“Brian Bennett featured on Holy Soup podcast”
by Thom Shulz
October 19, 2016
With a little over a month before we elect a new president, with racial tensions at an all time high, with terrorist attacks going on around the country, the biggest news story for the last few days is…the breakup of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie?
We created the “perfect couple” years ago. Two huge stars. Two beautiful people. A Hollywood dynasty…now gone wrong. And the feeding frenzy begins. Who’s the good guy? Who’s the bad guy? How did we miss this?
We missed it because when we peel away the beauty, the power and the money, these two people are no different than you and I. The dynamics of their breakup are no different than other ‘normal people’ who live around us. They could be our friends, or our neighbors or they could be us. It is apparent now that they had issues just like we all do.
The danger we all live with every single day is the tension we create within ourselves and our relationships when we spend more energy pretending to be someone we aren’t, instead of dealing with who we really are. Pretending is exhausting.
Im not saying we need to “let it all out” at church or little league games . I am saying if something is off within you or a relationship you’re in, find somewhere safe you can talk about it before the train wreck happens. Trust me, that is easier to say than actually do. I learned the hard way.
Part of the journey to becoming a FREEk is letting go of all the effort it takes to manage an image. We now know Brangelina wasn’t perfect…neither am I, and I suspect you aren’t either.
One opinion matters…and it ain’t yours.
Mental illness is a heavy term. Depression, anxiety, and fear are some of its arsenal, pulling people away in isolation, which adds to feeling completely overwhelmed is the strategy.
If you’ve never experienced it, it is hard to understand. If you have or are experiencing it, it is hard to explain.
A couple of days ago I read an article about Coach Urban Meyer. The article is long, but worth the read. Here is the link. http://thelab.bleacherreport.com/i-m-not-the-lone-wolf/
I wanted to include a couple of excerpts to let you know that if you struggle (like I do), You. Are. Not. Alone!
From Shelley Meyer, Urban’s wife, “When he was in the middle of it, that’s where you can’t think. In a black hole, you don’t see things the right way.”
When it came to the mind Urban was like many men, “He had an attitude of, you should be strong, and you should be able to handle things yourself. Like a lot of people. Millions and millions and millions of people think that way. And even as we went along, he had the attitude about what mental illness really is.”
Urban says, “I hate to admit that, but yeah, 15 years ago, maybe 10 years ago, I would’ve been like, C’mon man, toughen up. What the hell’s wrong with you?”
Today he has embraced that part of who is. Now he starts his days very differently. No football, no film, no coaching. He gets a text every morning from a friend, a scripture, which is the verse he uses to begin his daily bible reading. He says this, “If I don’t get that text every morning, I’m a mess.” He talks with people constantly, and Shelley in particular, sometimes calling her a dozen times a day. “Constantly making sure. I self-check. I have Shelley self-check. We talk a lot.”
The author of this article says he rarely gives interviews this time of year, but he made an exception for one simple reason, “To help that man or woman who’s going through s–t right now, and struggling.”
This is the core of FREEk Island. A community of men and women who might have some
s–t going on, and desire to be honest about it.
Huge respect to Coach Meyer.
Sometimes our actions inadvertently land us on the island, sometimes it’s the actions of others. This time Colin Kaepernick chartered a speed boat and set his own coordinates.
Whether you agree or disagree with his actions and comments, make no mistake, he knew exactly what he was doing long before the stadium announcer asked everyone to stand and take off their hats to honor our country with the National Anthem.
He wanted the spotlight and the attention. He now has supporters and critics. This is the land of the free and home of the brave, which provides opportunities for both the courageous and the foolish. Which one is Kaepernick?
Personally, I think it backfired on him. I suspect that since this has become a national story, more people are standing up faster and singing the Anthem louder than they did a few days ago. So, for that, thanks Colin. And welcome to FREEk Island. Our “pledge of allegiance” is to you as a person who matters.
Letting go is hard to do. In the last 8 months I’ve accepted that it is the only way to true freedom. That’s why FREEk is spelled the way it is. The goal is to try to provide a safe, accepting community so each one of us can become the best version of who we were created to be. That’s the good, bad and ugly parts of our past and present.
I’ve personally learned that CANNOT be done with one foot on the mainland and the other on the island. Relationally, emotionally, or spiritually. What does that mean?
Messy, broken, brutally honest people understand and want to help other messy, broken, brutally honest people.
If you’re still worried about what judgmental, self-righteous, condemning people think of you…you will never be able to move forward.
The “shake the sand” mindset isn’t original with me. It came from the original FREEk. Jesus Christ loved messy, broken people. When he and his team tried to share that message they met strong opposition from “mainlanders” of his day.
I thought I was further along in this than I was until a personal event hit my family last January.
I didn’t go into hiding for the last 8 months. I’ve finally set up full-time residence on FREEk Island. I’ve found I’m not alone. And if you’re reading this, neither are you.
My encouragement to you is to shut out any voices that are not breathing life into you. Shame, guilt and regret will not get you where you need to go. Here’s my mantra lately, “I don’t want to stay where I am, but I don’t want to go back to where I was. I want to go where I’ve always been afraid to go.”
Free LifeShop Series Event
Moving on following a crisis or loss is difficult. Some people seem to move on as if nothing has happened, but that may not be the case for you or someone you know. Join us for our first in a series of FREE LifeShop discussions. Our first will deal with how to get ‘unstuck’.
We have a capacity of 35 and if you sign up here, please enjoy a 10% discount on anything you order at Saxbys during the LifeShop.
The dress is casual, the atmosphere is relaxed, and we hope the information and community will be helpful.
Tuesday, June 28th, 7pm – 8:30 pm
Saxby’s Oakwood. 6 Oakwood Ave. Dayton, Ohio 45409