Episode 55 – Unstoppable Unplugged Rejection Junky with Dr. Gary Lawrence
I am so amazed by the caliber of people I get the pleasure to interview on Unstoppable Mindset. Not only is this week’s guest, Dr. Gary Lawrence, highly articulate and not only does he have an amazing story to tell, but he introduces to all of us concepts and ideas that I think truly are life-changing.
Gary married his wife at a fairly young age. However, it took over 11 years for the two of them to truly fall in love and forge a relationship that has lasted now 55 years. Along the way, Gary created this idea of being a “rejection junky”. He will tell us all about that and also discuss how he came to realize that he and his wife could both get over the rejections they faced as children.
It is difficult for me to easily describe Gary, his incredibly positive attitude, and what rejection is all about. You simply will have to listen to this week’s episode for yourself. I hope you will be inspired and come away with some new ideas. Of course, you always can also go off and buy his book after hearing our interview.
About the Guest:
Dr. Gary Lawrence and his wife Sylvia have spent their lives successfully leading others to “identify, isolate, and eliminate” the root cause of the emotional turmoil in their lives. Over the course of 23 years serving as the founder and director of the New Life Dynamics Christian Counseling Center and 20 years as the host of his own radio show, Life Mastery Counseling with Dr. G, he has personally met with and coached more than 6 thousand clients, has overseen the counseling of another 10,000 clients and has inspired thousands more on radio, television, and stage.
After retiring, Dr. G took the opportunity to refocus on the timeless principles of his Amazon bestselling book, Rejection Junkies. In this guide to recognizing the damaging effects of rejection and the way in which this trauma manifests constantly throughout all phases of life, Dr. G helps readers to recognize the people, places, things, and circumstances that hold us, hostage, and keep us stuck, and make us bitter. A true freedom coach, he offers powerful and practical steps to unplug from these emotional energy thieves!
Married for 55 years, Dr. G and Sylvia continue to bring their knowledge, experience, and a deep passion to individuals and couples who wish to resolve personal, marital, family, and parenting conflicts.
About the Host:
Michael Hingson is a New York Times best-selling author, international lecturer, and Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe. Michael, blind since birth, survived the 9/11 attacks with the help of his guide dog Roselle. This story is the subject of his best-selling book, Thunder Dog.
Michael gives over 100 presentations around the world each year speaking to influential groups such as Exxon Mobile, AT&T, Federal Express, Scripps College, Rutgers University, Children’s Hospital, and the American Red Cross just to name a few. He is an Ambassador for the National Braille Literacy Campaign for the National Federation of the Blind and also serves as Ambassador for the American Humane Association’s 2012 Hero Dog Awards.
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Michael Hingson 00:00
Access Cast and accessiBe Initiative presents Unstoppable Mindset. The podcast where inclusion, diversity and the unexpected meet. Hi, I’m Michael Hingson, Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe and the author of the number one New York Times bestselling book, Thunder dog, the story of a blind man, his guide dog and the triumph of trust. Thanks for joining me on my podcast as we explore our own blinding fears of inclusion unacceptance and our resistance to change. We will discover the idea that no matter the situation, or the people we encounter, our own fears, and prejudices often are our strongest barriers to moving forward. The unstoppable mindset podcast is sponsored by accessiBe, that’s a c c e s s i capital B e. Visit www.accessibe.com to learn how you can make your website accessible for persons with disabilities. And to help make the internet fully inclusive by the year 2025. Glad you dropped by we’re happy to meet you and to have you here with us.
Michael Hingson 01:20
Well, hi, and here we are again. And in case you just couldn’t guess this is unstoppable mindset. Thanks for being here, wherever you are. And today we are going to visit with Dr. G. Dr. Gary Lawrence, who is a best selling author of a book entitled The rejection junkie. He’s a marriage and family counselor and a life coach. So as as my Jewish mother would say this is living. Anyway. Sorry, Gary. I had to but okay. Gary, welcome to unstoppable mindset. How are you?
Dr.Gary Lawrence 01:52
Oh, Michael, thank you so much. I am doing great. I tell everybody if it got any better, I couldn’t stand it.
Michael Hingson 01:58
I’m telling you, as good as it gets, isn’t it? Yes, it is. Well, tell us a little bit about you. Let’s start that way.
Dr.Gary Lawrence 02:06
Well, my life, of course, like many authors, my life is the whole basis of the book rejection junkies. And I think the place best place for me to start out is tell you a little bit about my wife and I, Sylvia and I, we’ve been married 55 years. And oh, my goodness, way back in 1967 is when we got married. And my, my understanding of what a husband could be or should be, was absolutely zero. I tell everybody, my father never taught me how to love life. Now he did teach me how to yell at a wife. He did teach me how to criticize a wife. But he never had the ability or I’m going to say the emotional maturity, to teach his sons how to love a wife, nurture a wife and praise a wife, and honor a wife. And so when we got married, a lot of our emotional baggage immediately started coming out. Now I was the youngest of four children. And I found out early in my childhood that my father believed my mother got pregnant by another man. And so I was the unwanted child. He always called me the little bastard. And he would say to my mother, would you get that little bastard out of here. So I was raised with that name tag and that shatel on my very being. And so there was a lot of physical abuse. And so when I was 16, I took my last meeting. And that’s when I left home. And I’ll never forget, a friend of mine, hit me in the attic of his house for two weeks, and snuck food up to me and snug me down so I could use the bathroom. But anyway, I came out of my environment of Survivor. Now, Sylvia, she was raised in the, quote, Christian home. They were always in church every Sunday. But she was sexually abused by her father from ages seven to 12. And then her mother horribly physically abused her one time Sylvia was beaten so bad. Michael, she literally could not walk after the mean, she had to crawl and hide the closet, because women from the church were coming over for ladies fellowship. And so she handled her rejection by withdrawing. She became what I called the escaper. And so we met at Bible college, Springfield, Missouri as a matter of fact, and
Dr.Gary Lawrence 04:39
I’ll never forget the first time I saw her this beautiful brown eyed olive skin brunette. And I said, my roommate, I said, Bob, you see that beautiful brunette over there? And he said, Yeah, what about her? And I said, I’m going to ask her out for a date. As a matter of fact, I’ll probably end up marrying her. Well, four months later, we were married. Now here’s Where the rejection really came to the surface. She had been sexually abused. That was the family secret. I was not aware of it at all. And of course, that carried over into our personal and intimate life. And I’ll never forget, it was about three months after we were married. I came home from a trip, I used to speak quite often, and took a shower, got something to eat, got in bed and began to snuggle her. And she literally jumped out of bed, Michael, so fast, she slammed herself against the wall. And for the next four hours, she said on the floor with her knees drawn up to her chest, saying you can’t touch me like that. Don’t tell my daddy while you’re doing. He said, Don’t ever let another man touch me like that. And so for the next four hours, she was literally out of her mind. That was my introduction to her past. So needless to say, the next 10 to 12 years, the early years of our marriage, were horrible. They were not happy years. And here’s what’s sad, Michael, I had become a pastor of a large church, a fast growing church. And I would greet people on Sunday say, Hey, good morning, God bless you how you doing? Good to see you here. But my whole life was in shatters. And so we had gone, I had called several different Christian organizations for counseling. And all I ever heard was, well pray about it, get closer to God. Well, you know, you need to be in church more. And it was nothing but religious performance, I was not getting any answers. And Sylvia had come to the place where she had decided, the best thing she could do was to leave me Leave the boys with me because at least I could take care of them. And that’s when I broke down. I said, Sylvia, if we believe the Bible has all the answers, I am going to find out what is causing this, I did not get married to get divorced. And that’s when I began to do a study about rejection in the Scriptures. And then I began to apply it in a practical way to our human interactions. And that’s when I uncovered what I believe. And that’s in my book rejection, because I believe, is the hidden addiction that everyone suffers by here’s the good news. Everybody can overcome that addiction. Does that make sense?
Michael Hingson 07:22
Does so when? So what did you do? Or what did well, what did you discover in the Scriptures? And what did you do to start to deal with this concept of rejection and the fact that she was clearly a person who had experienced rejection in her own way? And now, she was in a sense, passing that on to you.
Dr.Gary Lawrence 07:44
Right? Well, and you know, that takes me back to our wedding. What I didn’t understand is, and I say this to everybody that I coach, the rejection patterns of our past begin to seep up through the floorboards of life rather quickly, probably within the first three to six months of a marriage relationship. And see I became the the survivor, she became the escaper. Well, I needed someone to dominate and she needed someone to dominate her. And what I had to do was get off of my high horse and swallow my pride, and humble myself and say, okay, Gary is time you learn what is going on in this human interaction between your wife and you. And when when I started studying the scriptures, I was taken to the book of Hebrews, and it says Hebrews 1215, looking diligently lest any man miss out on the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you and thereby many be defiled. So the root of bitterness is the underlying cause of all the rejection in everybody’s life. Now, you and I had a conversation. And you said, you believe that everybody has a disability, and I agree with that. 100% is just like, everybody has an addiction. You show me someone that says, I don’t have any addictions also, show me someone that has an addiction waiting for them, okay. And rejection, just happens to be the most common addiction. I don’t care what your education is. I don’t care what your financial status is. I don’t care what gender race you are. Everybody experiences rejection. But here’s why happens. Unfortunately. Some people they experience and absorb so much rejection, they unconsciously recreate it in their relationship. Okay. And when I began to understand yes, I was outwardly angry. Yes, I was outwardly hostile. Yes, I was outwardly dominant. My wife was in really fearful. She was entirely withholding her emotion. And she learned the best way to deal with her emotions is not to deal with them. And so in the early years of our marriage, I’d say why don’t you talk to me? Why don’t you answer me? Well, she was never allowed to express herself as a child. Many people who have the escaper mindset, then the escape or battering, there’s two things they lost in their childhood. The first thing is they lost their voice. And the second thing is they lost their choice. Okay, now see, we go back to my marriage, so you didn’t really choose to marry me. It was about four months into our dating relationship. I looked at her and I said, Sylvia, I think it’s time we get married. She was so passive. Michael, she looked at me. She said, Well, if you think so.
Michael Hingson 10:50
Well, well, tell me. You, you talk about people becoming addicted to rejection? When does that happen for the average person?
Dr.Gary Lawrence 11:00
Well, here’s a fact that everybody needs to be aware of, by age eight, 80% of our emotional patterns are formed. By age 18 100% of our self image is formed. So you go to age 2535 4555. The older you get, the less opportunity you have to mature emotionally, is sad to say, but age and wisdom do not always come together. More often than not age comes alone. Just because a person gets older doesn’t mean they become wiser. Okay, right. And so these rejection patterns, I’ll tell you this story, I had a retired medical doctor and his wife come to me for calcium, they at that time, they had been married 50 years. And he was in his early 80s. And I’ve shared this truth with him. The older you get, the less opportunity you have to mature emotionally. And he looked at me and he said, What Doc, what you’re telling me is, I’m an eight year old, eight year old. And I said, Yeah, well, his wife leaned over her name was Doris, his wife leaned over and patted him on the leg. And she said, See, sweetheart, I’ve been telling you for 50 years, you act like a little boy. So people listen to this podcast. They may identify with what I’m saying. They may have a better education, they may have more financial security. They probably even have a few wrinkles and less hair or gray hair. But the truth is, the older we get, the addiction stays there, but it strengthens year after year after year. What’s that all say? And Old habits die hard?
Michael Hingson 12:50
They do? Will you say that there are a lot of symptoms of rejection or rejection addiction, but there really only two types of rejection. I think you’ve you’ve written about that. What are what are the two types of rejection? Tell me Well, yeah, it’s
Dr.Gary Lawrence 13:04
really Yeah, it’s really brought down to that there’s two levels of rejection. There’s overt rejection, which is what I experienced. And there’s covert rejection, which is what Sylvia experienced. Her father was a prisoner of war for three and a half years. And he was on the island of Burma, by the Japanese. And then when he came home, he married a very dominant, very hostile, controlling woman. And then, when my wife was, in six to seven years of age, she was diagnosed with tuberculosis. And, excuse me, and during that time when she was bed fast, that’s when the molestation started coming. Now, I used to hate that guy, because of what he did. But then I began to understand the dynamics of why he did it. He was literally neutered emotionally by that dominant, hostile, critical, controlling wife. But he found comfort with his daughter. And so it was not just a power play. It was a comfort play. And I, when when she got married, she could not identify having a healthy sexual relationship with her husband, because of what had happened when she was a child. So there’s covert rejection then there’s overt rejection. Now that’s very obvious, like yelling, screaming, name calling, cursing. Be literally, we’re the rejection is so obvious that you literally become addicted, that type of rejection, for example, I would get so frustrated because Silvia would not communicate with me she would not talk to me. She was totally without emotion. And so I would become angry say, why don’t you talk to me? And then she would say you’re always mad. I’m not always mad. You’re always screaming I’m not always screaming. So here’s these two dogs, literally reliving and recycling their childhood emotional patterns. And I’ll guarantee you that goes on in in just about everybody’s life.
Michael Hingson 15:16
We were somewhere, I was just trying to remember at a store. We don’t go out much because of COVID. And it’s just safer to be home anyway. But we were somewhere last week, I think it was. And we had just parked and lowered the wheelchair ramp for Karen to get out. And there was a car next to us. And there was what was apparently a husband and wife getting out. And all of a sudden, he said in a little different wording. You said your rear end is so big No wonder you don’t move very fast. And Karen said to me said, Boy, if that isn’t that they were they were seniors. He said, that is an elder abuse. I don’t know what is and and she said, this woman just walks with her head down. And you know, I hear exists, I hear exactly what you’re saying. Right. And, of course, of course, as I said, and I’ve said before, Karen’s in a wheelchair and has been in a chair her whole life. And I tell her she’s got the biggest incubators wheels in town, but and but now she’s in a power chair. So the wheels are all smaller. So it’s kind of not the same. But yeah, but you know, we,
Dr.Gary Lawrence 16:28
I would say that’s a classic example of overt rejection, would you?
Michael Hingson 16:35
Well, I would, I would say so. There’s no question about what that guy was doing.
Dr.Gary Lawrence 16:39
Right? Well, and you know, I’ll never forget one time cov night we lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and we were down in El Paso, Texas. And I had become so frustrated with my inability to communicate and understand what was going on. That I told Silvia honey, I decided I’m going to file for divorce. I’m not mad at you. I’m not angry. I’m not upset. I just will not continue to live with an emotionally handicapped human being the rest of my life. Well, she said, But I’m not like you. And I said, What do you mean? Well, you’re so angry. And I said, Sylvia, I know I’m angry. And I’m outwardly hostile. But you are inwardly hurt. You’ve got a wounded spear. And that’s Boy, I’ll tell you what, Michael, that’s when the light came on. You see, the root of bitterness comes out as a wounded spirit. You show me someone that’s wounded your spirit, I’ll show you someone you have a root of bitterness towards. You show me someone that creates a sense of guilt. I’ll show you someone you’re bitter towards. A bitterness is an ugly word. People don’t like to embrace that word. Okay? That’s not a pretty word. But here’s some of my definitions. Okay. Now, these are not for Webster’s Dictionary. These are mine. Bitterness is an inward resentment. It’s a wounded spirit. Bitterness is a fear, you show me someone who has a spirit of fear. I’ll show you someone that has a wounded spirit. And they’ve lived in that root of bitterness, a sense of betrayal, a sense of anxiety, you show me someone that’s always anxiety ridden. I’ll show you someone that has a deep strong root of bitterness. Bitterness is an avoidance, you show me someone you avoid being around, I’ll show you someone you’re bitter towards a sense of loss, a sense of abandonment, you show me someone that you feel like you’ve been abandoned. And I’ll show you someone you have a root of bitterness to. And that really goes deep.
Michael Hingson 18:43
Well, you indicated that you, you were honest and open with your wife, and you made that comment. And you said the light went on what happened?
Dr.Gary Lawrence 18:52
Well, that’s when I realized that that root of bitterness, I was demonstrating it outwardly. She was demonstrating that inwardly. And when I finally understood that, I thought, ah, what is the problem? The problem is not that I’m hostile, or that she is withdrawn. The problem is not that I’m very verbal, or that she’s very nonverbal. The problem is, we both had a root of bitterness deep in our soul. So what did you do? Well, in my book rejection, Jackie, on the 17th chapter is called The emotional surgery. And in that chapter alone, that’s where I show you how you literally get free from that root of bitterness. I call it the emotional surgery. Now for me to explain that in the podcast. It’s just not possible to do okay, simply because I have to understand what a person’s history is. In the coaching the counseling process, there’s a four hour session where I literally take a person’s Life history. I trace every technical rejection they’ve experienced during that session, once I’ve got that trail rejection pretty well pinpointed, that’s when I can position them to get free to break the bondage from that root of bitterness.
Michael Hingson 20:12
So what didn’t you do with your wife? What did I do with my wife? You know, so at that point, you had a realization, right? Okay, yeah.
Dr.Gary Lawrence 20:21
So how did you how did you all deal with that? Well, that’s when I developed a technique where I could get free of that root of bitterness. And I started first, and I started getting free of my root of bitterness. And then and only then was able to focus on what her needs were, and position her to start getting free from her router biters now, just pitch for this. Here’s to emotionally damage people trying to live like adults, being successful as a pastor. At that time, I also had radio program down in Missouri. And so once we got free, we began to break those patterns. Now she’s, she’s on a healthy level, very verbal, on a healthy level, I am able to listen to her and understand what’s going on in her mind and her emotions. And so it just positioned both of us to become the healthy human beings that God intended us to be. We were able to overcome our addiction to the rejection patterns of the past.
Michael Hingson 21:26
And since you have been married some 55 years, I would daresay something worked.
Dr.Gary Lawrence 21:33
Yeah, I’ll tell you what, I wish I would have known then what I know now. Don’t all of us at this time or life say that? Yeah, yes, in one way or another, right. But I have got the most kind, sweet, gentle, loving, caring human being that a man could have for a wife. And I did not understand that in my youth. I was 22 years old when she when I got married. Sylvia was 20 years old. We learned just kids taken on adult responsibilities. And we were not prepared nor capable of fulfilling an adult life.
Michael Hingson 22:15
But you grew? And how long did it take you to have communications breakthrough and get to the point where you all were on a positive road again,
Dr.Gary Lawrence 22:26
I am so glad you asked that question. That’s a great question. On that trip from El Paso back to Albuquerque, when the light came on, that’s when I stopped focusing on her weaknesses, and began to focus on my weaknesses, and understand what created my emotional patterns. And when the man stops focusing on his wife’s needs, her emotional patterns that are negative, and he begins to look in the mirror reality and deal with himself. That’s when the marriage begins to become healthy.
Michael Hingson 23:02
So how long did it take you to get to a good place from the time you were married?
Dr.Gary Lawrence 23:06
Oh, well, I don’t think it was probably in our 11th year before I began to understand all this. And so over the next 1218 months, I would say that was our turnaround time. That’s when I finally became a husband, not just a man that was married. And there’s a major
Michael Hingson 23:25
difference. You know, there is a major difference. Yes, I
Dr.Gary Lawrence 23:28
was just gonna say that. Right. Just like, you know, there’s a lot of females that give birth to babies, but that doesn’t mean they’re a mother. Okay. There’s a lot of men who become the biological parent of a child, but that doesn’t mean they’re a father.
Michael Hingson 23:46
What, what I hear you saying, overall, though, is it’s about communications. And it all comes down to communications being open and self analytical as much as anything or introspective.
Dr.Gary Lawrence 24:04
Right. Absolutely. Absolutely. And you know, here’s another truth I’d like to share with your audience is called to try Unity man, man is a try unity. We are a body, spirit and a soul. Now, our spirit, is that part of us that relates to God, it’s our God consciousness. Is that part of us that says, this is right, this is wrong, okay. Then there’s the soul. Now the soul is the residence of our mind. That’s what we know to be true, is the residence of our emotions. That’s what we feel to be true. And it’s the residence of our will our ability to respond to life’s circumstances. Now, here’s where the problem is, Michael. When what we know and how we feel are in conflict, the will is damaged. For an example. I know God loves me. I don’t feel like God. loves me. I know I can do it. I don’t feel like I can do it. I know my wife loves me, but I don’t feel like she loves me. scuze me. So there’s that constant conflict between what we know and what we feel. I know I’m successful. I don’t feel like I’m successful. So when the wheel is damaged, then the body suffers. Okay. For an example, I counseled in my, you know, I retired after 23 years in my counseling practice. I counseled a lot of ladies who anorexia had anorexia or bulimia. Now, are those definitely food disorders, eating disorders? Yes. But wants to feel the rejection of their past. Okay. They don’t they they know that they’re loved, but they don’t feel like they’re loved. They know they can do they don’t feel like they do. So what do they do, they begin to sabotage their physical well being, until sometimes the body gives up and says, Okay, I’m willing, go ahead and destroy me. And then there’s a point where the body says, Enough is Enough is enough. So it’s all the, all these physical diseases are created because of the emotional conflict in a person’s life. I believe that firmly?
Michael Hingson 26:23
Well, yeah, and I think what what I’m hearing you say is, again, part of the challenge that we have is that the spirit and the soul clash, and the the body itself isn’t contributing to fixing the solution necessarily. And so we tend to spiral down until we open ourselves and allow us to communicate inwardly.
Dr.Gary Lawrence 26:51
You know what, Michael, you said that just verbatim, you should open up your own counseling practice my friend.
Michael Hingson 27:00
Well, we, I’ve, I’ve been for the past, well, 20 and a half years talking about escaping from the World Trade Center. And as I’ve said before, on this podcast, what I’ve never done, is taught others how to deal with controlling their fears, like I did, on September 11. And I wasn’t thinking about it, prior to September 11. But I took steps and did things to learn and become knowledgeable and internalize it, how to deal with emergencies, how to deal with whatever I could, regarding the World Trade Center, how to get around the World Trade Center, which for me is of course a little different than you because I don’t read signs. But learning all of that and truly, emotionally, intellectually and physically. Knowing all of that provided me with a way to deal with unexpected things that came along, assuming that I could and didn’t fall 78 floors to the street or something like that. But knowing all of that, as opposed to just having some tool available that oh, if something happens, I can look at a sign but knowing it made a big difference in what I was able to do, and how I was able to do it. And what I’ve learned is that I haven’t ever worked to teach people much about that. So we’ve actually started writing a book entitled, while the working title, I don’t know whether we’ll end up as that but I love the title. My my colleague and co author on this came up with the title of a guide dogs Guide to Being brave. And it is not that the guide dog did everything because the guide dogs job is to guide and not to lead, right. But we’re what we’re a team. And ultimately, that’s the big issue is that we are a team. And when we work together, then we can be successful. And my knowledge as the team leader helped us work together. So we’re writing a new book, we’ve got a contract for it. It’s going to be a while before it’s published. But hopefully we will be able to start to teach people about overcoming or at least controlling fear, because I think that fear is a very healthy thing. As long as like anything else. You use it correctly.
Dr.Gary Lawrence 29:24
Right? Absolutely. Yeah. There’s a time and a place to have fear, that’s for sure. Okay, if you’re crossing the street and there’s an 18 Wheeler bearing down on you, it’s time to have some fear. Okay? And but I know I was reading about you and Roselle, and you made it a point to say that Roselle was not afraid. And but she wasn’t afraid because she was also cueing off of me. Right. Yeah. And so that goes both ways. You absolutely there you go. And so that’s what began to turn mine and Sylvia’s marriage relationship around, is when I position myself to stop living in the anger and the frustration that I had carried from my childhood. And once she began to see me deal with my ruder bitterness, get free from the past. Then she stepped forward and said, You know what? I can trust this guy. Okay, I believe that. As matter of fact, Sylvie told me one time. Now, we’ve been married 55 years. So I don’t remember what year this was. She said, You know, I didn’t really love you for the first two years that we were married. And I loved her. I said, you didn’t? She said, No. I said, Why is that she said, because I didn’t know what what genuine love was. And so we began to understand what is genuine love, I began to accept her unconditionally, she began to understand, she began to understand me unconditionally. And that’s when things began to turn around. Now we have two sons. And they are, my oldest son has been married 30 years, my youngest son has been married 19 years. We have seven grandchildren, we have four great grandchildren. And we’ve seen these principles passed down into our sons lives and into their marriages. And it’s just awesome. Once you begin to break that generational pass down, to see the fruits of that, come up and rise up into your grandchildren’s lives and see the progress they’re making. That all that confusion, that bitterness is just not present in their lives.
Michael Hingson 31:34
And it’s cool that you’re able to pass those kinds of things along and that you’re seeing seeing successes occur. You mentioned the 18 Wheeler bearing down on you. I would say it’s not so much the time to be afraid. But it is the time for you to if you’ve trained yourself properly, react based on whatever is occurring. So which way do I run? You can’t make that you can’t make that decision at the time the truck is running down on you, you have to be aware of your surroundings so that you can you can make that decision in it. You know, for me not not having eyesight. It means being aware of where I am as I cross the street. Yeah, it means a lot of different things in terms of in literally an instant analyzing sound, analyzing all the information, and figuring out which way to run, which may or may not work depending on how close the truck is and how big the truck is. But the hope is that, in my case, I think it is what I do. If that truck is close enough for me to hear it really well. I’m probably not even going to start crossing the street in the first place. I think there’s a time to take a risk and a time not to.
Dr.Gary Lawrence 32:48
Yeah, exactly, exactly. Well, you know, there’s a basically there’s two types of guilt, Michael. And unfortunately, most people develop their self worth or their self image based on what they do, not who they are. I mean, look at the political situation, our country to date. It’s all about money. The more money you make, the more value you have. And that’s just not true. There’s so much going on in our country data is so heartbreaking. But there’s two types of guilt. There’s false guilt and there’s genuine guilt of false guilt is an anxiety created from a fear of being rejected for a lack of performance. Okay, so a lot of people who are overwhelmed by that sense of guilt, they live with the cost of feeling that they’re not measuring up to someone else’s expectations. And then you’ve got the genuine guilt. Now genuine guilt is a grieving created by the Holy Spirit over a situation. Okay. For an example, when I began to understand the root of bitterness and how I was being controlled by it, I would have a genuine guilt, I would grieve over the fact that I got angry again, I lost control again. And when I began to understand the root cause of that, and I got rid of the root cause I didn’t react like that. Slowly, but surely it disappeared over time.
Michael Hingson 34:19
And the other part about that is that dealing with genuine guilt, I can understand, feeling guilty, I should have done something different than I did. I know and I knew that I should have reacted differently. But I didn’t think about it enough, which may very well be I had that happened to me before or something similar and I didn’t analyze it. And learn from my mistake. I was at a church once years ago was something called the science of the mind church. So it’s it’s different now as I recall, but one of the things that the past asked her at that particular service said is, the thing about mistakes is it’s not a mistake until you do something and then you realize it was wrong. You didn’t typically intentionally make a mistake, right? I wish that were true with all of the people in politics, but we won’t make this political but write genuine generally speaking, a mistake is only a mistake, really, after the fact. The question is still what you learn from it. And one of the things we’re going to talk a lot about in the guide dogs Guide to Being brave, is introspection is is taking time every day to think about what you did that day, especially the things that continue to bother you. Right. And ultimately, you may come to the conclusion, I did everything right that I could I did everything based on what I knew. And maybe I’ll learn something new from it. But I did everything that I could and it didn’t turn out. Right, why? And then go back and look at that, or it turned out great. How could I have even done better? We we don’t analyze ourselves nearly enough, and open ourselves up to God and open ourselves up to this whole concept of allowing all aspects of our being to interact with each other.
Dr.Gary Lawrence 36:21
I agree with you. I’m looking forward to that book. Michael, I hope you get it. Yeah, well,
Michael Hingson 36:27
we have a contract for it, it’s going to come out.
Dr.Gary Lawrence 36:30
Well, you know, often I was asked by my clients. So if it takes a lifetime to develop this addiction to rejection, won’t it take a long time to break the patterns of the past? And I say no. And let me give you an example. Have you ever had a boil? Michael? Boil? Very, very painful experience, isn’t it? Yeah. And you know, we’re willing to live with that pain because we don’t want to go get it lanced. Okay. Because we know that’s really going to hurt. And I remember one time I had a boil, and I put it off and put it off, I couldn’t hardly walk because we’re that boil was located. And so I finally went to the doctor and he lanced it. Now it took a long time for that situation to develop. But it only took a few minutes for it to disappear. And so in my book, rejection junkies, when I wrote this, I wrote it with the purpose of, I want people to have truth, that will literally change their life. Okay. And that’s, that’s in my book, The emotional surgery Chapter is the most important chapter of all of it. And, you know, one thing, one principle I’ve taught in, there’s a phase of our cast that was called rebuilding. That’s where I give husbands the tools to love a wife. That’s where I give wives the tools to respond to their husbands. For example, one of the principles I teach ladies, every woman needs to stop being her husband’s conscience. Why is that? Because every husband fights his conscience, okay. And, for example, one time, I came home, and while my wife called me at the office, and she said, Honey, there’s no water in the house. I said, What do you mean? She said, Well, there is no water, there was a man out in the front yard, and he had to he stuck in the ground, and there’s no water. And well, I forgot to pay the water bill. And so I came home and Honey, I’m sorry. She said, That’s okay. With no water, you have to take us out to eat. And so I took the family out to eat that night. That’s why I got my water turned on the next morning. And she did. She didn’t see it. She wasn’t my conscience. She was willing to go out to eat. Okay. And so one of the principles I teach is how to win by losing it. Once I began to apply that principle, oh my goodness, it’s amazing the joy that came into my life, how to win by losing. When I was a boy, I was raised back in Wabash, Indiana, little small country town. And there was a creek right across from my house called Cherry Creek. And every once awhile, there’ll be seven or eight of us boys. There’ll be three or four of us get on each side of the creek with a rope between us. And we’d have a tug of war. And the whole object was to pull the other team into the water. Well, the first two times we went in the water and I was the skinny, scrawny little guy and I was always on the front, a handle so I went into water first and everybody else piled in on top of me. So I said, Hey, guys list. When my feet hit the water, I’m gonna holler, let go the rope and y’all let go the rope because I don’t want to drown again. So we’re back to the tug of war and guess what my feet hit the water and I said let go the rope and we did. And guess what happened the other two Michael,
Michael Hingson 40:00
they all went in the water. No, they all fell backwards. Okay. Yeah, yeah, they were facing the water. So they fell backwards, right.
Dr.Gary Lawrence 40:08
So they were pulling on the rope, they all fell backwards. Well, we all just start laughing and cackling and howling. Ha ha, ha, it’s so funny. Now we lost the tug of war, but we won the battle. Okay. So there’s the principle of how to win by losing. And that’s a principle. You know, I had my counseling practice for 23 years and Silvina, retired back in 2003, from the counseling, and we had planned our retirement and for 25 years through mutual funds and stocks. Well, it took me six weeks to uncover the fact that we’d already lost 65% of our retirement funds in the stock crash. And it was all this is not supposed to happen. Well, for the next five years, Sylvie and I lived on what we had left, we had about 35% left, and I didn’t want to go out and get a job. And so anyway, our money ran out. Well, you know, the Great Recession of 2008 2009 yet, right? Right. I had no money, I had no savings. In 2009, we went through bankruptcy. That was a scary time, I was 65 years old, Michael. And we had lived a life of abundance. We had lived a good life. I wasn’t used to being broke, we lost the house, to foreclosure that we lived in for 18 years. And so I thought, Okay, I’m losing, I’m losing everything. But I’m going to win. Okay, I’m going to let go of it all. I’m going to stop focusing on what I’m losing. And I’m going to start focusing on what I can create. You talk about I love that phrase, you use the unstoppable mindset. I was 65 years old. And the only thing I had look forward to a social insecurity. And I’ll tell you why you don’t live on social insecurity, okay. And so I was introduced to this group of real estate investors. And I decided the young age of 65, I’m going to re educate myself. And I’m going to learn how to become a successful real estate investor. And that’s what I’ve been doing for the last 10 years. And all that financial role and situation. That’s all history. And God has blessed us with abundance. Now, why is that? Because I was willing to lose so I could win. And so I guess I have a message for all of your listeners on your podcast. When you go through a cycle of loss, if you get refocused, you’ll see a cycle of winning ahead of you.
Michael Hingson 42:45
It’s also another example of what Alexander Graham Bell once said, which was when a door closes a window opens,
Dr.Gary Lawrence 42:54
right? Yeah, absolutely. The trick is to look for the window. Right? When I was in my late 20s, I heard a speaker give the definition of success. And it wasn’t what I was expecting at all. I thought he was gonna say, if you want to succeed, do this, and you’ll be successful. But here’s, here’s his definition of success. And I memorized it. And I’ve, I refer to it frequently. If you want to succeed, all you have to do is fail, and then fail again, and then fail again. And then fail some more, and then fail again, and keep on failing until success breaks through. Because you’re not a failure, just because you have failed. You can only become a failure, when you allow failing to become the last chapter of the book, you’re writing. Okay. And so when I was going through this failing time, I knew that wasn’t the last chapter in my book. And, and I love your outreach and how you’re impacting the lives of other people. And you are all about helping other people learn how to be successful, through their failings in life.
Michael Hingson 44:09
Failing is only a mechanism to provide a good teaching moment for moving forward.
Dr.Gary Lawrence 44:16
Oh, that is? Yeah, you’re right. You’re spot on there, Michael. Absolutely.
Michael Hingson 44:20
If we use it to learn from and that’s of course, it. Too many people decide that failure is the last chapter. Right? And the ones who truly are unstoppable if I may say that and use that term, are the people who say, okay, and it’s what we talked about before. What do I learn from this? So I won’t make that particular decision in the same way again, I’m not even going to use the word mistake. It’s what have I learned so I can move forward.
Dr.Gary Lawrence 44:54
Right? Yeah, absolutely. Zig Ziglar said that every time you fail You just got another lesson to success. Right? Yeah, big time. Zig Ziglar is one of my favorite speakers.
Michael Hingson 45:08
So well, here’s another question. We’ve been talking a lot about God. Yes. And there may very well be some people in this who go, Oh, those religious people and all that again, but does becoming a, say a Christian or a Jewish person or a Muslim or becoming part of any organized religion really solve the problem?
Dr.Gary Lawrence 45:27
Oh, no, not at all. Not at all. Christians get divorced, Christian commit suicide, Christian steal, Christians lie, Muslims lie, Muslims get divorced. And that’s what I love about my book rejection junkie, I don’t care. If you’re a Christian, if you’re a Jew, if you’re a Muslim, I don’t care what denomination you go to. I don’t care if you’re an atheist, right? The principles in this book applied to the human being their mind and their emotions and their spirit.
Michael Hingson 46:04
And that’s really the point is that the concepts are the same. The principles are the same, how we deal with them. And the circumstances that we face may alter over time. I mean, what we face today is, in some ways, a lot different at least it appears so to us, then, maybe the issues that people faced 50 and 60 years ago, I submit probably not. It’s just that they look different, but still the same basic things are there. And the same basic solutions are there as well.
Dr.Gary Lawrence 46:40
Yeah. Well, you know, Michael, back in 2015, I had my right hip replaced in 2016, I had my left hip replaced. So when I go to the grocery store, I was ride one of those carts, you know, one of those scooters, right. And I was amazed how many people would look away from me. And that’s when I was introduced to the rejection that people with handicaps face. So I thought, okay, I can take that as rejection, or I can turn it into Bosley. And so when people would walk towards me and my scooters going towards them, I’d look them right in the eyes. And I’d say, Hi, how you doing today? Well, they were in a position where they had so what I’m doing great. Hi, how are you? You know, and, you know, you, you’ve been blind since, I think a couple of days after your birth. I can only imagine the rejection, you’ve had to go through and overcome. And God used all that to bring you where you are. And now you’re impacting the lives of 1000s of people. And so, now, a year ago, in January 2021, I had a stroke. I went to bed healthy and happy about three o’clock that morning, I woke up and I couldn’t see it, I couldn’t walk. And so I was in the hospital Mayo hospital for three or four days, I went to rehab. And it was a time that was humbling, and humiliating. It was humbling in the fact that I had to come face to face with my mortality. But it was humility in the fact that all dignity was gone. You have no control over your life at all. And so I decided, one day, I woke up and outside of my rehab room, I had a window. And the only view I had Michael was a brick wall. Now that’s not a very pretty view in the morning, okay. But I laid there thinking, Okay, God, I’ve got another brick wall, I’ve got to find some way to get over this brick wall. And so, you know, I’m gonna find some way to go around it over or under it. I will get my life back, Lord, I will continue to live. And so I’ve using that as a time in my life. Having that mindset that I can continue to grow. There’s so many people, Michael, I’m not going to ask you how old you are. I suspect you’re probably a little bit younger than me. But so I’ve said it before. I’m 72 Oh, okay. All right, good. Well, you’re just the new kid on the walk, then.
Michael Hingson 49:20
I know you’re you’re least what? 39? Right. Yeah, right. Right. Well, too much of a Jack Benny fan.
Dr.Gary Lawrence 49:28
Yeah. You know, in my journey with real estate investing. I’ve had a lot of people say, Well, I’m too old to learn. I’m too old to change. You know, and I’ve had a lot of people in their late 20s, early 30s say, Well, I’m too young. Nobody’s gonna listen to me. I can’t handle it. What is not a matter what can you learn to what can you not learn? It’s a matter of what are you willing to do for your own personal growth? Okay,
Michael Hingson 49:55
it’s, it’s true that for a number of people, um, 2530 I’m too young, they’re not going to listen to me. And they’re absolutely right. Or I’m too old people aren’t going to pay attention to me. And they’re absolutely right. As long as they keep that attitude.
Dr.Gary Lawrence 50:10
Yeah, there you go, you’re spot on. And I say like this, if you quit learning, you quit living. Okay? Yeah. In my heart, my heart goes out to people that have lost their vision for the future in their life and how they can continue to impact on a positive level the lives of other people.
Michael Hingson 50:31
One of the statements in Thunder dog that comes under the heading of guide dog wisdom lessons I learned from Roselle, September 11 is, don’t let your sight get in the way of your vision. Yeah, and people are so afraid to say to me, Oh, you’re blind or your sight impaired or you’re visually impaired? Well, visually, I don’t think I’m impaired because it’s not a question of looks. It’s a question of vision. And I, and I do say, I’m not a great fan of even the term vision impaired only because maybe I don’t see so good, as I love to say, but I got lots of vision. But vision and eyesight are equated so I can deal with that. But visually, I think that helps demean us. So I’ll accept vision impaired from an eyesight standpoint. But you’re right. People don’t learn to keep their vision, or they lose their vision, which is one of the big problems that we all face if we allow ourselves to be something other than unstoppable.
Dr.Gary Lawrence 51:31
Right? Yeah, absolutely. I don’t know if this is true or not. But I’ve heard it said that Helen Keller, is credited for saying this. The saddest thing is for a person to have sight and no vision.
Michael Hingson 51:45
I don’t know whether she said that. But it would certainly make a lot of sense. And I think it’s true, right? But that’s my point of don’t let your sight get in the way of your vision. So many times, I hear people say, Well, I can see that. And this is the way it has to be. And I look at it in a different way. And you know, what, the oftentimes what I need to do, works the way I expect to do it, too. We’ve got to really be open on all levels to do what we do.
Dr.Gary Lawrence 52:17
Right, right. Well, you know, humility is not a naturally acquired character quality, okay? And I guarantee you, I have not been the most humble of men. In the early years of my life, I’m not so sure that I’m the most humble man now, not by any means. But the bottom line is, people do what they want to nothing more, nothing less. And I, when I came home from a heavy my stroke, I was using a walker and I had determined that I would be done with that Walker within seven days, and I was done with it. And why is that? Is it because I had some kind of magical power? No, is because I had a will to create a future that I wanted to experience. And I encourage people to stop focusing on the past, get into the present. So you can begin to create the future you want. Stop focusing on your circumstances that are holding you down and position yourself to create circumstances that you want in your life, you can do that you can do it. You can do I don’t care who you are.
Michael Hingson 53:27
So what if it didn’t take seven days, but maybe took two or three months? How would your Outlook have changed?
Dr.Gary Lawrence 53:33
I would have kept using that Walker saying okay, I’m getting closer to using my legs. There you go. Yeah, absolutely, I would not have given up. As a matter of fact, I remember I was in rehab. And they put me up against the wall with a railing and heavy walking, Sidestep sidestep along that wall. And I couldn’t wait until I could get away from that wall and start using my walker. But I had to get my sense of balance back before I could do that. But what I started to tell you and your audience is when I got home, I told Xillia honey, My life isn’t over. I refuse to live a life without a purpose. And God’s not done with me yet. And my heart goes out to people that have given up because they let the circumstances overwhelm them. And it’s a matter of what are you going to create for yourself. That’s why I’m so excited about being your guest on the podcast. Because of the unstoppable mindset. That’s what life is all about. I’ve had people say, Well, Dr. G, when are you going to retire, retire to watch television? Retired what you know sitting home in the living room. So now when people say when you go to retire Dr. grsa Probably when I die, that’d be a good time.
Michael Hingson 54:58
Or maybe not Yeah. So how do people develop their own sense of self worth or their self image?
Dr.Gary Lawrence 55:09
When they give free of their bitterness from the past, when they stop living in the shadows of other people’s expectations, when they when they buy my book rejection jockeys, and come to understand how they are being controlled by those only those early childhood emotional patterns that have been developed, and only when they understand how they’re being controlled by it, will they be able to break those patterns and get free from it? Now, that’s my opinion. I’m sure I don’t have the only answer to the situation. But in my book, rejection jockeys, they’ve got my answer at that time.
Michael Hingson 55:48
Yeah. And it makes sense. It’s, it is still all about? Well, I’ll put it in a slightly different way. But I think it really means the same, it still comes down to you making the decision that you’re not going to tolerate less than you actually can do in your life. If I give up if you give up that’s helping to shape one kind of self image. If you choose to progress and learn and move on. That’s another. And I think that the second, the latter is a much more vivid example of unstoppable and is a positive way to go. And that’s what we should do.
Dr.Gary Lawrence 56:31
You know, in my book, rejection junkies, I written a book, a poem called The tap dancer, tap dancing on the table, tops of other people’s lives, rejection junkies performance trip. That’s how he thrives. He says, let me entertain you let me be your friend. Let me prove to all of you that liking me as in, I can do the shuffle and I can do the swing. And I’ll do the Boogie Woogie. And for you all even saying, I’ll go for you. I’ll do for you anything you want. I just need to gain acceptance. How’s that for being blunt? You know? And, you know, Michael, I have counseled some of the wealthiest people in our nation. The last seven years of my counseling practice, I took only the high profile personalities and my staff took the other folks that couldn’t afford my rate. And so I’ve counseled one guy from California, that was worth $110 million. And I’ve counseled people that had meager incomes. And I don’t care if you’re rich or poor, I don’t care if you’re black, or white, or purple, green. I don’t care if you’re a Muslim, a Catholic, Christian and a Baptist, Jewish person. Everybody suffers from the same conflict of being a rejection junkie. And those are those rejection patterns take all kinds of forms.
Michael Hingson 57:55
You think those green people are the same? I hear what you’re saying. I hear what you’re saying. And the fact of the matter is that it confronts us all. And until we decide to move beyond it until we make that emotional breakthrough within ourselves. Right, then we’re trapped by
Dr.Gary Lawrence 58:19
it. Right? Absolutely. Yes. Well, Michael, it’s been such a joy to it has an event, this time with you.
Michael Hingson 58:27
I really enjoyed it. We should do it some more and find some more things to talk about. How can people learn about your book, get your book? How can they reach out to you? You’re you’re still counseling and so on. Do you do a lot of it virtually?
Dr.Gary Lawrence 58:43
Yeah. Oh, yeah. So yeah, as a matter of fact, I just got my website set up about six months ago and just started doing podcast guesses. Matter of fact, you’re my first podcast. So you’re breaking me and Michael?
Michael Hingson 58:56
Well, and if if you need if you need a guest, I would love to explore it. And we should look at your website and make sure it’s accessible. You know, maybe accessory can help you with that.
Dr.Gary Lawrence 59:06
Well, you know, I was on a sesame and I’m thinking about that. There’s, there’s so many things I want to talk to you about later. Give me some advice on Sure. Yeah. So anyway, your audience can get ahold him and they can visit my website. It’s rejection junkies.com rejection junkies plural. Yeah, J U N. K I E S rejection junkies.com. And on the homepage, there is a quiz Are you rejection, Jackie, take the quiz. There’s no cost. There’s no catches. There was about oh, I was gonna say about 60 different examples of different types of rejection. But in my book, there’s a chapter called it is rejection when there’s over 250 examples of rejection and both covert and overt. But anyway, they can submit that and if they put their phone number in, I will get Give them a call. And we’re having a free 15 minute conversation. Or if they would like to just send me an email, on the homepage in the upper right corner, there’s a link that says contact us, they can just send me an email. And I’ll get that message and I’ll respond to them. And so that’s how I’m starting out this journey. I don’t have a Facebook group yet. I do have one already made up my mind is called rejection junkies unplugged. And it’s going to be a private group. So I’m just learning the internet journey here.
Michael Hingson 1:00:35
And it’s a it’s a fun journey. You know, people make comments about the internet and technology and so on. Personally, I think the internet is a great treasure trove. Again, it’s how we use it. But there are there are a lot of fun things on the internet. And yeah, there are challenges and social media can be misused, and oftentimes is, but the whole thing is a great adventure.
Dr.Gary Lawrence 1:00:56
Yeah, it really is. And I want all of our people who are listening to us to rest assured that any contact they make with me is 100%. Private, and confidential. And that’s why I’m not eager to get on Facebook yet are Yeah, because I want my clients to feel confident that they are being protected in their communications with me.
Michael Hingson 1:01:20
Well, there you go. Well, I hope people will reach out again, the book is rejection junkie. And the website is rejection junkies.com. And feel free to reach out to Gary, I love the insights. I love what you’ve had to say I think you’ve offered us a lot to give us good thought about becoming more unstoppable. And you’ve proven that you and Sylvia are one of these days, we’ll get over to Phoenix and meet you.
Dr.Gary Lawrence 1:01:49
Well, you know, I would obviously, I told Sylvie, I want to meet this man and flesh. We would love to host you. We would love to take you and Karen out for a wonderful dinner at the Capital Grille. How’s that sound? There you go. Yeah, Michael, thank you so much. And it’s been a joy to get acquainted with you. Now I want to say this in front of the audience. You’ve already been a blessing to me. You have been an encouragement to me. I’ve been to your website, and have read some of the information. I watched a few videos on YouTube. And it’s just an honor to call you my friend. Well,
Michael Hingson 1:02:27
thank you, and I appreciate that and I reciprocate. Okay. Well, thank you all for listening. I hope you’ve enjoyed this. This has been wonderful. And I hope you found it. Wonderful as well. If you’d like to reach out, I would love to hear from you and get your thoughts. Please email me at Michaelhi at accessibe.com. And you can also go to our podcast page www dot Michael hingson.com m i c h a l h i n g s o n .com/podcast. Whether you do it there or wherever you’re listening to this podcast, please give us a five star rating. We appreciate it very much. And Gary again. Thanks very much for being here.
Dr.Gary Lawrence 1:03:12
Thank you again, Michael. I appreciate it.
Michael Hingson 1:03:17
You have been listening to the Unstoppable Mindset podcast. Thanks for dropping by. I hope that you’ll join us again next week, and in future weeks for upcoming episodes. To subscribe to our podcast and to learn about upcoming episodes, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com slash podcast. Michael Hingson is spelled m i c h a e l h i n g s o n. While you’re on the site., please use the form there to recommend people who we ought to interview in upcoming editions of the show. And also, we ask you and urge you to invite your friends to join us in the future. If you know of any one or any organization needing a speaker for an event, please email me at speaker at Michael hingson.com. I appreciate it very much. To learn more about the concept of blinded by fear, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com forward slash blinded by fear and while you’re there, feel free to pick up a copy of my free eBook entitled blinded by fear. The unstoppable mindset podcast is provided by access cast an initiative of accessiBe and is sponsored by accessiBe. Please visit www.accessibe.com. accessiBe is spelled a c c e s s i b e. There you can learn all about how you can make your website inclusive for all persons with disabilities and how you can help make the internet fully inclusive by 2025. Thanks again for listening. Please come back and visit us again next week.