Episode 57: Shallow Water—A Personal Story

Episode 57: Shallow Water—A Personal Story

Hosted by Jodi Hildebrandt

This episode is the first part of a two-part series.  Listen to part two >

In this episode, Jodi tells a story about an experience she had while boating.  She incorporates most of the principles & concepts discussed in previous episodes of the podcast, including how perceptions drive control, which creates the need to surrender, and how drama creates fear, and drives me to get angry, how co-dependency plays out as drama, and so forth.

If you’ve been listening in to all of the past episodes, this episode will tie the concepts together for you.  If you’re new to the podcast, listening to past episodes first (especially those covering the topics listed above) will support you to get more out of this episode.


Full Transcript

PDF Version: Episode 57 Transcript: Shallow Water—A Personal Story

Episode 57: Shallow Water—A Personal Story

Welcome to ConneXions Classroom Podcast. We are so excited to introduce to you the opportunity for you to join us in a classroom setting where you will be taught the principles of connection. For those of you who have already joined us on the podcasts, and for those for you who have not, you are now ready to step into an extensive, hands-on, all-star classroom experience to better understand why you are experiencing and interpreting life the way that you do.

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Some of the concepts covered inside of the classroom include: what validation and vulnerability are and how to animate those principles your life; how to live in Truth rather than distortion; how to recognize your distraction and your controlling behavior in your relationships; and how to live a life of peace rather than pain. Powerful concepts that change lives, beginning with yours.

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Good morning and welcome to ConneXions Classroom Podcast. It is May 30th, 2015 and we are recording live from Southern Utah. Such a beautiful, beautiful area of the world.

Today, I’m going to tell you a story, and it’s going to incorporate all of the principles. So, if you’re someone who has listened to all the podcasts and you’ve heard all these principles, this story is going to incorporate the majority of the principles that we’ve talked about, so that you can see them interweaving and intermingling with other concepts. So, you can see how perception runs into my desire to control, and then my need to surrender. Or how I go into drama and then how drama creates fear in me. And how drama drives me to want to control something or get angry about something.

So, I thought it would be helpful to tell a story and illustrate all of these different characteristics or concepts—principles that we’ve talked about—so that you can see them interplaying with each other and playing out through a very real life storyline, which all of us have. You will relate to this story, I am certain. And if you don’t relate to it, then you will at some point in your life relate to it.

You may not have the exact same experience, but you will have had, or will have in your life, similar experiences that you can relate to the characteristics of drama, and control, and fear, and shame, and my distorted perception, and how I need to get into Reality and those kinds of things.

And so, I hope that you enjoy it. I know that people have given me a lot of feedback around they really enjoy the examples that I give and then telling the stories that I tell, as a way to illustrate these concepts in real life.

So, before I tell that story, I want to invite all of you if you have been a listener or if you’re a brand-new listener, welcome, glad you’re with us. And if you have any questions, there are a few ways to get those questions answered.

So, if you will go onto the website which is www.connexionsclassroom.com and hit the Podcast button, it will drop down all the different podcasts. Right at the top, it says “Ask Jodi a Question”. And write your question in that space bar, and I would really appreciate that because your questions are really helpful in me creating the podcast every week. And so, I want to know what kind of enquiries you have and what kind of situations or dilemmas you find yourself in that you need help with.

So, please, please, if you want to have some kind of a question answered, you can go there. Or you can email us at support@connexionsclassroom.com.

Either one of those places you can leave your questions and I will be receiving those weekly, and I will answer those in upcoming podcasts.

[00:06:17] Shallow Water – A Personal Story

Let me tell you this story. Like I said, this is a story that is going to interweave numerous concepts. Here they are: the concepts of codependency, and boundaries, and you’ll hear the voice of shame in the story, which will move into faulty core beliefs. You’ll hear about fear or anger, you’ll hear about triggers, and you’ll hear about empathy, and how to validate, and you’ll hear how vulnerable I am in this storyline. You’ll hear about perceptions and how it’s my responsibility to figure out my perceptions, you’ll hear about control and surrender, distractions, you’ll hear about forgiveness, gratitude, and self-care.

Those are the highlights. There will probably be other pieces of information there as well, but those are the pieces that I want you to pay attention to. There are about 10 or 12 different concepts that I want you to listen—listen in the story for those concepts.

Now, I’m going to be pointing them out as I go along, but at the same time, I may not be able to catch all of them because I’m going to tell this story as I’m also trying to critique it, so notice if you catch something that I don’t.

Be paying attention because here’s the deal. When you are interacting with a person, you need to be paying attention to them, but you also need to be paying attention to you. So when we listen to other people’s stories, oftentimes we won’t be paying attention to them (the other person), and we’ll be more concerned about paying attention to myself. And we will a lot of times be getting triggered by things that somebody’s saying. And when we’re triggered, then we turn them off completely; we are no longer listening to them.

So, it’s very, very important that we learn how to listen to both ourselves and also the other person. And I’m going to teach how you how to do that through this storyline.

I want you to hear that in this story, it is going to be about drama or dependency because dependency is drama. Drama is dependency. Versus interdependency. And so, interdependency, if you’re wondering what that is, “inter” means my relationship with someone else or something else. “Intra” means my relationship with myself. So, “inter” means a relationship dependency. So, I’m in a dependent relationship with usually someone; it can be with something as well. There is such a thing as healthy dependency, and it’s called interdependency.

And so, that’s where I stay in my Truth, and I know how to assert myself, and I hold my boundaries. And when I’m in an interdependent relationship with someone or something, it creates safety for me. I feel vulnerable when I’m with that person at times, and I know that they’re not going to harm me in my vulnerability; that they’ll validate me. So, when I am vulnerable, I don’t feel foolish or silly, so I’m in a very healthy relationship.

This story is going to talk about drama or dependency versus interdependency. Or another way to look at is fear and control versus surrender. Or another way to look at is shame or faulty core beliefs versus the Truth. Or perceptions, (my perceptions) versus Reality. And I could say I might have distorted perceptions versus The Reality.


This story starts out with me being on my boat. I’m chuckling because I’ve already told you one story about my boat. I think my family members would wish that I’d sell my boat because I’ve had some pretty horrendous things go on in that boat and they think it’s an omen or something that I need to be listening to. They’re just really good stories.

It was I think the second year I had my boat, and I was out on a lake close by to where I live, and my friend had come up from my hometown to see me. She and her husband and their four children had come up to visit, so we all thought we’d go boating one afternoon. So, we went out and I had my son, I had four or five of his friends, and I had my nephew, then I had my girlfriend, and her husband, and her four children. So, that’s like 14 or 15 people on the boat—a lot of people, ranging in ages from 40 to probably 8 years old.

So, we had a couple of little ones with lifejackets on and so we’re out boating and it started getting to the end of the day. Some of the people wanted to go swimming on the shoreline and so I started driving towards a shoreline on this lake that I was unfamiliar with, as far as that particular shoreline, and I saw a row of buoys that were running perpendicular from the shoreline, probably about 300 yards out into the lake. They were in a very straight line and to me, they signaled that there was a no wake zone because it was right next to the shoreline.

So, I started heading towards those buoys. I had a tube on the back of the boat and I had probably four teenage boys, my son and three of his friends on the back of the boat, pulling them. I was going pretty quickly, probably 20 miles an hour, pulling them. And as I started getting closer to the line of buoys I started slowing down. We had the music on and people were enjoying the sunshine. I think it was a July day and it was towards the evening and so the sun here doesn’t go down until about 9 o’clock and so it was really gorgeous. It was warm and we were having a good time and interacting with each other.

I started heading towards this line of buoys and my boat has a double-prop on it. Having 15 or 16 people on the boat, you can see it’s a fairly good sized boat, it’s probably 24 or 25 feet. And so, I start getting closer to those buoys, and as soon as the middle of the boat crossed over the buoys, my engine cut. It just died. I had no engine. My friend looked over and she’s like, “Jodi, that says danger.”

So, the line of buoys that we just crossed over—because there was a space between each of the buoys—the buoys all had the word danger on them but you couldn’t see that word until you actually were crossing over the line of buoys. All of a sudden, my bilge kicked on. The bilge is something that if you are starting to sink, the bilge kicks on and it pumps water out of the boat.

So, the boat was taking on water and I said out loud, “Oh my goodness, we’re sinking.” That was the wrong thing to say. It scared my girlfriend and her little girl. It was kind of a mini-panic on the boat for those next few minutes. The boat was starting to take on water.

I tried the engine, I tried to turn it off, turn it back on. I had nothing. And so, I knew we had to get the boat out of the water quickly. And so, I jumped out of the water, my son came swimming up on the inner tube, he’s like, “What’s up? What happened?” And I said, “Go back to where those buoys are and find out what I just hit. I hit something underneath the water.”

So, he swam back and I jumped out of the boat and we tied some ropes onto the boat. Myself and my girlfriend’s husband jumped out of the boat.

It was windy now that I’m remembering, and the wind started blowing the boat towards the shoreline. Now, this boat is probably 12,000 pounds, and so here I am with this man, with two ropes wrapped around the front of the boat, just on the handles on the front of the boat, trying to keep the boat from hitting the rocks against the shore because there were some sandy parts but there were some rocky parts.

We were probably in about shoulder-deep water. And so, we didn’t have a lot of power, like we couldn’t really use our muscles to move that boat, and the wind was blowing pretty good. And so, I asked the boys to get off the tube and get the tube in the boat. I told my girlfriend to stay on the boat and just make sure that the bilge is continuing to pump out the water and keep all the kids on the boat.

My son yells over at me and says, “Hey mom.” I look over and he’s standing on top of something. He’s probably about shin-deep, so probably a foot and a half underwater as he’s standing on top of something. I said, “What is that?” And he goes, “It’s a pipe.” And he started walking perpendicular from the shore along this pipe. I’m like oh my goodness, we probably have lost our whole engine. We just went over this pipe and that’s why it said “danger.”

So, I was trying to keep my cool. Many people were afraid. I was more afraid and upset at where did the pipe come from? I can’t believe I just hit a pipe and why did they put the buoys on top of the pipe? All these thoughts were going through my head and I was in massive drama. Massive.

I was trying to keep my cool and not snap at anyone but I was very, very angry. I pride myself on not making “these kinds of mistakes” and here it was, something that I did not see—literally—that I had crossed over and probably taken off the whole outdrive of the boat.

So, here we are trying to keep the boat from running into the rocks. My son swims over and he grabs another rope and he’s trying to pull the boat deeper out into the lake. And the wind is pushing us against the shore. I can just see it in my mind’s eye.

A couple of boats started coming towards us and we’re waving our hands trying to keep them away from us because they’re going to have to cross over that pipe and they’re going to lose their motors if they do, so we’re trying to scream at them, but they thought we were screaming for help, which we kind of were.

So, a couple of boats saw that we were trying to push them away, telling them to go away. We’re trying to tell them there’s a pipe under the water. And then, there was a boat that came from the other direction, that could actually come into this bay because the pipe was behind us. This boat, bless their heart, came over and helped us out and said, “Let’s just tie you up to our boat and we’ll tow you back over to the marina.” Which was probably about three miles away at least.

So, we tied ourselves on and if you can imagine, we were still trying to fight the wind because the wind kept blowing us over to the shoreline. And so, while we were tying the ropes to the front of our boat and the back of their boat, we had a couple of us in the water pushing the boat away from it.

When I stand up, I’m 5’4”—when I stand up to this boat, the boat is probably about two feet over my head. And when you’re in the water with this thing, and the boat is on top of the water, this thing is towering over you when you’re trying to push it away from the shore. I’m trying to give you an image of what this was like. I felt like I was in the water with like—and I know this is going to sound really dramatic but—it felt like the Titanic. Because I’d push and nothing would happen. And then, the wind would blow and I’m pushing with all my might and it would still be pushing me out of the way. And so, I’d have to have two or three people pushing on the side of the boat to keep it from moving towards the shoreline.

So, these kind people towed us back to the marina and it was blowing, blowing, blowing, and I was in drama, I was in fear, I was trying to control things, I was in my shame, my faulty core beliefs were flying all over my head, my perceptions were distorted, I was concerned because we had to go through a very narrow passageway to get back into the marina. And I was so concerned because this person was towing us, and if you’ve ever pulled something, especially in the water, there’s no steering wheel in the water. And so, we’re behind them kind of fish-tailing behind them as the wind is blowing us. And I was so worried as we went through that narrow passageway that either someone was going to come from the opposite direction, or the person was going to turn too sharp and we were going to whip out to the side and hit the other side of the passageway. I was just trying to control things and I couldn’t.

I was incredibly vulnerable. Can you see? Can you appreciate how vulnerable of a situation I was in? I was responsible for all those people on that boat. I was responsible for my own safety. I was responsible to have the boat not sink in the water. I had incredible pressures on me, and here I was, not functioning very well because I was so in drama, and trying to control the situation, and trying to stay cool and level headed, and make good decisions.

So, bless their hearts, the person that was pulling us got us through the passageway and we did almost smack up against the side of the rocks. Several of us ran over to the other side and kind of pushed ourselves away, so that we wouldn’t hit them. He turns back and he’s like “oops!” or something.

We pulled the boat, he kind of swung us around ,and the boat kind of floated up to the marina. And a couple of us jumped off. I was still on the boat but a couple of the boys jumped off and had some ski ropes and just pulled the boat over to the marina. And the wind was still blowing—it was unbelievable how much it was blowing.

It was a whole other drama thing, trying to keep the boat from blowing into the walls of the marina, because there were a lot of rocks that were along the edge and because we had no engine, we couldn’t control where the boat was going. Like I said, we had probably six boys in the water, three on one side and three on the other, and they were trying to keep it one direction or the other and trying to push it towards the dock. It was quite the event.

And because the lake is so shallow that we were in, the water would just start having whitecaps really easily, and so it was quite a windy day because the whitecaps were coming also into the marina. So, we finally get it kind of synched down and hunkered down, and my son goes and gets the truck and backs it up. And again, we have no engine here, so we all get out except for the little kids, and we’re trying to pull this boat as it’s blowing. Just imagine this. There’s probably 10 of us in the water that are adults or teenagers, and we’re pulling this boat, and we’re pushing this boat, and we’re trying to keep it online with the trailer. It was quite a sight.

Here’s another thing I went into drama around. There were probably 15 other people that were standing around just watching us, all these people in the water trying to get this boat on this trailer. And they just stood there and watched. Nobody came over and helped. I started going into drama about that, like can’t you see we need help? We’re drowning out here. I mean, the boat was starting to go over one of the kid’s heads. It was quite a sight, it was very dangerous, and there were plenty of things to go into drama around.

So, we finally get it up on the trailer and we’re trying to hold it there as we’re trying to synch it up. And my son jumps in the truck and tries to pull the trailer up out of the water a little bit so it’s not just floating around on the back of the trailer—to catch it on the pads.

And so, we finally get it up on that trailer and all of us are exhausted. Probably most of us are in drama by this point because the wind was just pushing against us. It would go one direction, then it would switch to another direction. So, we finally get the boat on the trailer and we pull it out of the water. I think I got back in the boat at this point and so they pull it out of the water, and I’m in the boat, and my friend comes up to me and she’s down on the ground, my son stops and she says, “You don’t want to see this. Don’t go back and see what happened.” And I’m like, “What are you talking about? What? What is it?” She goes, “You don’t want to see it. You don’t to see it.”

So, then I really do want to see it, so I jump out of the boat and I walk around, and I’m trying to prepare myself—I’m trying to tell myself worst case scenario, there’s a huge hole in the back of the boat, I’m trying to tell myself what I’m grateful for, I’m grateful we didn’t sink, I’m grateful nobody died, I’m grateful that I had slowed down. I was telling myself all these statements of gratitude. And I walked to the back of the boat and the whole outdrive is sheared off the boat. Gone, totally gone.

And if you don’t know what an outdrive is, it is the whole engine. It’s not just the props. It’s the whole engine that powers the boat, that sits on the back of the boat. Mine was underneath the boat, well it’s not underneath in the middle, it was on the back but it had a swim pad over the top of it, so people could go out off the boat and stand, sunbathe, or get their skis on.

And so, the engine was underneath that. It’s a two-prop engine boat, it’s a good-sized boat, and the whole thing was gone. And because it had ripped it off when it hit that pipe, there were holes popped into the fiberglass where the engine was just abruptly detached. And that’s why we were taking on water.

So, I stood there and looked at that, and I just was in shock that whatever we hit, which was that pipe, and I had not seen the pipe yet because I was trying to keep the boat from running into the sides of the lake. But whatever that pipe was, it was strong enough to shear off the whole outdrive of my ski boat.

I’m going to stop right there. There’s more to this story but I’m going to record it in the next podcast because I want to shift your direction. I want you to now think about the concepts of confronting versus contending. Or another way to say it, confronting versus contention.

So, confronting means sharing you with another person. I’m going to share myself when I confront another person, versus contention which means forcing you onto another person.

Because what happened in the next part of the story was all about me being able to learn how to confront—like the insurance company, the state, the people who were going to fix my boat, versus creating contention with them.

So, I want to give you a couple of steps because that story does not end there. In fact, it just really starts right there. That’s just what happened, those were all the experiences that happened.

Now, I get to really be responsible for how I’m reacting, because the fact that I had that experience with the water, and the boat, and the pipe, and all the kids, I was really just kind of on auto-drive as all that was happening, trying to make sure that nobody got hurt, that nobody was injured. And secondarily, trying to keep the boat from being destroyed against the rocks of the lake.

So, what I was focusing on was not getting angry as far as snapping at anyone, but just getting the boat out of the water. Now, I already told you that I was in a ton of drama, I was having control issues up the wazoo. I was incredibly vulnerable. I was trying to validate myself and my girlfriend, and trying to give some validation of the fear that everybody was feeling. And I wasn’t doing such a great job of it.

I was in shame and my faulty core beliefs were going all over the place in my head. I heard in my head my faulty core beliefs were saying, I can’t believe you did that, you should have paid attention, you should have known, what were you thinking, you’re such an idiot, who does that kind of thing? And then, when I saw the outdrive sheared off, it’s like who does that? Who shears off the engine of their boat?

And while I was in the water, it’s like oh my gosh, someone’s going to die, it’s going to be my fault, how did I get myself into this? Those kinds of statements were flying around my head as I was trying to control the situation when clearly, I was out of control and I was just trying to move with the situation. But I wasn’t that conscious at that moment; I was trying to control all sorts of stuff.

I’m going to stop right there. I’d like you to think about that story and see if there are other areas that I didn’t mention that you heard other characteristics that you could point out, that you’ve heard on previous podcasts.

In the next podcast, I want to talk about the steps of confronting. I’m going to go into these in detail in the next podcast.

[00:31:05] Steps of Confronting

  1. Recognize you’re being triggered.
  2. Acknowledge the emotions you’re feeling while you’re being triggered and be responsible for them.
  3. Recognize that your thoughts (your faulty core beliefs) are supporting you to feel the emotion that you do.
  4. Be able to articulate what the faulty core beliefs are telling you.
  5. If you can’t calm the faulty core beliefs down or you can’t not believe them, you need a person who will validate you and help you to feel heard, and invite you into a reframe—like, reframe those faulty core beliefs.
  6. Once you’re centered, then practice what you need to say to the other person or the other entity. Like, I need to be responsible for my emotions, my thoughts, my feelings. I need to share with you how I felt when this happened. And then, ask them what did they hear me say.
  7. You are ready then to confront once you’re centered.

I was having all sorts of opportunities to confront people, and I don’t think I was confronting them well. I think I was creating contention instead of confronting them while all this was happening. I don’t really remember other than my girlfriend said, “I’ve never seen you like that.” Not so much that I was upset but just panicked. She’s like, “I’ve never seen you like that, that just made me nervous just experiencing you that way.” And I’m like, “Well, if you didn’t notice, we were sinking in a lake and all your kids were on the boat.”

My personality and my character says I’m responsible if I take you out on that boat with me. And so, yeah, I was super, super anxious.

The story ends well, I guess, but I’ll leave you there. I hate to leave you hanging but next week, I’ll finish that story and talk to you about how I learned how to confront and not be contentious with the people that I needed to deal with in taking care of this boat situation.

So, between now and then, stay connected and I will talk to you soon.

And remember, if you have any questions, please write us at www.connexionsclassroom.com and put those questions on the podcast page. Thanks so much. Bye bye.


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