16: How to Give God to Your Children Without Religion (Sort Of)

2/2/20 When you don’t practice a religion but you do believe in god, or you don’t believe in god but you do believe in spiritual principles or just being a good person, how do you pass that on to your kids? We start with recapping some info from last week’s relationship episode. Then the discussion turns to this week’s topic: How do you give a sense of god to your kids when you are spiritual, but not religious? We share some information that we learned from our experience, from what we learned from talking to others, and from what we learned from talking to our children.

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recovery sort of is a podcast where we discuss the recovery and addiction topics from the perspective of people living in long-term recovery this podcast does not intend to represent the views of any particular group organization or fellowship the views expressed here are solely the opinion of its contributors be advised there may be strong language or topics of an adult nature

hey welcome to recovery sort of it’s Jace’s I’m a guy in long-term recovery and I’m here with Billy and I’m also a person in long-term recovery and we’re here today we’re gonna talk about the idea or concept of we are the role models in our house for you know giving god to our children basically for giving them an idea concept some starting point to go with and how do we do that if we are not religious before we get into that though we did want to talk about our last week’s topic just a little bit we had talked about relationships and then we had a really fun interactive post on Twitter where people had a lot of different ideas you know we asked for crucial relationship information and we got a lot of feedback for that so we want to just address some of those things some of the concepts are pretty interesting and you know I guess we’re probably going to debate whether we like them or not so one person said they learn to be salad with themself living on their own and not in any relationship and if you feel you need to change the other person don’t get into a relationship and you should complement each other not that you were going to like all their habits and I I think that’s solid stuff I can’t really necessarily argue with any of that can you work yeah I think that’s pretty good I mean you know that path of learning to be okay with yourself and recovery can be difficult but you know some of us bring those skills in when we get here and you know we can get into relationships and and not lose the people that we are mmm yeah I was not that guy I definitely was losing me as soon as I got in I was you know around the girl 24 hours a day seven days a week I immediately lost contact with all my friends the day I met her so I couldn’t keep myself separate in any way shape or form and another so I read a similar one that I really liked and you know I said well they get ties pretty close into that or similar into that it was from five blue buttons said don’t give up your own happiness path well-being sense of self for someone being in a relationship means working together to both become the best self you can be and I really like that now what’s interesting for me in my whatever experience in relationships I’ve shared before I got into a relationship early in recovery I had four months clean or so and the person I got involved with had like 12 years in recovery so they had a very established you know recovery in our fellowship they call that thirteenth step sometimes I don’t know you know I don’t buy into all that [ _ ] because of course in our case it worked out fine and but one of the things that’s interesting what we’re just talking about in this idea just crossed my mind is that when I came into recovery I really didn’t have an identity because I my whole identity and everything that I knew about myself was a using person you know everything I like to do was get high everything that I did for fun revolved around getting high so when I came into recovery you know it was easy to sort of latch on to like going to meetings and hanging out because I was developing this whole new identity anyway right when you got here if we we want to know where the cop will ask you yeah I didn’t have a strong identity when I got here and I mean I don’t know in my case it might have worked out in my benefit because the person I got involved with was very strong and recovery very connected to NA you know had a very active program so those were things that I latched onto and we would go to meetings together and hung out together um so that helped me identify my you know find my identity that’s funny that’s just a little aside the guy five blue buttons that you just mentioned he just had a post the other day that said he’s trying to go to an a a meeting and in order to go there you can’t just show up in the country he’s in you have to send them an email with your name and like birthday or something crazy like your identifying information and it was like I thought this was anonymous I was like what the [ _ ] and so everybody’s like that’s crazy I’ve never heard I think he’s in Denmark or something like that sounds really weird I’m like that is some wild [ _ ] and I asked him I was like please report back want to know more about this right so the next the next thing mr. t bear said don’t date til you’ve been sober at least a year you know the stock information we usually hear in a meeting and immediately following that Deirdre Wenberg said this is actually should advice which I thought was hilarious right I think it’s debatable I I don’t necessarily agree that the timeframe thing is that important and I believe somebody else said that on here I can’t find it right this second but it was you know don’t put timeframes oh don’t put rules or timelines around getting into a relationship that was actually Deirdre Wenberg again so you know that was her idea and I and I get that right like that one-year time frame does not do anything in particular if I came to and got clean for a year and did no step work and didn’t change at all that year didn’t mean right for me right like I also can see the other side of trying to if somebody came in and I said hey work seven steps before you get in a relationship and then they work step one and it took them three months to work it they’re gonna be like three months times seven twenty-one months like what I’m not gonna get in relationship for two years [ _ ] no that’s crazy very uh I think it’s kind of a simplistic way of hey get to know yourself right I think that’s the kind of goal about it what do you take on that well there’s so many variables that make any quote unquote stock advice hard I mean who are you picking as your partner you know what I mean like you could be the most honest person with the best integrity and have great commitment and all this other stuff and if you’re involved with someone who’s a liar and a cheat and you know doesn’t hold or share those same values it’s never gonna work and it doesn’t matter you could have 15 years clean and work two steps five times and you know so it’s not always all about us it’s you know it’s about what tools do we bring to the table and how do we and I can’t remember now but someone in one of the posts says something about boundaries and I was like yep boundaries are so key you know to know and like and I’m gonna combine a couple of different posts a couple of different information another guy had said he had Spahn ceased to write down the values they were looking at in a relationship and I had heard that before of course I didn’t do that there but I did that with the priest that married us that the pastor that married us how to sit down and do that and I think that idea is really good the downside to doing it once I was already in a relationship is I was probably somewhat skewed towards values that I felt like her and I shared but I would say I you know when I read that I thought wow that would be really good for people to sit down and write down the values that they’re looking for in a relationship and then when they get into a relationship pull that list out and see if it meets those values because so many times will say these are my values these are what I think is important these are the qualities that I’m looking for in another person you know as a guy and then some good-looking girl comes along and all of a sudden three of them values go out the [ _ ] window or it’d be you know right they don’t matter that much or we’re still in that infatuation phase where we you know we don’t even realize that we’ve trucked a couple of our values out the window you know because we’re in this infatuation stage of this relationship and we’re quote-unquote blinded by love color blind to the red flag so I I guess I can say this a big booby way food wagon hilarious name they said first year get a rack if you have that after a year get a plant if the plants not dead after a year get a dog if you have the dog after a year you can think about dating and don’t fish in a polluted pot right and and I’d heard something along those lines before I’d that’s a long time for me to go without dating I don’t know that I would wait that long but again I think I think all these suggestions have some basis in a point right then take some time get to know yourself learn how to care for something before you go hurting people yeah and I get that what is a polluted pond you know and I mean like that’s it because it’ll stigmatize so well not only that but we have this sort of preconceived notion that you know quote unquote earth people are good at relationships and they’re you know a lot of them are just as you know likely to cheat and be dishonest or not have the same values that we do as anyone else I mean obviously as addicts we’re not picking from the emotionally healthiest pool of people but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re not good at relationships they could just be emotionally damaged in other areas don’t fish on earth aliens so a addictive estai always try to decide if I like his name or not but he’s pretty funny he did say the door on the left leads to getting okay with you followed by the unknown while the one on the right is immediate sex unlikely chaos and I think that kind of summed up what you were just talking about a little bit you know I definitely chose the hey I want what I want now right sex felt good relationships validation felt good I don’t want to wait for that kind of stuff well not only that just being clear about what you want like maybe you only want sex relationships and you’re not looking for a long-term relationship early in recovery you’re like hey I’m just having fun and living life and I want to go sleep around and have a good time and that’s completely okay as long as you’re not you know misrepresenting not necessarily even to the other person but not misrepresenting what you want for yourself you know what I mean are you really secretly looking for a long-term relationship but you’re just saying that [ _ ] cuz it’s cool and convenient or you know are you really the other way around are you really just looking to sleep around but you’re saying you want commitment and long-term relationship to get the girl and then hurting a bunch of people in the process it’s that self honesty that’s important with that stuff it’s like you know what am I looking for what do I want and then just being honest and going out and getting that and not placing judgments on it right and here’s where I can see the whole stayin out of relationship for a year concept and maybe that’s not true for everybody but for me for sure when I got here it was the same as right before I got here right before I got here I was gonna get cleaned tomorrow and things were gonna get better and I kept lying to myself and believing it right living in that denial and so when I got here it was the same thing I’m gonna be good and treat this girl right and we’ll be together forever and then a week later I didn’t want her anymore and it was that same lot how did I end up here again I don’t mean to hurt people but I just I can’t even be honest with myself I keep living right and maybe a year what I help get some space from that yeah and and being honest about what your own track record is in relationships being honest about who and what you are you know with yourself I mean again I didn’t necessarily come in with some of the same issues as other people so I didn’t have some of the same struggles as other people you know I’ve never really struggled with the sex and love addiction you know again not that I couldn’t it just wasn’t something that I’ve ever really struggled with so I don’t have that as part of my story well I hadn’t struggled with it when I got here I was too busy getting high I was turned down so I don’t remember that from before but I did learn that once I got here and started trying that’s for sure there’s some other good ones in here sean-o doll I don’t even know don’t get involved with anyone for at least a year we need to have an honest relationship with yourself first get to know the real you that’s critical stuff compromise but I guess I struggle with some of that too of like honest relationship with yourself like that takes years that doesn’t happen you know overnight that’s I don’t even think I did my first year clean I knew about myself and even now you know I’m still figuring out things about myself as I delve deeper into step work and you know therapy and different things meditation you know I just started meditating you know regularly in the last couple of years of my recovery and this process of meditation has been it completely eye-opening for me on certain behaviors certain beliefs certain impulses that I have you know gaining the ability to kind of sit back and observe some of this stuff and I didn’t get that till I had ten eleven years clean you know so this if there’s always a development of a relationship with self and that’s so tricky so we talked a little bit last week I think I mentioned the idea of people who come into recovery and their partner is not maybe one of us there there an Earthling but they dated them while they were in active use and like what in the hell is wrong with them to one a date and a confusing person but just that whole concept okay so I am on my second step right early in recovery I got three months cleaning I’m on my second step and I meet an Earthling and we decide we’re gonna get married well that’s great they’re right on my level right birds of a feather flock together water seeks its own level we’re at the same place and maybe we are way healthier than anything I’ve ever had but fast-forward 20 years and I’m on my fifth time through the steps and much more spiritual than I was at two months clean on my second step for three months whatever I said and this earthling hasn’t really progressed a whole lot in that area a little bit right people don’t have a monopoly on grow hair right it’ll grow other ways right right but maybe not the way I have so now I don’t have as much in common with them and so I always tend to try to tell my spawn season and other people who have that you know information that like it’s possible that you’re gonna outgrow people around here and we frequently do we outgrow other people in the Fellowship but all the time at the same time so what does that mean do I wait till I’m 98 and right before I die to get in a relationship because that’s my fight like you said there’s always gonna be more five years from now I’ll know more about me than I do now so do I just keep waiting forever I don’t have that kind of answer yeah I don’t think anyone does you know I don’t really don’t think they do and and another misconception in relationships is there’s times there’s gonna be hard there’s gonna be difficulties there’s gonna be challenges my wife and I have been together you know well we’ve been together 18 plus years and we’ve had struggles you know we’ve had times we’ve talked about separating we’ve had times where we’ve you know thought oh this is you know we should be done we’ve talked about going to counseling we’ve read several books on relationships and and you know done all the different exercises and a bunch of those books you know it’s like it’s taken a lot of work and it’s not always good you know there are some bad and down times and you know who’s to say when you’re supposed to throw in the towel I mean obviously we haven’t and we’ve worked through it and we’re I think stronger and better for it and and those are in line with my values I mean to be honest and hope she doesn’t get mad at listening to this you know but there’s been a few times where I’ve said well I’m gonna stay in this for my kids you know I’m gonna stay in this for them because I feel like I owe it to them as a parent and that’s just a value that I have it doesn’t it’s not a right or wrong it’s not a judgment on anyone else for people that leave or decide to stay but at the end of the day you know that value you know helped me to stay in this relationship and I’m glad that I did because I love my wife and I I’m glad that we’re still together um you know but there isn’t an easy answer as to when to stay or when to go or what’s gonna work for each other and and the other thing you said I don’t know about the water seeks its own level I mean I guess I get the idea I mean my problem there is well who gets to decide what that level is you know like in my case my wife had 12 years clean had worked the steps at least I think twice by the time and I had come in with four months clean and just got a sponsor and was maybe on my first or second or third step at that point does that mean I was really good or that she was really sick you know like what you know what where’s the level it’s probably more of an emotional attachment level right and just you for whatever reason we’re on the level that suited her emotional attachment needs and I guess looking at it from that lens it’s not quite as a this is the sick person this is the world I think we’re all it levels the sick right yeah definitely we’re all below zero right I don’t think any of us are at a hundred just to kind of wrap up the romantic relationship conversation Chelsea said something that kind of hit home with me and I think is a little important it’s okay to be alone and have your own time also if you are comfortable being alone and don’t need someone usually the right person will come into sight take care of you and good things happen and along those same lines I think really what stood out to me and she didn’t quite say this exactly but I think what she was getting at is if I’m okay living by myself right and then I date I now have the option to evaluate this partner of mine and decide if they’re good for me and I already know I’m okay by myself so I’m not stuck with them right and that’s what I think I missed a lot early on was that I felt like I could not leave a relationship because then what what I do have to sit by myself I can’t do that yet right and so I did it kind of the wrong backwards way and I think it’s really crucial if we are comfortable alone we now have the decision to be in a relationship we’re not stuck in a relationship right and that gets back to you know being able to maintain our values and and have integrity and the values that we have in our relationship and decide like look you know this relationship is in alignment with my values or it’s not in alignment with our values and I can walk away you know another part of that and it’s it’s basic you know sort of quote unquote recovery 101 is sometimes just doing like an honest inventory of our relationship and writing down like pros and cons list you know what I mean like what’s going good in this relationship what’s going bad in this relationship you know how does this kind of fall in line with my values are and is this what I really want to be doing right now right right so that’s we will wrap up the romantic relationships portion with that and we’ll move into this week’s topic so Billy I text Billy I think was yesterday right and I yeah and I said maybe two days ago it was Friday and I was just I said man what we’re gonna talk about this week and Billy it was like I don’t know we’ve been kind of talking about the idea of giving our children God if you don’t have a religion and this really sparked it sparked my interest right not completely at first but I was like what does that even mean my children are just gonna get God because I believe in God and children pick up when would parents and that’s that’s that right I don’t what do you mean without religion and so I I had to think about this a little more and and the concept that when you have a religious practice of religion right you go there on Sundays maybe you go there another day during the week maybe they have a Bible study maybe your kids go to a Sunday school or CCD if you’re Catholic or whatever it is and all these different ideas but they get exposed to a lot of teaching about God or some religious practice right and when your spiritual uh for me at least that doesn’t really show in public a whole lot in the God sense right I don’t had some conversations with my kids about it here and they’re like this is what I believe and this is how I tried to be I know I don’t do it perfectly but I just kind of thought it would rub off on them and I you said the word earlier osmosis right and I and I had posted that on something I thought they would just kind of get it and so I went and I asked them you know we talked about it I asked them do you believe in God and what do you know about God and severely disappointed maybe you can talk about where that topic came from your family okay yes so over our years in recovery my wife and I have been involved in different churches for different reasons I have so I was raised Catholic I sort of had an aversion to God and religion when I got clean I think it was a lot of Catholics do you get really turned off to the whole thing so I was sort of you know almost actively atheist that you know when I was using like [ _ ] God and you know that’s ya angry atheist at the end of my using and so when I came into recovery as with a lot of people I had a lot of struggles with you know this God concept and a lot of preconceived ideas work through some of that through step work you know work through some of that and then actively became involved in church you know got involved actually with a Christian Church went what I would say not stream a pretty hardcore we got involved with like a home group and we’re going there every week and you know really connected to this church and religious teachings and and the Bible you know specifically Christian values and in the Bible and then sort of ranted some challenges for that for me personally and drifted away and over the years we’ve kind of checked out a couple different churches and like a lot of I think almost all the religions at the core I think a lot of them have some really good values some really good teachings there’s some really worthwhile things to look at and investigate and learn out of those but when it gets to some of the you know this is the rule hard core rule kind of thing about you can’t like these kind of people or these people are wrong or this group’s going to hell and we’re the only ones that got the secrets to get into heaven like that stuff loses me you know and I just can’t buy it not in so drifted away from churches over the years and so recently my wife has talked about going back to church and you know she is a Christian which is fine with me I’m not trying to convince her of anything I don’t even know if I’m [ _ ] right I could be completely wrong and now my soul is gonna burn in hell for eternity I don’t really know um but she wants to go back to church and so we were kind of talking about that and whether we should make our kids go or not because she’s asked them like hey I’m gonna start going to church do you want to go and all three of them were kind of like no not really you know and they’ve been involved with churches over the years they’ve been to Sunday schools and you know all that stuff and none of them were interested in going and so then it was do we force them to go do we kind of say well you have to go because we want you to learn this stuff and then her and I went down the discussion of well I don’t know if I want them to go and learn that stuff especially if it’s not what they believe because I don’t I’m not gonna try to sell them on a book of information then I don’t [ _ ] buy into you know what I mean like I’m not gonna give them some stuff I don’t agree with and then support that right um so that conversation she came up with what you know what do you think your kids know about God and if they’re not going to church or some religious place where do you think they get these values and principles about God um and this was in the selling point of they should have to go to church like because if they don’t where are they gonna get it I don’t think she was trying to sell me on they should go to church this is just a conversation we were having and so you know she she sort of threw back and this is something we’ve talked about you know I am the the thermostat for my house I am the thermostat for my family I’m the leader I’m the role model I’m the you know what they should be looking to for guidance and direction in all these areas and so what am i doing to give them you know if what information they need about God and do they even know what I believe about God did our we do even have a clear understanding of what it is that I believe and so that they know what I believe and what they believe you know it’s like and so it I was curious so I she says why don’t we just ask him so that I’ve taken it upon myself in the last week or so to have some conversations with my kids about God and I’ll preface this by saying you know as a parent there’s no real book to parenting or what a great parent is or whatever else so my take on and I’ve read a bunch of stuff and listened to a bunch of stuff and tried to figure out because like most things I want to be the best I want to be the rightest of the right in all my parenting skills and I you know what I’ve come to believe just my own whatever and I don’t didn’t read this in any book cause it’s way oversimplified I couldn’t write a book on the [ _ ] idea but it’s like my goal as a parent is just to help them be the best version of themselves that they can be um it isn’t even necessarily to convince them of my values you know it isn’t to tell them I believe this and you should believe this too it’s to help them figure out who they are and what’s important to them what values they like in their life and how to pursue and achieve those values because I think that’s what’s gonna lead them to happy how very any steps of you yeah right and and that’s where those principles come from it’s like when I sponsor guys in recovery and I tell them this all the time and I don’t think they get it but I tell them in the beginning this is your journey to figure out who you are you know I’m not trying to sell you on what I am and what I believe and what I know you know I’m here to help you figure out what’s important to you and to be the best version of you and ultimately I think that’s what’s gonna make you happy and cuz that’s what’s gonna make me happy I don’t want to be a carbon copy of my sponsor he may do some things or believe some stuff or think some ideas that i don’t agree with right and that’s fine I don’t you know that’s that’s he can still help me he still has value to my life I could still talk to him about things and um but if I just try to be an exact copy of him you know I might not be happy in that so I feel like with my kids what’s most important is to open up that line of communication and to be able to talk them what do you know about God what do you think about God what information are you getting on the streets that might be of value information well and so here’s a situation let’s say you know I go in a convenience store and I bump into a person you know and I say oh excuse me I’m really sorry about that I turn and walk away I’d like to think you know my kids pick up the value that it’s just nice you know it’s just courteous to be polite and kind to people there’s no need for confrontation right um they could take away that or they could think you know oh my dad is weak and doesn’t want a confrontation with this person so I don’t know that they’re picking up that value just because they observed an interaction you know what I mean I don’t know that because they see the way that I act they’re picking up you know on the same behaviors I think they might though okay so maybe they don’t see it if you bump into a stranger that’s your size in the store right but maybe if you bump into your kid who’s half your size in your house and you behave the same way I don’t think they’re mistaken that for you being weak because you’re obviously much larger than them right there I think they’re gonna see that as you know oh hey he’s a kind dude he’s not worried about you know it’s not about who’s right or wrong in this he’s sorry that you guys bummed into each other yeah and I mean when and I thought some about like okay so what values or beliefs did I get from my parents and what you know what do I think about them and their values and what do I feel like I got from and their values and that was interesting to think about you know because you know I admire my dad he’s a very respectable person he has a good moral character my mom had a good moral character both of them were hard-working you know so there are some values that I got from them but they were they were never conversations that we had we never talked about the values of our home and why we do the things we do and I do believe my wife and I do that with our kids you know why do we volunteer time to outside organizations why do we go to recovery meetings and go to these recovery events or go speak at these things like those are things that we’ve actively talked about you know balancing out that time between family and work and recovery you know those things are conversations that we have with our kids man so I just think there’s so many revelations along with this conversation and you just kind of gave me another one about what my parents gave me but we’ll hit all that stuff right after we you know stop for those voices that will be right back this episode has been brought to you by voices of Hope Inc a non-profit grassroots recovery organization located in Maryland voices a hope is a community-based organization that fights to protect the rights of people who struggle with substance use please support them by attending their fifth annual gratitude banquet on February the 15th tickets are $60 a person and sponsorships are available please visit them on the web at


and I’m like they the are gonna pass on God to my kids right they’re gonna see how I act they’re gonna see these moments of like peacefulness and calm and love and good parenting and they’re gonna say I understand God now and I don’t know how the [ _ ] I thought that was gonna work right and so in asking my kids directly like do they believe in God and what do they know about God I realized that that was not [ _ ] true and I was heartbroken and then we had a Facebook post which we’ll talk a little bit about that you know some other people weighed in on it and one guy kind of made a point so he said it wasn’t so much about giving them God right so his initial post was more about the fact that he he did a thing where him and his daughter were going to a park and then he had to stop and mail some any literature to somebody in another state and his daughter was asking questions about it and she said do you know the lady and he was like no I don’t you know I just I’m just doing it and that was kind of all that was said but then apparently when the lady got it she posted it on Facebook that somebody else had given it to her you know from out of state just went out of their way to send it to her and all this and it got all these you know likes and comments from around the world it was like 20 different states 15 different countries and apparently he showed that and shared that with his daughter that like one little act of kindness can you know affect all these people and though the whole ripple in the pond effect you throw a rock in and it just spreads out and so he shared that and my first thought was like oh you didn’t give her a [ _ ] God bro like that’s not what the hell I asked right and and then he he commented back and we had a little dialogue and I didn’t say that I was just like trying to understand better right and eventually and his name was Patrick he said he kind of got the point across to me that maybe it’s not God specifically that I’m trying to give my kids or that I thought they were going to get it’s just the principles I live in of like being a good person and treating other people with kindness and compassion and showing love to people whether you know him or not and you know treat others like you want to be treated and all that good stuff and that was kind of a revelation am I thinking okay maybe I didn’t fail or [ _ ] this up complete like maybe these are things they are gonna have is some compassion for people maybe it’s not about the god thing right I was thinking they were gonna get God from that but maybe they just got my actions and how I live and that was a little comforting I I don’t know that I necessarily need to pass on God my fear is that if they don’t have God they’re not gonna be able to live in these ways cuz me personally I am NOT kind compassionate or loving without God right if I don’t have that source of strength I’m a [ _ ] jerk right and so I’m like well what good is it for them to try to live these actions if they don’t have something that can help them live these actions when it’s hard to because it’s [ _ ] hard for me maybe it’s not hard for them maybe they’ll have an easy life of being nice to people but that was my little fear of them not having God but I think I don’t need them to have God I need them to have the you know goodness of heart to treat people well yeah and some things depend on their age you know and where they’re at in emotional development and by that I can say that the conversation that I have with my 17 year old is very different than the conversation that I have with my 11 year old you know just in depth of thought and the context of ideas that I presented to her and him you know it’s a different conversation but one of the things that so the principle of recovery that becomes important to me in our particular fellowship I talk about you know what we kind of think addiction is and kind of where it comes from and part of it in there and one of our pamphlets talks about never seeming to outgrow the self-centeredness of a child and always feeling a dependence only on ourselves and not relying on powers outside of ourselves to help us get through life and this being a vital skill that you need to have in your development as an adult you know you need to realize that you can’t you know we’re not an island all unto ourselves we need the help of others of powers greater than ourselves and so with my seventeen year old as we’re having this conversation I try to not get hung up on the god word only because in society nowadays just in general churches are dying all you know this concept of God is is as we develop more scientific ideas you know it’s just not as popular as it used to be whatever you want to call having a magical creator in the sky that wished everything into existence you know yeah there’s a lot of challenges to those ideas nowadays and whether you believe them or not as an erect isn’t what’s important it’s just there are and so you know with her you know she obviously gets some influence from us but she’s gonna get influence from her friends and her peers and people at their school and like what I found interesting with all three of my kids the the people that run their school are great people they go to a small school there’s only 30 students in their school it’s a what’s called a free democratic school that’s a whole another side conversation but it’s like a little small school it’s only run by a handful of people and the people that run the school are very religious and they are kind compassionate loving people I’m glad that they have been involved in the raising of my children they don’t overly push those Christian values onto people but you can see those values the the best of all of them in the way they run their school in any case I was surprised to find out that none of my kids are what I would consider Christian they’ve all been introduced to Christian ideas they’ve been involved with Christian churches they’re around people who are heavily Christian but they’re just not Christian they don’t really buy into the Bible and I don’t know why I haven’t maybe I have down talked it to them I don’t think that I have but maybe I have in different conversations and I don’t know that I well one thing I found interesting was that all the influence in their life is Christian they don’t really have any Muslim influence they don’t have any Unitarian influence they don’t have any Jewish influence it’s like everyone in their world you know is Christian or atheist or agnostic you know so they don’t get any other influence other than that um the other thing with my 17 year old was the more important question that I had for her was do you have a belief in powers greater than yourself and what are they and what things can help you in life when you run into challenges and struggles that you can’t overcome by yourself you know that I felt like was an important idea and she had the what I’ll consider the right answers I was proud you know and again I don’t feel like there’s anything I particularly did she just seemed to be able to say she said yeah well if I can’t you know overcome things by myself I have people I can go to I can go to people at the school for advice or you guys for advice or I can go to my friends for advice but I look to other people to help me overcome challenges and struggles and I thought wow that’s great because I don’t know that I felt that way at 17 I definitely did not feel that yeah I wasn’t going to go ask my parents for advice I wasn’t gonna go ask somebody for advice you know I had to figure out everything on my own that’s what made me a man you know that’s what made me you know an adult was figuring everything out on my own do you see it’s interesting you say that’s what made you a man do you think there’s a difference there a fundamental difference between the way men and women are raised so where women are allowed as for advice but men are at 17 oh I can’t honestly say I don’t know interesting idea yeah I’m not sure either honestly so I okay so just get into a little bit of what I ask my kids I ask them those same questions you know do you believe in God and what do you know about God and of course my my five year old he said yes emphatically I believed in God right and I said so what does that mean what happens when you believe in God he said I don’t know and I was like well what do you know about God he’s like odds PI like that bad word like oh my god that’s all I know I was like that’s [ _ ] beautiful for a five-year-old and then I asked one of my 14 year old I got twin fourteen-year-old daughters and she said she didn’t know if she believed in God right I was like okay so I said well what do you know and and this is where I started running into exactly what you just shared that everything my children know proudly comes from Hollywood or people around them and all of that [ _ ] is Christian right and look I say all that [ _ ] is Christian I don’t have any problem with Christianity right Jesus seemed [ _ ] I love the parables in the Bible is it my belief system no but I don’t have any beef with it my I think my beef is just that it’s the only thing they’re exposed to right I’d love them to have a more diversified exposure and then be able to choose what they wanted I don’t I’m not against Christianity whatsoever I think any form of religion that leads you to be a better human and that makes you feel happy and and connected and loved inside is a great thing personally but this is where I got that so she said what she knows about God Jesus is his son he supposedly created the earth and stuff she thinks people made up God to blame their problems and then she said or for hope and then she kind of wrapped all that up and said she thinks people made up God to explain things and I was like that’s pretty interesting right I don’t maybe that came from my skepticism I don’t know very odd for her and so then we started getting into an argument because she choose the word higher power that she kind of believes in a higher power but not so much a god and I was like well why can’t you use the word God it’s three letters one syllable way quicker than higher power higher powers like four syllables takes a while and she’s like well when I think of God I think of punishing and this that and the other and I’m like well why would why does that have to be what God is and she’s like we had this argument about semantics like that’s not what God is but that’s what the word God makes me think of and I’m like well how does the word God make you think of that if that’s not what the [ _ ] you think about God right like it was very interesting but I get it being raised Catholic the whole punishing God and hell and burning for eternity like I kind of thought God was vindictive too until I came to another understanding of it um anyways my other 14 year old daughter she said that she did believe in God and she knows that he created Jesus and Mary and he helps out when you need it and no one knows what he looks like and he’s a spirit kinda and can send angels look this is the wrong reaction as a parent to have for your children but when she said he could send angels I [ _ ] lost I was like really you think he could send angels like this just blew my [ _ ] mind I was like I can’t believe I believe some absurd [ _ ] right then I can’t believe that she believes that and then my guy who just turned 11 he said that he does believe in God he doesn’t know what he knows but he created earth people and to live he created people to live a good life and then people mistreated him and he didn’t like it and now they have a bad life and I was like well that’s a damn cake where does this come from and and I don’t know I’m just kind of blown away that everything they knew was Christian every last thing it was all about you know this this Jesus thing and and you know that heaven or hell idea or angels and I don’t know it was just really interesting to hear their answers and highly entertaining don’t get me wrong I was enjoying every minute of it but it was really interesting to see that their concept of God looks nothing like mine but I don’t know why I thought it would never ever told them my belief about God I’ve said I believe and I’ve said some you know very random generalized statements but I’ve never told them I specific belief about what I think God is why did I think they would have that no idea and so and part of this what was interesting is exactly that revelation for myself it’s like huh I will talk about these things but I don’t I can’t say that I specifically ever talked with my children about these principles and these are principles that I think are critical to having a good life you know the spiritual principles and learning to be spiritual so for me a lot of this maybe was a hopefully a beginning of an ongoing conversation that can happen not just a you know oh I did that now that’s done you know right across that box and we’re done we talked about God but you know the concept of God and spirituality and religion I mean the the truth is for me it’s been an ongoing exploration even now you know it’s almost like we talked about with same relationships earlier it’s like here I am at 45 I’ve been seeking out this information for a long time you know from all kinds of different sources and I still don’t have a clear answer so you know what I hope to give my children is at least some direction you know maybe on what I believe and why I believe those things and seeing so that they can see how that plays out in my life you know for example you know having the conversation about you know we’re why we’re kind why we’re generous to other people why we have compassion for other people and what that looks like and what that feels like it feels good to be kind to other people you know my my spirit my soul you know is is happier when I’m being kind and compassionate to other people that’s why I just don’t go out and do a bunch of [ _ ] that’s self-serving and self-seeking and selfish you know when I live that way it caused a lot of harm and I didn’t feel good about the person that I was right so I kind of came to the conclusion a very 12-step program of me that I don’t really want to give them my god I want to give them the ability to search and look for their own God you know very much like we do in the program in the Fellowship like it’s not for us to assign you a guide and tell you which one you need to do like find your own way right you mentioned some of the the volunteering like before we moved up here when we were down in Baltimore we used to volunteer pretty frequently with the United Way because they had some really neat family volunteer times to do things and events and I’ve just found that since we moved up here that has not been something we’re capable of doing anymore and I’m sad because I kind of like the fact that we would take a few hours on a Saturday here and there and do something like that it I do feel like that exposure was good right now maybe we need to find a way to do that up here it’s been tough with being in like this year of grad school I’m kind of swamped in their sports and my schooling and assignments and all this [ _ ] going on I don’t want to make excuses right it is a lot going on right now but that is something I miss is the opportunity to say hey we show up and help people the unfortunate part of that is because they’re kids and under-18 most of the times they can’t interact directly with people that we’re helping it’s kind of behind the scenes stuff which is still cool but I really wish they got to interact with people I think that’s crucial for understanding why we help people and part of feeling thankful and that feeling you were just talking about I think you get that from interacting directly with people not so much for for doing the behind the scenes work all the time yeah and and one of the things I’ll say like about Christian values and helping other people like I am personally I’m quick to point out to my kids a lot of what I feel like you know the lessons that we hear about in the Bible and Jesus even not being you know what I would consider Christian there’s some great parables and stories in there that are really awesome stuff and you know about you know kindness to others and not putting down people that are less than you and you know the sort of splinter in your own eyes so you know it’s like all those when those opportunities and lessons come up I’ll talk to my kids honestly about that like look in the Bible they talked about this and this is one of those things that you know when we talk about Jesus this is a value that he had because I would hope that let’s say they do decide yes I want to be Christian and I want to believe in these values I would hope they’re gonna pick a church or an organization that pushes those values a little harder than the churches that push you know the judgments and criticisms and you know we hate [ _ ] kind of place you know what I mean because those are all different takes on Christianity and there are better and worse takes on that stuff you know everybody right and so if they you know if they do decide that’s a road they want to explore I would hope that they realize that there are some good things within that religion I mean I’ve met some people along the path in recovery that just totally [ _ ] all over Christianity or any church or any organized religion because they’ve had some bad experience right and it’s like you know open your eyes up to there are some incredibly caring giving compassionate human beings that are doing it in the name of God you know in the name of Jesus and it should just because they believe in that book should not devalue their efforts or charity that they’re given to the world I think you’re actually gonna make me read the Bible again I know the parables honestly and I frequently espoused them even though that might not be my belief I think there’s some really good lessons in there and I I’ve probably forgotten a couple of the better ones I might need to reread that brick brick on Facebook when we had the conversation did mention the good old acronym for the Bible which was basic instructions before leaving Earth and I hadn’t heard that one for a while I do like that one sir maybe that’s uh maybe that’s the sign that I need to do you know some more reading again from there another another guy Ricky not Rick this time said you can religiously speak to kids about God and principles without being part of a religion right when we talk about religiously doing it regularly or frequently and I think you kind of mentioned that instead of just having this conversation and checking it off like maybe this is something I need to have a conversation about more often like how do you feel about God or even how do you feel about treating people like hey here’s a situation we’re looking at in front of us how would you act in this situation right I had a situation recently not so much spiritual principles I guess I don’t know we were at Target my son had a gift card from Christmas it was all my whole family my mom came out to hang out and everything and one of the items my five-year-old wanted to buy apparently would it ring up and the lady said oh it’s not supposed to be you know out for sale yet we’re not allowed to sell it legally so I put it out by accident and I told him I was like hey buddy we can’t buy that one right it’s no big deal and he was alright now apparently he went over and told you know my mother that his grandmother that he was sad he couldn’t buy it and she like wanted to lose her mind about it right she was came to me are you gonna talk to the the you know the the debt manager if it’s on the shelf they have to sell it to them and all this stuff and look part of me understands that right kinda yeah I guess if it’s on the Shelf maybe I don’t are they legally bound to sell it to you [ __ ] no probably not someone left their cellphone on the shelf they don’t have to sell it right

there’s no price can I just walk out the door you know that good old thing that nobody laughs at anymore um so I did I did go up and I asked right and it turned out for whatever reason it didn’t say it was restricted and he was able to buy it right but I don’t know that I believe in in her take on it that company should hold themselves responsible for every $10 an hour employee that they put out there that’s not paying attention like I know that that’s fair right if I ran a store I would not want to be held accountable just because I can’t afford to pay people more because people want goods at really cheap prices I mean I don’t know like it’s what do you want you know do you want great service and you want the store countable all right well now you need to pay double for every good that you ever want to purchase from this store because we need to pay our people $20 an hour so that they give a [ _ ] right or do you want cheap prices well then you’re gonna have to deal with the fact that sometimes we screw up and I don’t I guess I was asking my kids I’m like look I’ll just clarify even if you charge exorbitant prices you still screw up everyone makes mistakes anyway sorry no no I was just talking to my kids about like what do you believe is the right thing to do they’re like I don’t feel like I’m entitled to the point where the store must make it right for me I’m not a fan of the customer’s always right usually they’re right not always right I thought it was a good chance to teach my five-year-old that sometimes you get disappointed right sometimes things don’t go the way you hope she looked at it as a the store better make this right and I’m like I see that a lot in that generation of people and I’m not trying to go into the whole okay boomer conversation but it’s like I do see that there’s a lot of entitlement which is interesting because I feel like that’s the generation that says kids are entitled and and this is where it sort of transitions into that weird God’s will conversation I just had this again with my wife yesterday similar conversation that we have like is it God’s will that your son walk out with this thing or not walk out with this thing and if he gets it it’s God’s will and if he doesn’t get it it’s got no I liked it just to me personally like so the most important lesson there is that it just from my perspective not anything else is that none of that surfaces [ _ ] matters what matters is how do I speak to and deal with the people that I come in contact with am i respectful am i courteous am i kind you know even when I make my point hey look this is on the Shelf my son really wants it is there something you can do is there some way we can buy this you know is is it more important that I deal with it that way or is it you know that I yell and scream and act like a jerk you know even if I’m right to me personally even if I’m right and I yell and scream and disrespect someone or act like a jerk I still lose you know if I walk out the door with that thing I still suffer a spiritual consequence you know and and it may even be the consequence of well I got what I wanted by being a bully in an [ _ ] so that’s how I need to deal with life my sponsor used to say no matter how right you are as soon as you act in those kind of ways you just described your instantly wrong now right now I look at it to is like you know what’s important here is that you know how do I deal with this conflict or this situation that’s in front of me what’s the person that I want to be in this how do I you know and again back to those Christian values I try to treat people how I want to be treated you know we make mistakes at my job I have to answer I’m a supervisor so I have to answer for the decisions of people that I didn’t make those decisions but I gotta answer for them and and sometimes they make mistakes and how do I act when they make mistakes right you know it’s it’s difficult to to keep our spiritual principles at the forefront of you know wanting to be right and wanting to be you know correct what we want I absolutely love that take you have on that concept of God’s will or not right I think it’s a beautiful thing and a super useful take on it to remember you know how my behaving in this situation I think it’s great for that I still believe it’s God’s will I’m a pastor a pest hence God’s will err if it [ _ ] happened it was God’s will if it didn’t it wasn’t and that’s just my my belief in the matter but I truly I do love your the way you see that right I think that’s a hugely useful tool in spiritual principle actions in my life but that’s a part of so as I’m teaching my kid about God like that’s a lesson that I think is important you know and I mean that’s the lesson that I think is important for them to take away is how we treat and act towards other people matters you know everyone else the clerk at Walmart that’s a seventeen year old kid that’s not doing what I want them to do just because I’m a 45 year old man doesn’t mean I get the right to disrespect them or them to disrespect me I mean it goes both ways you know people disrespect me I tend to speak up and say hey I don’t appreciate the way you’re you know what I mean like wow do you really have to go to insults and stuff is this where we need to go with this conversation yeah I don’t think my take on that is giving them like what they need to believe is God’s will or not it’s more about I would like you to find purpose in life that makes this easier for you to accept right and for me my life is more easily accepted when I believe that it’s all God’s will and all lining up for me to be exactly where I need to be to fulfill my purpose and so that makes it very easy for me to surrender to concepts not easy for me to surrender easier for me to surrender to concepts I don’t like going on in my life right oh this [ _ ] isn’t what I want it’s slightly easier for me to be okay with it if I believe that it’s supposed to be happening then if I don’t that pisses me the [ _ ] off right and I kind of get that I mean I guess like with the back to the God’s will conversation it’s kind of like I just think bad things happen and good things happen and it’s not some divine being making those decisions you know like that’s where I struggle it always goes back for me it always goes back to the same thing and and this is terrible not terrible to say I guess um this is a hard place to start at but it’s like if there’s this loving caring God it’s greater than me did I really need to get sexually abused as a kid to learn some lesson to have some skill later in life like isn’t there a [ _ ] better way for me to get that lesson or skill or you know something like that’s where I come from you know and I’ve tried to get past that and I just can’t you know I just can’t let that one go you know I know it’s not gonna take this but I have to kidnap you and read conversations with God to you that’s what I’m gonna do you have to read that what’s on my next it’s it’ll be my next book I’m getting through that I’m doing the fight no Angwin right now it is really good that’s the whole interesting conversation but that’s mine get that one I figured you were going to I just I can’t wait to have conversations about your take on it and what I think you’re gonna I’m not saying you’ll change any of your views I think you will think a lot about your views and I’m very interested in our conversations about that and so with my kids now another what I’ll call God value that I think is important to let them know is that I don’t know that I’m right you know I am completely capable of being wrong you know and that that’s okay and that right now I’m exploring and gathering information and making the best decisions that I can you know with the information that I have because again knowing myself you know there was a period of years where we were heavily involved with a Christian Church and now we’re not you know and so and my kids might remember some of that they were you know old enough that they may remember some of those experiences and who’s to say a year from now I’m not Jewish or Muslim or Mormon you know we went out the Utah spend some time out in Utah I would have stayed out there too much longer I’d have probably become a Mormon right I started reading The Book of Mormon just out of curiosity cuz I’m like huh what is this about you know I hear all the crazy stuff I’ve seen the Book of Mormon a couple times it’s pretty hilarious um so you know I started just reading the Book of Mormon just to check it out but you know letting them know and understand like no one’s got all the answers to this no one knows really what’s exactly right if I had to consider myself anything now because we did talk a little bit about the differences between you know religion and spirituality and agnosticism and atheism and you know kind of what those differences are I would probably say right now I’m an atheist you know or agnostic I’m sorry I’m not an atheist I’m an agnostic like I don’t really know I’m just guessing that’s the way I kind of feel like but I can live spiritually and practice spiritual principles in my life because I believe that makes me the best version of myself that I can be right yeah I don’t know I don’t know necessarily that I have a title for what specifically I believe in or that I need one or any of that right I really don’t know but I do believe in something I know that for sure so I I don’t fit nicely and neatly into any of the categories I guess I I don’t know when you said telling my kids I’m not right my whole body just like tightened up I like to be right right I like to think that because I think the way I think that there’s maybe a little more reason to believe in my you know thinking than somebody else and that’s not really true I don’t know if the [ _ ] going on I have some ideas about what could be happening here in life and afterwards but I don’t really [ _ ] know right I’m kind of unsure and scared like everybody else about it all you know so to get back a little bit to the the topic of givingness to our kids without religion I think one of the things I found jealousy in is that religion kind of got this part right right they they had the ability to pass on God through this practice of going to a worshipping place every week whereas people who don’t necessarily buy into a religion or I wanna say buy into just don’t believe in a specific religion they lose that ability to have that right and I think you and I might have talked about this and I talked about this with my wife I’m like so where do people go to learn how to live like if you’re a young man and your early 20s and you want to start learning about how to be live by values and be a good person and and be of moral character like where do you go to get support for that kind of stuff if you’re not a 12-step group or a church seem to be a place for you to go to get that information and that’s incredible so and this is why I’ve always thought that you know we took the unfortunate route to a blessing right like yeah the part of our lives that we’re in the act abuse were awful but now that we’ve decided to get clean sober whatever you’d like to call it for you know quit acting out we have the ability to have this place where we can go find these spiritual principles and and and seek a better life and a more fuller richer experience in life for ourselves and other people don’t have that right what I have found on some reddit posts is that people are out there looking for that I was shocked I didn’t think people gave a [ _ ] oh my god has had there be an Earthling [ _ ] right no they care some of them want to know some of them are looking for exactly what you just said and it doesn’t really exist and so I think that’s interesting and I kind of hope that’s somewhere along the way of where this podcast ends up falling into right a place where people can come and and you can look us up on Twitter and Instagram and have these conversations about continuing to grow in life and really enjoy ourselves and I don’t think it has to be recovery specific or mental health specific it’s just me and how do we be good [ _ ] people and like ourselves at some point yeah and one of the things talking yesterday we were actually talking a little bit about some of this with my wife’s family how to get together and we’re talking with her sister who is very Christian again involved with a church there I forget what’s religion but they’re you know really actively involved with a church that does a lot of community efforts in anyway she was talking about how membership in churches is down and their membership in their church is down and it’s all older people now they don’t have younger people coming in but one of the things that she said that we found interesting was that a lot of people are going to this stuff online now because there may be different if you’re Christian there’s all kinds of Christian pastors that you can see online now that are you know you can go watch this stuff at your convenience and that made me think there are some people out there again whether you agree with their views or not you know there are people like I’ll just say like uh Sam Harris who is like an atheist but believes in being in moral values or maybe he’s not in I guess he is an atheist I think he calls herself an atheist but anyway someone that isn’t in an organized religion is actually against organized religion but still believes in being a good person for different reasons and he’s got all his logic and reason for all that there’s another guy wrote a book Jordan Peterson wrote a book about same thing sort of living values and what those values should be and how to practice them in your life and again not that I think they’re necessarily the end-all be-all but they’re just two that I happen to know about there are people that aren’t now Jordan Peterson is more religious he believes in religion but for probably a different reason than or I would say a different take on it than most religious scholars if you will so there is information online for some of that stuff but it’s also what’s lacking is just a group where you can go actually talk to somebody about hey I’m having this struggle in my life with my wife or with my kids and as another man who’s trying to live with these spiritual values and principles what does this look like and how do we do that yeah I think you’re right and I think unfortunately fortunately I don’t know I think church becomes the default place for people to go even when they don’t specifically believe in the religions rules they just want that vibe right I think people a lot of people go there just for that and and don’t they’re like air rules but I that’s over there like I’m here for this community of people trying to be better people right I’m fighting we gotten that from people yeah and the struggle I think becomes like when you’re in church and this was my struggle is like you’re not allowed to openly pick and choose which ones you want to believe in a church it’s like an all-or-nothing like you got to be all in or not all in but you can’t actively say you’re only like 70% or 60% in you know ends around on yeah well I think you had said you went to a is a Unitarian Church at some point I know there’s there’s some of those out there I’ve never been to one but I’ve kind of heard of a couple different ones that do different things so yeah so I did I went to a Unitarian Church I thought well maybe this will fit in with what I believe because it you don’t have to specifically follow any God to be there right it’s just people who believe in something and want to get together in fellowship so maybe that is kind of the place to go for people who don’t want that but I didn’t feel like it was it didn’t seem focused on hey let’s live a better life I’m sure that was in there I not only went like four times it was more you know hey let’s worship together in a way that doesn’t really counteract anybody’s particular beliefs we just kind of show up and do this together and it was nice in that sense I didn’t mind it I just didn’t I didn’t feel like i clicked much with the group of people there too well and it was really inconvenient it wasn’t close by we were driving a new work everyday to do it which is about 35 minutes and my kids hated getting up and having to go and it was a little rough for other reasons I think that’s why we stopped not so much that I disliked it in any way and and I mean that’s it and this is a little bit off but it’s always funny like I’ve always struggled with the whole worship thing like maybe because I’m an egomaniac but you know and I recognize what of what a bad character trait that is I’m like do I really want my higher power to be an egomaniac you know like that’s such a shitty characteristic to have like he needs me to worship Him and bow down and

I’m big on that either like why does my god need to do that for him I don’t know I’m not a fan I think I’m reverent like in prayer I enjoy bowing my head that’s kind of important to me but yeah I don’t need to do much beyond that right I don’t know that’s really weird so one of the things Emmie on Twitter had pointed out that she is somewhat religious but her daughter knows mostly what she sees which is that Emmie prays and meditates and she didn’t she didn’t feel like there was a whole big problem with passing it on and I was a little intrigued by that cuz like I pray and meditate but not openly like nothing my kids would ever see it’s a very private practice that I do you know solo in my own room I don’t really and I’ve thought about praying with my wife before I even asked her I believe at one point and I think we tried I know thinking about it I was like that would be awkward as [ _ ] right but I was willing to try and I just don’t think the practice stuck but but Emmy mentions that she’s been saying prayers with her kids before bed as long as she can remember and her husband and her pray together every morning since before the kid was born and so and she mentions it helps to have both parents in recovery and committed to the same sort of spiritual practice and I thought that was an interesting take on it right like for one I don’t know why I don’t openly pray but it does seem awkward to me to openly pray like it’s definitely a very personalized thing and I’m wondering like I I get how convenient it would be to have both partners in a marriage on the same spiritual page right that sounds very easy but do you have to be in order to make it work like that seems like most people are not gonna be on the same spiritual page at this point in life to be able to do that yeah me and my wife I guess we’re close but not exactly the same you know and I think it I think we agree on most of the biggest points you know we share the same values on what I would consider the bigger ideas so we don’t get too hung up but like say her want to be part of a Christian Church knew they like I encourage that I’m like hey I think it’s great I think you should do it I don’t think you should try to make me do it you know and I don’t think you should try to make the kids do it I encourage them to go with her I’m like hey go check it out and again there’s some really good stuff there they teach some really good lessons there’s some really good advice you might get some really good tools there right but you know for me it’s not a thing that I try to talk her out of either you know I don’t try to convince her that I’m right right you know I think that’s important yeah and I can’t remem ention in the beginning that you had talked about and I thought was pretty good oh it was the open meditation so my kids know that I meditate we’ve done practices of trying to make them meditate with us we have forced them to do it same we had well for a period of time when we did our traveling we did homeschooling and so as part of homeschooling you know I had decided that I was going to make meditation a part of that and it didn’t go over so well you know it was a struggle it was difficult it ruined the meditation for me so now again it’s one of those things that they know that I do I am I wouldn’t say overly open about but they know that I meditate on a pretty regular basis occasionally I throw it out there to them hey you want to meditate with me I get up you know I meditate bro you know if you want to do it sometime here’s the real benefits you know or they’ll bring up issues that they’re struggling with and I’ll say hey meditation can help you with this if you want to meditate there’s some kids meditations I’ve tried to make them listen to kids meditations in the car you know at different times on the ride home from school things like that so I present the ideas but ultimately I try not to force-feed anything down their throat and I try to let them know like these are tools and these are the benefits and if you’re ready when you’re ready you know this is here and it’s really can be helpful right I forced my kids to do some meditation some guided ones I thought that was the best way to go and I do also know that like forcing them will only push them away from it but I had to expose them to its they will never choose that themselves right and so it was but let me not say they’ll never choose it themselves it didn’t seem at the time that they were gonna choose it themselves and any you know quick amount of time so I I gave it to him and they weren’t super thrilled but they did wasn’t terrible it didn’t go awful but especially the younger one just he doesn’t sit still well at all over beginneth so it was somewhat of a disaster but yeah I like her points I just I guess because my practices aren’t open and in front of everyone I don’t know how I would give that to him I guess we could pray at night but then I’m almost forcing them to believe there’s a god and I guess I don’t know the more I think about this the less I understand about it honestly right you said the thing at the beginning about what your parents gave you and I’m like my parents took me to church and and and in classes for CCD for for Catholics and stuff and that didn’t [ _ ] help me at all my god they gave me God it was not a very useful version of God and you know Stephanie on on Facebook mentioned that she picked up on her dad’s skepticism right and I was like well this is a weird [ _ ] thing I was talking about god you’re talking about skepticism what she got to was kind of the idea that like it wasn’t about believing or not believing right it was just about like judging things that were important and that’s what she got from her father was kind of a discernment to think for herself not automatically believe anything that she hears or is told and come to some conclusions about the way the world works and what’s important and ultimately spiritual principles that mattered to her right figuring her out and how to do that and she got a lot of that later in life from watching her father earlier in life I guess the lessons kind of you know came back to her actually worked some of this program I thought that was pretty interesting yeah and just speaking back to the open prayer so right now in my life I am NOT what I would consider an active prayer I don’t pray on a regular basis I meditate but I don’t pray and I have different reasons for that and different justifications for my lack of effort there but at times I have prayed and my wife and I have you know did a regular practice of prayer together she really liked that I think she misses it now what happened for me was it sort of became this I don’t know what you’d call it like sort of rigid stoic thing that I felt like I was just going through the motions of that lost a lot of meaning to and so I didn’t want to do it anymore um and I don’t know about now I’m like well maybe I should go back and do it strictly for her benefit like if she gets something out of it and it’s good for her then great why was it gonna be all about me um but I noticed for me at the time so that’s why we kind of stopped and we had prayed with our kids at times when we were involved with a the Christian Church we used to pray at night all the time we should pray before meals things like that I think that’s where the religion piece comes in to help it’s almost like things that they talked about doing practices that they you know encouraged pray a bedtime and and maybe pray in the morning or something and since Emmy mentioned that she was kind of religious maybe that’s where that is coming from right nobody told me in and maybe it’s just the people I ran into but nobody suggested to me how you should pray at night right they kind of let me in my 12-step program find my own spiritual path and practices that worked for me I don’t get a whole lot of recommendations of how often I should pray or when or with who like I think religions going to give me that right so that’s one thing that maybe again maybe they got right as much as I have my criticisms of religion they got a couple things that they do well another person Mary mentioned on Facebook that she was a little she felt the same as me like when she went to talk to her kids about this after we brought it up she was a little disappointed too right in the response that she got but we kind of came to the conclusion that a lot of times kids from our understanding as children and teenagers we don’t really take on the attributes of our parents and yet later on as we mature into adulthood those things kind of come back and become part of us right like a lot of those I don’t expect my kids to be responsible right now and go to work every day right if they would [ _ ] blow that all right they’re terrible at that but I do believe that it’s possible that those parts of my character will show up for them later in life and so maybe this is another area where that’s the case right as a teenager as a youth they don’t have the ability to take on these adult characteristics and yet maybe they’re still picking up on them and though they’ll come out later and so that kind of comforted both of us I think you have that idea yeah you know even if it’s complete [ _ ] it was comforting to think about at least and then one just hilarious one month my buddy Jason said on Facebook that he he asked his kids and I think I want to say they’re like 9 and 10 or 10 and 11 or somewhere in that range and so one of his kids said that he believes in God and the gods birthday’s on Christmas and he was hung and he dated Adam and Eve that was hilarious to me his daughter also had some stuff about being the enemy of the devil and and making the earth in seven days but yeah I just think it was a really entertaining exercise if nothing else right and a great starting point for where do I go from here now that I know I’m not necessarily doing a great job of just you know transferring God to my children through brainwaves and thinking hard about it right like where do I go from here and so I guess if you’re out there if you want an interesting experience ask your children if they believe in God and what do they know about God yeah and some of it can be just fun open conversations around dinner or around something to do you know it’s with our kids we don’t always get to all sit down all five of us together and have dinner that might happen just with as busy as we all are that might happen once or twice a week but there are those opportunities and when that happens I like to make them turn off all the electronics put all that [ _ ] away let’s sit here and kind of catch up and just to have it as a sort of not so heavy thing it’s just an open fun conversation hey what do you think this is what I think how about that like you’re talking about a TV show or a movie and just having that as an open line of communication you know again so that when they do come to the hard spots or when they do get in a position of being curious or use that that’s something that they feel like hey we’ve talked about that before maybe that’s a resource for me yeah absolutely I do think keeping it light-hearted especially at first just to get an understanding and have some fun with it was a very useful thing I did see and I warn you now don’t let your your your family household buttons come out because I did start to get a ask well if God’s angry all this right like I saw that come out and why there was no reason for that we were just having a fun so I caution you don’t let that happen but I do I would say man if you’re want to participate in this feel free to do this and leave us a message or hit us up on you know Twitter or Instagram or I guess you can even look us up on Facebook I don’t give a [ __ ] you have to know my last name whatever yeah or if anyone has good ideas on how how they’ve done this successfully with their kids or organizations that are doing it you know places that are open to teaching about spiritual living and spiritual principles that are family-oriented like those are great information I have yeah absolutely and we’d love to put that out there to the rest of the world we could put it on the next podcast recap this a little bit so if you’ve got any experience with this that you would love to share with us we’d love to hear it and I guess that’s about all we got today you got anything else going on no I think that’s all right excellent so come back give us your experiences with giving god to your children or spirituality to your children and we will see you next week have a great week that wraps up this episode please subscribe rate and review this podcast on your preferred platform if you have ideas for topics you’d like us to talk about or just want to add an opinion contact us through Anker email us at recovery sort of at gmail.com or find us on Twitter at recovery sort of