Ep. 063 | Suffering, Surrender, and the Leap of Faith
How to Find Freedom on the Other Side of Letting Go
What do you need to let go of?
In her teens, alcohol became Carrie Chown's refuge from emotional pain. By her early college years, she was firmly in the grips of alcoholism. Carrie worked hard to keep everything looking shiny on the outside, but inside she wanted to die. Then, she was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension as a college junior and was told she had two years to live.
Ironically, it felt like an answer to her prayer to die.
In June of 1999, Carrie summoned the will and the courage to get sober so she could begin an IV treatment the following month. Remarkably, she survived six years with pulmonary hypertension and received a life-extending double lung transplant in December 2003. After the transplant, Carrie was told that she might only have two more years to live.
With a handful of years of sobriety and intensive recovery work now under her belt, Carrie emerged from the transplant physically, spiritually, and mentally aligned. She was ready to live. She moved out of her parents' house, started working, got married, and bought her first home.
But she lost sight of all of the gifts in her life during an excruciating seven-year infertility journey.
There's more to this story, and Carrie fills in the gaps in the conversation that follows. But what I've just shared with you sets the stage for the insights and wisdom that Carrie offers in this episode. At face value, it's a gripping tale of human suffering, perseverance, and the will to live. But on a deeper level, it's a master class in how to find freedom on the other side of letting go.
Meet Carrie Chown
Today, Carrie is a Life, Health, and Wellness Coach and Reiki Master Practitioner. She has a private practice in Woodland, CA where she uses traditional coaching, energy work, and unique life coaching experiences to help her clients move beyond the things that hold them back and create lives full of passion, purpose, and wellbeing.
Some Episode Highlights
Carrie shares what she had to let go of in each of the three monumental surrenders she’s experienced in her life–addiction, terminal illness, and infertility–and what freedom she found on the other side of letting go.
How to know when to keep fighting and when to surrender.
Carrie’s take on the purpose of suffering.
The necessity of detaching from the outcome.
How letting go makes it possible to see other options.
The difference between suffering that heals and transforms and suffering that destroys.
Carrie’s take on her leap of faith–why, how, and how it turned out.
What Do You Need to Let Go Of?
Letting go is not a popular idea in our hard-driving Western culture. But one has only to consider how physically and mentally unhealthy our culture is--unprecedentedly so, in fact--to realize that there's much about how we live today that needs to change.
So perhaps letting go is something all of us need to practice more.
Letting go of our demand that life be a certain way and accepting what actually IS, instead. Letting go of our demand that our partner meet all of our needs and assuming full responsibility for own wellbeing, instead. Letting go of our tireless efforts to prevent future catastrophes and accepting that much of the future is completely outside of our control. Letting go of our need for our kids to fit our mold and nurturing their unique qualities, instead.
Examine your own heart and observe your own life to discern where a surrender might be calling to you. Look especially closely at those areas in your life where you consistently experience a sense of stuckness and frustration, a pushing-back from life as it resists your repeated attempts to create a different reality.
What freedom awaits you on the other side of letting go?
Remember: You ARE going to die. But you're not dead yet. So get after it!
Let Me Know!
What stuck with YOU from this episode? Message me on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn @AndrewPettyCoach, or email me at email@example.com.
I'm taking a creative break in July to have adventures with my family and give my heart and mind an opportunity to reset and be refreshed.
The show will return in August with two episodes that I'm really looking forward to. From her own heartrending experiences with loss and caregiving, Michelle Mathai will teach us how to have the hard conversations with our loved ones about end-of-life issues NOW--before end-of-life issues become a reality. And terminal brain cancer warrior, Pam Blackburn, will offer her final word from the sacred space she now inhabits between life and death. If these sound like hard episodes to look forward to, much less listen to, then lean into the discomfort and tune in anyway. They might just be the episodes that you especially needed to hear.
I’m so glad you tuned in today, and don’t forget to follow this show. I’ll see you again in August on Andrew Petty is Dying, Lord willin' and the creek don't rise!
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New to Andrew Petty is Dying?
And if you're new to this show, welcome! I invite you to browse the archive of past interviews with fascinating people and short, topical solo episodes--all designed to equip you with the mindset and the means to become the person you were made to be and live the life you were made to live with guts, gusto, and abandon. We flip the script by inviting our ancient foe, Death, to become an unlikely ally in our heroic journey to leave it all out on the field of life. Turns out, Mortality might just be the best motivator available--blasting us out of our ambivalence and complacency and toward the fullness of our potential.