Why We DO What We Do

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Why we Do what we DO…

When Scott Mackintosh wore the shorty-shorts we were inundated with interviews, phone calls and emails, the message that stood out and drove us to SPEAK were the many that said, “I wish someone cared that much about me to do something like that.”  THAT tugged at our hearts and spurred us to talk about issues surrounding self-esteem, self-worth and the confidence to dance the dance, even when others say you can’t.

Scott and I have had many cool, inspiring and motivating experiences in our life, along with lots of hard lessons learned. THIS equipped us with many true life stories that EMPOWER others, Build CONFIDENCE and MOTIVATES real change. It’s rewarding to see someone’s eyes light up when they are able to see themselves as God sees them.

When our son told us he was gay and two years later we decided to go public, the response was mind-bogling, again inundated with hundreds of emails opened our eyes to the GREAT need for us to continue to be open, honest and REAL about our experience and lessons learned. Not everyone wants to be an open book, but everyone I meet desires to feel loved, respected, accepted and valued for who they are and the diversity they bring. We choose to be their voice.

Therefore…

using humor, courage and a whole lot of LOVE, we SPEAK from our heart and spill our guts in an effort to motivate YOU to put the FUN back in LIFE and Relationships.

AND

THAT is why we DO what we DO.  

 

P.S.  To see where we speak NEXT, follow us on Facebook or visit us at LifesShortLessons.com

 

Restless Nights

Jeffery C. Olsen  Sunset

I’m a mom.  I’m a worrier.

Thus…

Restless Nights. 

Lately I have had a hard time sleeping, I stay up late, get up early and toss and turn in-between. After another restless night, I logged onto Facebook with the intent to share what was on my mind.  As I wiped the tears from my face, I let my feelings spew onto my Facebook wall…

“It is with great sadness that I write this. It’s been almost a year since my son and I did a video of what it was like growing up living in FEAR of telling your parents or telling anyone you are gay. FEAR of being rejected and contemplating suicide as the best and only answer so no one would know. Ever!

I have received hundreds of emails from gay young men from around the world who stumble upon our video and for the first time feel HOPE—hope that perhaps their parents would or could be as loving. 

AGAIN last night I received another long email from a young man pouring his heart out – his worries – his fears – his lack of feeling any self-worth and battling daily depression – fighting the hurtful things that are said in church and in his home, drilling the confusion and pain even deeper.

This young man is only 18 and feels taking his life would be best—he said his father made it CLEAR to him and his brothers a couple of years ago, when his cousin “came out”, that IF any of his sons were gay they would no longer be his son!  

He said he cried himself to sleep that night!

This young man has chosen not to serve a mission, he is feeling the heat from his leaders and especially his mother. He is so fearful of telling them the REAL reason behind not wanting to serve a mission – so fearful that he just wants to end his life – feeling THAT would be the better option rather than have his parents know they have a gay son who is dying inside and has been battling depression most his life because of his inner battle.

His story mirrors TOO many young men I hear from—SERIOUSLY this has to STOP! CHILDREN deserve to feel loved especially from their parents. It broke my heart to know my husband and I had created a home where our own son lived in FEAR of telling us—fear of rejection. Our son was 24, THAT is what breaks my heart, NOT that he is gay.

One of the greatest desires of every child and human being is to feel LOVED, ACCEPTED and VALUED for who they are NOT “Tow the line OR be BOOTED out of the HOME” – THAT does NOT feel like love to anyone. God does not force us to keep His commandments—He lovingly guides us with LOVE unfeigned. Parents DO THE SAME!! 

I promise a GAY son (or daughter) is far BETTER than having a DEAD son (or daughter)! Any day.”

I really didn’t expect many people to read such a long Facebook post – It felt good  to get it off my chest.  I resumed responding to this young man’s plea,  praying he could not only feel my love, but  feel his Heavenly Father’s love.

The unexpected happened…

The response to my Facebook post was astounding; 448 likes, 87 shares and 86 comments.  This young man’s story had not only tugged at my heart, but was touching the heart of others including his own.  He told me that he had read every Facebook comment and was deeply touched by the love he felt from total strangers. It gave him HOPE to know people REALLY do care.

The yearning to feel his parents love and acceptance continues,  it’s a dream he unfortunately doesn’t anticipate happening for many years to come.  I pray he is wrong.

I continue to have restless nights worrying about “my boys”, the young men who reach out to me in desperation, who live in fear of rejection and  contemplating  suicide.

What can we do to help?

It’s simple,  love your children, your spouse, your co-workers, your peers, your neighbor your friends. Open your heart and mind to see people as people.  Everyone I meet desires to feel loved, safe, respected accepted and valued for who they are.  Create the space that feels safe to talk about feelings without feeling judged and rejected.   If they can feel your love, they can feel their Father in Heaven’s love.

The young man mentioned, could be your son, your co-worker, your peer, your neighbor, your friend. Let people know YOU care.

Photo by Jeffery C. Olsen

Life’s Short Lessons: Best. Christmas. Ever.

Feeding the Homless

Life’s Short Lessons:  Best. Christmas. Ever.

Several years ago, the sudden turn of the economy pulled the rug out from under us financially. Some of our greatest hardships and greatest blessings came from what happened next.

Scott closed up his concrete construction company of three decades, we place our home up for sale and he took an out-of-state job managing a flood and fire disaster company. The plan was that when our home sold, we would join him in Wyoming. Scott was only home on the weekends and I’ll tell you, we made the very most of the short couple of days he was home with the family. Money was slim pickings; one-by-one we sold our animals and any belongings that we thought would help make ends meet.

Daily we counted our blessings of the many things

that money cannot buy…. Family!

When our home did not sell, another a job opportunity presented itself that would bring Scott back to our home seven days a week. Yeah!  It was a time for tears of joy and a time of celebration.

However, Christmas was fast approaching, and Scott and I knew we did not have the funds to buy Christmas gifts. We thought about what we could do for our family that would make it a memorable and special Christmas without store-bought gifts.

Realizing Christmas that year fell on a Sunday, and knowing the Eagle Ranch Ministries fed the homeless in downtown Salt Lake City every Sunday, it was a no-brainer.  Our family, including our married children and spouses, woke up at 5am, not to see if Santa left a surprise under the tree, but to bundle up and go into the city to prepare the food for the homeless. We were not alone. About thirty others showed up, ready to serve. After five hours of sorting, cutting, peeling, dicing and cooking, the meal was finally ready.

As lunch time neared, the line began to form. Within a short amount of time, the line stretched to a hundred and fifty plus homeless, many with young children. They were so grateful for the warm meal and showed their appreciation with smiles of gratitude and a “Merry Christmas.”

Feeding the Homeless

It was our family that was most grateful - grateful for the opportunity to serve others who were down on their luck; it certainly put things in perspective. We had a house to go home to – they did not. We had a refrigerator and a pantry full of food – they did not. Never again were we to feel sorry for not having money to purchase gifts.

 That day we received the best gift ever –

the gift that only love and service can bring.

It was a Christmas our family will always cherish and remember. And now we also seek to do things every Christmas that bring that kind of meaning.

 

 

The Uninvited Guest: Depression

Depression. There is hope.

Is mental illness sabotaging your life?  Get your life back!

The Uninvited Guest: Depression.

My heart sank as I read a recent blog post by a friend and mentor Dino Watt, entitled “There is hope in the darkness!“.  With heartfelt love, Dino paid tribute to a beautiful and talented friend Kaila, who sadly lost her fight with mental illness.

The ugly disease and uninvited guest who calls himself “Depression”, crept in, unpacked and staked it’s claim as a permanent resident until the vibrant, young, talented, smart and beautiful girl could take it no more.  

Mental Illness does not discriminate between sex, nationality, or religion.  It does not care if you have a family, a job or a college degree. 

Dino describes Kaila’s plight; “She struggled with a brain that was both brilliant and confused. Full of inspirational light and depressing darkness.”

No one is to judge.  No one is to blame.

Unfortunately the tragic ending to Kaila’s story is not unique. I didn’t personally know Kaila, only from what Dino shared, he revealed that her family knew of her tough battle, her family loved her, her family sought support and help for her, but ultimately the bottom-line is “As it is with everything in life, the ultimate choice for our actions is with us, no matter how much others want to help.” ~Dino Watt

No one is to judge. No one is to blame.

Myself having struggled with uninvited bought’s of depression since the spring of 2011, I emphasize with and have compassion for those who live with this challenge on a daily basis.  Until recently I was not ready to introduce my obnoxious guest to my family or friends for fear of seeming weak, therefore I kept him as hidden as possible.  I’d tell myself to just “snap out of it”,  but as time went on I began to worry that my guest was really intending to make me his new permanent resident.

Then one morning I said,  ”Enough IS Enough! I want my life back!”

I blogged about depression for the first time, six months ago, entitled, “The Big Dark Elephant In The Room:  Dealing with Depression and Mental Illness“.  I decided it was time to be REAL in hope to help others who also fight the fight.  I opened up a little bit about my battle, NOT wanting to be too vulnerable, but enough to let the cat out of the bag. I’m a positive outgoing person who looks for the good in every experience and situation, therefore to talk about depression and how it personally effects me is out of my comfort zone, but a much needed stretch.

In my blog post I also shared, with permission, a story of a friend who also battles this fight, knowing her story would be a light to others.  I also, introduced a product, a natural remedy called EMPower Plus Q96, that I had researched, personally tried and experienced relief.  But for unexplained reasons I had not continued using the product.  Months later the darkness got so bad that I knew I had to do something ASAP.

I called a friend and ordered Q96 in hope it would clear my mind,  lift the darkness and let light in.

In deep gratitude.  

To my pleasant surprise within 24 hours of placing my order – it was delivered to my door and in my hands.  Within a week I undoubtely noticed a difference in my thoughts, clarity, focus and the much sought after light.

Now, eight weeks on the product I’m very pleased to report, I feel like myself once again – healthy and happy, therefore I share and urge others who battle mental illness to not let this uninvited visitor make himself a permanent resident in your life.  Seek help if you haven’t already done so, open up to someone for support, do your research, speak to your physician and most of all – pray for guidance.  You don’t have to live in darkness. There is hope. There is light.

My heart goes out to those mourning the loss of beautiful Kaila.  I plead with those that battle depression and other forms of mental illness; Do not let this be your ending – BE the conquer. WIN the fight!  

With love and gratitude,

Becky Mack:)
Speaker, Author, Mom, Life Coach

 

 

 

 

 

What Happens Next?

Let's Keep I Touch!
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What Happens Next?

Let's Keep I Touch!
DOWNLOAD a FREE audio of the REAL Short-Shorts Story! Plus a FREE monthly Newsletter of what's happening!