Dealing With Grief And Loss – Why Netflix’s ‘Dead to Me’ Resonates

Dealing With Grief And Loss – Why Netflix’s ‘Dead to Me’ Resonates

Dealing With Grief And Loss – How To Help Someone Dealing With Grief

 

00:02

Good morning. Good evening. Good afternoon everybody out there in podcast land. You aren’t tuned to a another episode of intrinsic motivation from a homeys perspective. This is Hamza and I am really excited about speaking with our guests. Today I’d like to look at this podcast as a water cooler chat, because we are actually going to talk about Netflix is Dead to Me and why does that resonate with people today? It has been approved for a second season so they’re obviously doing something right. And for those that are unfamiliar with the show, it has a ton of plot twist that has comedy and drama. Christina Applegate for all those fans like me that used to watch married with children. She’s done a lot since then. And she’s in the she’s actually executive producer, but her husband was in a hit and run death. And there’s another character dealing with multiple miscarriages and so they’re dealing with grief support. So we’re going to talk about about, you know, why are we frequently unwilling to talk about these important topics? And best talking about them? Do they really help? So I thought that we’d get an expert in here to talk about that we have, we’re going to get some answers from Reverend Megan Smith Brooks. She’s an ordained unity minister. She’s a licensed spiritual educator, and certified grief coach who’s younger son was also murdered. She is the author of the new book unraveling grief, a mother’s spiritual journey of healing and discovery. Without further ado, I’d like to welcome Reverend Megan Smith Brooks to the podcast. Welcome, Megan.

01:39

Thank you. I’m delighted to be with you today.

01:42

Yes, thanks for thanks for coming in. We’re talking about grief. And in today’s paper here in Atlanta, the Atlanta Journal Constitution. I guess it’s only appropriate for talking about grief to have a brief moment of silence to the waistlines. Americans since the pandemic in the article, everyone has larger sizes in response to the increasing wait size for staying in the house. So there’s so many ways that we’re experiencing grief.

02:17

That is a side effects.

02:22

Lucy?

02:24

Yeah. Welcome to the podcast.

02:27

Yeah, you know what I do have to say, you know, we were going to go across your background and everything, of course. And with that to me, I just wanted to ask you because I don’t know if you knew or not, but most men, I think I’m speaking for most men, it’s going to be a generalization. We love it. When women cry. We just absolutely love it. So we should watch every show, right? Like, of course, I’m being facetious. It’s hard to watch living, crying, and every episode Talking about grief. Megan, please help us, help the guy enjoy this show because I think we’re missing out.

03:09

Well, you know, one of the important things about this show is it’s one of the few things that actually brings grief out into the open into the conversation. And I think that’s the relevant point here. And men in our society have traditionally been taught that crying is a sign of weakness. And so you’re supposed to suppress that you’re supposed to be the tough guy you’re supposed to, you know, be there, you know, to with a strong arm to hold the weaker woman and help her through this. And because of that men are uncomfortable with tears, was showing emotion with, you know, being open to what you’re feeling in the moment. And that’s one of my big points in dealing with grief is that if we suppress it, we are affecting our health. This. So men,

04:03

it’s time to cry.

04:08

It was really funny because

04:11

because of this, right? Of course, we’re making light lightheartedness of what’s really serious. But I think when you said it’s time to cry in the past, let’s say pre pandemic, you can hide somewhere or maybe drive away to another cola sack. But since everyone’s in the house, you can’t escape your wife, your spouse, is they going to catch your grind? So what happens when that happens?

04:38

Well, you know, one of the things that I observed from my own grief process and you mentioned my son was murdered on that was seven years ago, he was 29 an adult. And as you can imagine, the impact on anyone realizing that your child has been killed, but then to find out it was murdered and then ultimately found out it was an intentional act. And one of the things that I observed is people’s awkwardness and uncomfortable. It’s like the elephant in the room when there’s something that’s painful and nobody knows what to say. They’re uncomfortable with my emotional pain and my grief. And as I watched this, I see it as a symptom of our society,

05:25

that

05:27

we need to be bringing it out in the open and teaching people to be more comfortable with embracing the feelings that you’re having, especially pain. And so if if men are uncomfortable with that, because women are more predisposed to just letting their emotions be, you know, out in the open, it’s symptomatic of how we have suppressed dealing with what’s real, what’s happening because grief is a part of the human experience. You cannot escape it if you’re breathing. So you know, dead to me brings that out. It’s like, how are we handling it? We can make some really bad decisions because we’re not dealing with our grief. We’re suppressing until unresolved grief is going to come out and blindside us. Crying is a way of processing your feelings. It’s letting that emotion get out it’s healthy outlet.

 

Dealing With Grief And Loss - Why Netflix’s ‘Dead to Me’ Resonates

06:23

Sure, and that I think that was really huge when you’re talking about bad decisions for not dealing with grief. And I think you’re going to help me out because I usually try to be really objective. And I’ve only seen the first two episodes of the first season and I think I could have gone further but there was something that was stopping me and maybe I was triggered. For the first episode. It seems like the lady’s lying to me right? You find out that she’s, she actually broke up with her spouse. And you know, Christina Applegate is like wow, you know, that’s already a breach of trust. And I just met You in the middle, you see that she actually ran over her husband. So you’re like, so I’m just kind of triggered with all these different emotions of I’m grieving because I lost my spouse, and this other person comes along who I don’t know. And, and now I find out that she’s been lying to me from the beginning.

07:22

You know, right, you know, so how easily are we hurt by people not being open and authentic and and being real about their feelings and what’s going on in life because that other character was really hiding. Some other underlying pain Didn’t she has some miscarriages so that’s really what her grief was from. And then She’s embarrassed and hurt because her her boyfriend didn’t leave did left her didn’t die. So she didn’t know how to talk about it. She didn’t know how she was embarrassed. She doesn’t know how to bring feelings. And so, grief is underlying all of us in so many ways because we’re afraid of being authentic to what’s happening within us of talking about the pain of life, and feeling like we’re going to be judged, and somehow condemned or, or pointed out, as, you know, unworthy or not good enough, whatever story we tell ourselves. So I think this is a great example of how we handle life because we aren’t taught to have skills, or practices or ways of dealing with the pain of life.

08:42

And that was a really good point. When were you talking about the pain of life it? It doesn’t seem like there’s a scale, if you will, but on some level, I think that’s what they covered where your grief isn’t like mine because of what I’ve gone through. versus what you’ve gone through? How do you read that conversation to say that we’re all on the same page and dealing with? Are there? I believe there’s five steps agreed. So I guess you can go through that as well. But how do you compare? I mean, you don’t you’re not supposed to compare, but you can’t take it all in by yourself, either. So how do you bridge that gap? Even though you may be experiencing grief differently from the next person?

09:30

Well, not all of us have the conscious awareness of the pain that I’m experiencing versus the pain of someone else. And so we tend to go into the comparison and if we’re, we’re playing the victim card of our of our grief, which is very easy to do in it and it doesn’t mean you know, minimizing what somebody is experiencing. But you know, I could really call the you know, the card. It’s like, Well, hey, wait, my son was Murder. So my grief has got to be more painful than yours. Pain is pain, it doesn’t matter where it came from. So that’s where I say bringing it out into the conversation and not necessarily get entrenched in the details or whose pain may be more painful than other because it depends on what our life experience has been, you know, what do we grow up,

10:23

how to process it, how to deal with it,

10:25

mostly in our culture. We’re taught to minimize it. So you know, going back to you know, men not being comfortable with sadness and tears. We are comfortable with talking about the pain of life. And I think that what’s going on in the world right now is, is bringing out into the open our need to have conversations so that we don’t get caught up in playing the victim card or the martyr game, or acting badly because we never processed our unresolved grief that we carry around with us no matter what it’s from.

11:05

There has to be a forum where we can say,

11:09

feeling this pain is a healthy thing to do. But I need a way of how to process it so that I can thrive in life and that I don’t take it out on others.

11:22

So I think that you know, that show is

11:26

an example of just showing us how we, we process life and we may not be doing it well, because we don’t know any better.

11:39

Well, that takes me to your your actual practice, practice, because you’re an ordained minister, you unity minister, you’ve practiced, you’ve had several ministries, and in Arizona, California and Ohio, 25 years of experience as a matter of fact. So in the Spiritual Education coaching. So, what’s the difference? And how do you bridge the gap from a spiritual aspect, versus like you said here in a generalized American culture, we’re minimizing feeling overall and in this instance, minimizing the pain.

12:18

You know, I don’t really know that there is a significant difference other than from a spiritual perspective. What I have learned is that we build a foundation in life. And when we’re able to have some awareness of my thoughts, my words, my actions, and that everything is putting into motion, an equal response vibrationally I have control over what I want to put into motion in my life. And when it bounces back and it’s not feeling good or or something traumatic happens that is not in my control. I still have a choice of how to respond and so from a spiritual place, what I’ve taught people is to embrace your pain, we have to just sort of allow ourselves to go into it so that we can feel it as deeply as we possibly can. To go into that, I call it like, for me it was like a tsunami of waves of on variable pain of trying to process what had happened in my life, what had happened to my son, the fact that I would never see him again or hear his voice or, or see what he might, the potential of his life and what the outcome might be. If we get consumed in that we can, we can get lost and it will destroy us. One of the things that I I wanted to share is to really understand what grief is and how it affects us. It’s not just affecting us emotionally. That’s the obvious thing that you know, a loss of some Especially somebody that we love that has died. But it can be the loss of anything in our life. But we have this attachment to it this bond, this affection that’s been formed. But also, grief is an emotional response to that has a physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, cultural, spiritual and philosophical dimension to it. So it affects every part of who we are. And that’s what unless we’ve been taking time to understand it, process it and maybe get some help. We don’t realize how it’s affecting our life and how it might be blindsiding this. So spiritual practice helps to have a foundation so that you are more

14:46

able to

14:47

process

14:48

the unexpected life experiences.

14:52

If we’re just out there floundering on our own, then we’re going to be more susceptible to being

15:01

destroyed and unable to function.

15:06

Now when you mean destroyed the mean and no, in certain cultures, there is that death, if you will scenario where you have to go through death to actually come through life. Right. And so, if we can apply that to 2020, right, there’s a lot of things that are going to go away. There’s going to be a lot of grief related to the attachment of the way things were. But by going through that death experience, you should be more so like, you know, the phoenix rising from the ashes.

15:42

Absolutely. You know, I like Jeff Joseph Campbell’s work. Actually, my older son went through a ritual. What do you call it a rite of passage when he was 13. That is symbolic of that idea of that As we evolve, who we are and what we have and how we show up and what we do in our life may work for a while. But then something comes to an end. Because spiritually, we are designed to, to evolve and to transform and that nothing stays the same forever otherwise that eventually becomes stagnant and no longer serves us. So it’s like the process of forgiveness. It’s been attributed this has been attributed to a lot of people, but it actually goes back to I believe, a Buddhist teaching that says forgiveness is unforgiveness is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die. It’s the same thing with with grief, in that the toxicity is affecting us. So on a vibrational level on a spiritual level, the destruction means is that I stopped functioning in a healthy way, I might have an it might affect my health, I might start having physical symptoms. It may be that I’m so overwhelmed unable to make healthy decisions. And so my life starts to I’m not thriving anymore. It takes on there’s people that get so stuck on their pain that they take on a victim consciousness and, and blame everything in the world for why nothing is good in their life. And when we get stuck in that we’re not going to be able to move forward.

17:37

So

17:39

from a spiritual place, what I teach is everything’s a choice. And some of the choices may not be choices that we really like. And yet, walking through the fire, allowing the death to happen so that I can be reborn and transformed and come out in a better place is the If that’s being offered in any situation, like grief, I believe that grief is a deep transformational process, that if we’re willing to embrace it, we will discover a gift that enhances who we are. And we come out on the other side, a much more empowered version of ourselves.

18:22

And this is a probably a third party question, because I don’t think a third party to really know when an individual is going through from the aspect of the TV show dead to me. She had five miscarriages, right? And so a third party person would say, Well, why did why didn’t she stop after the first one, you know, second, one third, one, four and a fill in the blank, but it was ultimately her choice to go through the five and then ultimately, you know, this isn’t going to happen to me. It On one level, it seems like some of these like you’re saying these transformation are personal, but they’re a collective to like, how do you make that distinction?

19:07

Well, you know, it just goes to show how easily it is for us to judge others, you know, who are we to say we haven’t been living inside of them, and to know what’s important or why choices were made, or what happened in their life. And so as a minister I, I have, do my best to just be open to a person and what’s real for them, you know, those five babies that she lost, that’s a real pain. And it obviously she didn’t process that grief. And so it affected her on so many different levels and how she was living her life, but who is somebody else to suggest that she doesn’t deserve to have a child and to work through that in her own way?

19:54

So

19:56

I think that, you know, when we look at what’s happening in the world right now The world is that was, is never going to be the same again. And and there’s a lot of people that are in total denial about it also, I think what we’re seeing is reflection of those that have established a foundation of how to deal with change. And especially a traumatic change or change that can affect you on on every aspect of your life. And those who have never dealt with how to deal with change that don’t have the foundation of how to embrace it. And if we can’t come to accepting that something is going to be different, then we’re going to be constantly trying to fight to get back to where we were, and that’s never going to come back together the same way. So if we can be open to you know, grief is that is a teacher. Grief allows us to understand that pain is just as important as joy and it’s the same intensity On a feeling level, but it’s just one side of the spectrum to the other. And our as a human being, our job is to be comfortable with all the spectrum of emotions and feelings. And to step back and reflect and go, Okay, this is happening. Did I choose it? Maybe not? Am I comfortable with it? Perhaps not. Am I happy about it? No. What are my options then? How What can I do to take care of myself to

21:36

learn to adapt?

21:39

So

21:41

that’s, that’s how I handle it. That’s what I’ve learned about this is that, you know, right now I’m waiting to release my book. And my practice has been to learn patience because I don’t have control over the publishing process. And if it was my choice, it would have already been At least but there’s elements that I don’t have control over. So I have to just take a deep breath and go, okay, it’s going to come about in its own time. What we’re seeing in the world is all of all of that we haven’t been willing to deal with, which is what unresolved grief is, is coming out into the open so that we can look at it and see it for what it is, and realize what’s important. And are we going to embrace doing something different that serves the whole better, doesn’t mean that you, you dismantle everything, but you bring with you only the things that continue to serve us to thrive, and then add on to it, the new things that will enhance it, and we I think grief teaches us that.

22:48

I want to ask you a global question and a global kind question, if you will. So from a timing at that. The United States is a relatively young country. Okay. And from the world stage, and as you’re talking, you’re talking about minimize American culture, minimizing pain such it made me think of my one of my, one of my sisters have moved to Germany and early 2000. And so when 911 happened here, of course, it was it was major here in the States. But overseas, they were like, now you understand what we go through. And when we’re you’re talking about embrace pain, for the most part, collectively, at least here. We’re not used to, you know, collectively, collectively again, we’re not used to paying for a long gated pain, right? So we’re used to getting over gets get over it. Even in dead to me that in that first episode, there’s a scene with Christina Applegate and her son and she’s like, it’s time for you to go back. You know, society says it’s time For you to go back to school, and the kids like I don’t want I’m not ready to go back to school and the mom wasn’t she it had been months and she had gone into the, the, the playroom if you will of her husband and the in the separate care child. So, you know how? And the second part is the response, even here in the states to the pandemic versus the rest of the world, where everyone’s kind of pointing the finger at us. So how are we responding? Do you think it’s all related? Just to know our I don’t want to say inability to deal with it. It’s just that it’s not it’s so new to us. It’s a new feeling. Mm hmm.

24:39

Well, and that’s like what I said it’s like, there are those that have done the foundational work that have the ability to cope with change and embrace it in healthy ways. And there are clearly many that do not. And so what we’re seeing is, when we are in mature spiritually, I’ll just put it that way. It means we have not really evolved Where we’re practicing. For instance, deep breathing, you know, we’re allowing all the oxygen to come in and, and to get into every cell so that it’s reaching every place within our body so that we can thrive. If we’re shallow breathing, we’re going to hyperventilate, we’re going to overreact. We’re going to act out. If we’re a five year old, we’re going to handle things different than if we’re a 25 year old. So the five year olds are out there, going, you can’t make me do this. I it’s against my rights. I you know, it’s, it’s, you know, and it’s, but yet you can’t make somebody grow up faster than they already are. It’s all about consciousness from a spiritual place. So we have to evolve. I think that we, as a country, and as a human race are evolving and

26:01

Those that are

26:03

let me put this in a perspective of its what’s the most important thing?

26:09

Is it about how much money I can make?

26:12

Or is it about

26:14

caring for myself, and my family and my community and the people around me? We are all being called to make a choice and to recognize what’s relevant. And whether we’re going to be a part of creating a system that supports the thriving of all or am I just going to be self centered and it’s all about me. One of the things I noticed when I was moving through my grief experience, is the tendency for people to want you to get over it already. You know, haven’t you grieved long enough? Isn’t it time for you just to get back to life like it never happened. And for those of us that have experienced this Brief and I’m pretty sure most people have on some level but from a really intense place if you don’t get over it, you learn to live with it. And so that’s the process of grief and the healing processes. How do I live with something that part of me is trying to reject, that I don’t want to have to live with and yet there’s a place you come to acceptance, I can’t get back what i what i want what I had. And so we’re seeing all this acting out in our country and in the world, of those that are that are trying to force it to the back the way it was, or what allows them to not have to feel discomfort. And until they can come to acceptance until we come as a whole to accept that the world is changing. Our country is changing. societies are changing. as we evolve with new information and new technology, we need to be open to continually release what no longer serves us embrace the new things and find a way to integrate it. And the strong leaders are the ones that are able to guide their people through that. We’re struggling with it here in the United States right now.

28:25

We’re a in in it’s interesting that I had to put this timestamp so it’s July 26 2020. reason why I did the timestamp is you know, they’re still a projection of a second wave in the fall. And everyone experiences like you saying build the foundation and we can’t Monday morning quarterback, but there could have been an opportunity. You know, it’s been four months plus, where if you’re in the house, this could have been a time of understanding, breathing and in silence Right. But for the most part, at least here in the States, you had more of the bingeing of television and the distractions, like you said, with technology. Do you think that lessons learned if we do have a second way that is where we weren’t expecting them the first wave? But if it’s something beyond our comprehension, is this a duel over as to a white a right way to build a foundation on life and make some transformations?

29:29

Well, of course, you know, when I see everyday is that I also see that something that’s not being talked a lot about is okay, how do we support people that all of a sudden you’re finding their life as they know it no longer exists. They are struggling because they don’t know how to cope. I was already living mostly working from home I’ve been writing I’ve been developing programs and and seeing that working with people was It’s going to be a virtual experience that I don’t have to be face to face. So I was already thinking about along those lines, but not everybody has been. So it’s about I think we need to be talking about how do we help people with self care? How do we help people look at things in a new way and to see this time as the gift to really get to know myself to make the changes that I knew I needed to make anyway. So that I can be a healthier version of myself. You do not have to be gaining weight, just because all of a sudden you’re spending more time at home. You can still choose to make healthy choices. I have lost weight. But I was doing that before because I was making some healthy changes in my life because I put it as a priority. You have more time to exercise so there’s no excuse to be sitting around doing nothing. There’s things you can do in your house. You can still go For walks, you can our, our DNA, as both spiritual and human beings as divine and human, is to express ourselves creatively. And when we suppress that, and I think unresolved grief does that, then we feel stagnant. So this is the beautiful time for us to find a new way to express ourselves. What is it that’s been wanting that’s alive in us, it’s been wanting to be expressed, and you didn’t have the time to do it.

31:34

I got my book done.

31:37

I’ve been, you know, spending, you know, time painting I’ve actually written a children’s version of my book is really more of a story. It’s to help children deal with sadness, and I’m playing around with creating the illustration sport. I am using my time productively by exploring new things. So why aren’t we talking to people about that? Instead of what’s been taken from you? What can you add to your life because of this gift of time you’ve been given.

32:14

And going back to bed to me the very first scene, I think they made a slight nod to this. It was an Asian woman that had brought, you know, cry like a Mexican correct password or whatever. But she was coming to her like, Hey, we, you know, we know you’re going through grief if you have anyone to speak with. And then Christina pretty much slammed a door in her face. on what level should we because we’re in a lot of neighborhoods around the country where there are multiple cultures in the neighborhood. So how do we embrace other cultures that may be doing something that we’re not that we can learn from or we can learn from each other?

33:00

Well, you know, that’s a really good point. And that’s some of the things that we’re also seeing is that, you know, even in our country, there’s a lot of cultural differences in the different parts of our country. I grew up in the northwest, I now am living in well Cincinnati’s they call it the Midwest. That doesn’t seem right. To me, it’s closer to the east coast. But anyway, I’m seeing that life is different. We have our country has been founded on immigration. So of course, we have people from different countries and different belief systems and different spiritual practices that that manage and handle things differently. So instead of feeling fearful or avoiding or suspicious of people that are different than us, why are we not embracing that? And, you know, for me one of the gifts in in in grief is, is realizing gratitude, the gratitude for the little things that show up in our life and So if somebody comes to my door offering me something, and it might seem weird to me, or I’m feeling uncomfortable, or I don’t know them,

34:09

would it not be better to just say thank you?

34:13

And maybe just let them know, I’m not really opened a company right now. But I really appreciate your thoughtfulness. Again, we don’t talk about those things. We don’t teach those things about honoring our differences. And instead of assuming one thing, maybe it’s asking questions

34:32

to understand.

34:35

You know, I’m sorry, that seemed a little weird. Why are you doing that?

34:40

slamming the door on her face.

34:44

I just, you know, I just think there’s a lot of things we could do better. I had an experience with my administrative assistant, I was serving in ministry in California when my son was murdered. And it really took me back because I think thought well, especially somebody that was, you know, working with me and has an understanding of a belief systems and our spiritual practices would certainly have compassion understanding with what I was feeling. And after about three months, she told me I shouldn’t I be over it already, you know, it’s like I, I bring it, I talk about it too often. I’m like, I’m sorry, but it’s still very real for me. I tried to be aware of, you know, how I brought it up and how I talked about it and things but it was on my mind 24 seven. And I realized that not everybody understands the process of emotion or what somebody might be going through or because they’re uncomfortable with somebody else’s pain because they haven’t managed their own. They would like that other person to just not bring it out so that they don’t have to see it or be aware of it anymore. So shows like this to me, I think help people. Hopefully they’re having some conversations about how those characters are managing life and pain and grief. And how everybody does it a little differently. There is no perfect way there is no right way. It is what works for me. And can I, as long as somebody is not hurting me or breaking a law? Can I just accept how they handle it?

36:33

Right. So one thing that I was thinking about Megan was a conversation I had some time ago with a disaster consultant. And this consultant had been the Chernobyl they go on to, you know, 911 physically, you know, and helped in the, in the reconstruction and such. He did the Katrina you know, all these places and one One particular example I’d like to share was there were there was a fire in upstate New York. And it was, let’s say, apples to apples. So there were two two separate fires in two separate occasions and the fire where they both happen in apartment complexes and in the fire for apartment a they had one death and minimal damage and then in apartment be you know across town somewhere or across the state there was multiple deaths and multiple millions of dollars of damage. And he said the lessons learned from observing those two circumstances was in apartment a or example a everyone knew each other so they kind of looked out for each other like they knew you know the lady down on level one with the cat or she hasn’t been out feeding the birds today. So when the fire has People knock on each other’s doors. And they were had minimal damage. And the second example, no one, everyone, everyone kind of kept to themselves, you know, they were like, you know, that’s your deal. My, you know, I’m looking out for number one, and that’s where they had multiple damage. So do you think this, like you said for a transformation that’s happening, or ultimately can happen? Do you think that yet this is a great opportunity to actually know your neighbors? And if it is, how do you go? I mean, we’re not even talking different cultures now where they’re like, Get away from me because you’re not socially distancing. How do you how do you bridge that gap?

38:43

Well, you know, again, it’s like, everybody’s come from a different education, geographical influence of their, their society, their cultural practices, and whether they’re an introvert or extroverts and in how they communicate or interact. And we’re seeing that, like, on the news and in the media and the differences of how people handle things. But I think that’s a really important demonstration of when we take time to get to know the people that are around us. And we, instead of get so caught up on our own selves, we embrace the humanity of everyone around us and, and being more caring, and considerate, you know, even if I didn’t know my neighbor, but and knowing that there’s a threat to go and knock on the door and make sure that they they weren’t home and that they were, you know, they would get out or they know they had an animal, those kind of things. It’s a difference in awareness. And how do I embrace humanity versus Am I right? From a more fearful place of seeing everyone around me as a threat, instead of as a potential

40:09

enhancement of my life.

40:12

And I don’t, you know, I think some of that is taught and some of that is innately understood. But what I’m seeing happening in the world and especially freaking out in our country is there is so much fear that people have lost the ability to trust

40:33

others.

40:34

And when we’re acting from a place of fear, we we react to life instead of respond. We try to, you know, we’re trying to preserve ourselves and we’re pushing everybody away, and that’s never going to be a formula

40:52

for success, or a positive outcome.

41:00

When you said react to life that that made me think of the past four months, and you were talking about spiritually mature and mature spiritually here and as a generalization across the country, and, and I’m playing devil’s devil’s advocate here because I am a sports fan loves sports, what have you. And since we didn’t take the time to be quiet and learn breathing and getting close to our maker, there’s been a lot of upheaval to put it nicely. And the think since it is a we are inventory spiritually. That’s why there’s a push to bring back major sports because it was a good deterrent, or distraction of what we’re dealing with regularly if we can just focus on something else and not have to deal with it.

41:50

Well, yeah, I mean, there’s something about being able to check out from my life. That’s why I like you know, to read a really good fiction book. I can sort of, you know, Get engaged with somebody else’s experience. And, you know, in a, in a real world, there’s a balance in all things. And, and that doesn’t mean that, you know, watching sports is is not a good thing. But we can lose ourselves in, you know, if we say for instance, how will I survive if I don’t have my sports on TV again.

42:24

So it’s a reality check for all of us.

42:28

And we’re seeing that things are coming back differently. And so it’s like, check in with yourself, how are you feeling about this isn’t comfortable because it’s not the way I was used to it. So is there a part of me that’s trying to reject that? Or is there a part of me that’s curious and maybe open to like, well, let’s just see how it feels them. Because eventually I might get more comfortable with this new form of the way things are. So, you know, you don’t want to just toss out everything. And say it has to be one way how do we find a balance so that there’s a way to support everyone? There may be a little bit that we’re you know, we don’t have the way we want it, but that’s the evolution of life. Those are the ones that thrive are the ones that are able to adapt to the change and be more curious than fearful.

43:24

Okay, well, I have a multiple world question for you. And the multiple world question it’ll be a softball or multiple in this multiple world. In my old life, I unlike you, today, my current life is is indoors. I do a lot of inbound marketing, what have you so for years, so it was kind of easier to it wasn’t that big of a transition going on what’s happening now, but in a previous life, I was I had to travel around the country. I was working with an architecture firm and we had to we design research labs. So we would go in this instance, we will go to, depending on where you are, whoever you’re listening, whoever’s listening Louisville, Louisville, Louisville, right. There’s three ways to say it. And yeah, so where are they? And you know, we’re at a bar or whatever. And the fight breaks out because you know, somebody says, Kentucky’s better than Louisville or whatever, right? You’re like, wow, okay, okay. Yeah. So you’re like, oh, what year did you graduate from? Louisville, Louisville, Louisville, right? What year did you graduate or like, I think go, right. So you’re like, you put all this stock into an entity that you don’t I mean, it doesn’t even reflect you you’re not even getting a paycheck from them, right? But you put all your energy into this entity. So today, you’re seeing I’m seeing multiple worlds and that’s why I want to get your opinion because there there is that reluctance to go back to work. But if we look at the celebrities The athletes, right? Some of them are like, I feel sick today, I’m not going to go on for it. They get paid millions of dollars. And they’re the ones that are getting tested more frequently than the other half. So the loan question about the haves and have nots. What’s your take on that? where it seems like there is a definite chasm? And it seems like a caste system is forming in this country.

45:27

Yeah, that’s, I think that’s a bit scary. I believe that what we’re seeing is, is

45:35

the lack of of balance.

45:37

And

45:40

that what we have

45:44

I think that there’s been this, this push for the corporate America, and that that’s sort of the model of success, and that we somehow have forgotten that not everybody can accomplish the same way. have goals. That doesn’t mean that they’re less than or incapable, but they didn’t have the opportunities for whatever reason to elevate themselves. I believe that we should all have the opportunity to thrive, to survive to have the basic elements of have a breathing space, you know, to have a home and food and safety. And those focuses need to be brought back into as the decisions are made from a leadership level.

46:33

I

46:37

the call for change is huge. And we’re seeing the extremes. And I believe that people have the right to demonstrate their opinions to protest things that we have that and but it’s gotten it’s lost its way. You know, by destroying things by fighting others. It doesn’t serve purpose and it doesn’t have a positive outcome. But clearly the imbalance in our country in our culture is clear. But from a spiritual place, the only way that things can be transformed to make it as a better place of thriving for all is to bring it all out into the open, there’s been too much that’s been hidden in the darkness. That has, and and everything that’s happening right now is bringing it all into light. There’s nothing that can hide. And so the ugliness of what we have created is very visible. And not everybody is is willing to accept it. And I like many are like, I don’t know the answers, but but if we move forward with a positive intention, I believe that we can reconstruct and come back into a place where we can find a way to have the balance to support all people. We’ve lost our way. We’ve lost the compassion for humanity, I believe. And there are many now that are stepping up and vocalizing that Marianne Williamson, actually, she’s writing the foreword to my book. That’s one of the pieces we’re waiting to put into place here, a deep thinker factor in her her willingness to challenge what’s happening and to not just be complacent and go with the norm and, and to be, you know, that reflection of what needs to be looked at, and, and have the courage to be the voice that isn’t welcomed by everybody. Yeah.

48:47

It’s interesting when you when you said that, because, you know, one could argue, oh, well, it’s, excuse me, it’s 2020. And what C stands for, it’s not great for the the whole United States Right, and you’re like, like, it’s it’s a new concept. But you know, if we scratch a little bit and get some dirt under our nails, we know that this type of mindset has been happening since the 1920s and scratched a little more, you know, the 1850s. There’s always been that element that she espouses. And it seems from a from a general acceptance of that. It’s still a huge reluctance because it’s not the it’s not the mainstream.

49:34

Absolutely. And, and what we’re starting to realize is that is the mainstream, what we should be adhering to anymore because even the mainstream needs to transform. Even the mainstream needs to be willing to release what no longer serves the whole what’s no longer working and embrace new concepts and ideas so that we can integrate them into what we’re becoming, we should always be open into becoming something new and fresh and more empowering. And it’s it’s a consciousness expanding process. But we can’t comprehend the possibility. If we haven’t been doing our own work, to be willing to be courageous enough to look at the deep parts of ourselves that are wounded, that have withdrawn because of pain and we don’t know how to cope, that are fearful, that have felt neglected or condemned or abused. To bring all of that out to be healed and transformed. We need to be teaching people how to do that. So that instead of trying to judge those that are different, or sick or somebody that speaks something that I’m unfamiliar with Or a frightening to me doesn’t mean that it’s a bad thing. But I might be open enough to consider the possibility of it before I make a decision. Marianne Williamson is challenging us to do that.

51:15

Absolutely. Before we started recording, I’d mentioned the spiritual community here in Atlanta, and the sister that I talked about earlier, she had committed suicide. And in the spiritual community, you know, there’s a great community. And in one of the ladies, she has spirit, she’s part of like this big grief Council, if you will, or foundation and, and this happened in the 70s, that she was like, a pillar of the community, right? The general I mean, if I could separate the two even though there should be together, the spiritual communion, spiritual community and the mainstream community, and the reason why I bring up the 70 she’s this pillar and then her Son committed suicide. And so she was, you know, sharing with us how, you know, the feelings that she felt of if I’m the pillar, this should never happen to me like, how are people going to look at me? Because it happened to me, how should I respond? And so, with you and your background, I just wanted you if you if you don’t mind, sharing your process of forgiveness for what happened with your son seven years ago?

52:32

Well, forgiveness is a huge spiritual practice and tool for healing and transforming our lives. And, you know, I have dealt with people that have dealt with that have had the, you know, death by suicide by a family member, and how it can destroy them. And I think back in the 70s it was more of a stigma. You know, like you cause that to happen or The effect on the family when somebody chooses to take their life is tremendous. I had a friend that committed suicide and one of the things that mutual minister helped me understand was, you know, one, it’s like you can’t put yourself in somebody else’s life and understand what they’re dealing with, and what they’re coping with and what they feel they can cope with or not, and that that particular person felt like she just wasn’t. She was only living halfway in this world that she wasn’t. She didn’t belong here anymore. So I came to accept that was her choice. It’s not mine to decide for her what she should or shouldn’t have done. So forgiveness, like I said before, it’s a practice that we do for ourselves. It’s not about letting the other person off the hook. It doesn’t mean that, that whatever somebody does, they’re not to be held accountable. There aren’t consequences to their, their actions. And so for me, I learned a lot more than I ever want to know about the judicial system walking through this process. It took 18 months before the detectives found the two men that were primarily responsible for my son’s murder and arrested them went through another two years of the legal process of delays and whatever. And eventually they

54:28

they bargained for a

54:31

What do you call them, they just spaced out and it didn’t go to trial. So they accepted a plea bargain. And one of them was in exchange for information because there were other people involved. It’s still an open case for that part of it. But what I had to realize is that as a spiritual teacher, if I was going to teach the value of forgiveness as a practice for living, I had to practice it myself. And this was a huge test. And how I would do that. So it’s about separating yourself and the impact of actions that others have made on you. And, and not focusing my energy against them, because they did this horrible thing. But to release myself from the bondage of that energy that will just be dragging me through the rest of my life if I live in with anger and you know, vengeance and feeling victimized because somebody did something to me or affected my life,

55:35

that I could forgive them and

55:38

ultimately, I went to a parole hearing for one of the defendants, the one that did not actually pull the trigger, my son was shot three times. And part of the process was that I could write a statement that I read to him in the pro hearing. This was in the State of Israel. And the process. They were very compassionate and how they handle it. The defendant is at the prison in a room. And so he’s on a big TV screen. So it wasn’t in the same room that I was in. And I was in the room with the parole board. When I read the letter, he, he could hear me but he couldn’t see me. So it was less intimidating that way, but actually wrote in my letter that my spiritual practices is forgiveness. And so I forgive him for his actions because I believe that a spiritually mature person would choose to take another’s life because they don’t understand the value of life.

56:46

And that

56:49

it isn’t for me to condemn him or hold that against him. And that whatever he did, he did in the moment, from his lack of

57:01

spiritual maturity,

57:03

and that he’s in prison now because of the consequences of his action. And that’s where he deserved to be. But that I released him energetically from my focus. Because self care and releasing me from that toxic energy that unforgiveness is, was a gift to give myself. And, and I do hold my intention for this young man because he was only 19 when he was arrested. And he had the lesser of a sentence of 14 years, because he gave him information that could be helpful, but my intention for him is that he uses the resources of the prison system to educate himself, to heal himself to transform himself and to come out his society as a better human being.

57:58

That he can use his opportunity to grow.

58:02

And then and for me that then he gives himself the potential a better life that my son didn’t have. And that’s almost like making my son matters somehow, if that makes any sense at all,

58:23

thanks a ton of sense of the brain Lord, thank you for sharing that. And just to bring some more levity to it, it’s the example of Christina Applegate. Right like she’s not allowing the process to have another in mind you I’ve only seen two episodes. So I’m glad that I actually had the conversation with you because that was actually stopping. But, you know, in the two episodes, she’s doing the quote unquote detective work and going by and checking out cars and stuff and, and not following the process. So you’ve been definitely instrumental. I mean, you dropped a lot of nuggets today that Two big takeaways that I have is the process of forgiveness. And then also the patience and understanding that that battle between free will and God’s will. And it sounds like we may have just scratched the surface. And you do have the four main from Marianne Williamson for your new upcoming book unraveling grief, a mother’s spiritual journey of healing and discovery. How could people find out when the books coming out? What’s your website if they have additional information that they want to get from you?

59:33

My website is I have an alternative ministry as unity awakening ways so the website is www unity awakening ways one word.org and if you would like to be on the presale list to get informed when the book is available, you can email unraveling grief@gmail.com and I will get you on that list. It will be uploaded onto Amazon and Ingram and I also have just recorded an audio version. So that should be ready about the same time I’m hoping and in about another month that will be available on Audible. So those are the key things I do do grief healing retreats, I have a wonderful retreat partner who is a certified sound healer, a singer songwriter, and we we use her vibrational work and integrate my grief coaching and guided meditation and do healing retreats. We have a virtual one coming up on August 22. That’s a Saturday, the noon to 330 Eastern time. And all the retreat information is on the website. I’m doing a live one at Unity village and in next March. So that would be a way to keep informed with the different activities and programs and events that I have. And I I just you know for me, bringing great value to the conversation the world and helping people understand how important it is to embrace it in your life so that you can transform it and not Let that painful energy holds you back. We all deserve to have a magnificent life. And,

61:07

you know,

61:09

trauma, grief, pain, loss, all those things are going to happen. We can’t avoid them. So we have to find a way to manage it and live with it is it’s not something that just goes away no matter what other people hope. So thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about it and to bring it out into the open and there is lots more to say about it.

61:33

Yes, and I am so happy that you have it coming out on Audible because I am a huge fan of audio books. I know some people turn their noses. But I get a lot of work done during the day while I listen to these great books. And I’m sure I’ll add yours to the list. So with that you have been mean to another episode of intrinsic motivation from a homeys perspective. This is Hamza Megan, come back anytime. It was a pleasure speaking with you.

62:02

Thank you. I’d love to have more chats with you. Thank you

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