MGU 289 | Setbacks And Trauma

 

There are people who are less fortunate than others. Sometimes, they may feel trapped by setbacks, trauma, and disaster and wonder why life is different from others. We have different childhood experiences and environments that contributed to our mental health and insecurities. Join your hosts Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen as they dive deep into freedom, opportunities, and the privilege of safety. No matter how much we protect ourselves from danger and harm, we don’t know when our time will come. In this episode, they explore safety, death, and finding balance in our lives. This is a wake-up call for everyone to shift their focus and start truly living. If you have been through something traumatic or shocking that has created an opportunity for you to reframe and re-envision your life, this episode is for you!

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Feeling Trapped By Setbacks, Trauma, And Disaster

The Privilege Of Safety

In my ongoing journey to manage my mental health, I’ve explored a lot of different therapies, modalities and experiments. One thing that Whitney and I are big proponents for is mindful and conscientious experimentation whether that comes to one’s physical health, one’s mental health, much like Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The more experiments you make, the better.” I’m paraphrasing but it’s one of my favorite quotes of all time. Whitney, you always point out how I love to drop my Jason-isms, some of which I create myself, some of which I gratefully borrow from others.

I met up with a healing practitioner here in LA that was recommended by my therapist, Gary, who I’ve mentioned in many previous episodes and how wonderful Gary is. I have been talking to him and my primary care physician, Dr. Greene here in Los Angeles about certain ideas for new mental health experiments, which led me to this recommendation for a woman named Marie, who I met with here in LA and had a wonderful three-hour conversation.

In that course of the conversation discussing how best to work together, we touched on the subject of safety and death and how as human beings, we often compartmentalize conversations around safety or death because, in many ways, they’re taboo. As we walk through life, there are lots of situations where we compartmentalize the dangers of what we’re going through. Most people who have automobiles get in a car every day, knowing the risks that when we drive an automobile or a motorcycle, there’s a chance we could get into an accident. There’s a chance, crossing the street in my neighborhood in LA that I could get hit by a car.

Our brains have this ability to not think about the probability of death, danger or threats. We go through our day and act like it may or may not happen. This conversation around safety centered around childhood, inner child work and how as adults we want to control a lot of our environment in our life to feel safe.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with trying to feel safe in life. We have cars with seat belts and airbags. We have alarm systems in our homes. We have gates in front of our houses. There’s a modicum of wanting to feel safe as a human being in this world. Interestingly enough, through this conversation, I was exploring some of the ways that I try to micromanage or over-control because I feel unsafe in life and how that’s been tied to my childhood and the environment I grew up with.

All of this is to serve as a kick-off point for a lot of the topics, Whitney that I wanted to discuss. I don’t know how we’re going to weave them in but we were kicking some concepts back and forth. I got home late on a Sunday night after having this great conversation. I went to bed and started to drift off to sleep. I was sleeping well. It was the first night in a while. I’m not cognizant while I’m sleeping but when you lie down and you fall asleep right away, it’s like, “It’s going to be a good night’s sleep.”

Around 1:30 in the morning, Bella, my dog started to vociferously and incessantly bark. She’s not the dog that does that especially in the middle of the night. I heard her barking and she kept going. I thought, “This is unusual. She never does this. I need to get up.” I took off my sleep mask. I got out of bed and I noticed that there was this crazy glow coming from behind my bedroom curtains. At first, I thought it was the police. You know how sometimes the police flashers flash red? It was like a deep crimson red. I thought, “What the hell is going on here?” I got up and heard all these popping noises. Bella was going berserk. I go out of my bedroom door. Bella is freaking the fuck out. The cats are running. They’re scared and hiding. I’m like, “What is happening?”

I come out of my bedroom. I go to my kitchen window and look out to the back alley. Behind the alleyway, about 50 feet in the back of the house that I live in, is a neighbor’s garage. The neighbor’s garage was engulfed in flames to the point where some of the flames coming off the garage are probably 50 feet high. It was like something out of the movie Backdraft. I have never in my life seen a fire raging like that. It was a level of terror and fight or flight that I’ve never experienced in my life, where so much adrenaline and cortisol is running through my body that initially I froze and then after five seconds of realizing it, I was like, “I have to grab the animals and evacuate.”

As adults, we want to control a lot of our environment in our life to feel safe. Click To Tweet

I grabbed my cell phone and called 911. I grabbed Bella to go out to my garage to get the cat carriers in. As I’m dialing 911, all of a sudden water comes out of nowhere. I couldn’t see any fire trucks. The flames were so massive. All of this water comes, spraying my house and the houses next to me. I see these firefighters deluging this garage. It was this moment where I’m like, “Am I going to go through with the evacuation plan? Should I stay here for a second and see how it goes?” I thought, “I’m going to stay here for a minute before I load everyone in the car and drive away. I want to see if they can get this under control.”

I don’t even know how long but it became pretty clear to me that the fire department had 26 firefighters putting this fire out. Twenty-six men were there doing this. There’s all of this ash and smoke billowing off of this garage. Other than the main frame around the garage, it was burnt to the ground. I gathered on the street and all the neighbors are on the street after the fires were put out. “Is everyone okay? Is everyone accounted for? The animals? No fatalities. No one’s missing. That’s good.”

The power lines were completely melted, the internet lines, everything around. There was a healthy palm tree right next to the garage that is charred ash. It’s one of those things where I’ve never up close seen that kind of devastation to a structure. I’ve never been around hurricane damage, flooding or a fire of this kind. I’m still very much resetting my nervous system. I’m taking a lot of anti-anxiety supplements and respiratory supplements for all the smoke that I inhaled because even though I had all the windows closed, you could still smell smoke inside the house.

There’s a lot of other things I could say about this but the main point is for all of the precautions that we take in life to feel safe to mentally compartmentalize danger in our lives, we need to realize and be present to the fact that we can check out of here in any moment. We can die at any time, despite our best efforts to protect ourselves and mitigate the danger.

I don’t know if I mentioned this because my mind is fuzzy but two weeks to the day prior to this garage burning to the ground, which they suspected was arson, a 36-year-old man was shot and killed in the exact same spot in front of that same garage. From what I’ve been talking to people about in the neighborhood, they suspect it was potentially linked that whoever killed this young man may have lit that garage on fire to destroy any evidence. It’s been an intense time in my neighborhood. My focus is trying to find balance again mentally and neurologically with my nervous system. It’s an image that will be imprinted on my consciousness forever because I’ve never ever seen anything like that before.

As an aside, before I hear your thoughts on this, Whit, it makes me think about all of the millions of acres of wildfires that have burned here in the West. I’m blessed to have not lost my home. My fence caught on fire a little bit but it was okay. Think about the level of devastation that the fires are causing, all of the people and animals who’ve lost their lives and the people’s homes that have burned to the ground. I’m nowhere near that. I’m safe and everyone’s okay. To even get a glimpse of that, it’s a horrifying wake-up call. It makes me realize the fragility of life. I’m grateful for the fact that everyone’s safe and okay. My girlfriend’s okay. I’m okay. The baby’s here. The animals are okay. I’m still processing everything. It’s still something that brings up a lot of emotions for me.

When I was talking to the neighbors the next morning, I don’t think anybody slept that night. I went back and was talking to one of my neighbors on the side of the house. She said something to the effect of, “I’ve lived here for over 40 years of my life. This was my parents’ house. They bought it in the ’50s. I’ve lived in this neighborhood and on this block my whole life.” We were talking about the shooting, the murder and the suspected arson. She was like, “Part of me wants to leave after all that’s happened but I can’t afford to leave. Even if we were to sell this house, the way that things are in the world, we can’t afford to leave this neighborhood.”

MGU 289 | Setbacks And Trauma

Setbacks And Trauma: For all of the precautions that we take in life to feel safe, we need to realize and be really present to the fact that we can check out of here at any moment.

 

That got me thinking about privilege, wealth, capitalism and the fact that a lot of people who have their houses burned in the wildfires here in the West Coast are wealthy and privileged people whether that’s through the insurance money or their own cash, have been able to rebuild their houses or move very easily. Whereas the neighbors in this neighborhood of what I’ve talked to, the woman is one example of people who are like, “We think we want to get out of here. Murder and arson in the same two-week period?” People are freaked out in my neighborhood. I freaked out. Are you kidding me? I grew up in the city of Detroit, lived in the South side of Chicago, the Bay Area and LA for years. I’ve never had a murder behind my house and an arson near my house.

Mentally and physically, I’m not terrified something bad is going to happen but it’s shocking. The point is, for people in areas who have the ability to pick up, leave and buy a house somewhere else or move, they can do that. The neighborhood that I’m in is classified as a lower-income neighborhood. Even if you want to leave, for some of the people here, they don’t feel like they can. That brings up a lot of emotions and interesting perspectives around wealth, privilege, opportunity cost and how many people must feel to some degree or another locked into their life situation without the ability to have many choices.

To her point, even if they sell the house, the housing market in Southern California is so psychotic so where would they move to? Even if they got the money, they don’t feel like they have any options. She was crying and upset. It’s been a lot of heartbreaking conversations. I feel the same way. I’ve had this thought of, “I should fucking move. It’s way too intense. It’s crazy here.” Friends have been like, “You need to move.” I’m like, “Where? Out of state?”

I’ve talked about that in previous blogs but to move somewhere else in LA, there’s no point for me to do it. It’s not that I feel stuck but I’m observing how many people do feel stuck based on their economic situation and the dynamics of wealth and the wealth disparity in the world. This fire has highlighted that in my neighborhood.

You’re touching upon an important privilege that I don’t know is addressed often enough and that’s the privilege of freedom, options and not feeling trapped. That’s something that I’ve taken for granted that I don’t feel trapped. I’m unmarried. I don’t have kids. I’m fairly financially stable. I’m White and relatively young with all these privileges. It’s easy for me to say, “Go do this.”

For a lot of people, including you, Jason, something as simple as having all those animals, it’s not that easy. You could be in a desperate situation. If you truly needed to, you would figure it out but it’s like that weird in-between where things aren’t so bad or so urgent that you’re not going to make some reactionary decision or big move unless you have to. For people that are unhappy, scared or traumatized, that in itself is not enough to cause drastic measures.

Perhaps it’s true that the options are very limited. The first thing that went through my head was, “I imagine if they sold their house, they’d be able to find someplace else in the state,” but we don’t know if they even have the option of leaving. That in itself, leaving the city is a privilege because it could depend on a lot of different factors why you might need to stay or why it’s way too challenging to leave.

I have been thinking often, Jason, how you want to leave Los Angeles and I support you in that but I also think it’s important to realize that it’s not going to be an easy thing. There are so many factors involved. Even to your point, moving to another place in the same area or nearby is challenging. To go to a whole new place, it’s starting over. Not everybody has the privilege of that being easy because of all of these different factors.

Our brains have this ability to not think about the probability of death or danger or threats. We just go through our day and act like it may or may not happen. Click To Tweet

Sometimes I feel not guilty about my privileges but almost something like that where I feel fortunate. Having that fortune is a little uncomfortable when you recognize that not everybody has that. Based on all the factors I listed, I can make all sorts of decisions. There are pros and cons. We’ve talked about the pros and cons of specific relationships and jobs, whether or not you have children, all these other factors and the reasons that people make it. It’s a weird state to be in, I suppose, when so many people around me feel trapped, limited or unable to have some of those choices. To be honest, I can only understand it from hearing about their experiences but I can’t relate to it because I’m not going through it. That’s part of what makes it so challenging.

What this has done for me is reflected on people who live consistently in environments where their safety and their lives are threatened all the time. I know it’s apples to oranges because I don’t live in a place like Afghanistan or a war-torn country that is consistently mired in violence and uprising or, to a degree, going back to my hometown, Detroit. I was talking to my mom when the fire happened.

I said it was interesting because we grew up in the city of Detroit, not the suburbs. We didn’t live in a particularly violent or dangerous neighborhood but it was still the city of Detroit. In the ’70s and the ’80s for many years, it was the murder capital of the United States. We were aware of that living there as a child. You’d hear that in the news. They called it Murder City in the ’80s but even so, on my block, we never had a murder, a shootout or drive-bys.

Furthermore, for anybody who wants to hear a little tidbit about Detroit-lore, for decades, all throughout my childhood and teen years, there was something called Devil’s Night. Devil’s Night was Detroit’s name for Halloween Eve or the night before Halloween. I don’t know why this started but every single Halloween eve, there were dozens of arsons, people lighting houses on fire all throughout the city of Detroit. You were terrified every Halloween eve wondering if someone was going to come and set your house on fire.

What this makes me think of is the people who live in neighborhoods and areas, not just in the US but across the world who are daily wondering if they’re going to get shot, their houses will get set on fire or malicious will come, rape and kill them. This is a very real thing that is happening on planet earth to many people.

Even my proximity to the murder and the arson in my neighborhood has given me a widening of my perspective and compassion for the people who are dealing and facing this danger and threat all of the time and how many people walking through this world never know what it’s like to even be near that. It’s simmering in me. That perspective shift inside of me.

Going back to the conversation around privilege, freedom and opportunity, I was talking to an acquaintance of mine in a business meeting. He was explaining to me that his brother is moving from Portland to Austin. He told me that getting a rental truck or those pods that you fill up and use to move from Oregon to Texas was over $4,000. If we think about people who are in a space of low opportunity, lesser privilege, lower-income situation, even if they want to leave and perhaps go out of state or go to a different place in the state, just to move in some cases is thousands of dollars, let alone finding a new property, security deposit, down payment, whatever the case may be.

MGU 289 | Setbacks And Trauma

Setbacks And Trauma: Having that fortune is a little uncomfortable when you recognize that not everybody has that.

 

It’s a lot to reflect on looking at the inequality in this world and the people who have massive amounts of wealth, privilege, opportunity and the billions of people who do not. I don’t know what the hell to do about it because it seems that late-stage capitalism is this juggernaut that is consuming everything in its path.

I stumbled on a Reddit thread. It’s a mind-boggling and eye-opening array of threads around the predatory disparities of late-stage capitalism. One of the posts was a guy who posted on TikTok, who is a real estate investor. He looks like a young guy, maybe in his 20s or 30s in a very fancy car. He’s talking straight to the camera saying he’s in Jacksonville, North Carolina going to buy 100 foreclosed houses. The total value of the property is $10.5 million.

He’s going to put down 15% so $1.5 million. He goes on to say, “The people who are occupying the houses, I’m going to kick them out and replace them with Section 8 low-income tenants. I’m going to kick out the people I’m buying the houses from these hundred houses because I want to make money, get my government kickbacks and extract as much value as possible out of this deal because who cares about humanity?”

That is this rampant mentality that is going through this world of, “I’m going to get mine. I’m going to extract the maximum amount of value out of my employees, out of people, out of the resources, out of the earth and who gives a shit?” It’s sad because in the real estate market, that very much is the attitude. As the mortgage moratoriums are lifted and the renter protection moratoriums are lifted, people are getting evicted. People with all of the resources and money are coming in, swooping in, buying tons of real estate and not giving a goddamn about families, people, their displacement or where they’re going to find housing. It’s about maximizing profit and increasing your portfolio. Who cares about the effect on actual human lives? It’s sad.

This is not an unusual outlier situation, Whitney. This is happening all over the place. I don’t know what the solution is but it’s horrifying to witness this happening. This predatory capitalism is taking advantage of so many people in the housing market specifically because that seems to be the theme that we’re touching on.

You also sent me a TikTok video since we’re on the subject of TikTok videos, of a young lady who’s been posting about a perspective shift in how we engage with mental health and therapy. You’ve sent me several of her videos and I’ve always found them to be intelligent, thought-provoking and putting a different spin on some of the phrases or concerns that people bring up in psychotherapy regarding burnout, feeling overwhelmed, feeling like they are completely out of inspiration and completely exhausted.

I’m curious if she popped up on your thread randomly or if you were looking for mental health content. I’m curious where you discovered her because she’s been bringing some interesting perspectives to the table. How would you characterize her perspective on things? I’m struggling to summarize it a little bit.

Options are very limited for some people. Click To Tweet

To be completely transparent, my brain is a bit zapped so I don’t have a good answer for you either, Jason. Maybe we should discuss it another time. The summary that I took away from it, which in this moment, I don’t know if it fully covers it, is more along the lines of when somebody is struggling, it’s easy to give them formulaic, all-encompassing, one size fits all advice, which to the point that fits into this conversation is a lot of things are complicated. It’s because they’re easy for you or you’re not experiencing them doesn’t mean that it’s the same case for somebody else because other people can be struggling and handling things differently because of their mental health, economic situation, home life, career and all these factors.

In your case, Jason, it feels like you could have two broad statement choices, which is like, “Don’t worry about it. You’re fine. You’re not going to be affected, have this cognitive dissonance and pretend you’re safer than you feel.” The advice could be, “You should just move.” It’s very tempting and common for people to say those things.

When I was watching that video, that was my main takeaway. There was a lot more to it that at this moment I don’t recall. My takeaway was that there’s so much more that each individual is going through and up against. For us to have this blanket statement solution to make ourselves feel better by sharing it is disregarding all the challenges that that individual is facing and how complex the situation is for them given those factors.

It is tempting to want to give out cliché advice or penned responses. Sometimes it’s done out of the best intentions. People intend to help but they don’t understand the intricate dynamics of a person’s situation. I’m not going to use this term flippantly because I don’t know if it’s completely accurate but I’m concerned.

I’m concerned being here after what has happened with the shooting and the fire that I’m going to be experiencing some level of PTSD around these events. I feel in a way I already am. I’m not a clinician. I’m not here to diagnose myself but I find myself waking up in the middle of the night to any noise or any kind of thing of like, “What is that?” It’s like this subconscious threat of, “It could be a gunshot. It could be fire. What is going to happen next?”

It’s this thing that will be moving help to alleviate that? It might. Maybe I have this association that I’m not in a safe neighborhood. It’s not safe to be here anymore. I’m sure that is. I don’t even need to pontificate. I know that that’s what’s happening. I don’t feel safe here anymore and I want to get the hell out but I don’t know where I’m going to go yet because I haven’t found a place I want to move to.

I’ve talked about my girlfriend Laura and I going up to the Pacific Northwest and exploring that. We haven’t done so yet. To move to another location in LA and then move again, I have no desire to move an entire house full of stuff and five animals to a place. It’s a bit of a catch point too because I don’t want to be here. I don’t feel safe here. I am experiencing some PTSD after shooting and fire but until I know where I’m going to go, I don’t feel like it makes sense to move just to move.

MGU 289 | Setbacks And Trauma

Setbacks And Trauma: You can only understand it from hearing about their experiences, but you can’t relate to it because you did not go through it. That’s part of what makes it so challenging.

 

It is interesting to think about the psychological effects of being near a violent event. I was not in the fire. I was not there or even had a gun pointed at me. I was not the person shot but it was from my kitchen window 50 feet away. That’s close enough for me to have a nervous system reaction and a psychological response of feeling like, “I don’t know if I feel okay walking around my property at night anymore. I don’t know if I feel okay walking through my alley.”

Whether or not those are rational fears, I feel it. We go back to one of my original points about how, as humans, we try to mitigate danger. We try to somehow protect ourselves or shield ourselves from violence and threats. Moving to a “better neighborhood,” it’s like, “I want to move my family to a better neighborhood with a better school system.”

Does violence happen in a place like Malibu? Sure. Does it happen as much as a place where I live in Boyle Heights or Compton? No, it doesn’t but it’s the idea that we’re going to live behind a gate in our sheltered privileged life with our millions of dollars in our giant SUVs with our security teams and our handgun. We have this obsession as human beings with, “Nothing can harm me. Nothing can kill me. I’m protected and safe.” On a certain level, it’s an illusion.

Your chances of having something “bad” happen to you in a better neighborhood is real. There’s logic and statistics to back that up but it doesn’t prevent you from experiencing a violent event. Rich people get carjacked and shot all the time. Rich people get kidnapped all the time. Bad shit happens to privileged people too in spite of their alarm systems, gates, firearms, dogs, armored SUVs and mansions.

It’s an interesting game we play as humans. For me, it’s this visceral experience of, “I could die at any time from getting shot, being stabbed, being in a fire or being run over. God knows what.” It’s not like I’m going to meditate on death every day because that’s morose and I don’t want to do that but this is in a weird way of a wake-up call.

It’s a wake-up call to safety, death, privilege and freedom. There’s a lot and I’m still unpacking all of it. If I sound a bit scattered to anybody it’s because I’m still a little bit crapped up. I’m exhausted and had very little sleep. If I sound incoherent, it’s because I am. I don’t know what else to say, honestly. I still feel a little bit traumatized from the whole thing and I don’t use that word lightly. I feel mentally traumatized by it. I don’t know if there’s anywhere else to go. This might be a short episode.

You’re certainly in an uncomfortable spot. Speaking about that openly is important. It’s a vulnerable thing. It’s also a way to connect because for anyone else who’s experienced this, has been thinking about it or even can relate to that feeling of being trapped, traumatized, confused, it’s exhausting. I’m sure, Jason, for you, it’s on top of everything else. I’m curious if that’s leading you to feel a bit numb to an extent.

Just because they're easy for you doesn't mean that it's the same case for somebody else. Click To Tweet

This is something that I’ve heard a lot of people online expressing especially Millennials. There’s a lot of reference to Millennials because Millennials were at such an impressionable age during 9/11, for example. I’ve seen a theme of TikTok videos of Millennials saying, “When you’re a Millennial and you’ve experienced all of the this-is-the-worst-that-it’s-ever-been type of disasters over and over again, at a certain point you feel numb to it because you’ve gone through so much.’”

You don’t even have the strength to react anymore. You become used to feeling trapped, scared or used to all of this. The walls that you have to put up within yourself to get through the day are a lot because maybe you feel like if you were to feel it, you would be overwhelmed by the sadness and fear. Maybe life would start to feel hopeless because you’ve experienced so much of it.

That’s something that a lot of people are experiencing. Even when I was reflecting on my lifestyle, it’s possible that it’s a trauma response or a coping mechanism to not be married, not have kids and not own a home. I can do whatever I want whenever I want because I’m not “trapped or weighed down by anything.” That appeal also.

Psychologically, there might be a correlation between the rise of van life, the popularity of that. People want to work for themselves remotely, be on the road all the time and not own a home. A lot of young people, often couples, without kids living out of a car so they don’t feel trapped at all. Is that going to be a big theme?

Clearly, the growing desire to work remotely and work for ourselves running our own businesses, a lot of that is in a way a generational trauma response. I don’t want to be unhappy or someone else to control me, all of these things that we’re doing to try to fend for ourselves and feel safe. Even if you can’t directly relate to your situation, it’s certainly something to reflect upon because there are different extremes to this.

You talked about numbness. I don’t feel numb per se. I feel exhausted mentally and physically. It’s not just the impact on my nervous system and my physiology from the terror. Looking out the kitchen window and seeing 50-foot-high flames and a structure that is bright behind my backyard, it was terror. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt that level of a fight or flight, immediate flooding of my body of that much adrenaline. Cleaning up the debris and giant chunks in the garage or in my backyard and spending days cleaning up the entire backyard, I don’t feel numb. I feel like I want to go sleep for two weeks and not do anything.

I feel like I want to cocoon myself in a hyperbaric chamber and rest but I can’t do that because A) I don’t know anyone who has a hyperbaric chamber and B) there are responsibilities I have chosen in my life that need to be attended to. It’s the challenge of recovering from a traumatic event while still maintaining one’s life and the responsibilities a human being has chosen.

MGU 289 | Setbacks And Trauma

Setbacks And Trauma: Other people can be struggling and handling things differently because of their mental health and economic situation.

 

That goes back to privilege. If you’re a person who has massive wealth, privilege, money and service people, you can say, “I’m going to take two weeks off, go to a retreat in Cabo and get massages.” I’m not denigrating rich people. I’m just saying that there’s a massive disparity when you have something traumatic that happens and you have to keep living and managing your life and you don’t have the luxury to take off and say, “Crap it.”

I’m trying to manage this feeling in my body where I do not want to do anything. I’m so depleted, yet I still need to maintain my life. I’m trying to figure out how to recover and find balance again after an event like this. It’s challenging. It’s making me sit and reconsider a lot of things in my life, what I want to be doing and what I’m focusing my time and energy on.

That’s the benefit of death meditation, Whitney. Not in a morose way but in a beneficial way. If I could die in a fire, get shot or God knows what, what am I doing here? What am I doing spending my time here? What am I focusing on? What’s important? That probably sounds like an offshoot of a lot of things people might be considering in a pandemic world. A lot of people have been reconsidering their lives, livelihoods and what they are focusing their time and energy on.

This feels like it’s accelerated it for me. It’s accelerated the idea and the consideration of what I’m doing. I feel like this is going to be something that I need to sit with and marinate for a while. When I walked outside, I have to wear a mask. It’s like. “We’re in a pandemic.” That’s a good thing because it smells like burnt giant pieces of wood around my house. The mask is coming in handy.

I’m curious for anyone who is reading or watching this on YouTube, however you’re consuming this show. If you have been through something traumatic or shocking that has created an opportunity for you to reframe and re-envision your life, we always love to hear from you and your perspectives on the subjects and topical matter we cover here.

I’m in an increasingly, extremely uncomfortable spot, trying to recover mentally and physically from what has happened here in my neighborhood. It would be great to hear from you if this has resonated with you. I want to hear from people and hear your perspectives. Maybe that’s a little selfish for my own comfort but through sharing each other’s stories, there is deep comfort there. There is a deep perspective being shared when we can openly and lovingly speak about what we’ve been through.

If you feel moved by this episode or it resonates in some way or you want to share your story with us, you can email myself and Whitney directly. It’s [email protected]. Our website is Wellevatr.com. You can DM us on any of the social platforms. We’re @Wellevatr. Instagram is probably where we have the most direct messages. Reach out to us if you have any perspectives, stories and things you’ve survived and recovered from. It would be wonderful for us to receive that and for me to hear how you have navigated something in your life like this.

With that being said, we will be back with another episode soon. The new format that we’ve been doing is solo episodes with myself and Whitney on Mondays and our guest episodes are on Fridays. We also have our private podcast, This Hits The Spot, which is a lot lighter than the subject matter we covered, where we review our favorite products, resources, books, services, things that Whitney and I are excited about. You can subscribe to our newsletter at Wellevatr.com or support us on Patreon for as little as $2 a month to get access to our private podcast and learn about all our favorite things in the world.

Speaking of which, I need to nourish myself because I’ve felt pretty sick to my stomach and slowly getting my appetite back. Thanks for holding space, Whitney and creating an opportunity to share this story because it was fresh. I wanted to share it and put it in a larger social context around everything we talked about with privilege, wealth, opportunity and freedom. It’s a thick sandwich. Until next time. Thanks for getting uncomfortable with us. We appreciate you. Thanks!

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