We don’t reach the mountaintop from the mountaintop. We start at the bottom and climb up. Blood is involved. — Cheryl Strayed
Kelly Childress has climbed the mountain. A few mountains, actually.
Her own challenging past has set her up to do the important work that she now does – helping patients to transition from this world, and helping families to handle grief and difficult emotions during times of loss.
I wanted to bring Kelly onto the show to talk about overcoming her own difficult past. She grew up with an emotionally abusive alcoholic father, and suffered the rejection of her mother when Kelly came out as gay.
Kelly could have closed herself off from the world, curled up in bitter resentment.
She could have believed the swirling voices in her head that told her she was ugly and useless and stupid.
Instead, she chose to climb the mountain of forgiveness.
Now, as a daily practice, she chooses emotional bravery and love. She chooses self-compassion, even when she feels like an as*hole (her words).
So how can we recover from our difficult memories, and the negative self-talk that surrounds them?
How can we learn to live regret-free, and remember what’s important?
And how do we learn to forgive – others and ourselves – so that we can be truly ourselves?
This episode has the calm and wisdom you might expect from a board-certified chaplain and Buddhist practitioner.
It also has Kelly’s irreverent humour and unfailing courage that makes for a truly life-affirming conversation.
Expect insights, a few cuss-words and some serious tattoo-talk.
Links and Resources:
Quotes by Kelly:
“I learn most when I go through difficult things.”
“If there’s a grudge you’re holding or something in your heart, I find self-forgiveness to be very powerful.”
“When I’m being my best self, I exercise, I eat broccoli and cauliflower, I hang out with friends, I go for walks, I listen to music that makes me happy.”