Pavel Ythjall | The Power of Kindness Through Being Present | K&C 22

In this episode, host Gordon has a conversation with Pavel Ythjall as he tells his story about the miraculous survival of a tragic car accident with his wife. Pavel shares the challenges he and his wife have faced in the seven years since the accident, including his recovery from a broken neck and his wife’s paralysis from the neck down. Pavel’s story is both inspiring and heartbreaking as he discusses the trials and tribulations of their life after the accident. Gordon and Pavel talk about the healing and power that comes from simply being present with people through their pain.

Meet Pavel Ythjall

Pavel YthjallPavel Ythjall is one of the top contemporary fitness photographers in America. He came to the United States from Sweden to pursue the American dream. He was well on his way when tragedy struck. Kat was a major in the US Air Force. An American born and raised in Belize, she was an avid fitness enthusiast, marathoner, and triathlete, earning pro status with the International Federation of Bodybuilding. Today, Kat runs a family home command station for Pavel and their four Yorkies, managing her caregivers while taking online classes for a second master’s degree in psychology.

Miracles Come From Unexpected Sources

We often think of miracles as a divine intervention, something that is beyond our understanding and control. But sometimes, miracles come from the most unlikely sources. Take the story of Pavel Ythjall, for example.

Seven years ago, Pavel and his wife were in a tragic car accident. Just one year after they got married, both of them broke their necks. Pavel was lucky enough to be able to get back to life, but his wife remains paralyzed neck down. It was an incredibly difficult time for the couple, filled with trials and tribulations.

However, what was miraculous was who showed up for them. Their families didn’t want to be a part of it, but doctors, friends, and even strangers who heard about their accident on Facebook, came to their aid. This created a whole new family of people who wanted to help them, and it was truly a miracle.

This story is a powerful reminder that miracles can come from unexpected sources. We often think that we have to rely on divine intervention to get us out of difficult situations, but sometimes, the people around us can be the ones to provide us with the help and support we need. It’s important to remember that no matter how difficult life can be, there are always people willing to help us, and that is a true miracle.

Support Each Other in Tough Times

It is not always easy to accept help from strangers, especially when we are struggling with difficult situations. We may feel embarrassed or ashamed to ask for help, or we may not even know who to turn to. But it is important to remember that there are people out there who are willing to offer us their support, and that we should not be afraid to reach out and ask for it.

Pavel emphasizes the importance of being a good caregiver. It is not always easy to take on the role of a caregiver, especially when we are dealing with our own struggles. But it is important to remember that being there for someone in need is one of the most powerful forms of love and support. It takes courage and mental fortitude to be a caregiver, and we should be grateful for those who are willing to do it.

In times of difficulty, it is important to remember that we are never alone. There are always people around us willing to offer their support and help us through. It is important to be open to receiving help and support, and to remember that even strangers can be the source of a miracle. Together, we can help each other through tough times, and that is something to be thankful for.

Finding Meaning In The Midst of Tragedy

Gordon and Pavel also mention Victor Frankl’s book, “Man’s Search for Meaning”, which is a powerful reminder that even in the worst of times, we can still find meaning and purpose. Frankl’s story of surviving in a German concentration camp is a testament to the human spirit and its ability to endure.

Pavel’s story is also a reminder that good people still exist, and that even in the midst of tragedy, we can still find meaning and purpose. We can still choose to take our tragedy and use it as a way to help others, and in doing so, we can make a difference in the world.

When tragedy strikes, it can be hard to see the silver lining. But if we look close enough, we can often find the opportunity to make something out of our tragedy.

Pavel’s story is a reminder that even in the midst of tragedy, there are still good people in the world. The people who helped Pavel and Kat through their ordeal are a testament to this. From the therapists who worked with Kat to the people who supported Pavel and Kat emotionally, they all helped to make their journey a little easier. They are a reminder that there are still people in the world who are willing to help others in need, and that is something that we should all be grateful for.


Pavel’s wife, Kat, remains paralyzed from the neck down.  Despite this, she was able to use her strength and determination to become a licensed family therapist and work full time for Space Force. Her story is an inspiration to all of us, and it is a reminder that even in the darkest of times, there is still hope.

Pavel is still a caregiver to his wife. Pavel realized that his wife had always been an adventurer, and that taking care of her was like a crusade of doing good. He was able to find a way to make his tragedy into an adventure, and it gave him a sense of purpose.

Pavel has worked hard to document their lives together, creating a short, fast-paced, and very emotional documentary. This documentary is now available on Netflix for everyone to watch and gain inspiration from.

In addition to his documentary, Paul has also created, where people can connect with him and learn more about his story. Through his website, Paul offers support and advice to those who are also in the role of caregiver. He is available to connect via email, text, and messaging, and he is always open to talking to other caregivers.

He was able to talk to others about his experience and the book he wrote,  True Love and Suffering; A Caretaker’s Memoir of Trauma, Despair, and Other Blessings and also make a documentary, Moment of Impact

Taking care of his wife gave him an opportunity to do something meaningful and help others. Pavel and Kat’s story is an example of how we can make something out of tragedy. It is important to remember that tragedy can bring us closer to others, and that it can even give us an opportunity to do something meaningful. We can choose to take our tragedy and use it as a way to help others, and in doing so, we can find meaning and purpose in our lives.

Well, hello everyone and welcome to the podcast and I'm really excited for you all to get to hear from somebody I've recently become acquainted with. And that's Paval y'all. Paval welcome. Thank you, Gordon. Thank you. I'm happy to be here. Happy to share. Yes. Yes. And I, I, I learned about Paval from some fellow podcasters and got to listen to his interview and you've got an amazing story.

Thank you. Yeah, it's an amazing in the sense that well in many different ways, I guess, but both me and my wife are unlucky to, to both, both break our necks. But we were lucky in the sense that we got an enormous amount of, of help and love and the trials and tribulations after these seven years.

I've become sort of my, my passion and purpose now to share with other people and see if we can't get more people help, so to speak. Yes. Yes. And I think This is just a relevant topic for, for any of us going through what we go through in life. And I think you know, I dare, dare I say on the tail end of Covid and, and really people being aware of when life gets hard, you know, how do we help people and how do we, how do we live into the really the power of being present with people?

Yeah, that's a good, it's a good question, Gordon. I don't wanna put, take your podcast down too much. But after our accident what was miraculous in a way was to see who shut up for us. Like we were two strong athletic people in the, in the, in the prime of our lives. But with broken necks, you, you're very vulner liberal both mentally and physically, and both of our families did not show up for us.

So yeah, our blood families that. They just didn't want any part of it for different reasons. Right. But who did show up was doctors friends that heard, heard about our accident on Facebook that had gone through similar things. So it became, we became a whole new family of people that wanted to help.

Just by, by word of mouth. And that was miraculous. Yes. Yes. So maybe a good place for us to start is as I start with most everybody on this podcast is tell us a little more about yourself and how you've landed where you've landed. Wow. Okay. I'm from Sweden and immigrated to America 14 years ago.

Hollywood, you know, America, Hollywood. Mm-hmm. I was a photographer and always dreamt about Comedy America. And I did, and I, I found success pretty fast here in America. America loves hardworking people and I'm certainly that. So I was in, I was in an, on an upward tra trajectory in the fitness business, shooting for all the big magazines, and that's also how I met my wife Kat.

She was an, a major in the air force. Just a, a force of nature. Also a triad leaf, a marathon runner, and a, a bikini fitness pro. So we met on a rooftop in Hollywood at a, at a fitness party. So that, that was the, the love, the love, the, the true love and, and just the dreams, right? And then we just, one year after we got married on an island in Belize.

So that's the happy background. And then the tragedy. Yes. And so for folks that might not be aware, I know that you and your wife were in a terrible car accident, and it's a miracle that you're both alive. It is. It truly is. We were both in a, in a big S u v a Range Rover which are a big, heavy cars.

We we were going down to a couple of friends in Laguna Beach over the Christmas holiday, so it was a happy time for us. We were very ha newly in love and we were happy. Going down in the car, cat leaned over to put on some Christmas music. And, and we just heard a, a crack, like a big, big sound underneath the car.

And the hu course shook and the car started sliding and it started sliding towards the, the side of the road. And it cut up gravel. So there was gravel and dust and, and just a cloud everywhere. And then we hit one of those street signs that says Laguna Beach, 45 miles or whatnot. And the car started rolling.

And I remember I remember vividly how. Bounced my head in the windshield and I, I thought this is gonna hurt. And after that it's, I just blacked out and I woke up upside down with blood just pouring down my face. And I, I looked over at a cat and like, how are you babe? How are you? And she's like, go get help.

I've broken my arms. But she hadn't broken her arms. She had decapitated herself instantly on impact. She just couldn't move. And so her military training, Believed her to think that she had broken her arms, which is logical, but mm-hmm. Yeah. Instantly paralyzed. Yeah. And from there on yeah, the story continues.

Right, right. So it's been quite a recovery part, process for you guys. Yeah. So one of the, one of the things I know about your story is, is that when, when it came down to it, the people that you thought you could count on really weren't the people. That ended up being there for you in the long run.

Yeah. One big part of our story is the, the caregiving part of the story, so, mm-hmm. This didn't, it didn't become, become like a it didn't show itself until after we got home. So cuz when you're in the hospital, you're taking care of 24 7. Like my dad said, the hospital is the easy part. You got doctors and nurses.

Trauma people. You got everything you need 24 7. You just ring a little bell or blowing a little pipe and someone will be there for you. So it was, even though that was really hard, obviously the, our worlds fell apart. It was when we got home that, when, that's when the real struggle started. Mm-hmm. Because all of a sudden you're, you're alone.

It's me with a broken neck, my wife with a broken neck, she can't move and we need 24 7 care. And you just stand there to drop the ambulance drops you off and you're like, what? What do I do now? And that's when really when my world fell apart and her world fell apart and suicidal thoughts came up and all that.

Oh, sure. So we just went down to really deep, deep rabbit hole of blackness in the beginning. Right. So Right. So there, but that's, and I, that's when I discovered that none of our families had the opportunity or. To come and help, but then in some way I understand it. There's, there's so much sorrow and I mean, people have so much trouble just dealing with their every everyday problems.

So coming to help us and seeing the sadness every day just, just takes an enormous amount of courage and, and mental fortitude. Something we've built up both of us now. But in the beginning it was, it was, it was hard, right? So, yeah. So that was the start of it. What did happen was that while our families were not there for us, strangers started appearing.

So I've just, just premiered a documentary about the heroes in, in a, in a book I wrote. And I screamed out on Facebook. I was just really screaming out for help and, and in my blog post and people that have gone through similar stuff contacted me and asked how they could help and, and one after the other.

So, and after. Not too long. I had a whole bunch of people around me, loving, caring people that went grocery shopping, that came to dishes that came and helped take care of Kat and people that were just there in the morning to listen when I was angry or disappointed or just needed to talk to someone, so.

Right, right. Yeah, it's a, it's as I've shared on the podcast before and we chatted just briefly about, and just my own journey of being a care. For my wife who has had a brain tumor and is, you know, in a wheelchair and, you know, dealing with dementia and that sort of thing it really takes a toll on people in, in just the, the caregiving mode and just thinking about what it means to have support and so, I think you're exactly right in that I think maybe people hold back on providing support because they don't know what to do necessarily.

And it's not that you need 'em to necessarily do anything, but just be right. Present, right. That is so right. Gordon, I remember one time in a hospital, one of my big, big body building friends cuz I was shooting fitness and his, his name is Matus and he's from former Jigo. He doesn't necessarily have all the words, but he came by my bedside and he just sat there and I asked him to put his hand up on the railing and I, I put my hand on on his, and that's what I needed.

I just needed someone there like mm-hmm. And, and he's a big guy and he just, his size felt comforting, to be honest. Mm-hmm. So I just held his hand and then he just sat there and that's all I needed to, to get me through that hour or that day. And So, yeah, I try to be cognizant of that. Now the night when I help other people.

I also want to add that you being a caregiver might relate that it took me quite a while to be a good caregiver myself. I, I readily refused in the beginning cuz being a caregiver would, it would mean that I would've to give up all my dreams. And, and I was lucky in the sense. I had my mobility, so in a way I could just leave Cat and continue my journey.

Innately something inside me, it's told me not to do that, but, but I still, I still held on to the, to the dreams I had, like I wanted my previous life. I didn't wanna change it, so it took me a long time to, it actually took me until Kat said, she looked me straight and eyes and said, what if it was you?

What if this happened to. And then, then empathy came in and I'm like, yeah, what if this was me? Mm-hmm. What would I want my wife to do for me? And that it switched me. It really switched me. And from that point on, I pride myself to pride myself of being, I mean, a, a good, as a good of a caregiver as I can be.

But I'm, I'm present. I'm there for her and I'll fight for her, you know, every second of. Right. Right. Yeah. That, that, that resonates and I think something that you kind of allude to there is moving, moving from the resentment of it all. Yeah. To more acceptance. Yeah. And so, yeah. So what was that process like for you of just kind of moving from that, those two places?

I think one thing. Saved me in the sense is that the way I looked at things. So my wife has always been a, an adventurer and she made me adventurous. So we, before me we met, I was from Sweden. So I'm very organized and structured and I get things done, but I'm may not be the most happening person in the world, may not.

And she made me adventurous. We got married in Belize and we did all these trips. So in a. In a way, me being a caregiver be, be, became like a, a crusade of good or a crusade of doing good, a crusade of helping others. And that in itself became adventurous. Mm-hmm. Now I'm talking to you, Gordon. I've written a book, I've done a documentary, I'm gonna do a feature film.

So there was a way to swivel it for my mind to cope with it, I guess. Mm-hmm. This took a while. It took 3, 4, 5 years to really swivel it, but now I'm. I I usually tell people this, if I had the choice of the accident happen or not happen, I would want it to happen if it was only happening to me. And God knows I've gone through some bad times.

I mean, I had a halo mountain on my face. My, I broke my neck, I stroked out. Both my shoulders are dislocated, so I've, I've been bad, but it made me a better person and being empathetic and being able to, to help another person and see the gratitude and. It's just there's no other feeling. There's no nothing that makes you feel better than helping other people.

It just, mm-hmm. The stepping stone to get to that point is really high. And that's people, that's why it's so hard. But once you get there and I think you're there yourself, Gordon, it's just, it's beautiful. There's nothing better, even though you're tired you know, wept out and maybe whatever you are, it's just, it's just this beautiful feeling of being able to help.

And it's cuz they're meaningful. It gives you purpose. And that, and that's what drives me now. So, yeah. Sorry, I forgot what you asked Gordon. Oh, well, it's just that, yeah, just thinking about moving from resentment about things to, to acceptance of things you know, but what, as you were saying saying all that one of the things that I'm reminded of is, is that, you know, when.

When there's a tragedy of some sort or there's some sort of catastrophe. You know, the thing that seems to be the redemptive part of it is when you see all the people that show up. Yeah. To help. I mean, I'm thinking like, you know, In recent years, you know, hurricanes and natural disasters and that kind of thing, people showing up for that has a way of grabbing at us or, or touching us in a way.

Yeah. That, that just kind of puts all the other nonsense of life to the side. Yeah, it does. And it's, I I, I do call it like a, a calling to adventure because it is, it is an adventure. It gives you a sense of purpose and a, and you're doing something and it's, it's. Above and blind and is going outside your little box.

So yes, so caregiving can be an adventure, and I agree. We, it was, we just saw that little girl in Turkey, right, rescued from the ruins and it engaged the whole Turkey and it against the whole world. I think we couldn't grasp 40,000 being dead. It's just like the number's too big, but that little girl, it just mm-hmm.

Everyone wanted to help, so, yeah, for sure. Yeah. Yeah, and I have the best, I mean, I have the. Most intimate relationships with other caregivers. Now, other people that helped Johnny Courier, a local person here in Los Angeles, he started Next Step, which is an organization for people with paralysis. He started that organization after being paralyzed himself.

Mm-hmm. So it's like a self-fulfilling thing and he now helps, I mean, thousands of people and, and it's, I it's miraculously to see what we can. We can do it so much. Good. You know, if we want to, so, yeah. Yeah. Well, you know, the one thing that occurs to me in just thinking about, just kind of putting on my clinical hat here for a little bit, you know, when in, in my work with people that maybe, maybe struggling with depression or any sort of thing like that, There's this inward focus that comes with that.

I mean, you're really consumed with your own stuff, but when you can start turning that outward and really focusing on others, that tends to go away, tends to. The other thing that comes to mind is, is just how much meaning that brings for people. Yeah. And I think that's what you're, you're hitting on there.

Pav is The tragedy that you've, that you've had and you and your wife have had, there has been some meaning that has come out of that for the two, the two of you. I make an assumption for your wife as well, but yeah, no, for sure. I mean, we. I mean, you have a choice. I think you have a choice, Gordon.

When thumb something happens to you, you can either go down the, the abyss and maybe never get out. Right? Or you can try to make something out of it. And we, we were strong enough to try to, to make something out of it, so to speak. And I think, I think therapists have a huge role in tr trying to help people bridge that little bridge, that bridge because it's not easy at all, so to speak.

When it comes to my wife, She's just a force of nature in that after the accident, all she can do is move her, her, her neck and her shoulders. But she works with a stick in her mouth called a stylist, and she's now almost a licensed family therapist. Mm-hmm. So she's doing a practicums. She also works full-time for space force.

So, so there is no, it's interesting to see like we're living. Day and age where we complain about everything, or many people complain about everything, and as you said, live in words. Mm-hmm. And I have wants, but when you look at Kat, my wife, and you can see what she does with her one finger, her stylist and voice control.

She works full-time for space force and you know, national defenses. And then she said almost a family therapist. Then it makes me look at myself and say like, excuse me for swearing, but stop being a little bitch Pavel. Just, just get to it. You know? Right. Just, just get to it, you know? Yeah. So, And that has her accident, has empowered so many other people, it makes them be better.

So yes, that there has been something positive, even though Kat might not agree, she has brought out the best of us. And I think that's what caregiving does too, Gordon. It brings out, it brings out the best of us. Yeah. You know? Yeah, I love that. I love that. So, yeah, another another thought that comes to me is just thinking about when people.

Go through a tragedy and their, and they find meaning with it. I, I was reminded of Victor Frankl's book, the Man Search For Meaning. Yeah. Yeah. And just what he went through and being a part of the German concentration camps and Yeah. As a, a Jewish person and how he came out that in, in many senses, more whole than he was when he went.

Right. And that's, irony is probably the wrong word, word here. Mm-hmm. But yes, I've, I've read that book several times and in a way it saved me just, just a, just a purpose part that as long as you have something to or hope, actually in his part, I think he was hoping to, to come back and meet his family, if I remember it correctly.

And so, as long as you have hope or dreams, dreams is the same sentiment, I guess. Jeromes, they're so important to have something. To look forward though, to look forward to plus living in the moment, obviously, so yeah. But yeah. Right. For sure. This is great. So Pavo, what, what advice would you have for people that are maybe going through hardships and going through just kind of as we like to refer to the trials of life?

How do they, how do they make their way through that? Yeah, good question Gordon. I wish I had an easy answer. I mean, I really do. It's. There is a lot of trials on the way. I think you have to what? So what? I can only say what I did. So what I did, I quickly realized I didn't have the, the mental capacity to deal with this.

I, I needed something. So I I, while I had this metal thing on my head, which was a halo, which fixated in my head to my body, I put on my headphones and I walked the beach and I listened to podcasts and I listened to everything. I mean, I listened. Rich role. Joe Rogan. Jordan Peterson, the the Earlie stuff, the, the stuff when he's professor and he talks to his students.

I listened to, to athletes, I listened to, to just about anything I could find to, to gain knowledge. And I did find knowledge. I found bits and pieces from here and there. I found some wise words from Jordan that I could implement. I found some wise words from from therapists that I could implement.

That all combined helped me to, to get outta my shell, so to speak, and, and move forward. I think, I don't want to be self-promoting, but I did write a book about my journey and I think that could help. It's called True Love and Suffering, mm-hmm. And that I know that has helped other people. I'm, I'm brutally honest and frank in it, and I think my honesty helps people cuz I, I do tell them that I failed, like I failed my wife.

I told her in front of, Military people. I don't, I don't want to be a caregiver. I don't want to help her. But I, I needed to say that in order to then be able to help her. So my honesty, I think helps people. It helps people to, I give like, it's, I guess I give it legitimacy to being honest, to being able to say that I don't want to help her.

Cuz you have to say it first and then you can like start overcoming it and want to help her, right? So I think. Yeah. In, in, yeah. My book is, is one way to start at least. Yeah. It helped me to write it and I know people have gotten help from it. Yes. Yes. So tell us about the documentary that's coming out on Netflix.

I had so yeah, so all these people helped me for seven years and I w I was so self-absorbed in the way that I needed to, I needed to be strong physically and mentally to be able to help. I realized that early, so I had all these people helping me and they didn't want anything back and that's fine.

But I realized that I needed to pay them back. Somehow. I needed to give back. So this is my love letter to some of the people that helped us. So the 10 closest people that helped us, I needed to, to show them something to I needed is a world to see them. I needed the world to see why they helped us and to needed to show the world that there are good people out.

And I forget who said it, it was an Indian doctor. I said, who said something like, when, when something good happens, it needs to be documented because there's just too few examples of it. So that's why I did it. So I worked pretty hard a, a year. Documenting their lives, edit, editing together a pretty short 40 minute documentary.

Fast paced, but very emotional and I think it makes people better watching it. They'll get inspiration from it. Right, right. And it's on Netflix, is that correct? It, it will be. Not yet, but yeah, it'll be, yeah. Okay. That's awesome. That's awesome. So, well Pavlo, I wanna be respectful of your time and I'm hoping that we can have more conversations here in the future, but tell folks how they can get in touch with you and connect if they would like to.

Thank you, Gordon. Yeah. I've really en enjoyed this and I hope to talk to you again. True love the, that's where most things origin from. So true love the, and then you can sort of find and connect with me there. And I'm, I'm happy to connect. I, I message and text and email people all the time and, and yeah, I'm happy to talk to other caregivers.

Awesome, awesome. That's, and we'll have the, the. The links and the show notes and the show summary for people to get to it easily. And, and I know I'm ready to connect with you just around caregiving, cuz I know that's a, an area of support that for those of us in this role of being a caregiver for a spouse is definitely needs the support.

Yeah. Yeah. Caregiving is, yeah. Yes, Gordon. Yes. Yes. Well, thanks again. Thank you.

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L. Gordon Brewer Jr., LMFT |Podcast Host – Gordon has spent his career in helping professions as a licensed therapist, counselor, trainer, and clergy person.  He has worked with 100’s of people in teaching them the how to better manage their emotions through self-care and the practices of kindness and compassion.  Follow us on Instagram and Facebook .  And be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.


Jane Carter | Kindness and Compassion In The Face Of Anger | K&C 9

Photo by Max LaRochelle on Unsplash

In this episode Gordon talks with Jane Carter, LPC a therapist and private practice business coach about how we handle anger in the context of kindness and compassion. We explore how being “polite” does not always equate to being kind. In fact, sometimes politeness can be a form of anger turned inward. We also explore how expressing our anger in healthy ways can lead to greater emotional intimacy and be an act of kindness and compassion. We also look at how we can confront injustices as an act of kindness and compassion.

Meet Jane Carter


Jane Carter, LPC

Jane Carter, LPC is a counselor and business coach from Asheville, NC. Jane has spent the last several years in private practice as a counselor and has recently begun focusing more on business coaching, not only for therapists but other businesses as well. Her website is:

Jane says, “As a therapist, business coach, and life coach, I love helping people navigate the path to achieving their goals for a meaningful life. I apply these principles in my own life in the mountains of Asheville, NC, where I’m an outdoorswoman, world-traveler, dog-mama, food-and-wine lover, reader, and coffee-shop connoisseur. (I’m also known for making up great puns on the fly).”

How do we handle anger in a genuine way without turning into a jerk?

One concept that is important to understand is the difference between anger and rage. Anger is actually a useful emotion in that it is a signal for when something is not right or amiss. Anger serves to protect us from harm. Rage on the other hand is when anger runs unchecked and does harm to others. Anger can be a “check engine” light and being able to say, something is not right here. It indicates that a boundary is being violated. Jane says, “anger is a tool that God has given us to protect ourselves and also let us know when things are just not right”.

Anger as Change Agent

Anger can be a very good motivator for change. Jane gives the example of John Lewis and the civil rights movement. How we respond with love even when people are greeted with anger and disdain. The key is to be able to look beyond our own fear and see the humanity of others. That even though we might not agree with the other we see the hurt and fear of others.

It is possible to be angry with someone without it being an end to the relationship. Jane mentions that sometimes we get angry because we care about the other person. She says, “indifference is not love”. Anger has a way of signaling us that something is not right in the relationship. And we do ourselves a disservice by pretending that everything is okay.

The key to handling anger with kindness is slowing things down and being curious about what is happening with the other person.

“Legit Beef”

Jane shares listening to a radio show where people would call in and talk about what they were angry about. And the radio host would commemorate by saying “that’s legit beef” or “that’s not legit beef”. There are times when anger comes because of “legit beef”. And in some of those situations, anger is the appropriate emotion. So don’t talk yourself out of your “legit beef”, but instead allow yourself to be curious about that.

“Bless Their Hearts”

Jane tells a story about walking down the road and a truck coming by really fast and close to her. Jane shares that her first reaction was to yell and curse at the guy driving the truck. And then almost instinctively, when she recognized her own anger, was to say “bless his heart” (it’s a southern saying…). And the challenge then becomes, can we truly mean “bless their heart” as an act of compassion. That whatever the other person is experiencing, we can have compassion for them. The key to showing kindness and compassion when faced with anger is to be able to continue to see the other person as a child of God worthy of our love and kindness. We slow things down and take a minute to acknowledge the other’s humanity.

Acknowledge and Embrace Your Anger

Jane reminds us that when dealing with anger we shouldn’t try to always get rid of the anger, but to acknowledge it and learn to slow things down enough to get curious with what is happening. Then be able to say what we need in that moment and be able to connect to the other person’s humanity.

Jane shares that we don’t always succeed in dealing with our anger well, but the key again is being able to acknowledge the anger and slow things down.

Another key to dealing with anger is recognizing the dichotomy of being angry with someone and still being engaged with them. Again, it is possible to have a mixture of emotions, in other words, “both and” instead of just “either or”. The key to being able to do this well is in treating people with kindness and the work of reconciliation. We might not always see things in the same way, but we can stay engaged and be willing to listen and hear the other person’s point of view.

“Rage shames, but anger is a tool of connection”

We can share our anger with another and this has the potential of creating emotional intimacy. To share how we have been hurt or feel afraid is an act of vulnerability. And this is what creates connection and intimacy.

Jane reminds us too, that we shouldn’t turn our anger inward or try to shut it down. That is a form of inward rage and is self serving. Jane said, “that some of the kindest moments from friends has been when they have been willing to confront me”. It was an invitation to intimacy and closeness for them to be able to share what was bothering them.

“Inward rage is people pleasing. Outer rage is people shaming.”

In many ways being able to share our anger with others is an act of kindness that requires a lot of courage. When we share our anger in healthy ways it gives us the ability to connect at a much deeper level. It also is healing and reconciling.

However, in situations where it is really not safe to share your anger, it can be useful to hold back. People that have grown up in traumatic situations, such as abusive relationships, turning anger inward becomes a survival tool. But this is not sustainable and a person really should work through this with the help of a professional.

Being Polite Isn’t Always Kind

Being polite is not always the kind thing to do. There are times when we need to call things out and speak truth to things that are not right. In many ways, this was what Jesus taught and was the point of his ministry.

“Jesus came to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable”
Jane speaks of her ongoing work of reconciliation around racism. Jane reminds us that being polite has been used by white people to maintain oppression. In that we need to speak truth to injustice and that is not always pretty. And when we are willing to disrupt things, that is an act of tough love. It is an invitation to compassion.

Moral Injury

When we dehumanize others, we not only hurt them, but we hurt ourselves. We have learned this from veterans who have been in war situations where they have had to harm others. Their harm to others creates a moral injury to themselves. It goes against their core values of seeing others as human beings.


Jane talks about Brene Brown’s work and the importance of boundaries. Jane says that when we have good boundaries with ourselves and others, it is an act of compassion. It takes away the fear and allows us to have more freedom and autonomy. “I can have the space to have more compassion because I can say no”.


As counterintuitive as it sounds, the emotion of anger can be a tool for showing kindness and compassion. Anger is a signal within ourselves that something is amiss. When we are hurt or afraid we experience anger. But anger can also be a prompt for us to call out things that are not right. In that when boundaries are crossed, anger can help us to confront what is wrong. And when we handle and express our anger in healthy ways, it is a way to connect and reconcile with others. It is an act of kindness and compassion to be vulnerable enough to name what is wrong and allow people to come close.

Gordon (00:00):
Well, hello everyone. And welcome again to the podcast. And I'm so glad and thrilled for you all to get to hear from my good friend and colleague Jane Carter. Jane, welcome to the podcast.
Jane (00:14):
Thank you. I'm so happy to be here, Gordon.
Gordon (00:16):
Yes. Uh, Jane and I have known each other for a good, good bit of time now. And we've had all these divergent, uh, our, our paths have crossed in many interesting ways. First, I guess, kind of per professionally, just, uh, we had got Jane had hosted a conference in Asheville, North Carolina, the brew, your practice, uh, conference or workshop or whatever we, we, we call that thing. Uh, but also I, we found out through our conversations that we are, are both Episcopalian and, um, have a lot of church crossover as well. So Jane, I'm gonna stop talking about you and let you tell a little bit more about yourself and of your work as a therapist and a coach and all of that sort of thing.
Jane (01:05):
Yeah. Okay. Um, gosh, where to start. I'll, I'll try to be brief cuz I'm a rambler, but um, I, I love living in the mountains. Um, I love where I am. I love that you're nearby mm-hmm and that've gotten to intersect in all of these ways. Um, okay. A little bit about myself. Um, I'm a therapist in private practice. I've been doing therapy for 20 years, almost 21 years. Um, but I've been also a first of private practice coach and then I expanded to other solopreneurs, um, to work with in my coaching business. Um, gosh, six or seven years ago. It was not long before I met you. Mm-hmm and in my counseling practice, I always said that I specialized in working with stressed out people pleasers, uh, probably because I am, I have been one I'm one in recovery and our ideal client tends to be some version of ourselves. Um, but it's funny. I find that the same thing often happens in my coaching practice. Um, I have have a lot of coaching clients who are starting their small business or they're in their small business and they're also needing to learn how to do boundaries really well, um, and find the fun in things and, and they might be working on their own people pleasing. So it's, it's been really fascinating to see how much overlap there is between my two practices. Um, right. I joke that I make my coaching clients cry too.
Gordon (02:39):
Yes. Yes. Well, yeah. And, and I, Jane and I are of the same mold. I'm a, I'm the quintessential people pleaser I'm uh, you know, I'm curious, I, I think we talked about this before Jane, but I'm an engram two. Is that where you are?
Jane (02:58):
Are you, I'm a nine
Gordon (02:59):
You're a nine. Interesting. You're interesting. So I'll probably have to do a whole episode on the engram because that'll make, make, make more sense to people, us talking about that. But yeah. So one, one of the things that I know E even I struggle with at times is, um, which is, is I, I think something that we is is, is a struggle probably for a lot of people, is that when we're feeling angry or just downright pissed off about something, but we don't show it externally and we put on this nice face mm-hmm something happens. You wanna say more about that?
Jane (03:40):
Uh, it comes sideways, huh? Anger always goes somewhere
Gordon (03:47):
Mm-hmm .
Jane (03:48):
And, and anything that I'm saying here, I'm saying it to myself as much as to anyone who's listening, by the way, , these are all things that, you know, first I learned in therapy, and then I've continued to talk about it. Um, you know, you and I both grew up Southern and Christian mm-hmm and, you know, I think part of just learning and growing is just even understanding my own context that, oh, culturally I was raised to be really polite and to sh that sh that anger not okay. And that it wasn't feminine, but also it wasn't Christian mm-hmm . Um, so a lot of my development and I think probably for a lot of us has been learning, oh, wait a second. What does it mean to be able to name anger and own it and have it be healthy and not turn into a jerk, you know, mean like, that doesn't mean that the pendulum has to swing in the other direction. Yeah. Um, and, and what does that even look like? So, I mean, if I were gonna sum up everything, I wanna say, even it would just be, you know, anger is healthy and there there's a difference between anger and rage
Gordon (05:01):
Jane (05:01):
, but anger itself, it's just a feeling and it's often there to help. It's often there to, to, you know, I, I talk about it as a tool that God has given us. Mm-hmm to tell us, Hey, something's not right here.
Gordon (05:15):
Right, right. Yeah. When I, and I just thinking about the work that I do with my clients, um, know anger comes up a lot, you know, um, mm-hmm, , you know, so many, uh, you know, for those of us that are in kind of therapy practices, you know, the whole, whole term anger management comes into play mm-hmm , which I've never liked that term really, but I think of anger as, um, kind of a superficial emotion in that it it's what we see on the surface, but the thing about anger is that it it's there to protect us. Right. Um, yeah. And so, you know, an animal or the cave man got backed into the corner by the saber tooth tire, in order for them to survive that situation, they had to get angry. And so in that sense, anger, anger serves to protect us. But I think about anger as being driven by hurt and fear underneath mm-hmm . And so when we get hurt, we get angry agree when we get fearful, we get angry. And so, yeah. So curious what your thoughts on that as well? Just thinking about it.
Jane (06:26):
Yeah. So yes, I agree that sometimes anger really is hurt or fear coming, coming out in a certain way. And there are a lot of people, I think, especially, um, like in toxic rescue or in certain households where the only acceptable emotion is anger. So everything get filtered through that.
Gordon (06:46):
Jane (06:47):
Um, but I, I really appreciate it. I went to a, an anger workshop, um, by John Harold Lee, who's just fantastic. He wrote a great book called the anger solution and he said, and sometimes anger is anger and that's okay, too. Mm-hmm
Gordon (07:00):

Jane (07:01):
Mm-hmm and it really, uh, it, it takes kind of checking in with ourselves of like, okay, well, what, yeah. I'm feeling this. So can I slow down the process sort of when you were talking to Brian Cole, who's a mutual friend of ours. Mm-hmm um, and he was talking about slowing it down so that we aren't reactive, you know, when we slow it down, it gives us the chance to go, okay, I'm noticing that I'm feeling anger. Where is this coming from? Is this fear, is this sadness, is this pure anger? And sometimes anger is anger. Um, because it's teach it's, it's kind of indicating to us, it's like a little check, like saying either something needs to change or there's a boundary being violated here. Mm-hmm . And one of the gifts of anger is that it tells us where our boundaries are. Cause we may not know until we go, wait a second, this isn't okay.
Gordon (08:00):
Yes. Yeah.
Jane (08:01):
You know, and, and in that sense, our boundaries are what help kind of define us and define, okay, where do I end? And where does the other person begin? And so anger is a gift and that it tells me, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. My boundary is being violated. And this is part of me. My anger is part of me. Mm-hmm
Gordon (08:19):
Jane (08:20):
and can I listen to it without getting reactive?
Gordon (08:24):
Right, right. Yes. I, you know, I want, you know, one of the things that I think a lot of us have experienced over the last few years with, with COVID with, uh, the black lives matter movement mm-hmm , um, you know, and, and hear more recently that war in Ukraine. Yeah. Those are all, um, potential, well, anger, anger, inducing kinds of, of events, you know, with, with the COVID, you know, what, regardless of how you, what you think about vaccines and all of that sort of thing, and people wearing mask and not wearing mask and all of that brings up a lot of anger for folks. And then, then when, when confronted with, at least for me confronted with some racial justice that we've, we've, we've really kind of called out, it's been there all along mm-hmm , mm-hmm, , there's this, this underlying racism.
Gordon (09:23):
Sure. Particularly for, for those of us in the south, I say, and, and it's, it's universal throughout the country in the United States, but I think for, for almost there's this underlying anger, and then more recently with the, the war in Ukraine and what we see the, uh, Russian leaders, Putin, and all of them doing to innocent people, all of that is anger producing. And so what do we do with that? I mean, how do we, how do we respond? And I'm wondering this too, and I'm just kind of thinking out loud here. Sure. Jane, is that, um, are there times when it's not appropriate to be kind and compassionate and are there times when we need to be angry? Yeah, yeah.
Jane (10:14):
Yeah. Oh, that's a great question. And I, I think it depends on how you define kindness. Um, I think it's really important that we delineate between being nice or polite versus being kind mm-hmm
Gordon (10:31):

Jane (10:32):
And sometimes kindness is not polite. Sometimes kindness isn't even nice. Um, some you, I was listening, speaking of, you know, racial injustice, I was, I was listening to an interview that John Lewis did with Krista Tippet on, on being, um, this was maybe a couple years before he died. Um, and you know, , he was talking about during the civil rights movement, which by the way, the, the whole civil rights movement started because of anger. Mm-hmm,
Gordon (11:05):

Jane (11:06):
Righteous, anger saying something needs to change. So again, Mo anger can be a really good motivator. It can, it can be a good thing, but they didn't succumb to hatred or rage mm-hmm . And again, rage is a very different thing. Rage is the, the behaviors we do to avoid having to feel our anger, um, and, and rage. This is a little side note, rage can come out and, and this is all, um, what I learned from John Lee, who is wonderful. It can be that explosive thing, but it can also be inward rage where stuff, everything mm-hmm , or it can be passive aggression, or, you know, in the south, we love to do the kinda, well, I wouldn't do that, but when you do whatever you wanna do, like it can come across.
Jane (11:53):
So John Lewis was talking about how they worked so hard to connect with love and kindness for these people who were just, I mean, trying to kill them mm-hmm or attack them and, and kindness. It, what I thought as I was listening to him is that kindness is not passivity. Kindness does not have the, a nature of being passive mm-hmm kindness is active. They had to train for months, EV you know, with people, with white people, pretending to be the people that were gonna beat them up later, they had to train and dis you know, how am I gonna respond with love, even when this person hates me, when they're beating me up, when they're dragging me along the street. Um, and, and that, that was such an active
Gordon (12:46):
Jane (12:47):
Stance where they said, okay, yeah, of course they felt angry. And of course you can be angry at someone who is perpetrating injustice against you. And yet, if can you have the active discipline to practice going, okay. And this person was a baby once mm-hmm they were taught this, or, you know, maybe they were made to feel unimportant and this makes them feel important. Or, you know, what's the larger context of this. And can I connect with, I love for them as a human, even as I am furious at them and rightfully so.
Gordon (13:21):
Yeah. Yeah. And we see that all the time's,
Jane (13:24):
I'm not angry. I'm not angry. It's fine. That's not, it's not that passivity.
Gordon (13:29):
Right. Right. Yeah. And, and it's a, you know, I, I know in my work with couples, um, , you know, it's, it's very possible to be totally angry with someone mm-hmm , but at the same time, still committed to the relationship and committed to, to loving the person. And, uh, and, and that, that sort of thing. Yeah. Yeah.
Jane (13:51):
In fact, if you were, uh, emotionally detached and, uh, was the word I'm looking for, um, and, uh, oh gosh. It's, it's just evading me. Um, yeah. Indifferent indifference is not love mm-hmm
Gordon (14:07):
Jane (14:07):
You know, like sometimes people feel angry because they love the, I mean, oh gosh, that could go into bad territory. Mm-hmm they feel strongly about what's happening because they love the other person. I don't mean to say, oh, he, you know, there's, this is not like a justifying abuse type thing, you know? Oh, he's angry. Cause he loves me. Um, not okay. You know, kindness is not codependency.
Gordon (14:29):
right. To be clear, right. Yes, yes. Right. That makes sense. Yeah. Yeah.
Jane (14:34):
Again, you know, if I'm, if I'm in a couple and, or I'm working with a couple and, and someone's having a strong response again, can we slow it down enough to bring curiosity to that and say, you know, okay, well, what, what is this about? Where is it coming from? Um, is this legit anger or is this tied to something else? Um, this is
Gordon (14:56):
Jane (14:57):
You're gonna think I'm so weird. Gordon. I was, I was in the car with a friend and we were listening to her fatal favorite satellite radio show where people would call in and the, the, the radio guy would, what your beef is.
Gordon (15:12):
People say,
Jane (15:14):
My friend did da da, and then she, no, no, no. They would say whatever they were angry about Uhhuh and he, and his cohost would either say that is legit beef, or that's not legit beef
Gordon (15:24):
yeah. It
Jane (15:25):
Was the funniest show. I don't even know what it was called. Yeah. But I, I have this shorthand with some of my clients well, where I'll be like, that's legit beef. Like, don't talk yourself outta your anger quite yet. and doesn't say that I'm like, I'm the whitest person in the world. I'm like quoting this person, But you know, but where I'm like, this is legit beef. Yeah. And don't talk yourself outta your legit beef again. Can you bring curiosity to that and say, okay, well, what was the wrong? And mm-hmm can I, first of all, can I just take the time to kind of, if I need to cool off, if I need to just be in that anger state and just feel what I'm feeling mm-hmm , you know, maybe discharge some of that energy first. So that then I don't just get rid to the anger by raging.
Gordon (16:14):
Yes. That make sense. Yes. Uhhuh. Yes. So, yeah. So I I'm thinking that this might bring up, can
Jane (16:20):
I, can I take the time to connect with their humanity?
Gordon (16:23):
Yes. Yes. I I'm. I'm thinking that as you're saying this, there might be some people that are thinking, okay, what, how can I be kind with my anger? Um, yeah. And what would that look like? Yeah. Yeah.
Jane (16:39):
Um, so it's funny. I, I'm gonna tell you a little story of, as I was preparing or, you know, just thinking about this conversation. Mm-hmm I was taking some, uh, some audio notes and in my phone and, and walking along the street and this huge truck, like room, movie, it was a 25 mile per hour zone. And they just flew by me really closely. And I yelled out, I was like, slow the ass down you. I was just so mad. I was raging, but I was terrified, you know, and I was just really annoyed cause on this one stretch of road that always happens, especially with the guys in the big trucks. So I'm, I'm re-listing to my audio notes about kindness and compassion
Gordon (17:22):

Jane (17:25):
And I'm like, like yelling cuss words to this guy who couldn't hear me obviously. And then, and I started laughing and then I was like, well, bless his heart. And cause you know, in the south we have a saying, you can say anything about anyone, as long as you say, bless her heart or bless
Gordon (17:42):
Her heart. Right, right.
Jane (17:45):
And, and I thought about it though, even in that moment, I was like, I kind of chuckled that. I, I instinctively like, it doesn't even cross my mind. I instinctively go bless his heart and it's almost become passive aggressive thing. Like I'll, you know, I'll just say that. So I don't have to say a bad thing. Um, but then I thought, you know, okay, along the lines of John Lewis, like that's kind of what they were doing. Could I sincerely say, bless his heart. I'm really angry at this person who almost ran over me and can I bless him? Can I say a little prayer that whatever he's dealing with gets healed or whatever makes him need to do that
Gordon (18:24):
Right. Is
Jane (18:25):
Healed, you know, can I take a minute to acknowledge his humanity? Know that if he walked into my counseling office tomorrow, I would immediately feel compassion for him and, and have a totally different stance. Like how can I help you? How can I be here for you? Like you are a human being. And, and so I think what helped, you know, in terms of like feeling the anger, I think again, don't just get rid of the anger or say that it's unacceptable. Can we acknowledge our anger and slow it down enough to go, okay, mm-hmm what do I need to be able to then connect to that? Person's humanity. Yes.
Gordon (19:02):
Jane (19:02):
Know, even this is so hard, but like, am I praying for Putin?
Gordon (19:09):
Jane (19:09):
not really, I'm pissed at him. I'm angry right now. Right, right. Um, and can I get curious about what kind of childhood did he have mm-hmm right. And that, that doesn't mean that it's an excuse, but it means everyone has humanity. Everyone is a child of God. Mm-hmm Can I even just a little bit connect with that? Some days I may not be able to
Gordon (19:35):
Jane (19:35):
but I'm, I'm at least supposed to have a practice of trying to do that.
Gordon (19:39):
Right, right. Yeah. You know, one, one of the things that I think, um, some people struggle with is, um, this dichotomy of emotions that comes out for us and that we think of, okay, if I'm, if I'm angry at someone or I'm angry at something, then I can't, I can't also embrace that. Or I can't also, um, you know, still stay engaged with that person or that right. That thing. And the, and the truth of the matter is the, we are capable of doing not either or, but both. And absolutely. Yeah. And so, and I think part of the thing is, is that, um, where kindness comes in, I think is when we are angry at someone that we also stay engaged with them, even though we're, we're expressing our anger. Yes. And, and, and, and we do that in a kind way where we're not belittling them as a person, but really yeah. You know, that, that, that old cliche, I, you know, I don't, I hate the sin, not the center kind of thing. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That,
Jane (20:50):
Yeah. But it's true. I mean, cliches are cliches for a reason. Right.
Gordon (20:54):
Mm-hmm right.
Jane (20:55):
So, I mean, I love the, um, I love the nonviolent communication model. Mm-hmm because it's basically a, a really good formula for practicing. How do I acknowledge anger or any other emotion or offense or whatever, and, and offer the opportunity for reconciliation without shaming, the other person, or indicating that they are less than worthy mm-hmm of love and belonging, which is shame, right? Like shame, rage, shame. Anger is actually a tool of connection. Mm-hmm , mm-hmm, says, Hey, I'm, I'm gonna let you, like, if I decide to share my anger, I'm actually inviting intimacy with that person. I'm saying, I'm letting you know, this affected me and that we need to repair.
Gordon (21:41):
Jane (21:42):
If I do inward rage, which is the people pleasing, I'm just gonna shove my feelings down and be really polite. Um, I am now I'm serving myself, first of all, I'm serving my own fear and self protection. Mm-hmm , I'm not serving the other person in that case. Right, right. Um, but I'm also robbing them of the chance to be disrupted in a way that we could be closer or that they can. I mean, the, some of the kindest moments from friends have been when they've been willing to confront me about ways that I haven't been a good friend. Yes. And I appreciated it so much more that they were willing to let me feel that pain than just disengaging.
Gordon (22:27):
Jane (22:27):
Gordon (22:28):
Right. Oh, I,
Jane (22:29):
Yeah. But outer rage, you know, inward rage is people pleasing. Right. Outer rage. If I blast that person to smithereens and shame them, that's not helping anyone.
Gordon (22:43):
Jane (22:43):
Certainly not creating intimacy.
Gordon (22:45):
Right. Right. Oh, I love that. I, I, I you've really helped kinda re you frame something in that. Yeah. I hadn't really thought about, um, being angry with someone in a, in a healthy way really is an act of intimacy and vulnerability and that you're, yeah. You're opening yourself up and sharing with them. Um, you're, you're internal world and, and that's a scary thing. And I think that's one reason. So many people do tend to be people pleasers is that they, yeah. They, they don't want to get that vulnerable with others.
Jane (23:23):
Sure. And, and, you know, I, I really recognize that people pleasing is often a, a survival, excuse me, for survival tools from trauma mm-hmm because if you grow up in a setting where that's not safe, where you really do need to hide away the anger, because you will get hurt in a big way or rejected or traumatized, um, you know, a lot of people develop it, develop it as a survival skill, and it's harder to unlearn later. It's really scary to set that down. And yet we need that for intimacy mm-hmm
Gordon (23:58):
Jane (23:59):
And, and even, you know, when I think about, you know, we've had a lot of very, very interesting political situations in my family,
Gordon (24:08):
Jane (24:09):
It's funny, my mom, and, uh, we've had a couple of moments where we were just outright kinda lost our minds and were yelling about stuff. I'm, uh, I'll say I actually am like, mom, it's actually great that we can yell at each other cuz growing up, I was such a people pleaser that I didn't. And I'm like, aren't you glad I can do anger? You can do anger. Now we can do
Gordon (24:31):
Anger together for, for
Jane (24:33):
Recovering Southern Christian women.
Gordon (24:35):
and she's
Jane (24:36):
Like, yes, it's wonderful.
Gordon (24:37):

Jane (24:38):
But you know, five minutes later we'll be like snuggling on the couch with each other. It's like, you know, I love you. I know. And I love you love me, you know that it's like, isn't it great that we love each other enough that we know we can have a political fight and not hate each other or lose respect for each other. Yes. And I, I really see that as a gift. Yes. Um, but all that to say, like if I, so, so back to like on an individual level, there's a intimacy on a, on a general level when things are happening in the world that truly are wrong or unjust
Gordon (25:13):
Jane (25:14):
it is so hard to discern or let me, lemme rephrase. It's hard for me not to be polite. Mm-hmm and I might be in a room full of people who are all on the same page where I'm like, no, no, no, what you're saying is wrong, this is not okay.
Gordon (25:30):
Jane (25:31):
and if I, especially as someone who claims to be a follower of Christ, like am I, they think they might think I'm being kinder by being quiet mm-hmm right. But kindness might actually be me being willing to disrupt and say, no, no, no, that's wrong. That's not okay. And I'm angry. And I might not get invited to as many cocktail parties in the south, but mm-hmm
Gordon (25:59):
Jane (25:59):
But I I'm okay. Being Debbie downer and saying that's, that's not okay. And, and I'm, I would say maybe 50% of the time I'm that brave. I'm still working on it, but mm-hmm I don't, I don't know who said it, but they, um, I love the quote. Jesus came to comfort the afflicted and afflicted and
Gordon (26:22):
Say that again, Jane. Cause we say that again, Jane, we froze,
Jane (26:26):
Froze up. So I don't know who said it, but it was it's the idea. Jesus came to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.
Gordon (26:33):
Jane (26:34):
And Jesus, wasn't always polite. And, and I think sometimes, but, and yet, and yet Jesus was very loving
Gordon (26:43):
Mm-hmm mm-hmm
Jane (26:45):
right. I mean, to the core. So, And, and you know, part of my own journey of trying to learn more about racial injustice and I still have such a far way to go, but is even realizing that politeness often a tool of oppression. Right. And that I've been really polite and sometimes I'm still too polite.
Gordon (27:10):
Jane (27:10):
because I'd rather be self-protective than speak up and, and speaking up is actually, you know, to the only way to fight oppression is to speak it and just say, no, this is wrong.
Gordon (27:25):
Jane (27:26):
And so politeness can really preserve, you know, we white people really don't like to be uncomfortable.
Gordon (27:33):
No, that's right. That's right.
Jane (27:36):
Yeah. You know, there are people trying to outlaw that in schools right now, like don't, you dare make white people uncomfortable, but this is a, that's a whole rabbit trail I could go down. But, but all that to say, right, right. Is that, that being disrupted is often a sign of love. It's it's creating space for others to be loved who have been treated unjustly mm-hmm
Gordon (27:55):
Jane (27:56):
Um, and when others are willing to disrupt us, it's actually love, it's tough love, but it's
Gordon (28:00):
Love. Yeah. Yes. It's really a it's it's a, you, you know, as I think about it in that context, it's really an invitation to begin to, to show some compassion for others.
Jane (28:14):
Gordon (28:14):
Yeah. Yeah. And if
Jane (28:17):
I love, I love how you put that Gordon. And when we invite others, to be more compassionate, that in itself is an act of kind. I mm-hmm because there there's a, um, I wanna say the phrase is moral injury. I could be getting that wrong.
Gordon (28:33):
Yes. Uhhuh mm-hmm
Jane (28:34):
that when we are not being compassionate, when we are not seeing others as worthy of love and belonging or, or if we're dehumanizing people, not only are they, they harmed, but we are harmed, we are killing a part of our souls.
Gordon (28:48):
Yes, yes, absolutely.
Jane (28:50):
And so if someone is willing to call me out for not being compassionate or for being degrading to humanity, the humanity of someone else, they're actually helping me too. Yes. But of course, with the other person.
Gordon (29:04):
Right. And my, of just, uh, having worked with, um, with some veterans and that sort of thing yet, just that, that moral injury phenomenon is something you see with, with veterans that where they've been their in war and they're having to harm other people when it just goes against their, you know, with they, what they feel and believe totally internally. So, I mean, that's just, again, that's a whole rabbit trail. We could go down. Sure. We're just talking about that time. Well,
Jane (29:36):
You know, bring it, I mean, Episcopalians gotta keep, bring it back. And if, you know, I've been taught that if I, even if I hate someone, if I see them as less than human mm-hmm, I might as well have killed them. Like, it's that that's the as murder, right. Uhhuh mm-hmm We it's the same. I mean, you know yeah. In the same way a veterans cert I'm not in the same way, but you know, a veteran is harmed if they have had to kill someone, even if they're doing it to try to protect others. Right. Um, we are also injured when we are hardening our hearts in that way. Yes. And, uh, it is hard. This is difficult.
Gordon (30:16):
Yes. This is. And I, again,
Jane (30:17):
I don't wanna claim to have solved it. Like this is a lifelong,
Gordon (30:21):
Jane (30:23):
But can I, again, can I kind of okay. Bless your heart. yeah. Drew a sense of the word.
Gordon (30:28):
Jane (30:29):
Can I be really angry at someone? And even if I hate them sometimes can I reconnect with, and this is a human being.
Gordon (30:37):
Yes. Yes. And to me that's the, when we can do that and we might not do it well, we might, might be really messy and not, might not be a hundred percent when we do that. But I think when we do that, that is when we, we practice kindness and compassion towards others.
Jane (30:56):
And I I'll bring it back too, to the idea of boundaries. Mm-hmm cause something that I loved, I, I think I'm capable of being on a podcast and not talking about bene brown, but , it's just built up, but I loved, she pointed out that boundaries are the best way to have compassion that the most boundary people are the most compassionate people Uhhuh . So when we have clear boundaries, when we know where do I end and where do you begin? Or when do I speak up about something being wrong or hurtful? Um, it's kind of like, like if you take a, a dog to the dog park, you know, if there wasn't a fence, if there was just a field next to a road, people would either be so tense that their dog was gonna run into the road, you know, and, and, and hold the dog really close, or they'd be, you know, maybe accidentally letting the dog get hit by a car in the road.
Jane (31:54):
Once you have a fence, which is a boundary, the dogs can run free and be happy and playful and be themselves mm-hmm and be, be doggy, you know, and right. And so when we have really clear boundaries, when we really pay attention to what's my anger telling me about where my boundaries need to be, again, it, it allows us the freedom to be able to have room for compassion. You know, I'm not afraid that you're gonna run over me now, um, or that you're gonna cling to me or, or that you're gonna run, run, run away way away, away. Right. Like,
Gordon (32:28):
Right, right.
Jane (32:30):
I, I can have the space to be more compassionate because I know I can say no to someone.
Gordon (32:35):
Right, right. Oh man. I love this stuff. I love this stuff. And you know, I, I've gotta be respectful of your time. Uh, Jim, but, uh, yes, I know. I know, but we, this, this will end up being a really, really long episode, but , but, but that's that's okay. So tell folks how they can get in touch with you and if they wanna have more. And, and, and I promise folks, Jane will be back on this podcast because she's the, oh, thank you. Exactly. The kind of, she she's my people. And so she's gonna be back here. So, um, Jane tell folks how they can get in touch with you and connect with you if they'd like to,
Jane (33:17):
Um, the easiest way to reach me is, uh, you can email me at Jane Jane Carter,, or my website is Jane Carter, I'm on Instagram at Jane Carter coaching. Uh, it's mostly business related stuff. Mm-hmm , but I love to hear from people. And obviously I love good conversations.
Gordon (33:34):
Yes, yes. And, and Jane, uh, we we'll have all this in the show notes and the show, so summary for people so they can connect and find you. Um, so yeah, so we'll do this again.
Jane (33:47):
Awesome. This is Gordon. You.

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L. Gordon Brewer Jr., LMFT |Podcast Host – Gordon has spent his career in helping professions as a licensed therapist, counselor, trainer, and clergy person.  He has worked with 100’s of people in teaching them the how to better manage their emotions through self-care and the practices of kindness and compassion.  Follow us on Instagram and Facebook .  And be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.



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