Healing Stories: Forgiveness…Her Six-Year-Old Son Was Murdered. Then she did this.
No one can imagine what it would feel like to find out that their six-year-old child had been murdered. And, it is something we would not wish on anyone.
The feelings of rage, sadness, anger and possibly even guilt would be running through anyone’s brain in their attempt to deal with such a tragedy.
Number one best-selling author, counselor, life coach and radio host David Essel has interviewed parents from around the United States of America who have lost a child. And in each of the interviews it’s an incredibly tragic event that some never find their way to totally deal with.
Addiction can take over as a short-term way to submerge the emotions around losing a child. Some hold onto bitterness for the rest of their lives. And then there are others who lead the way to help us transform this terrible experience into something that has meaning in their lives.
David shares a story here today that gives all individuals, who have lost a loved one, an opportunity to learn how to move forward with grace, power and compassion.
“I remember the first time I talked to Scarlett Lewis who had lost her son just a few months before in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. I had no idea how to even begin the interview I was about to do with Scarlett on my national radio show.
I mean, how do you start out such an in-depth interview with someone who eight months before had lost her young son to a murderer? I was so concerned that I would say the wrong thing. That I would embarrass myself or her. Or that I would put her on the hot seat, something I never intend to do with any of my guests.
I sat and wondered… And then when I looked up I saw that I was going to be on the air in 30 seconds. After introducing Scarlett I immediately asked her a question that I thought I would probably get to later on in the show. “Have you even thought about forgiving the killer of your child? Is that something you could even ever do?”
That question was guided to me by spirit if you will. It wasn’t something I had planned. But the interview started out with a bang. And it was one of the most incredible interviews I’ve ever done in 27 years as a host of a talk radio show.
Scarlett answered right away that she was about 75% of the way to forgiving Adam Lanza completely. I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it. How could she already, only eight months after the killing of her son, be that far advanced in regards to forgiving the killer?
Scarlett shared with me that it was an incredibly difficult eight months to say the least. But she learned early on through her counseling, and a variety of modalities from journaling, to emotional freedom technique, to a healing technique called EMDR, that if she didn’t go in and feel those deep feelings of anger, sadness, depression, and everything else associated with such an event, that she would never heal.
So she got to work. Whenever she woke up in the morning and felt that pain in her stomach she would start to journal her feelings and emotions surrounding anger, rage and more.
She never stopped doing the work. She didn’t shy away when the counseling or the program she was in became difficult. She kept moving forward. Even on the days she didn’t want to.
I have had the blessing to interview Scarlett every year since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, and every year she astounds me even more. The last time I had invited her to be a part of a major motivational seminar I was leading, she joined me and the audience via phone, and shared at that time that she was over 90% on her way to fully forgiving the killer of her child.
During the seminar, when someone asked what was her motivation to continue to work so hard to forgive someone who killed her son, Scarlet answered immediately, “He may have killed my young son Jesse but through my path of forgiveness I am guaranteeing that he will not take the rest of my life or my other son JT’s in the process. As I have continued to forgive him I’ve become free and able to do the work that I’m here to do.”
And what is that work that Scarlett Lewis is destined to do? She is a major leader in the world of forgiveness. She is a healer. She is taking this tragic event and now travels all over the world talking to small and large audiences alike about the path of forgiveness. The benefits of forgiveness. The trials and tribulations of forgiveness. The hardships of forgiveness. But at the end of everything, she knows that the path has been laid out before her to be a leader in this world. And she’s doing a damn good job doing so.”
If you need help living the life you desire, letting go of past hurts or tragedies, contact David today at www.davidessel.com
Healing Stories: Is Sobriety for Everyone?
Once an alcoholic always an alcoholic. Statements like these are a 100% fabrication of the truth.
For the past 24 years, counselor, life coach and number one best-selling author David Essel has seen hundreds of individuals, who were told that they would never get sober for life, accomplish exactly that goal. And you can too .
One of his most powerful stories that he tells at lectures is the recovery of a client named Harvey. Harvey came to David on his knees, rock bottom for the one hundredth time.
He had been told by various professionals that it really wasn’t his fault that he was an alcoholic. He had the genetic link which meant he was doomed for life. They tried to tell him that there were various medications he could take to help cut his cravings but that at the level he had been drinking for as long as he had been drinking the opportunity for sobriety was almost nil.
There are even professional organizations, who’s intention it is to help people get sober, that will pass the same absolute lies that the professionals told Harvey… In meetings they would tell him that once you’re an alcoholic you always are. That even if he got sober the cravings will probably never go away.
He came in to David’s office with a small hope that maybe his life could be better. He had lost several marriages due to his drinking. He would drink on the job and then come home and finish a complete bottle of vodka almost every night.
He was asleep by nine and up at six to put another hard day of work in. Throughout the day be thinking about the relief he would feel once he was back home and able to “relax and drink myself to sleep”.
He surrounded himself with friends that drank almost as much as he did. As we looked back at his family history, which was filled with alcoholics, he believed the naysayers who had told him that he would be an alcoholic for life. Until he met David.
“I remember the first day Harvey came in. He was dejected yes. He had lost almost all hope. But he was willing to commit 90 straight days to work in our program with holistic addiction recovery. When he went to leave the first day he turned and said to me that I had not mentioned anything about drinking. Was it OK if he drink that night? I turned and looked and said what do you think is the best move for you? He started laughing as he left the room yelling behind him that he shouldn’t be paying for a program of recovery and then go home and drink. I thought now there’s a wise man.”
The first few weeks were not easy. His cravings were intense. David put him on a series of amino acid supplementation to help with the cravings. He introduced Harvey to the world of relaxation techniques, CDs on meditation, emotional journaling techniques for him to access the feelings of fear that arise when someone is not going to have their best friend, alcohol, with them throughout the day.
Harvey reported to David every day of the week. He shared with David and his feelings, boredom, restlessness, anxiety, depression and anger that he couldn’t have just one or two drinks to relax.
David had asked him to do a brief past history of how many times he had tried to drink moderately… Only to fall back into the black pit of alcoholism.
In his own writing for the first time in 30 years, Harvey had sketched out the 1000 times that he had tried to be a moderate drinker that had never worked .
At the end of the third month he was a fully changed man, someone even he didn’t recognize. He was falling asleep without a drink. He was waking up at 4 AM to take walks around the neighborhood with his dog. He was energized. He was more social. He was excited about living a brand-new life.
Two of his former wives actually got back in touch with him when they found out he had stopped drinking, to support him in his sobriety . He found, and quite the surprise to himself, that there were a lot of people even in his neighborhood who were sober. Some had never drank at all, who were an absolute blast to be around.
At work he was instantly recognized for his new level of energy and commitment. He received a promotion without even asking for it.
When he came back in to see David after being on his own for about six months, even David said he barely recognized him. The puffiness in his face, the dark circles underneath his eyes, his poor body language had all radically changed .
Harvey’s attitude has improved dramatically, simply by removing alcohol from his life.
For the past 30+ years he had not gone a day without drinking… And here he was 180 days later without a drop of alcohol and finding a new breath of life.
“Harvey has found to be true what so many people struggle with. A sober life can be dynamic, filled with passion, joy and fun. And you do not have to believe the nonsense that the struggle will continue for the rest of your life. When you apply yourself to a full, deep level of holistic addiction recovery, the struggle ends. Inner peace remains. And a new lift on life is evident.” Essel says.
If you need help, reach out to David today at http://davidessel.com/holistic-addiction-recovery/
Healing Stories: The Path to Success is Covered in Failure
One of the greatest honors I’ve had in life was to be invited back to my alma mater Syracuse University to do the keynote address to graduating students a year ago.
From the days I was in Syracuse to today. They wanted the students to get a honest idea of what it really takes to become successful in life.
If I knew along the way how incredibly challenging my life would be I’m not sure I would have accepted the challenge. But it was worth it. Here is my story, my commencement address, to the graduating students of Syracuse University
DAVID ESSEL 2017 COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS, SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY
S.U. GRADUATE, 1979, HEALTH SELECTED STUDIES
Thank You Dr. Joanna Osborne Masingila and the School of Education…. Heather Waters and everyone here for inviting me to be a part of this really important day…
First congratulations to each of you!… The graduates of my alma mater, Syracuse University!
Probably the most important piece of information I can give you… Would be for everyone to tap in to your own inner “Lady Gaga” in the world of education… Be strong enough to be yourself, be unique, and you’ll make the biggest difference in the world in whatever career path you choose.
40 years ago in this gym… In Manley Fieldhouse I lived here… I love this place… As a member of the junior varsity basketball team… This was home.
(As a sidenote… 40 years from now you’ll be about 60 years old or so… I know at your age we don’t never think that’s going to happen… I sure didn’t… so make sure that you take full advantage of every breath for the rest of your life!)
40 years ago in this very gym with coach Roy Danforth and Jim Boeheim
Coach Danforth called me into his office… We have a spot for you on the varsity team do you want it?
Yes sir this is all I live for!
We want you to push our seniors in practice so that they’re ready for anything are you ready Essel?
There’s only one catch… You’ll never get in a game
24 hours later I return and tell coach that I can’t do it.
I ended up leaving school and going on a one and a half year search to find out what my purpose in life was.
I finally returned to Syracuse and enrolled in the School of Education and had one of the most incredible advisers ever, Dr. Carl Shantzis…
Continue reading here…
David Essel is a number one best-selling author, counselor, master life coach and inspirational speaker. If you would like help in overcoming any challenge you’re currently facing in life, simply visit www.davidessel.com