Ep. 19: Let Go
ON THIS EPISODE:
Today we’re talking about facing our deepest fears and letting go—of tension, bitterness and unforgiveness. And don’t worry, it’s not heavy, we’ll also talk about volleyball, personalized poems, Singapore, a female comedian in the 50s, and spider monkeys.MENTIONS:
Timeline: 38 minutes tota
I’m Morgan Hansow and this is my husband, Dave - we’ve spent the last 20 years on a wild adventure that’s taken us to Africa, the Oprah show, and Hollywood.
Welcome to Chasing Unicorns… a podcast about giving ourselves permission to chase our dreams, explore our faith, and figure out who we are, all while trying to keep our crap together!
As Creatives, Humanitarians, and Parents, we’re learning (sometimes the hard way) that the hustle and pursuit of the elusive unicorn will never satisfy.
Each week we explore what it looks like to live authentic, passionate, and connected lives while being a part of a movement that’s trying to transform the world through story + grace.
Overview of today’s show -
Welcome to Chasing Unicorns! Today we’re talking about facing our deepest fears and letting go—of tension, bitterness and unforgiveness. And don’t worry, it’s not heavy, we’ll also talk about volleyball, personalized poems, Singapore, a female comedian in the 50s, and spider monkeys.
OMG, every time I hear that I automatically go to that line from Talladega Nights - I’m gonna come at you like a spider monkey! Haha!
You love those ridiculous movies and I watch them because I love you and love to hear you laugh! It has been a lively and super full week! We’re relishing in having my brother from Denver with us for 6 weeks while he does a clinical for his Physical Therapy school. And this week, our amazing sister-in-law, Miriam, came into town to visit for the week so we’re just loving having family here.
So much so that we chose to be present and enjoy our company at the expense of timely getting this podcast out, so thanks for your patience!
Yeah, thanks. And it’s also been a big week because Jadyn has had her first 3 volleyball games since we last recorded. The first one was cancelled because of smoke - which on a side note for that, we’re happy to report that as of Sunday, we’ve actually been able to be outside for consecutive days the first time in almost 2 months- wahoo!!!!!
But back to the volleyball games - it’s been fun and challenging for me as a dad to just enjoy this new season of team sports with our kids. As someone who was just naturally athletically gifted and was used to ‘winning’ I’m finding that with a team of girls that are brand new to the sport, the celebration and encouragement has to be around effort, progress, and fun (not winning)!
And on a disheartened note, it’s just been tragic to watch the news this week with the storms and flooding in the Carolinas and the typhoon and landslides that hit the Philippines and China. We have a good friend in Manila but it looks the bulk of the typhoon hit north of there. It’s all just tragic to see these natural disasters ravaging places and people and stealing lives and hope. I think coming off of a natural disaster here in our community and still seeing the residue that’s hanging in the air and the physically visible damage in the community with all that’s been burned and destroyed, we’re just raw and sympathetic…
Yeah, this is all just crazy. In fact, I had a good buddy call me the other day to chat about all this tragedy that seems to be plaguing our world right now. It just feels heavy and he’s been in a funk processing it and I get it… I mean, one of the costs of being aware of what’s happening around you and the world is that you end up feeling it all. And most of the time there’s nothing you can do about it. I don’t mean to get deep so quick, but I think this is a reality we find ourselves in that past generations didn’t have to think about. I mean… we know what’s happening all over the world at any given time - and a lot of the news that gets shared is pretty tragic. Which is why pointing out the good everywhere we see it is so crucial, and why having eyes to see the holy moments all around us is so vitally important. Which leads me to…..
Holy Moments - a segment where we reflect, reminisce and remember the most ‘Holy’ moment of our last week.
MORGAN: My Holy Moment came Sunday night when our son Asher came home from a birthday party for his friend, Ruby. Well as party favor, Ruby gave each friend she invited to her party a personalized poem she wrote. Yeah, I know! Ruby has an incredible gift with words—she loves poetry and writing. The poem she wrote for Asher was amazing, in fact, I think we were both tearing up as I read it aloud right huh? It was so affirming and filled with words of encouragement and love. I immediately made a copy because I didn’t want to chance something happening to the only copy we have. I mean, who does that? When’s the last time you went to a party to celebrate someone and you come home the one being celebrated? Such a treasured gift and this is most definitely one of the reasons why we’re in Redding and why we have our kids at a school where their identities are being built up and they’re getting instilled with a deep deep value for truth and and walking in the fullness of oneself! You think I should read it? Yeah, I’m going to do that because honestly it’s too good not to share!
I mentioned that our daughter Jadyn was starting volleyball and how it was the first sport she’s ever played. She’s nearly 12 years old, and although she’s been in singing lessons, and dance lessons, this is the first time she’s played a traditional sport on a team. And tons of my insecurities flared up as she went to tryouts and has begun playing. And the truth is, those insecurities are still there some days. The thing is… Morgan and I were always pretty good at sports and had been participating in sports since we were really young, and in some ways I almost feel like I let our kids down a bit by not pushing them into sports when they were young, especially now that they’re interested in playing.
So anyway… this past week Jadyn had her first couple of games. And although they’ve lost both games, I’m seeing that not only is Jadyn not that far behind, but that the important thing is that she’s loving it! My role each evening In order to efficiently get through an evening with 2 kids in Junior high, be able to finish homework, run them to practices, youth group, and whatever else is going on, is to do Jadyn’s homework with her for roughly an hour each evening and usually doing the dishes as well. So my holy moments this week have come in the form of Jadyn asking me to hit the volleyball around each evening after dinner. It’s holy because I know how fleeting moments like these are- we only have another 5 or so years of this. It’s holy because I see the joy in her as we get to practice together and how excited she gets when I encourage her that she’s getting better. And holy because it’s redeeming all of those insecurities that I had placed on myself for placing them in sports earlier. And honestly it’s just fun to play around with her each evening in something she loves.
It’s Home Office Huddle Time in which we Talk about what’s surfacing in our current pursuits—both personally and professionally—as a Husband/Wife duo.
This last week has been very pivotal week for me and actually it’s really been the last four or five days. So last Sunday the message at church absolutely rocked me. You know when you hear something and you’re like, “this message is for me, this is exactly what I need to hear?” Well that was me on Sunday. I was soft and mushy and teary-eyed as soon as it was over and I just wanted to get home so I could stay in the tender place and process all of the feelings and the emotions that were churning.
We had people coming over to watch the Bronco game but I just knew I needed time to myself so I ended up going in and hunkering down in our closet while you rocked it as a dad and host - taking care of lunch and our guests for the first half of the game so I could cry and figure out what was going on in my heart and spirit
Yeah, well as we’ve been discovering who we are and walking in greater understanding of how we’re wired, it’s become really evident that you will go and go and help others to the detriment of yourself. I can probably count on a single hand the times when you’ve needed some alone time for yourself over our 17 years of marriage, and I don’t necessarily think that’s a good thing, so of course I was (and am) willing to do whatever it takes to make sure you and your heart are good.
Well I appreciate it! So in the last month my lower back pain that has been ailing me for the last year has been flaring and I’ve come to realize that that there is something about this back pain that was more than just physical. Yes our pain and physical symptoms are true but I have done everything from medical standpoint to try to diagnose and figure out what is going on in my body and everything is coming back as normal whether it’s x-rays, the MRI and even with all stretching in Physical Therapy, I’m still in pain. I’ve had a few recent conversations with people who mentioned that sometimes our bodies actually hold onto things that need to be released and they manifest itself in physical symptoms.
For me, I know that when I’m stressed I immediately get incredibly intense tension headaches that borderline on migraines and can last days on end so I know there’s a relationship between the emotional and the physical.
Right, and in my case, I really believe that this back pain that I have is wrapped in negativity, stress, anxiety, disappointment, and probably bitterness over all this crap that I am holding onto. And so I just think that this idea about letting go is worth chatting about. I don’t know that I necessarily have answers but I just know that everything that I am processing and working through right now is part of the way to the MORE that we talked about last week.
Dave, you tend to be much better than me about holding things loosely and that’s kind of a term that we tend we use a lot in our house. Talk about that…
Yeah, for me, it’s just that idea that we can either be close-fisted with stuff or we can hold it loosely —and when we try to like hold onto things tightly, like you have been, we never get the results that we want because we have such a crazy expectations of what something is going to look like or where you’re supposed to be that we end up killing the joy in the beauty in ourselves and the very thing we’re holding onto. But if we can approach life and our circumstances with a loose grip and open hands, than our lives and the thing we’re working on become what they’re supposed to be and we have joy in the process.
That’s so good. It kind of reminds of the story I shared at the Mother’s Day sermon I gave several years ago, remember the one catching spider monkeys?
In South America Hunters would catch spider monkeys by tying jars to trees - the jars would have a narrow opening but a wide base and they’d put some nuts in the jars. Eventually the monkeys would come down from the trees, smell the nuts and put their hands in the jars and as soon as they closed their fist, they were captured because in order to get their hand out they’d have to let go of their grip and they simply wouldn’t do it. Eventually they even did a little study...they put a pile of the same nuts just out of reach of the monkey - to get to the pile of nuts galore, all they had to do was open their hand and let go of the one nut and guess what, they wouldn’t do it! They succumb to captivity when freedom and abundance was literally an open hand away!
And how do YOU do it? I mean, why do you think it’s easier for you than me? I guess some of it might be personality and natural bent and patterns, but I’m curious what you think?
Well I find it interesting that we are recording this podcast around Yom Kippur which is the Jewish day of atonement that follows Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. We don’t follow the Jewish calendar but we had a deep conversation with a gal at a gender reveal party last weekend (let me clarify, it was a gender reveal party for a baby that’s in utero). She’s a Christian but her family practices some Jewish culture. I was intrigued by this current Jewish season where the focus is making sure one’s right before God and preparing for what he’s doing and going to do in the coming year. I love the idea of intentionally taking the time to actively seek out ways to get anger and bitterness and unforgiveness—and anything else that hinders me from connection with God—out of my life. Of course we should be doing that before a new year and yes that should be our response every day as followers of Jesus but I for whatever reason this year I just think there’s something about this being a season where there’s a lot of things that are on the horizon or are ‘on the cusp’ and we need to have the right heart posture and grips.
I agree, I can name off four specific things that we have been working on or dreaming up or waiting on that we are expectant will change or shift in the next six months. Some of the things we know are going to happen, like the movie Asher worked on is going to finally release in the Spring but we’ve also we’ve gone three years wondering how we would get our show, ‘The FIND,’ out to a wider audience and out of the blue we have two phone calls in the last week about different companies that are interested in having ‘The FIND’ on their digital platform. And it’s not just with us, we’ve talked to multiple people in the Redding community who feel the same thing that there’s a lot of resounding affirmation that collectively, we are about to enter a season where things that have been ‘almosts’ or things that have started and stopped or ideas that were abandoned or aborted for some reason, that all those things are going to get turned on and flipped, almost like a resurrection of hopes and dreams and projects!
Yes and Amen! Well along with that I have felt the need—really I’d almost say it’s an urgency—to release the negative stuff that is keeping me from the MORE specifically in this season. I don’t want to be stuck behind or lose out on an opportunity to step into hopes realized because I’m unwilling to open my hands and let go of everything that’s been bottled up and not only poisoning my mind and heart but also physically causing me pain. It’s almost as if there’s an active posture of our hearts and minds that’s necessary to usher in the release and the make way for the more.
I 100% agree, so practically speaking what does that look like? Because I know that these last few days have been pretty intense for you and I think it’s worth sharing.
Well I am definitely still ‘in process’ but as far as releasing the negative I think we have to actively do that and so do you know what I did, I honestly made a list of the last seven years and anything that I’ve been holding onto… anything that I actively remember as a disappointment or something that we were working on that stopped or didn’t go as we anticipated or something that had a negative outcome. I also put names down where there was a break in connection or relationship with someone. I just started listing everything out in my journal and it took two pages front and back and then half of another page which sounds crazy but if you start really thinking about all the pains of things that have been either stopped or lost or ended in disappointed in your life, especially if you also think of your kids, because as moms we carry their pain too, it is just A LOT!
That makes sense. At first when you said you had that many things I was like, oh my gosh, I don’t know that I could come up with a page, but if you start to think of personal hurts/losses, professional disappointments, relational disconnects, and disappointments with our kids, then that makes sense and I would assume that we’d have a lot of overlap in our lists. So once you had the list, what’d you do?
After I made a list of all those things, I started going through them one by one - I actively acknowledged each thing that happened or didn’t happen, I acknowledged the pain and the feelings and then I prayed and asked for release and if they were things that I needed to repent about, I did that and then I just kind of was like, “Okay I let that go! God, I trust that you’re good and that you’re going to redeem things that were lost or stolen. I trust that you are the one who makes wrong things right and I’m going to trust you.” So I just went one by one, releasing them and letting them go. And I’ve been spending a significant time on bitterness I’ve been harboring over the authorship discreditation I’ve been walking through with the children’s book I helped write. Just because it’s so fresh and raw and that wound has been the source of a lot of my current tears and pain. Bitterness is a nasty root and even though I feel like it’s losing to forgive over and over in this life, you helped me see the truth that when I harbor the resentment and unforgiveness, I’m actually the only one losing.
Yeah, as your husband, I’ve hated seeing you in honestly a bit of a haze that’s been caused by some bitterness and being bothered by this overall sense that justice that drives you. But seeing you take the necessary steps to insure you don’t get stuck here is beautiful and difficult to watch. It’s such a strange thing as a husband to be able to help you in so many ways, but when it comes to your internal world - it really is something you have to face head on individually. There’s no amount of encouragement I can give you that will “fix” how your feeling - honestly it’s tough….
So, I’m curious how you feel now?
Honestly, I feel lighter. There’s a sense of freedom, I feel like a weight was lifted in a sense and I feel that a lot of the funk and heaviness that we’ve been talking about in the last month or so has lifted to an extent. I think I’m able to see that my natural bent is to automatically focus my eyes on the hurt places and the disappointments when there are tons of really amazing joys to be found right here in the now and so for me, the challenge is to actively hold my future loosely and open my hands so I can be present. Of course there are situations/emotions that I’m still wading through and I still feel some the tension in my lower back, but for the most part I just feel this huge sense of relief and I’m hopeful.
BABE - lead us into a Deep Dive….
John Eldredge - Waking the Dead
On the Screen - in which we visit and review what we’re watching this week
Last week we finished up the Amazon Prime series, ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ and it was a perfect timing because they cleaned up at the Emmys on Monday night… to the point that I started getting a little uncomfortable because they were winning every category they were nominated for - and it didn’t help that the camera pans the audience and highlights the other nominees that lost each category to show their reactions.
Yeah, I think they won 7 awards including best directing for a comedy series, best writing for a comedy series, best supporting actress for a comedy series, best actress for a company series and at the very end they got best comedy series. For those of you who don’t know, the show is about a woman named Miriam—who goes by Midge—as she breaks out of the gender norms of the 50s and finds her voice as a stand-up comedian. I was introduced to it when I was in Road Island the beginning of August with my extended family - we watched the first couple episodes and I wondered what you would think of it because all my male relatives raved about it and said it was a show they enjoyed watching with their spouse. So I hesitantly introduced it to you and you loved it and then over the last month we watched the entire first season. What do you love about it?
Well… the writing is amazing. It’s probably the most witty show I’ve seen in a while, and it’s just quick. I guess what I mean is that it embodies East Coasters in such a perfect way. It’s hilarious and breaks all of the norms. I honestly can’t say enough about it. Midge is from very proper Jewish Family and has children and is finding ways to secretly get out of the house at night to try her skills out at comedy clubs. The acting is incredible it’s almost a mix of comedy with a little bit of theater—all the sets are amazing they go over the top with the production. It’s set (and filmed) in the New York and everything—all the attention to detail for the scenes—is fantastic!
Yeah, it is a fun show but it’s also really real - they balance the tension so well! Bottom line is it’s entertaining and thought-provoking and we highly recommend it! It’s not a family show but if you haven’t seen it, this is the perfect time b/c they just wrapped on season 2! Oh and how many horns are we gonna give this one?
I really think this is 10/11 unicorn horns!
We also had heard from several people that ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ was worth seeing and it has gotten fantastic reviews so we were just waiting for an opportunity where our movie pass allowed us to go see it and that happened this last weekend. We went back to our theater with fancy-schmancy seats—Dave you did see that there are in fact seat heaters (not heat seaters which I inadvertently said last week abd which you may or may not have caught! I always seem to mix that up just because those words are so similar!)
Ha! I didn’t notice you said it until after we uploaded it. Yes, my grandma was raving about this film and I promised her I would go see it and it was really fun and lively and entertaining. It’s a fun romcom with some great humor and probably what it did more than anything was make me want to visit Singapore.
I know, you were pretty much a drooling the first 20 minutes of the film as they were showing the culture and the food in Singapore
I know! It all looked amazing - especially all the street food. I’m a sucker for eating like the locals and some of the locations they shot in were breathtaking.
Maybe we should do a season of The Find in asia!?
We totally should!
Okay, so how many unicorn horns are you giving Crazy Rich Asians?
This one really surprised me in a good a way - I’m going with 9 unicorn horns
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Brought to you By
“Today’s show has been brought to you by the words ‘’LET GO.” The seasons are changing...there’s something in the air and on the cusp. Get ready! Seriously.... Get ready! It’s time to intentionally evaluate the places of tension in your body and your heart. Process it all and then offer it up… Let go of all the disappointments, all the bitterness, all the unforgiveness, and all the deferred hope! Remember you are beauty and power and glory beyond measure - you were meant to SHINE!!! You were made to walk in the MORE, so drop the nuts in your death grip, step into freedom and get ready to go jump in a pile of nuts!
“Until next week...keep embracing the mystery, asking questions, and giving yourself permission to enjoy the process. And watch out for those freakin’ unicorns...they’re glitzy and shimmery and full of crap!” ;)