Christian Healthy Lifestyle 

Age gracefully | Live abundantly | Thoroughly equipped for every good work

by David Sandstrom 

September 14, 2022

Holistic MD Donna Chacko talks about her book Pilgrimage a Doctor's Healing Journey. Dr. Chacko practiced traditional medicine for many years. Now, she's more holistic and more effective.

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Show Notes


Today's Guests...

  • Holistic MD Dr. Donna Chacko

Topics Discussed...w / Time Stamps

  • 4:40 Faith and health
  • 13:31 Dr. Donna's family crisis
  • 30:01 The red dumpster
  • 34:58 Emotional health
  • 42:37 ACEs Adverse Childhood Events


Scroll through the text below to read the full transcript.

Cody Butler 0:00
Dr. Donna Chacko 0:00
And that's when I changed specialties and I worked in Washington DC with immigrants and homeless and that's where I really got an education about what health is and, and how stress just devastates health if you have I don't know if you can pay your rent and you know your husband's an alcoholic, whatever the circumstances were you were abused as a kid, the discrimination it, you know, you're going to have a wealth of health problems and misery and that's what they had. And then this is what this is what really really got me to see how when they those folks, were in a situation where they, for the first time had hope. It was like the magic ingredient.

David Sandstrom 0:52
Welcome to the Natural Health Matters podcast where it's all about maximizing your health potential, so that you can look and feel your best at any age. I'm your host, David Sandstrom, naturopathic doctor and biblical health coach, and this is episode number 94. Today we have in the show, Dr. Donna Chacko Dr. Donna is the founder of serenity and health which promotes health in body, mind and spirit based on a foundation of faith in Jesus Christ. Dr. Chacko practiced medicine for decades as a radiation oncologist. And later as a family medicine doctor. She's the author of pilgrimage, a doctor's healing journey. Dr. Chacko Welcome to Natural Health Matters.

David Sandstrom 1:35
Oh, I'm very, very, very happy to be here with you today, David.

David Sandstrom 1:39
Yeah, I really looking forward to this conversation. I know that we're very like minded. And you know, here in the natural nation understands that we maximize our health potential when we align our lives more fully, with God's natural design for spirit, mind and body. And there's a lot there. And I know you have you were a medical, I guess you still are a medical doctor, do you keep your medical license? Current?

Dr. Donna Chacko 2:01
No, I love my license go. When I retired eight years ago, nine years ago. What I do now is is more is not as a licensed physician any longer.

David Sandstrom 2:12
Okay, so tell us a little bit about your story. How did you how did you come to be practicing medicine in a traditional fashion for so long, and then branch out into the holistic realm? I'd love to hear that story.

Dr. Donna Chacko 2:23
Okay. Well, I always love being a doctor. And I did that for decades. And I, I really was content with it very happy with it. I changed and my view of health changed is what happened. And it was a long, painful process. But eventually, I really did come to understand that my own path to full abundant health had so much to do with my spiritual journey. And I and I learned how much my crazy and control overactive mind was causing me misery, and how it's hard to be really healthy when you have a really, really painful crummy relationship. Ongoing. And just so you know, a combination of major events, one major event and several minor events just changed and broadened how I looked at health, and I retired when I was 64. I had, I had had some health issues, some major burnout, which was one of my events. Oh, God, I really wasn't ready to stop, you know, that's why I got my, I was by this time on on an intentional self healing recovery kind of plan. And I got myself pulled together. And that's when I founded serenity and health and I just had this calling to share what I had learned about health of body, mind and spirit because I saw too many too much suffering too. Too much avoidable suffering, you know, and I could just see the many ways people could help themselves to feel better. And that was my mission. And it was all very much faith based by this time because of my own journey.

David Sandstrom 4:17
Yeah, that's really good. How long ago? Was that, that you started serenity and Hill

Dr. Donna Chacko 4:21
eight years ago? Yeah.

David Sandstrom 4:25
You know, I think there's a lot of people listening, maybe not the regular listeners of this show. But if someone's just checking in, they may be inclined to say, you know, faith and health. That sounds good. But you know, you're not going to pray your way out of cancer. So why don't you talk to the natural nation or that listener, a little bit about the connection between our faith and the peace that knowing God brings and how that's connected to our physical vitality?

Dr. Donna Chacko 4:54
It just, it's, it's the basic of what I like to talk about. So I appreciate that question, David. There are so many links between faith and health. And the first and I think really the most critical, because it was the most necessary for me was, once one comes to a full acceptance that you believe in God, and that that means something. And that you must ask yourself what that means. And that you're willing to surrender to that. Then, you know, you, you have to spend a little bit of time save my problem for years, and I really went through desperate times in my marriage was that I never had time for God or me or anything I never slowed down. So the first thing it has to do with to slowing down giving God some time in your life, giving yourself some time giving God some time giving yourself the benefit of even if it's 10 minutes of Day of committed, quiet time, and I think of any single step, a person could take that that is number one. I mean, so many folks, I felt it that you have had it in your life, David, you just get stuck, you feel lousy, you can sleep, you're anxious, you're worried your family's a mess. You know, there's it's a complicated world. And yes, it's sometimes seems like there's no options, you just fell on this treadmill feeling miserable. So I never felt when I was going through that, that I had time. I had no insight. Yeah, so I'm sympathetic with how difficult it is. However, it is imperative you if you wish to recover and heal and feel better you you have to give yourself and God some time. And that involves some time for listening, listening to God listening to others listen to your body.

David Sandstrom 6:54
I love it. That's really good stuff. And I would add to that, yes and alone time. So meditation with the Word of God, and in quiet time is super important. I would never argue that. But also, we need to extend that same practice into our rest into our sleep, and give ourselves permission to let go of the troubles of the day. And just put your head on the pillow and rest that you're safe. Rest in the fact that you're safe and you're loved and you're a child of God that will enhance sleep. And as you know, when we sleep. When we sleep well. It our bodies work better. Our mental emotional capacity is improved, our memories improved. And our physical vitality also is improved as well. And and I think that, you know, it all starts with that connectedness with God. That's where our ultimate source of pieces,

Dr. Donna Chacko 7:45
right? Well, you know, in my research and study, as I was putting together serenity and health, I was so intrigued by all the research about meditation and mindfulness. And those were two new things to me. In a way as and you're always, wow, you think about that. So many religions, so many cultures, over centuries have meditated and felt benefit. Yeah. And I researched and learned a lot about the roots of meditation in Christianity. And I also learned a lot about mindfulness. And I ended up and in there, there really two keys, I think, to my own journey, and I think could be hugely helpful to others. I ended up with a committed practice of meditation following the guidelines of something called centering prayer, which is just a quiet meditation, where you you don't use words, you don't use sight, you just surrender. It's in say, Yes, I accept the presence and action of our God. And you know, just like the research said, over time, not weeks and months, over a few years, I I know my crazy overactive in control, brain slowed down a little bit, it became a little bit more open, a little able to more Be at peace and listen. And the second prayer practice is, is we laid it in these these are two huge things that will help people find health is this thing about mindfulness and you know, trying to stay in the moment instead of being up in your head. So you know, anguished about the past or worried about the future. I spent all of my time up in my head and my To Do lists. And I mean, I made myself crazy. Probably made other people crazy, too. Right.

David Sandstrom 9:44
Well, that makes sense. I mean, you graduated from medical school, you've got to have a type A personality, right? Yes. The way you're wired.

Dr. Donna Chacko 9:51
Yeah. But I realized I knew I wasn't even listening to people I was up in my head. And so I One or two, I read a book, I stumbled on a book, God sent me a book, which was called sacrament of the present moment. And it was written in the 1800s. And it was about just grabbing on to the divine action of eternity special moment and just knowing you're in God's grace at that time, if you are there in that moment with the Lord, instead of being up in your head, and I took that, and I in just for myself, I developed this little practice, which I call God centered mindfulness. And my goal was to say my little prayer, which was simply my lord, oh, my god, St. Thomas's words, anytime I thought about God during the day, or anytime I needed God, like if I was anxious, stressed, irritated, happy, grateful, whatever. And in the beginning, it was hard to remember to say it, but with concerted effort in six or eight weeks, this, those words started just popping into my mind. And now, dozens and dozens of times a day, they interrupt some kind of negative thinking, or anger or stress. And brings me to the moment. And I just think this is the most exciting prayer ever, because it's a prayer. I'm turning to God, it takes no time. If you're busy. And it makes you mindful. If you're getting stressed, or you're about to say something you shouldn't say, you know, you put your it pulls you back a little bit to take a breath and start over. Yeah. So as I have spoken to people, I realized that this business of stress and anxiety in the head going is it's a problem that many people that I share with many people.

David Sandstrom 11:49
I want a couple of thoughts on that. And what is the code that you use from the from the biblical passage, my Lord, my God, that came from the doubting Thomas, right? That's what Doubting Thomas came from. And he's, the disciples had seen the risen Jesus, but he hadn't. He said, I think you guys are nuts, I don't believe and until I can stick my finger through the hole in his hands. I'm not going to believe. And the next time Jesus showed up is Hey, Thomas, Hey, Tom, come on over here. Hey, have a look. And he and he stuck his fingers to the hole in his head. And he said, My Lord, and my God. And I think it's illustrative for us to say, well, it took a lot to bring Thomas out of where he was, in that, that stress. And to just rest in the fact that Jesus was Lord. And I had the same can be true with us, you know, we get caught up in the busyness of the day, and just surrendering to his love, and goodness is, is a is a major, major hurdle, that if we can get over, we can just rest in that wow, what what peace it brings. You know, when I was researching for my book, The Christians guide to Holistic Health, I came to the conclusion of this, there's two things that we need to trust and believe in about God. And that is, he loves us enough, that when he tells us to do something, it's for our benefit. And when he tells us to avoid something, it's for our protection. We've got to hold on to that. And we if we can surrender to His love and goodness to say, look, God, I know, you have my well being in mind. Wow, the peace that we can enjoy the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy and peace.

Dr. Donna Chacko 13:31
You know, David, I wouldn't be doing this. Now. If I hadn't had, you know, a crisis and a pivotal moment in my life, when I was close to 40 having to do with just absolute desperation and crisis in my marriage, and just, you know, terrible concern that my daughters were being ruined because of the dysfunction and the shame and the anger. And you know, I had no insight. I could just blame everything on my husband, right. I was too busy, busy to deal with it anyway. And it just got and I had not intentionally but because I was too busy a sort of abandoned my childhood faith by that time. So I was just floating free. And you know, that pain, took me to my knees. It took me to God and I hadn't, I didn't want to get a divorce. I didn't want to stay married. I didn't want my kids to be ruined. I didn't want any of the options that seem to be on the table, you know. And it was the most awful time in my life, but it was the absolute best time in my life. And I know you've heard that kind of a story before but I eventually just, I just had to turn to God and give up and surrender. Yeah, and listen. And I clearly felt called to stay married. And I told my husband I would not return to the divorce lawyer. And we did To have a relative return of peace to our family, I was by this time moving ahead on my adult journey as a follower of Jesus, which was the first time in my whole life, you know, as an adult, I was on this journey. But you know what happened a few years later, he got leukemia and died. So it was like, wow. And it was after that, that I made, I just continued on my own journey to try and figure out what this all meant, and my spiritual journey. And I, that's when I changed specialties. And I worked in Washington, DC, with immigrants and homeless and that's where I really got an education about what health is, and, and how stress just devastates health if you have I don't know if you can pay your rent and, you know, your husband's an alcoholic, whatever the circumstances were, you were abused as a kid. The discrimination it is, you know, you're going to have a wealth of health problems and misery. And that's what they had. And then this is what this is what really, really got me to see how when they those folks, were in a situation where they, for the first time had hope. It was like the magic ingredient. I mean, an immigrant who would have come to the clinic every week, a new immigrant, I'm thinking of a young woman, many, many problems, headaches, stomach ache, backache, insomnia, anxiety, depression, you know, a new immigrant living in her Auntie's living room, no money, no friends couldn't speak English. And it meant she stopped coming to the clinic, until she returned six months later, like a transformed person. And what what healed her of all those ailments. She started going to the charter school for immigrants for ink to learn English, she made friends, she had a part time job, and she had hoped she was cured. And I saw that kind of thing repeatedly. And that that was all part of my learning. Yeah,

David Sandstrom 17:13
I'm thinking, Oh, the Zig Ziglar teaching, you know, one of the greatest motivational speakers that ever lived, say he was a follower of Jesus Christ. And he was asked a question at a seminar. And they said, he said, Can Can we just think our way can power power positive thinking, Can we think our way into health and happiness? And he said, No, you can't? But it sure does help?

Dr. Donna Chacko 17:37
Yeah, absolutely. No, no, absolutely. But if you don't start with the thinking process, and you know, some quiet some reflection, some time, some pair, you you, you may not be able to move ahead and have that hope or motivation or be able to take that first intentional step without which you're not going to make progress. Right, you know,

David Sandstrom 17:59
you know, just to take that one step further, I would suggest if and you're not oncologist, and I want to, I want to be respectful of your your position there. But, you know, if a doctor sees a grim outlook, and the prognosis is not good, and says to their patient, you know, it's, it's time to go home and get your affairs in order that can bring their real, they can just pull the rug out from under a person and leave them with no hope. I would suggest and I've said this for many years, I said it in my book, Christians, God Holistic Health, and that is, anyone that's gone on to defy that diag, that prognosis and go on to beat cancer has to have said in their minds, at some point had had a, like a line in the sand and say, You know what? I'm not going to accept that. I'm going to believe that I can beat this.

Dr. Donna Chacko 18:49
Would you agree with that? Well, it's complicated. But But what I do agree with what you said is that the attitude of the patient has a huge amount to do with how much they suffer. Yes. And if you are optimistic, and hopefully you're you're better able to care for yourself, you have all those positive endorphins and things floating around. If you trust Jesus, I always talk about the the, quote, health benefits of trusting Jesus, obviously, we don't have our faith and believe in God and trust Jesus so we can be more healthy that that's ridiculous, right? However, however, I think Jesus is very, very happy to give us this bonus, this grace of feeling better when we trust Him, and that includes people who have advanced cancer. And I mean, I remember seeing folks and thinking even way back then how easier it is to go through a terminal illness. If if you are at peace versus if you are just desperate and angry that this has happened to you. And so it's an example of how, you know, we're not talking about a prosperity gospel, you do everything right, you're going to be healed. But if you trust God, and do the best you can, you will suffer less positively, in my view,

David Sandstrom 20:20
I totally agree with that you and I are on the same page here. You know, God's in control, God is sovereign and in charge, and sometimes he will use suffering and sickness to, to bring somebody to a place of more spiritual maturity, no doubt about that. But if we, if we worship Him and love Him the way we should, because he's worthy of our worship, that's the reason why we surrender to Him. The nice fringe benefit of that is the fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self control. Who would argue that though all of those qualities are not health promoting? They are right. So it's not name it and claim it. It's not saying, hey, if I do this, this has to happen. No, no, no, that's not true. But why don't we just behave the way Jesus taught and act like true disciples, and let the chips fall where they may on the outcome, just trust in his wisdom and his guidance, and enjoy some of those side effects?

Dr. Donna Chacko 21:28
Right. But of course, the and you mentioned this earlier, the whole other side is that we can't just expect him to take care of us that we've been given this gift of our bodies and our health, and we are stewards. And I believe, I believe it's part of our responsibility as Christians to take care of that gift and take care of their body, because then we can better do HIS Holy Will. And, but it's not easy, as we all know, to have healthy habits and, but, but we have a lot of power over our health, you know, some something like 70% of chronic disease in our country right now. Could be cured or improved. With the adoption of healthy habits. Now, I find that staggering, really, and but I know how hard it is, it's not easy to change habits are you? So that's another part of this whole thing. And that's where like groups come in, and communities that's an advantage of church or faith groups are, and there are plenty of churches and, and faith organizations that direct their, their efforts toward health, trying to learn how to do that how to set a tiny goal that's reachable and take a small step. Maybe you're maybe you're only month, the only change you're gonna make as you're gonna walk for 15 minutes, three times a week. Okay, that's great. You do that?

David Sandstrom 23:06
Yeah, I totally agree with that. So let's talk about some of the specifics. Let's say someone's listening, and they have metabolic syndrome. They're overweight. Maybe they're diabetic, anxious, depressed. They're a follower of Jesus Christ, and they feel stuck. They feel like, this is my last life, what would you say to that person?

Dr. Donna Chacko 23:28
And there's a lot of those people, David I, or lesser degrees of Yeah. Well, I think the first thing is, like I said, to make sure you have a committed prayer time to listen to God. And, and everybody does it differently. I found tremendous benefit from meditative prayer. In addition to what I use with the Bible, I'm a Catholic. So I go to Mass and I've, you know, learn a lot and grow closer to God a lot through that way. However, your faith everybody has their own but you I believe, no matter how lousy your life is, how crummy you feel, how busy you are, that you have to do that. And if you're already doing that, maybe it's time to reevaluate. If you're not satisfied, maybe you need a different prayer practice, or a prayer partner or a Bible group or something. But that's the first thing. The The second thing is to figure out some to think about the what you can do for body, mind and spirit. And just think about it. Benjamin Franklin had this huge routine. Did you ever study what he did for self improvement? He had this whole book and columns like an Excel chart of all the things he was going to do to improve himself. Well, we don't have to go to that extreme but time to think about so you're going to have your prayer time. And then pick one other thing which bothers you the most, you're your weight, you don't exercise, you watch too much TV. So maybe it would be a very small commitment to do some exercise with a very limited goal if you do nothing. Like I said something like three times a week, 15 minutes, it depends on where you're at, of course, and, and what ever go You set, Sunday is a great day, the Sabbath to sort of reevaluate in your, in your prayer time where you're at with your care of body, mind and spirit. Where are you at? Is God pleased with what you're doing? In terms of eating, of course, that's always a challenge. And I'm not one that recommends specific diets. But I've been hugely impressed with how few fruits and vegetables people eat, when they if they really take the time to count how many servings a day. So I frequently start with that recommendation, because I think many folks get through the day. And they might have two or three most three servings of fruit or vegetable. I mean, think about it. If you have toast and coffee, or an egg or whatever, for breakfast, and you might have a sandwich for lunch. I mean, you're to dinner, and you've had what one tomato in your sandwich.

David Sandstrom 26:28
So where did that? Where did that come from? That you have to have a bagel and coffee for breakfast? Who wrote that one?

Dr. Donna Chacko 26:33
I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. But I think this is a real good place to start. And you're you're the nutritionist. But this is someplace where I will frequently ask people to start how many servings a day counted up for a few days and see, and I don't get too specific, you know, a handful of something or one piece of food or, I mean, the vegetables are, I think the most important, but anyway, and set some modest goal. Five or six servings is a very modest goal, but it's not easy to achieve. So I think if anybody out there with who's stuck, does something like these several things I mentioned, evaluate your your prayer practices and modify or increase or change as needed. Do something so that you can move your body in some way and and that start addressing the foods you eat? Are you eating what God intended us to eat? What you don't now some people will need professional help coaching. talking, you know, joining a group, I don't think we're meant to be on this journey alone. Part of my serenity and health. I do programs at my church, I give talks, we have a women's group called caring for body and soul and we meet weekly, if anybody's eastern time zone. And once they get up early, you know, let me know we'd be happy to have new members, we're very

David Sandstrom 28:04
glad to share that link with us. At the end of the episode.

Dr. Donna Chacko 28:06
Yeah. And then I put in I, I wrote this, all of my life learnings, and how I understood this and summarized it in a book that I wrote last year. And and I'm really, I'm really proud of that book, because people have told me it helped them a lot because I really sort of I was very honest about my personal life and the my painful journey and what I learned. But it's so it's not just a memoir, though, I wanted to then turn that into what I learned in what I know can help you. And that's what I put up

David Sandstrom 28:51
There's a lot in the book. But I just I just want to kind of summarize what you just said. And that is if someone's feeling stuck, and they don't know where to turn, do some reflection, spend some time thinking contemplative ly, and ask yourself, well, what can I do better? You know, and start out small shout out with the baby steps. Maybe it's a short walk in, you don't have to start off with a five mile run. How about five minutes, you know, start there. As long as you're moving in the right direction, small change over time, will have massive potential. And then again, you know, make some changes to eat, you don't have to revolutionize what you're eating and drinking throughout the day in a week's time, or a date one day. But start off small and move in the right direction. And you'll see you'll will you will see note and notice progress over time.

Dr. Donna Chacko 29:44
Yeah, you know what they say you to see a change, you got to make a change. That's right. That's the hard truth.

David Sandstrom 29:51
So I want to ask you, you wrote a blog post called the Red dumpster and it got a lot of attention. So tell us what what is the red dumpster?

Dr. Donna Chacko 30:01
While the red dumpster was a real red dumpster that appeared two blocks away from my house in front of someone's house after the elderly lady died, and my my friend, and her neighbor was just so moved, watching all of the old lady stuff be dumped into the dumpster. And it just provoked such a discussion amongst us about our stuff, and our connection to our stuff. And our mortality. And trying to think about those who we will live behind. When we die, are we going to leave them a mess. And it was just designed to help us think through and accept our mortality dealing with end of life planning. It's a It's, I think, an act of great love and respect for anyone, for our family members to take care of end of life planning while and do when you're well and healthy. So, you know not It's not easy to talk about picking a funeral? Or do you want to be cremated? When somebody's already sick? That's awful. That's so hard. But it's not hard when you're Yeah, well. I mean, it's a little hard. But it's easier, much easier. Yes, yes. And so that was sort of the drift of it. And, and also just thinking about our overconsumption, and how much stuff we have, and trying to encourage all of us to simplify our lives as best we can and share are excellent. I

David Sandstrom 31:49
I love it. You know, one of the verses that spoke to me profoundly over the years is John 1010, I've come across that they might have life and have it abundantly. And I asked myself, what is the what is the abundant life, you know, I grew up in Fort Lauderdale, which is the yachting capital of the world. And we lived on a canal and my brothers and I have we had boats, and we'd go out and we see these, you know, 90 100 foot yachts, and all this, you know, extreme decadent, luxury. And the motto with most of my friends was he who dies with the most toys wins. And that's the environment I grew up in as a young man. And, you know, it's easy to get swept up in all that. But then when I started meditating on Jon's antenna, so wait a minute, you know, you know, an expensive important driveway and a big boat. In a fancy car that is not abundant living, that's not at all what Jesus taught. In fact, he taught quite the opposite. significance in life is found in the context of loving relationships. And that's the spiritual component to health is our loving relationship with God and loving relationship with one another. And the love relationship we have with ourselves, our sense of self worth, and our self love, is in a really important part of our overall health, wellness and our vitality. You know, it's not selfish to take care of yourself, you know, on an airliner, they tell you, in the event that we lose cabin pressure, put on your mask first, before you assist the child. The reason is, you are of no use to the child if you're unconscious, right. So the same could be said with our health, I would take care of yourself, because it's the most loving thing you can do. Because then you'll have the energy and the vitality and the motivation and the clarity of mind to love others well, and the truth of the matter is the way we treat ourselves, how well we love ourselves is tied to how well we will treat in love others

Dr. Donna Chacko 33:56
Yeah, yeah. And I mean, the fact of the matter is, the better we treat ourselves and the healthier we are, the more we can enjoy our boat. If we happen to have one nothing wrong with it all start working on with it, it kept him protected. Exactly. And like the, the guy who had in the Bible who had such abundant crops, he had to build a second barn. He was so proud of himself, except of course he died that night and, you know, so yeah, it taking care of your health. Our health in a way is a little selfish. I mean, that's the wrong word. But you know, we're the ones that benefit. Yeah,

David Sandstrom 34:40
Absolutely. You know, when we do things God's way, we won't regret it. You know, we there's there's benefits and blessings attached to doing things God's way. Again, no guarantees. But you know what you put you set yourself up for success. Shifting gears just a little bit. You talk in your book about emotional Health, and how that's connected to living abundantly. So could you speak to that just a little bit?

Dr. Donna Chacko 35:07
Yes, I'm really glad you brought that up because it was a huge part of my journey. For years, I never wanted to think about seeing a psychotherapist or anything like that. I was just too busy to think about things. But the as my brain quieted as I had a little more time, and was developing serenity and health, and reading a lot and learning a lot, I started having all these questions about why I was the way I was, and why had I married so young, so quickly. And why had I not been able to communicate with my husband, and what was all that what was going on, right. And at the same time, I started writing my book, which started out as a pure self help book, but then morphed into a memoir. And the second I tried to write a memoir, I realized I, I was a mess, and I was confused. And you know what they writers always say, I didn't know this. But now I know this, they say that. You it's only by writing that you learn what you want to write, that you learn. And I. So that's what happened to me, I started writing my memoir, like I was so confused. And then I spent a lot of time studying psychology and emotional health, and saw a psychotherapist, and here's what I learned. Number one, I was so driven to work, because of the way I was raised, not in a bad way. And I didn't have bad parents, I had imperfect parents, I had imperfect parents who loved their three children. But my brothers and I, above all else, we learned to work. And I did not understand how driven I was for all those years. So it was like I had no choice. I didn't realize what a problem that was for my family to be working all the time. And maybe especially as a doctor was even harder, because especially in those days, part time was hard. And you know, you're getting all kinds of rewards for being the good doctor. But the bottom line was, I was driven to work. And I had no clue that that was going on. And the second thing that was very detrimental in my marriage was that I never learned how to communicate my wishes or needs or desires. I was much more interested in having peace. I thought that was peace. And maybe this is a little bit of screwed up Christianity. I don't know what it was. But, you know, I never learned I should have said to this man who I married. Honey, I don't think we should get engaged. I just met you six weeks ago. But I got engaged. I couldn't say that even though I remember thinking this is kind of fast. You know, I was I was just finishing, when that happened by after my sophomore year in college. So you add those two behavioral traits, that were just something I learned as a child. That's how that's what worked as a child to keep me sane and happy, right. So when when you finally realize the thought that that's an automatic pressure in you making you be like that, then you have to start thinking, then you become more mindful of it. So now I'm retired, right? Things should be but I can still see those traits driving me and sometimes not to the good of me or others. So I think emotional health requires that we know who we are and try and understand how we are raised and our subconscious and so many things that drive our behavior. And I'm all for if you if you can't figure it out yourself or you think you if you're always mad at people or irritated or have family issues, get some help to try and understand it. I mean, I'm sure we can progress but I know mine I know myself better. And I'm the thing is adding all this together, I'm much more able to respond to a problem. Instead of React.

David Sandstrom 39:49
I really liked that good stuff. You know, the Bible says that a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and the two will become one flesh and That's a profound statement there. And I believe that there's a lot of Christians out there that say they look at that passage, they say, Well, you know, I've moved out of the house, I'm financially independent, I don't rely on my parents for any, I don't ask them for money. And so I've left parents. Well, maybe not. Because as you just articulated, we have a lot of things that we grow up with in our homes, our our siblings, and our parents teach us lessons that we don't even know. And we consider those that behavior normal, because that's all we don't know any different. That's what we were raised in. And sometimes it takes some reflection as an adult, to look back and say, Wait a minute, is this emotional state? Or are these beliefs? Are these expectations serving me? Or are they harming me? You know, for instance, in a home, the dad always took out the garbage. So a young girl says, Oh, if a husband loves his wife, he'll always take out the garbage. That's what my dad did. But guess what, your husband doesn't like to take out the garbage. Right? So

Dr. Donna Chacko 41:12
no, no, that's a wonderful example. It's complicated, with all kinds of stuff like garbage and Christmas vacation and birthday cakes and bedtime hours and air conditioning.

David Sandstrom 41:24
Absolutely. And then we bring these expectations into our relationships, and it creates stress so that we have to learn how to work through them. One last thing I'd like to say on this is, you know, a seven or eight year old or even a 13, or 14 year old, their prefrontal cortex is not developed to 25 26 27. So their ability to handle traumatic events is compromised. And children often make some really bad conclusions about their place in the world, and the meaning of certain events, because they don't have the capacity to process them. So it's, it's worth taking some time and revisiting some of those traumatic events in your past with perhaps a professional and see if they can guide you through. Wait a minute, is that normal? And is that serving you?

Dr. Donna Chacko 42:14
Right? The therapist that I saw, use the word distorting, she said, you were a kid. And your your intake was distorted what you know, your interpretation was distorted. But that's what you remember. That's your reality or truth. That's,

David Sandstrom 42:37
so you talk in your book about ACEs or adverse childhood events. So just speak a little bit about Yes,

Dr. Donna Chacko 42:44
good. Oh, oh, my gosh, David, when I worked in Washington, DC, I worked in a medical recovery facility for homeless people. It's called Christ house, it was an amazing place. It was a residential facility for staff. So I lived there. And both there and in the clinic, these people had kazillion diagnoses. And at the time, I had not heard of ACEs because this was a while back. And I just couldn't imagine why some people should have six or eight diagnoses and all these problems and mental illness and obesity and and drug addiction, and cancer and immune disease. Oh my goodness. Then a few years later, I learned about ACEs. So an ace is an adverse childhood experience. And in the 70s, I believe the first study maybe a this was done. And basically, it's been learned that if a child experiences a trauma, whether it be abuse, neglect, that could be divorce, it could be food insecurity, witnessing violence. Yeah, traumas like that. This is how the study was done. The rest of their life, they will have a higher incidence of most health conditions, behavioral problems, psychological problems, things like obesity, drug addiction, jail time. Yeah, the list goes on. It's an astounding piece of information. And as this so then when I learned this, I go oh, that's what was going on in Washington. Those people all probably had an ACE score 10 which is the highest and I have reflected on this. A lot in the thing is let me point on this is a hugely important for those listening. If you have a high ace, you're not doomed. There are many things you can do to heal just the kind of stuff that Dave and I talk about is how you heal yourself from aces, but just knowing that might make you feel better, like you're not crazy. You're not you know, there's an explanation so not alone. You and you're not alone. And just knowing aces, it just helps like, like, for example, if I know of a child who appears to be in a unfortunate family circumstance, or if I was a teacher or a church member, you know, there's a big push now to have as awareness, trauma awareness, so that we can reach out and help and prevent these problems, because the studies show that even if one person offers love and constant support doesn't have to be huge, to a child going through some of these stresses in life, sometimes that's enough to get them through. So learning about ACEs helps, you know, helps us deal with other people better. And it helps us heal ourselves, those who have aces, and I think it should help us be very, very merciful and understanding and less judgmental, especially if you're in healthcare or where you're intersecting with somebody that you think is like, what's wrong with this person, or, you know, and to understand, they didn't come from where you came, or they may have come from hell, and they may be so far ahead of you, in their spiritual development and emotional development, they have come so far.

David Sandstrom 46:25
There was only really good stuff there. Donna, I want to add one thing, and that is, nobody gets through life and escapes this. We all have aces in our lives. Yes. And it's new knowledge that we need to say, Okay, where are mine? And how are they affecting me? And that will that will go a long way towards building a more abundant life and more health and vitality on all levels of spirit mind body? Absolutely.

Dr. Donna Chacko 46:59
Because I mean, I'm a perfect example of what you just said, Dave, I took my a score, and it's really low. I mean, if you buy the standards of that specific test, it's just a survey that anyone can take, and you answer the questions, and you get your score. And mine was really low, which would predict, you know, write less problems. But I've explained to some of the things I took from childhood, from my loving but imperfect parents, we all we all have traumas that

David Sandstrom 47:28
We don't get past the age of, you know, six to 12 months without experiencing something. You know, I would argue even in the womb, there can be trauma. But anyway, so Donna, that was that you've shared some great, you've dropped a lot of value bombs here. Could you just kind of summarize for the natural nation, and maybe give us some low hanging fruit that you think would be easy to implement? For the for the listening audience?

Dr. Donna Chacko 47:57
Well, I will, and I'm going to be repeating myself because it bears repeating. If you're in a mess, and stuck and feel just crummy and unhappy. Just sit down and reflect on it and start making a couple of tiny changes. First being your prayer life, your quiet reflection time, maybe it's going to be time in nature, maybe you can combine your prayer time and walking in nature. However you do it. Commit to it, not for the rest of your life. For one day, for one week, and every week, reevaluate how you're doing. Think about the same thing about your movement, your activity, are you are you how much time are you spending watching TV or on the screen? Can you cut back? Can you make one tiny commitment for the first week? Maybe you're just going to have no time except you can do a half hour walk on Saturday. That's fine. That's perfect. That's wonderful. Yeah. And do that once a week. And I mentioned before about the the fruits and vegetables as well. But above all, I think is the absolute requirement to tune in, tune into yourself tune in to God tune in start listening and and not being in charge on the go planning. Just step back in and let God help you along.

David Sandstrom 49:22
I love it. That's all really great stuff. So data if someone wants to go deeper with you, and they want to get a hold of you, what's the best way to do that?

Dr. Donna Chacko 49:29
I would love to hear from all of you. My website is serenity and health. That's three words a nd serenity and i It's all volunteer I send up a monthly blog on topics like this. And I'd love it if you subscribe to the blog. And especially I would be really honored if you would check out my book. I put heart and soul in that book. By the way, I just received three awards last month from the Catholic Media Association for best book in marriage and family, best self published book and honorable mention in healing and self help, and I was blown away.

David Sandstrom 50:12
That's really great. And your book is called pilgrimage book doctors healing journey.

Dr. Donna Chacko 50:18
Yes. And it's described on the website, it's available, and Amazon and Barnes and Noble make sugar major pain doctors healing journey,

David Sandstrom 50:28
I will make sure to put a link in the show notes page for that. Right. Right. Donna, thank you so much for spending some time with us today.

Dr. Donna Chacko 50:35
It was really a pleasure. And I'm really happy to have met you,

David Sandstrom 50:39
David. Likewise, for more, go to the show notes page at There you can find an audio as well as a video version of the podcast. I also put links to all the resources that we mentioned, as well as a full downloadable transcript. If you're enjoying these conversations, I sure would appreciate you telling a friend about it. Ya know faith based conversations centered around health are difficult to find. And if you tell a friend about it, I believe they'll thank you for it because it really is very useful information and a lot of people can benefit from it. But they don't know that we exist. So the number one way someone finds a new podcast is a friend tells them about it. So I sure would appreciate you telling your friends about the show if you're enjoying it. That's it for now. Thanks for listening. I'll talk with you next week. Be blessed

Transcribed by

David Sandstrom 0:38
Welcome to the Natural Health Matters podcast where it's all about maximizing your health potential, so that you can look and feel your best at any age. I'm your host, David Sandstrom, Naturopathic Doctor, and Biblical Health Coach. And this is episode number 93.

David Sandstrom 0:58
Today, we have in the show, Cody Butler, Cody is coming to us from Sydney, Australia. He's the founder of the better marriage and the creator of the marriage recovery program that teaches couples how to repair, restore, and rebuild intimacy, communication and love in their marriage. His best selling book is called cut the BS, a no nonsense guide to happiness. Cody, welcome to Natural Health Matters.

Cody Butler 1:22
Thank you so much for inviting me on and having me it's a it's my pleasure, no doubt.

David Sandstrom 1:26
Thank you for being here. And I think it's gonna be a great conversation. I've been looking forward to this for a while. So I just wanted to emphasize the importance of what we're going to be talking about today, we're talking about marriage, which is our closest human human relationship. And I believe that we maximize our health potential, when we align our lives more fully with God's natural design for spirit, mind and body. And the spiritual component of health is all about loving relationships, our love relationship with God, and the love relationship we have with one another, and the love relationship we have with ourselves. So if we're married, the most important one, another relationship we have is our spouse. So we really if we care about our health, we should look at getting that right. And even if you don't care about your health, I mean, life is just easier if you're getting along with your spouse, right? He could, I don't have to talk anybody into that. In in the Bible has a lot of wisdom here. And in Genesis right at the very beginning here at Genesis chapter two, verse 18. It says this, it is not good for the man to be alone, I will make a helper suitable for him. And I'm always encouraged when I see modern science catching up with biblical truth that was written 1000s of years ago. And just this morning, I just, it was so easy to find this lots of these articles. But I found a journal in published in a study published in the journal public health. And it was a meta analysis published in 2017. And here's what they had to say, eight databases were searched from 1950 to 2016, which is no small study 40 systematic reviews were identified, largely from the developed world, researchers found a significant association between social isolation and loneliness, with increased all cause mortality, with cardiovascular disease, especially being tied to social isolation. So this idea of one another relationships and getting our spousal relationship, right has huge implications to our health and wellness. And, you know, almost going to get sidetracked here, but I think we have to mention it with, with what's gone on with the shutdowns and the school closings and the mask wearing the ice. The social isolation that we've experienced over the last couple of years worldwide, is unprecedented, probably in human history. And I'm wondering, I'm sure we saved some lives with all those measures from COVID. But how many deaths in suff? How much suffering did we create? By causing loneliness and social isolation to be spiking? You know, we may never know but there's obviously a lot of people studying that these days. So as way of introduction, so Cody, you're you're an expert on marriage. So tell us a little tell the Natural Nation a little bit about what you do and how you came to be doing that.

Cody Butler 4:27
Yeah, so So my my mission and my ministry really has come out of my mess, my message has come out of my mess. So I've always, always longed for that soulmate relationship, as many of us have and a number of times I've found myself in a relationship and then it just breaking down and ended up getting heartbroken and that leading to depression, anxiety causing other problems that obviously my ability to function socially goes down as you're in that state of depression and anxiety. It got to a point where I really I really couldn't get out of bed I really couldn't. I was heavily drug dependent became very alcohol dependent, which just created more problems. And I really wanted that relationship because every time I found it, I couldn't hang on to it, I lost it. And so it really became the lowest common denominator through all of that Dave route was me I was I was, I was the lowest common denominator I was the only commonality and each one of those relationships I really became quite obsessed with. What relationships are what makes relationships work? Why are my relationships failing? And why are relationships in general finding when it's a God ordained institution, it's a God given. God God has called us to be together, to be in. So when when God has called us to be together, and to leave your mother and father and cleave to your wife, and God has created a suitable helper for you. It's like, we're designed to be together. Why is it that we can't be together there's there's a mismatch here. And that really became my obsession was like, what what is going on here and through, stuck my own study my own situation. Take going down every route I could possibly find to figure out what makes relationships work. And equally as important, what makes relationships fail. And it's actually very simple. What makes relationships work is actually very simple. But I found myself in my dream woman, she's she's in the room next door right now, it's quite late when she's in bed, but I finally met my dream spouse. And to be honest with you, Dave, the only thing that kept us married, was her commitment was her godliness and her her commitment to Christ, and her integrity to our own vows and her own marriage as the only thing that kept us married. That was the only thing.

David Sandstrom 6:48
God bless her and he best bless you by having

Cody Butler 6:50
Absolutely. But he also turned that marriage around in a heartbeat in like, we can even go through that at some point during this conversation. I mean, that that marriage turned on a dime, I can tell you the very words that were spoken, I can tell you the actions that were enacted, I can tell you that the transformation that took place, I mean, it's crystal clear in my mind. And

David Sandstrom 7:11
I have to ask you what what was the big turning point? What was the the rock that you moved, so to speak, that caused that transformation? There's probably a lot of them. But what was the big one?

Cody Butler 7:21
Yeah, so what I shone light into the darkness, I confess my sins and I shine light into the darkness. I finally confided in my wife and I confess my sins to I was have I had serious drug and alcohol problems at the time, serious drug and alcohol problems. And I'm very functional, and very functional. When I'm in that state. It's like you wouldn't know you wouldn't know. I mean, if I was drinking, which I'm not, I haven't drank for a long time. But if I was, you wouldn't know right now I could be drunk right now. And you wouldn't know it right? And every night, I'd be up and I'd be up in my roof, drinking. And one night, I just came down and just said, my wife was in the shower, and I just opened the door, I said, I need to tell you something right now, I said, I'm high and I'm drunk right now. And I've been high and drunk for a number of years. Now every time I'm up in the roof, that's what's going on is why and I'm drunk. And basically, to cut a long story short, we can go and we can go into more detail this as we go. There are three elements that need to be present in a successful marriage that needs to be there needs to be emotional safety and security. There needs to be mutual admiration and respect. And there needs to be shared vision and goal. And my wife's response to me when I when I confessed my sins to her, I confessed what I was doing, she goes, I love you, and we're gonna get through this. And in retrospect, looking at us looking looking back at what happened. I mean, she provided emotional safety and security to continue to shine light into the darkness, which is confessing what's going on. There was obviously a mutual admiration and respect, I respected the way that she handled that situation. And she obviously respected the fact that I came clean and then we instantaneously created a mutual a mutual vision and golfer the relationship was to, which was at that point to get through this particular juncture. So in an instant, when, before that moment, there was no emotional safety. She she if she said something to me as lab or to beat her verbally, that there could be no emotion, there could be no mutual admiration and respect because of the way I was behaving. And there was no shared vision. God, my vision was to get drunk her vision was to heal the relationship, there was no shared vision. But in that, in that one moment, those three elements came into alignment and the heat of the relationship healed instantaneously. And it was literally spontaneous recovery. Literally spontaneous. It's awesome.

David Sandstrom 9:40
That is so cool. I have chills. That is so cool. Couple of observations. So if you go on the roof to drink and get high, do you think you have a problem? They maybe maybe that's a clue that there's a problem there. And the other was, you know, we all say something like this. We take our marriage vows to have and to hold to love and to cherish till death do we part? But do we really recognize the significance of those words? When we take those vows and it sounds like your wife did. Bless her heart, her saying, You know what? It's okay, you got a problem. I'm here for you. And we'll get through this together. That's that was key to making things work. That's

Cody Butler 10:22
That's exactly right. That's exactly right. And when I first when I start talking to man, so you've got to like, the vows that you've just said, you understand that is a one way unconditional covenant where you give and get nothing back. I promise to love You and to cherish you as, Christ's love, loves the church, I promise to have and to hold, for better or for worse, until death do us part is like that is a one way unconditional promise, an unconditional covenant that you are making with your wife that requires nothing in return for her from her. So I start working with men and I say, well, but my wife's doing this. And I'm like, there's no, there's no but you made an unconditional, you entered into an unconditional one way covenant in the same way that Christ has entered into that. One way unconditional covenant with you. You accept Christ as your Savior. It's a one way covenant where he covenants to save you, regardless of what you do at that point. It's a one way unconditional covenant. And that's the same covenant and the beginning of recovery is to own it, that people are all happy to keep those vows when you're in the better part of the better or worse. But they as soon as it gets into the worst part. It's like, well, my wife's having an affair. Well, that that's covered under the worst part of the contract. My friend read your contract. Yeah, but it's like, yeah, but you promised to love her, regardless of her behavior. Yeah, but she's not meeting my needs. Well, where is there anything about your needs getting met in this contract my friend, it's like if you expect your wife, you, if you want that mutual admiration and respect, stand up and own your vows stand up and own the contract that you made, give us something to respect and see what happens.

David Sandstrom 12:05
That is such good stuff. You know, my wife, and I believe in marriage groups for the last 10 years where our next group is starting in a couple of weeks. And on the first session, we do 16 sessions. And it takes us about nine months to get through this book called intimate encounters. And I know that most of the people sitting in front of me come in and start a group like this with the expectation, I'm going to get my spouse fixed. This is this is going to be the thing that's going to get my spouse fixed. And I've got to tell them look at stop looking at that person next year. Right now, it's about changing yourself, because you can't change them. You only have control over what you do and say thank you. And when you start working on yourself, that's when the magic happens. And if you have two spouses doing that, you'll see some amazing things take place, as far as your relational connectedness

Cody Butler 12:57
Absolutely spot on. And when I'm talking to people, they say, Oh, my wife, they're so Oh, my husband, dad, or oh my, it's like, let me let me tell you truth, the mirror never lies. The person, the mirror, the person you are in front of right now is the mirror, the mirror never lies. And whatever it has, as it says, You're accused, because you are guilty, be very careful. Be very careful of what you're accusing somebody off because the Bible is very clear, you are accused because you are guilty. And the number the number of people that have gone off, but my wife's a narcissist, and I'm like, huh, the mirror never lies, my friend, the mirror never lies. You are seeing you're seeing your behavior mirrored back to you through your wife, you're seeing your your behavior mirrored back to you. And again, ultimately, it just simply doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what your husband or wife is doing. The problem is with you your vow, you made a one way unconditional covenant. And if you're struggling with that, then we need to work on you. Because there's integrity issues in you. There's leadership issues in you, there's ownership issues in you, there's responsibility issues in you that these are all issues that before we start working on the splinter in your wife's eye, we need to get this beam out of your arm my brother because these are all issues that have to be addressed. And even if what you're saying about your wife is true then then what right do you have to address those issues in her when when we can just we can just rattle these off one after the other. You're not leading your wife, you're not loving your wife. You're not doing this you're not doing it's like let's fix you and then when your perfect will turn there will shine the light on her.

David Sandstrom 14:36
That's good. I love it. So a moment ago you mentioned there was four I think it was four ingredients to a successful relationship. One of them was mutual respect, right

Cody Butler 14:45
Three ingredients. Three ingredients. So

David Sandstrom 14:48
we had mutual respect. What were the other two?

Cody Butler 14:50
So in order it's emotional safety and security. Okay, can you be 100% of yourself 100% of the time with your partner without fear of repercussions. Okay, there has to be emotional safety and security then there has the second element is mutual admiration and respect. And the third element is a shared vision and goal to common purpose. Okay, the relationship very good.

David Sandstrom 15:16
So can we break those down into a little deeper? How can someone nurture those qualities in their relationship?

Cody Butler 15:23
Well, awareness is the first step. So when we look at the learning quadrant, we've got we've got the four areas of learning, right? We've, most people are in a state of unconscious incompetence. So right now, most people have no idea that they've destroyed the emotional safety and security within the emotional security within a marriage. I talk to men all the time, and they say, My wife just doesn't like talking. And I'm like, No, my brother, she doesn't like talking to you. She's a woman. That's like a man saying, you know, a woman coming to me saying My husband doesn't like sex. Now, he doesn't like sex with you. He's a man. Let's say it's saying that my wife doesn't like talking or my wife doesn't want to talk. It's because she's scared to talk or it's too painful to talk. Or you've destroyed the emotional safety to where she's she's willing to sacrifice the most essential part of what she needs as a woman in order just to keep the peace. So most people, most men are unconsciously incompetent at that point. And the first stage is to become is to move to conscious incompetence. It's like, okay, well, I know, I'm unconscious. I know I'm incompetent in the area of creating the emotional safety and security my wife needs, which is deepest need, by the way, she needs secure, a woman will forsake expansion for safety and security. A man will sacrifice safety and security for expansion, a woman will sacrifice expansion for safety. And she needs that more than anything. And the first stage is saying, I have now conscious that I'm incompetent in that area. And then then it's moving to conscious competence. This is where you start to learn the skills and you apply them competently. So learning to drive a car is a great example, right? Like, I've got a six year old, and he's like, Dad, can I drive the car? I'm like, No, you don't know how. So he's like, Well, why can't I? It's like he's unconsciously incompetent, right? He doesn't realize that he doesn't have skills. He doesn't know how much he does and doesn't know how much he doesn't know. And then, at some point, he'll become consciously incompetent and go, Oh, okay. That's why you don't let me drive the car. And then when we start driving, we can do it, we can, we can consciously drive the car, but it does require our full consciousness we like we're like, shut up, turn the radio off, don't talk there's, there's quiet, right? It's like, we can do it. But we have to have full consciousness for the competence. And then the final stages move into unconscious competence. And that's where you know, we're sending text messages on the phone, we've got a knee on the wheel with changing the radio with our elbow, when we get in a drink with the other hand, it's like, we're almost 90% of the car has been driven on autopilot, because we've become unconsciously competent at the task. So it's really moving through those four quadrants, realizing that you're unconsciously incompetent right now and then become unconsciously incompetent, and then move into becoming consciously competent. And then finally moving to unconscious competence. And that's when successes, that's when you can't go wrong. That's when you can't screw up.

David Sandstrom 18:18
That's really cool. I like that a lot. You know, another concept I'd like to share with people is, the Bible is full of if then statements, you know, we love to, you know, you stand in the grocery store line is a book on the promises of God. And there's lots of them, sure. But oftentimes, those promises have a condition attached. They have an if then statement, and one of the more famous ones is John 8:32. And you will know the truth and the truth will make you free. So yes, we can claim that. But we've got to read John 8: 31, to really understand that. John 831 says, if you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of mine. And you will know the truth, the truth will make you free. So in other words, knowledge alone is not enough. We have to act on that knowledge. So the truth never said anybody free until it was acted upon because ignorance and failure to act have the same result. Nothing.

Cody Butler 19:20
Well, exactly, right. I mean, I tell people all the time, like people will watch this, this this podcast, this interview, and they might think, Well, that's good information. I can see where my marriage is going wrong. But here's the thing rather new information does not change your life. What changes your life is radically seeking out and aggressively implementing new behavior. It's radically seeking out and aggressively implementing new behavior. And step number step number one to save in your marriage. Like I'm talking about men because I work with men predominantly for me, it's inappropriate for me to talk about a marriage situation with a woman. It like the men speak with the men and the women speak with the women. That That's my belief. It's just completely inappropriate. Wait for me to be having those conversations with women. When you totally agree topics of sex are coming up topics of intimacy are coming up. No, no, you talk to my wife, and I'll deal with our deal with the husband as I speak with men. So I say, when I'm talking with men, that that's the reason it's like, really, you know, couples counseling is not really a thing for me, because it's just, it's just a it's just a refereed argument is all it is. But no, you have to, you have to radically seek out and implement new behavior. And the point that you pointed out, there was the number one thing that you really need to seek out. And then one thing that's really going to radically change your life is discipleship. If you want to save your marriage, the thing that you need to be looking for is discipleship. It's not a book, it's not a piece of information. It's not a strategy. It's like, I need to submit to discipleship. And that could be you, that could be me, that could be the pastor of your church, that could be anybody. I'm not suggesting that it's you or me or anything like that. What, uh, what I am emphatically stating, though, is that if you don't submit yourself to discipleship, you will not get better. You can't do this by yourself. And the Bible is very clear about this discipleship is is absolutely required.

David Sandstrom 21:10
Yes, no doubt about it. So in your book, you talk about needing to unlearn some lies in order to succeed. Is that what you're talking about there? Or is that something else?

Cody Butler 21:22
The biggest lie that you've been told the biggest lie, or the biggest crime that has taken place is you've had your identity stolen from you, you don't know who and what you are. You don't know who your child are. Like, if you're a Christian, if you're watching this, your child of the King. And the reason you're not acting like that right now, it's because you've forgotten that or you don't know that, or it's been dumbed down, like, you know, my beef with the modern Christian churches is powerless. It's completely powerless, because it's, it's lost sight. It's been robbed of its identty, identity. It's like we are we are children of The risen King. Do you understand? You understand what that means? And yeah, I don't think I understand it. And I don't think you understand it, because it's due our our, our lives, demonstrating that we are children of The risen King, and we are exercising the power and the authority that's been given is given to us as our birthright as heirs and CO heirs to the throne. It's like I don't, I don't think so it blows your mind. And it's like, step number one. It's like, all if I'm working with you, David, all I need to do to take your life to the next level is help you remember who you are, and help you understand who you are. And to unlearn the lie of the identity that you're small, you're powerless, you're weak, you're toxic, you're the cause of problem. It's like you're white, you're male, you're middle class, it's like you're the you're the cause of every bang. You're the bane of every problem in society. It's like, that's the identity that we give, and it's complete. Nonsense. You are the child of the risen king.

David Sandstrom 22:52
That's right. Yeah. And there's so much to say on that, you know, God is the Creator of the Universe. He's the one that spoke the galaxies into existence. And we are fashioned and made in that great image. And we are, as you said, co heirs with him on the throne. It's mind boggling. If you're not, if that doesn't take your breath away, I would suggest that you got to spend some time pondering that. It's, you know, it is so right in front of us that sometimes we don't see the forest for the trees. But when you think about that for a minute, there are profound implications there. And you know, it has profound implications on the way we live our lives and the way we behave. And especially with this conversation, how we treat our spouses. Right? I mean, it's staggering the implications there.

Cody Butler 23:42
And one of the things that really irritates me to be honest with you, my my fight against the modern church, and don't get me wrong, I love I love the church, you know, obviously, but it's like, I'm like we want to empower not disempower. And people say, Oh, if it's God's will, if it's God's will, if it's God's will, I'm like, That's just an excuse for your failure. It's like, I mean, I've got a SMS message here, I've got a client. I mean, I can show it to you. But basically, like, the guy, the guy was diagnosed with a very serious, incurable illness. And he was he was down, I was talking to him in a coaching session, and he was down. And I said, Well, I'm trying as well. I'm not just dealing with this. I'm dealing with the loss of my health. Now, I've been diagnosed with this, I'm like, rubbish. I'm like, get those words out. Never speak those words. Again. That's rubbish. I'm like, you will be healed of that. I'm like, what? When the doctor told you he was incurable, what he actually meant to say was in my very limited experience of medical practice. I've never successfully treated this. And he's empowered in your his limiting belief of what he is capable on to you. I'm like you, I promise you, I promise you. I promise you you will be healed. How do I know because Jesus raised the dead and he told me that I will do these things and greater. I'm like, Oh, you need all we need here. Brothers. You need to be healed of an incurable sickness. I've been told that I'm going to do great thing. doesn't raise the dead. This is nothing like that. I mean, this is easy compared to that. I'm like this about three months ago, I got a text message set up Saturday saying or last Friday said, just got out of the procedure very groggy from the anesthetic, but 100% Clear. Wow, 100% clear.

David Sandstrom 25:16
That's awesome. I get that's awesome. I got to share a similar story, I get a good friend of mine. We've been friends for friends for 40 years. And a couple years ago, he was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer, and it metastasized to his lungs and his liver. And last fall, the doctors told him, Look, we've done everything we can do. Go home, get your affairs in order. It's not going to be long. And he said, Well, how long doc? He said, The doctors have told him days, maybe weeks. Well, that was November of last year. And he just went in for a few tests last week. And he's completely clean, cancer free. Amen. So it's not in that glorious. So you know, those doctors, they're, they're not God, you know, that they should say it in different different different terms, you know, and say, you know, in my experience, this is what I've observed. But that doesn't mean you have to fit that way. Right? Exactly. There should be room for God to move in and room for the doctor to be wrong. Because you know, God is in the transformation business, and we are His disciples and we get this right things can happen. But you know, we're trying to focus here on marriage I'm gonna reel it back in a little bit. But anyway, I know that just as you've identified three very, very beneficial things to relationship. You've also identified for toxic behaviors in marriage. And if could you speak to those I have in front of me, but I think you probably know him pretty well. So what are the what are the toxic things that we engage in that damage our relationships?

Cody Butler 27:01
Yeah, so the first the first one is escalation. It's the habit of escalation. And a lot of these things we don't even know that we're doing it's like, well, what it seems like we can take a molehill and turn it into a mountain. Yeah, well, what about if we could take a mountain and turn it into a molehill? Why not, it's no, it's no less of a miracle to turn a mountain into a molehill than it is to turn a molehill into a mountain. Yeah, it's as equally as much a miracle going the other way. So the first habit is escalation. And that again, that's, you know, the easiest way to look at that. It's like it's taken, it's taken a molehill and turn it, turn it into a mountain, we can take nothing and turn it into something. That that's the first habit. And of course, again, we've got to relate all of these back to how does it affect the three core core elements of a marriage, emotional safety, insecurity, mutual admiration, and shared vision. So if every time your wife tries to talk to you, you escalate it into an argument, just just destroy the emotional safety that is just killed it is and the other aspects to the second one is going to be really insidious. It's insidious. It's negative interpretation. It's negative interpretation, and that's thinking the worst of your spouse. And only God can see into the heart of a man if you want to utterly destroy a relationship beyond repair. Question somebody's intentions. Yeah, you can, you can question the outcome. You can say, hey, Cody, like you acted, you acted in a way on my podcast that made me a little bit uncomfortable. It's like, okay, well, that might be true. But if you say you came on my car cut podcast simply to discredit me and make me look so silly. It's like that, that you don't, nobody has any right to determine that motivation. It's like, Well, okay, if that's what you think about me, then? Yeah, I'm out of here.

David Sandstrom 28:47
Right, right. It's negative. One of the things I want to add to that is when we work with couples in our groups, and that is, if somebody says something like, no, no, no, that's not what I meant by that. You need to take them at their word. You can't sit there and dig your heels in and say, no, no, no, I know what you meant by that. No, if you want to rebuild the connection, you've got you've got to take them at their word, you know, because they, they, if you ask them separately, you know, do you want what's best for your spouse? Do you want the best possible outcome in your marital connectedness? The spouse was in a heartbeat. Yes, yes. I that's what I want. So why would they lie about something that critical? So yeah, you gotta you gotta take your word and say, Okay, I guess I interpreted that wrong.

Cody Butler 29:37
But the easiest way, the easiest way to see that is like, I always ask a couple when I when I first talked to them. You know, Dave, Dave, have you ever woken up in the morning and thought, I'm going to be a real a-hole tody and really upset my wife. Have you ever woken up and thought that ever one time never done that? Never asked your wife the same thing if you've ever woken up or gone? Just going to be a real a-hole today and I'm going to go out of my way to upset my husband. I'm guessing that her answer will be the same. Now, I've never woken up with the intention of upsetting my husband. So then, coming from that place of understanding that neither one of us have ever worked, we're not malicious, vicious, nasty people that have ever woken up with the intention of having a fight or causing pain. When that paying conflict and tension comes during the day. Can we agree that it's a miscommunication? Can we just agree that we come from different backgrounds, different families, different different cultures? Different whatever it is, right? What? Yeah, I don't know what the difference is. But can we just agree that we've we've misunderstood each other over miscommunicated? And can we, instead of negatively interpret in this situation and go, you intentionally tried to hurt me and then escalating the situation? To something big? Can we take it down a notch? Can we go okay, well, I know you wouldn't intentionally hurt me, Dave, I know you wouldn't intentionally hurt me, Cody. So can we take it down a notch and lower the emotional levels? And then talk about this when we're in a better condition?

David Sandstrom 31:01
Yeah, absolutely. That's a really good way to de-escalate any conversation, spousal or not, and that is, let's find some common ground, let's find something that neither one of us would dispute, and that we can both agree upon. And let's settle on that for a moment. And then we'll we'll progress from there. And that can really diffuse, you know, a high intensity conversation.

Cody Butler 31:27
Absolutely. It's just something very simple like, like, with the kids, right? I mean, my wife's my wife's over protective with the kids. And I'm probably like, a little bit more. I'm like, Where are the kids? I'm like, are they're just playing with the guns in the backyard? Don't worry, they're not loaded. Yeah, I'm just joking. That never happened. That never happened. Okay. But it's like, you know, we, there's no doubt I don't, I don't doubt that she's doing her best to protect the kids. And she doesn't doubt that I would ever do anything to harm the kids in any way, shape, or form. So it's like, when we have that conflict, it's like, you know, she thinks I'm being a little bit too relaxed, or I think she's being a little bit too protective. It's like, okay, well, we both know that we love the kids immensely. And we both know that either one of us would never do anything to harm the kid. So we've got the same goal here, which is to keep the kids safe. Obviously, we're just seeing things a little bit different. Here. Maybe you could explain your point of view to me about what you think's going on here. And we can we can come to a compromise. So yeah, it's just it's just having some strategies and haven't had. And that's difficult, right? Because that's your, that's your conscious competence. And it's like the getting that to the point, you've got to practice that. And it's awkward. Before, before it transitions into that unconscious competence.

David Sandstrom 32:43
That's exactly right. You know, it just oh, this is such good stuff. So when you're, when you're having a conversation, I say, I tell couples, one of the best things you can say is, thank you for sharing. Yep. Because most of the time, we're so busy thinking about what we want to say that we stopped listening, right? So if you just forget about that, that's just shelved for the moment. And I'm just going to listen. And my response, I know ahead of time that my response is going to be thank you for sharing. It really, it just does something about increasing that intimacy and that relational connectedness. Another thing is, you can you could say, alright, let me let me summarize what I believe you're saying. And then you paraphrase. And they might say, Yeah, that's exactly right. Or they might say, No, that's not quite what I met. Let me let me fill in the blanks here. And that is that will lead to a productive conversation. We call them staff meetings, in our groups, you'll have a good staff meeting if you if you follow those guidelines.

Cody Butler 33:49
Well, yeah, that's a great name for I mean, I call it set plays, set plays, wins games. Okay, you've got it, you've got to have a set play, like when you're talking to a couple that's in crisis is like, can we just agree that we don't know how to have a conversation? Can we just agree that we don't know how to have effective communication? So can we just throw out everything that you think you know? And can we put a set play in place which, which would be your staff meeting? So when we when we want to have a conversation, or when we need to have a conversation? I call it a set play; You call it a staff meeting? It's exactly the same thing. It's like, yes, we're gonna go into a structured conversation. This is not a free for all. This is not a yell at you. You yell louder, and then I yell back some more. It's like, this conversation has structure. This conversation has rules.

David Sandstrom 34:35
That's a good, that's a good rule. I liked that structure. Excellent. Really good stuff. So the next one would be invalidation

Cody Butler 34:44
Invalidation. Correct. And if this is this is more about that a little. Yeah, this is this is more insidious from for men and for women, because we instinctively want to help the woman. We're problem solvers. We find we find our own validity. to helping people but unfortunately, quite often in trying to help the woman she doesn't we invalidate her right? So when we might come home from work and say, So and so was a real butthead at work, and they're just so rude to me, it just upsets me. And as a man, I go into my problem solving mode, and I go, Oh, I wouldn't even worry about that. The guy's just just a butthead. Don't worry, he can't fire you. He doesn't mean anything. And we're trying to pull validation from solving the problem. But at the same time, it's just completely validating her emotion. She, it's basically saying your emotion is not valid, that the fact that you're upset is not valid, that the wife comes home and paraphrase. If I'm upset about something that happened and we're at work and a man goes, Well, don't worry about it, there's nothing to be upset about.

David Sandstrom 35:45
Right. So what he's done is, is your invalidation is a great word. But in essence, what that what that spouse has done, and believe me, I've been there, okay, I've done will have to say, Hey, look at you don't need to worry about that. That guy's just, you know, a moron; brush it off. What you're saying is, he's not the problem, the real problem here is you, it's your reaction to what he said or did. And that is insulting to I don't know what degree I mean, how could somebody respond positively to that? We call this emotional responding. If if someone is venting an emotion, like frustration, or disappointment, or whatever it is, we don't invalidate that emotion, we get on their level, and say, Wow, that must have really been hurtful. Tell me more, you know, and then that person feels validated and that that fosters more intimacy and connection,

Cody Butler 36:40
That that's exactly right. And again, if you think about it, like bringing this back to the three pillars of building a marriage, it's like, well, when you basically invalidate, that, when the woman brings an emotion to you, and you're validated straightaway, you're again, you're crushing emotional safety and security like that, she's not going to come to you again, and share her emotions because she's just going to be invalidated. And that invalidation becomes more painful than actually not even talking about it. Yes, oh, they just go elsewhere, they just stopped talking to you, and they go elsewhere. So again, it's not just understanding what the problem is, we have to relate everything back to the three pillars is this building or destroying one of those three pillars? All of those pillars?

David Sandstrom 37:20
Excellent, really good information. So let's talk about withdrawal. What does that look like?

Cody Butler 37:26
So that could be physical or that could be emotional withdrawal. So again, another word for it will be abandonment. It will be abandonment, emotional abandonment. So I have a thing with my wife, like, I'm a little bit hot headed, I know my weaknesses. So again, set plays wins games day. That's what I say set plays wins games. So when I when I feel the blood rushing up the flesh coming onto my face, I feel the that rage coming over me. And I know that it's going to be bad. I've told my wife ahead of time, when when when things are getting bad, when things are escalating, and our set plays have not worked to deescalate the situation and to continue to escalate. I'm going to leave, I'm going to leave, I'm going to leave your presence, I'm going to leave the house I'm like but I'm not leaving you. I'm not abandoning you. I'm doing abandoning you're doing it because I love you. And I will be back. I'm leaving to protect you. Because it's going to be much easier to explain the absence than it is to explain the hand grenade that's about to go off. But I've told her ahead of time, right? I've said, Hey, this is this is what's going to happen. I'm doing it because I love you. I'm doing it to protect you. I'm not abandoning you. And I will be back. And if I do leave, please don't chase me because you'll make the situation worse. And right. That's an example of where what could seemingly be withdraw is actually it is not like with the negative type of withdrawal would just be like when you just sit down and you just emotionally shut down. Right? And the woman doesn't know why you've shut down or the husband doesn't know what are you just, you just got up. I'm out of here, man, and you go down the local watering hole and you drink some some cold ones with your friends. And you come back a day later or later on that night and there's no, you've effectively abandoned your wife. Right? You've just you've just left her in a time of crisis and she doesn't know where you are, what's going on? How can she possibly feel safe under your leadership? If you're doing that?

David Sandstrom 39:20
Yeah, you know, personal story. Our first year of marriage was very rocky, we've been married for 22 years, my wife. But we had one of those one of those conflicts. And I really didn't know what to do. I had none of these skills. And I got my car door to the airport, got on an airplane and flew out of town. And I didn't I didn't say anything like you just said I just took off. And I don't know how we survive that. I don't know. I mean, but I just didn't know what to do. I didn't know what else to do. And I'm an airline pilot, so getting on an airplane and flying out of town felt natural to me. All right, so I'm sitting there in a hotel room by myself stewing on all this, just, you know, all these toxic thoughts are just snowballing out of control. And God moved to God moved and brought a woman into my wife's life. And long story short, I don't have time to go into it all right now because we're, we're kind of running late on time. But it's a cool story. But she said she ended up inviting us to a weekend called Marriage Encounter. And it was all God ordained God, God brought this woman into my wife's life. And she, my wife called me up said, Hey, Dave, I think we're supposed to go to this thing. And God worked it out. And we got there. We went there, it was a turning point for us. And we've been doing marriage ministry ever since not in its present form. But it helped us so much. We learned so much that weekend, that we said, Wow, we got it, we got to continue on this path. And it hasn't been, you know, a smooth road every step of the way. We've had our conflicts. But man, we are so, so much closer today, because we have some of these tools, some of these coping skills, and some of these, you know, the knowledge of what breaks down a relationship and the knowledge of what builds relationship, relational connectedness, you know, we have the tools, and it's only when I get frustrated, or, you know, short tempered that I don't I just choose not to use them. You know, so we execute imperfectly, but man, it's made a world of difference.

Cody Butler 41:28
Oh, it's why I mean, the divorce rates 50%. But it's worse than that. Because I mean, if you survey the 50, when surveyed the 50%, the state marriage, when you ask them, Are you happy and satisfied in your relationship? It's like 92%, say no. Right? Yeah, I mean, people just leave and the ones that stay for whatever reason, maybe it is because out of out of their commitment to their vows, or maybe it's spent for whatever reason, right? It's like the majority of those. So really, only four or 5% of people are actually happy, satisfied or fulfilled within their relationship, which is absolutely tragic. Because it doesn't it is to be that way. And it doesn't take a lot to change it. It doesn't take a lot.

David Sandstrom 42:08
Yeah, you're absolutely right. So you, you talked about your alcohol addiction and drug addiction are early on, while back and you are involved in in rehabilitation. Right now, some some programs. So typically, you know, the 12 step programs have a very, very, very poor success rate. Most of those people relapse, they don't really have a lot of people they can brag about that if recovered. But in your programs, you get 80 plus percent recovery. What's the difference? What are you doing differently in those programs?

Cody Butler 42:43
I'm not doing anything I'm allowing, I'm allowing God to do the healing is what's going on. I'm allowed to do the healing. So I'm also very particular about who I allow into it. So the success is like, you have to be ready for radical ownership and radical responsibility. You have to be open to the truth of the path to recovery is it's It's simple. It's like no the truth and the truth shall set you free. That is the path to truth. That is the path path to recovery. It's the truth that will set you free. But here's the thing, right? And when things are the truth, that's easy. Well, Jesus told the truth, and he got himself killed in there. If you want to, if you want to piss somebody off, tell the truth. The truth is the hardest thing to face and why the reason why we're drinking in the first place is because we're not willing to face the truth. The reason why we're drinking is because truth is so painful, that we'll do anything to avoid facing that truth. And I know for myself, like, looking back now see, I mean, it's hard for me to even think about some of the stuff that I did during that time. It's, I would rather just Black it out and suppress it and not, that's how painful it is for me to even just think about it inside of my head, let alone talk about it. That's how bad it was. And it's only actually shining light into it and confessing it owning it telling the truth. That it's like it's like this, right? I mean, let me show you I've got a light here, right? I've got a light 100 times out of 100 How many times will the dark if I if I turn light. If I shine light into a dark room, how many times out of 100 Will the light win

David Sandstrom 44:22
the light is going to win all the time,

Cody Butler 44:23
It's going to win 100 times out of 100 this this the solution to darkness and again, when I when I talk to people in this sort of the interview process because it is it is a selection process. It's like Are you ready to shine light into the darkness? Because when we shine light into the darkness, you're going to see the truth and the truth is going to be ugly. It's going to be what you've been running from, uh, you ready to turn around and do battle with a monster instead of continuing instead of to continue to run from it to hide. Yeah. Or do you just want an excuse for it? Do you just want an excuse for your drinking? Do you want to next excuse for your running? Do you want an excuse for your behavior? Do you want to be right? Or do you want to be sober? Do you want to be right? Or do you want to be married? When you choose because the only way we're going to get through this is like we have to shine light into the darkness, we have to deal with truth be transformed by the renewing of your mind. But we've talked about that what is the renewing of the mind, we have to unlearn the lies of your stolen identity. And we have to transform your your mind has to be renewed and transformed to adopt the identity of who and what you are. You're saying, I went to Alcoholics Anonymous one time, because they require to you to raise your hand at the beginning, like for demonstration purposes only, you have to say, I am an alcoholic. And I'm like, and then they tell you that you have an incurable disease that you will have to manage for the rest of your life. I'm like, I'm not an alcoholic. I've been set free by Christ and those who Christ is set free is truly free. Indeed, I refuse to deny the healing, I refuse to deny it by showing up and saying, you know, for demonstration purposes only, I'm an alcoholic. And I refuse to believe that this is an incurable condition that I'm going to have to live with. None of that is biblical, none of that is biblical. I mean, Jesus will set you free. And when you are set free, you're not an alcoholic, you've got to renew your mind, you got to be transformed by the renewing of your mind, you got to change that identity. You've got to change, you got to shine light into your darkness, you've got to face the truth. And you've got to accept radical responsibility for your own life. You got to expect accept radical responsibility for the damage that's been done under your leadership. You've got to accept radical responsibility for everything. Everything in my life. Look, it's like it's like this. If I'm at the grocery store, I've got three kids, right? I got a two year old, a five year old and six year old if they find a hammer, and they're in the parking lot smashing taillights? Whose responsibility is that? It's mine.

David Sandstrom 46:59
I can't say it's yours for not watching them. Yeah. So

Cody Butler 47:01
someone can't come and say, Cody, your kids are smashing their cars out in the car park. And I go that do? And it's like, no, no, no, everything those kids do is my responsibility, everything. And I'm like you as as a man, you've got to accept the responsibility that everything that's gone on in your house, in your marriage in your life, which now includes your wife, because two flesh has become one, you're one in the same. Everything that's going on is your responsibility. If you're an airline pilot who's responsible for what happens on that, on that flight,

David Sandstrom 47:32
The the federal aviation regulations say the captain is the final authority as to the operation of that aircraft, Air Traffic Control can tell you things. A dispatcher can tell you things. You can have all kinds of expectations thrown upon you. But at the end of the day, you're the one who has to do the carpet dance, and explain yourself, why you made the decisions you did. So they give captain's a great deal of authority. In fact, it's the ultimate authority as the operation of that aircraft, you can break any rule or regulation, you have to, to the extent necessary to meet that emergency. And I think what we're talking about here in relationships is, you know, many couples are in crisis. And that can be thought of as an emergency. So imagine, you know, what, you got to be the captain and be the final authority as to the operation or the well of functioning of your marital relationship. Exactly.

Cody Butler 48:28
And I and who's responsible for that crisis, as when you get off that plane, you are held accountable for the success of that flight or your cat held accountable for the failure of that flgiht.

David Sandstrom 48:38
That's right. That's right. You are accountable. Pilots have gone to jail for making mistakes up there.

Cody Butler 48:45
Yeah. And it's like we got we got to be, we got to be excuse free. It's like, you got to own it, you've got to own it. It's like that. And again, that was like, I, I had this vision. It wasn't a vision vision. But it's like I had this like, kind of idea in my head where I just saw like, in real terms, what was going on in my house. And it's like Jesus says, Jesus has given me this precedent, precious vessel vessel stewardship over this precious precious vessel and over this house, and it's like, this is what's going on in my wife, just like, I'm going to have to give an account for this. It's like, whatever's happened in this house is my responsibility. I've got to take ownership of that. 100% Radical responsibility. And a, I've got to own what's happened because when I own what's happened and say everything that's happened is my responsibility, then everything that happens moving forward is also my responsibility. And that's a beautiful thing as well. Yeah. So really, the key the short answer to the to the question is what is the cause of the success? It's like, I'm very selective about who I work with if you if you're not ready. If you're not at the point to where you're going, not another day, not another hour and not another minute. Am I going to live like this? I will do whatever it takes. I One of the things I say is, is We do. We choose convenient, we choose commitment, our convenience, which is commitment, our convenience, that's a choice. And everyone goes, well, I'm committed. And it's like, yeah, until you have to do a, until you have to get your checkbook out, do you have to get your credit card out? Then you're not so committed? Or do you have to do it interview interviewing, I'll be doing an interview for somebody that wants to join the program. And they'll say, Well, what time are the coaching calls? I'm like, wrong question, dude, what does it matter? Right? What is the time to get there, you will make time to get there. Right? It's like, the fact that you've just asked me what time are the coaching calls tells me that maybe you're not committed, right? It's like, people are committed to they have to sacrifice sleep, people are committed to they have to sacrifice a meal, people are committed to they have to sacrifice a vacation or a new car, people are committed to they have to sacrifice themselves, their lifestyle, their friends. And, you know, I've got to see, I've got to know that. Like, when we work together, it's like, you come on board. And you genuinely, I've got to know that you will come into town with an attitude of I will do whatever it takes. And I'm committed to this, regardless of the inconvenience. I choose commitment over convenience. And yeah, I know that I'm gonna get the healing, I know that I'm going to be set free from this. There's no doubt in my mind. Yeah. And then if there's three of those elements are present, we're getting the results 100%

David Sandstrom 51:21
I'm starting to see why your book is called cut the BS a no nonsense guide to help because you're a no-nonsence kind of a guy.

Cody Butler 51:28
But life is short. Life is short, you know, we don't we don't have time to. I always say you tell lies to your friends, and I'll tell lies to my friends. And we'll just be honest with each other. How's that for a deal?

David Sandstrom 51:39
Good. You know, I just want to point out one other thing here is, is the biblical account of the fall in Genesis two and three. And you know, after Adam and Eve had sinned, God comes around and see obviously knew what they were. But he says, Adam, where are you? And Adams reply. Well, I knew I was naked, so I hid. So there's there's that escape part, right? It's hard to hide. And then what did they do? They started pointing the finger at one another, neither one of them wanted to accept the blame. Well, it's that woman you gave me. So it's the woman's fault. And if it's not her fault, God, it's your fault because you gave her to me. Wow. Adam chose to speak to God that way. That's a great example of what not to do when you want to make some change some positive changes.

Cody Butler 52:28
Yeah, it didn't it didn't work out too well for him, for any of us really did it.

David Sandstrom 52:35
Cody, I really enjoyed our conversation. If people want to get go further with you and get a hold of you. What's the what's the easiest way to get a hold of you,

Cody Butler 52:42 is a is a great place to start. I'm not I'm not hard to find. It's like, again, if you if you want to talk to me, you'll find me if I have to spell out where to find me. You don't want to talk to me that bad. So you'll find me if you want.

David Sandstrom 52:58
Very good. Well, I'll be sure to put links in the shownotes. Cody, thank you so much for spending time with a Natural Nation today.

Cody Butler 53:04
Thank you, David. Thanks for having me.

David Sandstrom 53:07
For more, go to the show notes page at There you can find an audio as well as a video version of the podcast and links to any of the resources that we mentioned. If you're enjoying the podcast, would you tell a friend about it? I sure would appreciate it. The number one way people find a podcast is that a friend tells them about it. And this information is hard to find. So if you're getting something out of this podcast, there's a good chance that someone you know might enjoy it as well. So I would really appreciate you spreading the word. That's it for now. Thanks for listening. I'll talk with you next week. Be blessed.

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About the author 

David Sandstrom

I want to help you maximize your health potential so you can look and feel your best at any age. We do this by aligning our lives more fully with God's natural design for our spirit, mind, and body. I've been helping people maximize their health potential since 2005.

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