199 The Beauty in the Brokenness – Patsy Clairmont

What You Will Hear:

  • The Beauty in the Brokenness of Your Life
  • Getting to the Core Reasons of Your BIGGEST Fear
  • The Danger of the Unresolved Anger
  • How God Rescue Us… Patsy's Story
  • House-bound with Fear to National Speaker
  • We are Designed with a Will that's Stronger than Our Emotions
  • In our Vulnerability is Where Courage and Creativity are Birthed
  • Sarcasm is Anger Dressed Like a Crown

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More about our featured guest

Patsy is a bookish woman, who loves words  and has  a penchant for dark chocolate sorbet. Ever since spelling bees in grade school, childhood Scrabble games and her current addiction with Words with Friends, she has been known to spell it out; to say it like it is.

Much to her surprise, she has written a stack of books, which continues to fuel her passion for the printed page. Nothing pleases her more than to share her faith through laughter and tears and to encourage others to flourish.

Patsy Clairmont is one of the founding speakers of the Woman of Faith movement and former agoraphobic.

Books

Take a peek at her growing library collection. (Twirl, Catching Fireflies, Stained Glass Hearts, All Cracked Up, and many other titles.)

Full Transcript

[00:00] Joel: Wow! What a treat we have in store for today show. Woman of Faith, speaker, and author to a about a zillion books [chuckle], Patsy Clairmont from Tennessee joins us for today's show. Patsy, welcome, welcome.

[00:18] Patsy Clairmont: Well, thank you so much, it's great to be with you. It's still such a surprise when I hear I'm from Tennessee, I was born and raised in the North in Michigan and lived there until three years ago. So, it's still fairly new to be dipped in the Tennessee bucket, and I'm loving every hospitable moment of it.

[00:41] Joel: Did you take your snow shovel from Michigan to Tennessee or did you leave that behind?

[00:46] Patsy: We buried it in Michigan.

[laughter]

[00:48] Patsy Clairmont: And came skipping in this direction in our sandals.

[00:55] Joel: We love Tennessee. I was thinking about your latest book, or one of your latest books, ‘Stained Glass Hearts' and I was thinking about how we could link that into some of the principles that my wife and I teach in our own coaching. My wife and I were on a walk this morning, and it became very, very clear to me, because early on in our coaching process, we encourage people to do two things, we encourage them to surrender to who they are, and we also encourage them to surrender to who they are not, and that is, Patsy, exactly what you've done with your writing, your speaking, and in the work that you do with your clients. So, if it's okay with you let's pick up the conversation right there with the idea of surrender.

[01:43] Patsy Clairmont: Surrender is such a great word, it is not one that I readily embraced initially, in my personal development. I was a young bride and a young mama, I was married by the time I was 17 and became a mom for the first time when I was 20. And then I became an agoraphobic. Now, that sounds like I was part of the Ringling Brothers, but what it means is that I was housebound with fear. And I kept trying to control my outer environment thinking it would make me feel safe not realizing it was my inner environment that was causing all the disruption. I kept blaming it on other things and I finally came to a point where I was not only hiding in my home but I didn't wanna get out of bed anymore. And there was a point of surrender that came when I gave up my demand on God to rescue me, and my prayers switched from “You fix me while I'm resting in the night”, and it changed to, “I'll do whatever you ask of me.” That was a huge point of surrender for me. When I gave up my way of handling it and opened myself up to a different way to approach my life. And that was the beginning of change for me. And each change built on the next one every time I made a good choice. But they were hard choices for me because they went against all of my bad habits. So, it took time to instill new ways of handling myself, the way I interacted with others, and then my outlook on life. And so, it was gradual, but every step has been worth it.

[03:45] Pei: What was your turning point? And when you said you were trying to do it on your own, you blame on others in the environment, were you just at a point that you're tired of handling that way or…

[04:02] Patsy: Well, I woke up one morning and I realized that I withdrawn from any social event outside of my home. Then I had withdrawn into the house, then I withdrew into the bed, and I woke up and I thought, “Well where will I go next? They'll have to lock me away, I don't know where I'll go next.” And it was at the point where I was startled and wondered how I had put myself in such a position. And so, that was when I cried out and I said, “God, I'll do whatever you ask of me,” and inside of me I didn't hear an audible voice, but inside of me I heard the words, “Make your bed”. And I thought it was a ludicrous, I though, “What difference could it make to make my bed?” But then I realized, I'm in it. Well of course it'll make a difference, I'll be up! [chuckle] So, I got out of the bed and I made it, and as I stood there and looked at the bed being made I realized that I had drawn the first healthy boundary for myself, and that boundary led to me placing other healthy boundaries. And so, I began to become more functional, and then I began to become more social, and each thing led to greater courage, and every step I took brought a healthier balance to the way I was thinking and feeling.

[05:42] Patsy Clairmont: And I learned something extremely important in the journey and that is we are designed with the will that is stronger than our emotions. So, no matter how we feel, we can choose to do the right thing. And our feelings will eventually catch up with our choice. But initially, you have to go against emotions when they have been allowed to run rampant.

[06:13] Joel: Patsy, I wanna do two things. I definitely wanna take… I wanna talk about going against your emotions, and how you're able to that. But first, tell me about hearing God's voice. Because I think, a lot of times people, with the best of intentions, they fake themselves out and they think, “Okay, well, I haven't seen a burning bush, recently.” Or, “I haven't heard a thunderclap, recently.” Or, “I haven't seen a blinking neon sign.” But what you said is, you didn't hear an audible voice, but there was something that triggered inside you that helped you make the decision that, “Wait a minute. This is God speaking to me.” So, what was that process like, if you would?

[06:55] Patsy: Sure. It was a thought that rose up in my mind that I knew wasn't my own, because I didn't wanna get up. And I certainly didn't wanna make the the bed. [chuckle] So I thought, “Well… ” And I even argued. I said, “Lord, I told you I was willing to do anything, but this doesn't seem to matter.” But I found, until you're faithful in the little things. He will not give you more. When we're faithful in little things that says, “Then I'll give you more, and when you're faithful on more, then I'll give you much.” So, there is a process of development and growth that's designed in our best interest. And so I, after arguing for a moment, remembered I had just said, I'd do whatever he asks.

[07:44] Patsy: So I got up, made the bed. I even tried to make a deal, when I was making the bed. I said, “Do I have to make both sides?”

[laughter]

[07:51] Patsy Clairmont: “You know who slept on that side?”

[07:53] Joel: Did you actually do that? Did you actually have… Did you say that out loud, or to yourself?

[07:57] Patsy: I said it out loud.

[07:58] Joel: That's a pretty good visual. My goodness.

[laughter]

[07:59] Patsy: With my… With one hand on my hip, I said it out loud, “Do I have to make both sides?” And I made both sides. And then, the next thing that happened was, I felt like I was supposed to go do the dishes, which hadn't been done in some time. So what happened was, He led me on a journey of restoring outward disruption. And everything that I put in place seem to cause my insides to be less chaotic. So the more order I establish outside, the more order I was experiencing inside. But there was gonna be a long journey in my process of becoming a healthier person, because I was so broken, which is why the very first book I wrote was called, ‘God Uses Cracked Pots.' And the reason that I'm still writing on broken things today, on ‘Stained Glass Hearts', my husband is a… He makes stained glass windows.

[09:10] Patsy: But when he's in process of it, and I go in the garage and there's broken glass everywhere. I think, what a mess. But when he begins to place them where they need to be, and then he does the foiling and the soldering, and puts the pattern together, and the light touches it. It's gorgeous. And it's the same with our lives. We may feel like we're in a thousand pieces, and how will we ever pull it together. And then slowly, as we begin the respond and surrender to what it is that we need to do to open our hearts to a yes, instead of always saying a no. To believe for more than we've experienced at this point, so we can move into new territory. And it's risky to do that, because you feel vulnerable. And vulnerability echoes back to times when we were young and didn't have faith or control. And so, it feels scary. But today, as an adult, we can take the risk, healthy risk, and feel vulnerable, because inner vulnerability is where courage and creativity are birthed.

[10:31] Joel: I love… Patsy… Thank you so much, Patsy. Those are powerful words. I love how God spoke to you. He said, “Make your bed,” then he said, “Do the dishes.” And what I got out of you just telling that story is that God expected you to do something. And I think to begin your own recovery and your own growth journey, and I think that's another thing that sometimes, people, they miss. They spend a lot of time praying, they spend a lot of time in meditation. And yes, that is absolutely part of the whole experience, but sometimes you just gotta make your bed, you gotta use your feet. Use your…

[11:14] Pei: Take an… Take some actions.

[11:15] Joel: Take some action. I'm curious about going against your emotions, because you built up… Because this is what you knew at the time. You built up a fort to house yourself in. And what ended up happening is, you found yourself trapped in that fort. But talk about going against your own emotions and just how much courage that took before you even realized what you were really… Go ahead.

[11:45] Patsy: My friend, Marilyn always says, “Emotions don't have brains.” And isn't that the truth? God did not design our emotions to think for us. That's not their job. Our emotions are to help us feel and feeling is extremely important but it cannot override the invitation “To come,” He says “and let us reason together”. He designed us with a mind to be reasonable and emotions don't have reason, ‘Cause one day you can wake up and feel wonderful about yourself and have a great vision for your future and the next day you can wake up and feel hopeless. So we can't count on our emotions to think for us and that was where I had made the big mistake in my life, is I kept thinking that the way I felt was truth and the way I felt was not always accurate. I would feel miserable about myself. Later I would learn how much I was loved by God and that on the days when I wasn't feeling good about who I was, I could remind myself in Philippians the fourth chapter the seventh verse it talks about thinking on things that are good and true and lovely and pure and of good report.

[13:17] Patsy: And I had to recondition my mind to go in a place that would nurture my own heart with truth and not indulge my thinking or my emotions with anything that would be grandiose as far as being unhealthy, but thinking on things that were good and true, pure and just and lovely. And that began to bring a whole new element of quietness to my center and also it improved the quality of my conversations with others because it took the edge off my sarcasm. And I was very sarcastic as was my husband and we were at battle all the time because sarcasm is actually anger that's gone underground and come up as a clown, and while it may make people laugh when we're sarcastic it's always at the price of someone else's dignity. So Les and I both had to learn that this was not a healthy quality to have between us or in our home.

[14:34] Pei: Wow! When you were describing this sarcasm as a clown, I could just feel that bitterness behind it. Last night I gave my first teleseminar on success morning routine, I recently start teaching people to… It's incorporating three basic yoga poses just deep stretching and meditating on gratitude and who you really are at the core, your achievements and to do that first thing in the morning. And that came from my personal struggles too, and I realized just like you said, we so many times rely on our emotions and “Emotion”, this is scientific study, they said, “travels 80,000 times faster than our conscious thoughts” and if we just allow that emotion to automatically from emotion to action, then we always just have this reaction and…

[15:46] Patsy: Yes.

[15:46] Pei: Yeah.

[15:49] Joel: Love the concept party of cracked pots and one of the things that Pay and I do is help people find the clarity, find the courage and find the direction to sometimes walk through their own pain, walk through their own circumstances and find the blessings in that pain. And Patsy…

[16:11] Patsy: Well, I lost…

[16:12] Joel: Go ahead, go ahead.

[16:13] Patsy: I lost several years of my life to agoraphobia, it was a couple of years of slowly losing touch with being a functional person and two years of almost never leaving my home, and two years of slowly learning how to take baby steps to get well enough, to get back out into the world but it would be longer than that in the working out of all of it 'cause I would from time to time bump into another fear I had not yet conquered. And scripture says, “God hasn't given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind”. And so learning to take courageous steps, to be brave, to face things that made me feel insecure. And I realized there was a lot of poor, faulty thinking connected with my fears. For instance, I would put my child on an elevator and feel he was perfectly safe but I wouldn't ride on the elevator because I felt I would not be safe.

[17:20] Patsy: And so that made no sense and often when a fear makes no sense, it's because it really is not a fear, it is an anger that hasn't been resolved and that was a broken trust I had inside of me that I did not know if I could trust God with my safety. And I felt like I could trust God with my child's safety because I felt my child deserved it, and I felt I did not. So I had to get down to the core reasons of what was keeping me trapped in thought patterns that limited my life. Because God said that he sent Christ for the purpose of us having abundance. That we might have an abundant life and that it delights the father heart of God to give to his children and so I had to learn whole new ways to see who I was in God's eyes.

[18:22] Joel: Patsy, how do you do that? From a practical point of view. How do you stand in front of audiences and help them understand and identify some of the core reasons that they're stuck or some of the limitations they've placed around themselves over for how long it's been? How do you do it from a practical standpoint?

[18:50] Patsy: Well it's been such a joy for me to bring hope to others. I never imagined that the broken parts of my life would become the greatest value that I had to offer to another person.

[19:03] Joel: Boy, I hope people heard that because that is huge, what you just said. Sorry to interrupt. Please continue.

[19:09] Patsy: Well what began to happen is I realized my story made me more authentic in my offering because when I told my story and what helped me to get well, it rang with truth in the hearts of people. I could tell other people's stories and it might be a little helpful, but what's made a greater impact is when I tell my own story of recovery. And so anything that a person goes through that is hard or dramatic or traumatic, the redemptive value in it is that our greatest lessons and education come out of that. And that's what we have to give to others and there's nothing that is more satisfying than to be able to have an offering to give to another person that changes their life.

[20:14] Joel: Wow. These are powerful words. Patsy, what's the best way to get to your website, learn more about your books, look at your speaking schedule for the Women of Faith conferences? Where do we need to go?

[20:26] Pei: Right, to stay connected.

[20:28] Patsy: Sure and I would love that. It's patsyclairmont.com and also I have a Facebook page. I'd love for people to come and join my Facebook page.

[20:43] Joel: Sure, yeah. You have a Twitter page, too, that I've noticed.

[20:47] Pei: Excellent.

[20:47] Patsy: Oh, I do have a Twitter account. I'm a Twitterer.

[chuckle]

[20:52] Joel: Absolutely. I will definitely post all of the important links so people can get in touch with you. Just go to joelboggess.com/199.

[21:05] Patsy: Thank you for your generosity. I appreciate that.

[21:08] Joel: Absolutely. The pleasure's ours. Patsy, thank you so much for being on today's show and we just wish you all the very best for your uPatsyoming speaking engagements and for all the projects that you're working on. Patsy, thank you.

[21:24] Patsy: Thank you.

[21:24] Joel: Absolutely.

[21:25] Patsy: Thank you.

[21:27] Joel: Patsy, may God bless you and your ministry in a powerful, powerful way.

[music]

Connect with Patsy on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, and visit her site.

Joel Boggess

Keynote Speaker | Corporate Trainer | Award-winning podcaster I help teams ignite their courage, take bolder steps, and get greater results. Together, we create possibilities that bring empowerment, meaning, and financial impact.

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  4. joyce Kaiser (@Driftseed) on December 30, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    But I found, until you’re faithful in the little things. He will not give you more. When we’re faithful in little things that says, “Then I’ll give you more, and when you’re faithful on more, then I’ll give you much.” – I LOVE this! that does seem to be the way it goes, too, doesn’t it?

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