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Transcript of It's Okay If You're Not Okay podcast 09/02/2019

All: [00:00] But did you see the end? Yeah. With the Backstreet Boys? Yes. I couldn't stand it. I don't like them, but that's the perfect end to a movie, man. Oh, hold on. I just got a text from Backstreet. They don't like Josh either. That's wonderful.

Keith: [00:24] Welcome friends. Thanks for listening to another episode. I'm Keith. I'm Kate. I'm Josh. I'm Renee. And It's Okay If You're Not Okay. So today is a special personal sharing episode. So we will give our lovely disclaimer right up front. The views and opinions expressed in this podcast do not necessarily represent those of Johnson County mental health center or Johnson County government. And with that in mind, we're talking today about what is our favorite piece of media or creative work: book, movie song that has shaped us the most in the ways we think about life or relationships, mental health along those lines. And so yeah, Kate start us off.

Kate: [01:04] So I found this question to be really hard. I don't know about anyone else because I went the music route. And for me, anyone who hears the music I'm listening to will be able to tell what mood I'm in just instantaneously. They have my go-tos. Just even for genres. So I was driving here today and I was like, I don't know which one I'll pick. I thought about going The Greatest Showman route, you know, something that everyone could connect to. Josh is giving me the "No."

Renee: [01:32] I'm giving you the thumbs up,

Kate: [01:34] Great movie. But as I was driving here, I actually decided to go with a song that I heard for the first time I just had Pandora on and it's called "If You Want Me To" by Ginny Owens, and again, I'd never heard it before and I won't get into too much detail about the song, but what they talked about throughout is how we don't always understand why we're on the journey that we're on, but that ultimately when we keep persevering, we keep getting back up eventually down the road. We'll understand. Maybe not now, maybe not in 10 years, but we'll get an understanding of why we've been through what we've been through. And for me to give you an example of we weren't the same person we were when we were learning how to walk and how hard that probably was when we were that age and navigating it and how you have to go through certain milestones to eventually break through and do the work that you do now and be the person you are. And so for me, driving here today, that spoke a lot to what I was needing to hear in that moment.

Keith: [02:37] So that's not like a long time favorite piece, but as you heard it, it just really encapsulated your life experience.

Kate: [02:45] Yeah. Cause I think a lot of, I'll speak for myself a lot of times I am left with questions about why I've experienced some of the things I've experienced. And I have not understood and I to make understanding of things as my way of making things okay and when I was driving, I know a lot of the reason why I do what I do now in terms of work goes back to past experiences and this song came on and it just hit home. And even for things I'm going through where I'm at today, I'm able to look back 10 plus years ago and go. I would not have picked that journey for myself, but because of it I'm doing X, Y, and Z now. Yeah. And I'm making something of it and things today I realized I don't understand maybe what I'm experiencing right now, but maybe in 10 years, 15 years I'll be able to look back and go again. I wouldn't have picked that journey for myself, but because of it I can now do X, Y and Z.

Josh: [03:48] Is there, is there a specific piece of that song or lyrics or something that, that really spoke to you out of that, out of that song that, I mean, cause if you think about like music, right, right. But I mean like sometimes there's like a, a chorus piece or something that you really like just pulls at something, right? Not necessarily the whole song. The whole song brings it all together. But like sometimes there's just a piece of it that you really connect with.

Kate: [04:15] Yeah. Oh gosh, I'm looking at the lyrics now and it really hit me right off the bat cause I remember when it first came on Pandora, I actually, before the word started, hit skipped because I just wasn't getting into it, but I was out of my skips cause it's the free version of Pandora. And so I was like, okay, well I guess I need to listen to it. Yeah. So I was like, all right, well I'll sit here and I'll see what comes on next. And then the words came on. I'm sorry, Ginny Owens, if you ever listened to this that I just said that. But once the words came on right away, are we able to, I'd miss that first let's talk about, okay, "The pathway is broken and the signs are unclear and I don't know the reason why you brought me here, but just because you love me the way you do. I'm going to walk through the valley if you want me to because I'm not who I was when I took my first step and I'm clinging to the promise you're not through with me yet. So if all of these trials bring me closer to you, then I'll go through the fire if you want me to." And so this does have, you know, more of a religious undertone, but I also took it, whether it's through those trials and tribulations, if it's bringing you closer to your higher power or bringing yourself closer to you. Like I think through a lot of the journeys I've been on or others around me have been on, you really come to know who you are when you're faced with adversity.

Keith: [05:42] It's kind of interesting that you, cause you brought up The Greatest Showman as a, as a possibility, as an alternative. And while this particular song you did choose does lean towards a more religious perspective, The Greatest Showman leans more towards that inward journey of being confident in who we are and our own personal identity and knowing ourselves. And so there's, there's a theme that kind of overarches that regardless of what your worldview is, that there's value in having confidence in who you are and kind of owning, owning that.

Renee: [06:16] But something that we believe here at the Mental Health Center and this goes, I mean this is deep rooted in our personnel and in our expectations here that we believe that people can learn, change and grow. That is something that we are tasked with as employees of this agency to challenge that belief. Right. And so I think this speaks to that really well for me. Yeah. That I, and I, and I've, I've been in tough situations with, you know, with relationships, with friends, with family, and people go "Oh, a leopard never changes his spots..." Well I have to sit back and check myself and in this role and in this time of my life, I have committed to the belief that people can learn, change and grow and journeys are a way that we do that.

Keith: [07:04] I was I met a few weeks ago with a development officer from my undergraduate institution, and she does she travels to the city and it meets with alumni who graduated in the last 15 years tend to be millennials. And she asked them some similar questions. And so one of the things she, she asked them is, what is one piece of advice you'd give to graduating seniors of our, of our university. And she recently posted on LinkedIn, kind of the, the results of that informal survey, but she said 75% of the people she talked to said something along the lines of, "Be open to a totally different career path than what you're pointing into doing in your undergraduate." Yeah. And I was among those, I gave that piece of advice when she met with me as well. I am in my third completely different career right now. And so there's the reality that we often we have in mind to where we think life ought to go or where we, where we think we want life to go. And we can get really stressed out about that. You think about, I mean, that's the like the whole epitome of the undergraduate experience. At least like stereotypical undergraduate experience of being stressed out picking the exact right major. I think we've all shared times we've changed degrees or education tracks even in the midst of that. But then being okay that that path can change. We do grow, right? We do change what's important to us. Our, our priorities in life change and we make decisions based on different sets of perspectives and the way that we interact with people can change and, and does change.

Kate: [08:49] Well, I think to your point, one of the things I have to constantly remind myself is I can think back to so many times I've been absolutely livid with someone for putting their own expectations of who I should be or what I should be on me. And I get so mad, but I've had to actually change that and go, I also need to check myself and make sure that I don't put my own expectations on me to be certain person, a certain place, a certain anything, and just try and I'm not there yet, so I'm sure my parents will listen to this and roll their eyes, but I am not there yet.

Josh: [09:25] Oh, I think they're just going to love you and roll their eyes.

Kate: [09:31] I'm not there yet, but I have to constantly remind myself of, am I thinking this because I'm not doing my best or am I thinking I need to be at that next place because I expect myself to have been there.

Josh: [09:45] Oh, I just want to go into all kinds of things when you say things like that,

Kate: [09:49] Oh no, Oh no. So who else wants to jump in?

Keith: [09:51] I think that the reality is the things are you you're saying are things that we that resonate with us in the room. Either we've personally experienced that or we've been with people who have personally experienced it. We've had to process that experience.

Josh: [10:03] I truly believe and this and I'll and I'll die with this, is that everybody is doing their best. Always. And so when you say, "I don't know if I'm doing my best," I believe that you're doing your best.

Kate: [10:19] Right, right. I'm saying I have to ask myself because I'm, it's always comes back to, yes, I'm doing my best and so it's that reminder to myself that I am disappointed for several reasons. One, if I'm disappointed in that moment is because I'm not where I feel like I should be because I'm playing the comparison game, or I'm disappointed because I'm constantly focused on what that next step could be. That when I get to that next step, I'm then focusing on the next...

Josh: [10:47] if I get to here, then this will happen. And then you get to there and then you go... "I'm going to get in my master’s degree." Okay I've got my master's degree then what?

Kate: [10:58] Right. Or it does happen. And you've missed it completely because you've been so focused on what could be next at what you working for the whole time has just gone right past you.

Keith: [11:08] I want to not go down a bunny trail but kind of go down a bunny trail. No, no. Like this is ...

Josh: [11:14] Can we say rabbit hole rabbit hole as opposed to bunny trail. I don't know.

Keith: [11:19] This is great that you brought this up cause I actually, I am, I am coming to disagree with you Josh or maybe not.

Josh: [11:28] Oh my ego. It's starting to...

Keith: [11:31] So this is something that we talked about a couple of times and you bring up that perspective about everybody doing their best is really interesting to me. I've been thinking about that for a while. Like, because I think that I, I see the value in that perspective on the big picture. And as you're, as you're working through where a person is in the big picture of their life. I have a harder time owning that perspective in some of the immediate decisions that we make. Like, and I'm saying like on this one specific decision, there are times when we know what the right thing is to do and we choose the wrong thing anyways, or almost like a...Oh man, we're getting warmed up in here.

Renee: [12:15] Me and Josh are the starting line of this race and we're ready to talk

Keith: [12:21] I guess what I want to, what I want to say is I think that I agree with you. I want to say yes and or yes, but I stick with and yeah. Yes, yes. And I think there's still yes, and I don't want to completely do away with personal responsibility for individual decisions.

Kate: [12:44] I agree.

Renee: [12:45] So my, my, my statement is even if I choose the wrong thing, that was still my best in that moment and it is my responsibility not having maybe the outcome that I wanted. Okay. I didn't, I didn't want to choose the bad thing. Maybe I did. Guys, I had pizza last night for dinner and I was like, all right, Renee, reduce your carbs. This is easy, right? I did my best last night. Okay. I did my best. It wasn't the outcome I wanted, so I have to look inside myself and decide the next, the path I want to take when I'm confronted with that choice again. Because last night I did the best that I could and I made the wrong decision. And that's okay.

Keith: [13:31] That's, that's helpful to me. Josh, I'll let you jump in before I also respond.

Josh: [13:35] So, and I'll take it a step farther. I don't see Rene's decision being right or wrong. I see it as just a decision that she made that was not the what she wanted for her outcome. Right? Effectiveness. Right. So and the clinician side of me goes to one of my favorite trainers Miss Lenahan, Dr Lenahan, and she says, and the, the creator of dialectical behavior therapy, we are always doing the best we can and we can always try to do better. Yup. Right? So we make that, we build the skills that we build and we can move to that next thing. So yes, in the moment we're doing the best we can with the information that we have, the choices in front of us and, and the environment, right? So we, so we make that choice accordingly. That's the best that we can do at that moment. And the next moment may be, I have more information so therefore I could make a more effective decision, which would have a more effective outcome. So that's what, that's my counter argument to you and saying that we are human beings are doing the best they can at every moment in their life with the information that they have.

Renee: [14:52] Because if we weren't, we would do things differently.

Keith: [14:56] My brain is just processing. Okay. I want to talk more about that, but I don't want to talk more about that because we could have a whole episode about that. So maybe, maybe let's talk about another time because there's some really interesting pieces and I think that ties in some with, and I think this, this is helpful as we think about mental health, it ties in with the ways in which our own worldviews or religious perspectives shape the way we understand even mental wellness and how we process that as you work. I know as, as staff here work with clients that plays into it and what your client believes plays into how you talk with him, right. And, and work with them. And so that, that may be an interesting conversation for that time. So Kate thank you for bringing us to...you, you opened the, this door of how that song shapes the way we think about our life journeys.

Kate: [15:59] You can also thank Pandora for that.

Josh: [16:00] I paid for the family plan of Spotify. So I don't even know what Pandora is.

Keith: [16:11] Spotify. If you're listening, please reach out and pay us for sponsoring. Yes, yes, please. Renee, what's your favorite media piece?

Renee: [16:23] I'm so excited and you guys the, the folks in this room will, we'll know it immediately. I've probably talked about it a lot and I was introduced to this story, The Shawshank Redemption, as a movie first. So I'm super excited. Yes, I'm getting lots of fun looks around the room. I just want to just call a spade a spade. And the word redemption is in the title of this movie. Again, that's the first way that I intercepted, intersected with it. Sorry. And man, right. So just talking about the word redemption and, and some of you might know it in a religious context and I'm not really even even going there. It's just one of the definition of like being saved from or saving from error. And that's, that's a really abstract concept to me, right? Cause I'm gonna make mistakes. I'm gonna make mistakes. I will be in error. And so I'm, I, I was also kinda smiling inside talking about this whole journey thing. And now this really does. I, there's a golden thread here for sure. What we believe about people and the journeys that we're on. So, so, right. We're just just redemption, human redemption in either saving ourselves or somebody else from a moment of error that we are not those moments of error. We are so much more than that. Those are just, honestly, errors and mistakes. Guys are just the grain of sand in the beach of life. Right? Life's a beach.

Josh: [18:04] Good thing we're recording that cause I mean that was profound.

Renee: [18:09] Are you being sarcastic? I don't either. Just so redemption, right? The human redemption of being saved from error. And I've got to also put out there and hope, I was just reminded of the hope that when again, kind of going back to that decision making, spoiler alert, some of the folks that were incarcerated in the fictional prison of Shawshank were guilty. Some were innocent. A lot of them shared hope and their behaviors articulated that hope and some articulated, the lack of hope. So that stuck with me. I could talk about this movie forever.

Josh: [18:55] That's still one of those, it's still one of those movies. There's a few of them that can maybe count on one hand or two that were ever, I catch that movie, I'll watch it. I will, I will stop everything that I'm doing and I'll sit down and I'll, I'll finish that movie out from wherever it is. If I have to be somewhere else, I'm calling in late or sick.

Renee: [19:14] I'm gonna use that next time. I'm looking for something. I'm sorry. I watch Shawshank from the beginning. Josh has been [inaudible] it's a long movie. It is. I mean, it's on the longer side. And so one of the other things that, it's not really in the movie, but it's really helped my again, my, my philosophy of, of, of human and human nature is guys, the, the books, a hundred pages and so the story that was, huh? Oh man. Just beautifully, beautifully written. It's a short story. It's a hundred pages long.

Josh: [19:51] Is that a novella is that what they call that?

Renee: [19:55] And so then take it a step farther, the king of horror, Stephen King wrote this short story, guys, that's, that's a dialectic right there, right? That, that, that, that, that author gets pigeonholed in a certain genre of, right. Horror, gruesome. And this man wrote a story of redemption.

Josh: [20:21] Did he write it under David Bachman?

Renee: [20:22] No, absolutely not. Yeah. So right. That's the pseudonym knows Stephen King. It's a, I believe a, it does that instead of four. So it was one of four short stories in a book. And it's Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank prison. Oh, that's right. Yeah. So, so when countering that as a movie first and just falling in love with it and then going, Oh my goodness, there's a book. Oh, what's a hundred pages? I can maybe read that in a night. And then going, what? It's Stephen King and I was young. I don't even know if I'm allowed to read Stephen King. Mom. Am I allowed to read Stephen King? No, you're not Renee. Yeah, I was. She was. They were, they were really cool about that. And let me again, explore that. So I learned, not necessarily okay. Incoming pun not to judge a book by its cover. You're welcome. Talk amongst yourselves. Have you all seen it? I have not

Keith: [21:23] I've seen it once. Okay. And really liked it and I saw it because...

Renee: [21:27] We're going to pause now while Kate watches Shawshank Redemption.

Keith: [21:29] Yes. We'll be back in three hours. Yes. Yeah. I saw it once and really loved it and I think that I first actually my exposure to the idea of it was actually from other books referencing it or speakers referencing it. Josh is making fun that I've only seen it one time.

Josh: [21:56] I can understand not seeing it ever right. Like I'd get that because he just bypass it. But only one time. Yeah.

Keith: [22:03] I don't feel like I really have to defend myself on that. Andy needs to want Shashi's more [inaudible] point in the movie. Yeah. Yes. Okay. Okay. Josh. Please tell us what your favorite piece of media is.

Josh: [22:33] All right. So I'm going to take this down the road.

Keith: [22:38] I bet that's the name of the song.

Josh: [22:39] So I struggled with this one a little bit.

Keith: [22:45] Yeah. Yeah, me too.

Josh: [22:47] And not in a bad way or there's lots of music that I've listened in my life that has sent me down different roads. I could easily say the music that impacts me the most is, is, you know, Slayer or metal or punk rock. Right. And then I had a light bulb go off in my mind and, and really thinking about this, this, this question was really important to me. I don't know what it really sparked something. And so I really processed this and I, and a song came to me yesterday that is a super powerful song that I've listened to for 25 years at different times in my life. And I actually picked two songs, so we'll start there. I know this is what I do. So the first song on the first time I ever heard this artist was at the the series finale of Northern Exposure is Iris Dement saying there's, they use her song called Our Town. And so then I fell in love with Iris Dement and then I had got her album and on her album was the song, "Let the Mystery Be". Hmm. And it's about figuring out, everybody wants to know where they go or where they came from. Right. That journey of what's, what's happening. But it's, but it's a really, it's a religious piece of this is, is, is really interesting to me is cause I'm not. I've gone in these waves of, of beliefs in spirituality and, and still the song has always sat in the vault.. Right. So when I, when I didn't have much thought in it, it still sat in the vault, right as a song that had lots of impact for me. So what I find very interesting about this song today is that when I decided to listen to it on the way to work. This morning, cause I thought about it and then I pulled it up on Spotify. Thank you. When I started listening to it. And it's one of those songs that I can't not sing too. So I sing, I sing, I started crying and if, and if someday everybody in the audience would get to know me, but I'm not a, I'm not a person that you would look at and think is a crier. Right. So I was like, why am I crying? I'm not sad. But I just kept on singing out. Tears came rolling down and then...

Keith: [25:42] You gotta quit talking about it now. Cause otherwise everyone, we're all going to cry just cause we're like all like...

Josh: [25:46] So then I listened to it again. I listened to it again again, And I cried even more. And what I realized as I was listening to the song is these tears were, were tears of joy and not sadness and not misery or whatever. And even in times of that has happened, I've listened to that song. So what I realized is that I'm in a really good spot in my life, right? I'm really in this really happy, grateful, joyful spot. And the, the, the part that brought the most tears is this part right here as I'll kind of give you an idea of, so the songs about how this person's just going to let the mystery be of where you, where you come from and where you go. But there's there's a part that here it says, "Some say they're going to a place called glory. And I ain't saying that it ain't a fact, but I've heard that I'm on the road to purgatory and I don't like the sound of that. I believe in love and I live my life accordingly. But I choose to let the mystery be..." And there is something about that living my life with love that really just got me. Like I just, it just filled my heart because that's, you know, I try to just give myself as much compassion as possible and I try to give others as much compassion as possible. And it just, I mean it was really super profound today and I just was like, wow, I'm crying. I don't know why I'm crying. And then I realized that I'm just being vulnerable and enjoying life.

Renee: [27:25] I think it is super cool about about that is I had a professor in undergrad school and he, he taught me two things that APR, while most of you are going to think it's regarding a credit card and your annual percentage rate, it's not, it stands for assume personal responsibility. And the second thing is that our physical skin based, right flesh and bone body was never created to hold in all of the emotions that we were meant to express. Right. We are not a container for emotions. We don't have a lid on that. And so I just love that you were able to truly exemplify your body that didn't have a lid on. You just needed to express something cool. You allowed tears to, to flow real out. Right. We allow laughter. It's all good. So I just went, if people can share that, right, just, Hey, our bodies aren't made to contain all of that. We're not supposed to do that. So emote, that's a good thing

Josh: [28:17] That was really profound for me in that moment was that because there were tears of joy and I'd usually, I can't, I honestly can't think of a time where I cried out of joy. I mean, I can feel warmth and joy for certain things, but I can't remember a...

Renee: [28:32] You smile. Right? You can feel that uplifting, but you shed a tear. It is. And again, to this journey, like I love, and we didn't plan this for our listeners. We all are sharing.... we just brought our, our song movie book. We brought them in. So I, I just think it I think it's kinda cool. So,

Josh: [28:57] So with that, it led me down a path again as I'm rolling into work today. And it started me thinking about another song. That I told myself 10 years ago that I would never listen to again. And so 10 years ago in June, my wife and I got back together after being separated for a year and I had a song. So when, so when we decided when we're in our darkest time or when I was in my darkest time, I used to play the song over and over in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep in the belief that we would eventually figure it out. And so once we figured it out and got back together and really worked on our stuff, I put the song to bed. I said, I can't listen to that song anymore. And then for some reason this morning I pulled in the parking lot and I played that song because I was so grateful for the life that I have and what's going on in the world. And that song continued to bring me to tears again, but it had a different meaning than it did 10 years ago when I put it to bed. It was such a strange, fascinating experience this morning by just having this discussion about what we're going to, you know, what medium...and I just, I went down this emotional rabbit hole. And so the other song is by one of my favorite bands of all time, Social Distortion, "Angels Wings" and as I'm still married, so that's the thing. But there's a line in here that I would, I would rewind and do it, is that..."I triumphed in the face of adversity and I became the man I never thought I'd be. And now my biggest challenge is, is a thing called love. I guess I'm not as tough as I thought I was. I don't care about what they say. I'm gonna marry you someday." So even though we were married. When I was in my darkest time, I would just say that we're gonna, we're gonna figure it out. We're gonna figure it out and that would just listen to that song over and over again. And so then when we figured it out, I put it to bed. So, and then I just listened to it again today and I'm going to start crying again. But it just has, I just, there's not a song out there right now or ever. I don't think that has that same power that I would, that it would be able to put it to bed and then revisit it 10 years later. It's strange.

Renee: [31:39] Thanks for sharing that. I appreciate it.

Keith: [31:42] It's interesting how things that maybe were meaningful to us in the past, but we haven't intersected with them in a long time and then to re intersect with them. Now we even know we're mindful of the fact of how meaningful it was to us in the past. It still hits us or we experienced it in a different way than we did then. We're, you know, we're aware that it's going to be meaningful or that it was meaningful, but it takes on even a new or a different meaning. When kind of the rest of your life kind of gets caught up with what that memory of that important piece is.

Renee: [32:18] I just think of so many, I can think of so many examples, right? Parents reflecting on, Oh my goodness. When my, when my child, right, when make grown adult child was a baby, right. Bringing them home from the hospital. You know, I think about too in the, in the very sad day that I lose a parent, right? I will look back fondly on the, Oh my goodness, I wish I could get scolded one more time. Right. You know, we have those beautiful and I think that's why it's just again, this journey theme of, again, why, why, why do I want to be exposed to losing a parent? I don't, if I could not choose that, sign me up cause I don't, I will be a mess and I'll probably rely on everyone in this room for something in that time. But to go back, you know, just to Kate's in, in Kate's story and in the message that we have found in a lot of episodes here, man, life just drops us in places sometimes and we have all of these amazing experiences to draw from. I'm going to do my best, but sometimes I can only see things through that new perspective. That's true. And it's amazing. It's amazing. So I commend you for bringing the song out today. I don't, I don't know if I could have done that to go back and listen to that, acknowledging the darkness that you were in, but allowing yourself to find joy that you're not, you're not there now, but that's a part of you and that's all right. All right, Keith, you're ready?

Keith: [33:43] Yes. I don't, I don't know that my book fits as well into some of the themes that we've talked about. It takes a little bit of a different perspective, but it's really shaping to how I interact with the world. And I'm going to say the title of the book and there might be a little like, I can't believe you're saying that on this podcast response. But just wait for it. It will be okay.

Kate: [34:07] Now I'm really excited.

Keith: [34:11] The book is called "Love Wins." The subtitle is "Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived." And it's by Rob Bell. [inaudible] So the author's Rob Bell, and the reason this is so meaningful to me and my life is not necessarily the content of the, of the book, but there's like this, there's a story around it and I don't, don't want to go too far in the weeds, but, so Rob Bell was a pastor, a large church in Michigan. He wrote this book and he was a big titles person and like he carefully crafts the names of the work that he does. And that's been kind of an ongoing, almost joke or idiosyncrasy of him of his work. And so he, he does this, he does a promo video. And then some other people who are influential in the broader faith tradition, but maybe from a little different specific tradition came out and basically, based on the content of the video and the title of the book called him a heretic. And so there's, there's this, all these dynamics that kind of that blow up. And it was a big controversy in, in the Christian faith tradition. And so I read the book and I found like it was just like the whole, the series, the whole, like the whole process of it was the reading the book and then realizing there's a lot people who are making conclusions about the book without reading the book. And, on both sides of it. And then people were writing about it and saying, saying, making these overwhelming statements about it. The reason this was really meaningful to me is I took time to read it multiple times and did a little bit of writing about it. And that process helped me learn a few things. One is not to draw conclusions about something based on face value or your first interaction with it. So often our first impression drives the way we think about a person or a situation from the get go. And so the process taught me to, before I completely draw a conclusion about something to really dive in a little bit more. It's easier said than done at times. But the other piece about it is I've continued to track Rob Bell's work. He has his own podcast. He's written a dozen books now and I've read most of them and I found that there is a large percentage of his work that I agree with and the way he communicates I love, but there's always a portion of everything he says that I disagree with. And that's really important to me in my own personal growth because I'm confronting and putting myself exposing myself to views other than my own or different ways of thinking about things than what I typically do helps me both decide what I really do believe. But also what I don't believe, and it helps me have more confidence in how I understand things. And so that's, so all of that's happened in the context of a specific spiritual tradition. Those are principles that I pull over to how I think about politics or how I think about work relationships or everything.

Josh: [37:29] Well, I'm gonna jump in here. Thank you. That was a fantastic expression. And it's in line with what we're saying. Yeah.

Renee: [37:39] Um, you stole what I was saying.

Josh: [37:39] Well you stole what I was saying. I just read your mind is what I did. So it's just in a different, you're just expressed it in a different way, but it's in line with exactly what we're all talking about, right. About how we're influenced by things or how we, things influence us and help us make decisions and choices in our life and how we believe. And how we express ourselves. And it's really important. One of the things that, that I really took from what you said that was really is important to me is that even though you love his work, there are still things that you disagree with. And you still love his work. That is really profound because there are lots of things about each other or in the world that we love. And there's also lots of things about each other and the world we disagree with. That's why we're having this podcast. And that's okay. It's okay to love somebody and also disagree with them. Right. And challenge that.

Keith: [38:46] And I think that it as, as I was thinking about today, it was really hard to think about what type of book shaped me, because it's not so much the content of the book, but it was the experience I had in the midst of reading it and when it came out and then the experience afterwards of interacting with this writer and communicator that shaped me so much. But I think it resonates so much with a lot of the challenges we talk about in terms of politics and social media right now. The, the inability to have difficult conversations in person with people that we just have a hard time talking through difficult topics in ways that that can be okay with not agreeing with another person and that not causing some sort of division or tension or turmoil in the long term.

Renee: [39:34] And I think that you're to go back to just to Josh's point and to, to commend you, you are, you are, you are kind of exemplifying and personifying this journey aspect that we are talking about because I guarantee when you go and you're kind of at your next crossroads or your next information gathering intersection of, "Hey, I'm going to make a decision if this is really kind of in my belief category or my disbelief category," you are doing it through the lens of everything else that you've been exposed to and that you've made a decision on.

Keith: [40:06] Right? And so that happened in this episode who we're talking about, everybody is doing the best they can, right? Right. Because it's an idea that when I'm first exposed to it, it doesn't fit into the the group of things that I already believe. So I have to engage with that and talk through it to figure out where's the line for me on this. Like in talking about it, it's possible that I'll be all in on it is also possible. We'll talk through it and I won't be on it at all or there could be some place in the middle on that and that's okay. Yeah, and we can still all keep having this really fun, cool podcast and be able to engage in tough conversations even if we don't agree on this.

Josh: [40:46] One of the things that I love most about Keith is that his ability to also be vulnerable with things like that in the sense of he at times, and you can tell me if I'm wrong on this, is he makes that quick judgment like I don't know if I agree with this, and then pushes himself through it as opposed to making that sticking with that decision. He pushes through it and then he at least acknowledges, Oh, maybe I was too and I'm going to use my own words rigid with that thinking and I'm pushing through and I can understand it once it's, like what you said, once it's explained to me.

Renee: [41:22] But one thing I love about Keith and I also love kinda when his mind gets blown, I really can see it happen, but I love to that that your MO Keith is, I'm just going to take a stand and I appreciate that about you. Whether it's different than me or the same as me, and whether that's where we land at the end, it doesn't matter to me, but I love that you take a stand and then you invite input. You invite other opinion, you invite other information and then you might go, cool, I'm, I'm jumping over to this decision or, or no, I agree with my decision in the beginning.

Josh: [42:01] And that's what we as human beings are. We're value-based, right? So we have these values and we can learn change and grow and grow and love other people that don't have the same values. Yes. Or their values are different or, or whatever. We can, we can look at that. And that's what's so great about...

Renee: [42:21] Who would want to listen to a podcast if all four of our opinions were the same and those opinions were the same as yours...

Keith: [42:30] Boring!

Renee: [42:31] I would listen to the podcast that's titled "Renee Is the Best Ever." I know what it is. I just don't listen to 'em except for this one. Okay.

Keith: [42:57] Okay. Well those are some of the things that have shaped us the most and we share those in hopes of inspiring others to think through the things that shape them and, and, and things that have inspired them to be the people that they are. And also to invite you in to our conversation as we move forward with this podcast to keep engaging with some tough topics that we may or may not agree on and figuring out how to, to make those pieces of hope realities in our everyday life. So thanks for joining us. Thank you so much for listening to us on our very first episode of "It's Okay If You're Not Okay" and we look forward to releasing a new episode every other week. You can help us reach more people by rating us and reviewing us on your favorite podcast app or website. You can also share this episode on your social media accounts or find other people who do it and react, respond, comment, share. And then if you want to get exclusive content from the hosts of the podcast or information about new and upcoming things, make sure you find our Facebook group that's closed just to listeners of this podcast, you can search for, It's Okay Podcast. Okay, spelled out. O-k-a-y or go directly to the URL, www.facebook.com/groups/ItsOkayPodcast. Spelled out. O-k-a-y. Thanks for listening, and "It's Okay If You're Not Okay."