in two different destinations trying to get to the same place.

Rebecca: What are the four styles?

Sarah: The four styles are dismissive avoidant, fearful, avoidant, anxious preoccupied, and secure. And research is showing that as the generations come up, there are fewer and fewer securely attached people sort of coming up and growing up. And especially if you're divorced and you're over the age of 35, you're looking literally at 85 to 90% of the dating market having an insecure attachment style.

Rebecca: Girl preach.

Sarah: Yes.

Rebecca: Not a very uplifting and motivating statement-

Sarah: Right.

Rebecca: ...but a fact for me, but that's where I just trust that God's going to work all that out for me.

Sarah: That's right.

Rebecca: So not going to stress about it. But I also have a 20 year old daughter and a 24 year old son who are both dating. And it really is heartbreaking some of the challenges that they deal with. I mean, my son will come home from a date and say," Well, she's not on any particular kind of medication. She's not a cutter. She's not a..." He literally will go through the diagnosis that he's dealt with in dating for the last however many years he's been dating, and he's just grown accustomed to there's this weeding process of how bad is it?

Sarah: Sure. Yeah. It's rough out there.

Rebecca: And it's a heartache. Yeah.

Sarah: It's rough out there. And so one of the bright spots though, is that once you do the healing and you are securely attached, securely attached people are like magnets for each other. They attract and are attracted to other securely attached people. That's why the people who are securely attached, they find each other and they stay married. Right?

Rebecca: Don't make me go out there again.

Sarah: Yeah. Right? Exactly. And so, it's not a coincidence statistically that the people that are still married are more likely to be securely attached, because they can resolve conflict. One of the ways attachment wounds really come out is during conflict. So they can resolve their issues and they can stay together. Yeah. But attachment healing is work that can be done. It's work that can be done.

Rebecca: What are some things that you can share with our listeners that can start some of that healing process, no matter where they sit? If they're not in the secure attachment style, but they're struggling with some of the other stuff?

Sarah: Right.

Rebecca: What does healing look and feel like?

Sarah: First, the very first step is knowledge, right? Understanding what your attachment style is. And that attachment style can point you to, there's a lot of great science out there, what your wounds are, what your subconscious imprints are that get triggered, and then what is the behavior after those triggers. What does it generally look like? And a lot of those things aren't very healthy. And so if you have the knowledge, first of all, of okay, here are my subconscious wounds and triggers, then you can start to identify those, and you can start picking those apart. What do those things really mean? Am I giving meaning to something and that's incorrect? Do I have a need that's going unmet that I need to try to meet myself? And meeting our own needs and understanding our triggers is really the first step.

Rebecca: Meeting our own needs. Let's underscore that-

Sarah: Meeting our own needs is huge.

Rebecca: ...Because our audience is a bunch of really successful high achieving women who have grown accustomed to meeting everyone else's needs first, a lot of times.

Sarah: Yeah.

Rebecca: And part of the message of this podcast is to bring you back in reflection to say, hold on, we've got to look in the mirror first and say, what do I need? So I want to underscore what you just said there as meeting our needs first. Can you give us an example, maybe, from some of your clients, obviously without using their names, of where they've identified their wounds and their triggers? What does that sound like? So people can start to recognize it.

Sarah: Okay. So the majority of my clients, as you might guess, if you know anything about attachment style, are the anxious preoccupied's, because they are the ones that are more in touch with their feelings. They're huge feelers. They want to understand themselves. I have one truly dismissive avoidant client who wants to try to change his attachment style. And then I have a lot of fearful avoidance, but most of them lean anxious. And so for those sort of on the anxious side of the spectrum, they have a lot of needs, a lot of needs. More than the dismissive avoidant, for sure. And a lot of those needs look like quality time spent with other people. A lot of those needs look like an emotional understanding and emotional support, right? They look like physical self care. Not being run down physically. In a relationship that looks a lot like physical touch. Outside of a relationship it looks like physical self care. Exercise, rest, comfort items. Just things that make you calm down your physical senses and calm your nerve system down.

Rebecca: Right.

Sarah: But the problem with anxious attachment is that they have never learned to soothe themselves. They soothe through other people. And so when other people are unavailable to help them soothe any stress or anxiety in their life, they don't know what to do. And the stress and the anxiety gets worse. And so they can wear out their friends a little bit. They can emotionally dump on people and wear out other people in their lives and their relationships. They can be overly reliant on the other person to sort of meet all of their needs. And they don't know what it looks like to start to meet some of those needs and be okay and learn some of those self- soothing techniques. And so a lot of the work that I do with clients that are anxious that are either in an unhappy relationship because of their anxiety or whatnot, or they're single and they're like, I don't want to be this way anymore. One of the first things we do is work on, identifying, first of all, what are your needs? And that is largely predictive by attachment style, but we're all individuals, too. And so we do a lot of exploration around what are your needs. And then what does it look like to start meeting those on your own? And how does that feel? And getting more comfortable with that over time.

Rebecca: That message of what are your needs is one that has been ignored for decades. I often talk about our education system, even, didn't acknowledge our emotional and personal needs. Helping was cheating. You had to raise your hand to have an opinion. It was all about comparison and competition.

Sarah: Absolutely.

Rebecca: And so even asking, what do I need, is a new behavior for really successful adults, I find.

Sarah: Right, right. And a lot of people, especially those on the avoidance side, they have no idea what their needs are, because they've been so hyper independent, and unlike the anxious, they hyper self soothe. So they soothe through themselves. They don't know how to use other people for support. And so they're so used to, I can only rely on myself. I can only rely on myself. And they squash their needs down.

Rebecca: That's our audience.

Sarah: Okay.

Rebecca: I would say the majority of our listeners, I immediately started to identify with my previously not so healed self. And that fierce independence is pretty rampant through our listeners. So what do we do? What do they do?

Sarah: Right. Well, you have to start feeling. If you're avoidant and if you're-

Rebecca: I just want to pause. Hold on. All of my clients that are listening right now, could you please turn down the radio, whatever you're doing, and listen, because I'm constantly saying your emotions matter. Okay, go ahead.

Sarah: Oh yeah. Oh yes.

Rebecca: Keep going.

Sarah: So whether or not you're a fearful avoidant who really leans dismissive, or you're a true dismissive avoidant, there are some key differences there, but if you hang out on the avoidance side of the attachment spectrum you probably can't even verbalize what your needs are, because you have been taught to place such high importance on achievement and independence. That trumps everything else. And that probably is the majority of your listeners. If they're high achieving women, they're either falling apart emotionally trying to keep it all together if they're on the anxious side, or they're swallowing their needs, and stuffing them down, and not getting in touch with their feelings, and just bulldozing ahead, right? And either way, that's not a great way to place to be. And so the very first step, if somebody is out of touch with what their needs are, is to feel your feelings. I actually did a TikTok on that. And I got so many comments because feelings are somatic, physical body experiences. They are not thoughts in your head. Thoughts in your head are not feelings. The reason they are called feelings is because you feel them. And had so many people comment, I have not felt my feelings in a decade or more.

Rebecca: I read the comments on that post because I was so excited that you put it out there and it was, it's startling.

Sarah: Right. And so you've got to force yourself to feel. And if you've got to put on the saddest song in the world and sit in a room and reflect on all of the horrible things that happened to you in your life, then do it. Do it in a safe space, and let those feelings come out of your physical body, because I promise you, you are living in a subtle state of fight or flight, whether you believe it or not, or understand it or not, in an attempt to keep those feelings down.

Rebecca: Right.

Sarah: And your body will feel it eventually.

Rebecca: And for those that are in big T trauma, the idea of feeling those is petrifying.

Sarah: It is. And I would definitely recommend for people who have had big T trauma to get a good therapist that can guide them through the experience of getting in touch with those feelings, because when you do it's a ride, I'm telling you. But even anxious people, they are huge feelers and they feel their feelings, but they also search out anything they can to avoid feeling your feelings. And then that's mainly through relationships. So they jump from one relationship, to another relationship, to another relationship, to sort of bandaid any negative feelings that they have because they soothe through others. So they think that, if I can get into a new relationship, that makes it all great.

Rebecca: They don't have to feel that last-

Sarah: They won't have to feel that last one. Right.

Rebecca: Timely. Just last night, my daughter messaged me and said, she's been seeing this guy and they were long distance dating. And they just had the real talk about what summer's going to be like. He's going to be working six days a week. She's going to be working five. And it's probably going to be impossible for them to even see each other this summer. And so they decided it was probably best not to see each other, which is a very mature-

Sarah: It is.

Rebecca: ..conversation to have. I was really proud of her. And she said," Mom, I'm sad." Even though she had told me, the last two conversations, she didn't know if it was going to work out. And I said," Well, honey, I know that's because you're a beautiful human who feels her emotions. It's okay to be sad. Let that sadness be a part of the experience. There's nothing wrong with that."

Sarah: No, nothing at all.

Rebecca: Yeah.

Sarah: I always say the depth of our sadness when a relationship ends is just representative of the depth of our feelings for that person.

Rebecca: Right. Right. So give us some more of this how do we feel?

Sarah: Okay.

Rebecca: Because it's that cumbersome and challenging. And people will say to me," Well, I don't know how to do that. I've dismissed my feelings for so long." Give us some more of the howtos.

Sarah: I really love Nicole Sachs. She has a journaling method of sort of feeling your feelings. And it's unlike thing that I had ever come across before. And I used some of her methods of journaling. It's called JournalSpeak. And it's really allowing yourself to be unfiltered in your journaling. And that helped me a lot identify like, oh, these experiences that I could on cognitively actually were being stored as trauma in me. And I needed to reconcile those things. I needed to rewrite this. I needed to bring them to the surface and rewrite the story as grown up Sarah, because little child Sarah was storing those feelings, and big adult grown up, Sarah, all of her wisdom needed to bring that to light and rewrite the story and process it through. So I really loved her method of doing things. But I mean, I have to admit, the actual healing, it was great to bring all those things to light, but the actual healing was through my relationship with God, and scripture, and really just saying, okay, what does God have to say about me and my life, and how I was made, and how I was formed, and how he views me? And what does he say about trusting him. And finally fully experiencing his love and trusting him was just the biggest game changer for me to actually process some of those things without going crazy, because my childhood was no easy ride either, so.

Rebecca: Yeah. And I love that when you get into that trusting relationship with God that it is personal, you start to realize that the reason you haven't trusted maybe in the past is because it was too big to think that any human could handle it.

Sarah: Right. Absolutely.

Rebecca: Yourself or someone else. And when you can put it into the context of he could do all things, then it finally felt to me like something big enough to handle the hurt.

Sarah: Right. And I remember sort of being at the height of everything being awful, and just being so sick with vestibular migraine, and really trying to pour into God and hanging on to that he works out all things for our good. He works out all things for our good. And I didn't see it then. I just had to say, okay, I trust you. I trust. I'm putting my trust in you now and I know you're going to work all this out for your good. Not only did he heal my vestibular migraine, but my mom is cancer free, in remission, from pancreatic cancer, which almost never happens.

Rebecca: Never happens. Yes.

Sarah: Never happens. She's completely in remission. Has been for a year and a half. And prognosis for her looks really, really great, which is like a miracle.

Rebecca: Praise God. It is a miracle.

Sarah: It is a miracle.

Rebecca: Got to run with that.

Sarah: I have met this just amazing human being. A man that I couldn't even have drawn up on paper to be this good is the man I'm going to marry. He is my best friend. He is everything I've never experienced in a relationship before. All of the safety, all of the providing, protecting. He's a spiritual covering. His faith is really strong. And you know, God is just, it's like, I told you. For those that love and trust me, that truly love me and truly put their trust in me I will redeem and give you back the years that the locust stole from you.

Rebecca: Give you back your time.

Sarah: Yeah. On my timeline. And that's where we get hung up.

Rebecca: Oh yes. That one is a little more challenging than some of the others for me. Yes.

Sarah: Right.

Rebecca: That story is such an inspiration. What we haven't talked about, we just met in real life today, is my dad was just diagnosed with cancer on February the 15th-

Sarah: Oh, I'm so sorry.

Rebecca: the middle of launching my book. And all this big, beautiful dreams coming true that got dropped in the middle of it.

Sarah: Oh, yes.

Rebecca: And I'm such a faith filled person that I just went into prayer mode. I didn't go into panic mode. I just said, well, we'll just give this to God-

Sarah: You have to.

Rebecca: ...because he's done such a great job with everything else I've given to him.

Sarah: Right.

Rebecca: And that's where we are. But your story today is affirming and inspiring to me-

Sarah: Thank you.

Rebecca: be reminded that that's the right way to go.

Sarah: Right. I think we try so hard to have control over every aspect of our life. And I'll quote Nicole Sachs here, because I'm not going to steal her catch phrases, but it's fake control. It's really fake control. We can clean our house, we can go grocery shopping, we can organize things. We can do all these things to try to make ourself feel better. It's fake control. The big things in this life, we don't have any control over.

Rebecca: I just released a book last month, and there's an entire section about the difference between connection and control and that you really don't have nearly as much control as you think you do.

Sarah: No.

Rebecca: So it's better to connect.

Sarah: Yeah. And I think that's what God wants for us. He strives for connection because that's how he parents us. So we have to, I've really learned that in life it's just really better to be loving and to be loved than to be right.

Rebecca: Yeah.

Sarah: And kind of accepting differences has been a huge key to success in becoming securely attached-

Rebecca: I love that.

Sarah: ...and being in a relationship with someone else.

Rebecca: Oh, I wish you could just, let's just do a series. You come on every week and we'll cover it.

Sarah: I would love it. I would absolutely love it. We are actually getting ready to start our own podcast. So we have no idea what we're doing though with that. So it is going to be a learning process, but we have all the equipment, we have the knowledge in our heads, and we're going to put stuff out there, because I think, I can only do so much in three minutes on TikTok.

Rebecca: And I have some resources for you that might be able to help you with this podcast thing.

Sarah: Okay. Yeah. Absolutely.

Rebecca: I'll send those to you after we're done.

Sarah: I would love that.

Rebecca: Thank you for being here, and for sharing your story and being vulnerable with it. And that's how we help each other heal and know that we're okay because we're not the only ones that are going through these things.

Sarah: That's right. And my best friend says, "Life traumatizes us all. None of us get out without it." And when you really think about it, that's so true. Everybody loses somebody they love, whether through death, or divorce, or other types of trauma. I mean, none of us get out without it. And so it's learning to cope.

Rebecca: That's the one I just posted this week is, we've all got something. I work with CEOs, and amazing leaders, and they have lots of money, and lots of influence, and they all have something. Something they've gone through.

Sarah: Yeah. Well, you can send them my way.

Rebecca: Girl, you are on my list. Absolutely.

Sarah: I want to share it. I want to share it with the world, because there's so much hope for healing. Even just psychologically. If the spiritual stuff, if that's not your gig, okay. But psychologically there's so much work that can be done. And once you are securely attached, it affects business relationships. It affects relationships with children, parents, not just romantic relationships. Attachment style comes out in all relationships with other people.

Rebecca: Yeah. And I think that's the work that we are sitting here, in this time to do, is talk about those things so that we can heal for the future generations.

Sarah: Absolutely.

Rebecca: So I'm here for it. You're awesome. Thanks for being here.

Sarah: Oh, thank you so much. Thank you so much for having me, and I'll keep making TikToks at The Woman Decoded so people can follow me there.

Rebecca: Absolutely. And all of this will be in the links of the show notes so everybody can get to you.

Sarah: Great.

Rebecca: Thank you.

Sarah: Thank you so much.


This week on The Badass Women's Council, Rebecca talks with Sarah Flynn about attachment styles and how learning about these can help heal you and build stronger relationships. Sarah has her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology with a dual concentration in Health and Social Psychology. With her education combined with her faith in God, she helps others build and maintain healthy romantic relationships. Today, Sarah shares her story and gives us great information on attachment styles and how we can begin attachment healing. Listen now, and check out her TikTok, where she creates content on this very topic.