Patty talks to John Roedel, the author of Hey God. Hey John.: What Happens When God Writes Back. She met John via Facebook after seeing one of his posts that went viral.
John is a husband, father of 3, comedian, writer and an advocate for children with autism. He and Patty talk about dealing with life during a pandemic, being a parent and what it means to have a connection to God.
You’ll love how John dealt with a crisis of faith by writing about skinny jeans. Using his improv skills, he kept saying “yes, and” to whatever came next. There was no grand plan, just a willingness to show up each day and write what was on his mind.
Does John think he’s really talking to God?
Is God really answering him?
Why are we afraid to move on?
Am I broken?
Can I let go of the expectations of others?
Patty and John discuss all these questions and more. This episode is full of hope. You’ll love the encouraging energy of this conversation.
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Welcome to the wealth and purpose podcast where people who are led by their hearts come to learn the secrets to creating wealth in a way that feels really good and live. They’re purposefully in the process. I’m your host, Patty Lennon. I’m an ex type a corporate banker, turned intuitive business coach. I’m also a wife, a mom to two pre-teens, a professor, girl scout leader and well Hey, you get it like you are aware, a lot of hats, whether you’re looking for inspiration to get started or strategies to get growing. I am here to help you create abundance in every area of your life in business. Welcome.
Hey everyone, everyone. Welcome to wealth and purpose podcast. I am Patty Lennon, your host and I am so excited to bring you a guest today. John Rodel is the author of the Facebook blog. Hey God. Hey John. And there is a piece that he wrote that has gone viral and in fact actually went viral for a while where it was being attributed to a source, anonymous and without his name attached to it. So you may have read it and not realize John is the author. He also is the author of the book. Hey God, Hey John. What he does is through his writing, help us understand his interaction with the higher power, the being he calls God that you can name whatever you want. But what I found so inspiring about John and why I wanted to have him on was that as soon as they found the PC had written and it spoke to my heart, it was really just about this feeling of, you know, life was changing and it felt like him as the author was describing, feeling like losing these pieces of himself and asking God, you know how he put himself back together and God telling him no, the pieces need to stay on the floor.
They fell away for a reason. And I shared that with with my private community and on my main page and so many people responded and not surprisingly, it speaks so much to what we’re going through. And always when something starts to pick up steam, I like to try and find the source, the original source and share it from their page that there’s a deeper connection. And in reading John’s page I suddenly realized there was so much he had to share and teach us and a perspective that I think will really help. So John, welcome. I am very excited to be here. Thank you for that wonderful introduction. Yeah. So tell me, I mean I, you’re, you know, I will tell you guys who are listening, this is a little bit different because I ordered, John has a book and I’ll put the link in the show notes and we’ll talk about that in a minute. And I ordered it but it hasn’t come yet. And typically when I have someone on, I know them a little bit better, at least just from research by literally invited John the moment I found his page. I mean, probably after being on his page for 20, I sent him a private message and said, can you come on? So John, what do you want them to know that I haven’t shared?
Well, okay, I am a improviser, like a comedian, improviser by trade. I, that’s kind of what I do in my life. Um, I like to go and train different groups just on the idea of creative play. And I, like a couple of weeks ago I was, well, a couple months ago pre pandemic, I was in a bank doing with a bunch of bank employees doing some flexible thinking kind of thing. So I, that is kind of my background for my last 15 years of my life is I like being on stage and I like performing despite being an introvert, I, I just like to make people laugh. And about 2014 2015 I started noticing I wasn’t laughing very much anymore. I was struggling and I didn’t know it at the time, but I was really, really struggling with my emotional wellbeing. So I did what any well adjusted middle aged man would do.
And I went to Facebook and I started having these fake conversations with God and just started writing them on Facebook. And at first they were just supposed to be silly, funny little things where I would kind of poke fun at my little crisis of confidence or my spirituality crisis or my lack of faith. And I was just going to poke fun at that. And just that idea of it. And the more I did that, the more I started opening up my life and actual talking about real things. At the beginning, God and I would talk about why I don’t look good in skinny jeans or what was on TV that night. And it has. We kept having these little conversations. I started opening up more and more things that I never would have thought I would’ve ever done because I like to make people laugh. I don’t want to make people sad or upset or to talk about wounds or past injuries, but I found myself doing that with my own life. And then out of nowhere people started following along and the more authentically I spoke or wrote, the more people started following along. And so I became kind of an accidental author in that way. I thought it would be a project that would last a month or two and then I would be done with it. But it’s been since 2015 I’ve been having these conversations with God.
So, Oh my goodness. So many questions. I’m actually taking notes that never happened. I don’t forget to ask you all the question. What happened in 2015 that brought you to the promised land of Facebook?
Sure. Um, so I, I think there was a few things. One, so my wife and I, we, we have a three children and our oldest son and our first born, he, uh, he was diagnosed with autism in 2003. He was born in 2000 but it took about two or three years for us to get a diagnosis. And we had the first seven or eight years of his life, it was kind of trench warfare just to get him speaking and just to get him to be able to do any kind of self care and all the doctors told us early on he probably will have no ability to have any independent living or any of that. So our first, you know, from 2003 until 2012 2013 it was just kind of we were hanging on to dear life. And then once we got through that phase and he worked so hard and there’s a lot of really amazing people that we are so lucky to be in contact with that he really started to be independent and go on his own and need me less.
And also, and in 2015 I found myself, I kind of identified myself as a father of a child living with autism. And in 2014 2015 I started finding myself as like, I don’t know who I am right now because I had put my entire heart into that. We all, my whole whole family did. And so it was an identity crisis for sure. That brought me to Facebook and you know, and at the time I really just thought it would just be a fun way of talking about just some shallow ideas of how I was struggling and yeah. And then it just kind of started happening.
I love this because one of the things that, you know, I talk about on this podcast, one of the things I’m always curious about with any guests, but I also talk about is just, you know, how did you get here? Right. And always it’s, you know, whatever the, whatever the actual steps were, it was always, I just did the thing in front of me. I did the thing that called me, right? You know, I didn’t have this, this grand plan of writing this piece that was going to, to the souls of hundreds of thousands of people going through a global pandemic. Right? Because you kind of can’t plan that.
But to me, what I always want people to understand is that there is this, there is this opportunity waiting for you, that you have no idea how beautiful it is. You know, I have no idea how powerful it is, but there was something within you that is calling itself forward to that place. And yours was skinny jeans. You’re complaining about skinny jeans. So I think, I don’t know whether I saw it on your page or maybe when we were just talking really briefly before we actually hit record. You said something about being angry at God, right? So when we ordered it, you were sort of like yo DEC, like maybe you wouldn’t use that word, but I personally like so clean for what I say. Like why, okay, I get it. I’m the father of a child with autism. Could I at least look good in skinny jeans? Like could, could you do that at least, right. So, yeah. So talk to us about that. What was that? What’s that relationship become in these last five years?
Yeah, that’s a great question. So I, when I, I was a, I’m a cradle Catholic. I was raised Catholic. In fact, early on it seems like six lifetimes ago, I actually worked as a developmental, I worked developing a youth program at a cathedral here in Wyoming, like I, and then it was about the same time, just this crisis of faith and how easy spirituality seemed for other people and their religion, whatever it was, and their faith was for other people. And for me it was this doubt. Um, you know, not only with our, our son who, you know, who was living with something that was really impacting him, but just everything in life, deaths of parents. I helped, you know, our family had 118 year old business here in Wyoming that was existed before we even were a state that I had to help close just because we couldn’t keep it open anymore.
And I had a lot of these little small, at the time I thought they were small traumas. Looking back, they had a lot more significance than I thought they did. But I was really angry and I kept being like, why is life easier for other people I grew up with? And I would look at other people and people who are able to go to church or mass or go practice yoga and see all these people who life just seems so easy for. And for me, I was really, really unknowingly at the time, angry. And so that’s, that’s really interesting that you brought that up because a lot of my initial posts were asking questions that I grew up being afraid to ask my own theology or you know, pastors or whoever else or spiritual directors that I ever came in contact with. So I would ask myself these questions through Facebook.
Um, knowing that I’m not connected to God and I’m not some sort of mystic guru, I never thought God is on the other end of Facebook writing back to me. I knew I was speaking to myself, but you know, there was a lot of anger at first and as the last four or five years, the anger can still kind of be there because I still think there’s things that I just don’t get that other people seem to accept and understand so easily. But it’s, it’s my improv training that keeps asking me questions. Okay, what’s next? Then there’s no, I’m not satisfied with. I’m not satisfied with any real answer. I like the question and that’s the one thing with improv and I, you know, it’s great that we’re talking about this because I’m not sure if I’ve ever connected the dots until right now in improv there’s a theory called yes and where you say yes to whatever’s happening on stage.
Just jump right into it. If you know, if someone says you are a cow, you have to be a cow. You can’t say, no, I’m not a cow. Then everything falls apart. You just have to say yes to whatever comes next, so that’s kind of what the last four or five years has been. I’ve wanted to quit doing that a lot. There’s been some times where I feel like, Oh man, this does look like some of the ones having a full on mental nervous breakdown in full public online. I live in a small town where it’s definitely got people in my town looking at me. Funny as certainly as it grew and more popularity it did. I family members, extended family members wondering what the heck I’m doing. But I kept showing up to it and saying yes. Okay, and what are we going to talk about today? And it’s great that you mentioned that, cause I really had no plan for this. This was not some sort of Makaveli in idea what I would have five or six years down the line. It would just approach it every day and write a new piece.
Yeah. Like, um, I’ll show you Catholics that are really screw with you now. What? I’m going to make it look like something completely different. Right?
Yeah. I had no ax to grind. I had no, I’m not trying to convince anybody of anything or trying to get anyone to subscribe to any other specific religious belief or spirituality. My, my God is always just God. There is no other kind of context. At least I hope there might be some unintentional bias somewhere in there. But I really do my best to always write God as just however anybody the reader wants to interpret that to be.
Hmm. So what’s happened to your relationship to this voice that was just a voice in your head?
Started. And now at least my sense is you think not you think like I know you’re talking to God, but
yeah, that’s a great question. And it’s a, it’s a riddle for me. I know I’m, I know I’m connecting to a part in myself. Like if I were to look at my heart as like a mansion and there’s rooms that I had never opened or experienced before, like a dilapidated old haunted mansion. So I feel like every new conversation I’m opening up a new door and going in there and, but it’s always the same kind of calming voice that’s there. And sometimes the voice can take me two or three hours to sort through as I’m writing. And sometimes the voice pours out kind of like a summer rain storm. It just, it kind of depends. But it’s always this kind of calming voice that’s always saying you’re in this whatever it is. And usually I write the, Hey God, Hey John’s, when I’m in the moment of an emotional crisis. Cause that’s what I feel like there’s something really to write about here. But the voice is always telling me what you’re experiencing right now has an expiration date and it’s going to pass and we’re going to talk about it until it does. And maybe that is I’m connecting to a higher power or maybe I’m connecting, I’m writing things down that I wish I would have been told in 2013 2014 when I was really suffering on my own and I’m writing down what would have pulled me out of that storm in that moment.
That’s so beautiful. So in the piece that’s going around that has gotten the most action right there, cause there’s some pieces that I caught on your page that definitely, you know were shared a lot, but this one’s, this one’s picking up steam. What, what are the pieces? So again, to those of you listening, if you haven’t read what I’m referring to, we are going to link to as best we can, the best places for you to find this. And to get get it in John’s book. But um, the, the piece refers to, as I said in the introduction, you know, pieces of you falling away. So what’s, what’s been falling away for you if you’re willing to share it?
No. Yeah, for sure. Let’s probably a lot of things for sure. Like relationships with people not like burning bridges but people in your life who you don’t really need, you don’t really feel like they’re feeding you and you’re not feeding, you’re not feeding them anymore, but you’ll hang on to these kind of acquaintances just so you’re afraid of letting them go. People, I find myself shedding people that we don’t need each other in each other’s life anymore. I don’t wish anybody ill. Well they don’t wish me that, but it’s just letting those people go things in my life, like expectations of other people. That is a huge piece in my life that for the longest time, and it probably inhibited. And when I started writing these pieces I was really concerned about what people thought about me. And this piece specifically I think talked about, well it doesn’t talk about in there, but I think my motivation was writing it.
I’m finally letting go and worrying about what other people think about me that no longer concerns me. It’s the Wayne Dyer quote of what other people think about me is not my business. So that was definitely the idea of shedding, that shedding the idea that I’m 46 years old now and I don’t drive a fancy car. I, my job right now is writing poetry and writing these little Facebook messages online for other people. That’s not necessarily something that a 13 or 1518 year old boy dreams about doing at some point in their life. And it’s letting go of that kind of expectation even for myself. So I mean it’s whatever at the time is whatever people are struggling with, whether it be a job, whether it be whatever, it’s, if something’s breaking, there’s maybe a reason it’s breaking. I had, I went through my depression. I still have pangs of it, but that, that helped me see all the things I needed to get out of my life in order to move on instead of trying to keep everything together, you have to let them break apart.
So that’s beautiful. You know, I want to talk about the depression piece again, like six different bills came into my mind. So John, I’m having a first time experience of actually writing notes with guests. So with the depression, do you feel, this is something I’ve been curious about with the isolation that we’ve been in and which I don’t, I don’t think I’m familiar with what Wyoming actually did through all of shelter in place, but I’m assuming it was somewhat similar. Do you feel that this has been helpful towards your mental health?
Like affected it negatively?
That’s a great question. I think it’s a little bit of a mixed bag to be honest. So Wyoming has 500,000 people in the entire state and we’re a huge state. I mean we’re, we’re, we’re, uh, we have a lot of land and there’s a lot of people per acre in this state. So we’re kind of used to not having people around us all the time. I live in the biggest city in Wyoming. I’m about an hour and a half away from Denver. I live in Cheyenne and we only have 60,000 people. And we’re the biggest city. We call ourselves a city. We would be called a suburb anywhere else. And so the idea that being isolated from other people, that doesn’t seem a whole lot different. Uh, go to them to the grocery store. It’s usually never packed anyway here. But now I’m finding myself strangely missing the things, going to a coffee house and writing.
That’s why I did 90% of my writing. I would go to the same Barnes and noble coffee house and sit down and write in the same chair for the last 10 years. And I miss that. And I miss being around people and just seeing them. Um, so I think it’s has affected, it’s, it’s definitely affect. It’s and I thought I would write more and I’m finding myself struggling to write a little bit more during this just because it just, yeah, I, it’s definitely affected my sleep cycles and all of that, so I don’t know that it’s been certainly super helpful or healthy for me, but I think I’m in a different place than I was five years ago because I know that like five or six years ago I might’ve been in it and had no self awareness and just this is how everyone’s supposed to be during this. When I’m having moments where I’m feeling heavy or weighted down, I can step out of it and say, I know this is what’s happening to me. I can see it. I see how I look and this is what I’m going to do about it, which you know, new things I’m doing now, like taking walks or longer walks and going fishing with my kids. Stuff I wouldn’t have done, you know, a year ago.
It sounds like you have a level of self acceptance that you didn’t have.
Oh, for sure. Yeah. That is because one of these things, I’ve written maybe about 1300 of these, but 1500 of these conversations at this point and not all of them are in the book. In fact, the book is only the first two or three years of these conversations. And actually the piece where we’re talking about is going to be in the second book that I’m working on right now. Just collecting all of these little pieces and putting them together in some sort of narrative form. But yeah, it’s doing this. Hey God, Hey John has definitely given me a chance to be very aware of who I am, what I’m about, what my gifts are, and I have a very specific, very small skillsets that’s hard to, you know, translate into this fast paced world we live in. But I know who I am and I know what I’m doing and I’m finding great joy and finding the intersection between those two things, what I’m good at and what I enjoy doing. And that’s, I think that’s helped me definitely through this.
Wow. Yeah. I mean, I think if you achieve that, that’s, that’s,
I mean some days it’s easier than others and some days I feel very connected to my purpose. And then there’s days where I’m writing something and I’m like, I don’t know how people are going to think about me after this. And then I have to keep reminding myself I don’t, I want people to not think I’m crazy. You know, I’m out of control, but I don’t really need to worry so much about what people think.
Yeah. Yeah. And that’s such a hard space to step to. And yet if you don’t step into it, you won’t access the vulnerability that actually transforms you.
Right. And that’s, that’s what helped me. The more vulnerable and the more authentic I would write about, you know, sitting in a bathtub crying in a dry bathtub and not being able to get out. And when, in my darkest moments of depression and writing about that and putting that out there for 17,000, 20,000 people to read.
I was very nervous about doing things like that. But the more I was able to share my, the skeletons in my closet and the scars on my body, the more other people chimed in. And that’s the beautiful thing is people chime in and say, this has been my experience. I’ve gone through something similar to this and this is what either I’ve done to get out of it or this is, you know, I’ve never thought about what you said. So it’s been kind of a dialogue between myself and the other people and people have kind of interacted with each other and kind of giving each other tips and things like that. And that’s something I never would have thought of happened. But the more, the more personal I, I share myself and the more I show my true self, the more that seems to spur that kind of connectivity between people.
So the big question Mark in my head right now is, so how is your wife navigating all of that?
Um, so my wife and I, we met in high school. Um, we went to a Catholic high school together and we met today’s actually our 22nd anniversary of our wedding. And she is a little bit different than me. She is, would never get on stage and do improv. Uh, she teaches a special, uh, she’s a behavioral interventionist. When our son was diagnosed with autism many, many years ago, she kind of, she, she was a culinary and she got a culinary degree. She turned her life around and started studying, helping children with those special needs. And now she works in a school district. So she, she definitely, she definitely not, her and I have completely different kind of skill sets when it comes to life and when it comes to parenting. And she is so wonderful in the fact that she recognizes that I am sharing parts of our family that we probably would not have broadcast or put billboards up or putting into books for people to read and people maybe who have different agendas to read it and then to whisper behind closed doors or whatever.
But she saw early on and she was the one who kept encouraging me to do this is it is helping people that I know I will never meet in person. And that’s social media has so many terrifying things about it. You can say things and break someone’s heart and you know, two sentences, but you can also do things where you can plant a little seed in someone’s head. And she always encouraged me to look at when I, whenever I would come and say, you know, I think I should stop doing this because I’m 40 and this seems a little foolish. And she would say, but look at this comment or look at these two people or look what this person said about what you wrote. And she would keep encouraging me to do it. So she’s been really, really wonderful. Wow. That’s, um, that’s, that makes all the difference, right?
Oh, for sure. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. If she had told me early on or even yesterday, man, I don’t know, this seems like it’s, this seems like it’s too much, or maybe we should stop. I probably would have, but she definitely sees this. This has grown beyond me. And that’s one of the things I think in the shedding pieces. One of the things that I’ve let go of a long time ago in the last two, a long time ago, since long time ago, two or three years, is this ego whatever egomania or narcissism that just being on an entertainer and being on stage, you have to have a little bit of an ego. But I’m starting to lose that component of my life and I’ve really enjoyed not having that as much. Um, I don’t write these pieces for people to tell me how amazing I am, or wow, you’re great at it.
In fact, it took me a lot of courage to start contacting people once I saw this piece was being spread. And this is just one piece, like I didn’t even know it was being spread around for about the first two or three weeks. It seemed like it started really, it’s a piece I wrote two or three years ago and it’s a piece that I repost it in February. And from that moment when I reposted it, it got more shares than normal, but I didn’t really notice anything crazy happen. And it wasn’t until about a month later that someone in another writing group said, Hey, I saw someone posted a, Hey God, Hey John. But I think they wrote their own. And then I checked into it and I realized, wait, no, that’s my piece. And so it took me a while to gain the courage to start contacting whatever people were sharing them to say, Hey, I’m the writer of that. Um, that’s something I wrote. And so that’s, that’s definitely something that has changed in my life. This, I don’t really, I’m not doing this for applause or for people to think I’m great. I’m just trying to, I’m trying to add just a little bit of beauty to social media.
Well you are doing it, that’s for sure. So you know, you, you don’t know me so you don’t know this backstory. So we’re just going to have to hang with me as I talk for a second. But my dad passed away last year and seven years before that, my mom did. And in those two passing, cause I know you talk about grief as well and I’m in those two journeys with them. I was able, my intuitive gifts grew. I grew up like you going to Catholic high school and I did, I was a good Catholic, rides it all things. So this was like I’m a late in life kook but I’m late in life. Whoa. And so, you know, my gifts have grown but they’ve grown a lot more on the other side of those two deaths. So and, and I attributed to just staying open so I could stay in contact with them.
Right. When my dad crossed the message he had, he was like, you know, a strong Irish Catholic guy, you know, and he was, he was close to 90 when he died. And what he said, what amazed him when he crossed over was that he thought God was going to be sitting there, you know, waiting to go through his list of sins and you know, he knew he had followed most of the rules. So he wasn’t worried about going to hell, but he thought there was going to be some like, you know, checking, like checking off the boxes of like, you know, when your lie Jim, that wasn’t, that was not okay. And what was there, what was actually there were this was this crowd of souls waiting to welcome him. And he had been, uh, an executive recruiter, a head Hunter, and so alive. Those people were people he didn’t know. They were people that were the kids of other people who had gotten jobs up and all these people he had affected. And so when I think about you, many, many, many years are now crossing over and the hundreds of thousands of people who will be waiting for you because of your words. What does that mean to you knowing that this is my vision, but if you knew that that was what was going to be waiting for you on the other side, who, who would you want to be in that crowd? Like what’s, Oh
my goodness. That’s a great question. Selfishly speaking, my parents both. Um, my father passed away in 1997 a year before my wife and I got married and then my mom passed away in 2011. And both of those individuals, I was not a good Catholic growing up. I was kind of a rowdy person in class. I was not, I got D minus like a D minus in theology. I think that was only just so they wouldn’t to have me in class again. In fact, I write about it in my, in my, in the, Hey God, Hey, get John book. It’s kind of when there’s probably a ninth or 10th grade theology. When I really started asking some questions in my mind, I didn’t know I was asking these questions. So my, I was kind of not a great student. I was a pretty good son, but I wasn’t a great student.
And both of my parents were academics. My dad ran a pharmacy. He was, um, and his dad before him and his grandfather before him ran a pharmacy here in town and he was a scientist and my mom was an old school, fifth grade teacher with rulers and slapping her wrists and I was more of an artsy go into my bedroom and writes short stories kind of person. And so I think they were for sure two people that I would love to sit down with and have them read. And I have no doubt that they are following along and both sometimes cringing and both sometimes applauding some of the choices I make in life. But they were two people that they didn’t get to see me. And I think of this, and I kind of wrote this in a poem lately, I don’t think, I think people were blooming later in life than they used to.
Or maybe they’re allowing themselves, and this is the improv and me coming out. But the more I’ve said yes in the last four or five years, instead of say, no, people your age don’t do that kind of thing. No guys don’t talk about their men don’t talk about their vulnerability. No fathers don’t do things. Like I’ve said yes to a lot of things that I didn’t think I would have. And so the fact that now I’m talking about things like this and I’m writing about things like this, my parents never would have seen that coming and I would love to sit down with them and to just be like, this is who I blossomed into. And a lot of this is because of the things you planted in me when I was young and I didn’t notice it at the time. But I just want to say thank you for those things that I didn’t notice at the time.
And I think it’s tried. I’ve tried to parent in that way, recognizing that I’m going to make some mistakes and it’s not going. I want to just, but I want to plant some little seeds in my kids’ heads. So when they’re 40 some years old and they’re blossoming or maybe they’re going to change the direction in their life or they’re entering into a new adventure that they never would have thought that they have that little seed in them being like you, you’re going to be okay. My dad’s catchphrase was all as well. He didn’t like conflict. He didn’t like drama. Whenever I would come and say, Oh I have this problem, I have this going on, his first thing would be all is going to be well. And that definitely in my writings, that is a theme that shows up from time to time. So whether it’s my dad taking the pen at different points in helping me write it or I’m remembering it from when I was a kid, that’s definitely a theme from. So that’s kind of a long answer. But I think definitely my parents, I would love to sit down and just have them share this experience with me.
That’s beautiful. And I get it.
That’s definitely the first two people I want to see when I cross my parents, not yours. Okay. So I’m sure people are eager to read more of your work, so I know facebook.com I looked up the link, facebook.com forward slash God and John is the direct link to your page. Right. We’ll put the links to the book, which you can. If the book is titled, Hey God, Hey John, it’s on Amazon. I found a pretty easily, but we’ll put a link to that book to that Amazon book, but where else do you want people to be seeing you in looking for you?
I have a personal Facebook page in which I have kind of turned into a, I just write freely. I’ve weaponized my Facebook page to be more, I’m just sharing my personal writings there, but I’m transitioning that to a new Facebook author page to be an effort to be more professional. It’s a, and I’ll send you that link. It is. I’m John Rodel. A short writer is the name of the Facebook page and I’m starting for my writing, just poetry. I put some of my, Hey God, John’s, I put some little funny essays and things like that up there. So those are two good places to start.
Okay, wonderful. Well everyone that comes on, I asked two questions on three actually is what is your definition of wealth?
Okay. My definition of wealth is, had you asked me five years ago, it’d be different. My definition of wealth is, the word that comes to mind is balance. If I have a, there was about five or six years ago, I had probably more money in the bank, but I was a lot more, I was a lot more on edge and a lot more worried about losing it and a lot more hanging on to things and gripping harder at the wheel. So I don’t think I was wealthy even though I had more ability every month to maybe buy non-generic cereal. The, I think wealth is how do you balance your, your personal happiness? How do you balance your professional achievements? How do you balance your family? How do you balance your spirituality? How do you just balance your general wellbeing? And so I just think of it as are you, if you’re wealthy, then you’re balanced.
I like that. And then my second question is, what do you believe your purposes?
I believe, I believe my purpose is to tell my story and not because my story is that riveting or that incredible, but to give people the courage to tell theirs. And so when someone shares something on my Facebook page, if I write it, I wrote a post about grief a couple weeks ago and then people would get on and talk about their experiences with their loved ones passing away. And I, I, I think that’s where my purpose is to give people the courage to tell their story. If someone like me who did not get high marks in English or in college composition, if someone like me can find a way to put my story into words as out of format as I’m doing it, then I think anyone can. And the more we share our stories with each other, the more we give courage to other people or to give some sort of roadmap for, okay, if John Rodel can survive this, who has the emotional capabilities of a radish than I can get through this. And so that’s, that’s kind of my thought is like if somebody like me can raise a child living with severe autism for awhile, if someone like me can find a way not to break apart completely or turn into Ash during that experience than anybody else can.
Oh, that’s gorgeous. And I think, you know, beyond just, I know that’s what your purpose is for you, but I can tell you, having just witnessed you just coming into my realm of awareness just in the last couple of days, you also give people permission to just be who they are, to really allow themselves to just for this to be true for them. I think that’s the power of the piece that’s picking up so much attention right now is just because it’s letting people, even though you wrote it three years ago, it’s telling people it’s okay to feel like you’re falling apart and that might not necessarily be a bad thing,
right? No. Yeah. Who you are today is not who you’re going to be tomorrow. And that’s okay. But just because it’s okay to change. It’s okay to stay the same, but it’s also very okay if something changes in your life to not feel like, Oh, I’m letting people down because I’m changing. I’m letting my church down because I’m having these doubts. I’m letting my work down. It’s okay to change. It’s okay to let those things go. So yeah, I think the timing of it, I would say, I didn’t know what pandemic was coming when I reposted it in February, but it definitely seemed like it was that intersection of those two ideas, those two things happening at once.
Wow. Wow. I didn’t even realize when you said you repost it in February, I assumed it was because of this. So that’s,
no, definitely not anything I was thinking about.
Well, I’ll just tell you, I think God’s I play, so I’m, uh, I’m just, I’m teamed God on that inspiration whether team God is that gorgeous space inside your heart castle or you know, something else. But, um, final question is, is there anything left that I haven’t asked you that you’d like the listeners to know or just some piece of wisdom that you want to share?
I think we’ve covered quite a bit. I will say that if no one ever reads another, Hey God, Hey John post, if you know my, this little viral thing, I, I’ve been this a long time and these moments where a piece like this gets this much traction are very, very rare. So if I could just say something, it’s, it’s all as well. I’ll just, I’ll leave my dad’s phrase. All will be, well, I, I, I believe that. I think whatever storms we’re in, if you can just make it through the night, if you can make it through the till you see the Dawn the next morning, you’ll believe me. All storms are, have expiration dates, whatever it is in someone’s life where they’re hurting right now and they don’t feel like it’s going to get any better and they feel like they’ve reached the end. And I’ve been at that place. I’ve been at the moment, we feel like I can’t do this anymore. This is never going to end this pain. Um, but those things come to an end, but we remain after it.
Oh, I am not going to say one more thing. Thank you so much for being here.
I’m really grateful. This was great. Thank you so much.
Yes. And happy anniversary. Thank you. Okay everyone. Thank you so much. Make sure you check the show notes so you can find John directly and have an amazing
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