For a unique take on the meaning of LOVE I spoke to The author of Love Made Made Simple: A Guide To Inner Peace, Contentment and Success – Juan Lee. Juan is a transformational speaker, thought leader and author. He is the founder and executive director of Clear Journey which is a nonprofit that teaches attitudes and life skill for success. Juan has been a Christian for over 30 years and has seen the message of love made so difficult that it’s confusing. He removes the confusion by making it very simple to understand. He has found the things that we have in common to be more important than looking for the things that divide us. In religions, the vehicle is God, that the churches, mosques, and the synagogue use to facilitate the message of love with much confusion. Apart from the God concept, the message of love is the vehicle for humanity.
INCLUDED IN THIS EPISODE (But not limited to):
· Juan’s Definition Of Love
· What Is Religion?
· How The Church Is Really A Business
· Why It’s Important To Separate People From God
· Living With A Learning Disability
· Air Force Stories
· The Relationship Of Love To:
· The Family Framework
· The Road To Contentment And Success
CONNECT WITH JUAN:
Website & Books: https://juanleetheauthor.com
CONNECT WITH DE’VANNON:
· Pray Away Documentary (NETFLIX)
o TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk_CqGVfxEs
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You’re listening to the sex drugs and Jesus podcast, where we discuss whatever the fuck we want to! And yes, we can put sex and drugs and Jesus all in the same bed and still be all right. At the end of the day, my name is De’Vannon and I’ll be interviewing guests from every corner of this world. As we dig into topics that are too risqué for the morning show, as we strive to help you understand what’s really going on in your life.
There is nothing on the table and we’ve got a lot to talk about. So let’s dive right into this episode.
De’Vannon: Hello, all my beautiful people. And thank you so much for tuning into the sex drugs and Jesus podcast. Again, I love you all so much. Now this week, I’m chopping it up with a man named Juan Lee . He wrote a book called Love Made Simple: A Guide To Inner Peace, Contentment And Success. And so we’re going to be talking about love and how to be happy this week.
Now Juan has a unique definition of love that he shares [00:01:00] with us. We talk about churches and religion because that’s what we do on this show. We’re going to talk about living with a learning disability. Juan and I share some of our air force stories cause he’s a fellow veteran as well. And then we talk about contentment and success and a little bit about family and all the lovely things that help us get along in this world.
I wish you all the best holiday possible, the best holiday that you’ve ever had. Again, I love you so much and please enjoy this episode.
Juan, thank you so much for coming on the sex drugs and Jesus podcast today. How are you feeling? My man?
Juan: I’m doing good. Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
De’Vannon: And so today we’re going to be talking about your book. Love made simple and your blog and about your life. We’re going to have a delicious jumbalaya of all the different seasonings and flavors and everything like that. And by the end of this interview, everybody will [00:02:00] be full of love and of life and of Liberty.
And of all the delicious things one could get full on
Juan: It’s all wrapped up in love.
De’Vannon: Love Love is love. What’s up. A major theme of everything that I came across when I was researching you and reading through your work and everything like that. So tell me right now, one, what does love mean to you?
Juan: that that’s, that’s, I’m gonna, I, I, the way you worded that, right, is what I’m trying to infiltrate and try to get to get across to people. Love is the system for the, the protection of humanity. Okay. That’s what I need us. We humans to come to grips with, [00:03:00] to understand that we don’t have the Liberty to make love into being what we want it to be.
It is what it is. We can demonstrate it. It’s up to us to demonstrate it. It’s the action that we put in it that gives it, gives what you?
see to show love. Okay. But what it is is a system that we use as humans to protect humanity.
De’Vannon: So the name of your book is love made simple. Why did you write this book? And why did you feel like the concept of love, like the title of made simple. Were you trying to simplify the concept? Tell me what prompted you to write this and why that, why that.
Juan: I have the only place that we in, in our lives is we have [00:04:00] loved being taught is in religious structure. And in the process of learning about love, I’m a Christian been a Christian for over 30 years. I would probably call myself an Orthodox Christian. But the point being is, is that we find it out to be very divisive in how it’s taught because it’s based on one’s religion and it made it very confusing because the message of love and division is, is not consistent. It’s not about dividing. It’s about unity. And what does the religious sect do is they divide and they divide and they divide and they divide and they divide and it’s very contrary. To what [00:05:00] love is. Love has three characteristics that I like to share. And the first one is, is that it’s a chameleon. It’s a, it’s basically takes on whatever it is necessary for this whole to succeed. And it, it engage in embraces the whole instead of the individual. And then the second C is that it’s a conduit. It allows us to connect one to another, to flow back and forth with, with the, with the gifts and talents that we have for one another to make that whole, that whole picture successful. And then, then it’s ultimately a choice that was a choice that can’t be defeated. You have that, that choice to love above and above every thing. And when you choose it, you can’t lose. It’s UN it’s [00:06:00] undefeated. And so that was the premise that I went through. And I had that understanding that we have everything that is necessary to succeed and as a collective when we come together. And so that was where that journey was to find out how love is, what love is to be made simple, because it’s not that hard, but I think a lot of us have been confused based on various ways of hearing about it or understanding it. And so until you find purpose in what it’s for, you’re tossed. And so what I was in, I embarked on doing it just to make it simple. It’s universal. [00:07:00]It’s not for one group versus another, or to be separated and pull the part and say it, if you don’t do it this way, you don’t get it. That’s not that.
that’s, that’s not love. That’s not the intent.
De’Vannon: So then what so then what sort of person would benefit you think from a reading your. Book. So if I’m coming from what sort of background is this kind of like a little bit of everyone, like what’s the list, like your ideal.
Juan: Well, it’s those. Well, I, ironically, I w I want to reach those that are serving. Those who are looking for answers because ultimately we’re talking about life and ultimately that’s what it’s all about. I refrain from trying to get into religious conversations because religion is a [00:08:00] choice. That’s, that’s your belief, that’s your at your faith.
That’s outside of the parameters of what I’m referring to, because see, I don’t need, you don’t need faith nor religion to work within the boundaries of life to operate in life. And that’s what I’m referring to a system in life it’s called love. Love is the system that, that will expand, preserve and protect humanity and humanity exists right here on earth.
And so what we’re talking about is from birth to death. Anyone who has desires to operate outside of those. That’s where your faith is. That’s where your, your, your belief is. And I’m not engaging that that’s not something that I want to depress, because guess what? I think religion has a place.
Like I said, I was in religion. I’ve been in religion for 30 years, but the fact of the matter is, is that I’m referring to the practical application of love here [00:09:00] on earth. It is a system that’s meant for humanity to protect and to preserve humanity.
We we will, I hear what you’re saying about religion and everything like that. And a little bit though, I am going to press you on some details about your journey through the different denominations though, because a lot of my listeners are having that same sort of journey. And I think that it’s important for people to understand from somebody else’s respect of what it’s like to, to dabble in different denominations or religions, or to have that sort of soul searching journey.
Because you know, a lot of people are not yet awakened or they’re not yet very solid, you know, and exactly where they [00:10:00] stand on spiritual matters in the not everybody’s going to be able to. To divide say love from religion yet. I agree with you. I personally, don’t like to identify as a Christian anymore because of how crazy the term is.
I just, I’m just like a believer of something more simple than that, you know, I believe in Christ and the Trinity, but I don’t like to be affiliated with the word Christian at all. And but it took me really, really, really, really, really long time to be able, you know, after I got kicked out of the church and everything for not being straight it took me a really long time to be able to separate God from churches or God from religion and God from the people it took a long time.
And so that’s something that’s always, I don’t feel I can be overstated. It’s other, we talk about it like. On this show tends to title sex, drugs, and Jesus, because there’s natural and spiritual elements to everything. And as we mature, we know how to divide them when we, when we need to. But before,
Juan: If I could interject something in here. [00:11:00] And I think this is probably, it was all about that confusion that you are referring to right there
De’Vannon: uh huh.
Juan: that caused me to go on this journey. And what a lot of things, a lot of people have a struggle with. Has it relates to what religion is? You know, I like to refer to religion.
It’s a business.
Juan: It’s, it’s a business, you know, it’s, it’s a business just like McDonald’s burger king. Popeye’s any other one, it’s a business. And it’s more so just like those, because they’re most, in many cases, they’re franchise businesses. Okay. And so to understand that is to be able to separate the message from the business. Okay. And, and they are doing a very difficult job in separating the two, because it has an [00:12:00] agenda. It has a purpose for it not to be separated because once you get full, you don’t need to come back to McDonald’s. Okay. But I got to keep you coming back to McDonald’s. So I’m bringing out, you know, I’ve got to find a way to keep you coming back. Okay. The churches, the church has an agenda and I’m not, again, I’m not knocking any business nor the agenda of the business, but if you don’t understand what your product is or what it is that you’re being served
Juan: and understand that that business needs you to to survive, then you’re confused when the message and the, and the , the business becomes very blurred
and so it makes it, I don’t like you in my business. It’s easy for them to say, I don’t like you in my business because you don’t measure up to my business specifically [00:13:00] because of the, the agenda that my business has. See, I got to keep an agenda and I keep my, my, whatever, the philosophy or the theology is it’s proposed.
If you oppose my feet theology, then you against my business, but the message is different than your theology. And that’s, that was the reason for me separating and saying, look, love made simple. We don’t need the theology to make love, to get love, to have this love, to have this system that is forever around us, that we are men.
It doesn’t take much for us to see. It’s a system like everything else. Humanity is assisting humanity as a part of a system. It is a unit of the bigger thing called life. It’s a life is a platform. That’s where we [00:14:00] exist. It’s an experience that humanity is a part of and everything rotates circular in a system.
They come and they go. And I think when we understand that we can begin to understand that we are here a part of a bigger system to invest into the protection of humanity.
De’Vannon: Right. And so, so like, so when you’re saying like the religions and churches have an agenda, I think from my experience, what I would akin to that is so like I considered like, so whenever they removed me from all my volunteer ministries for not being straight, basically I was thinking, you know, well, lately now I wonder if it was because I was worth serving like say in the kid’s ministry at Lakewood church in Houston, Texas.
And so what I, what I come to realize recently, [00:15:00] Like you said they have an agenda. Okay. Church is about the business of creating very attractive kids programs. Those kids bring the parents to church. The parents bring the money. And so the, the complaints started coming from the parents about, you know, the way I was dressed, you know, and stuff like that.
You know, that’s what the parents, you know, at Lakewood we were choosing to focus on.
And so, so the parents. So the parents bring the revenue, the tithes and the offerings and everything like that. And so I think on some level that they probably saw me as a threat to their reputation, you know, their money stream and everything like that, to that from the time that I got thrown out of church, that they just were not being straight.
They found that out on my MySpace profile, that’s how new social media was. It took me about like five or six more years, before I ever walked into a church again. And, but what I’m thankful for is that, you know, that experience caused me to begin to look at church and religion [00:16:00] differently and to understand how to separate.
You know, people from, from God and they’re not doing that the same thing, although they are marketed and packaged that way. And I want people to, to understand Juan, that you’re coming from, like a lot of experiences you’ve been in several denominations Christianity, you practice Catholicism, Southern Baptist convention of all things at Lord of Protestant Methodist, you know, then nondenominational.
I think it was a, I think it was a Baptist preacher when I was in seminary. He, and he was telling us how they like to control the congregation. This, this is the, one of the reason I left seminary. He just flat out, said in school and in class one night he was like, yeah, our aim is to control the congregation.
And I was like, I did a double-take and it off, you know, I was thinking that you really just say that right now, everybody in class was just agreeing with them. But I was like, no, they’re like, [00:17:00]I, that was another thing. But they, people just flat out intended to control the congregation and they don’t have any qualms about it.
Juan: Well, I mean, if you understand the premise that it.
is a business,
Juan: there is they call their graduate their classes about business administering. Business administering you how you manage the business. And we have to understand that religion is no different. And when you took to, to be able to, to manage your audience or your congregation is just like managing your, your, your customers, you know, it’s, it’s no different.
So, I mean, it’s not as it’s though , it’s a bad thing. It’s just, you’ve got to be able to ma it’s a business. And I think there is the that’s the switch that I’m trying to get across is, is that there’s nothing wrong with it being a business. You just got to understand that it is a business [00:18:00] and a lot of that message is not being shared.
And the, and the, and the, and what that message implies is, is that the way that organism runs, it’s not the message necessarily the message as much as it’s how the message is printed. And the way that it facilitates the business. It, it, it, it, it though, most religions, most churches promote religion. That’s what they teach.
That’s what they promote at the end of the message or the end of the situation. They’re trying to get people to buy into the religion. Okay.
They don’t say to buy into the, the, the, the, the S the love, they don’t say buy-ins, they it’s buy into our system except our system, except our way of doing things. It’s [00:19:00] not about, it’s not about loving your neighbor, that, not that, not that that’s not a part of it. That’s not in there, but that’s not what they say at the end of every message at the end of every messages is become a Christian. Become a part of my business, our business, whether it’s a Methodist, you know, Baptist, it’s that’s our denomination of our business.
De’Vannon: So when you say that a lot of people commit to the religion, but not to the concepts.
Juan: That’s you? That’s exactly what I just, I just shared with you because they’re selling the religion, not the concept of love.
De’Vannon: Right. Okay. And love, love. Love is the principle thing. I wonder how so do you think that was [00:20:00] it, was it money that you think corrupted the church? Like how did, how did the church get off track? You know?
Juan: But see, but that that’s the whole point. The church. Is about you. Look, it’s like a business. You don’t have a business, you don’t have a church. If you ain’t got a money, it’s just, it’s just that simple. If you need money to turn the lights on, to run the water, to, to, to buy the check, you need money.
It’s a business. You’ve got to have revenue.
De’Vannon: So maybe in the process of needing to maintain the business, because I don’t think every church started off with, you know, evil and broken. I think a lot of them started with good intentions and maybe along the way, you know, due to growth or the need to stay, maybe they lost focus.
Juan: well, I mean, again, there is this, this discussion, and I think if you hear the word church [00:21:00] biblically speaking, and I really try not to get into this because there is a divide here because we think about the church in the biblical sense of it is a group of people. You can be up on either a tree and be in a church. Okay. Th that that’s the best of people of believers. But what we’ve come to find out is to be able to in, in, especially in this day in time, is to be able to house these people. You need a structure to do it. And that structure takes people. It takes money to manage that structure. That structure becomes a living entity in and of itself. And so it has to be maintained. It has to be, and it can grow just as anything else can grow. And that’s a good [00:22:00] sign if it’s indeed doing the purpose of what it’s intended to do. And that’s the feed, the people, people that here’s the. One thing that I heard a long time ago, a church is not supposed to be a a permanent place.
It’s just a rest station. It’s just a place to stop on your journey. We may get our home and they want it to be your home. I could go in there. You find that you get that, you get that fill up and you keep it moving, but we’ve made it our permanent rest spot. And then that, and when you do that, you have a tendency to take ownership or want to take ownership. Now you think about the concepts of what God Jesus talked about. And he was talking about, you know, you don’t need a whole lot because if on your journey, you got these filling stations those that think like you, that w we [00:23:00] engage in what you engage in, they’ll fill you up and you stay on, keep on your journey. Okay. found out that we get to the dog, I’ll fill the station and stay there and think that, you know, and we get a big as a tick and about to explode. And then what’d you do with it? You know, your journeys it’s stymied. So in that regard, yeah, it’s a different purpose, but we’re talking about a structure that for the most part, when you think about somebody kicking you out of who you are, that doesn’t even make sense, how can somebody stop you from being who you are? And that’s The power of love. Can nobody stop you from being loved from, from a D ministering love, but yet they go kick you out. How did they do that? How is that possible? And because the business and you don’t want to, you don’t represent what they want.[00:24:00]
De’Vannon: See I love, I love the way you described all of that. I know you said. Really like talking about this stuff, but I know you had, I know you had said good stuff in you, so thank you for going there. For my, for my audiences, the way you, the way you described that I thought was very, very brilliant right now.
And there’s a lot of people who need a strong message, like how you just said they help them make a decision that maybe they’ve been thinking about doing for a long time. So I know you say it’s not really your thing, but you, you, you just, you just preached right now.
Juan: Okay. Here’s the thing. Here’s the thing I want your audience to know. It’s okay. It’s okay. I’ve I’ve, I’ve, I’ve spoken to your audience or the audience that you represent. A lot of the people that have been struggled that have been ostracized because of who they are. And, you know, I struggled with the fact of the way they identify [00:25:00] themselves as.
In the, in the state, they find the place where they can feel normal, feel accepted in the nonbelievers sec. And I’m saying to them, don’t you buy identifying as a non-believer is saying that it’s something that you, you, you can’t be who you are. It’s okay to be who you are. You don’t have to identify with anybody to be able to justify or to have a, but I understand it, it’s a space that trying to find a space and I get it.
But the fact of the matter is, is that you are who you are and it’s okay. And just to just accept the fact that you are okay in who you are now, there is a lot to unpack in who you are and who, who we all. But who we [00:26:00] all are, are uniquely made. We are sufficient and we’re necessary. And that’s that condo that’s that chameleon that I was referring to is when we come together, we all succeed.
It doesn’t matter. Our differences, their uniqueness. They’re not, they’re not things to divide us. They’re to make us better and stronger.
De’Vannon: I wish more people had your point of view. Let’s see. So you are, you’re so you are a speaker, you’re a founder and education director of a nonprofit, and of course you have your book. And I found this fascinating that you’ve been able to accomplish. This, because I’ve read and saw that you have had some sort of learning disability that wasn’t diagnosed till you were 37.
And so I’d like to know what the actual diagnosis [00:27:00] is, why you think it took so long for somebody to pinpoint it. And, and then just to, you know, congratulate you for overcoming it and they come as far as you have. So what was the diagnosis and why did it take so long for somebody to figure that out?
Juan: Well, I’m going to run it. All of those. I’m gonna give you all of that information, but I want it to be very clear. It is not something that I overcome,
Juan: I navigate.
Juan: Okay. And, and I, and I, and I, that needs to be clear because, you know, that was my hangup for a long time was why me, why me? It’s not about why. Is why not me and why not me, because it’s not about what I can’t do and what I don’t have. It’s about using what [00:28:00] I do. Hey, and finding out that uniqueness in me So that I can give it to the world, give it to humanity. So that struggle, that journey. How did I find out why wasn’t I, that I was, I was in a I grew up not measuring up in school about seventh grade, six or seven.
Oh, actually before that I was, I was falling behind and I fell behind and then they just put me into special education and pushing me through the system led me to a place of where I was extremely frustrated and hopeless. I didn’t know. Why I didn’t, I wanted, I had a desire to want to, but couldn’t I wanted to learn, but I couldn’t.
And I, and I was labeled as a disciplinary because I was frustrated. I mean, one that I was just, I needed, I had no discipline. [00:29:00] I was just not a disciplinary. I mean, I was basically a discipline problem. And so I got into the air force, which was surprising then and a miracle to me. And it was in there that I understood how love works because the actions I had heard about love.
But the fact of the matter is, is what, what made, what made love work? what, what was the thing that precipitated the actions of love? And I went in the military, everything in the military is a system. The reason that that big oiled machine runs the way it runs is because it’s a system and it re it reproduces itself every day.
I mean, we can put anybody into that system and it works, but the co what the, what the things that you need to have in that [00:30:00] system is that you got to have the right attitude. You got to have the right attitude, and you have to have the one single goal. You don’t have to be the same. You don’t have to do the same thing, but collectively we all had to have the right attitude to be able to accomplish the mission. And the mission, the bigger mission was very simple. And if you had a uniform on, no matter what branch it was, it was to protect and to preserve United States of America. It was to depict. From all enemies, domestic inform, that was the single goal that those attitudes were to administer. And that was what love does love.
Basically has a end goal has a goal to protect and to preserve humanity [00:31:00] and the right attitude of love makes it happen. And that’s how I’ve come to this point in writing love made simple, because it’s all about an attitude. That’s where it all comes down to is when we begin to change our attitudes, not only about ourselves, but about those around us will love will provide. And it will begin to meet the objectives that we put out for not only ourselves, but for humanity.
De’Vannon: Okay. So what, what was the official diagnosis? I want to, I want to get some clarity on that because people, I think it’s such a cool thing. Well, that you know, that you’re willing to be transparent about it, that you were, that you found a way to navigate [00:32:00] it, but learning disabilities and things like that, you know, there could be somebody with similar, you know, struggling with similar struggling don’t know that maybe they might, you
Juan: I have a, I have a memory deficiency,
Juan: a memory deficiency. I was 37 years though, after I had gone through the military come home, gotten married. I was still struggle.
Juan: And the struggle was, it was a ghost that I didn’t understand why I was struggling. I mean, you know, the desire, everything was there, but the fact of the matter is, is that it just wouldn’t connect. It wouldn’t stay. I would shucks. I, I still to this day, if I hear you and you introduce yourself to me, as soon as you said it, I forgot it. I have to repeat it. And that’s why system was perfect for me, was perfect for me to get into that system and then allow me to be successful because all I have to do is hook up to that system and then it becomes second nature to me. [00:33:00] Then I can respond and I can do things I can operate inside of that system. But I have got, I went to a a doctor, a PhD, and he gave me a test the test showed that I had this learning. I mean, I had this memory deficiency and that. The clarity of me understanding that it wasn’t me, it wasn’t me.
It had nothing to do with my desire. It was what I had and it wasn’t going anywhere, but that didn’t mean that I couldn’t succeed. It didn’t mean that I couldn’t be successful, but I had to find me and not someone else not being compared to anyone else I had to be me. And when I began to find out who I was, then I was able to be able to shine and being all that I could be. [00:34:00] I could push, I could really get to walk proudly into, in who I was, because I knew I was important that I had what was sufficient and it was necessary.
De’Vannon: Thank you for sharing that. Thank you for your service. Nine years in the air force, I did six years myself in the air force. So w when I was reading up on you, it seemed like you had some sort of a, a shift that happened or revelation when you were at tech school at Wichita falls, you, I felt like maybe the thing, like, like, if I recall from the reading, like maybe that was when you first had the aha moment that this air force thing was gonna work.
Because at first, when I was reading, you went to the air force trying to kind of get away from school, and then you ended up in the air force of all the branches is very schooly. It’s very schooly. And so then you find yourself back basically in this, in school again, which is what you were trying to get away from.
But then when you got the tech [00:35:00] school, it seems like that’s the, when something clicked and you knew that it could work
Juan: Well, it, it wasn’t necessarily, it wasn’t really tech school. Actually. It was basic training,
De’Vannon: okay. It was in
Juan: basic training, basic.
training was the example. And I, maybe it wasn’t clear, but basic training was when, you know, I realized that I couldn’t keep hiding. I couldn’t hide my cause. I’m still, I’m still ashamed of who I am because I’m in the air force, but everybody’s there and it’s all about academics, but, but the mission was greater than the academics. The mission was because everybody, this is where I began to see that it didn’t matter if I measured up because what I had was important, it was unique. It was different. And the, and we need, and they needed me. And so what happened was I failed the reading test in basic training and. [00:36:00] Every day when we have to do duties extra duties, I was exempted from those extra duties to go to remedial draining reading classes. And I was ashamed of that because all of my, my, my flight was doing details and I didn’t have to go. I was going to do something else. I was going to help prepare myself to be better. And that was Okay.
because they had my back because their success was my success. My success was their success. We had to realize that we needed each other. We needed. And that was very clear in basic training because I never forget one of the early things that we did. We remember you had to [00:37:00] run a mile and a half from basic training and it wasn’t about running a mile and a half. It was about running a mile and a half to gather information. I remember the first time he told us to run a out and he put us in formation.
He said, go blew the whistle. And I took off and we were spread out all over the track and he said, stop. He blew his whistle. Just stopped. No, y’all missed the point. Here is not about running a mile and a half. And she knew who can run it the fastest. It’s about all of you running a mile and a half together. So whether or not you will cause they’ll or elephant, you got to stay together. So for you Gazelles, hold up for you, elephants. You’re going to have to be. But you all gotta be together. And that was the example. That was the message that I realized that this thing was not about me. [00:38:00] It was about us. It was about us succeeding. And that was the message of love. It was about us. Succeeding is bigger than just me and you were just here for our season of this cycle for humanity to continue.
De’Vannon: Of all the stories I’ve heard about the way people benefit from going to the Millis area, I’d have to say yours is probably the most unique even in, and I was an air force recruiter. And so I know the reasons why people have come to the, to, to the military because I’ve recruited them and put them in myself.
But But yours is, is there a very different, you know I’m very happy for you that you were able to find the structure that, that the structure of the air force worked for you. And many people come to [00:39:00] the military when nothing else will work. They come to escape, gangs they’ve come because the judge tells them either jail or the military.
They they’ve come for all Vermont free education, you know, all kinds of reasons and things like that. And so to deal with that might be a consideration for somebody for, you know, I would have I didn’t. I’m so glad that they really, really worked with you like that. You know, they didn’t send you home or nothing like that.
The people, you, you had a good team of people, you know, who, who, who got behind you and believed in you. And, and what I’m excited about is that you are, you seem to be paying that love for work. Now, you know, you’re perpetuating, you’re giving away that what you have received, which I think is a central message of, of all the work that you’re doing.
Juan: You’re absolutely right. I mean, you got to understand, I didn’t pass that test until my first duty station [00:40:00] that duty station, there was a cutoff. It was one year. I had to TA I had to pass that test with them my first year in service, if not, they won’t, it was going to generally discharge them. And I honestly don’t know if I ever really passed that test, but I spent nine years in the air force.
I got out as a staff Sergeant and I, when I got. had everybody around me asking me why, because I got out under the SSI VSI program out of after this, after desert storm. that’s what, you know, they were reducing the force and I got out, I had already re-enlisted for it to get, to do 12. And they were like, we don’t want you to go from my commander all the way [00:41:00] down to my supervisors.
We don’t want you to go, why are you leaving? We want you to stay. And I was like, at that time, it was the time for me to go. I mean, because it was almost, it was, it was interesting. I only qualified for that program, that SSI V S VSI, by like 30 days, if I had came in 30 days later, I would not have qualified for that program to get out and they pay me to get out And that’s what I did.
I took the money and went,
De’Vannon: Sometimes as you got to do, take the money and go.
De’Vannon: You’re not while you can, did you serve over in the war?
Juan: Yeah. I was in I was in Saudi Arabia doing the, well, shortly after the invasion started, I got there [00:42:00] after I was there.
De’Vannon: Hmm. When I was in, I, I tried to get them to send me over. I was in during nine 11. I was in, I was fresh out of tech school when nine 11 happened. And I tried to go where they never would send me a different job classifications from different bases, you know, go. So, so that’s I mean, I, I would commend you again for serving and, you know, in an actual war theater and thankfully made it back.
Juan: it was, it was a w w we was, there was sports golf around when you were then Fort cough was the, it was the command of desert storm. First, the number, the first Gulf war. If it was up to him, we’d still been there. didn’t want us to come home. We, we was, we was going to leave everybody there. And he was like, no, you’ll be surely not you’ll [00:43:00] surely still be here, but it was, it was one of those ideas that, you know, we don’t come anywhere to win nothing and leave. Like you might as well pitch your tent.
De’Vannon: Do you have one specific memory or something from serving in the war that you would care to share?
Juan: I’ll be honest with you. It was a unique opportunity and understand you’ve been serving in the air force. There’s no branch like the air force. There is no branch like the air force. And so when I had my experiences coming back home and talking about what my experiences was during desert storm, I could have said I was in the neighborhood store.
I mean the neighborhood down the street, because that’s how, that’s how excluded exclusively. We were separated from the actual combat [00:44:00] I was in, I was attached to a, a fighter wing. And we went to work just like we did every other day, but we did it in Saudi Arabia.
De’Vannon: I see what you’re saying. I see what you’re saying. Okay. So I want to get a little bit deeper into your book, but we’ve talked about so far has been pulled from a blog on your website and just some general life, a history on you, or we have touched on this. So your book has several chapters. And what I pull the most from is you actually have a very nice synopsis of the themes the right at the beginning of it.
And it’s, I want to go through a few of those so I can get a deeper understanding of, of your thoughts on it and your take on it. So, and so I will start with, with, [00:45:00] what was this, we’re talking about the military already, what we’ll start with sacrifice, and you say that’s giving up something for someone else has been in.
And loving without fear of loss. Tell me deeper what that means to you. Do you see that happening in the world? Around us?
Juan: No, I think, I think fear is the key, the key word there, because fear prevents us from being able to truly love because we we’re we’re we’re, we’re afraid of losing something because it takes sacrifice to love. It’s it’s you have, there’s one word that would exemplify love is sacrifice and we are not inclined to want to do that.
But what I’m suggesting is if we’re able to recognize the value in that sacrifice is for the greater good, then that [00:46:00] sacrifice is an investment. It’s not a loss, you know, it’s an investment and that’s the bigger picture that we have to try to understand is that we’re living a temporary thing. This life is temporary. We want to call it short it’s as long as it’s going to be. Okay. It is what it is. It’s temporary. Okay. And with that idea is to sacrifice, but to invest that, that temporary experience into something bigger than you and I that’s luck.
De’Vannon: Okay. Let’s see that humility you say is being free of arrogance or pride. Was there, was there an experience in your life that you felt like brought you to [00:47:00] your knees or to, to learn humility? Or is this something that maybe you didn’t struggle with so much or?
Juan: It was an unknown diagnosis of a learning disability.
Juan: I had to be humble. That was that’s the key element of having that weakness is that you have to be willing to accept, help. See, I have to, I have, I have to, I have to solicit help to this day in areas where I can’t, I don’t, I, you know, there is, there is, there is a time element that we all up under and the, the way that we are most efficient or most productive in this time element society that we live in is how much you can get done in a little bit of time. And so [00:48:00] I have. Gathered help to assist in the amount of time that I have to try to accomplish something bigger. That’s what I’m saying. I need help this. The reason why I’m here on your platform is because I need help. I want to somewhat, I want people to want to engage this message of love with me. I’m not, I’m not here just to tout my horn and toot my horn it’s to, I need people to be, get involved, would love to help me promote love in this world. Can’t do it by myself. I have to get down off my opinion to think that, yeah, I wrote this book and it means nothing. If people aren’t willing to engage it and embrace it and be a part of it.
De’Vannon: I wish that I had had more humility [00:49:00] back when I first got HIV and I didn’t have enough humility and willingness to be vulnerable to ask for help. I know how to ask for help. I hadn’t really needed it up until that point in my life. I was able to fix everything. You know, I was almost 30 years old and oh yeah, I had just turned 29 and it was a.
And I mean, I went down a very self-destructive path, but had, I just simply reached out for help. I could have been a completely different trajectory. And so, but getting HIV was the thing that made me realize that, you know, I wasn’t going to live forever. You know, my invincible illness of my twenties, you know, it was a dash, you know, in the pieces then it, and then I was finally broken enough to learn, you know, true humility and everything like that.
I was prideful, I didn’t realize it. And so think it’s good for us to have a little thorn in our side, just to, [00:50:00] just to, you know, to keep us, you know, in a good mind space of being able to ask for help when we need it. Cause it can cause us to avert so many problems.
Juan: You are absolutely right. And that’s why I started my, you asked me about my learning disability. That’s why I said it’s not gone. It stays with me every day for that very reason that you just talk about it. It doesn’t take much for me to realize that I am not, I am not, cannot do this on my own.
De’Vannon: Right. And now courage, you said it’s staring down difficulties or even staring down death without fear. How does one gain courage if they don’t have it?
Juan: Well, it’s again, it’s, it’s an attitude of love. See, when you’ve already given your wheel away. In the sense that you’ve sacrificed your way. is no, I mean, [00:51:00] you’re all about service at that point. And so because of that service, there is no fear there. And it’s, that’s where courage comes from it’s to remove that fear.
And some people think that fear is what creates a courage. But the fact of the matter is, is that it’s interesting because people, courage is what people see. That’s what people see. You know, they want to call you a hero. That’s what they see. But the fact of the matter is, is what causes you to do it is on the inside of you. And if your fear outrage out, out, out shines, whatever the circumstances are, you know, it’s very interesting in certain branches of the military. The you’re your, you, they want you to, in spite of your fear, you know, cause that’s basically, [00:52:00] you’re going to go do something, knowing that the possibilities of you returning a slim to none. But, but that’s deemed as courage. But in actuality, what I’m referring to is, is to removing that fear because of you’ve already given your all you’ve re intellectually in your mind, you’ve already sacrificed at all. So then to go into circumstances that doesn’t look that doesn’t look to your advantage, that you’re going to be able to make it it’s very, it doesn’t matter what it appears to be like.
You’ve already given up all that you have. In the process of getting to that point, you get what I’m saying? You understand? I mean, it’s, it’s really a process. So when that comes time, it’s just what you do. It’s not, if you do. [00:53:00]
De’Vannon: Yeah. It’s all about attitude.
And it, and like he said, it’s a process. So for somebody who may be on this sort of, you know, life path journey, trying to figure out ways to show more love, love themselves, to love other people. You know, you know, this is probably not gonna happen, you know, like overnight, you know, so we gotta be patient with ourselves.
And and with, as we are, as we’re trying to grow and mature and to develop a thing with me as I was always in such a rush and even for good stuff, you know, I wanted to hurry up everything, hurry up and get the degree, hurry up this project, hurry up this task. I was always Hasting to get everything done.
And if it didn’t get done quick enough, then I felt like I wasn’t doing a good job. It’s something about slowing down and being present in the moment that I was really slow to catch on to. And[00:54:00]and And I, and I think love is still at the center of that. Cause it was, it did a long time for me to truly love and accept myself fully.
And so and I think that that’s a big thing that has to happen before people can do, you know, a lot of what you’re talking about is self-acceptance because you can’t give away what you don’t have.
Juan: Absolutely. Absolutely your absolute true. And I don’t if it’s okay, I’m going to interject something right now, I’m creating a course. And it’s the go through this price, this, this, this, this process of how to navigate. And there are there phases steps to it. You know, it’s first understanding standing life then actually self-development, it’s personal development.
And then it talks about that. It’s about relationships and how it impacts your life journey. And then it goes into problem solving and decision-making, and then ultimately it goes [00:55:00] into money management and how to manage the life it’s life and money. It’s the process that we have to have to do to be able to get to, because sometimes we get to making decisions and solving problems before we know who we are. And then we’re, we’re, we’re making decisions that are contrary to who we are, and we’re basically digging ourselves in a hole because then when we get to a point where we can’t begin to understand what the decisions, how they’ve impacted, who we really are. So it’s, it’s a, it’s a process that you got to go through, but it started stems from a place of understanding as relates to what’s supposed to be happening here.
Why, what is the end goal? See, we get into life and get to running and jumping in. And before we know it, we’re at a point where we make decisions that are long lasting life changing, and we could have.
prevented them with some knowledge, but they, you [00:56:00] can’t go back and unduly,
Juan: could have prevented them with the Right. information, but you can’t go back and redo them.
You get no mulligans in life, you get no do overs. And what we end up living is some consequences to some choices. And so the process that we’re referring to is that you can’t put the whole, the buggy before. And what I do in what specialty with the clear journey is that I want to give young teenagers and young adults the ability or the opportunity to avoid some pedals and some, some, some obstacles with some understanding so that they can navigate life more successfully.
De’Vannon: Right. Speaking on relationships ether, that family is a framework to establish. and [00:57:00] experience love in your life. Do you feel like this family has to be your blood family, could be your military family. Could it be, you know, your closest relationships? How are you defining family here?
Juan: Well, family in that regard is your biological family, your biological family, because. It is the natural way of development. It’s natural. Now, would you all those other things that you’ve said they are possibly our families also it’s like when I was in the military, that that was my family. That was my, that was my posse.
That was my tribe. That was everything y’all was us. That was our flight. But what I’m referring to in his life is in this insane family, is that we’ve got to understand and recognize [00:58:00] the role of the family is being devalued. And it’s being devalued in a way in which you can’t, you can’t avoid it. You can attempt to devalue it.
But anything that you do is. It will be a, an adjustment. It’s an adjustment C to be a part of a family implies. If you are a child that you are responsibility of someone else, if you are a parent that you have responsibility for someone else, see that that’s a connection that can’t be broken because of the understanding that the family gives.
There’s no other relationship that comes with that innate bond. It’s no other place. [00:59:00] And that’s where it starts. Now, if either part in that pro feel that they don’t want to or fulfill their role in their position, that’s going to be a problem that you’re going to have to adjust to. If you are paying. You’re going to have to adjust to a child, not representing you the way you think that they should, if you are a child and you’re not being cared for the way in which a parent was supposed to care for you, you’re going to have to make some adjustments. You can’t avoid them.
De’Vannon: Right. My mentor that’s one lesson, one lesson. She always Evangelist Nelson when she was alive. She always would tell me that , especially when I was a teenager, before I went to the military, the importance of being able to adjust in life. And it, I still was hard headed and set set in my ways a lot of times and more so [01:00:00] than I realized, but the adjustment factor is huge.
And okay. So the last question that I’m going to ask you, and then after that, you can just give us like, Yeah, I always let my guests have the last word, you know, whatever sort of wisdom that you want to impart onto into the world. But so the last question I have for you revolves around like your definition of contentment.
So in the book you say that the state of being satisfied with your abilities, with the mindset should grow. What is contentment? What is success? How does somebody get to the point where they can say, you know what? I have a good life. I’m doing the damn thing. You know, you know, two thumbs up for me, you know, how to, how do we get there?
What does it look like? How does it feel.
Juan: Here’s here’s the, what the combinated thing is success for each and every one of us, [01:01:00]every one of us is. That state of mind of clarity, everything else, monetarily, and naturally flows out of that piece. We have to maintain that piece. We’ve got to get it and work to maintain it. And it becomes very easy.
Once you understand the system of what it is that you’re after. And when you said contentment, contentment is a very important part of being able to maintain that peace, because it allows you not to compare, but live within your abilities. Don’t worry about what somebody else has just operate in what you have now, as you develop in that process, you [01:02:00] will gain more insights as it relates to.
Can what can be consumed in that piece that we’re talking about, but it’s always being conscious of maintaining your peace. It’s that place where allows you to not, to worry, to be concerned, to be anxious, to be, to be thought of, of having fear, but to be very content on the inside, being confident as it relates to who you are, what you are and how you present yourself, that success we’ve allowed the world to define success for us when it’s ours to maintain and to possess ourselves, we think that it’s external, it’s internal. And so. [01:03:00] That is the way in which we operate in this life. That gives you where the first, the two thumbs up, because no one else can gather. I mean, and I’m telling you in the most trying times, people trying to get peace and it’s eludes them, I’m talking about being able to have peace, no matter what the times are, what the circumstances are that success.
De’Vannon: Okay, that that is my goal. And I think that it’s a good goal for us all to have. And at the end of the day, not being affected and especially with the chaos of the world around us now is a, a, is a strong thing to be able to, to, to aspire, to, to maintain, you know, to not let the outside influences affect us is a noble is [01:04:00] a noble goal.
So with that one would, what what’s at your final word cause, or was it, or was there more that you would.
Juan: Well, I’m gonna, I’m gonna, I’m gonna wrap it up with this. Then they say this, three things that I told you about the three CS that we’re talking about, what love is. And I said that it was a chameleon. it. was a conduit. And I don’t recall if I ever told you what the third one was, and it is, it’s a choice. It’s a choice every day, every moment, every time, every situation we possess the power to exemplify and administer love through our attitudes towards situations. And their benefit and they benefit not only humanity, but, but us as individuals, it keeps us humble. [01:05:00] It makes us realize that the things that are important are collective, not individual.
It doesn’t divide. I don’t have to be defined as an individual. It’s okay. I have uniquenesses. They can’t be taken away from me. It’s our opportunity to invest into something bigger than ourselves. love made simple is for all of us.
De’Vannon: I love it. I love it. Juan I like the way you define a love as an opportunity to invest in ourselves because everybody wants to do better. So thank you very much for writing this book. If people wish to contact you I intend to put your website in all your social media will go in the show notes.
Is there any specific way you would refer people to contact?
Juan: If they want to get in [01:06:00] touch with me again you can always email me at Info@JuanLeeTheAuthor.com and if you do, I’ll be more than happy to send you a new letter that I have out. And it’s talking about confidence. So send me a, a a an email, let me know that they heard me on your show and I’ll be more than happy to, and just engage with me in general.
Let me know where it is. And, and I’m here to. Again, this is not mine. This is ours. Love is for us to all. And again, everything that I do is under the, under the umbrella of a new nonprofit that I have called clear journey. And so if you buy the book or if you buy the course, that’s coming out in the future here it all goes to fund and support the nonprofit.
So if you want to be a part and to support the, the whole unit, the nonprofit to be a part, [01:07:00]contact?
me, let’s talk, let’s see how love can help you in your journey.
De’Vannon: Amen to that. Thank you so much for coming on the show today. Juan.
Juan: I appreciate it. Thanks for having me.
De’Vannon: Thank you all so much for taking time to listen to the sex drugs and Jesus podcast. It really means everything to me. Look, if you love the show, you can find more information and resources at sex, drugs, and jesus.com or wherever you listen to your podcast. Feel free to reach out to me directly at DeVannon@SexDrugsAndJesus.com and on Twitter and Facebook as well.
My name is De’Vannon and it’s been wonderful being your host today and just remember that everything is going to be all right.