13 Dec What do you do when someone you looked up to does something unexpected?
On December 1, 2012, someone I admired, respected and looked up to, committed suicide. This person was a role model and spiritual leader to thousands of people. He was not just an evangelist; he was also a Life Coach, Motivational speaker, teacher, a Christian leader and a great humanitarian. His ministry impacted thousands of people around the world and developed amazing systems that helped many live their lives with meaning and purpose and come to view the world as a place where they can prosper and do well.
It came to light after his death that he suffered from a complex mental health disease for quite some time. What a legacy! I am awed at what God used Leo Schreven to do despite his mental health disease. I believe that those around the world who are suffering in similar ways can look back on Leo’s life and say we have no excuse not to touch the world in a big way in spite of our circumstances.
In the years that I have been following Leo’s All Power Ministry, I have yet to see him share that he was wrestling with this disease. I wonder why? I don’t believe that those who loved him and benefitted from his work would love him any less, if we knew. It is sad to think that he didn’t feel that he could share that part of himself with those of us in his community. It very well could have saved his life.
Looking back, I did notice that Leo always portrayed himself as having a perfect life. As a Life Coach and a Christian, I know that no one has a perfect life. We all have to pay the price to pass through this life in some way, it isn’t always pleasant. My challenges may seem small to others but they are real to me and so are yours to you.
I want to learn from Leo’s life and from the circumstances of his death, I want to share with everyone out there that there is a reason why we go through the things we do. They are meant to help us learn to manage our life well. Our job is to manage our own life challenges, not become them. We are more than our circumstances. They are intended to teach us humility and encourage us to lean on God and connect with others in a very real way. We must also challenge ourselves to share with others the lessons we have learnt during our growth. We are all teachers, accepting this we will help us view our lives as lessons in the curriculum of life and be motivated to share our challenges and victories as they may help save someone else’s life.
We need to release shame and embrace life. We need to share our lives in an honest and authentic way. I don’t for one moment believe that God’s will was for Leo to take his own life. Yes we all have to die but not at our own doing. God’s will for us is to prosper and do well. I believe fear, anger and hopelessness is of the enemy and they are intended to confuse us and make us forget what is real and what is true and what is pure.
The truth is that we are all in life’s boat together and at times we each need to help and support keep on rowing. We won’t be full of life and energy to row, especially when life seas are rough and the waves are high. I shudder to think of the loneliness, pain and horror that would lead to one taking his own life and I grieve for Leo and for his family and for the light that has been put out far too early.
Today if you are in pain, please remember that pain is not always the enemy it is our teacher. I suffer great pain in my life so I believe that I am qualified to speak about pain. There is seldom a day that I am not in physical pain. I believe the pain in my life serves to remind me that I am not here to serve myself. Christ wrestled with pain of carrying sin on the cross and he prayed: “O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done”. (Mat: 26:42). We need to look beyond our pain to what we can learn and to how we can use it to help heal the world.
I encourage you today, if you are hiding away in shame or pain and pretending that everything is perfect in your life, choose freedom. You are not alone, you are a real person and yes we are all in this life’s boat together. If you feel you cannot do it on your own, please find someone who is strong enough and able to help you. God has given us all different talents and skills to help each other row the challenging waves of life. There is no shame in going through life hardships, the shame is in not seeking help and in letting the enemy use your hardships to prevent you from being or doing great things and playing a bigger game to bring peace, love and joy to the universe.
Let’s all learn from Leo’s life, he was an amazing teacher, I believe that even in his death he is teaching, from the very circumstances of his death.
So what do you do when someone you look up to does something unexpected? You learn from them, help them if you can or love them and let them go if they are beyond your reach.
To Your Health and Wellness
- Joyce Odidison is a Conflict Analyst, Speaker, Author, and the world’s leading expert on Interpersonal Wellness Competency Mindset teaching. Joyce is President & CEO of Interpersonal Wellness Services Inc. as well as founder and host of the Annual Global Workplace Wellness Summit. Joyce has authored five books and is also a Certified Coach Training Director and Founder of Coach Velocity School of Coaching. Joyce is a C-Suite level workplace wellness expert and trainer, working for over 24 years with governments, the private sector, non-profits, and post-secondary institutions struggling with difficult work relationships or stressful situations. She is host of the What’s Happening at Work podcast. Joyce can be reached at e-mail: www.joyceodidison.com or phone 1 877 999-9591 www.interpersonalwellness.com