A Conversation from the Heart – Don’t Give Up

A Heart to Heart Conversation with Ron and Don

Tuesday afternoon, September 29th, 2020, I had the privilege of being a guest on the Ron and Don Show, Episode #163. We had a heart-to-heart conversation about how difficult life is for us right now, and even more so for those who are feeling lost or down, they may be thinking of taking their own lives. So we spoke about how to navigate through the rapid waters of life and process the difficult and dark moments.

A personal journey I know well and experienced on both sides. 

Briefly, as I shared with Ron and Don, I lost my son to suicide in December 2008. Kenny was 30 years old.

December 20th was the worst day of my life and my family’s life. 

I also serve as a Chaplain for South Snohomish County Fire through Support 7, a non-profit who directly and practically partners with South Snohomish County Fire / Police/  and first responder agencies. We come alongside people in need at the moment of tragedy and crisis, helping victims, survivors, and their families move from trauma to hope and healing.

My heart work is serving those who have one of the worst days of their life.

So how does one cope?

How does one get through the worst time of their life? I speak for myself, in the beginning, and a few years after, it was hard. Very difficult. I felt numb, foggy, disenchanted with life.  It felt like I was in a surreal dream, and I just wanted someone to wake me up and tell me this nightmare was just a bad dream. It was not. 

What does one do when navigating the rapid waters of life?

I have a few tips . . .

to share that I have used over the last 12 years.

I had a support system that checked in with me daily—Family, friends, business colleagues. At that time, I worked in Corporate America as a CFO.  My belief, this was all God, the prior six months, I worked on hiring a brand new team, preparing for massive growth. I had no idea how I was going to function with it all. My team stepped up and took the lead. I was blessed and grateful.

After losing my son in 2008 and then five family members in 2017 (over a six-month period), I needed help outside of my friends and family.  I sought a grief counselor, someone that resonated with me: other options, a pastor, or a chaplain.  I interviewed a couple of counselors before I found someone that I resonated with.

I was seeking wisdom and guidance, and there are times I still do.

A few good reads . . .

Books help me with my mindset, they make me think from a different perspective. 

I used my Bible, Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind by Joyce MeyersI most definitely was battling with my mind. 

After losing my son, “I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye: Surviving, Coping, and Healing After the Sudden Death of a Loved One” by Brook Noel and Pamela D. Blair.

Michael Singer’s book – “The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Self”

I felt heard, seen, and acknowledged.

Another great book of Michael Singer’s is “The Surrender Experiment.” Learning to live in the flow of what is.  Its a powerful, life-changing read.

It’s Ok that you are not Ok: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture that Doesn’t Understand by Megan Devine.

A few newer books I have been reading: 

 Overcoming the Challenges of Change: A Spiritual Self-Help Guide for Transforming Uncertainty into Possibility by Ronda Renee

Your Inner River of Peace: Ten Messages of Love by Candace Jean Newman

A few other things I do:

Listen to music on Spotify. I LOVE worship music by Hill Song, Lauren Daigle, Bethel Music, Chris Tomlin, Kristene Dimarco, 

And Heart: Stairway to Heaven Live at Kennedy Center. EPIC!!

There are great meditations that calm my mind: This specific one stilling the mind, I use every morning as I wake up – it’s quite powerful. As soon as I hear it, I instantly feel safe, calm, and at peace—a GREAT way to start your day.

Meditation . . .

Starting the day in God’s presence: Guided mindfulness meditation (20 mins)

Hypnotherapy . . .

Most recently, I have been using Hypnotherapy from Grace Smith. She has a mission – to make hypnotherapy mainstream. 

Using Hypnotherapy is quite powerful. An article on Grace’s web-site shares Hypnotherapy has a 93% recovery after 6 sessions

Move your body . . .

Take a walk in Mother Nature. 

I am quite blessed to live in the Pacific NW, in which trees surround me along with the mountains and Puget Sound. 

Exercise, move your body. Your body talks to you if you don’t listen to it, it will talk back, and not in a positive way. Just move, stretch, dance, get outside. Take a walk in the rain. 

Get a massage, go to your chiropractor for an adjustment. It makes a difference. See an energy healer.  

Pray, pray, and pray.

I shared what I have done, and,  you can create your own.  I tried things out that did not work, so experimenting is a good practice.

Know this, I still have my down days, and I listen to them. I honor my emotional lows. I take a nap, go out in the garden, get out of the house. My body talks to me, so I listen.

Also, melancholy is part of our journey in life. It teaches us to appreciate the light when we are experiencing dark moments.

If you try hard to make things better, stop and take a breath, then take a nice, deep, letting go breath. Please hear me.

You are not alone. You do not need to figure this out all by yourself. The tough part is, thinking you are alone makes where you are more challenging and more complicated.

Reach out for support and guidance.  I am here to serve.  Serving YOU is my heart work.

My door is open when you are ready.

Hugs to you today! (Yes, I am a hugger) 🙂